Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Quentin L. Cook on strengthening families in difficult times

Elder Quentin L. Cook (b. 1940) was called as a Seventy in 1996, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2007.
"We live in a precarious time. The world is in desperate need of the fresh springwater, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We should listen intently to the prophet as we make choices....
"I know that many of you are concerned about raising your children during these difficult times and increasing their faith. When my wife and I were starting our family in the San Francisco Bay Area, we had that same concern. At a critical point our stake members were advised by Elder Harold B. Lee, then a member of the Twelve, that we could raise our families in righteousness if we would:
"1. Follow the prophet.
"2. Create the true spirit of the gospel in our hearts and homes.
"3. Be a light to those among whom we live.
"4. Focus on the ordinances and principles taught in the temple. (See D&C 115:5; Harold B. Lee, 'Your Light to Be a Standard unto the Nations,' Ensign, Aug. 1973, 3-4.)
"As we followed this counsel, our faith increased and our fears decreased. I believe we can raise righteous children anywhere in the world if they are taught religious principles in the home."
- Quentin L. Cook, "Live By Faith and Not By Fear," Ensign, November 2007, pp. 70-73
Click here to read the full talk

Speaking as a new member of the Quorum of Twelve, Elder Cook pondered about the "precarious times" we are now living in and the "desperate need" for sources of help and nourishment. As he shared thoughts about raising children and protecting our families in these times, he recalled apostolic counsel he had received when he himself was a young parent:

These are wise and inspired recommendations. I see, perhaps, some of the reasons each of these four recommendations would contribute to accomplishing the goal of keeping families strong and protected:

  1. We follow inspired leaders, trusting that God can give direction to us through them. We have faith in their counsel because we have faith in Jesus Christ.
  2. Putting the gospel into active practice in our lives is the only way to reap the benefits of the Savior's teachings. That gospel spirit must be predominant not just in our hearts but in our actions and activities.
  3. As we live the gospel principles, their light shines through us to encourage and bless those around us and we share in His work of salvation.
  4. The temple provides a further source of learning and inspiration, as well as critical ordinances that aid in our progress. When we "focus" on the temple and its blessings, we will reap the benefits the Lord intends for us.
It's not hard to see why President Lee could promise blessings that would come to any family who followed those guidelines. Elder Cook was grateful to testify that they worked for him, and will work for us as well.

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