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Showing posts from August 19, 2012

What is death like? (Dr. Peter Marshall)

What is death like? Here is a simple incident as told by Dr. Peter Marshall, chaplain of the United States Senate: In a certain home, a little boy, the only son, was ill with an incurable disease. Month after month the mother had tenderly nursed him, but as the weeks went by and he grew no better, the little fellow gradually began to understand the meaning of death and he, too, realized that soon he was to die. One day his mother had been reading the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and as she closed the book the boy lay silent for a moment, then asked the question that had been laying on his heart. “Mother, what is it like to die? Mother, does it hurt?” Quick tears filled her eyes. She sprang to her feet and fled to the kitchen, supposedly to go get something. She prayed on the way a silent prayer that the Lord would tell her what to say, and the Lord did tell her. Immediately she knew how to explain it to him. She said as she returned from the kitchen, “Ke

If there be a design in this universe...there must be a Designer (Senator Everett Dirksen)

Senator Everett Dirksen, shortly before his death, responded impressively to Job’s question in these words: “What mortal being, standing on the threshold of infinity, has not pondered what lies beyond the veil which separates the seen from the unseen? “What mortal being, responding to that mystical instinct that earthly dissolution is at hand, has not contemplated what lies beyond the grave? “What mortal being, upon whom has descended that strange and serene resignation that life’s journey is about at an end, has not thought about that eternal destination and what might be there? “Centuries ago the man Job, so long blessed with every material blessing, only to find himself sorely afflicted by all that can befall a human being, sat with his companions and uttered the timeless, ageless question, ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ In the Easter Season, when all Christendom observes the Resurrection and seeks answers to many questions, there in the forefront is the question raise

Love of the Right (Ashton)

Lofty standards of behavior will always be based upon a love for the right. Wickedness in any form will never lead to happiness. We must be aware of those who would have us believe there is no heaven, there is no hell, and that the only road to happiness is marked with compromise and convenience. Satan is real and he is effective. Drug abuse is one of his tools. He would throw men down, and by his cunning he would have all mankind strangers to God. Let us not be deceived. God lives, and through him and with him we can accomplish all things. We must not permit ourselves to become entangled in the sin of drugs or the sin of compromising our standards, but rather we must learn to avoid all the ways of Satan. Our Heavenly Father is so concerned that we do right that he will bless each of us with a sign, if we will ask his counsel. Do we realize that the Lord has promised us a physical manifestation if we but ask him to direct us in the right? In the ninth section of the  Doctrine and C

"Plow in Hope" (Maxwell)

Redeeming Jesus also “poured out his soul unto death” ( Mosiah 14:12 ; see also  Isa. 53:12 ;  D&C 38:4 ). As we on occasion “pour” out our souls in personal pleadings, we are thus emptied, making room for more joy! Another fundamental scripture describes Jesus’ having trodden the winepress of the “fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God” ( D&C 88:106 ; see also  D&C 76:107 ;  D&C 133:50 ). Others can and should encourage, commend, pray, and comfort, but the lifting and carrying of our individual crosses remains ours to do. Given the “fierceness” Christ endured for us, we cannot expect a discipleship of unruffled easiness. As we seek  forgiveness , for example, repentance can be a rough-hewn regimen to bear. By the way, let us not, as some do, mistake the chips we have placed on our own shoulders for crosses! Uniquely, atoning Jesus also “descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things” ( D&C 88:6 ; see also  D&C 122:8 ). How deep that desce

the common law of life

“The tree that never had to fight For sun and sky and air and light, But stood out in the open plain And always got its share of rain, Never became a forest king But lived and died a scrubby thing. The man who never had to toil to live, Who never had to win his share Of sun and sky and light and air, Never became a manly man But lived and died as he began. “Good timber does not grow at ease, The stronger wind, the stronger trees. The further sky, the greater length, The more the storm, the more the strength. By sun and cold, in rain and snow, in trees and men good timbers grow. Where thickest lies the forest growth We find the patriarchs of both. And they hold council with the stars Whose broken branches show the scars Of many winds and much of strife. This is the common law of life.” —Author unknown

the blessings prepared for us (Lorenzo Snow)

I presume to say that we do not all of us fully comprehend the blessings and privileges that are prepared in the Gospel for us to receive. We do not fully comprehend and we do not have before our view the things which await us in the eternal worlds, nor, indeed, the things which await us in this life and that are calculated to promote our peace and happiness and to answer the desires of our hearts… We frequently, in the multitude of cares around us, get forgetful, and these things are not before us; then we do not comprehend that the Gospel is designed and calculated in its nature to bestow upon us those things that will bring glory, honor, and exaltation—that will bring peace and glory. We are apt to forget these things in the midst of the cares and vexations of life; and we do not fully understand that it is our privilege, and that the Lord has placed it in our reach to pursue that Gospel whereby we may have peace within us continually. All this trouble and vexation of mind is

eternal perspective (John Taylor)

Why do this people feel so comfortable when an army is approaching? Are you not afraid of being killed? No, not a great deal. Why are you not mourning and sorrowing, and why are you not distressed and troubled? Because you have got a principle within you that cannot be conquered in time nor in eternity: you possess the principles of eternal life in your bosoms, that cannot be subdued. You know what your relationship is with the Eternal God, and his Spirit gives joy and consolation to your bosoms… I do not care anything about shooting: I have been shot. Neither do I care anything about dying; for I could have died many a time if I had desired to; but I had not got ready. But I do care about those principles of truth which I have received; and I would not exchange my position for that of any emperor, king, or potentate in any nation under heaven… John Taylor, Journal of Discourses  5:244, 248

life after death (Joseph Smith)

We have, reason to have the greatest hope and consolations for our dead of any people on the earth; for we have seen them walk worthily in our midst, and seen them sink asleep in the arms of Jesus… I have a father, brothers, children, and friends who have gone to a world of spirits. They are only absent for a moment. They are in the spirit, and we shall soon meet again. The time will soon arrive when the trumpet shall sound. When we depart, we shall hail our mothers, fathers, friends, and all whom we love who have fallen asleep in Jesus. There will be no fear of mobs, persecutions, or malicious law-suits and arrests; but it will be an eternity of felicity. Joseph Smith,  King Follett Discourse, Journal of Discourses  6:9