The Sacred Way to Eternal Life Is to Love God FirstJune 3, 1979 • Devotional
President Oaks and members of your leadership here, members of the faculty, and students: It is a privilege and an honor to be here at Brigham Young University. It is unfortunate that not all who would like to attend this University are able to attend. In fact, it is a very limited number that can attend.
We want to do a little thinking tonight on matters about which we have already thought many times. When we leave I hope that we feel a little better about who we are and what the Lord expects of us than we did when we came in. I hope that this time will be spent under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
You are students deeply involved in the study of Jesus Christ as well as in the study of the main subject matters of the courses you are taking. You remember that the Lord said, “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:37). You could be the most brilliant student in this institution and still fail unless you accomplish on this earth what you came to the earth to accomplish.
I am going to mention just two or three elementary matters that most of you have memorized. We should often read and recall the words of the Lord regarding the creation of man. Most of you were not here on the earth as a mortal being until just a few years ago. This most sacred information about you and your mortal body is recorded in the first chapter of the Holy Bible. (I think the good Lord expected his children to read at least the first chapter; that they would let them know who they are and why they were placed here and what, in part, he expected of them. Then, if they developed enough enthusiasm from that, they could go on and read much more deeply.)
“And God said . . .” Nowhere in the universe is there a greater source of information for mankind than God; when God speaks we should pay attention, and his words should have a governing effect in our lives. The Lord said,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. [Isaiah 55:8–9]
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: . . .
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
You can memorize it in just a moment, but you cannot put it into the heart and the soul and the governing powers of your mind and body until it penetrates deep enough for you to realize your relationship to God. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Genesis 1:26–28, emphasis added). For if you do not subdue this earth, it will subdue you. I hope you heard that.
The Lord is the one who gave the commandment for His children to subdue the earth. Remember that this injunction comes from a sacred source of truth and thus means much more than just casual understanding. This is the most important and most sacred information there is about the origin and purpose of man. The Lord said, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded” (Isaiah 45:12). And from the Book of Mormon we read, “Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it” (1 Nephi 17:36, emphasis added).
I asked one of the Brigham Young University students if he had any evidence that God lived. He said, “Yes, I have a testimony.”
“I then asked him, “When you were being formed as a baby inside of your mother, who performed that creation?”
And he replied, “God.”
Except for Jesus, there has never been a mortal man or a mortal woman on this earth that could create even a hair that would live. I have been looking for such a person for a long time. [Laughter] I asked this young man further, “Who created your brain?”
He said, “God.”
“Who created your eyes, ears, nose, hands, legs, and all the mortal parts of your body?”
He answered that God had created them inside of his mother.
“Who created your earthly mother and father and all the people that live on the earth?”
He answered, “God; only God knows how to create a living human soul that is in the image and likeness of God with Jesus Christ as the great example.”
If someone had asked you the question, “Do you have any evidence that there is a God?” what would you have said? The Lord has given us so much evidence that we are left without excuses. You are each a product of divine power.
“Who keeps the earth and all that pertains to the earth so that God’s children can live upon it?” I asked the young man.
His answer was brief: “God.”
“What is God’s greatest creation on this earth?”
He answered, “Man; male and female.”
“How much do you owe God?”
“I owe God for everything I have that is purposeful and good.”
“Did God counsel His children that He had placed the devil with legions of evil helpers on this earth?”
“Did God send the devil with his legions to this earth and give them power to tempt mankind to see if man would be obedient to the ways of God or obedient to the ungodly, evil ways of the devil?”
His answer was, “Yes, God placed the devil and his legions upon this earth, and they have power to deceive and to tempt men when they will not follow the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s program of life.”
I asked, “How much do you owe the devil?”
He answered, “I don’t owe the devil for anything.”
“Does the devil or any of his helpers ever tempt you?”
He replied, “I am often tempted to do things contrary to the commandments and the will of God.”
You remember that when the devil tempted Jesus Christ with his ungodly, deceitful ways, Jesus rebuked him and commanded that he get behind Him. The devil obeyed Jesus. This is one of the great lessons that Jesus taught man. Each of you must love God and His teachings so that you, with authority, can tell the devil to get behind you. Do not sell your godly birthright to the devil, who is a deceitful, ungodly liar. And that is about as strongly as I can express my self without using other language.
