The world is filled with shrill, accusatory and sarcastic words that need not be considered. But through the din come words to live by, said Elder James M. Dunn of the Seventy.
In his Saturday afternoon address, Elder Dunn enlisted the "inspired thoughts" of President Thomas S. Monson as examples of "words to live by."
God is a father; Man is a brother; Life is a mission; And not a career. (General Conference, April 3, 1988.)
"God is our Heavenly Father. We are His spiritually begotten children. Knowing our relationship to God helps us better understand where we came from and what our eternal possibilities are," Elder Dunn said.
Although the world is marked by great diversity, the gospel teaches the human race is one family of brothers and sisters.
"As siblings, we must see that our Heavenly Father loves His children equally, as any good father would," Elder Dunn said. "Courtesy, kindness, generosity and forgiveness are all elements of proper conduct among family members. Imagine the disappointment of a perfect, loving Father who sees His children treating each other badly."
Life is short and there are important decisions that must be made wisely, he added.
"Successfully working our way through life while keeping our eye on life's true purposes blesses us both here and hereafter. Being obedient to the commandments, keeping sacred covenants and being 'anxiously engaged in a good cause' enable us to partake of the joy that is the purpose of our earthly existence."
One's earthly mission has little to do with mortal careers — but everything to do with preparing for one's immortal destiny, Elder Dunn said. Many live life as though there were no day of reckoning.
"As a result of such erroneous thinking, the world is filled with lurid and lascivious attractions," he said. "We see young men refusing to marry; young women foolishly surrendering their virtue in pursuit of lustful relationships; couples who purposefully refuse to have children who opt for a 'trophy child' because a 'family' would interfere with plans for adventure, leisure or maximum gain."
Still, he concluded, there are millions of "faithful brothers and sisters throughout the world" who strive daily to "live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God."