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Thoughts, deeds reflect testimonies

Church members should be fruitful in their testimony of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel in thought, in speech and in deed, said Elder Robert S. Wood.

"Let us daily renew in our hearts the pure love of Christ and overcome with our Master the darkness of the world," said Elder Wood of the Seventy.

Speaking Sunday afternoon, Elder Wood said that throughout history, the Lord has warned that Satan will stir up people's hearts to anger. "Time and again in the Book of Mormon, we find deluded and wicked men inciting rage and provoking conflict," he said.

The scriptures also note that, in the last days, wrath will be poured out upon the earth without mixture. "The first casualties of human wrath are truth and understanding," said Elder Wood, noting that God's throne is one of peace, justice and truth.

"Whether they be false friends or unrighteous teachers, artists or entertainers, commentators or letter writers to local newspapers, seekers of power or wealth, beware of those who stir us up to such anger that calm reflection and charitable feelings are suppressed."

Church members, he said, must stand as witnesses of God and bear one another's burdens.

Elder Wood said it is far too easy sometimes to fall into a spirit of mockery and cynicism in dealing with those of contrary views. "We demoralize or demean so as to bring others or their ideas in contempt," he said.

Closely related to mockery is a spirit of cynicism. Cynics are disposed to find fault, he said.

"We cannot afford to be caught up in a world prone to give and to take offense. Rather . . . we must neither envy nor be puffed up in pride. We are not easily provoked nor behave unseemly. We rejoice not in iniquity but in the truth. Surely this is the pure love of Christ which we represent."

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