But the devil is real—just as real as you are. And Jesus Christ is just as real as you are—He is no myth. You do not have to go to any philosopher. You do not have to go to Darwin, who was created inside of his mother just the same as you, or to anyone else to find out about you. Go to the Creator; go to God. It has been written down, and you will be held responsible for the information that he has given us.
I again asked this BYU student, “How much do you owe God?”
He said, “I owe God for everything that I have that is good.”
“How much do you owe the devil?”
And again he answered, “I do not owe the devil for anything.” I had him repeat that.
“The devil will continually try to get us to disrespect and disregard God’s commandments. Therefore, in order to become godlike, you must love and respect God and not heed in any way the evil, ungodly temptations of the devil. The apostle James made this promise recorded in the Bible: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The devil does not have power over those that follow Jesus Christ; the best protection that you can gain in this life is to be on the team of the Savior.
Our Heavenly Father directed and assigned Jesus Christ to be the God over this earth and to be the Savior and the example for God’s children to follow. As you know, Jesus being the Son of God, had his mortal body created and formed just like yours inside of his mother, Mary. He was born a baby, grew to manhood on this earth, and represented his Heavenly Father in all of God’s earthly programs. Jesus said:
I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. . . .
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. [John 6:38, 40]
He taught men that their Heavenly Father had provided one way and only one way for His children to come unto Him and to return to the kingdom of heaven. This is not a program of philosophy of men, but a program of God, and it is as clear as can be when you examine the commandments of the Lord.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). As you know, if we desire God’s ways and program for mortal life, we can find them in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught God’s children, and His teachings are recorded in His holy scripture; and they tell us that Heavenly Father has provided one way and only one way for His children to live on this earth—I repeat, one way—that would prepare them to return after death, and the resurrection, to the kingdom of God. If we want God’s way of life as we live on this earth, we should follow the example and teaching of Jesus Christ. If we desire to know the purposes of death and the resurrection, we can learn about them through the life, teachings, and example of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ’s birth was sacred. His mortal life was sacred. His teachings and example are sacred. His atonement and death were sacred. His resurrection from death to immortality was sacred. His ascension and return to the kingdom of God were very sacred. His membership in the Godhead is most important and most sacred.
Because of what we owe God—for all that we have that is good—He asked us to keep our hearts and minds in order by loving Him first. This is a command that we all know: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” It does not leave anything out. We should love God first with all the power that we have in the human soul. This keeps a child of God in a godly type of order.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. [Matthew 22:37–39]
Do you know that there are some of the Lord’s children that do not like others of His children? They have enemies—people that they do not like. Can you imagine a child of God in the image of God not liking one of God’s children? You have a brain like deity, and sometimes you can get into some very interesting circumstances. Remember this: If you ever feel so big and so great that you want to dislike one of the Lord’s children, get yourself a wheelbarrow full of dirt and see what you can do with it. It will have a way of humbling you like you have never been humbled before.
To love God first is one of the most important and orderly laws that God has ever given man. This law will keep man closer to Heavenly Father and to His ways than any other commandment. But to love God first requires constant thought and effort, with prayer, gratitude, and affectionate appreciation. Our prayers should help us to be closer and more loving to our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ was very close to his Father in Heaven, through the principle of prayer.
Some of us spend five or ten minutes in prayer; the Savior—we have a record of it—once prayed all night. He was literally a God in his own right, but He still wanted to talk for long periods of time with His Heavenly Father. He set the example for each of us to pray often to our Heavenly Father. He commanded, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Is that how you pray? It is a commandment. Hear the next part of it. The next thing you say to the Lord is, “Thy kingdom come”—you talk to the Lord about building His kingdom. You might as well add, “A little later, Father in Heaven, I’ll get up off my knees and help build it.” When you pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” you had better mean if from the heart. This is part of the great commandment of the Lord’s prayer. (See Matthew 6:9–13.) It has meaning when you utter it to your Heavenly Father. We have been asked by Jesus Christ to do His will and to help build His church and kingdom on this earth.
I would like to repeat God’s most important commandment because of its power to fill, comfort, and mend many broken hearts and to ease the daily problems and difficulties of this life. It is to love God first. It requires constant effort to love God with all one’s heart, might, mind, and strength.
