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Showing posts from January 23, 2011

the world's last night

In King Lear (III, vii) there is a man who is such a minor character that Shakespeare has not even given him a name: he is simply called "First Servant." All the characters around him--Regan, Cornwall, and Edmund--have fine long-term plans. They think they know how the story is going to end, and they are quite wrong. The servant, however, has no such delusions. He has no notion how the play is going to go. But he understands the present scene. He sees an abomination (the blinding of old Gloucester) taking place. He will not stand for it. His sword is out and pointed at his master's breast in an instant. Then Regan stabs him dead from behind. That is his whole part: eight lines all told. But, Lewis says, if that were real life and not a play, that is the part it would be best to have acted.

The doctrine of the Second Coming teaches us that we do not and cannot know when Christ will come and the world drama will end. He may appear and the curtain may be rung down at any m…

perseverance and genuine faith

The work of devils and of darkness is never more certain to be defeated than when men and women, not finding it easy or pleasant but still determined to do the Father's will, look out upon their lives from which it may seem every trace of God has vanished, and asking why they have been so forsaken, still bow their heads and obey. 


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Will of the Father in All Things" (BYU Devotional, January 17, 1989)


[Paraphrased from C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1961), p. 39]

integrity is fundamental to good character

Integrity (the willingness and ability to live by our beliefs and commitments) is one of the foundation stones of good character, and without good character one cannot hope to enjoy the presence of God here or in the eternities. Integrity is a state or quality of being complete, undivided, or unbroken. It is wholeness and unimpaired. It is purity and moral soundness. It is unadulterated genuineness and deep sincerity. It is courage, a human virtue of incalculable value. It is honesty, uprightness, and righteousness. Take these away and there is left but an empty shell. Integrity in man should bring inner peace, sureness of purpose, and security in action. Lack of it brings the reverse: disunity, fear, sorrow, unsureness. It would be well if all of us would take frequent inventory to see if hidden away under the rugs and in the corners of our lives there might be some vestige of hypocrisy and ugliness or error. Or could there be hidden under the blankets of personal excuse and rationaliza…

if its fair, its not a trial

A good friend, who knows whereof he speaks, has observed of trials, "If its fair, its not a true trial!" That is, without added presence of some inexplicableness and some irony and injustice, the experience may not stretch us or lift us sufficiently.  The crucifixion of Christ was clearly the greatest injustice in human history, but the Savior bore up under it with majesty and indescribable valor.


Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience" p. 31

do not mourn for the righteous when they die (Brigham)

...I say to each and every one of you, whether I die in this city, or wherever I die, when my spirit leaves my
body, know ye that that tabernacle is of no use, until the command comes for it to be resurrected; and I do not want you to cry over it, nor make any parade, but give me a good place where my bones can rest, that have been weary for many years, and have delighted to labor until nearly worn out; and then go home about your business, and think no more about me, except you think of me in the spirit world, as I do about Jedediah.

I have not felt, for one minute, that Jedediah is dead; I feel he is with us just as much as he was a week or a
month ago....

I want you all to remember this; when I die, let your flags remain in their proper places, omit your parade, and lay me away where I can rest. And I do not wish any of you to cry and feel badly, but prepare yourselves to fight the devils while you live, and after you pass through the veil; and let me tell you, that there we will d…

"it is all right..."

When the Latter-day Saints make up their minds to endure, for the Kingdom of God's sake, whatsoever shall come, whether poverty or riches, whether sickness or to be driven by mobs, they will say it is all right, and will honor the hand of the Lord in it, and in all things, and serve Him to the end of their lives, according to the best of their ability...If you have not made up your minds for this, the quicker you do so the better.

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:338

a lesson on perseverance--building of the Salt Lake Temple

On 28 July 1847, four days after his arrival in that valley, Brigham Young stood upon the spot where now rises the magnificent Salt Lake Temple and exclaimed to his companions: "Here [we will build] the Temple of our God!" (James H. Anderson, "The Salt Lake Temple," Contributor [The Young Men's Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion], no. 6, April 1893, p. 243).

Its grounds would cover an eighth of a square mile, and it would be built to stand through eternity. Who cares about the money or stone or timber or glass or gold they don't have? So what that seeds are not even planted and the Saints are yet without homes? Why worry that crickets will soon be coming--and so will the United States Army?

They just marched forth and broke ground for the most massive, permanent, inspiring edifice they could conceive. And they would spend forty years of their lives trying to complete it.

The work seemed ill-fated from the start. The excavation for the basement require…

we are compelled to wait

God's ways of educating our desires are, of course, always the most perfect...And what are God's ways?  Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting.  We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we wanted them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come.  In nature we have our seedtime and harvest; and if children were taught that the desires that they sow may be reaped by and by through patience and labor, they will learn to appreciate whenever a long-looked-for goal has been reached.  Nature resists us and keeps admonishing us to wait; indeed, we are compelled to wait.

President Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine pp. 297-298