Personal Online Journal

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Inspirational Quotes

Added Nov 2018

"The most important of all the commandments of God is that one that you are having the most difficulty keeping today." (Harold B. Lee, “Chapter 4: The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee (2011), 27–36)

Added Aug 2015
"Yes, Armageddon lies ahead. But so does Adam-ondi-Ahman!"
(“O, Divine Redeemer”, Neal A. Maxwell, Oct 1981)

Told to John Taylor before he was baptized. 

"Now, we have nothing particular to promise you, only the favor of God if you will live righteously and keep His commandments. You may be persecuted, afflicted, imprisoned or put to death for the testimony you may have to bear, for the religion you are called upon to obey; but we can promise to you that inasmuch as this is the case you will have eternal life." ("
Chapter 4: Obedience, a Sacred Duty", Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, (2011), 30–37)

Added Jul 2015
“It takes less courage to end your life in a burst of glory than to face the mistakes you’ve made and start over.” 
Lynn Austin, Fire by Night

“If you go to bed at 10:00 and get up by 6:00 a.m., things will work out for you.”
Gordon B. Hinckley, in Sheri L. Dew, Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley (1996), 166–67, As quoted in "Filled with Life and Energy" By Randal A. Wright

"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire

Added Apr 2015
"So many honorable individuals in the world do so much without what we, as members, call gospel fulness, while some of us, unfortunately, do so little with so much!" (“From the Beginning”, Neal A. Maxwell, Oct 1993)

Added Mar 2015
Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.


Added Feb 2015
"The most effective way to preach the gospel is through example. If we live according to our beliefs, people will notice. If the countenance of Jesus Christ shines in our lives, if we are joyful and at peace with the world, people will want to know why. One of the greatest sermons ever pronounced on missionary work is this simple thought attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi: 'Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words.' Opportunities to do so are all around us. Do not miss them by waiting too long on the road to Damascus." ("Waiting on the Road to Damascus", Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Apr 2011)

"When you pick up a stick at one end, you also pick up the other end" (As they say in Zanzibar, David Crystal, as found at

St. Augustine said “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”

Added Jan 2015
“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” (C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man)

Added Dec 2014

"Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!" ("Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority", Richard G. Scott, Oct 2014)

What more can I do to "be persuaded to do good continually"? (Ether 8:26)

"Unlike most other religious denominations, within the LDS Church the higher one's educational attainment, the more likely one is to remain religiously active." ("The LDS Church Is Anti-Intellectualism but Not Anti-Intelligence: The Importance of Light and Truth", Ray DeGraw, Dec 2014)

"When results are recorded, results improve. When they are recorded and reported they increase even more." (Paraphrased from a talk Elder Quincy Wilson gave on Sun Dec 28, 2014, he was a missionary that served in my ward. )

Added Nov 2014
"I do not wish any Latter Day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ,—the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied. I wish them to know for themselves and understand for themselves." (Brigham Young, “Sermon,” Deseret News, Oct. 31, 1855, 267; quoted in Terryl Givens and Fiona Givens, The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith (2014), 63. quoted by D. Todd Christofferson, "Free Forever, to Act for Themselves", Oct 2014)

“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” (Joseph Smith Jr. History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 30)

Added Oct 2014
"To determine if something is good you should be willing to look at it from the perspective of others." (an online friend)

'The calling of 15 men to the holy apostleship provides great protection for us as members of the Church. Why? Because decisions of these leaders must be unanimous. (D&C 107:27) Can you imagine how the Spirit needs to move upon 15 men to bring about unanimity? These 15 men have varied educational and professional backgrounds, with differing opinions about many things. Trust me! These 15 men—prophets, seers, and revelators—know what the will of the Lord is when unanimity is reached! They are committed to see that the Lord’s will truly will be done. The Lord’s Prayer provides the pattern for each of these 15 men when they pray: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." ("Sustaining the Prophets", Russell M. Nelson, Oct 2014)'

"Adulation is a disease I fight every day" (Gordon B. Hinckley, circa 1998)

"In this matter of counterfeit intimacy and deceptive gratification, I express particular caution to the men who hear this message. I have heard all my life that it is the young woman who has to assume the responsibility for controlling the limits of intimacy in courtship because a young man cannot. What an unacceptable response to such a serious issue! What kind of man is he, what priesthood or power or strength or self-control does this man have that lets him develop in society, grow to the age of mature accountability, perhaps even pursue a university education and prepare to affect the future of colleagues and kingdoms and the course of the world, but yet does not have the mental capacity or the moral will to say, "I will not do that thing"? No, this sorry drugstore psychology would have us say, "He just can't help himself. His glands have complete control over his life--his mind, his will, his entire future." (Jeffery R Holland, "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments")

