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Showing posts from November 11, 2012

Grace shall be as your day...(Wilcox)

The first company of Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Their journey was difficult and challenging; still, they sang:
Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear; But with joy wend your way. Though hard to you this journey may appear, Grace shall be as your day. [“Come, Come, Ye Saints,” Hymns, 2002, no. 30]
“Grace shall be as your day”—what an interesting phrase. We have all sung it hundreds of times, but have we stopped to consider what it means? “Grace shall be as your day”: grace shall be like a day. As dark as night may become, we can always count on the sun coming up. As dark as our trials, sins, and mistakes may appear, we can always have confidence in the grace of Jesus Christ. Do we earn a sunrise? No. Do we have to be worthy of a chance to begin again? No. We just have to accept these blessings and take advantage of them. As sure as each brand-new day, grace—the enabling power of Jesus Christ—is constant. Faithful pioneers knew they were not alone. The tas…

Jesus, our Perfect Examplar (Maxwell)

Jesus, our Perfect Exemplar, was astonishingly exemplary even in the hours surrounding the awful but glorious Atonement. The intrigue of Pilate and Herod, for instance, who had earlier been "at enmity" but who "made friends together" because of Jesus, presented opportunities for Jesus to "shrink" from going through with the Atonement (Luke 23:12; D&C 19:18). Herod, who had been desirous "to see [Jesus] of a long season," "hoped to have seen some miracle done by him" (Luke 23:8). Yet Jesus, under heavy questioning from Herod, "answered him nothing" (Luke 23:9; see also Mosiah 14:7). Jesus' integrity and intellect were not for sale! Amid temptation, he maintained his integrity--even in the midst of an opportunity that a lesser individual would have seized to reduce his suffering and to increase the praise of men.
Ironically, when Jesus' enemies came for him, the Light of the World, they came with lanterns and torch…

relativistic forces at work on our society (Maxwell; Genovese)

One writer recently observed that the relativistic forces at work:
should warm every atheist's heart. For if God is a socially conscious political being whose views invariably correspond to our own prejudices on every essential point of doctrine, He demands of us no more than our politics require. [H]ow would our worship of [this kind of being]constitute more than self-congratulation for our own moral standards?
The writer continued:
As an atheist, I like this [kind of] god. It is good to see him every morning while I am shaving. [Eugene D. Genovese, "Pilgrim's Progress,"The New Republic, 11 May 1992, p. 38]
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, BYU Devotional, August 1992
http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=625

faith as a matter of life or death (C.S. Lewis)

You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth of falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a cliff. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it?
C.S. Lewis

our eventual possibilities in the midsts of our present limitations (Maxwell; Tolkien)

For now, though we can mercifully see something of our eventual possibilities, you and I are aware of our present limitations. Tolkien wrote wisely:
It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule. [Gandalf in J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King (New York: Ballantine Books, 1965), p. 190]
Hence we desperately need the gospel's wisdom not only for eternity, but also "for the succour of those years wherein we are set," in order "to do what is in us." Enoch obtained revelation and reassurance and gratefully exclaimed of God, "Yet thou art there" (Moses 7:30). This is what you and I want to know of him: Does he know me, love me, and care for me? We can have the same reassurance given to Enoch.
How intellectually ama…

repentance leads to saintly character (Hafen)

“The great Mediator asks for our repentance not because we must ‘repay’ him in exchange for his paying our debt to justice, but because repentance initiates a developmental process that, with the Savior’s help, leads us along the path to a saintly character” 


Elder Bruce C. Hafen (The Broken Heart [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989], 149; emphasis in original).

The Holy Ghost can be compared to a radio transmitter; answers to prayer (McConkie; Covey)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie in a message to institute and seminary people on this campus several years ago used this physical illustration to distinguish between the Spirit of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. It was very instructive and impressive to me. He said, "The Spirit of the Holy Ghost could be compared to a radio transmitter; you and I, to the radio receivers. The radio waves would be the Spirit of Jesus Christ." This physical symbol illustrates the difference. The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead who performs very specific functions on this earth—to sanctify, to guide, to witness, to testify of the Father and Son and things pertaining to their kingdom, and to confirm the promise of the Father when you and I enter into a covenant relationship in the waters of baptism. When we renew our covenants in other ordinances the Holy Ghost confirms the promise of the Father to us, his covenant children, that if we will live true we will have peace in this world and eternal li…

the spirit of discernment; ministering of angels (Heber C. Kimball)

We are instructed in the Scriptures to contend for that faith which was once delivered to the Saints, and which inspired them with dreams and visions, tongues and the interpretation thereof. Pray, tell me who is capable of interpreting an unknown tongue without inspiration? It cannot be done, except the person be dictated by the Holy Ghost. How can I discern that a man is wrong, or that he is corrupt, except I have the Spirit of revelation? I cannot do it. How can President Young discern that there is is an evil designed against him, unless he has the Spirit of revelation? He cannot know it beforehand, except it is revealed to him.  Now, I assuredly know it to be true that angels are ministering spirits to minister to men who are heirs of salvation. Now, God says, in another part of his word, that he will reason with us. But how will he do this, unless we are submissive like clay in the hands of the potter? He says he will do it before the world, the philosophers, the kings, and the …

it is our duty to pray; trust God (Brigham Young)

Some of the brethren come to me and say, "Brother Brigham, is it my duty to pray when I have not one particle of the spirit of prayer in me?" True, at times men are perplexed and full of care and trouble, their ploughs and other implements are out of order, their animals have strayed, and a thousand things perplex them; yet our judgment teaches us that it is our duty to pray, whether we are particularly in the spirit of praying or not. My doctrine is, it is duty to pray; and when the time for prayer comes, John should say, "This is the place and this is the time to pray: knees bend down upon that floor, and do so at once." But John says, "I do not want to pray; I do not feel like it." Knees, get down, I say; and down bend the knees, and he begins to think and reflect. Can you say anything? Can you not say, God have mercy on me a sinner? Yes, he can do this, if he can rise up and curse his neighbour for some ill deeds. Now, John, open your mouth and say, L…