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Showing posts from September 9, 2012

A matter of a few degrees (Uchtdorf)

In 1979 a large passenger jet with 257 people on board left New Zealand for a sightseeing flight to Antarctica and back. Unknown to the pilots, however, someone had modified the flight coordinates by a mere two degrees. This error placed the aircraft 28 miles (45 km) to the east of where the pilots assumed they were. As they approached Antarctica, the pilots descended to a lower altitude to give the passengers a better look at the landscape. Although both were experienced pilots, neither had made this particular flight before, and they had no way of knowing that the incorrect coordinates had placed them directly in the path of Mount Erebus, an active volcano that rises from the frozen landscape to a height of more than 12,000 feet (3,700 m).
As the pilots flew onward, the white of the snow and ice covering the volcano blended with the white of the clouds above, making it appear as though they were flying over flat ground. By the time the instruments sounded the warning that the ground …

the pure love of Christ (Holland)

Life has its share of some fear and some failure. Sometimes things fall short, don’t quite measure up. Sometimes in both personal and public life, we are seemingly left without strength to go on. Sometimes people fail us, or economies and circumstance fail us, and life with its hardship and heartache can leave us feeling very alone. But when such difficult moments come to us, I testify that there is one thing which will never, ever fail us. One thing alone will stand the test of all time, of all tribulation, all trouble, and all transgression. One thing only never faileth—and that is the pure love of Christ. “I remember,” Moroni cries to the Savior of the world, “that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world. … “Now I know,” he writes, “that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity.” (Ether 12:33–34.) Having watched a dispensation die and an entire civilization destroy itself, Moroni quotes his father for an…

The central act of all human history (Maxwell)

Mortal experience points evermore to the Atonement of Jesus Christ as the central act of all human history. The more I learn and experience, the more unselfish, stunning, and encompassing His Atonement becomes! When we take Jesus’ yoke upon us, this admits us eventually to what Paul called the “fellowship of [Christ’s] sufferings” (Philip. 3:10). Whether illness or aloneness, injustice or rejection, etc., our comparatively small-scale sufferings, if we are meek, will sink into the very marrow of the soul. We then better appreciate not only Jesus’ sufferings for us, but also His matchless character, moving us to greater adoration and even emulation. Alma revealed that Jesus knows how to succor us in the midst of our griefs and sicknesses precisely because Jesus has already borne our griefs and sicknesses (see Alma 7:11–12). He knows them firsthand; thus His empathy is earned. Of course, we do not comprehend it fully any more than we understand how He bore all mortal sins, but His Atoneme…

self-control (Brigham Young)

Now, brethren, can we fight against and subdue ourselves? That is the greatest difficulty we ever encountered, and the most arduous warfare we over engaged in. This will apply most perfectly to the brethren who have gathered with the Saints. When we are out in the world we preach faith and repentance, so that the Saints bring the knowledge of first principles with them to the gathering-place. Your next step is to enter into the study of this. A man may learn letters and study all the various branches of scholastic education to the day of his death; but if he does not attain to strict self discipline, his learning will not amount to much. The catalogue of man’s discipline he must compile himself: he cannot be guided by any rule that others may lay down, but is placed under the necessity of tracing it himself through every avenue of his life. He is obliged to catechise and train himself, for he knows his own disposition the best—its fortified and unfortified parts. He is therefore the m…

charity (Brigham Young)

There is one virtue, attribute, or principle, which, if cherished and practiced by the Saints, would prove salvation to thousands upon thousands. I allude to charity, or love, from which proceed forgiveness, long-suffering, kindness, and patience. But the short-sightedness and weakness in some are marvelous. To make this a little plainer, I will ask, Do any of your neighbors do anything wrong? They do. People come here from different parts of the earth to make this their adopted country, and the old residents expect them to at once conform to and adopt their manners, customs, and traditions, or they think the new comers are not worthy of their fellowship. In other words, “If every man, woman, and child does not act, think, and see as I do, they are sinners.” It is very necessary that we have charity that will cover a multitude of what we may suppose to be sins. It is written in the Scriptures, “For charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” In its wording this is not literally corre…

Jesus was not JUST a great human teacher (C.S. Lewis)

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic- on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
C.S. Lewis

small things (Mother Teresa)

Mother Teresa said:
It is never too small. We are so small we look at things in a small way. But God, being Almighty, sees everything great. Therefore, even if you write a letter for a blind man or you just go and sit and listen, or you take the mail for him, or you visit somebody or bring a flower to somebody–small things–or wash clothes for somebody or clean the house. Very humble work that is where you and I must be. For there are many people who can do big things. But there are very few people who will do the small things.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations, Prayers, ed. Kathryn Spink(San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1983), 49

Good men make mistakes (Christofferson)

"Good men sometimes make mistakes. A man of integrity will honestly face and correct his mistakes, and that is an example we can respect.  Sometimes men try but fail. Not all worthy objectives are realized despite one's honest and best efforts. True manhood is not always measured by the fruits of one's labors but by the labors themselves--by one's striving."
-D. Todd Christofferson, "Let Us Be Men," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 47-48.