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Showing posts from 2020

God will show us our weakness as we draw closer to Him (Hafen)

  If you have problems in your life, don’t assume there is something wrong with you. Struggling with those problems is at the very core of life’s purpose. As we draw close to God, He will show us our weaknesses and through them make us wiser, stronger. If you’re seeing more of your weaknesses, that just might mean you’re moving nearer to God, not farther away.   Bruce C. Hafen 

living the Gospel at all times (Holland)

It has always been a wonderful testimony to me of the Prophet Joseph’s greatness and the greatness of all of our prophets, including and especially the Savior of the world in His magnificence, that in the midst of such distress and difficulty they could remain calm and patient, charitable, and forgiving—that they could even talk that way, let alone live that way. But they could, and they did. They remembered their covenants, they disciplined themselves, and they knew that we must live the gospel at all times, not just when it is convenient and not just when things are going well. Indeed, they knew that the real test of our faith and our Christian discipleship is when things are not going smoothly. That is when we get to see what we’re made of and how strong our commitment to the gospel really is... Remaining true to our Christian principles is the only way divine influence can help us. The Spirit has a near-impossible task to get through to a heart that is filled with hate or anger or

step into the darkness in faith (Uchtdorf)


weakness (Maxwell)

 "When we read in the Scriptures of man's 'weakness,' this term includes the generic but necessary weakness inherent in the general human condition in which the flesh has such an incessant impact upon the spirit (see Ether 12:28-29).  Weakness likewise includes, however, our specific, individual weaknesses, which we are expected to overcome (see D&C 66:3; Jacob 4:7).  Life has a way of exposing these weaknesses."   Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Lord, Increase our Faith" [1994], 84

fleetingness and transient things (Maxwell)

 “There is an underlying reason, brothers and sisters, for all this fleetingness: those who bestow the transitory things of the world are, themselves, transients. They cannot confer that which is lasting because they do not possess it! Some, so sensing and seeing so little, want to have it all now!” Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Revelations are not reserved for a limited few or for those called to positions of importance in the Church...Rather, it is personal righteousness; it is keeping the commandments; it is seeking the Lord while He may be found.  God is no respecter of persons.  He will give revelation to me and to you on the same terms and conditions.  I can see what Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw in the vision of the degrees of glory--and so can you.  I can entertain angels and see God, I can receive an outpouring of the gifts of the Spirit -- and so can you. Bruce R. McConkie, October 1969 General Conference

one must train the habit of faith (Lewis)

Roughly speaking, the word faith seems to be used by Christians in two senses or on two levels, and I will take them in turn. In the first sense it means simply belief—accepting or regarding as true the doctrines of Christianity. That is fairly simple. But what does puzzle people—at least it used to puzzle me—is the fact that Christians regard faith in this sense as a virtue. I used to ask how on Earth it can be a virtue—what is there moral or immoral about believing or not believing a set of statements? Obviously, I used to say, a sane man accepts or rejects any statement, not because he wants or does not want to, but because the evidence seems to him good or bad. If he were mistaken about the goodness or badness of the evidence, that would not mean he was a bad man, but only that he was not very clever. And if he thought the evidence bad but tried to force himself to believe in spite of it, that would be merely stupid. Well, I think I still take that view. But what I did not see then

high-yield, low maintenance members of the church (Maxwell)

"To understand and have faith, therefore, in the character and the purposes of God means that instead of complaining, we accept (more than we do) the menu of life and what is allotted to us. Sometimes with particular individuals that may seem to be the equivalent of 'Eat your spinach' and 'Clean your plate.' "Part of discipleship should be to become high-yield, low-maintenance members of the Church. These members are not high profile; they won't be on the six o'clock evening news when they die. But they have done what Heavenly Father has wanted them to do meekly and humbly... "For you and me, to be part of this work amid these kinds of people is a precious thing. Since the Holy Ghost glorifies Christ as indicated, so should we. One of the ways you and I can glorify Christ is by improving and repenting, showing that we take seriously the proffered discipleship that comes from Him. We should care enough about it that it lies at the very center of ou

successfully meeting trials (Maxwell; John Taylor; Woodruff)

