"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
August 27, 2006

Love your enemies…

I love [these persecutors] so much that if I had it in my power to annihilate them from the earth I would not harm a hair of their heads…I love them so well that if I could possibly make them better men, convert them from the error of their ways I would do it, God being my helper. I love them so much that I would not throw straw in their way to prosperity and happiness. but so far as possible I would hedge up their headlong and downward course to destruction…That is how I feel towards them, and that is how much I love them, and if this is not the love that Jesus desired us to have for our enemies, tell me what kind of love we should have for them? I do not love them so much that I would take them into my bosom, or invite them to associate with my family, or that I would give my daughters to their embraces, nor my sons to their counsels. I do not love them so well that I would invite them to the councils of the Priesthood, and the ordinances of the House of God. to scoff and jeer at sacred things which they do not understand…I do not love them with that affection with which I love my wife, my brother, my sister or my friend. There is a difference between the love we should bear towards our enemies and that we should bear towards our friends.” — Elder Joseph F. Smith. son of the martyred Hyrum Smith and nephew of the martyred Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. — 1882 October General Conference

August 26, 2006

Inside Out

The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human behavior. — President Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1985, p. 5

August 19, 2006

Like a Rock

What we too often fail to realize is that at the same time we covenant with God, he is covenanting with us — promising blessings, privileges, and pleasures our eyes have not yet seen and our ears have not yet heard. Though we may see our part in the matter of faithfulness as going by fits and starts, by bumps abd bursts, our progress erratic at best, God’s part is sure and steady and supreme. We may stumble, but he never does. We may falter, but he never will. We may feel out of control, but he never is. The reason the keeping of covenants is so important to us is at least partly because it makes the contract so binding to God. Covenants forge a link between our telestial, mortal struggles and God’s celestial, immortal powers. — Patricia Holland, God’s Covenant of Peace, in The Arms of His Love, p. 372

August 18, 2006

He IS the Son of God

Fifty years ago or more (circa 1921), when I was a missionary, our greatest responsibility was to defend the great truth that the Prophet Joseph Smith was divinely called and inspired and that the Book of Mormon was indeed the word of God.  But even at that time there were the unmistakable evidences that there was coming into the religious world actually a question about the Bible and about the divine calling of the Master himself.  Now, fifty years later, our greatest responsibility and anxiety is to defend the divine mission of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, for all about us, even among those who claim to be professors of the Christian faith, are those not willing to stand squarely in defense of the great truth that our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, was indeed the Son of God.  — President Harold B, Lee in an address to the LDS Student Association, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, 10 October 1971

August 17, 2006

“Now I know man is nothing”

Those Divine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a despot and least like those of a lover, in fact marshal us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted. He demands our worship, our obedience, our prostration. Do we suppose that they can do Him any good, or fear, like the chorus in Milton, that human irreverence can bring about ‘His glory’s dimunition’? A man can no more diminish God’s glory be refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell. But God wills our good, and our good is to love Him…and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces. If we do not, that only shows that what we are trying to love is not yet God — though it may be the nearest approximation to God which our thought and fantasy can attain. Yet the call is not only to prostration and awe; it is to a reflection of the Divine life, a creaturely participation in the Divine attributes which is far beyond our present desires. We are bidden to ‘put on Christ’, to become like God. That is, whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want. Once more, we are embarrassed by the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little. — C.S. Lewis from The Problem of Pain