September 7, 2007

Interesting Tidbits: Part 4

Final selection of quotes from volume 2 Beginning tomorrow we'll be back to full posts. Scripture study brings the Spirit: "Brethren and sisters, treasure up the Gospel, read the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and the Book of Mormon. What does the Lord say? That every one, who will read the Book of Mormon attentively, faithfully, and prayerfully, before he gets through, will receive a testimony of its truth. I know it. If you have lost the Spirit, go and read the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and you will get it again, more or less. There are but few who know anything about these books and what they mean," (Heber C. Kimball, 2:233). Be willing to live for the gospel: "Still, in the present short period of life some say that 'this is a miserable world, I do not care how soon I get through.' Well go and destroy yourselves, if you choose, you have all the opportunity that you can desire, there is plenty of arsenic, calomel, and other means, within your reach. But I would not give a cent for such persons; I do not delight in such characters, and I do not believe that the Lord delights in people who wish to die before they have accomplished the work that He designed for them to do. For a person to be willing to die is but a small part of the duties pertaining to the Gospel of salvation and the Gift of eternal life. We ought to prepare ourselves to live in the flesh, and overcome every sin, to live to the glory of God, to build up His kingdom, and to bring forth righteousness, salvation, and deliverance to the house of Israel, until the devil and his associates are driven from the earth, and he and his clan are bound and thrust down to hell, and a seal put upon them. Latter-day Saints who live merely to get ready to die are not worth much; rather get ready to live, and be prepared to live to the glory of your Father in heaven, and to do the work He has given you to do. That is our duty, and then we shall be ready to receive our blessings," (Brigham Young, 2:266). Christ and Belial cannot be friends: I am troubled all the time with, "Brother Brigham," and "President Young, I do love you, President Young," when at the same time some, who use such expressions, will have one arm round my neck, loving me dearly, and the other around the neck of a scoundrel, trying to get Christ and Belial together; this I cannot endure," (Brigham Young, 2:309). Persecution helps the Church grow: "Let the wicked rage and the people mock on, for now is their day, and it will soon be over…for we are determined, in the name of Israel's God, not to rest until we have revolutionized the world with truth; and if you persecute us, we will do it the quicker...If you let us alone, we will do it a little more leisurely; but if you persecute us, we will sit up nights to preach the gospel." (Brigham Young, 2:318). George A. on Christian churches persecuting each other: "…the whole may be considered a practical illustration of the sentiment of the Irish Poet- Who can believe it? the cause is rather odd- They hate one another for the love of God," (George A. Smith, 2:323). You'll be a pioneer in your own sphere: “…do not be discouraged because you were not in the various troubles the Saints have passed through on sundry occasions, for you will get a chance to try yourselves in like scenes, that you may have the same glory, exaltation, and crown," (Ezra T. Benson, 2:347).