"The Savior empowers us with His grace, not because we've earned it, but because He loves us perfectly." Sheri Dew

"Even if there be no hereafter, I would live my time believing in a grand thing that ought to be true if it is not. No facts can take the place of truths, and if these be not truths, then is the loftiest part of our nature a waste. Let me hold by the better than the actual, and fall into nothingness off the same precipice with Jesus and John and Paul and a thousand more, who were lovely in their lives, and with their death make even the nothingness into which they have passed like the garden of the Lord. I will go further, Polwarth, and say, I would rather die for evermore believing as Jesus believed, than live for evermore believing as those that deny him." (Fiona Givens personal creed. Taken from a George MacDonald book.)

Do you remember when you first went through the House of the Lord? I do. And I went out disappointed. Just a young man, out of college, anticipating great things when I went to the Temple. I was disappointed and grieved, and I have met hundreds of young men and young women since who had that experience. I have now found out why. There are two things in every Temple: mechanics, to set forth certain ideals, and symbolism, what those mechanics symbolize. I saw only the mechanics when I first went through the Temple. I did not see the spiritual. I did not see the symbolism of spirituality. Speaking plainly, I saw men, physical state, which offended me. That is a mechanic of washing…. I was blind to the great lesson of purity behind the mechanics. I did not hear the message of the Lord, “By ye clean who bear the vessels of the Lord.” I did not hear that eternal truth, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” The symbolism was lost entirely…. And so with the anointing, following the washing. Do you see the symbolism?… How many of us young men saw that? We thought we were big enough and with intelligence sufficient to criticize the mechanics of it and we were blind to the symbolism, the message of the spirit. And then that great ordinance, the endowment. The whole thing is simple in the mechanical part of it, but sublime and eternal in its significance. (Address delivered by David O. McKay at the dedicatory services of the additions to the Arizona Temple, Mesa, Arizona, December 30, 1956, David O. McKay Scrapbooks #162)

Added Sep 2014
“We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.” (Ana├»s Nin)

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
~ Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Just as meekness is in all our virtues, so is pride in all our sins”
(Neal A. Maxwell, "Meek and Lowly", Oct 1986)

Added Mar 2014
"Be excellent to each other." (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) )

Added Nov 2013
"Heaven is a place, but also a condition; it is home and family. It is understanding and kindness. It is interdependence and selfless activity. It is quiet, sane living; personal sacrifice, genuine hospitality, wholesome concern for others. It is living the commandments of God without ostentation or hypocrisy. It is selflessness. It is all about us. We need only to be able to recognize it as we find it and enjoy it. Yes, my dear brother, I’ve had many glimpses of heaven." ("Glimpses of Heaven", Spencer W. Kimball, Dec 1971)

Added Apr 2013
"Don't think your testimony is meaningless if you didn't have a dramatic conversion. Every conversion cost the same amount of Christ's blood shed on the cross...The determining factor is not how exciting your conversion was but how excited you are about your conversion." Beth Moore

Added May 2012
Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind. (Joseph Smith, Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book, p. 59, History of the Church, 5:23–24.)

Added Feb 2012
"Pride prefers cheap repentance, paid for with shallow sorrow" (Neal A. Maxwell, "Repentance", Oct 1991)

"Just as meekness is in all our virtues, so is pride in all our sins" (Neal A. Maxwell, "Meek and Lowly", Oct 1986)

"Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent" -unknown

Added Aug 2011
A Facebook friend of mine asked, "Your favorite/most inspiring quote. Go!"  Here are my favorites from among them.

If you do not quarrel, no one earth will be able to quarrel with you...Recompense injury with kindness...To those who are good I am good, and to those who are not good I am good; thus all get to be good. To those who are sincere I am sincere, and to those who are not sincere I am also sincere, and thus all get to be ...sincere...The softest thing in the world...overcomes the hardest.
-Lao Tze

"The unexamined life is not worth living."
--Socrates, as quoted by Plato in The Apology of Socrates

‎"From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, from the laziness that is content with half truth, from the arrogance that thinks it has all truth-O God of Truth, deliver us." - Unknown

"We cannot be saved until we have risen above all our enemies, not the least of which is ignorance." - Joseph Smith

Learn to like what doesn't cost much.
Learn to like reading, conversation, music.
Learn to like plain food, plain service, plain cooking.
Learn to like fields, trees, brooks, hiking, rowing, climbing hills.
Learn to like people,
even though some of them may be different . . .
Different from you.
Learn to like to work and enjoy the satisfaction
of doing your job as well as it can be done.
Learn to like the songs of birds, the companionship of dogs.
Learn to like gardening,
puttering around the house, and fixing things.
Learn to like the sunrise and sunset,
the beating of rain on the roof and windows,
and the gentle fall of snow on a winter day.
Learn to keep your wants simple and
refuse to be controlled by the likes and dislikes of others.
--Lowell Bennion

 We are the music makers, and the dreamer of dreams. --willy wonka

From V for Vendetta:
Creedy: Die! Die! Why won't you die?... Why won't you die?
V: Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.

