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Showing posts from 2014

Our Creator's Cosmos (Maxwell)

Here is a link to the transcript and pictures from a talk given by Elder Maxwell in August, 2002. Absolutely amazing stuff!!

http://rsc.byu.edu/archived/study-and-faith-selections-religious-educator/chapter-4-our-creators-cosmos


learn to be happy today (Jedidiah M. Grant)

“A great many people feast upon imagination instead of feasting upon that which is tangible, and they will allow their minds to be led away by fancy, and will make out some great that they will be in some future time, and how good they intend to be and how much of the Holy Ghost they expect to receive; but the idea is, what do you enjoy at the present time, and what are the blessings you enjoy at this present moment, right now?  Am I doing right today?  Is the Holy Ghost in me now?  Is God’s blessing with me now (not at some other time)?  If so, then all is well.  I want the Saints to be impressed with the motto of being happy all of the time; if you cannot be happy today, how can you be happy tomorrow?  I speak this from what I have learned myself; though it has given me much of trouble, and a great amount of perseverance, to be happy under all circumstances.  I have learned not to fret myself.  It has taken me a great while to arrive at this point, but I have obtained it in a measu…

God expects us to do our best and He will perform the rest (Brigham Young)

“If I ask [God] to give me wisdom concerning any requirements in life, or in regard to my own course, or that of my friends, my family, my children, or those that I preside over, and get no answer from Him, and then do the very best that my judgment will teach me, He is bound to own and honor that transaction, and He will do so to all intents and purposes.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3:205

the enabling power of the Atonement (Bednar)

"...you and I are much more familiar with the nature of the redeeming power of the Atonement than we are with the enabling power of the Atonement. It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for us. That is fundamental and foundational to the doctrine of Christ. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in us—not only to direct us but also to empower us. I think most of us know that when we do things wrong, when we need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives, the Savior has paid the price and made it possible for us to be made clean through His redeeming power. Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints—for good men and women who are obedient and worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully. I frankly do not think many…

the influence of the Spirit in our lives (Jedediah M. Grant)

If we do not enjoy the Spirit of the Lord, there are reasons that we ourselves can assign for the absence of that Spirit.  The practice of the Saints, if good, will always bring the Spirit of the Lord, and keep that Spirit with them day to day.  I am aware that the Spirit is grieved with different individuals for different causes; some do not attend to their prayers in the season thereof, they do not attend to their duties of the present moment, they do not concentrate their feelings, but allow their minds to wander like the fools’ eyes to the four winds of heaven, hence they are left to grope for themselves as the blind for the wall.  But those who live up to their duties, the duties of the present hour, and always make those duties the primary duties of life, live in the light of the Lord, and walk in the path laid down by the Savior of the world; they are never in the dark, for the light of the Lord is shining upon them. Jedediah M. Grant, Journal of Discourses 3:58

Light, Air and Navigation--Lessons From Ether 2 For Our Own Lives

In the second chapter of Ether, the Lord teaches the brother of Jared important principles about receiving answers to prayer. Since we are to “liken all scriptures unto us,” we can learn much by pondering the story and the lessons taught therein.
The Lord commanded the Jaredites to build barges (boats), after the manner that they had previously built barges and “according to the instructions of the Lord.”[1]These barges were to carry the Jaredites across the ocean to the “land of promise.”[2]It is significant that they followed the Lord’s instructions in building the barges.Among other things, it shows that the Lord fully intended the tutoring experience that followed. It is also important to note that, just as with Noah, Nephi and others, the Lord did not do for them what they could do for themselves, He did not build the ships for them.
After the barges were completed, according to the instructions the Lord had given them,[3] the brother of Jared then went to the Lord with three que…

The Light of Christ (D&C 84:46; Brigham Young)