September 5, 2007

Interesting Tidbits: Part 3

A selection of quotes from volume 2 We're through volume 2; only 24 more to go. Here are more interesting tidbits that didn't fit within the concept of a full post. Mysteries and miracles are just principles we don't yet understand: "In reality, however, there is no such thing as a mystery but to the ignorant. We may also say, there is no such thing, in reality, as a miracle, except to those who do not understand the "Alpha and Omega" of every phenomenon that is made manifest," (Brigham Young 2:90). Everyone a prophet: "All creation could ask for no more witnesses than they have, that the New Testament is true, that Jesus is the Christ, that the holy Prophets are true, that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and Revelator. But the Lord has so ordained that no man shall receive the benefits of the everlasting Priesthood without humbling himself before Him, and giving Him the glory for teaching him, that he may be able to witness to every man of the truth, and not depend upon the words of any individual on the earth, but know for himself, live 'by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,' love the Lord Jesus Christ and the institutions of His kingdom, and finally enter into His glory. Every man and woman may be a Revelator, and have the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy, and foresee the mind and will of God concerning them, eschew evil, and choose that which is good," (Brigham Young, 2:179) 'Mormonism' is vast, but we want the narrow path: "I am aware that "Mormonism," as it is called, presents a wide field for reflection and contemplation; it presents an extensive surface upon which the mind may roam; it affords a variety of objects for us to converse upon; but, at the same time, we want our minds led in that channel which is according to the mind and will of the Lord," (Wilford Woodruff, 2:191). God's people always has a prophet, faces opposition: "The New Testament clearly shown that whenever God has had a people upon the earth-when He has had a Church and kingdom in the world, it has been organized with Prophets and Apostles, and has been endowed with revelations, with diverse kinds of gifts, with healing power, with miracles, with dreams, and I may say with every member that belongs to the body of Christ, necessary for the edifying of the body, for the work of the ministry or sanctifying of the people. We cannot find anywhere within the lids of the Bible, where the Lord ever had a people He acknowledged, except they were led by, immediate revelation. The Lord never had a people in any age of the world without Prophets to lead them, even to the present day; and this is the reason why this Church and kingdom is so diverse from the views, feelings, and traditions of the nations around us, and that has caused it to meet with great opposition, persecution, and opposing spirits from the commencement, and perhaps may continue to do so until the winding up scene," (Wilford Woodruff, 2:191) To fall in the defense of truth: "It is better for us to fall in defense of truth, than to deny the words of God, and go to hell. It is better to suffer stripes for the testimony of Christ, than to suffer and fall by our sins and transgressions, and then have to suffer afterwards. I would rather seal my testimony with my blood, and lay my body to rest in the grave, and have my spirit go to the other side of the vail, to enjoy a long eternity of light, truth, blessings, and knowledge which the Lord will bestow upon every man who keeps His law, than to spend a few short years of earthly pleasure, and be deprived of those blessings, and the society of my friends and brethren behind the vail," (Wilford Woodruff 2:191) If you remain faithful you have no need to fear: "I will say to the Latter-day Saints, if they will be faithful, and do what they should do, and listen to the counsel given to them, they need not have any fears about anything, for the whole work is in the hands of God, the destinies of nations lie there," (Wilford Woodruff, 2:191) Where exactly does God dwell? "…in what particular portion He dwells, I do not precisely know, though He is not so far off as many imagine. He is near by, His angels are our associates, they are with us and round about us, and watch over us, and take care of us, and lead us, and guide us, and administer to our wants in their ministry and in their holy calling unto which they are appointed. We are told in the Bible that angels are ministering spirits to minister to those who shall become heirs of salvation," (Heber C. Kimball, 2:220). Jerusalem not to be restored by preaching the gospel: "Jerusalem is not to be redeemed by our going there and preaching to the inhabitants. It will be redeemed by the high hand of the Almighty. It will be given into the possession of the ancient Israelites by the power of God, and by the pouring out of His judgments," (Brigham Young, 2:136). On those who shouldn't have received the endowment: "Among those we administered the endowments to in Nauvoo, do you not think we administered to some who were devils, or in other words, full of the devil? You wish to see a Temple built, and, when it is done, some poor miserable beings will come up, and say ‘We were baptized by brother So-and-so. Brother Brigham is a charming man, and what an excellent woman his wife is! Cannot we have our endowments this winter, brother Brigham?’ And they will plead with brother Kimball, and sympathise for this or that man, saying, ‘Do let him have his endowment, for he is so generous and loving; he gave a sister a pair of stockings and shoes; cannot he have his endowment?’ Well, he gets his endowment, and what for? To go to California, and reveal everything he can, and stir up wickedness, and prepare himself for hell," (Brigham Young, 2:136).

