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Develop Christ-like character

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'Goal beyond victory'

*At the All-Church sports tournaments years ago, the applause from the audience was greater for the team awarded the sportsmanship trophy than for the winning team, recalled President Thomas S. Monson in Saturday night's priesthood session."A goal beyond victory had been won," said the second counselor in the First Presidency.

But recently the first Presidency has received letters telling of arguments, name-calling by parents and abuse of referees in Church sports.

"We have room for improvement, brethren, and improve we ust," President Monson declared.

He noted that the "The Chruch Sprots Official" video included a First Presidency statement in which the purpose of Church sports is said to be much higher than victory. it is to strengthen faith, build integrity and develop God-like attributes.

"It is difficult to achieve this objective if winning overshadows participating," President Monson affirmed. "It is only fair that all worthy young men and young women have an opportunity to play, to learn, to develop and to achieve. . . . Let's take the necessary steps to rekindle sportsmanship, to emphasize participating and to strive for the development of a Christ-like character in each individual."

Duty to help poor

*After speaking about the need to rekindle sportsmanship, President Monson spoke about a program in which all members can participate and be assured growth in character and the promise of eternal life.

He was referring to the Welfare Program, including the donating of fast offerings.

"Are we generous in the payment of fast offerings?" he asked.

Paraphrasing President Joseph F. Smith's teachings, President Monson said each member should give his bishop a fast offering equivalent to the food his family would eat on fast day. Even more recently, he said, President Spencer W. Kimball called upon members to daonte more, even 10 times more, if able.

The generous response of the Latter-day Saints in times of need is legendary, he said. He noted the aid sent through president Ezra Taft Benson (then of the Council of the Twelve) after World War II, the fast money used in Africa and the help given during Idaho's Teton Dam dsiaster.

"Today, in lands far away, and right here in Salt Lake City, there are those who suffer hunger, who know want and are acquainted with poverty," he said. "Ours is the opportunity and the sacred privilege to relieve this hugner, to meet this want, to eliminate this pverty."