Successfully meeting our trials, therefore, shows we have faith in the Father's plan of salvation. Besides, being too comfortable here would only produce a later discomfort, for, as President Woodruff counseled, "if we had no trials we should hardly feel at home in the other world in the company of the Prophets and Apostles who were sawn asunder, crucified, etc., for the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ." (Journal of Discourses 23:328.) Having faith in the Father's plan of salvation includes allowing for that suffering, including the vexations growing out of some interpersonal relationships. Of these vexations, John Taylor observed: "Many of us are tried and tempted, and we get harsh and hard feelings against one another. And it reminds me of your teams when going down hill with a heavy load. When the load begins to crowd on to the horses, you will frequently see one snap at his mate, and the other will prick up his ears and snap back again. And why? A l

How to Live Well amid Increasing Evil (Scott)

  Elder Richard G. Scott Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, April 2004 General Conference As you continue to center your mind and heart in [the Lord], He will help you have a rich and full life no matter what happens in the world around you. Excellent suggestions to combat the deteriorating world environment have been given in this conference. As a prophet of God, President Gordon B. Hinckley put world conditions and our opportunities into crystal clear perspective. Two of his recent comments to priesthood and auxiliary leaders illustrate that prophetic vision. First, regarding the challenge we face: “The traditional family is under heavy attack. I do not know that things were worse in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah. … We see similar conditions today. They prevail all across the world. I think our Father must weep as He looks down upon His wayward sons and daughters.” 1 Now concerning our extraordinary opportunities: “Who in the earlier days could have dreamed of this season of opp

His love is not conditional (Uchtdorf)


verify truth by living it (Uchtdorf)


Evil can be undone, but it cannot develop into good (C.S. Lewis; Holland)

  “I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A [mathematical] sum [incorrectly worked] can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and [then] working it afresh from that point, never by simply   going on.   Evil can be undone, but it cannot ‘develop’ into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound.”  [ C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (1946), viii.] So God is just, “mercy claimeth the penitent” ( Alma 42:23 ), and evil can be undone. Jeffrey R. Holland,

soul stretching (Maxwell)


immortal individuals (Maxwell and C.S. Lewis)

When striving disciples reflect deeply upon this mortal experience, certain realities become even more clear. This includes a clarifying and particular reality: We are immortal individuals whose constant challenge is to apply immortal principles to life’s constantly changing situations... With this perspective, we can improve our daily performances because we have fixed our gaze on eternity and its great realities. Neal A Maxwell - The pathway of discipleship “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no

unreasonable expectations for life (Maxwell)


“In the Strength of the Lord” (Bednar)

  As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. Good morning, brothers and sisters. It is for me a blessing and a remarkable responsibility to stand before you today. I appreciate the invitation from Elder Bateman to speak with you. As I entered the Marriott Center this morning, my mind was flooded with wonderful memories. I have been in this arena many, many times. I was a freshman at BYU in 1970 when the construction work on this building was started. I vividly remember sitting way up there on September 11, 1973, and listening to the teachings and testimony of President Harold B. Lee. I had returned from my mission to southern Germany just three weeks earlier, and the message he presented that day was entitled “Be Loyal to the Royal Within You.” I hope I shall never forget what I felt and heard and learned that

the tests are real (Maxwell)

Knowing that one is in the midst of a testing time does not make the test any less real. The disciple is not able to wink slyly, as if he could cope with one hand tied behind him. His teeth rattle, too. It's "all out"  for everybody, and then we scarcely make it.  The temptations of Jesus were terrifyingly real even though he did not yield. The difference is that those who are (or who will become) Saints reach breaking points without breaking. Often this is the very kind of humble report you hear at fast and testimony meetings-- about the passing of one of those mortal milestones.... Surely the Saints in such settings strengthen, exhort, and edify each other. Remember, these were words from soldiers in the trenches of life, not communiques from some country club safely removed from the mortal fray.  Neal A. Maxwell, "Deposition of a Disciple," Pages 52-53.

righteous in the dark (Brigham Young; Maxwell)


perfection (Maxwell)

  "Our perfect Father does not expect us to be perfect children yet. He had only one such Child. Meanwhile, therefore, sometimes with smudges on our cheeks, dirt on our hands, and shoes untied, stammeringly but smilingly we present God with a dandelion—as if it were an orchid or a rose! If for now the dandelion is the best we have to offer, He receives it, knowing what we may later place on the altar. It is good to remember how young we are spiritually." - Neal A. Maxwell, "That Ye May Believe," p. 100

there is none like Him (Maxwell)

