- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2001

Excerpts from a sermon given yesterday by Thomas S. Monson at a Virginia meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Weve been talking about family today, and I think of the Apostle Pauls words to the Corinthians, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that Gods spirit dwelleth in you." If we have that picture in our minds of our potential, as eternal truth, we shall never be content with mediocrity.
Our prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation in Kirtland, Ohio, and it has to do with our ability to build a temple. The Lord said to the prophet, "Organize yourselves establish a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order a house of God." We can take these as pages in a blueprint to build our families as temples.
This temple is the first time for all of us. The Lord said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand," and so we should have family unity. Then he said, "Do not build your house on the sand." We must build on the rock of faith, and when the winds come, it will not fall. To be a house of prayer, we have three great prayers, beginning with the Lords Prayer. After this manner, Jesus also prayed in Gethsemane, "Not my will, but Thine be done," and on the cross He prayed, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
A second page in the blueprint is fasting. In Isaiah 58, we are told of true fasting, that we should "draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul." And this church is stepping forth to do that, with humanitarian aid worldwide and our fast offerings. Blessing comes to us through fasting after prayer.
Now, faith in our house is also a great testimony to the Lord. I recall visiting Colorado once and hearing, "We have a very disappointed couple here. They havent [had their marriage made eternal] in the temple. He has to overcome, and now they just heard that their son, the first to go on a mission, is quitting." So I talked with him, and he said, "Brother Monson, why is it that my faith and prayers are not answered." He told me his son was in West Germany, and I told him thats exactly where I was going that week. "And you dont think God answers prayers?" I asked him. In Germany, we had young people give their testimony, and his son decided to stay. I thought of the poem, "Stick to your task until it sticks to you, beginners are many but enders are few."
What about learning? What books have you read in the past month or past year? Not only Scripture, but other literature that is uplifting. I read this month "The Flag of Our Fathers," about Iwo Jima and the tens of thousands of casualties and their youth. One young boy, maybe 17, went with a paperback in his pocket, "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay," and it was still there when they collected his body. I want to give thanks to those young who made the supreme sacrifice.
And let our houses be houses of glory. When we opened a stake in Tonga, a man named Moses came to me and said, "Many years ago an apostle came here and ordained me an elder. He said if I were faithful, another apostle one day would come and ordain me a high priest." That is what we did with Moses in Tonga, and he said, "Prophecy has been fulfilled in my life." That is an indication of a house of glory.
A house of order can be tricky. I think we should have time for the Father, time for the church and family, and time for our daily prayer. And time for ourselves it takes planning, but we can do it. The Lord says there shall be order in all things. We cannot dictate to God His timetable. A line from Scripture comes to mind: "The wisdom of God often appears the foolishness of men." But the greatest lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks, and man obeys, that man will always be wise.

Next week: a talk by Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey at the College of Preachers in the District of Columbia.

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