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Messages of inspiration from President Thomas S. Monson

Learning patience

I believe that I can learn patience by better studying the life of our Lord and Savior. Can you imagine the disappointment which He must have felt, knowing that He had the keys to eternal life, knowing that He had the way for you and for me to gain entrance into the celestial kingdom of God, as He took His gospel to those people in the meridian of time and saw them reject Him and reject His message? Yet He demonstrated patience. He accepted His responsibility in life, even to the cross, the Garden of Gethsemane preceding it. I would hope to learn patience from the Lord. — "A Time to Choose," BYU devotional, Jan. 16, 1973

Principle of faith

"The Prophet Joseph Smith taught us the principle of faith — by example."
"The Prophet Joseph Smith taught us the principle of faith — by example." Photo: Photo by Kenneth Mays

[Joseph Smith] said that after reading [James 1:5] he knew for a certainty he must either put the Lord to the test and ask Him or perhaps choose to remain in darkness forever. He declared that as he retired to the grove to pray, this was the first time he had attempted to pray vocally to his Heavenly Father. But he had read the scripture, he had understood the scripture, he had trusted in God his Eternal Father; and now he knelt and prayed, knowing that God would give him the enlightenment which he so earnestly sought. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught us the principle of faith — by example. — "By Example," Ensign, June 1994

White carnations

Some years ago, in the city of Rome, Sister Monson and I met with almost 500 members in a district conference. The presiding officer at the time was Leopoldo Larcher, a wonderful Italian. His brother had been a guest worker many years before in the auto plants in Germany when two missionaries taught him the gospel. Leopoldo's brother went back to Italy and taught the gospel to Leopoldo. He accepted, was baptized and eventually held many leadership positions in the Church. He was called to be president of the Italy Rome Mission and then president of the Italy Catania Mission. During the meeting in Rome that Sister Monson and I attended, I noticed in that throng of 500 that there were many wearing a white carnation. I said to Brother Leopoldo Larcher, "What is the significance of the white carnation?" He said, "Those are new members. We provide a white carnation to every member who has been baptized since our last district conference. Then all the members and the missionaries know that these people are especially to be fellowshipped." I watched those Italian members with the white carnation being greeted, being embraced, being spoken to. They were no more strangers nor foreigners; they were fellow citizens with the Saints, and of the household of God. — "Motivating Missionaries," Seminar for New Mission Presidents, June 27, 2010

Cherished friend

Let us have gratitude for our friends. Our most cherished friend is our partner in marriage. This old world would be so much better off today if kindness and deference were daily a reflection of our gratitude for wife, for husband.

The Lord spoke the word "friend" almost with a reverence. He said, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."

True friends put up with our idiosyncrasies. They have a profound influence in our lives.

Oscar Benson, a Scouter of renown, had a hobby of interviewing men on death row in various prisons throughout the country. He once reported that 125 of these men had said they had never known a decent man.

In the depths of World War II, I experienced an expression of true friendship. Jack Hepworth and I were teenagers. We had grown up in the same neighborhood. One afternoon I saw Jack running down the sidewalk toward me. When we met, I saw that there were tears in his eyes. In a voice choked with emotion, he blurted out the words, "Tom, my brother Joe, who is in the Navy Air Corps, has been killed in a fiery plane crash!" We embraced. We wept. We sorrowed. I felt highly complimented that instinctively Jack, my friend, felt the urgency to share with me his grief. We can all be grateful for such friends. — "An Attitude of Gratitude," Ensign, February 2000

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