GCBC Week 11: “What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?” by Elder Robert C. Gay


This week’s talk by Elder Robert C. Gay was from the Saturday p.m. session of conference. He spoke about the value of integrity and not selling ourselves short by being unwilling to let go of sin. Remember the story where he fibbed about his age to save a nickel?

What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?

By Elder Robert C. Gay


The Lord loves our righteousness but asks of us continued repentance and submission. . . .

This is the exchange the Savior is asking of us: we are to give up all our sins, big or small, for the Father’s reward of eternal life. We are to forget self-justifying stories, excuses, rationalizations, defense mechanisms, procrastinations, appearances, personal pride, judgmental thoughts, and doing things our way.

What stood out to you from this talk? What do you think the speaker is asking us to do? Please share in the comments below some of your insights.

(A reminder to those of you who are new to General Conference Book Club: You’re welcome to return to this post any time this week and leave your comment and thoughts in the comment section below. You may also want to see what others are saying about the talk and engage in a conversation for mutual understanding and encouragement. A new talk will be posted each Sunday and will be studied and discussed throughout the week.)


GCBC Week 23: What Have You Done With My Name?

We’re on the final countdown now toward our next General Conference.  Can you even believe how close we are to starting over again?  This week we will study…

“What Have You Done with My Name?”
by Elder Mervyn B. Arnold

“Our Savior invites us on a daily basis to cleanse our names and return to His presence. His encouragement is full of love and tenderness.”

Share in the comments some things you learned or appreciated as you studied this talk.  If this is your first time visiting the General Conference Book Club, click here for more information.

GCBC Week 3: Our Path of Duty

General Conference Book Club Week 3:

This week we’ll study Bishop McMullin’s counsel about duty.  He stated:

Duty does not require perfection, but it does require diligence. It is not simply what is legal; it is what is virtuous.

I’m fascinated with the relationship between duty and integrity.  I’ve been thinking also about how when it comes to our reasons for doing what is right, duty is not necessarily a replacement for love, but a companion for it.  Our adherence to duty can be seen as evidence of both our love and our integrity.  But enough of my own “talk,” study Bishop McMullin’s — it’s much better.  Please share your thoughts and insights in the comments.  We learn as we discuss together and see new ways to apply the principles in our lives.

Go here to find the media versions of the talk (audio, video, mp3, etc.).  If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club,  click here to learn how it works, and please join us!

Women’s Conference chapter 2 and a half: Integrity, continued.

integrity As promised, here is a smattering of notes from the Women’s Conference class entitled “Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me,”  taught by Shelley Heiner and James L. Toone. Please excuse that this post is just a collection of my notes, and they are not particularly cohesive.  Hopefully you can peacefully hop from principle to principle.

Integrity comes from the same base as words like interger, and means entire and whole.  It is doing what’s right.  Integrity is the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.

The title of the class comes from the story of Job in the Old Testament:

1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

27:5-6  God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

People with integrity:

  1. Have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ
  2. Understand who God is and our relationship with Him
  3. Keep covenants.  (She told the story of a girlfriend who was driving alone in her car and a questionable song came on the radio.  There were no children in the car, just her, by herself.  She wondered if she should bother turning it off and this phrase from the Sacrament prayer came into her mind, “Always remember Him.”  She knew that part of her covenants meant doing what was right even when no one was watching.)

Moroni 7:15-16:

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
The rewards of integrity are:
  1. Inner peace.
  2. absence of guilt/anxiety from sin
  3. confidence
  4. constant companionship of the Holy Ghost
Proverbs 11:3: The integrity of the upright shall guide them…
As mothers we must promote integrity and teach why it’s important.  In the Book of Mormon, there are many examples of generations that choose evil because of “the traditions of their fathers.”  They can also be influenced by righteous traditions.  (I thought of the young warriors in the Army of Helaman.) We must show a model of integrity for our children.  We must honor covenants and promises.

