Mother Teresa

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“In a 1953 letter, Mother Teresa wrote: ‘Please pray specially for me that I may not spoil His work and that Our Lord may show Himself—for there is such terrible darkness within me, as if everything was dead. It has been like this more or less from the time I started ‘the work.’ Ask Our Lord to give me courage.’

“Archbishop Périer responded: ‘God guides you, dear Mother; you are not so much in the dark as you think. The path to be followed may not always be clear at once. Pray for light; do not decide too quickly, listen to what others have to say, consider their reasons. You will always find something to help you. … Guided by faith, by prayer, and by reason with a right intention, you have enough.’

“My friend thought if Mother Teresa could live her religion without all the answers and without a feeling of clarity in all things, maybe she could too.”

Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary General President
Returning to Faith,” April 2015 General Conference

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“A journalist once questioned Mother Teresa of Calcutta about her hopeless task of rescuing the destitute in that city. He said that, statistically speaking, she was accomplishing absolutely nothing. This remarkable little woman shot back that her work was about love, not statistics. Notwithstanding the staggering number beyond her reach, she said she could keep the commandment to love God and her neighbor by serving those within her reach with whatever resources she had. ‘What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean,’ she would say on another occasion. ‘But if we didn’t do it, the ocean would be one drop less [than it is].’ ”

Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Are We Not All Beggars?” October 2014 General Conference

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“Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: ‘If you judge people, you have no time to love them.’ The Savior has admonished, ‘This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.’ I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer—with Mother Teresa: no, we cannot.”

Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church
Charity Never Faileth,” October 2010 General Conference

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“A great example of unselfish service is the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose vow committed herself and her fellow workers to ‘wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.’ She taught that ‘one thing will always secure heaven for us—the acts of charity and kindness with which we have filled our lives.’ ‘We can do no great things,’ Mother Teresa maintained, ‘only small things with great love.’ When this wonderful Catholic servant died, the First Presidency’s message of condolence declared, ‘Her life of unselfish service is an inspiration to all the world, and her acts of Christian goodness will stand as a memorial for generations to come.’ That is what the Savior called losing our lives in service to others.”

Dallin H. Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Unselfish Service,” April 2009 General Conference

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“Mother Teresa said that ‘loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.’ ”

Dennis B. Neuenschwander, First Quorum of the Seventy
Bridges and Eternal Keepsakes,” April 1999 General Conference

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“We are all familiar with the life and work of the late Mother Teresa, who spent most of her life laboring among the world’s poor and impoverished and did much to relieve sorrow and suffering. Once when she was in Australia, she offered to clean the hut of a lonely Aborigine man. In his hut was a beautiful but unlit lamp. When asked why he didn’t light it, he replied, ‘Nobody comes here.’ She made him promise that he would light the lamp, and she promised to have the sisters visit him. Later the man sent word to Mother Teresa: ‘Tell my friend, the light she lit in my life is still burning!’ ”

Virginia U. Jensen, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Come to Relief Society,” October 1998 General Conference

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“Some time ago I read an essay referring to ‘metaphysical hunger’ in the world. The author was suggesting that the souls of men and women were dying, so to speak, from lack of spiritual nourishment in our time. That phrase, ‘metaphysical hunger,’ came back to me last month when I read the many richly deserved tributes paid to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. One correspondent recalled her saying that as severe and wrenching as physical hunger was in our day—something she spent virtually her entire life trying to alleviate—nevertheless, she believed that the absence of spiritual strength, the paucity of spiritual nutrition, was an even more terrible hunger in the modern world.”

Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
He Hath Filled the Hungry with Good Things,” October 1997 General Conference

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“Do not feel that your gift is insignificant. Mother Teresa says, ‘I’m a little pencil in the hands of God. He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything—and it’s really hard—sometimes it’s a broken pencil. He has to sharpen it a little more. But be a little instrument in His hands so that He can use you anytime, anywhere. … We have only to say Yes to Him.’ ”

Chieko N. Okazaki, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Rejoice in Every Good Thing,” October 1991 General Conference

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“At a recent university ceremony honoring Mother Teresa—who has spent her life working for the poor, the lepers, and abandoned children around the world—she said, ‘Love each other with a clean heart. … [The poor] are not hungry for bread; they are hungry for love.’ ”

David B. Haight, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Love All,” October 1982 General Conference

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