A well-prepared and inspiring Zone Conference took place yesterday morning and afternoon in beautiful Santa Rosa. The zones in attendance included those of Eureka, Ukiah, Santa Rosa, and the new Lake County zone. It was indeed time well cherished by all in the midst of fellow missionaries and members of the Bunker family. The program was filled with messages that motivated and encouraged. As usual, President Bunker shared and demonstrated an important principle of the gospel--that is, that "[true] doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior," and that the "study of the doctrines of the Gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." These statements by President Boyd K. Packer ring true and as we analyze our own experiences, we come to a greater realization of their truthfulness. Is it not true that as we study the plan of salvation, we gain a greater focus on what is most important in life and on those things that really matter? As we study the atonement, do we not receive a greater desire to be humble and repent of our sins? With the recently-digested message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith, investigators feel the need to be baptized by one holding the priesthood authority of God.
Likewise, all the problems of life can be resolved through truly understanding the beautifully simple yet powerful doctrines of the restored gospel. These problems include those that stem from jealousy, pride, lust, impatience, grudges, hate, and drudgery among an infinite list of other culprit firestarters. The gospel is like an ax that cuts a wicked tree at the base while worldly solutions often times cut a small branch at a time--which branch will eventually regenerate. I know that if we teach our children true doctrine in a manner best suited for their understanding, they will be more likely to grow up in righteousness and avoid many of the heartaches of life. In the same manner, if we ourselves study the doctrines of the gospel, we will know how to act and what to do to please our Heavenly Father. By doing so, we will be beaming examples to those around us and they will want to "[know more about Jesus Christ, because they will know us]."