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Showing posts from 2018

self discipline (Huxley)

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.

Thomas H. Huxley, English Biologist, 1825

scientific truth vs. divine truth (Maxwell)

It would be unwise, of course, for the Church to tie itself to the provisional truths of science at any point in science's unfolding history. Ultimately, scientific truth will align with divinely revealed truth; meanwhile we can applaud genuine scientific advances, noting them without depending overly much upon them. 

(Elder Neal A. .Maxwell, Men and Women of Christ, pp. 91-92.)

The Lord gives more instructions and explanations (Oaks)

If you read the scriptures with this question in mind, 'Why did the Lord command this or why did he command that you find that in less than one in a hundred commands was any reason given. It's not the pattern of the Lord to give reasons. We can put reasons to commandments. When we do, we're on our own. Some people put reasons to [the ban] and they turned out to be spectacularly wrong. There is a lesson in that...The lesson I've drawn from that, I decided a long time ago that I had faith in the command and I had no faith in the reasons that had been suggested for it.
...I'm referring to reasons given by general authorities and reasons elaborated upon [those reasons] by others. The whole set of reasons seemed to me to be unnecessary risk taking.
...Let's [not] make the mistake that's been made in the past, here and in other areas, trying to put reasons to revelation. The reasons turn out to be man-made to a great extent. The revelations are what we sustain as t…

don't worry about tomorrow (Brigham Young)

Some will inquire, “Do you suppose we shall finish this Temple, brother Brigham?” I have had such questions put to me already. My answer is, I do not know, and I do not care anymore about it than I should if my body was dead and in the grave, and my spirit in Paradise. I have never cared but for one thing, and that is, simply to know that I am now right before my Father in Heaven. If I am this moment, this day, doing the things God requires of my hands, and precisely where my Father in Heaven wants me to be, I care no more about tomorrow than though it never would come. I do not know where I shall be tomorrow, nor when this Temple will be done—I know no more about it than you do. If God reveals anything for you, I will tell you of it as freely as to say, go to City Creek, and drink until you are satisfied. This I do know—there should be a Temple built here. I do know it is the duty of this people to commence to build a Temple.” Brigham Young, JD 1:131

Humor (Hugh B. Brown)

President Hugh B. Brown said: “I would like to have you smile because after all we must keep a sense of humor whatever comes. I think of all the people in the world we should be the happiest. We have the greatest and most joyous message in the world. I think when we get on the other side, someone will meet us with a smile (unless we go to the wrong place and then someone will grin), so let us be happy. But let our happiness be genuine—let it come from within” (The Abundant Life [1965], 83).

intelligences; free agency; sheperds

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 (see 2 Nephi 2:27)! 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!
Since God desired to have us become 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 to perfectibility, and meekness is essential to the wise use of agency—and to our recovery when we have misused our agency.
Let us not brush by this developmental premise. The scriptures concerni…

blessings from obedience (King Benjamin)

41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Mosiah 2:41

the veil of forgetfulness (Penrose)

The knowledge of our former state has fled from us...The veil is drawn between us and our former habitation.  This is for our trial.  If we could see things of eternity, and comprehend ourselves as we are; if we could penetrate the mists and clouds that shut out eternal realities from our gaze, the fleeting things of time would be no trial to us, and one of the great objects of our earthly probation or testing would be lost.  But the past has gone from our memory, the future is shut out from our vision and we are living here in time, to learn little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept.  Here, in the darkness, in the sorrow, in the trial, in the pain, in the adversity, we have to learn what is right and distinguish it from what is wrong, and lay hold of right and truth and learn to live it." 

President Charles W. Penrose, Journal of Discourses 26:28


death is but a comma (Maxwell)

Some anxieties are understandable common to life's exit routes leading to death.  Later, when we look back after the trip through the veil, our anxieties will turn out to be naive and even amusing. . After all, in gospel grammar, death is not an exclamation point, merely a comma.  Nevertheless, dying is a new, individual experience.  For those paradise-bound, what seemed to be the grim ballet of separation, with but one pirouette, turns out to be a resplendent separation.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Moving in His Majesty & Power", page 91.

portable virtues (Maxwell)

A wintry verse of scripture reads, "He trieth their patience and their faith" (Mosiah 23:21).  If we do not understand this fact, we will misread life.  But why does God try our faith and patience in particular?  Why not try our ability to make money or amass political power? The Lord is not concerned with these skills.  Patience, however, is an eternal quality.  It is portable.  So is faith. These qualities are out of the developmental reach of those who are caught up in the cares of the world.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Moving in His Majesty & Power" page 58.