Interesting Tidbits: Part 2

A selection of interesting quotes from volume 2 We're through volume 2; only 24 more to go! During the course of Volume 2 there were many interesting tidbits that didn't fit within the concept of a full post. Rather than overlooking them, the next few days I'll throw them all together in a mish-mash of quotes so we don't miss out on the little things. Turn the other cheek: "We have been taught that it is contrary to nature to live without sin. If a man should spit in my face, it would be natural for me to knock him down, or in return spit in his face. But suppose one should injure me in person, or estate, and I should overlook it, and show mercy to the individual, it would cause him to reflect upon his conduct, and show him the true bearings of his unjust act, and make him ashamed of it much better than if I retaliated. If I were to pay him back in his own coin, I should render myself worthy of what I have received. If I bear an insult with meek patience, and do not return the injury, I have a decided advantage over my adversary. And if the person is susceptible of feeling such a rebuke, he will say, 'I have done wrong; my conscience condemns me, and my neighbor, or my brother, did not retaliate.' It at once causes the evildoer to reflect, and he will say, 'Why did I do it? The devil tempted me; I will go and confess my sin to my neighbor…and from henceforth I will mind my own business, and keep a guard upon my passions.' Is it, not better in all such cases to be guided by that principle, than by the principle of retaliation?" (Brigham Young 2:90). Who cares what the world thinks? Brother Heber doesn't: “What do I care for what the world says? I care no more about it than I do for the squawking of a goose. It is none of their business if I have a mind to be a Saint, and keep the commandments of God...” (Heber C. Kimball, 2:105). Where did the Urim and Thummim go: "The question is asked many times, ‘Has brother Brigham got the Urim and Thummim?’ Yes, he has got everything; everything that is necessary for him to receive the will and mind of God to this people. Do I know it? Yes, I know all about it; and what more do you want? That is true, gentlemen; I am one of his witnesses in the last days, and to bear testimony of the truth of 'Mormonism.'" (Heber C. Kimball, 2:105). Sanctification is complete when our will is swallowed up in His: "When the will, passions, and feelings of a person are perfectly submissive to God and His requirements, that person is sanctified. It is for my will to be swallowed up in the will of God, that will lead me into all good, and crown me ultimately with immortality and eternal lives," (Brigham Young, 2:121). Mormonism is too big to grasp: "I will inform you how I became a 'Mormon'-how the first solid impression was made upon my mind. When I undertook to sound the doctrine of 'Mormonism,' I supposed I could handle it as I could the Methodist, Presbyterian, and other creeds of Christendom, which I had paid some considerable attention to, from the first of my knowing anything about religion...I found all religions…so deficient in doctrine that when I tried to tie the loose ends and fragments together, they would break in my hands. When I commenced to examine 'Mormonism,' I found it impossible to take hold of either end of it; I found it was from eternity, passed through time, and into eternity again. When I discovered this, I said, 'It is worthy of the notice of man.' Then I applied my heart to wisdom, and sought diligently for understanding," (Brigham Young, ibid.) If you're unwilling to sacrifice all, you're unworthy of inheriting all: "If I did not love the Lord enough to leave houses, lands, father, mother, wives, and children, and even be ready to lay down my life freely for the kingdom of God's sake, I should not consider I was worthy of it. Were I to forsake all for it, I should lose nothing; for the man who honors and serves God, cannot suffer loss," (Brigham Young, ibid.) As good increases in the world, so will evil: “…as this work progresses, the works of Satan will increase, and he will continue to present one thing after another, following up the work of God, and increasing means of deception, to lead astray such men and women, and take them captive. As the work of God increases in power and extent upon the earth, so will the works of Satan increase. I expect that tribulation will be upon the wicked, and continue from this time until they are swept off from the earth," (Heber C. Kimball, 2:150). Misery vs. happiness: "When a person is miserable, wretched, and unhappy in himself, put him in what circumstances you please, and he is wretched still. If a person is poor, and composes his mind, and calmly submits to the providences of God, he will feel cheerful and happy in all circumstances, if he continues to keep the commandments of God. But you may fill the house of a dissatisfied person with everything the world can produce, and he will be miserable with all. All heaven could not satisfy discontented persons; they must first be satisfied with themselves, and content in the situation in which they are placed, and learn to acknowledge the hand of God in all things," (Heber C. Kimball, ibid.)

