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Seek more faith, gratitude, other Christlike virtues

More is not always better, said Presiding Bishop H. David Burton, lamenting the passion of some to acquire more and more of this world's goods and services.

"Parents who have been successful in acquiring more often have a difficult time saying no to the demands of overindulged children," said Bishop Burton, speaking Sunday afternoon. "Their children run the risk of not learning important values like hard work, delayed gratification, honesty and compassion. . . . It is hard to say no when you can afford to say yes."

He said that fewer parents give children chores around the home because of increased social and academic pressures. "But children devoid of responsibilities risk never learning that every individual can be of service and that life has meaning beyond their own happiness."

Further, he said, "the meaning of more and less is not always crystal clear. There are times when less is in reality more and times when more can be less. For instance, less pursuit of materialism may enable more family togetherness. More indulgence of children may result in less understanding of life's important values."

However, as noted in the hymn, "More Holiness Give Me," (Hymns, No. 131), which petitions for increased virtues, "some aspects of life can be significantly enhanced by the notion that more is better," said Bishop Burton.

These virtues fall into several groups, including meekness, which "is vital to becoming more Christlike," he said. Some are personal goals, such as petitions for more holiness, "More strivings within," "More faith," "More gratitude," and purity, "More fit for the kingdom," "More purpose in prayer" and "More trust in the Lord." Others center on adversity, including asking for "More patience in suffering," "meekness in trial," "praise for relief," "strength to overcome," "freedom from earth stains" and "longing for home."

"The rest firmly anchor us to our Savior: 'More sense of His care,' 'More pride in His glory,' 'More hope in His word,' 'More joy in His service,' 'More tears for His sorrows,' 'More pain in His grief,' 'More blessed and holy,' and 'More, Savior, like Thee.' More of these virtues is better," said Bishop Burton. "Less is not desirable."

Bishop Burton passed along to members the appreciation he was given while visiting the windstorm-damaged area of Tallahassee, Fla.

"Florida Gov. (Jeb) Bush, Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings, partners like the (American) Red Cross and Salvation Army, along with federal and state emergency personnel, expressed gratitude that I pass on to you who performed labor to ease the burden of cleanup and to those who have contributed to the Church's Humanitarian Fund."

"I salute you for your desire to be more blessed and holy and more like the Savior."

Concluding, he said parents need not "adopt Scrooge as a role model for good parenting." Rather, "aggressively seek more of the virtues which go beyond this earth life."

"A prayerful, conservative approach is the key to successfully living in an affluent society and building the qualities that come from waiting, sharing, saving, working hard, and making do with what we have."