The First Principle: Work
- How I admire men, women, and children who know how to work! How the Lord loves the laborer! Those who are unafraid to roll up their sleeves and lose themselves in the pursuit of worthwhile goals are a blessing to their families, communities, nations, and to the Church.
He speak of why work is so important in our lives.
- Work is an antidote for anxiety, an ointment for sorrow, and a doorway to possibility. Whatever our circumstances in life, my dear brethren, let us do the best we can and cultivate a reputation for excellence in all that we do. Let us set our minds and bodies to the glorious opportunity for work that each new day presents. When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration.
We need to make sure we work for worthwhile things. We should not work for things that will not satisfy or move us in the right direction.
- Work can be ennobling and fulfilling, but remember Jacob’s warning not to “spend … your labor for that which cannot satisfy.” If we devote ourselves to the pursuit of worldly wealth and the glitter of public recognition at the expense of our families and our spiritual growth, we will discover soon enough that we have made a fool’s bargain. The righteous work we do within the walls of our homes is most sacred; its benefits are eternal in nature. It cannot be delegated. It is the foundation of our work as priesthood holders.
He shares some counsel to those that have reached retirement age not to retire from the service of God.
- Now, a word to us seasoned brethren: retirement is not part of the Lord’s plan of happiness. There is no sabbatical or retirement program from priesthood responsibilities—regardless of age or physical capacity. While the phrase “been there, done that” may work as an excuse to avoid skateboarding, decline the invitation for a motorbike ride, or bypass the spicy curry at the buffet, it is not an acceptable excuse for avoiding covenant responsibilities to consecrate our time, talents, and resources in the work of the kingdom of God. There may be those who, after many years of Church service, believe they are entitled to a period of rest while others pull the weight. To put it bluntly, brethren, this sort of thinking is unworthy of a disciple of Christ. A great part of our work on this earth is to endure joyfully to the end—every day of our life.
He summarizes his comments in this comment:
- Whether you are the youngest deacon or the oldest high priest, there is work to do!
The Second Principle: Learn
- For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea—it’s a commandment. We are to learn “of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad.”
- Brethren, you have a duty to learn as much as you can. Please encourage your families, your quorum members, everyone to learn and become better educated. If formal education is not available, do not allow that to prevent you from acquiring all the knowledge you can. Under such circumstances, the best books, in a sense, can become your “university”—a classroom that is always open and admits all who apply. Strive to increase your knowledge of all that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.” Seek knowledge “by study and also by faith.” Seek with a humble spirit and contrite heart. As you apply the spiritual dimension of faith to your study—even of temporal things—you can amplify your intellectual capacity, for “if your eye be single to [God’s] glory, your whole [body] shall be filled with light, … and [comprehend] all things.”
As we study, we should remember to study the things of God as well.
- In our learning, let us not neglect the fountain of revelation. The scriptures and the words of modern-day apostles and prophets are the sources of wisdom, divine knowledge, and personal revelation to help us find answers to all the challenges in life. Let us learn of Christ; let us seek out that knowledge which leads to peace, truth, and the sublime mysteries of eternity.
How glad I am to belong to a church that values hard work and learning. We want our people to be hard working and educated. We want our men and women to be educated, able to support themselves and their families, and to learn all they can to better themselves. We are not an oppressive church. We are not a church that wants people to just stay where they are. We are counseled that our desires should be for moving the works of God forward and each of us have an obligation to better ourselves to be able to help the work of God move forward. The works of God move forward through you and I and I am so grateful that we are encouraged to make ourselves better to benefit the church and work of God.