Seek to keep pace with lengthened stride of leaders

Broaden power

of influence

Utilize Church councils

Be prepared

to keep pace

President Gordon B. Hinckley is dynamically out in front showing the way, said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Saturday morning.

"The question we must all ask ourselves is, `Are we keeping pace with him?' I can assure you that it is a subject of considerable discussion among the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

"This is not the time to relax or to coast in our callings," Elder Ballard continued. "Every council of the Church should be working together on ways to be more effective in preparing our members to be worthy to enjoy all the blessings of the Church and especially the blessings of the temple.

Referring to the extraordinary temple-building effort announced by President Hinckley at the last general conference, Elder Ballard said, "I have thought what great confidence the Lord and His Prophet have in you and me. How much responsibility now rests upon all of us to prepare ourselves and others to be worthy of the blessings of these holy temples."

Elder Ballard recounted a vision of President Wilford Woodruff who saw the Prophet Joseph Smith some time after the Prophet was martyred:


Joseph SmithT came to me and spoke to me. He said that he could not stop to talk with me because he was in a hurry.

"By and by, I saw the Prophet again and I got the privilege of asking him a question.

" Now,' said I,I want to know why you are in a hurry.'

"Joseph said, `Each dispensation has had ample time to do this work. We have not. We are the last dispensation, and so much work has to be done, and we need to be in a hurry to accomplish it.' "

"Other latter-day prophets," said Elder Ballard, "have been similarly motivated to move us along more quickly in accomplishing the significant work of this last great dispensation.

"Clearly the power of the Lord is moving on the leaders of the Church, nudging them with the same urgency that seemed to be motivating Joseph Smith in Wilford Woodruff's vision.

"We must focus our work," explained Elder Ballard, "and we must work smarter if we are to accomplish our role in preparing all Church members to receive their temple blessings. Church leaders . . . can and must extend the length of their reach and broaden the power of their influence.

"We must be wise to protect and teach our own families first; and then take full advantage of the inspired Church council system to achieve greater success in the work Heavenly Father has given us to do, within the time frame He has given us to do it.

"Every soul is very precious to our Heavenly Father. We must never forget that through the Atonement, the Lord Jesus Christ paid a great price for the redemption of each one of us. His suffering must not be in vain because we fail to nurture and teach those who are striving to be active in the Church.

"I know the power of inspired men and women who unitedly strive to strengthen families and individual members of the Church. Let us unite as never before to do our part, individually and collectively, to prepare our people to receive the blessings that can only be given in the House of the Lord.

"We must be prepared to keep pace with our leaders, stride for their every lengthened stride."

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