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Showing posts from October 23, 2011

Peace to our souls (Holland)

The Lord has probably spoken enough such "comforting words" to supply the whole universe, it would seem, and yet we see all around us unhappy Latter-day Saints, worried Latter-day Saints, and gloomy Latter-day Saints into whose troubled hearts not one of these innumerable consoling words seems to be allowed to enter. In fact, I think some of us must have that remnant of Puritan heritage still with us that says it is somehow wrong to be comforted or helped, that we are supposed to be miserable about something.
Consider, for example, the Savior's benediction upon his disciples even as he moved toward the pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary. On that very night, the night of the greatest suffering the world has ever known or ever will know, he said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
I submit to you that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the h…

the importance of constant personal preparation

Jesus, our Redeemer, has given to us for our use in this day a powerful parable to stress the importance of constant personal preparedness. It is known as the parable of the Ten Virgins, a warning to all mankind everywhere. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. “And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. “They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: “But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. “Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. “And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. “But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom…

the Lord always determines the tide of battle

Above the roar of cannon and airplane, the maneuvers and plans of men, the Lord always determines the tide of battle. So far and no farther does He permit the evil one to go in his career to create human misery.
The Lord is ever victorious; He is the Master to whom will Satan is subject. Though all hell may rage, and men may follow evil, the purposes of the Lord will not fail. The God of Israel "slumbers not nor sleeps" (Psalms 121:4). It is well to remember the admonition of old: "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10).
John A. Widtsoe, April 1942 General Conference

Prayer (Tennyson)

More things are wrought by prayer


Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice


Rise like a fountain for me night and day.


For what are men better than sheep or goats


That nourish a blind life within the brain,


If knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer


Both for themselves and those who call them friend?


[Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King, The Passing of Arthur, lines 413­21]

Know He is There

I have always been impressed with an experience President Hugh B. Brown, former member of the First Presidency, shared with me when I was serving a mission under his direction in the British Isles. He told about his mother's encouraging words as he left on his mission when he was about twenty years of age. This, essentially, was her message, as I recall.
Hugh, you remember when you were a little boy and you would have a bad dream or wake up in the night frightened, you would call from your room: "Mother, are you there?" and I would answer and try to comfort you and remove your fears. Now as you go on a mission and out into the world there will be times when you will be frightened, when you feel weak, inadequate, alone, and have problems. I want you to know that you can call to your Heavenly Father as you used to call to me and say: "Father, are you there? I need your help." Do this with the knowledge that he is there and that he will be ready to help you if you …

the Gift of the Holy Ghost (Romney)

The hallmark of the church of Christ, distinguishing it from all other churches and forms of worship, has ever been the receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost by the membership of the Church. This is what distinguishes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from all other organizations. Following an interview with President Van Buren, the Prophet Joseph Smith and Elias Higbee wrote in 1839 from Washington, D.C., a letter to Hyrum Smith, in which they said: “In our interview with the President, he interrogated us wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. Brother Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost. …” (Documentary History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 42.) Marion G. Romney, General Conference April 1974

the Good Ship Zion

“He who picks up one end of the stick, picks up the other,” my marvelous mission president taught in his very first message to us.4And that is the way it is supposed to be when we join this, the true and living Church of the true and living God. When we join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we board the Good Ship Zion and sail with her wherever she goes until she comes into that millennial port. We stay in the boat, through squalls and stills, through storms and sunburn, because that is the only way to the promised land. This Church is the Lord’s vehicle for crucial doctrines, ordinances, covenants, and keys that are essential to exaltation, and one cannot be fully faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ without striving to be faithful in the Church, which is its earthly institutional manifestation. To new convert and longtime member alike, we declare in the spirit of Nephi’s powerful valedictory exhortation: “Ye have entered in by the gate; … [but] now, … after ye have…