Develop divine traits of faith, hope, charity

Resolve to be obedient

Repent of sins

Attend the temple

Resolve to begin a new era of personal obedience to prepare for the Second Coming of the Savior, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin counseled Church members Saturday afternoon.

"Mortality is fleeting," Elder Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve said. "We all have much to accomplish in preparation to meet Him. As Latter-day Saints, `we believe all things, we hope all things . . . . If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

In doing so, Elder Wirthlin said, "We should strive to develop within ourselves the traits of character of the Savior."

He said the divine attributes of faith, hope and charity spoken of by the Apostle Paul "should become fixed in our hearts and minds to guide us in all of our actions."

Continuing, Elder Wirthlin said: "As I read and ponder the scriptures, I see that developing faith, hope and charity within ourselves is a step-by-step process. Faith begets hope and together, they foster charity. These three virtues may be sequential initially but once obtained, they become interdependent. Each one is incomplete without the others. They support and reinforce each other."

He said the Church guides members to the Savior and helps them develop, nurture and strengthen these divine attributes. He explained that charity is given only to those who seek it, who earnestly pray for it, and who are disciples of Christ. "Before we can be filled with this pure love, we must start at the beginning with the first principle of the gospel - faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ."

Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, motivates one to repent, Elder Wirthlin said, and added: "Through repentance, made possible by the Lord's Atonement, we can feel the calming peace of forgiveness for our sins, weaknesses and mistakes."

In speaking of hope, Elder Wirthlin cited the prophet Moroni as to what it is one hopes for. " `Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal . . . .'

"Once faith grows into a firm, abiding testimony, giving us hope in our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness . . . we experience a mighty change in our hearts," Elder Wirthlin explained. ". . . Our hearts overflow with charity. Knowing that the love of God `is the most desirable of all things . . . and the most joyous to the soul,' we want to share our joy with others. We want to serve them and bless them.

"Perhaps the ideals of faith, hope and charity are most evident in the holy temples," Elder Wirthlin explained. "Receiving our own endowment in a temple and returning frequently to perform sacred ordinances for our kindred dead increases our faith and strengthens our hope and deepens our charity."

Great things are happening in the Church, Elder Wirthlin declared as he ended his address. "We will attain new levels of spirituality and place our lives in closer harmony with Jesus Christ based on how fully faith, hope and charity become integral components of our lives."

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