"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
May 11, 2006

Eggs

[Jesus] “never talked vague, idealistic gas. When he said, “Be perfect,” He meant it. He meant that we must go in for the full treatment. It is hard; but the sort of compromise we are all hankering after is harder — in fact, it is impossible. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

I Don’t Understand

“We believe that the death of Christ is just that point in history at which something absolutely unimaginable from the outside shows through into our own world.  And if we cannot picture even the atoms of which our own world is built, of course we are not going to be able to picture this.  Indeed, if we found that we could fully understand it, that very fact would show it was not what it professes to be — the inconceivable, the uncreated, the thing from beyond nature, striking down into nature like lightning.  You may ask what good it will be to us if we do not understand it.  But that is easily answered.  A man may eat his dinner without understanding exactly how food nourishes him.  A man can accept Christ without knowing how it works: indeed, he certainly would not know how it works until he has accepted it.

“We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed away our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself.  That is the formula.  That is Christianity.  That is what has to be believed.”  C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Christmas Spirit

“Latter-day Saints have always been the greatest advocates of the Christmas spirit; nay, they have shocked and alarmed the world by insisting on recognizing as a real power what the world prefers to regard as a pretty sentiment. Where the seasonal and formal aspect of Christmas is everything, it becomes a hollow mockery. If men really want what they say they do, we have it; but faced with accepting a real Savior who has really spoken with men, they draw back, nervous and ill at ease.

“In the end, lights, tinsel, and sentimentality are safer, but a sense of possibilities still rankles, so to that we all continue to appeal. For by celebrating Christmas the world serves notice that it is still looking for the gospel.” — Hugh Nibley, “Christmas Quest,” 5

Don’t Look at Me…

“Does not one person need repentance more than another? Ezra and Baruch protested to God that while Israel had sinned, the Gentiles had acted much worse, and asked why they should be let off so much more easily. But God was not buying that argument. You can always find somebody who is worse than you are to make you feel virtuous. It’s a cheap shot: those awful terrorists, perverts, communists—they are the ones who need to repent! Yes, indeed they do, and for them repentance will be a full-time job, exactly as it is for all the rest of us.” — Hugh Nibley, “Great Are the Words of Isaiah,” CWHN 1:217

This is a Test

“God does not fight Satan: a word from him and Satan is silenced and banished. There is no contest there; in fact we are expressly told that all the power which Satan enjoys here on earth is granted him by God. “We will allow Satan, our common enemy, to try man and to tempt him.” It is man’s strength that is being tested—not God’s”. — Hugh Nibley, “Beyond Politics,” 288

I Know

“I have a testimony of the gospel which I wish to bear. Again, as Brigham Young says, because I say it’s true doesn’t make it true, does it? But I know it is, and I would recommend you to pursue a way of finding out. And there are ways in which you can come to a knowledge of the truth.

“When is a thing proven? When you personally think it’s so, and that’s all you can do. . . . Then you have your testimony, and all you can do is bear your testimony and point to the evidence. That’s all you can do. But you can’t impose your testimony on another. And you can’t make the other person see the evidence as you do. Things that just thrill me through and through in the Book of Mormon leave another person completely cold. And the other way around, too. So we can’t use evidence, and we can’t say, I know this is true, therefore you’d better know it is true. But I know it is true, and I pray our Heavenly Father that we may all come to a knowledge of the truth, each in his own way. — Hugh Nibley, “Brigham Young as a Theologian,” 4

Nothing Up My Sleeve

“The mysteries are not magic or occultism, but any knowledge that men cannot obtain by their own efforts, knowledge to be had only by revelation. The whole Book of Mormon is such a mystery. There you will find clear, concrete definitions of such daunting words as faith, heaven, hell, creation, atonement, resurrection, redemption, preexistence, hereafter. — Hugh Nibley, “The Book of Mormon: Forty Years After,” CWHN 8:547

Step by Step

“Implicit and explicit in the concept of a gospel taught by degrees instead of all at once (”line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30)) is the idea that the most important, the highest, and the holiest teachings come last.

“This is the exact opposite of the reasoning of the Christian world today, that the most important teachings must have come first, so that everything essential is known while anything that may have escaped is not really vital.

“Few would dispute that the higher and holier a teaching is, the fewer are qualified to hear it: One need only recall the Lord’s practice of discussing “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” only with his disciples behind closed doors and of selecting only a few chosen apostles to share in the still greater mysteries such as the transfiguration.
“All Christians, indeed, agree that the most glorious manifestations are reserved for the end. But the importance of a teaching is not measured by its depth and wonder but by the particular need of the person receiving it. God does give people at all times what are for them the most important teachings that could possibly be given.” — Hugh Nibley, ” . . . But unto Them It Is Not Given,” CWHN 7:107-8

Please Don’t Slam the Door

“All belongs to us that we are capable of conceiving, and containing, and enjoying. But what happens? We go and spoil everything, and then in our feelings of guilt, we petulantly slam the door on faith and repentance, and we doggedly pretend to find fulfillment after the “vision splendid” of our immortality has faded into the light of common day, which we smugly call “the real world.” — Hugh Nibley, “Goods of First and Second Intent,” CWHN 9:550

Dichotomy?

“The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject anything, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more of evil than of good.  There are few things wholly evil or wholly good.  Almost everything … is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.”  –  Abraham Lincoln