On this page I want to post ideas and words of wisdom that have been expressed by World Church leaders. One of my personal pet peeves is the fact that great ideas, expressed in a sermon, address, article, etc., tend to only have a lifespan about as long as the event in which the idea was shared (or for a few months following). However, we can’t afford to lose words of wisdom.
Tell My People How Much I Love Them
“When I was twenty years old I was ordained an elder in the church, and fairly soon thereafter appointed to serve as a pastor of a small congregation.
One Saturday evening as I was preparing a sermon and wrestling with what I could say that would really be a blessing to those who would gather for worship the next day, after a time of prayer, I had a very personal experience with the pure love of God, our creator.
It is far beyond any human love. In fact, it is “other than”. It is holy love. It is love that embraces the whole realm of creation and yet is a personal love for each individual. …
As I experienced the pure love of God, I was told, in my sermon to simply say this: tell my people how much I love them. It was probably the shortest sermon I’ve ever preached in my life; because that’s what I did.
I am experiencing that same Spirit, that same pure love of God, God’s amazing grace, for this assembly tonight; and I just want to share with you, God says tell my people, how much I love them. And I pray that you feel that.”
-Preamble to the introduction to the preface of the 2013 Words of Counsel
(Stephen M. Veazey, President of the Church)
Vulnerable to Hope
This video has a great message. If you have not watched it, please do so. You can view it here:
One thing it says that I really like is this:
“Christianity…finds itself in a strange new land. No longer the center of society, the church must rediscover ministry at the margins – the very places at the heart of Jesus’ life and ministry.”
Do You Love Me?
Excerpts from President David Schaal’s sermon at the close of World Conference 2010. He had three main items in his address, which you can read below. To read the entire sermon, click here.
Item One: “When you go back home, every time, anything, and I do mean anything, is being planned in your congregation, would you please ask the question out loud, “how can this bless our community?”
Everything, when anything in your congregation is being planned or discussed as a possibility, “how might this bless our community”, so that your voice, is one of the voices that helps the gaze of the church, to forever being turning outward, as opposed to the gaze of the church forever be turning inward on ourselves….”
Item Two: “Who do you need to invite to church? … I will hear people say “Brother Schaal, you know all this talk about invitation, and going and baptizing people – are we just being concerned about numbers?” And finally not long ago, having heard that for about the 100th time, I finally looked at the group, and I said “yes”.
Because every single number represents a boy, or girl or woman or man who needs to be in relationship with Jesus, who needs the supporting, healing ministries of the church. Is it about numbers – is it about numbers? Not if that means just we want to swell the rolls of the church. If we want to make disciples, if we want lives to be healed, if we believe that life is so precious that everyone deserves an opportunity to know Christ and be supported in faith by loving community? Who do you need to invite to church? Who do you need to invite next week?”
Item Three: “Friends, lets pay our tithing. The reason I say “let’s pay our tithing” is simply this: I am not motivated to pay my tithing simply so that the world church budget can be in some manner healthy on the balance sheet. I am motivated to pay my tithing because right now, missionaries, ministers, who are funded by World Church tithing dollars, in many places in this world, are helping young people learn how to avoid the ravages of the HIV virus, and because of your generosity there are children who are being spared that heartache. Its because not far from where I am standing right now there is a man who said to me not long ago, “I love this church, and I love this church, because of this church I get to be with my family anymore, because I don’t do cocaine anymore” And he’s not doing cocaine anymore because of ministries that came his way funded by tithing dollars made possible by your generosity….”
“So ask the question in your congregation about how its going to bless community. Think about who it is that you can invite to church. And let’s pay our tithing so that wonderful things can continue to roll forward on this planet.”
We Share a Vision of Hope
From the 2010 World Conference Sermon by Prophet-President Stephen Veazey:
“What kind of church do we really want to be? Or stated better: What kind of church does God want us to be?”
The full sermon can be read here:
Impress of the Spirit
This “mini-revelation”, described as the result of an “impress of the Spirit”, was included in the 2009 (first ever) annual address to the church by Prophet-President Stephen Veazey. Although no move has been made to have it added to the Doctrine and Covenants, it has always struck me as an awesome and comforting message.
“Fear not! Do not be afraid to become who God is calling you to become. God, the Eternal One, has been with you in your past, continues with you in the present, and already is waiting patiently for you in the future. Through your lives the sacred story of the Restoration still is being written.
Engage the current challenges and opportunities before you with commitment and hope worthy of the dedication and sacrifices of those who went before you. Creatively build on the faith foundations they laid. Open windows and doors to the future.
Beloved community, God has chosen you to assist in accomplishing divine purposes if you will choose to live out of your better natures and potential. Deepen your faith. Refine your sensitivity to the guidance of the Spirit so that you are not distracted by other influences. Explore your scriptures with openness to new insights that will come. Increase your compassion and generosity. Strengthen your relationships so the peace of Christ may be magnified through you.
Have courage and hope. Gather in the gifts of all ages and cultures so the ministries of the body can become whole and fully alive. Others are being prepared around the world to join their efforts with yours, if you will move ahead according to the direction offered to you by the Spirit. Amen.”