Sunday, May 10, 2015


Dear Elders and Sisters,

I grew up in California on the west coast of the United States. Until the 1840's, even though it is a large area, California had only a small population. But in 1848 gold was discovered, leading to the huge Gold Rush. People came in large numbers from other parts of the United States and from throughout the world to find gold. Very few people became wealthy. Most miners lost everything they had and were stranded in a new land.

As a young boy, the stories of great gold discoveries caught my imagination. When I went hiking I remember finding rocks that glittered with a gold color in the sunlight. I became very excited because I had found pure gold just laying on the ground! It sparkled in the sunlight. It looked just like gold. When I showed it to an adult they smiled and said: "That is Fool's Gold, not real gold." I was embarrassed, especially because the name Fool's Gold did not seem like a compliment! I later learned that these brilliant  flecks of gold are a substance called iron pyrite. Many would-be gold miners have been fooled in the same way--becoming excited about their new discovery, only to learn that it is a worthless mineral.

In our lives there are many kinds of Fool's Gold. We often expend great effort to obtain it, only to realize that it is worthless. For example, there is the Fool's Gold of popularity. We may think that we will be happy if we are accepted by others, rather than focusing on being accepted by God. This can cause us to sacrifice our obedience to the Lord or cause us to be too shy to share the great message we have. It can cause us to fill our conversation with things of the world or with jokes or other worthless topics rather than things of the Spirit, things that edify and uplift.

There is also the Fool's Gold of trying to appear better than we are. We sometimes put extra effort into APPEARING to be a diligent, successful missionary rather than humbly admitting our shortcomings and weaknesses and relying on the Lord to guide us.

There is also the Fool's Gold of music, souvenirs and clothing--the vain things of the world.

There is the Fool's Gold of numbers or statistics, when we need to be focused on true conversion to our Lord, Jesus Christ. The True Gold of your mission will be those you have helped become truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
After your missions you may be tempted by the Fool's Gold of financial success, delaying marriage, children and service to the Lord while you chase worldly wealth. This is a tragic case of Fool's Gold.


"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth...but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)

"...for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15)

The "great and spacious building" of Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life is built of Fool's Gold. It represents the pride of the world, "...filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine, and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit." (1 Nephi 8:27)

True gold is very, very valuable to the world, but the true gold of the gospel has priceless, eternal value. The true gold of the gospel is the souls of people--their great value to Heavenly Father. (D&C 18:10-16)
"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love..." (Mosiah 3:19)

"And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life." (D&C 101:38)

Elders and Sisters, I invite you today to throw away the Fool's Gold in your life. Seek the True Gold of the gospel. Become the missionary and disciple of Christ who focuses only on eternal things.

We love you very much. Sister Ostler and I count the opportunity to associate with you, to serve with you, to pray for you, to mourn with you, and to rejoice with you as one of the greatest blessings of our lives. Your souls are True Gold to us.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg Ostler