D&C 84:46: "And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit."
“I do not believe for one moment that there has been a man or woman upon the face of the earth, from the days of Adam to this day, who has not been enlightened, instructed, and taught by the revelations of Jesus Christ. ‘What! the ignorant heathen?’ Yes, every human being who has possessed a sane mind. I am far from believing that the children of men have been deprived of the privilege of receiving the Spirit of the Lord to teach them right from wrong.”Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:139

yield to the spirit within us (Brigham Young)

"You are aware that many think the devil has power over both the body and spirit. Now I want to tell you that he does not hold power over any, only as far as the body overcomes the spirit that is in man, through yielding to the spirit of evil. The spirit that the Lord puts into a tabernacle of flesh is under the dictation of the Lord Almighty…In the first place the spirit is pure, and under the special control and influence of the Lord, but the body is of the earth, and is subject to the power of the devil, and is under the mighty influence of that fallen nature that is of the earth. If the spirit yields to the body, the devil then has power to overcome the body and spirit of man, and [that man] loses both…When you are tempted, buffeted, and step out of the way inadvertently: when you are overtaken in fault, or commit an over act unthinkingly; when you are full of evil passion and wish to yield to it, then stop and let the spirit, which God has put into your tabernacles, take th…

The Word of Wisdom (Ezra T. Benson)

When we first heard the revelation upon the Word of Wisdom many of us thought it consisted merely in our [not] drinking tea and coffee, but it is not only [not] using tea and coffee and our tobacco and whisky, but it is every other evil which is calculated to contaminate this people.  The Word of Wisdom implies to cease from adultery, to cease from all manner of excesses, and from all kinds of wickedness and abomination that are common amongst this generation—it is, strictly speaking, keeping the commandments of God, and living by every word that proceedeth from His mouth.  This is the way I understand the Word of Wisdom, consequently we have to keep all the commandments…in connection with the Word of Wisdom, in order to obtain the blessings, for unless we do keep the commandments of God, and not offend in any one point, we have not full claim upon the blessings promised in connection with this portion of the word of the Lord.

Ezra T. Benson, Journal of Discourses 2:358

Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth (Uchtdorf)

"Let us acknowledge that most often gaining a testimony is not a task of a minute, an hour, or a day. It is not once and done. The process of gathering spiritual light is the quest of a lifetime. Your testimony of the living Son of God and His restored Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, may not come as quickly as you desire, but I promise you this: if you do your part, it will come. And it will be glorious." —Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth"

protection from Heaven, if we live as we believe (Brigham Young)

"If we live our religion, walk in the light of the Lord’s countenance, day by day, so as to have fellowship with our Father and His Son Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and with every good being in heaven and on earth, let me tell you that hell may spew and bellow, and the devils may howl, and they cannot scathe you and me any more than a few crickets.  But, to enjoy the protection of the Almighty, we have got to live our religion–to live so that we have the mind of Christ within us."

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4:358

testimony and conversation (Bednar)

A testimony is spiritual knowledge of truth obtained by the power of the Holy Ghost. Continuing conversion is constant devotion to the revealed truth we have received—with a heart that is willing and for righteous reasons. Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion. We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel.

Elder David A. Bednar, October 2012 General Conference

"it is all right" (Brigham Young)

"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

importance of family scripture study (Scott)

"Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it! There are many prophetic promises of the blessings of daily studying the scriptures. I add my voice with this promise: as you dedicate time every day, personally and with your family, to the study of God’s word, peace will prevail in your life. That peace won’t come from the outside world. It will come from within your home, from within your family, from within your own heart. It will be a gift of the Spirit. It will radiate out from you to influence others in the world around you. You will be doing something very significant to add to the cumulative peace in the world." Elder Richard G. Scott, October 2014 General Conference 

all things may teach us lessons that will be for our eventual benefit (John Taylor)

"...all things that we have to do with in the world, whether they are adversity or prosperity, whether they relate to ourselves or to others, if rightly appreciated and understood, may teach us a lesson that will be to our joy, probably not only in time, but in all eternity. We must know ourselves, learn what is in our nature − our weakness, our strength, our wisdom, our folly, and the like things that dwell in others, that we may learn to appreciate true and correct principles, and be governed by them whenever they are developed; that we may learn to set a just value upon all sublunary things, that we may not value them above their real value, and that we may neither value ourselves nor others above our or their worth; that we may learn to look upon ourselves as eternal beings, acting in everything with a reference to eternity; that we may by and by secure to ourselves eternal exaltations, thrones, principalities, and powers in the eternal worlds."

