With President’s Day around the corner, it’s a good time to remember the difference that various presidents have made in America. Few presidents have made more of an impact than Abraham Lincoln. An impact that reminds us of the similar impact that Joseph Smith had upon the Saints.
There are more similarities than you’d think between Abraham Lincoln and the Prophet Joseph. We stumbled upon these gems in Tim Ballard’s book The Lincoln Hypothesis. Here are five of our favorites:
1. Both prophesied the destruction of America if certain things didn’t change.
In the years of turmoil and argument that led up to the Civil War, many forget or don't realize that those were the same years that the Saints were being persecuted and driven from state to state. Both Lincoln and the prophet knew that such persecution and discrimination was not the behavior of a covenant nation—and that God was anything but pleased.
In his 30s, Lincoln prophesied, “Whenever the vicious portion of the population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision-stores, throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure, and with impunity; depend on it, . . . this Government cannot last.”
Dating can be rough sometimes. But breaking up is much worse!
Let’s face it. Breaking up is hard to do. There’s no easy way to do it. Sayings like, “Let’s just be friends,” or “It’s not you—it’s me,” sometimes work. I mean, they’re classics if not a bit overused and perhaps a little trite. Did you know that the scriptures happen to be an excellent source of creative breakup lines?
We got the idea from Hank Smith and his great talk, "Break Up With the World." So for those of you who are waiting to break up with your significant other after Valentine's Day, use these clear one-liners from the scriptures. But beware—use them at your own risk!
1. “You draw near unto me with your mouth, but your heart is far from me.” This cheeky one is inspired by Matthew 15:8: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”
2. “Touch me not, for God shall smite you.” You can always go straight up Abinadi and tell them to back off! (Mosiah 13:3)
Read the counsel Elder Oaks gave to a young man who thought his happiness was dependent on his physical appearance--counsel we would each do well to remember.
An anonymous letter with only a post office box address was delivered to Elder Oaks. The letter expressed a concern so decisively that he felt to share both it and his reply with me. They state very well the struggle with self-worth so many of us feel in this life.
From the anonymous letter:
I am writing to you because I am unhappy and have been unhappy for years. I am at the point right now that I need someone to give me clarification and guidance so I can begin to exercise faith to change my life; otherwise, I feel I’ll never change.
I am in my upper twenties and am single. Being single is not the underlying problem. The problem is that I am not a [physically] attractive person. I don’t have any abnormal growths or anything, but I’m just not what girls would call good looking. Most girls think I have an awesome personality, super genuine and nice, and have everything going for me. The phrase I often hear is, ‘He’s perfect in every way, but I just don’t have those feelings for him.’ I can’t work on my jawline or the shape of my eyes or other features of my face. I just want to be attractive and have my wife think I’m attractive. What this means is that I have had very little opportunity over the years to date girls that I am interested in.
Do you have a favorite Primary song? Tell us which is your favorite song in our latest poll!
Chances are if you’ve ever served in the Primary, you’ve got a favorite Primary song. Heaven knows we sing a lot of them! A few weeks ago, we asked you what your favorite Primary song was. And you narrowed it down to the top eight songs in the Primary songbook.
Now vote on which of the songs in each category is your favorite and we'll crown a winner!
Start a meaningful conversation with an RM you know by asking these five intelligent questions that go deeper than, "How was your mission?"
I watched a young missionary’s face as he came down the aisle of the airplane looking for his seat. The worn suit and slightly faded black nametag were dead giveaways. He was going home. But home to what?
Within a few hours he will walk off the plane and into the arms of jubilant family members. He will report to his stake president and take off the black nametag. He will speak in sacrament meeting. Everyone will pat him on the back and ask, “How was your mission?” (As if you could describe the experience the same way you would describe yesterday’s lunch.)
The incredible young men and women that have served as full-time missionaries have sacrificed their time, postponed schooling, delayed careers, and set aside personal goals to serve. They have suffered hot days, cold nights, and rude people in order to share a testimony. Then when they return, the best question we usually ask is, “How was your mission?”
Perhaps it is time we learned to engage these amazing latter-day warriors for truth instead of settling for the vanilla questions. Here are five specific and engaging questions to ask a returned missionary.
1. Did you witness any miracles?
Our missionaries witness miracles on a regular basis. Those miracles range from healings to the gift of tongues, but missionaries don’t talk a lot about them out of respect for sacred things, and perhaps because no one asks about them. I once asked a returned sister missionary this question, and she recounted a miraculous story involving the gift of tongues. My children at the dinner table gave rapt attention to her testimony. The Spirit testified to us as she spoke, and we were all edified. Choose a time and place respectful to the nature of the question, but ask returned missionaries about the miracles they have witnessed. Be prepared for miraculous answers.