Lives of good people are strong influence

The influence and inspiration provided by the lives of noble people have been a powerful influence in his own life, Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy said at the priesthood session.

"I am ever impressed and deeply moved by the power of even one good life," he remarked Saturday evening.He told of the Prophet Joseph Smith who, imprisoned in Richmond, Mo., fearlessly rebuked the guards for their blasphemy, filthy language and boasting of unspeakable cruelty to the Saints.

Elder Jensen also told of Willard Bean, a missionary in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1915, who became known as the "fighting parson" because he improved public relations for the Church by putting on a boxing exhibition.

"Although Brother Bean's methods were a little unorthodox and definitely not compatible with the current approved missionary program of the Church," they were nonetheless effective, he said. The 25-year mission of Brother Bean and his wife, Rebecca, changed the attitude of the people from hostility to toleration, then admiration and finally love.

"The Lord is surely aware of our need to feel the influence of good people," Elder Jensen said, adding that He has established a pattern of companionships in priesthood service.

Positive influence in each others' lives "is one of the reasons why a community of believing Latter-day Saints is a foundational element of the gospel," Elder Jensen said. "It also explains why we build meetinghouses rather then hermitages.

"When we see Christ's image in the countenances of others, it helps us live to receive it in our own."

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