GCBC Week 4: “The Time Shall Come” by Elder L. Whitney Clayton


On a few occasions, I have served in callings in the church where I worked closely with committees.  Sometimes I have been frustrated about how inefficient and misguided some of the planning seems to be.  One time I got a little fed up (admittedly in a self-righteous way, which I’ve since tried to repent of) and took my concerns to the Lord.  I was reading in the Doctrine and Covenants one day and I read some passages that humbled me and gave me new insight.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s, not mine.  And if He trusts regular, flawed people to do His work, I should too.  And even though this sounds a little tongue-in-cheek, I also realized how TRUE the church is, and must be, if it continues to roll forth and fulfill prophecy despite the foibles of its human workers.  For this reason, I really loved this talk by Elder Clayton.  It reminded and reinforced that lesson I learned:  The Church is true.  It will continue to flourish and grow and prosper, and no human hand– either inside or outside of the church– can keep it from fulfilling its destiny.

The Time Shall Come by Elder L. Whitney Clayton

“This work of the Lord is indeed great and marvelous, but it moves forward essentially unnoticed by many of mankind’s political, cultural, and academic leaders. It progresses one heart and one family at a time, silently and unobtrusively, its sacred message blessing people everywhere.”

What did you like or learn from this talk?  Please share your insights in the comments.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion.

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24 thoughts on “GCBC Week 4: “The Time Shall Come” by Elder L. Whitney Clayton

  1. I served my mission in Brazil and the story is told of a woman who joined the church in her native Germany, which very much angered her husband, so much so, in fact that he moved the family to the south of Brazil to get away from the hateful Mormons. It was this woman’s mournful pleas that the Church responded to, sending missionaries and opening the work in Brazil. Portuguese is now the third most popular language spoken by members of the church; five temples are in operation with two more announced. The scriptures speak of small and simple means by which the Lord accomplishes that which is great. These are the stories I think of when I hear Elder Clayton’s talk. I think of the tiny means by which the Lord’s church is established, is cultivated, not just in countries, but in hearts, in families. I think of the long-inactive sister I visit teach who came to church again for the first time in years because she promised God if he’d find her missing phone, she’d go back. He did and she came.

  2. I love to hear how the Lord’s church progresses, despite Satan’s attempts to stop the work. I am very grateful to the early saints in continuing with the restoration of God’s true church, despite the many awful things Satan tried to do to stop them. They showed true commitment, courage, strength and faith. May we be the same.

  3. What I love about this talk is the reminder that this has always been and will always be God’s work. Whatever the political, religious, etc. climate is currently topping our news stories, His work will never stop. Every prophecy has and will be fulfilled. I love these kinds of stories also because I love how future generations have a strong foundation built for them. And those future generations will help in the work of the Second Coming. It’s so EXCITING!!!!

  4. The quote that I loved was the one you posted. “This work of the Lord is indeed great and marvelous, but it moves forward essentially unnoticed by many of mankind’s political, cultural, and academic leaders. It progresses one heart and one family at a time, silently and unobtrusively, its sacred message blessing people everywhere.” What matters most is that God’s work moves forward in the lives of “one family at a time”. Families are the central driving force that will move this work forward. Missionaries are wonderful, essential even, but it’s our responsibility as families in the gospel to quietly and consistantly live what we believe and be the kind of example that sets us apart and makes others take notice and desire to know more.

  5. this is especially helpful for relief society stuff…. i remember sitting in meetings talking about the women’s day lunch and how it would look on the plate. :) ahhhhh!!!!! we just have to all remember WHY we serve and what it’s all about. and try not to get annoyed!!! :)

  6. “Our most important message, which we are both divinely commissioned and commanded to take everywhere in the world, is that there is a Savior.”

    I think we need to remember that the purpose of the Church is to declare this message – that Christ is our Savior and He atoned for our sins. Sometimes I think we get caught up in all the programs of the Church and we forget the real reason why this work moves forward – because it is God’s work, and it’s purpose is to proclaim Jesus Christ and His atonement.

    I also found this helpful: “this mighty latter-day work is not about [us]. It is the work of Almighty God and His Son, the Prince of Peace.” (the actual quote says “this might latter-day work is not about him [Joseph Smith].” But I think we can read it with “us” replacing “him” and remember that the work is not about us – it is about the Savior.)

    What an amazing work. And it goes forth throughout the Earth.

    I included a video about the growth of the Church over on My Soul Delighteth – it’s the video of all the dots appearing when Stakes are organized and it goes from the first stake until 2009 (I wish there was a more recent one!) with “The Spirit of God” playing in the background. It’s a powerful video!

  7. It’s amazing to see the growth even in our lifetimes. I remember when I was a teenager thinking that the Church would never get into the Communist eastern European countries. Then, poof! One day I’m watching the Berlin Wall come down. The Lord really is in charge. The miracle is that all of us mortals don’t completely mess it up! I can’t even imagine what lies in the future for our kids to witness…

  8. Like others, my favorite quote from this talk was the one you posted at the beginning – that the kingdom of God moves forward essentially unnoticed, one heart and one family at a time. It’s an awesome responsibility to be a part of that. And that’s the message I took from this talk, that, just like Joseph Smith, “God has a work for [me] to do.” Am I doing my little part as faithfully as he did his? I hope so, and general conference certainly helps keep me motivated to continue trying.

