Favorite scriptures and quotes from Church leaders and other wise men and women
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Choose You This Day (Renlund)
Our Heavenly Father’s goal in parenting is not to have His children do what is right; it is to have His children choose to do what is right and ultimately become like Him. If He simply wanted us to be obedient, He would use immediate rewards and punishments to influence our behaviors.
But God is not interested in His children just becoming trained and obedient “pets” who will not chew on His slippers in the celestial living room. No, God wants His children to grow up spiritually and join Him in the family business....
Lucifer is this accuser. He spoke against us in the premortal existence, and he continues to denounce us in this life. He seeks to drag us down. He wants us to experience endless woe. He is the one who tells us we are not adequate, the one who tells us we are not good enough, the one who tells us there is no recovery from a mistake. He is the ultimate bully, the one who kicks us when we are down.
If Lucifer were teaching a child to walk and the child stumbled, he would scream at the child, punish him, and tell him to quit trying. Lucifer’s ways bring discouragement and despair—eventually and always. This father of lies is the ultimate purveyor of falsehood14 and cunningly works to deceive and distract us, “for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”15
If Christ were teaching a child to walk and the child stumbled, He would help the child get up and encourage the next steps.16 Christ is the helper and consoler. His ways bring joy and hope—eventually and always...
We need to choose whom we will serve.23 The magnitude of our eternal happiness depends on choosing the living God and joining Him in His work. As we strive to “do the next bit” on our own, we practice using our agency correctly. As two former Relief Society General Presidents said, we should not be “babies that need petting and correction all the time.”24 No, God wants us to become mature adults and govern ourselves.
God’s ways of educating our desires are, of course, always the most perfect. . . . And what is God’s way? Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we wanted them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come. In nature we have our seedtime and harvest; and if children were taught that the desires that they sow may be reaped by and by through patience and labor, they will learn to appreciate whenever a long-looked-for goal has been reached. Nature resists us and keeps admonishing us to wait; indeed, we are compelled to wait. [GD, pp. 297–98]
“Every person who lives in this world wields an influence, whether for good or for evil. It is not what he says alone; it is not alone what he does. It is what he is. ...Every person radiates what he or she really is. ...It is what we are and what we radiate that effects the people around us.”