Because of the devil and his evil, ungodly ways, we have been asked by the Lord to put on the whole armor of God. Hear these beautiful messages; they are as old as old. We must put on the whole armor of God to protect our love for God and to shield our godlike bodies from the evil, worldly ways that would take us away from loving God first and from following Jesus Christ.
The Lord warned man to stay as a little child. We are only infants in our progression toward godhood, but some of us take our godlike brains and fabricate ourselves a philosophy were we feel that we do not need our Heavenly Father or a savior as far as living in mortality is concerned.
The apostle Paul was inspired to give this important counsel. Again, you have read it; but it bears repeating. I like repetition. I have been breathing for over seventy years and still like it. I have been eating for over seventy years and still like it. The same goes for sleeping. Why, if you took the repetitious things out of my life, I would be all through. Some of us cannot stand to hear a few scriptures over a few times; we say, “Oh, I already know those.” Do we know them to the extent that they put godliness into our character? Do we know them to the extent that they have brought out our divine nature?
Hear this great message from the Lord through Paul:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [It is going on today, too.]
Wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day. . . .
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. [Ephesians 6:12–18]
By putting on the whole armor of God, you build godliness into your life and protect yourself against the ungodly ways of the devil and unholy men. Your sex appetites will be under godlike control if you put on the whole armor of God. Sex destroys the godliness in many people—a high percentage of the Lord’s children. And you will find perfection coming unto you if you put on the whole armor of God—perfection will come into your mind and your body as Jesus commanded when He said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Every law of God that you live and keep adds that much perfection to your life. You can be just as perfect in keeping a law as Jesus was. It is those laws we fail to keep that bring out the imperfections.
I was asked what one needs to do in this life to put on the whole armor of God so as to be prepared to enter into the kingdom of God after death and resurrection. In answer to this important question, I referred to the scriptures and wrote down twenty-six basic requirements for entrance into the kingdom of God. As I list requirements, there may be some repetition; but as I have said, I like repetition.
1. Jesus was asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”
I have already cited his answer: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37–38.) Master this principle. You will never be the same once you get it into your soul so that it is rooted there and begins to manage you.
Jesus counseled man, “If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments” (D&C 42:29). All of God’s commandments were given by Jesus Christ and are recorded in the holy scriptures. They are not at all secondhand. Every commandment that you are required to live to enter into the kingdom of heaven was given by the Lord himself. They are not secondhand.
2. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39). As a child of God you should love and respect yourself. You should also love and help all of God’s mortal children whenever you have the opportunity. Help them to know and love God and to know and keep His commandments. Every Latter-day Saint has the responsibility of missionary work.
3. You must know about your relationship to God: the fact that you are a child of God; that you were created by God; and that you are literally in God’ own image and likeness. As I have already mentioned, Jesus Christ is our great example.
4. You must know the only true and living God and Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they may know thee, the only true god, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). That is the great purpose of life: to know our Heavenly Father and our Savior. It will not take away from your profession; it will add stature to your character.
The apostle John gives us the key for testing our knowledge of God. Hear this. If I were to ask you the question, “Do you know God?” what would your answer be? The apostle John gives us a clue here.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is
not in him. [1 John 2:3–4]
5. Jesus commanded, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Is that your goal, or is your profession your goal? Is it money or is it godliness that you seek? Which accomplished your purpose on earth? Jesus warned man against putting earthly treasures ahead of God’s righteousness:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [Matthew 6:19–21]
6. (And I must hurry.) You need to follow the Jesus Christ of the New Testament and the Jesus Christ of all of God’s holy scriptures. Jesus declared unto man, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). There is no other way—only through the living Savior. Jesus warned men against false gods and false Christs. He said,
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. . . .
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. [Matthew 24:5, 24]
We must also follow the teachings of the Lord’s past and living prophets and apostles, who emphasize and reemphasize the Lord’s commandments.
7. You must strive for divine perfection. Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Many of you have gained perfection in many parts of the Lord’s program. The way to perfection comes by following Jesus Christ and by living His doctrine and commandments as recorded in His holy scriptures.
8. You must have faith. Faith is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The scriptures tell us, “Now the just shall live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38). “But without faith it is impossible to please [God,]” the scriptures teach us (Hebrews 11:6).
