Sunday, October 25, 2015

Jesus the Christ

Good news.  Jesus the Christ, by James E. Talmage, is available online.  (see also here, and here for an audio version)

A Potent Antidepressant

"Here is the answer to one of life’s great questions, 'Who am I?' I am a child of God with a spirit lineage to heavenly parents. That parentage defines our eternal potential. That powerful idea is a potent antidepressant. It can strengthen each of us to make righteous choices and to seek the best that is within us. Establish in the mind of a young person the powerful idea that he or she is a child of God and you have given self-respect and motivation to move against the problems of life." 

- Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Powerful Ideas

Friday, October 23, 2015


"I met a stranger in the night
Whose lamp had ceased to shine.
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine.

A tempest sprang up later on
And shook the world about.
And when the wind was gone
My lamp was out!

But back to me the stranger came—
His lamp was glowing fine!
He held the precious flame
And lighted mine!" 

- Lon Woodrum, "Lamps," The Lighted Pathway, Oct. 1940, 17

From President Thomas S. Monson's General Conference Talk, Be an Example and a Light

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Real History of Mankind

"When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time."

- Elder Neal A. Maxwell

The Standard of Truth

"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated
every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

- The Prophet Joseph Smith

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Small-Scale Sufferings

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
"When we take Jesus’ yoke upon us, this admits us eventually to what Paul called the 'fellowship of [Christ’s] sufferings' (Philip. 3:10). Whether illness or aloneness, injustice or rejection, etc., our comparatively small-scale sufferings, if we are meek, will sink into the very marrow of the soul. We then better appreciate not only Jesus’ sufferings for us, but also His matchless character, moving us to greater adoration and even emulation." - Elder Neal A. Maxwell, From Whom All Blessings Flow

Three Prophetic Statements on America

President Ezra Taft Benson
1. President Ezra Taft Benson: A Plea for America

"The facts speak for themselves: No nation on earth eats as well as our nation. No country is so well clothed. No people are so well housed. No individuals on this earth have so many of the conveniences as we do in terms of heating, lighting, plumbing, and other comforts. These are not luxuries enjoyed by the rich alone; these are the comforts of us, the common people—comforts of which mighty monarchs of bygone ages never dreamed." 

- President Ezra Taft Benson

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
2. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: A Promised Land

"It is good that the historical celebration of the United States bicentennial allows us to focus on a land in which God has done so much of his work. It has not always looked the same geographically nor has it always been governed the same politically. But that all seems appropriate since the meaning of America, in its most theological sense, is something more than borders and boundaries, something above nativism and nationalism. It is an ideal, a thing of the spirit. Benjamin Franklin told his colleagues, 'Our cause is the cause of all mankind,' and Patrick Henry spoke much more than he knew when he said America had 'lighted a candle to all the world.'" 

- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

President Gordon B. Hinckley
3. President Gordon B. Hinckley: The Secularization of America

"If we are to continue to have the freedoms that evolved within the structure that was the inspiration of the Almighty to our Founding Fathers, we must return to the God who is their true Author. We need to worship Him in spirit and in truth. We need to acknowledge His all-powerful hand. We need to humble ourselves before Him and seek His guidance. If we would individually and collectively resolve to stand for something, to lift our voices for truth and goodness and offer our supplications to our Eternal Father, those supplications would be heard, and the result would be remarkable." 

- President Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Joy and Peace Unspotted, Unalloyed

The Prophet Joseph Smith

"In obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness … He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances." 

- the Prophet Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5:135

"The great plan of salvation is a theme which ought to occupy our strict attention, and be regarded as one of heaven's best gifts to mankind. No consideration whatever ought to deter us from showing ourselves approved in the sight of God, according to His divine requirement. Men not infrequently forget that they are dependent upon heaven for every blessing which they are permitted to enjoy, and that for every opportunity granted them they are to give an account. You know, brethren, that when the master in the Savior's parable of the stewards called his servants before him he gave them several talents to improve on while he should tarry abroad for a little season, and when he returned he called for an accounting. So it is now. Our Master is absent only for a little season, and at the end of it he will call each to render an account; and where five talents were bestowed, ten will be required; and he that has made no improvement will be cast out as an unprofitable servant, while the faithful will enjoy everlasting honors. Therefore, we earnestly implore the grace of our Father to rest upon you through Jesus Christ his Son that you may not faint in the hour of temptation, nor be overcome in the time of persecution."
- the Prophet Joseph Smith, DHC 2:23-24.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fired with Heavenly and Joyful Anticipations

The Prophet Joseph Smith
"The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory" 

- the Prophet Joseph Smith

"Tell the people to be humble and faithful and sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach [you what] to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits. It will whisper peace and joy to their souls, and it will take malice, hatred, envying, strife, and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness, and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right." 

- the Prophet​ Joseph Smith

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Surviving the Angel of Death

For those who have an interest in Holocaust literature, I recommend Eva Moses Kor's Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz.  Her story reminds us of the remarkable resilience of the human spirit in the face of the most terrible evil.  It is a lesson from the past with great relevance in the present.