Reaching Out to the One

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(This is an excerpt from the chapter "Reaching Out to the One" in the book To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson.)

Like prophets of old and others of this dispensation, President Monson has repeatedly issued a clarion call to live the gospel, to avoid sin, and to live righteously. His direction has been clear: “The philosophies of men surround us. The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness, and pain. You know what is right and what is wrong, and no disguise, however appealing, can change that.” With passion borne of years of experience, he said, “Be the one to make a stand for right, even if you stand alone. Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow.”

He has cautioned in particular about the degradation of pornography, “one of Satan’s enticements.” With great concern for the growing problem, he looked into the camera at general conference in May 2009 and stated, “If you have allowed yourself to become involved in this behavior, cease now.” Many commented that they felt powerfully the mandate of the prophet in those words, “Cease now.”

After addressing a combined sacrament meeting of three young single adult wards one Sunday early in 2010, he recorded: “I felt the Spirit of the Lord as I counseled this special group of young men and women, . . . showing how the Lord blesses young people in the selection of a mate and in determining what they might study or what they might become in their vocation.”

The Lord’s Spirit and message were received. One sister, a returned missionary who had served in Belgium, had gone to sacrament meeting not intending to stay for the whole meeting. She was struggling with her place in life and missed desperately the spiritual environment of the mission field. That day the Lord had a message just for her. “This prophet is the one well-known for touching the one,” she later described. “I was sitting in a sea of people thinking, he has no idea that I am here and that I am struggling. Yet, the Spirit was an amazing tool, and President Monson was, literally, the conduit for the Lord. That’s how the prophet does it, that’s how he touches the one, through his ability to work with the Spirit. I felt it.”

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