9. We must pray to a living personal Father in Heaven through Jesus Christ, our mediator. Jesus stated, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” He also promised each of us, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” All three of these actions—asking, seeking, and knocking—require prayer from the heart. Such prayer has tremendous meaning, and the Lord knows that it indicates the development of the human soul of the one praying. “For every one that asketh receiveth;” the Lord said, “And he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7–8.)
10. You must continually use the divine principle of repentance. Divine perfection and godliness come through continued and full repentance. If I were to ask you the question, “When did you use it last?” what would your answer be? Not a day should go by when we do not use this principle, because repentance takes out weakness and imperfection and also causes us to be more interested in the things that God wants us to learn and to know and to live. Prayer can rid us of both the sins and weaknesses of omission and the sins of commission that we have.
Jesus commanded, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). This was the first commandment He gave when He started His ministry on the earth. He also said, “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” Can you think of a greater promise in all the scriptures? “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” (D&C 58:42–43.)
11. You must be baptized in water by immersion the way Jesus was baptized at the River Jordan. This was a most sacred occasion, one of the very few—and maybe the only one—where all three members of the Godhead appeared at the same time. You remember that our Heavenly Father was represented in voice, the Holy Ghost was represented, and the Savior was coming up out of the water.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: And, lo, the heavens where opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. [Matthew 3:16–17]
Your Father in Heaven and the Holy Ghost were also pleased when you were baptized; and I am talking to literally thousands that have been baptized by the proper authority. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
People do not believe that the scriptures tell the story any more. There is no source on this earth as clear as the scriptures of God are about salvation and the purposes of man’s life and mission here on the earth.
12. You must be born of the Spirit by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, from one holding the priesthood of God—the Melchizedek Priesthood.
13. You must be morally and mentally clean. Your thoughts must be clean and pure. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8), Most of you have heard this marvelous message from the Lord on cleanliness time and again, but let me repeat it.
Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. [D&C 121:45–46]
Self-control in a divine way is God’s way for man to attain perfection, godliness, and eternal life in the kingdom of God. But if you only have the self-control of a beast, you will not be morally clean. Some of us at times almost reduce ourselves to animal stature.
14. It is written in the holy Bible, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalms 116:15). Can you imagine that being in the scriptures? I was at a funeral the other day and used that text. And why would the death of His saints be “precious in the sight of the Lord”? Because they have arrived; they have come back to Him saintly. They have heeded His words. They have not taken their great, powerful, godlike brains and fabricated a philosophy of their own. They have stayed close to their Creator.
15. You must be valiant. Good, clean people that are not valiant will not go to the celestial kingdom of heaven but will go to the terrestrial kingdom of glory. You can read this in the seventy-sixth section of the Doctrine and Covenants. Speaking of those in the terrestrial kingdom, Jesus said, “These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God” (D&C 76:79).
You remember the parable of the ten virgins. That is one of the most interesting parables you will ever read. It is not about five bad people and five good people; it is about ten pure people—all wanting to enter with the Lord, all wanting to be with Him. Apparently they all had testimonies, but five had time to do service to the Lord, to do the things that He had asked them to do, and five were too busy. But they all had testimonies. Have you ever had any experience with that?
Five entered the kingdom, and five came back a little later and knocked on the door. But the Lord said, “I do not know you.” It hardly seems Christian, does it? Do you know why He did not know them? Because they did not know the Lord when they had a chance to know Him. They were too busy—too busy with worldly interests, or too busy, I guess, just being virgins. There is nothing wrong with that, but you had better be careful that you also follow the plan of the Lord; because when the Lord says, “I do not know you” when you knock on his door, I think it has tremendous meaning. And such a case is recorded in his sacred scriptures.
16. You need to love and honor your earthly father and mother, your brothers and sisters, your wife or your husband, and your children. You truly need to love God’s greatest creation, His children.
I am going to make a statement here, even though I said that I would hurry. The Lord only made one like you—only one. That is the pattern of the Lord. That is interesting, is it not? Some of us do not like what He did; we think that He made someone else just a little better because He placed their eyes a little farther apart or some such thing. But He has asked us to love all of His children—although of course, there are some that have many more problems than others.
17. You need to master the ability to be a peacemaker. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Are you a peacemaker?
