Develop relationship with the Savior

Study scriptures

Strengthen families- Be prepared

The most important thing that can be done is to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, declared Elder W. Don Ladd of the Seventy.

Speaking in the Saturday afternoon session, Elder Ladd explained: "If we do [develop a relationship with Christ], we will always be comfortable with ourselves. Any questions of self-esteem and self-worth will diminish and we will have a quiet confidence that will see us through any trial. Whatever the anxiety or fear or frustration, we have only to remember the Lord's comforting words to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Liberty Jail, My son, peace be unto thy soul.' To each of us He will always be there to sayMy son, my daughter, my child, peace be unto thy soul.' "

Elder Ladd pointed out: "There have always been strident sounds and discordant voices, and our day is no exception. Everyday in the newspapers, over television, in movies and magazines we are bombarded with violence and immorality clothed in the enticing voices of permissiveness.

"There seems to be a rising tide of evil, a flood of iniquity spreading throughout the world. Crime and violence are increasing at an alarming rate. Fear openly stalks our streets and invades our homes.

Elder Ladd emphasized, "It is not in idleness that our prophets admonish again and again to strengthen our families - to hold family home evenings, to read and study the scriptures, to have daily personal and family prayers, and, to quote our prophet, Howard W. Hunter, to `treat each other with more kindness, more courtesy, more humility and patience and forgiveness.'

"The immoral influences of the world are especially destructive to children. But, our children, like ourselves, aren't going to live in a vacuum. They never have, and they never will. In all their growing and developing, we can do much to help them, to protect them, and to guide them. But we cannot isolate them from the influences of their own time and generation.

"We would do well then, while ours is still the strongest influence in their lives, to give them a sure set of standards and a firm foundation of safe and sound principles."

Elder Ladd assured that there is not need for panic or fear if members are prepared, spiritually and temporally. "We and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future.

"The key," he said, "is to accept the invitation of our prophet whom we sustained this morning `to live with evermore attention to the life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially the love and hope and compassion he displayed.' "

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