I read another prophet biography and these are the things I learned and was uplifted by from his book, including some great quotes and advice:
“ I am a very simple man. I just do what the Lord tells me to do.”
He understands what the Lord requires: simple willingness to serve people, to look in the forgotten corners, down the dark streets, and into the eyes that seem to have lost hope.
To listen to him is to be inspired. To work with him is to be uplifted; and to feel of his devotion and the strength of his conviction and powerful testimony is to know that there is no doubt but that his calling as a special witness as an apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ, is well merited.
“Kneel down to pray, step up to serve, reach out to rescue.”
“Never postpone a prompting.”
“I firmly believe that the sweetest experience in mortality is to know that our Heavenly Father has worked through us to accomplish an objective in the life of another person – to help make someone whole.”
Characteristics to Strive For
“We have been so concerned over the growth of our earning capacity that we have neglected the growth of our character.”
I love when I find a way someone phrases something or uses a combination of words and these are characteristics that stood out to me as I read this book. These are definitely characteristics President Monson had that I strive to also possess.
- Contagiously engaging personality
- Modest, humble, kind, helpful, able, cheerful, adaptable, and sincere, he epitomizes the true Latter-day Saint
- He inspired confidence. You had the strong feeling that he really cared for you.
- He had the same youthful vigor, the same strong leadership characteristics, and the same humility.
- He had a happy way of handling things, always positive, always decisive.
- His family never heard from his lips one word of criticism of another.
- Discipline of patience, persistence, duty, and spiritual reliance on the Lord
As a Wife
I just love Sister Monson and what his biography had to say about her.
“She had a ready smile and a confidence that prompted quick conversation with just about anybody. A youthful zest for living, jovial nature and her radiant smile.”
I am quick to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in my life.
As a Mother
She established more than a home – they established a pattern of living.
Their examples of Christlike service profoundly influenced him “not so much for what they said, but what they were and how they loved the Lord.”
Our homes are to be more than sanctuaries; they should also be places where God’s Spirit can dwell, where the storm stood at the door, where love reigns and peace dwells.
Yours is a labor of love — and this labor will bring you joy
As a Teacher
“A mediocre teacher tells, a good teacher explains, a superior teacher demonstrates, but the great teachers inspire.”
The aim is to inspire the individual to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles.
As a Christian
“Do your duty, that is best; leave unto the Lord the rest.”
Those who have felt the touch of the Master’s hand somehow cannot explain the change which comes into their lives. There is a desire to live better, to serve faithfully, to walk humbly, and to live more like the Savior.
“We would achieve better performance if we expected such.”
If one loves, prays, and studies, God blesses those efforts.
“Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies. When you are on the Lord’s errand, you are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember, God shapes the back to bear the burden placed upon it.”
To The Rescue
That focus on “the one”, that willingness to stop, to pay heed to the Spirit’s prompting, defined him.
Decisions determine destiny. The wisdom of God oft times appears as foolishness to men. But the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right.
Benefit of the Doubt
Put simply, he finds goodness in everyone. He values the many ways people contribute to the building of God’s kingdom on earth
He just assumes that people are doing the best they know how and will do better if we can help them.
He has no inhibitions in taking the first step to strike up a conversation. And he always sees the best in people. No matter what their situation may be, he lives them where these are and inspires them so they can lift themselves
The call for courage comes constantly to each of us — the courage to stand firm for our convictions, the courage to fulfill our responsibilities, the courage to honor our priesthood.
Have courage to refrain from judging and criticizing those around you, as well as the courage to make certain everyone is included and feels loved and valued.
Be the moral courage to be a light for others to follow.
Communication & Love
He has this incredible capacity to communicate love. Whether it’s a tiny child waiting in the doorway or an adult supper in the last stages of an illness, he has this incredible ability to make that person feel like he is a personal friend. He can be joyous, and he can be serious; he can be jovial when that’s the proper spirit. And he can be profoundly spiritual. He is just a remarkable individual.
Most people like to win arguments. He likes to get to the truth. He’s very interesting that way, very rare.
Wisdom’s Seven Watchwords
Vision, Patience, Balance, Effort, Understanding, Courtesy, and Love — If these principles were followed, we will have happier lives, more fulfilling experiences and that satisfaction within our hearts that we have been the vehicle through which our Heavenly Father’s power has been made manifest
Loving and Learning from People
Loving and caring and serving each other. That’s what the gospel is all about. If we do that, then everything else falls into place
You can live with yourself if you treat people the way you would like to be treated. Cherish associations with others. I have learned everyone can teach me something. I love to learn something from each person with whom I associate
“He finds the time who has burning desire to do his duty well.”
Prayer & Language of the Spirit
No sincere, prayerful effort will go unanswered: that is the very constitution of the philosophy of faith. Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it.
He has admonished the members to acquire the language of the spirit. It is not learned from textbooks written by men of letters, nor is it acquired through reading and memorization. The language of the spirit comes to him who seeks with all his heart to know God and keep his divine Commandments. Proficiency in this language permits want to preach barriers, overcome obstacles, and touch the human heart.
He delegates, communicated, and organizes – but he also listens to the promptings of the Spirit.
Success & Abundant Life
Success is contingent upon our effective use of the time given us. When we cease peering backwards into the mists of our path and craning for award into the fig that shrouds the future and simply concentrate upon doing what lies clearly at hand, then we are making the best and happiest use of our time. Success is the ratio of your accomplishments to your capabilities.
“The five most important words in English language are ‘I am proud of you.’ The four most important are ‘what is your opinion?’ The three most important are ‘if you please.’ The two most important are ‘thank you’. The least important is ‘I'”
Seek the “abundant life”. God measures the abundant life by the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility.