Eternal Journey

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With his first pair of boots laced up, Ronaldinho would spend hours outside the family villa keeping the ball in the air. Often playing as a striker, he would take as many touches as possible — given free licence by his coaches and friends to play without fear and with complete freedom.

Perhaps this is why football was always such a joy to Ronaldinho. From an early age, it was symbolic of fun. It reminded Ronaldinho of his brother — his idol — and gave him the chance to experience something that has, since his very first kick, brought the biggest smile to his face. Having joined their academy at the age of seven, Ronaldinho would spend his hours training with the club, playing as much futsal as he could, then heading down to the beach to join in with organised games played by bigger, older and more powerful players.

By , Ronaldinho would be making headlines around Brazil as the brightest prospect in the land. But, with due respect to the others, Ronaldinho was a cut above the rest. Boasting incredible vision, some of the best set-pieces in Brazil at the time and a hunger to learn and improve, it would be no surprise that big clubs in Europe soon took notice. While Arsenal and Manchester United tried in vain to sign the forward, Ronaldinho would take the advice of his brother and find a club where he would feature regularly and become accustomed to European football.

Others were unsure whether the weedy, frail-looking Ronaldinho could make the grade in Europe. Alongside Nicolas Anelka and Jay-Jay Okocha , however, he quickly formed one of the finest attacking tridents in Europe. Operating across the front line during his Parisian sojourn, Ronaldinho quickly learnt how to work well with his more illustrious team-mates.

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While his talent was never in question, his ability to craft that talent into palpable rewards was still up for debate. It was a mark of his unquestionable desire to learn and respect for the game of football itself that Ronaldinho overcame his initial struggles to become a regular in Paris. He has unbelievable skill and so many tricks in his repertoire. While his impact in Paris was littered with moments of genius, the decision to go to Paris itself proved a masterstroke. Ronaldinho grew used to the rigours of training in Europe, the professionalism of the game, and the quality of opponent he would need to overcome.

Indeed, Ronaldinho himself has since stated that his time in Paris was absolutely necessary for him to succeed in Barcelona. By , with Geovanni having been offloaded by Barcelona after failing to adapt to the pressure-cooker of the Camp Nou, Ronaldinho was ready for a new challenge. His greatest years would await. It would prove to be the greatest second choice transfer in Barcelona history.

It would be a great disservice to those around Ronaldinho to state that success was achieved solely due to the Brazilian, but his influence at Barcelona is undoubted. While many credit Pep Guardiola with having sewn the seeds of dominance at Barcelona — and Johan Cruyff going further back — the modern era of greatness for the club started when Ronaldinho walked through the Camp Nou doors.

The Brazilian would eventually end his Barcelona years with 94 goals in games off the left flank and 69 assists. The figures are outstanding but tell only half the story. The best players are defined by their ability to stand up in the most crucial of moments. Whether it was a pass or a goal, his ability to open up play in the tightest moments was inspirational.

Even in the most despairing times, Ronaldinho at his peak would single-handedly offer Barcelona hope. Chelsea may have progressed, but it was Ronaldinho offering hope. He would also inspire his team-mates with his moments of magic. With Ronaldinho in your side, anything was possible. I love Brazilian football and he is one of the best ever players from that country. Still only 26, and now represented by his brother, Ronaldinho would struggle to take Barcelona to the next level of dominance.

For some, greatness is only achieved after a prolonged stint at the top. That was never the case for Ronaldinho, however. Success was in enjoying the moment; in bringing smiles to the people.


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Lionel Messi was by now the star turn in a Barcelona outfit struggling to stay motivated under the leadership of Frank Rijkaard and in need of a fresh approach. Pep Guardiola would eventually provide that fresh approach but not before he had offloaded Ronaldinho to Milan. His move to Milan saw the passing of a man who stands alongside Maradona, Cruyff and Messi as the greatest import in Barcelona history. The quality and length of your life is in your hands. You stand at a critical juncture.

With proper care, a year-old can expect to reach 80 years of age or more. The first commandment describes what is appropriate and what is not with respect to substances taken into the body. In every dispensation, from Adam to the present day, the Lord has revealed a health code. In this dispensation we call it the Word of Wisdom. In addition to outlining proper foods for the body, the Lord commands that we abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances.

These forbidden elements harm the body, reduce its capacity to perform, and shorten life.

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In our day the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have stated:. Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife. Satan may tempt you to rationalize that sexual intimacy before marriage is acceptable when two people are in love. That is not true. The prophet Alma taught that sexual sins are more serious than any other sins except murder or denying the Holy Ghost see Alma Before marriage, do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage.

Always treat your date with respect, never as an object to be used for your lustful desires. Satan lost the opportunity to have a body. As a consequence, he lost the opportunity to marry and have children. But he has the spirit power to provide opposition and test our choices in this area.

Is it any wonder that the physical body and its sacred powers are his prime targets? In his unhappiness, he will do anything to upset the plan of happiness, which includes marriage and family. A key visitor to campus during the past semester was stunned when he interviewed a number of students and learned that you do not drink, smoke, use harmful drugs, or engage in sex outside of marriage.

He was a police chief on another campus who had come to review our security operations. He could not believe what he saw here. Two major problems he sees on his campus daily are binge drinking and sexual abuse.


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  • He left wondering how he could take you with him. Another area of counsel in caring for the physical body concerns dress and grooming standards. Again, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have been very explicit in this area. I quote their words:. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is. Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire.

    Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. All should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. I will return to this subject shortly. Let us next consider the different trajectory that spiritual development may take.

    Again, the period from birth to adulthood can be a time of rapid growth. This is especially true for children born of goodly parents. Many of you, like Nephi and Enos, were raised in homes where parents set a good example, taught you to pray, and nurtured you in the admonition of the Lord. Some of you, on the other hand, are recent converts. You were contacted by the missionaries or had a friend introduce you to the gospel.

    Your spiritual understanding and growth may have come a few years later, but still early in life. And then there are many who do not find the gospel until late in life or even in the Millennium. Spiritual development differs from the growth pattern for the physical body. It is not as time dependent.

    As long as one is obedient to eternal principles, the path has an upward slope. There are many paths of spiritual development. It is possible to move from one path to another. Sin causes a shift to a lower trajectory, whereas an increase in faith and participation in covenants and ordinances allows one to move to a higher path. All of us desire to be on the road leading to the celestial kingdom and eternal life.

    All of us experience challenges along the way. I will address three briefly. Meeting these challenges will help us prepare for eternal life. The first challenge is to be fully committed. It is so easy to drift through life understanding what is important but only having a loose grasp on the iron rod. This is a satanic trap.

    In contrast, consider the commitment of a young marine in Vietnam in during the war. Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, then a member of the Twelve, visited Southeast Asia, where he met and interviewed a large number of LDS servicemen. He recalled:. I said. Have you ever thought of it?

    Eternal Journey

    I think of little else, sir. I know what my mother expects.

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    We met and talked with so many and our schedule was so heavy that I do not recall his name or where he was from, but I have not forgotten him. Brothers and sisters, the last days are not a time for casual commitments. The Lord needs young people firm in the faith to light the way.

    Mortality and Our Eternal Journey - BYU Speeches

    There are many in the world who would like what you have if they only knew where to find it. The most important time in your life is now. Be fully committed. The second challenge is to take care of the little things. Before becoming mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani learned that if he paid attention to the little things, the big things often took care of themselves. Early in his administration he determined to eliminate graffiti throughout the city and take care of the squeegee man problem.

    If the driver refused to pay them, car doors were kicked in or windows spat upon. Generally they chose to operate near the tunnels. Thus they created the first and last impressions for someone entering or leaving the city. Initially it was thought that there were thousands of these individuals. However, a careful survey revealed only about With the clampdown on these two minor problems, a remarkable thing happened.

    The number of murders and robberies in the city also fell. We have a squeegee-like problem on campus. It concerns dress and grooming. Some fashions for men have gone to the other extreme. A few men are beginning to wear longer hair. The problem is small because the numbers are few, but it is important that improvement occur. Often a kind word in private is all that is needed.

    The third purpose of mortality is to initiate an eternal family. Salvation is a one-by-one process, whereas exaltation is accomplished two-by-two and in family groupings. I am aware that not everyone has the opportunity to marry in this life. Fortunately, adjustments will be made in the Millennium for those who do not have the opportunity here. The most important relationships in mortality—those of the family—are meant for eternity. A key witness of our belief in the eternal family is the construction of temples across the earth.

    A good part of temple work is associated with the family. The creation of an eternal family requires the husband and wife to take the long view. Perfection does not come before the trial of faith. And marriage can be a trial of faith. It is important for a young man and a young woman to understand that love will deepen over time as both live the principles of the gospel.


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    The relationship between a man and a woman is designed to be eternal. Because the man and the woman are incomplete without each other, it is a complementary relationship. The relationship has the potential to refine the spiritual gifts within each person. In taking the long view, family relationships through the power of the Holy Ghost can help family members put off the natural veneer and acquire the divine attributes.

    The world, however, is moving in the opposite direction.