This story was attributed to Elder Hugh B. Brown.
"The Arabians, when they are training their horses, put them to a final test of character and stamina. It is said that the finest of the Arabian horses which are kept for breeding stock are trained from the time they are colts to respond to a bell which rings intermittently at the tent of the master. Wherever they are and whatever they are doing, they must run to the tent of the master when the bell rings. Their mothers were taught it before them, and they respond, and the colt, running beside the mother, habitually as time goes on responds to the bell and knows that it is the call of duty.
When the colts are three years old, they are placed in a corral, a pole corral that they can see through. They are left there three days and nights without food or water. At the end of the third day, hay and grain and water are placed just outside the corral. You can imagine the eagerness of the young colts as they look through the bars at the food and water. When the gate is opened the young colts rush out, and just as they are about to reach the food and water, the bell rings. Only those of them that have stamina enough to respond to the bell and resist the urge of appetite are kept for the breeding stock of the future."
We as Latter-Day Saints make choices in our lives, whether to follow the counsel of the Lord as given through His prophets. A few saints respond quickly and without question. Many saints respond, but often not quickly, and often only grudgingly. Some saints do not respond at all, because they are distracted by other 'masters', such as TV, fashion, career and other worldly pursuits.
A couple of years ago, our stake president challenged us to answer not to one bell, but to five.
These bells are:
1. Daily personal and family prayer
2. Daily personal and family scripture study
3. Weekly family home evening (that's weekly, not weakly!)
4. Full tithing and generous fast offering
5. Regular temple attendance
We are promised that if we will answer to these 'Five Bells', our lives will be richly blessed.
I can testify that this is true. My family does a good job of living by these standards, thanks in large part to my wife and her unwavering faith and persistence. Consequently, we have been blessed. We are not rich, but I know we have been protected, and we have been provided for in difficult times, such as this recession that we find ourselves in.
I would challenge all to tighten our belts, increase our faith, and follow the prophets with strict obedience. We will be blessed as a people.