 “...He is utterly incomparable in what He is , what he knows , what He has accomplished , and what He has experienced .  Yet, movingly, He calls us His friends. We can trust, worship, and even adore Him without any reservation.   As the only perfect person to sojourn on this planet, there is none like Him. In intelligence and performance, He far surpasses the individual and composite capacities and achievements of all who have lived, live now, and will yet live.   He rejoices in our genuine goodness and achievement, but any assessment of where we stand in relation to Him tells us that we do not stand at all.   We kneel.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell, " Even As I Am ", p. 116
What's ahead is made more clear only as the adversary is put behind us.  Lucifer clouds not only our view of the present but also our perception of the future. Neal A. Maxwell, "Even As I Am" p. 77

the example of Jesus in resisting and dispatching tempations (Maxwell)

Brooding over temptations can produce self pity and a false sense of nobility. Prolonged consideration of the temptation only increases the risks—but it does not increase our options; the two options and the consequences remain the same regardless of our dallying. Moreover, protracted consideration of a temptation does not increase the justification to succumb—only our rationalization. When we are well taught we know, initially, what must be done. Therefore, to give heed to temptation is, in effect, to “give place” for Satan’s seeds to grow and sprout and to bring forth its bitter harvest. So it was that Jesus, for the first recorded time, met the awful if . It was a word to be repeated later when the stress was even greater. So we should do likewise. Otherwise, to host an if is like hosting an insect that breeds and multiplies in the sun of circumstance. Soon one is crawling with ifs and thereby overcome. Some doubters who are overcome even become proud of their doubts—rather like

Enoch; real learning experiences (Maxwell)

Enoch surely had received special lessons in patience in the development of his special city "in process of time." Though His enemies hated and feared the city of Enoch, they nevertheless stood "afar off" out of respect for Enoch's access to divine power, which access depended upon Enoch's personal righteousness.  As the results of his tutorials, the Enoch who had earlier felt inadequate later actually moved mountains.  A matured Enoch, once slow of speech, become so powerful the people trembled when he spoke, "so great was the power of the language which God had given him." But Enoch never forgot the Source of his eloquence...Yet it all began with a meek lad who was slow of speech and who was disliked by the people. (See also Ether 12:27) Neal A. Maxwell, Even As I Am , p. 48 In acknowledging that we cannot comprehend all that God comprehends, this attitude should apply not alone to the galaxies, but also to the constellation of characteristics th

No scars remain (Packer)

When the respentance process is complete, no scars remain because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ...[He, through t]he Atonement...can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated.  [He, through t]he Atonement can put you free again to move forward, cleanly and worthily, to pursue that path that you have chosen in life. Boyd K. Packer, "The Plan of Happiness," Ensign, May 2015, 28

Jesus never doubted His power; He governs galaxies but also provides individualized lessons (Maxwell)

"Jesus never doubted His power, but He was never confused about its source, either." "Has not the Lord with equal truth and relevance told us, concerning the resources of this planet, 'For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare'?  Should not this reality sober us in terms of what might be achieved as regards to poverty?  Clearly, it is the attribute of love, not other resources, that is in short supply..." "Though Jesus now governs galaxies, yet of a night He stood by Paul when Paul was in jail.  We do not fully understand how Jesus oversees His vast flock and also provides such individualization in His ministry, but we are counseled: 'Believe in God; believe that He is, and that He created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that He has all wisdom, and all power...believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend.'  It is one of the hallmarks of human vanity that we assume, because we cannot

perfection of Jesus compared to mortals (Talmage)

Our Lord's admonition to men to become perfect, even as the Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48) cannot rationally be construed otherwise than as implying the possibility of such achievment.  Plainly, however, man cannot become perfect in mortality in the sense which God is perfect as a supremely glorified Being.  It is possible, though, for man to be perfect in his squere and in a sense of analogous to that in which superior intelligences are perfect in their several spheres; yet the relative perfection of the lower is infintely inferior to that of the higher. Elder James E. Talmage, Jesus The Christ , page 248, note 5