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Teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith Lesson 18: Living by Every Word that Proceeds from the Mouth of God

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Get the full lesson, "Living by Every Word that Proceeds from the Mouth of God" from The Teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith at LDS.org.

Note: As the Church has said, the manual has been prepared as the primary source of lesson material. These supplements, from general conference addresses, are meant only as a complement to your study on this lesson's topic.

Supplement is from President Thomas S. Monson's talk, "Sailing Safely the Seas of Life" from April 1982 general conference.

Like the vital rudder of a ship, we have been provided a way to determine the direction we travel. The lighthouse of the Lord beckons to all as we sail the seas of life. Our home port is the celestial kingdom of God. Our purpose is to steer an undeviating course in that direction. A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder—never likely to reach home port. To us comes the signal: Chart your course, set your sail, position your rudder, and proceed.

As with the ship, so it is with man. The thrust of the turbines, the power of the propellers are useless without that sense of direction, that harnessing of the energy, that directing of the power provided by the rudder, hidden from view, relatively small in size, but absolutely essential in function.

Our Father provided the sun, the moon, the stars—heavenly galaxies to guide mariners who sail the lanes of the sea. To all who walk the pathways of life, He cautions: Beware the detours, the pitfalls, the traps. Cunningly positioned are those clever pied pipers of sin beckoning here or there. Do not be deceived. Pause to pray. Listen to that still, small voice (see D&C 85:6) which speaks to the depths of our souls the Master’s gentle invitation: “Come, follow me” (Luke 18:22). We turn from destruction, from death. We find happiness and life everlasting.

Read the full talk.

President Henry B. Eyring also addressed this topic in his April 2004 general conference talk, "In the Strength of the Lord."

But the test a loving God has set before us is not to see if we can endure difficulty. It is to see if we can endure it well. We pass the test by showing that we remembered Him and the commandments He gave us. And to endure well is to keep those commandments whatever the opposition, whatever the temptation, and whatever the tumult around us. We have that clear understanding because the restored gospel makes the plan of happiness so plain.

That clarity lets us see what help we need. We need strength beyond ourselves to keep the commandments in whatever circumstance life brings to us. For some it may be poverty, but for others it may be prosperity. It may be the ravages of age or the exuberance of youth. The combination of trials and their duration are as varied as are the children of our Heavenly Father. No two are alike. But what is being tested is the same, at all times in our lives and for every person: will we do whatsoever the Lord our God will command us?

Knowing why we are tested and what the test is tells us how to get help. We have to go to God. He gives us the commandments. And we will need more than our own strength to keep them.

Read the full talk.

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