I loved a quote she shared by Elder Ballard, but I haven’t been able to find it.  It basically said that in this crazy world, it is nearly impossible for children to find their way without a good example.
Bro. Toone said that integrity is “an intangible, essential gift of God.”  He serves as a branch president in the Missionary Training Center with the ESL missionaries.  He told several stories of the integrity of these humble servants of the Lord.  He spoke about Elder Palanite who left a small island in Tonga to serve a mission and he was disowned by his family for doing so.  As he pulled away in a boat, he saw his father show up on the shore.  This young elder waved and waved and waved until he went over the horizon, but his father never looked up or acknowledged him.  He told President Toone that he hoped his father would come to understand why he was doing what he is doing.  “President,” he said, “I just want to show the Lord that I am obedient.”  He told many other great stories of missionaries of integrity.  He said that many of them, like the 2,000 stripling warriors learn from “mothers who knew.”

He also told the story of an elderly woman in Canada who was dying and had been lying unconscious for quite a while as her son waited by her bedside.  She awoke suddenly and directed him to get her purse.  She wrote out a tithing check and made her son promise to give it to the bishop tomorrow after her pension check had been deposited, since she may not be here to do it herself.  She passed away that evening, a true example of “until I die, I will not remove my integrity from me.”

A woman of integrity embodies the 13th Article of Faith:
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Women’s Conference chapter 2: Integrity

I want to share my notes from a class called, “Till I die, I will not remove mine integrity from me.”

Before I do though, wow, did I get a lot more chatter on that home organization post than I expected!  It was great.  There are two afterthoughts I’d like to add on to that post:

  1. That particular class was more practical in nature than spiritual, thought it obviously had some spiritual underpinnings and spiritual applications.  Two different speakers basically presented in a “here are some things that have worked for me” attitude.  The things I included in my notes were simply things that I thought might work in my family, or at very least, were worth remembering and trying.  Trying to implement them all, especially all at once, would probably lead to certain death.  I just thought there were many good ideas.
  2. celestialroom2I need to make a confession.  A couple weeks ago, for the General Conference Book Club, I planned on doing that talk about the “temple home,” but when I read the part about your home being clean and orderly, I immediately disqualified it, because as I told my friend, “I just wasn’t ready for that yet.”  I didn’t want the guilt, and I needed to come to better terms with what realistic expectations are for myself and my own situation. 

    So I’ve given it quite a bit of thought, and I’ve decided that it would take some kind of heartless, robotic mother to keep her home in temple condition around the clock.  However, I’ve also felt that if we approach our housekeeping as an extension of our covenants and with the desire to make our home a welcome dwelling place for the Spirit, and if we go about our duties with that kind of purpose in mind (recognizing the work as a symbol of our Savior’s mission and also as a service to the spiritual development of our children), I think we’re in a good place.  Then it becomes like what I’m realizing a LOT of the gospel is about:  a PROCESS.  And what we become as we try is much more important than actually achieving a playroom that looks like the celestial room. 🙂 

    As I thought about that, I got a new insight into the whole Mary and Martha story.  Martha’s mistake was not trying to clean up her home after dinner, it was simply missing the whole point of doing it in the first place.  We do all that cleaning and organizing, etc. in an attempt to make our homes a place where the Spirit of the Lord can dwell, but He was already THERE.  In person.  She had already made a marymarthaplace where He felt comfortable and welcome, so she needed to LET IT GO, sit down, and just listen to Him teach.  We need to do that, too.  Pause from all our DOING, and make time for more LISTENING.  He doesn’t want a perfect home; He just wants to know you want Him to drop in.   Hope that makes sense.

So, um, yeah, how ’bout we actually learn a little something about the title of this post?  The first speaker told a story about how she was shocked when one of her 7-year-old daughter’s friends invited her to a play date and then the girl’s mother nonchalantly explained that they lived in a “clothing-optional” community, and would that be a problem?  More shocking to her than the actual question was the fact that she was now going to have to have a conversation with her second-grade daughter about why clothing was not optional in their family.  We have to start early to explain what we believe and why we choose the right even when others do not share, understand, nor applaud our choice.

You know what?  This post is getting too long too fast, and I need to go to bed!  Let’s chew on that home organizing stuff for one more day, and let your brains think about what this — my favorite Young Women’s Value (Integrity) — means to you:  “I will have the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong.”  I’ll finish up what I learned from the class, and we’ll discuss.  See you tomorrow night.