Living worthy of spiritual promptings (Bednar)

In our individual study and classroom instruction, we repeatedly emphasize the importance of recognizing the inspiration and promptings we receive from the Spirit of the Lord. And such an approach is correct and useful. We should seek diligently to recognize and respond to promptings as they come to us. However, an important aspect of baptism by the Spirit may frequently be overlooked in our spiritual development. We should also endeavor to discern when we “withdraw [ourselves] from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in [us] to guide [us] in wisdom’s paths that [we] may be blessed, prospered, and preserved” (Mosiah 2:36). Precisely because the promised blessing is that we may always have His Spirit to be with us, we should attend to and learn from the choices and influences that separate us from the Holy Spirit. The standard is clear. If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, then we should stop thinking, seeing, hearing, or doing that …

Darkness always yields to light (Holland)

Life can sometimes be difficult. Perhaps you have already discovered that. In the days and years ahead, you may suffer some discouragement and disappointment. On occasion you may feel genuine despair, either for yourself or for your children or for the plight and conditions of others. You may even make a personal mistake or two—serious mistakes, perhaps, though I hope not—and worry that the chance to be happy and secure in life has eluded you forever. When such times come, I ask you to remember this: Troubles need never be permanent nor fatal. Darkness always yields to light. The sun always rises. Faith, hope, and charity will always triumph in the end. Furthermore, they will triumph all along the way. Remember God’s unfailing love for you. You undoubtedly will have days when you may feel dark, cold, clouded, or eclipsed. But if you desire God’s mercy, I promise that help will come to you.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Facebook post 6.19.18

Small and simple things (Oaks)

President Howard W. Hunter taught that “frequently it is the commonplace tasks … that have the greatest positive effect on the lives of others, as compared with the things that the world so often relates to greatness.”

A persuasive secular teaching of this same principle comes from former Senator Dan Coats of Indiana, who wrote: “The only preparation for that one profound decision which can change a life, or even a nation, is those hundreds and thousands of half-conscious, self-defining, seemingly insignificant decisions made in private.”

Those “seemingly insignificant” private decisions include how we use our time, what we view on television and the internet, what we read, the art and music with which we surround ourselves at work and at home, what we seek for entertainment, and how we apply our commitment to be honest and truthful. Another seemingly small and simple thing is being civil and cheerful in our personal interactions.

None of these desirable small and simple things will l…

The Scriptures are like windows into the souls of great individuals (Maxwell)

“We are directed by Jesus to search the scriptures, especially because they testify of Him, our Savior, and of His great Atonement. The scriptures also tell us of Jesus’matchlesscharacter. Brothers and sisters, without Hismatchlesscharacter, the Atonement and the Resurrectionsimplywould not have been possible…In addition, may I suggest to you, however, the Scriptures not only testify of Jesus, but the Scriptures havecertainverses in them which are like windows, windows which permit us to look into the souls of the great men and women whom Jesus tutored.  These individualscoped with theirdifficultmoments, as we are expected to do with ours.” 

Neal A. Maxwell, CES Fireside 1995

The Edge of the Light (Packer)

“Shortly after I was called as a General Authority, I went to Elder Harold B. Lee for counsel. He listened very carefully to my problem and suggested that I see President David O. McKay. President McKay counseled me as to the direction I should go. I was very willing to be obedient but saw no way possible for me to do as he counseled me to do. “I returned to Elder Lee and told him that I saw no way to move in the direction I was counseled to go. He said, ‘The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.’ I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead. Then came the lesson of a lifetime: ‘You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.’ Then he quoted these 18 words from the Book of Mormon: “‘Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith’” (Ether 12:6). President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of t…

perspective (Maxwell)

Even something as small as a man’s thumb, when held very near the eye, can blind him to the very large sun. Yet the sun is still there. Blindness is brought upon the man by himself. When we draw other things too close, placing them first, we obscure our vision of heaven.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Of One Heart: The Glory of the City of Enoch (1975), 19.