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Showing posts from September 26, 2010

Agency and joy

In the next world, we will finally receive what we have persistently desired and chosen during mortality (Alma 29:4).   Individually, we will have made so many incontestable, on-the-record choices.   The final outcome, therefore, will be perfectly just, and all mortals will so acknowledge (Alma 29:4; Mosiah 27:31).   In effect, we will receive the degree of joy we have demonstrably chosen and which we have developed the capacity to receive… Only in the framework of faith in God’s mercy and justice can we ponder the interplay of agency and joy so central to God’s plan.   Of necessity, God’s gift of agency operates in the context of genuine alternatives among which we choose.   This is a condition fully consistent with God’s plan of happiness.   Without the very important condition of agency amid alternatives, life would be an undifferentiated “compound in one” (2 Nephi 2:11).   God’s creations would then be without real purpose, and His plan would certainly not be worthy of being cal

Teaching with the Spirit

"An Elder of Israel may preach the principles of the Gospel, from first to last, as they were taught to him, to a congregation ignorant of them; but if he does not do it under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord, he cannot enlighten that congregation on those principles, it is impossible." Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Volume 1, January 1853 " And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach." D&C 42:14 " Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question--unto what were ye ordained?  To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.  And then ye received spirits which ye could not understand, and received them to be of God; and in this thing are ye justified?...Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth

Those things which are prepared for those who love and fear God

The Spirit itself beareth witness to our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if it so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:16-18 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive of those things which are prepared for those who love and fear God 1 Corinthians 2:9 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, not perceived by ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Isaiah 64:4 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will--yeah, even those things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the hea

But a small moment

We talk about trials and troubles here in this life; but suppose that you could see yourselves thousands and millions of years after you have proved faithful to your religion during the few short years in this time, and have obtained eternal salvation and a crown of glory in the presence of God. Then look back upon your lives here, and see the losses, crosses, and disappointments, the sorrows....; you would be constrained to exclaim, “but what of all that? Those things were but for a moment in our mortality, and now we enjoy eternal life and glory, with power to progress in all the boundless knowledge and through the countless stages of progression, enjoying smiles and approbation of our Father and God, and of Jesus Christ our elder brother.” Brigham Young (Deseret News, Nov. 9 th , 1859, 1) "...thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." D&

Morituri Salutamus

Morituri Salutamus ...In mediaeval Rome, I know not where,  There stood an image with its arm in air,  And on its lifted finger, shining clear,  A golden ring with the device, "Strike here!"  Greatly the people wondered, though none guessed  The meaning that these words but half expressed,  Until a learned clerk, who at noonday With downcast eyes was passing on his way,  Paused, and observed the spot, and marked it well,  Whereon the shadow of the finger fell;  And, coming back at midnight, delved, and found  A secret stairway leading underground.  Down this he passed into a spacious hall,  Lit by a flaming jewel on the wall;  And opposite, in threatening attitude,  With bow and shaft a brazen statue stood.  Upon its forehead, like a coronet,  Were these mysterious words of menace set:  "That which I am, I am; my fatal aim  None can escape, not even yon luminous flame!" Midway the hall was a fair table placed,  With cloth of gold, and golden cups enchased  With r

The edge of the light

“Shortly after I was called as a General Authority, I went to Elder Harold B. Lee for counsel. He listened very carefully to my problem and suggested that I see President David O. McKay. President McKay counseled me as to the direction I should go. I was very willing to be obedient but saw no way possible for me to do as he counseled me to do. I returned to Elder Lee and told him that I saw no way to move in the direction I was counseled to go. He said, ‘The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.’ I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead. Then came the lesson of a lifetime: ‘You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.’ Then he quoted these 18 words from the Book of Mormon: ‘Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.’ Those 18 words from Moroni have been like a beacon light to me. Let

How great the wisdom and the love

How great the wisdom and the love That filled the courts on high And sent the Savior from above To suffer, bleed, and die! His precious blood he freely spilt; His life he freely gave, A sinless sacrifice for guilt, A dying world to save. By strict obedience Jesus won The prize with glory rife: “Thy will, O God, not mine be done,” Adorned his mortal life. He marked the path and led the way, And every point defines To light and life and endless day Where God’s full presence shines. In memory of the broken flesh We eat the broken bread And witness with the cup, afresh, Our faith in Christ, our Head. How great, how glorious, how complete Redemption’s grand design, Where justice, love, and mercy meet In harmony divine! Eliza R. Snow, 1804–1887 (Hymn #195) Moses 4:1–2 Alma 42:14–15

The cares of the world vs. the eternal things

"The cares of the world that, on occasion, can rob us of cheerfulness are certainly real cares, but they are not lasting cares; they pass with the passing of this world.  Like the pleasures of the world, the cares of this world are fleeting.   Someday, when we look back on mortality, we will see that so many of the things that seemed to have mattered so much at the moment will be seen not to have mattered at all.  And the eternal things will be seen to have mattered even more than the most faithful of Saints imagined ." (emphasis added) Neal A. Maxwell, " Even As I Am "(Deseret Book Company, 1982), page 104

He shall make intercession for all the children of men

"Wherefore,  redemption  cometh in and through the Holy Messiah ; for he is full of grace  and truth.  Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.  Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it up again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. Wherefore he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe on him shall be saved.   And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore they stand in the pr

God is the Gardiner

"You sometimes wonder whether the Lord really knows what he ought to do with you. You sometimes wonder if you know better than he does about what you ought to do and ought to become. I am wondering if I may tell you a story that I have told quite often in the Church. It is a story that is older than you are. It’s a piece out of my own life, and I’ve told it in many stakes and missions. It has to do with an incident in my life when God showed me that  he knew best. I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants. I was raised on a fruit farm in Salt Lake before we went to Canada, and I knew what ought to happen to that currant bush. So I got some pruning shears and went after it, and I cut it down, and pruned it, and clipped it back until there was nothing left but a little clump of stumps. It was just coming day