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Elder M. Russell Ballard: 'That the lost may be found'

The Lord has provided a navigational tool far more powerful than the most advanced GPS system, said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve.

"Everyone loses their way at some point, to some degree," he said Sunday afternoon. "It is through the promptings of the Holy Ghost that we can be brought safely back onto the right path; and it is the atoning sacrifice of the Savior that can return us home."

Much of the world has lost its way, particularly in regard to the values and priorities within the home. "It is in our home and families that need reforming in this increasingly materialistic and secular world," he added.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Elder Ballard then spoke of the connection between prosperity and education and traditional families and values. The question is about cause and effect. Do some sectors of society have stronger values and families because they are more educated and prosperous — or are they more educated and prosperous because of their values and strong families?

"In this worldwide Church we know that it is the latter," he declared. "When people make the family and religious commitments to gospel principles, they begin to do better spiritually and often temporally as well."

Societies are strengthened as families grow stronger.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

"When couples marry and make commitments to each other, they greatly increase the chances of economic well-being. When children are born in wedlock and have both a mom and a dad, their opportunities and their likelihood of occupational success skyrocket. And when families work and play together, neighborhoods and communities flourish, economies improve, and less government and fewer costly 'safety nets' are required."

Societal and economic ills, he added, can be remedied by living correct principles and values.

Elder Ballard said that a spiritual divide gets ever wider as evil becomes more deceptive and subtle, pulling people toward it like a dark magnet — even as the gospel attracts the honest in heart who seek what is moral and good.

"We may be relatively small in number, but as members of this Church we can reach across these widening gaps. We know the power of Christ-centered service that brings together God's children regardless of their spiritual or economic status."

The Church remains a mooring in a tempestuous sea — an anchor in the churning waters of change and division. So what can be done to avoid becoming lost?

First, he said, prioritize. "Put everything you do outside the home in subjection to and in support of what happens inside your home."

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Make time for prayer and scripture and family activity. Give children responsibilities in the home that teach them how to work. Teach them that gospel living helps protect them from the filth of the world.

Second, do things in the right order. "Marriage first, then family."

Third, husbands and wives should be equal partners in marriage.

And finally, he concluded, use the family resources of the Church.

"The Holy Ghost will guide you and your family," promised Elder Ballard. "You will have a spiritual GPS to tell you always where you are and where you are going."

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