You can't force people to approve of you, agree with you, be impressed with you, love you or even like you. Stop trying!...and Remember 3 things and save yourself lots of unneeded heartache: You're not God. This ain't heaven. Don't act like a jerk.- Fr. James Martin, SJ

"You can get a lot further with a kind word and a gun, than just a kind word" (The character of Al Capone in The Untouchables)

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

‎"Question with boldness even the very existence of god. because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage to reason than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson

‎"If the cosmos could create butterflies and Einstein's mind with a chemistry set that contained hydrogen, oxygen, sodium, and fewer than a gross of other elements, we may be able by mastering the elements of love to perform the alchemy that will change our lives from gross matter to gold." -Sam Keen

As I have loved you, love one another. - Jesus Christ

"It would seem that among those who vigorously pursue the life of the mind in particular, who are committed to the scholarly pursuit of knowledge and rational inquiry, faith is as often a casualty as it is a product. The call to faith is a summons to engage the heart, to attune it to resonate in sympathy with principles and values and ideals that we devoutly hope are true, and to have reasonable but not certain grounds for believing them to be true. I am convinced that there must be grounds for doubt as well as belief in order to render the choice more truly a choice—and, therefore, the more deliberate and laden with personal vulnerability and investment. The option to believe must appear on our personal horizon like the fruit of paradise, perched precariously between sets of demands held in dynamic tension. One is, it would seem, always provided with sufficient materials out of which to fashion a life of credible conviction or dismissive denial. We are acted upon, in other words, by appeals to our personal values, our yearnings, our fears, our appetites, and our egos. What we choose to embrace, to be responsive to, is the purest reflection of who we are and what we love. That is why faith, the choice to believe, is, in the final analysis, an action that is positively laden with moral significance." ~"Lightning Out of Heaven": Joseph Smith and the Forging of Community
Terryl Givens

"There is no victory without honor", from my son's history class in Sep 2011

"a religion which will not help a man in this life will not likely do much for him in the life to come" (Joseph F. Smith quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley Apr 2001 "The Perpetual Education Fund") From a FB friend Sep 2011

"The human soul, like a charioteer, must drive two horses as it progresses toward Heaven. The horses must work together or the chariot will just go round and round. …It would be unfortunate if either should outstretch the other. Over-emphasizing intellect to the neglect of spirituality, and over-emphasizing faith without the application of reason are both unworthy of practicing Latter-Day Saints. We cannot achieve spiritual excellence without intellectual rigor, and intellectual excellence is hollow without active spirituality. We need to have the spirit as we learn, and we need to have learning as we build faith. Working together, faith and intellect help us achieve the Latter-day Saint goal of eternal progression." (Reflections of a Mormon Historian p.229)

Here is what I posted, ‎"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed" D&C 123:17

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Korihor's Philosophical Tapestry

I found a great series of posts that explains so much about this story in the Book of Mormon at  I was reading Alma 30 about Korihor who taught that "Ye cannot know of things which ye do not see".   I remembered reading something about it online and found this series.  I posted about an article he refers to in 2007.

I really like how he explains why Alma doesn't refute every claim Korihor makes.  He also explains why Korihor was arrested when it seems he is only exercising free speech.  He refers to "Candle of the Lord" by Boyd K Packer.  That has the story of trying to explain a testimony as trying to describe the taste of salt to someone who has never tasted it.

I loved the series.  I love this story in the Book of Mormon and the lessons I have gotten from it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Most Correct of Any Book

Joseph Smith is quoted in the introduction of the Book of Mormon, "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."

The way I see "most correct" is that it has teachings that will get a person nearer to God if they live by them than any other book.

I like the statement Moroni makes about mistakes in the Book of Mormon.
Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been. (Mor 9:31)

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Our family has been watching a TV series Merlin made by BBC.  It is so fun.  I don't remember anything that I felt uncomfortable with.

Our experience reminds me a little of A Thomas Jefferson Education.This is a book a friend of mine inspired me to buy.  The legend of Merlin is a classic.  This series definitely seems like a classic interpretation of the legend even if it does not follow many of the classic elements.

There are themes of courage, determination, patience, overcoming prejudice and more I am sure.  My wife already came up with an idea to challenge our children to find their quest.  And to write about it.

I am so excited.