One day, the son found a painting. He looked at it, and thought how nice it would be if he would discover an antique or painting of far greater value than the previous owner had, but decided that this painting was not valuable.
His father felt it would be worth having the painting checked by a friend of his, who managed an art gallery.
Several days later, the father’s friend informed him that the painting probably had a value of at least $29,000, which took place in the early 1970s. They were very excited by the news and sold the painting for more then the quoted price.
In telling this story, he said, “I can’t imagine why anyone would be prepared to pay so much for such an ordinary painting.”
In reflecting on the response of the young man. He had no interest in the painting. He judged it to be of little or no value.
How do we judge the value of the gospel in our lives? Do we really appreciate our indebtedness to the Savior?
President Hinckley said, " The religion of which you are a part is 7 days a week. It isn’t just Sunday, it isn’t the block plan, it isn’t just 3 hours in church, it isn’t just the time you spend in seminary—it’s all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year."
The First Presidency tells us that we are choice spirits who have come forth in this day when the responsibilities and opportunities, as well as the temptations, are the greatest. We are at the beginning of our journey. Heavenly Father wants us back. The decisions we make now to live the gospel will determine what will follow through our life and throughout eternity.
There is a promise, that as we keep the standards and live the truths in the scriptures, we will be able to do our life's work with greater wisdom, and will and bear trials with greater courage. We will also have the help of the Holy Ghost.
We all want victory in our lives, some of us want to serve an honorable mission, we want a temple marriage, we want all of the wonderful blessings that Heavenly Father will give us. All of this comes with "doing the things we should everyday".
We are responsible for the choices we make: In 2 Nephi 2:27 it says "Wherefore, men are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men or choose captivity and death"
We are free to choose for ourselves, but we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions. When we make wrong choices, it delays our progression and leads to heartache and misery. Right choices lead to happiness and eternal life.
If we want a happy family, we have to do our part to build a happy home. We need to be cheerful, helpful, and considerate of others. We need to participate in family activities, family prayer, family home evenings and family scripture reading.
Some of you have financial problems. There is never enough money in our homes. Some are struggling to get by. However, there is a way to ease up on our struggles, which is payment of tithing. This was God's promise that He would open the windows of heaven, and pour down blessings upon those who walked honestly with Him in the payment of their tithes and offerings, and He has the capacity to keep His promise. It is my testimony that He does keep that promise.
Prayer unlocks the powers of heaven in our behalf. Prayer is the great gift which our Eternal Father has given us by which we may approach Him and speak with Him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be prayerful. We cannot make it alone. We cannot reach our potential alone. We need the help of the Lord”
With all of our doing, the most important thing we can do is to cultivate in our hearts a testimony and knowledge of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, who opened the way of salvation and eternal life. I hope that in all we do, we will somehow constantly nourish the testimony concerning the Savior. I know that when we have a true testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, all else will come together as it should, and we will have victory in this life.
I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Also wanted to share the email we received from Brady's leader in the young men's program - Bryan Mecham:
I wanted to let Jeremy and Brady know how much I enjoyed your talks. They were excellent. Both of you brought a great spirit to the meeting. I was so proud (in a good way) to be able to say that I have been associated with you over the years. Your messages were great. Jeremy, you are right it does take a village to raise a child and I want to thank you for being part of my village as I continue to grow and be raised you have helped me in many ways. Brady, I have never heard it put the way you did today but it makes a lot of sense and we can show appreciation to Heavenly Father for his gospel by living it 24/7 and 365 days a year. I know that if I would have focused on this very counsel throughout my life, I could have avoided some of the trials that I have had. So thanks for reminding me that living the gospel is more than just a Sunday activity. I promise if we all follow this counsel from this day forward, we will avoid a lot of heart aches and unnecessary challenges.
Nathan, thanks for starting off the lesson so well today in quorum meeting. You did a great job of introducing the topic. I liked your visual object lesson to introduce the tools of the scriptures. Very well done.
Young men, as I said to day in quorum meeting, I appreciate your examples and willingness to do the Lord's will. I am truly blessed to be able to associate with such great young men and great adult leaders. Thanks for all you do. I truly mean it when I say that I appreciate your outward appearance. I am glad you take seriously the importance of grooming and cleaniness as you officiate in the sacred ordinance of the sacrament. You truly are an example to those who are looking up to you. Many will be blessed if you continue to set this example through out your life.
I appreciate the way you recite the mission of the Aaronic Priesthood and the chosen scriptures. I kind of feel like Helaman as he talked about his 2000 stripling warriors. I am glad for the 7 stripling warriors I currently get to work with! I am also grateful that you have such great mothers. Be sure to let them know of your great love for them.