John Taylor, Journal of Di…

the key to being happy in this life (Lorenzo Snow)

"When a man receives knowledge, he is prompted to impart it to others; when a man becomes happy, the Spirit that surrounds him teaches him to strive to make others happy. It is not so in the Gentile world. If a man attains to any important position, he does not strive to elevate others to participate in the same blessings. In this respect there is a great difference between the Latter-day Saints and the world of mankind. The object of the Priesthood is to make all men happy, to diffuse information, to make all partakers of like same blessings in their turn. Is there any chance of a man’s becoming happy without a knowledge of the Gospel of Christ? A man may make the thunders roll, the lightnings flash; but what has that to do with making a can happy? Nothing. Though in the world they try to make themselves happy, still they are not successful in what they strive to accomplish. They cannot be happy except upon one principle, and that is by embracing the fullness of the Gospel, whi…

Let the mountains shout for joy (D&C 128)

"Brethren [and sisters], shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free. Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, a…

the sealing power in all ages of the world (D&C 128:9; Joseph Smith)

"It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given."

D&C 128:9

See also Matthew 16:18, 19; 1 Corinthians 15:46-48; 1 Corinthians 15:29

Pre-Mortal Life (Marcel Proust)

It was Marcel Proust who wrote insightfully of pre-mortality as follows: 

“All that can be said is that everything in our life happens as though we entered upon it with a load of obligations contracted in a previous existence. There is no reason arising from the conditions of our life on this earth for us to consider ourselves obliged to do good, to be tactful, even to be polite. … All these obligations whose sanction is not of this present life, seem to belong to a different world, founded on kindness, scruples, sacrifices, a world entirely different from this one, a world whence we emerge to be born on this earth, before returning thither, perhaps to live under the empire of those unknown laws we have obeyed because we bore their teaching within us without knowing who had taught us.” (Marcel Proust, La Prisonniere, as quoted in Homo Viator by Gabriel Marcel.)

the natural man is an enemy to God (Mosiah 3:19)

"For the naturalman is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

Mosiah 3:19

Happiness (C.S. Lewis)

Nothing else can make us what He can (Monson)

spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers (Anderson)

if we withdraw ourselves from light, our own light begins to dim...(President Uchtdorf)

The Savior has told us in our day, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”13 The more we incline our hearts and minds toward God, the more heavenly light distills upon our souls. And each time we willingly and earnestly seek that light, we indicate to God our readiness to receive more light. Gradually, things that before seemed hazy, dark, and remote become clear, bright, and familiar to us. By the same token, if we remove ourselves from the light of the gospel, our own light begins to dim—not in a day or a week but gradually over time—until we look back and can’t quite understand why we had ever believed the gospel was true. Our previous knowledge might even seem foolish to us because what once was so clear has again become blurred, hazy, and distant. This is why Paul was so insistent that the message of the gospel is foolishness to those who are per…

Have the Courage to Go to the Edge of the Light

Sometimes you need to go to the edge of the light. The Lord will test your faith. The Lord gives us knowledge and inspiration line upon line. We musthearken, oract upon what He says to demonstrate our faith.  He said, “I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom: for unto him that receiveth I will give more” (2 Nephi 28:30) 
One of the marvelous things about President Hinckley and the General Authorities I’m acquainted with is their great courage to step forward into unchartered paths.  They’re courageous leaders because they know how to move forward in faith. They can see to a point, and then they must move forward.
President David O. McKay told a story about a train engineer. He said: “The engineer pulled his train into a station one dark night.  A timid passenger inquired of the engineer if he was frightened t…