    More thoughts here – http://neverboredwhispers.blogspot.com/2011/10/gcbc-elder-clayton.html

  9. I found this blog while researching a Relief Society lesson and I’m grateful to be able to participate in reading and discussing the talks! Thank you, Becca, for the video, it fit this talk wonderfully and gave me goosebumps. I too, liked the quote : “It progresses one heart and one family at a time, silently and unobtrusively, its sacred message blessing people everywhere.” It is always reassuring to me to know that the work will go forth, the Gospel will be taught no matter the weaknesses of men. The Lord has prepared all of us to do our part in helping the Gospel progress and if for some reason we can’t accomplish our part, there will be another to take our place to ensure that the work will go on. I can picture each of us behind that stone pushing it together as it rolls forth. How blessed we are to be part of this great movement!

    I just had a thought – a memory. In 1977, I was 16 years old at Girls Camp when the call came from the Prophet to the Church members that we should pray for the doors to be opened in all the countries around the world to the missionaries so that this great work might roll forth. I was asked by the Stake Young Women’s president to offer the prayer for our Stake Young Women at Girls Camp. I had no idea at the time what a momentous thing I was acting as voice for. It is only now, all these many years later, as I watched the video Becca provided that I see the results of all of those prayers around the world on that day. Take a look if you haven’t – and note the progress and increase of Stakes after 1977. Amazing! And such a testimony of prayer and the importance of this work!

  10. Loved this talk and the history of the church in South America! What a testament that this really is God’s work and that he will continue to let it roll forth amid all of the wickedness and turmoil that is taking place in the world today!

  11. I think it is very exciting to live in a time when the church is being allowed in more and more lands. I wonder what the timing will be for the Middle East as we see so much change there over the last many months? It is exciting to think of the gospel coming to these nations. It really is a “great and marvelous work” – bringing the knowledge of our Savior to the world.

  12. “It progresses one heart and one family at a time, silently and unobtrusively, its sacred message blessing people everywhere.” – That made the talk for me. Those growth statistics are made possible by the change of heart our Savior affords each of us. Just like the Gospel is the stone that overcomes the kingdoms of the Earth, Christ is our rock, who has overcome the world. Even when the problems seem preposterously difficult, with our faithfulness, patience, and trust in the Lord, his plans for us — and for the world — will prevail.

  13. When he speaks that the work of the Lord progresses one heart and one family at a time…isn’t this how most work moves? One person or a small group of people share their stories, share their feelings..and eventually you have annual recognition across the globe, ie Breast Cancer Awareness, Domestic Violence Awareness, Pregnancy and Infant Loss. It takes just ONE person to want to share and care….the gospel is the same. As each of us is that ONE person who shares our testimony, who cares about others and their eternal progression….the work of the Lord moves forward.

  14. I’m happy and excited for the future, but this has not always been the case. The world is filled with wars, rumors of wars, turmoil, strife, and contention. However it is also filled with the love of Jesus, and His kingdom will prevail.

    One part of this talk that is meaningful to me is the story of “Daniel, a Hebrew slave in Babylon. He was given the opportunity to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel asked God to reveal to him the dream and its interpretation, and his prayer was answered. He told Nebuchadnezzar, “There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. … The visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these.” Daniel said the king had seen a frightening image with a head, torso, arms, legs, and feet. A stone was cut out of a mountain without hands and rolled forth, gradually growing in size. That stone collided with the image, breaking it into pieces, “and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”

    Daniel explained that the image represented future political kingdoms and that “in the days of [those future] kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: … but it shall break” these kingdoms into pieces and consume them. “And it shall stand for ever.”1

    Worry and fear paralyze the mind and are from the adversary. God is not the author of fear. Soooo…..even though things look bleak from the half-empty side of things, the half-full side is all silver and gold. I can trust the Lord will care for me and my family until we have finished our missions upon the earth. It is a wonderful and glorious time to be alive.

  15. I will always remember being in that little log house in Kirkland and thinking of that experience shared by Wilford Woodruff. AMAZING.

    It’s incredible to think that when I joined the Church in 1974 there were only 16 temples. Can you believe it?

    I loved the quote near the end of Elder Clayton’s talk: “This work of the Lord is indeed great and marvelous, but it moves forward essentially unnoticed by many of mankind’s political, cultural, and academic leaders. It progresses one heart and one family at a time, silently and unobtrusively, its sacred message blessing people everywhere.”

    This is His work. I’m so grateful to be a part of it. It is such a blessing to me to have a testimony. I’m so grateful for it.

  16. Stephanie, I loved your comment in the beginning about this being the Lord’s church and despite the weaknesses of mankind it will continue to roll forth. I needed to hear this. I’ve been feeling a little frustrated lately but I guess I need to learn to be more patient and more humble for sure:)

  17. - God has a work for ME (and you) to do – what is it? how can we figure that out? (patriarchal blessing…)
    - We have scarcely scratched the surface, even with 14 million members. We EACH have a work to do!
    - Our most important message is that there IS a Savior.
    - I need to bear my testimony more, in every day activities.

  18. I love this talk because it is just so encouraging. There is much to be discouraged about sometimes. The smallness of my influence,the slowness of my progress, the increasing numbers of our extended family heading away from the gospel and Christ. But then I remember this talk. The Lord truly works miracles, all we have to do is continue to trust Him and try.

    I also love the quote you posted Stephanie it remind me that my work as a mother is a part of the greatness and marvelousness that he talks of in his talk. It is my privilege to move the work forward within my family, to kindle the flame of testimony in the hearts of my children.

    I loved this talk the first time I heard it, but I love it even more now. Thank you for this book club, the more I study the talks from conference the more I learn and grow. Each one we’ve done is now a new favourite. :)
    I l

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