Elder L. Whitney Clayton: ‘The Finest Homes’

General Authority Seventy

Notable quotes: 

“The finest characteristic of any home is the image of Christ reflected in the homes’ residents.”
“As we become more like [the Lord], we will feel at home in His house, and He will feel at home in ours.”
“Wherever you live, whatever your house looks like, and whatever the composition of your family, you can help build the finest home for your family. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ provides the plans for that home.”

Summary points:

  • The quality of a home depends not on its furnishings or size but on the spiritual qualities of those who live in it.
  • Building a fine home requires residents to reflect the image of Christ, study scriptures daily and repent.
  • The finest homes are patterned after the temple — the house of the Lord.

Talk summary: 

After seeing a billboard advertising furniture that read, “Serving the Finest Homes in Salt Lake City,” Elder Clayton pondered the home in which he and his wife raised their children, the homes in which their children are raising children and the homes of Church members around the world.

“What is a ‘finest home’?” A fine home depends on the spiritual qualities of its residents, and the best possible attribute for a home is that the image of Christ be reflected in the countenances of those who live there.

“What matters is the interior design of the souls of the inhabitants, not the structure itself. The attributes of Christ are acquired in the ‘process of time’ by intentional progress along the covenant path. Christlike attributes adorn the lives of those who strive to live with goodness. They fill homes with gospel light, whether the floor is mud or marble.”

Residents can transform their homes into the finest homes by studying the scriptures and the words of living prophets every day. The scriptures tell stories of families, showing how righteous living results in blessings.

The finest homes are patterned after the temple. Keeping commandments and practicing steady discipleship transforms individuals and the homes they live in. “As we continue in faith, the Lord gradually changes us. We receive His image in our countenance and begin to reflect the love and beauty of His character.”

Similar to the ongoing process of renovating the Salt Lake Temple, individuals can benefit from periodic self-assessments and asking the Lord, “What lack I yet?”

The finest homes offer a refuge from the storms of mortality. “The Lord has promised that those who keep the commandments of God ‘prosper in the land.’ God’s prosperity is the power to press forward despite the problems of life.”

About the speaker:

  • From March 6-8, Elder Clayton accompanied President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, on a visit to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where they testified of the Restoration in leadership and member meetings.
  • Elder L. Whitney Clayton was sustained as a General Authority Seventy on March 31, 2001. Since 2008, he has served as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.
  • He is a great-great-grandson of Brigham Young and William Clayton, who wrote the hymn “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” His father is also named L. Whitney Clayton.
  • Elder Clayton served a full-time mission in Peru and served in the South America South Area presidency from 2002-2006.
  • Elder Clayton was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Feb. 24, 1950. He married Kathy Ann Kipp in August 1973, and they are the parents of seven children.