• Quote of the Day

    “Surely the reason Christ said, ‘Father, forgive them,’ was because even in that terrible hour He knew that this was the message He had come through all eternity to deliver.”
    —Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Quentin L. Cook—A Willing Heart and Mind

In this month’s Ensign there is a profile of Elder Quentin L. Cook. First of all, I have always found it interesting that the Ensign’s biographical sketches of newly called members of the Quorum of the Twelve are always authored by other members of that quorum. In this case, the choice of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was a no-brainer, since he and Elder Cook served together in the British Mission. Elder Holland writes:
 
“We were profoundly affected by our mission president, Elder Marion D. Hanks, then of the First Council of the Seventy. To all of his missionaries, he emphasized discipleship and determination. He taught us to love the Savior, to cherish the Book of Mormon, to be true to the Church and the gospel for the rest of our lives. Now, more than 45 years later, it is a rare occasion to have two former missionary companions serving together in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.”
 
This article contains several facts and stories that give a good idea of the kind of person Elder Cook is: humble, dedicated, intelligent, competent, and tender-hearted. To this I’ll simply add my personal insight into the man. I’ve had occasion to meet him a number of times, and he has always been kind and gracious. When we first spoke, I told him that we were connected through a common ancestor as well as through his acquaintance with an aunt of mine, whom he went to school with. Since then, every time we’ve met he’s asked me how my aunt is doing, and he’s genuinely interested. My aunt has always lived alone and has sometimes felt overlooked, so it means a lot to me to be able to tell her that Elder Cook asked about her.
 
Read the rest of the article to learn more about this newest special witness of the Savior.
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Come unto Christ

In this month’s special issue of the Ensign on the Savior, President Henry B. Eyring discusses a pattern he has observed among those who accept the invitation to come unto Christ. In “Come unto Christ” (also available on the new Web site JesusChrist.lds.org) President Eyring mentions three truths the Holy Ghost has manifested to people he knew who came unto the Savior. President Eyring is a man who is very close to the Spirit, and the pattern he describes shows how the Spirit works on us to helps us become perfected in Christ. Basically, it leads from belief to action to total conversion. It is in that last step that he speaks of retention of converts. He gives what I believe to be an important insight:

“We sometimes speak of retaining members as if we held them in. We can and we must be a friend to those who have made the choice to come unto Him. They can become discouraged when trials come, as trials always do. Yet we must remember that the best and surest friends they have are the Savior and His Father, who is also their Father. Heavenly Father and the Savior will send them the Holy Ghost to comfort them and confirm their faith if they are humbly obedient.”

I believe that this is true of all who have come unto Christ, whether they were baptized last week or 80 years ago, whether they are converts or lifelong members.

Ensign Promotional Video

The Church magazines have posted this promotional video on their Web site at SpecialMagazine.lds.org. It gives a good overview of the March 2008 special issue of the Ensign. The voiceover simply reads quotes from some of the articles in the issue, but it hangs together so well that it could stand on its own as a statement of our beliefs about the Savior. Check it out. You can download it in a couple of different formats and sizes. 

Was I Saved?

Another good article from this month’s special issue of the Ensign is one that describes a situation that many Church members may find themselves in at some time or other. “Was I Saved” is one young woman’s account of her visit to a friend’s church meeting and her subsequent confusion about whether she really needed to publicly accept Jesus in the manner prescribed there. This article teaches us two things: (1) we should prepare people we invite to our meetings for the things that might be unfamiliar to them, and (2) we Mormons have no reason to doubt whether we’ve been “saved” or have done everything necessary to accept Christ. The article also refers to a good talk by Elder Oaks on this subject.

We Believe

The March 2008 Ensign, a special issue on the Lord Jesus Christ, contains an FAQ article regarding Latter-day Saint beliefs about the Savior. “We Believe,” which is also available on the new Web site JesusChrist.lds.org, briefly answers questions ranging from the historical Jesus, to the Resurrection, to the role of grace in salvation, to the relative importance of Joseph Smith. Though the article cannot delve too deeply into any of these questions, the answers are straightforward and more than satisfactory explanations of Latter-day Saint doctrine on key questions of our faith.

New Era Cover Boy Gets TV Spotlight


February New EraPorter Ellett, who was featured in a New Era cover story in February, was spotlighted recently in this TV report. Check it out.



We Testify of Jesus Christ

The March 2008 issue of the Ensign and Liahona focuses on the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to the testimonies of modern apostles and prophets, it contains stories and expressions of gratitude and love for the Savior from members around the world.
 
The first article in the issue is “We Testify of Jesus Christ” (also available on a new Church Web site, JesusChrist.lds.org). It is the last original message by President Gordon B. Hinckley published in the Church magazines and would be noteworthy for this fact alone, but it is also a strong and powerful witness of the reality of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world. As you read it, you can hear President Hinckley’s voice, his intonations, his earnest and matter-of-fact declarations of Christ’s divinity. He did, in fact, use many of these same expressions before, but that doesn’t matter. One of his legacies will be his testimony of the Savior, which will reverberate in our hearts for years to come. For instance, he said:
 
“Like the Polar Star in the heavens, regardless of what the future holds, there stands the Redeemer of the world, the Son of God, certain and sure as the anchor of our immortal lives. He is the rock of our salvation, our strength, our comfort, the very focus of our faith.”
 
I am grateful for President Hinckley and for the faithful witness he bore of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.