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Showing posts from 2016

He will guide us when it matters (Oaks)

When a choice will make a real difference in our lives—obvious or not—and when we are living in tune with the Spirit and seeking his guidance, we can be sure we will receive the guidance we need to attain our goal. The Lord will not leave us unassisted when a choice is important to our eternal welfare.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, BYU Devotional, September 1981
https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/dallin-h-oaks_revelation/

ye are free (Helaman 14)

30 And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.  31 He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you. Helaman 14:30-31

finding answers through prayer

If we expect to receive, we must ask, seek, and knock. In his search for truth, Joseph Smith read from the scriptures, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” In answer to his prayer of faith, the heavens were opened. God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, descended in glory and spoke to Joseph Smith, ushering in the dispensation of the fulness of times. For us, miraculous healing, powerful protection, divine knowledge, liberating forgiveness, and precious peace are among the answers that come when we offer up a “soul’s sincere desire” in faith.

Carol F. McConkie, October 2016 General Conference

whatever impairs conscience...is sin (Susanna Wesley)

We can follow the timeless advice that Susanna Wesley gave in 1725 to her son John, a founder of Methodism: “Would you judge the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasure, [of the innocence of malignity of actions? Take this rule.] Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind; that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.”

Susanna Wesley: The Complete Writings (1997), 109.

Control over self (Maxwell)

Surely it should give us more pause than it does to think of how casually we sometimes give to [Satan] who could not control his own ego in the pre-mortal world such awful control over our egos here. We often let the adversary do indirectly now what we refused to let him do directly then”

Elder Neal A. Maxwell - We Will Prove Them Herewith

small moments of life (Maxwell)

"Though of themselves life's defining moments may seem minor, our wise responses gradually increase our traction on the demanding path of discipleship. For instance, we can decide daily, or in an instant, in seemingly little things, whether we respond with a smile instead of a scowl, or whether we give warm praise instead of exhibiting icy indifference. Each response matters in its small moment. After all, moments are the molecules that make up eternity, affecting not only ourselves but others, because our conduct even in seemingly small things, can be contagious."

--Elder Neal A. Maxwell

rats in the cellar; the reality of who we are

I love this quote from C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity about the process of becoming true Christians: “We begin to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is  some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed.  And the excuse  that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected: I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself.  Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular  acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated.  On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what po…

Meekness (Neal A. Maxwell)

"God, who has seen billions of spirits pass through His plan of salvation, has told us to be meek in order to enhance our enjoyment of life and our mortal education. Will we be meek and listen to Him and learn from Him? ...Perhaps, brothers and sisters, what we brought with us as intelligences into our creation as spirit children constitutes a 'given' within which even God must work. Add to that possibility the clear reality of God’s deep commitment to our free agency—and we begin to see how essential meekness is! We need to learn so much, and yet we are free to choose! How crucial it is to be teachable! There 'is no other way' in which God could do what He has declared it is His intent to do. No wonder He and His prophets emphasize meekness time and time again!... Like Himself, He first had to make us free, to learn, to choose, and to experience; hence our humility and teachability are premiere determinants of our progress and our happiness. Agency is essential …

Baptized Again (Bednar)

Sometimes Latter-day Saints express the wish that they could be baptized again—and thereby become as clean and worthy as the day on which they received their first saving gospel ordinance. May I respectfully suggest that our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son do not intend for us to experience such a feeling of spiritual renewal, refreshment, and restoration just once in our lives. The blessings of obtaining and always retaining a remission of our sins through gospel ordinances help us understand that baptism is a point of departure in our mortal spiritual journey; it is not a destination we should yearn to revisit over and over again. The ordinances of baptism by immersion, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament are not isolated and discrete events; rather, they are elements in an interrelated and additive pattern of redemptive progress. Each successive ordinance elevates and enlarges our spiritual purpose, desire, and performance. The Father’s pla…

Obtaining and Retaining a Remission of Sins through Ordinances (Bednar)

To comprehend more fully the process whereby we may obtain and always retain a remission of our sins, we need first to understand the inseparable relationship among three sacred ordinances that provide access to the powers of heaven: baptism by immersion, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament. Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins “is the introductory ordinance of the gospel”16 of Jesus Christ and must be preceded by faith in the Savior and by sincere repentance. This ordinance “is a sign and a commandment which God has set for [His children] to enter into His kingdom.”17 Baptism is administered in the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood. In the process of coming unto the Savior and spiritual rebirth, baptism provides a necessary initial cleansing of our soul from sin. The baptismal covenant includes three fundamental commitments: (1) to be willing to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, (2) to always remember Him, and (3) to keep His …

The Comforter

"We lighten the loads of others best by helping the Lord strengthen them. That is why the Lord included in our charge to comfort others the command to be His witnesses at all times and in all places." —Henry B. Eyring, "The Comforter"

help from The Lord generally comes in increments (Scott)

Help from the Lord generally comes in increments. He can immediately cure serious illnesses or disabilities or even allow the dead to be raised. But the general pattern is that improvement comes in sequential steps. That plan gives us an opportunity to discover what the Lord expects us to learn. It requires our patience to recognize His timetable. It provides growth from our efforts and trust in Him and the opportunity to express gratitude for the help given. Often we have difficulty mastering lessons the Lord wants us to learn when things are going too well in our lives. When there is suffering or pain, we ask ourselves a lot of questions. Some of them ought to be: What does the Lord want me to learn from this experience? What do I need to do? What do I need to change? Whom do I need to serve? Or what characteristic must I improve? Pondering and prayer will help us understand what we are to learn from the challenges we are asked to overcome.

our duty (Brigham Young)

I have frequently thought upon the preparation that is necessary. Suppose the word should come, “Return and build up the center Stake of Zion,” are we ready for it? No. I have often alluded to our mechanics. We have not a mechanic that would know how to lay the first stone for the foundation of the wall around the New Jerusalem, to say nothing about the temples of our God. Are you prepared for the day of vengeance to come, when the Lord will consume the wicked by the brightness of his coming? No. Then do not be too anxious for the Lord to hasten his work. Let our anxiety be centered upon, this one thing, the sanctification of our own hearts, the purifying of our own affections, the preparing of ourselves for the approach of the events that are hastening upon us. This should be our concern, this should be our study, this should be our daily prayer, and not to be in a hurry to see the overthrow of the wicked. Be careful; for if they were all to be overthrown at once, how many would the…

reason can be wrong (Maxwell)

What reason concludes are impassable mountains, revelation shows to be rolling hills over which we can pass if we press forward. Sitting and staring at the slopes can make them into stern Sierras. 
Elder Neal A. Maxwell
(Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward, p. 43.).

small hands move the wheels of the world (Tolkien)

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens. J.R.R. Tolkien