"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."
December 9, 2007

It’s killing me

Put right out of your head the idea that these are only fancy ways of saying that Christians are to read what Christ said and try to carry out–as a man may read what Plato or Marx said and tried to carry it out.  They mean something much more than that. They mean that a real person, Christ, here and now, in that very room where you are saying your prayers, is doing things to you.  It is not a question of a good man who died 2000 years ago.  It is a living man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He was when He created the world, really coming and interfering with your very self; killing the old and natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self He has.  At first, only for moments.  Then for longer periods.  Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in his power, joy, knowledge and eternity.  (CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, page 165)

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

May 11, 2006

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

March 30, 2006

The Relentless Plan

“… this grand plan and design for our happiness is not something that exists merely to strike awe in us or to evoke gasps of gladness.  It does not exist apart from us, but involves us — painfully at times and happily at other times, but relentlessy always.”  — Neal A. Maxwell, We Will Prove Them Herewith, p. 3

March 28, 2006

With Every Choice

“People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain on which God says, ‘If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.’ I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

March 23, 2006

Depth of Passions

“We know that our Father in Heaven is a God of body, parts, and passions. When I think of God’s passions, I think of how my own passions — my sense of love or sorrow or joy — have much greater depth than they had twenty or thirty years ago. Knowing that, I can only imagine how much deeper his feelings must run.” — Bruce C. Hafen, The Believing Heart, p. 93

March 7, 2006

Abraham Becoming like God

“Who was Abraham trying to become like? God. The ultimate end of the covenant is to become perfect, like God. The Hebrew word for that is THUMMIM. That means ‘perfection’ in the whole and complete sense and not the LDS cultural sense, where you bake all your bread, paint your house, have all your kids clean and dressed and studying the scriptures every morning at 5:30. It is the perfection of God in uprightness and dependability, and integrity. The name of the Urim and Thummim is ‘lights’ and ‘perfections.’”

“What color are they? White. White stones shining in a dark place teaching uprightness and perfection. They are a type of Christ, to reveal the name of God. They teach you to become like him. So how did the Book of Mormon get to us? Through the Urim and Thummim, a light in darkness. Recall also that the Book of Mormon came through the veil. Where did Joseph sit, and where was Oliver? Joseph was on one side of the veil, and Oliver on the other. It came by Urim and Thummim, through the veil! It ended up on this side of the veil, with Oliver writing it. It is typological, isn’t it? Right now, the Lord is hidden, and cannot be seen. But at the Second Coming, the veil is lifted and all will see. So the Urim and Thummim are on one side, because they represent Him, and the word coming through the veil to Oliver, and we get the Book of Mormon. All this is done through the wisdom of God who does all things from the beginning to typify Christ. It may seem a strange thing to have a translation that way, but the whole thing is strange, from beginning to end. That is scriptural.”– Robert J. Norman