September 3, 2007

Interesting Tidbits: Part 1

A selection of quotes from volume 2 We're through volume 2, only 24 more to go! During the course of Volume 2 there were many interesting tidbits that didn't fit within the concept of a full post. Rather than overlooking them, the next few days I'll throw them all together in a mish-mash of quotes so we don't miss out on the little things. What is the Temple endowment? "Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell," (Brigham Young, 2:1). No whining: "We do not want any whiners about this Temple. If you cannot commence cheerfully, and go through the labor of the whole building cheerfully, start for California, and the quicker the better. Make you a golden calf, and worship it. If your care for the ordinances of salvation, for yourselves, your living, and dead, is not first and foremost in your hearts, in your actions, and in everything you possess, go!" (Brigham Young, ibid.). The way for a Mormon to live: "…never allow yourselves to do a thing you would be ashamed to do in the presence of the Lord Almighty, or that you would be ashamed of were He to stand in your path, and call you to an account. That is the way to live, and it is the only way for a "Mormon" Elder to live, or for a "Mormon" mother, or daughter, or sister, in order to obtain what they wish to obtain," (Brigham Young, 2:16). You are responsible for your happiness: “If we would be happy, if we would be great, have the knowledge and wisdom of God, and be prospered, it remains with us to pursue that course, to perform those duties, and to live that life, which shall conspire to produce those blessings," (Daniel H. Wells, 2:25). Welcome to eternity: "The Gospel is true, there is a God, there are angels, there area heaven and a hell, and we are all in eternity, and out of it we can never get, it is boundless, without beginning or end, and we have never been out of it. Time is a certain portion of eternity allotted to the existence of these mortal bodies, which are to be dissolved…preparatory to entering into a more exalted state of being. It is a portion of eternity allotted to this world, and can only be known by the changes we see in the composition and decomposition of the elements of which it is composed," (Brigham Young, 2:29). Let the Millennium take care of itself; work today: "It is not for men to rise in this stand and tell what will be in the Millennium, and what will be after the Millennium. That which pertains to every day life and action, is what pertains to us; that the Saints here may know how to order their course before each other, and before the Lord; that they may be justified, and have the Spirit of the Lord with them continually. This is our Gospel, it is our salvation. You need to be instructed with regard to these items of every day duty one towards another; and when you know how to be a Saint to-day, you are in a fair way to know how to be a Saint to-morrow. And if you can continue to be a Saint today, you can through the week, and through the year, and you can fill up your whole life in performing the duty and labor of a Saint," (Brigham Young, 2:49). Milk before meat- An eternal principle: "Where shall you go to find out 'Mormonism' from the foundation to the top-stone, from the root to the uttermost branch in the tree? Begin at the beginning. If men wish to accomplish any work, they must begin at the beginning of that work, not in the middle of it, or at the end. I must begin at the beginning, and if I know that the first stone is laid upon a permanent foundation, I can then with safety add another to that already laid; but if I cannot lay the first stone upon ground that is solid-if I cannot lay it upon a rock, I may despair of ever rearing a fabric or superstructure that will resist the rain and winds that may be hurled against it by the power of nature. We must begin at the beginning, and not content ourselves by grasping at that which may be beautiful in illustration and enlist our attention, and begin to build upon it as a foundation. In such a case we may have branches, but we do not bear the root," (Orson Hyde, 2:75). Never expect to get through all the meat: "And inasmuch as the Lord Almighty has designed us to know all that is in the earth, both the good and the evil, and to learn not only what is in heaven, but what is in hell, you need not expect ever to get through learning. Though I mean to learn all that is in heaven, earth, and hell. Do I need to commit iniquity to do it? No. If I were to go into the bowels of hell to find out what is there, that does not make it necessary that I should commit one evil, or blaspheme in any way the name of my Maker," (Brigham Young 2:90). Visions cannot be fully expressed: “When the vision of the mind is opened, you can see a great portion of it, but you see it comparatively as a speaker sees the faces of a congregation. To look at, and talk to, each individual separately, and thinking to become fully acquainted with them, only to spend five minutes with each would consume too much time, it could not easily be done. So it is with the visions of eternity; we can see and understand, but it is difficult to tell. May God bless you. Amen," (Brigham Young, 2:88).