18. You must not blaspheme against the Holy Ghost nor take the name of God in vain (Exodus 20:7).
19. You must be honest with God and man. Tithing is a law and commandment of God. The Lord asked this question: “Will a man rob God?” Are there any within the sound of my voice that would rob Him? The Lord has said that if a man robs God by not paying his tithes and offerings he will not be able to enter the Kingdom; He said, in fact, “Ye are cursed with a curse” (Malachi 3:8, 9).
If you want to read an interesting commandment, read that one. Reread it because some of you will be tempted, saying that the Lord’s church has plenty. But there is not one thing that you will ever have that God has not provided. If you rob God, the Lord has asked you to repent of it.
20. You must “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy,” for “the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8, 11). On the Sabbath day, man is to humbly and worthily partake of the sacrament and take upon him the name of Jesus Christ and renew his sacred covenants with the Lord. It only takes about one week to forget some of the things we should remember. The Lord has asked us to come back weekly and participate. The sacrament prayers are so important and sacred that the Lord personally revealed them to His children. They came from heaven. You know them well, so I shall not repeat them.
21. You must read and know all of God’s holy commandments. You should read the scriptures every day. Even if you read only one verse, it is a habit that had to be built. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). And we will not be held accountable for anything that is not recorded in the scriptures.
22. To qualify for entrance into the kingdom of heaven you must put on the whole armor of God, as I mentioned earlier in my remarks. Jesus Christ even repeated the analogy of putting on the whole armor of God when he spoke to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and it is recorded in the modern-day scriptures as well as in those of ancient times.
23. You should not be guilty of murder.
24. Mortal death is required before the resurrection and before entrance into the kingdom of God. Death is part of God’s plan for man’s progression in eternal life. A prophet of God said,
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [1 Corinthians 15:21–22]
These are scriptures that you know and know well.
25. You must qualify to come forth in the first resurrection—the resurrection of the just, which will take place before and after the opening of the Millennium. Some think that the Savior will come to open the Millennium, but we read in the Doctrine and Covenants that He will come after the Millennium opens.
26. On judgment day you will be judged by the Lord from His commandments that are recorded in His holy scriptures. You shall take on the heavenly light of life and be prepared to enter and live in the presence of God in His heavenly kingdom. Jesus said: “In my Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2). If you are to qualify for the higher mansions in the kingdom of heaven, you must partake of the sealing powers and covenants and blessings that are performed by His priesthood in one of His holy temples.
President Kimball offers this information:
The road of life is plainly marked according to the divine purpose; the map of the gospel of Jesus Christ is made available to the travelers; the destination of eternal life is clearly established. At that destination our Father waits hopefully, anxious to greet His returning children. Unfortunately many will not arrive.
They will be too busy. The prophet Nephi added, “There cannot any unclean thing enter the kingdom of God” (1 Nephi 15:34).
I would like to read a statement from the Doctrine and Covenants, a very interesting passage found in the sixth section, verses twelve and thirteen. The Lord said,
Trifle not with sacred things.
If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greater of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.
That is what we are working and striving to gain.
May the Lord bless us to be about our Father’s business. May you be great students. There is no university in all the world with more students that respect God than Brigham Young University. I was talking to a professor from here just the other day. He had come from another university, taking a cut in pay of almost half of what he had been getting at the other university, because he wanted to be at the Lord’s university. He preferred to live a little more humbly and a little more happily in the Lord’s university than with a little more money outside of it. Are you that way?
May the Lord bless us to be about our Father’s business and to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. It is a great blessing even to be in the atmosphere of this University. There is no place like it in purpose anywhere on earth.
I bear testimony to you that God lives. He is so close to us nowadays, in these latter days, that sometimes we can almost see His hand in operation. You ought to see how the world is opening up. Keep your eyes on how the nations of the earth where Communists now control will open up to missionary work. Keep your eyes on them; it will come in your time. It is quite likely that the coming of the Lord will be in your time, too. I hope you heard that. Will you be ready? Or will you be chasing money or something else?
I bear witness to the power and reality of God and to the latter-days—for we are in the last of the latter days. The latter days have lasted well over a thousand years, and we are living in the last few.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Bernard P. Brockbank was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this fireside address was given at Brigham Young University on 3 June 1979.