Ideas are very important to the shaping of society. In fact, they are more powerful than bombings or armies or guns. And this is because ideas are capable of spreading without limit. They are behind all the choices we make. They can transform the world in a way that governments and armies cannot. Fighting for liberty with ideas makes more sense to me than fighting with guns or politics or political power. With ideas, we can make real change that lasts.
From Liberty Defined: The Fifty Urgent Issues that Affect our Freedom
I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. Have I imperfections? I am full of them. What is my duty? To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections. If I am an angry man, it is my duty to pray for charity, which suffereth long and is kind. Am I an envious man? It is my duty to seek for charity, which envieth not. So with all the gifts of the Gospel. They are intended for this purpose. No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them.
Procedures, programs, the administrative policies, even some patterns of organization are subject to change. We are quite free, indeed, quite obliged to alter them from time to time. But the principles, the doctrines, never change. . . .
If there is one lament I cannot abide—and I hear it from adults as well as students—it is the poor, pitiful, withered cry, ‘Well, that’s just the way I am.’ If you want to talk about discouragement, that is one thing that discourages me. Though not a swearing man I am always sorely tempted to try my hand when hearing that. Please spare me your speeches about ‘that’s just the way I am.’ I’ve heard that from too many people who wanted to sin and call it psychology.
We must follow that same principle as the Lord gathers more and more people who are not like us. What will become more obvious to us is that the Atonement brings the same changes in all of us. We become disciples who are meek, loving, easy to be entreated, and at the same time fearless and faithful in all things. We still live in different countries, but we come into the Church through a process that changes us. We become by the gifts of the Spirit what the Apostle Paul saw:
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.
"Tous les changements, même les plus souhaités ont leur mélancolie, car ce que nous quittons, c'est une partie de nous-mêmes; il faut mourir à une vie pour entrer dans une autre."
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."
"Change" is not a destination ... just as "hope" is not a strategy.
I believe in a system of some kind for self-education. It doesn't have to be formal classes or courses. It may be an informal discussion group or a well-conceived reading program. But without some system or external discipline, most adults tend to give up after a good start on something and fall back into old ways.
Is the gaining of knowledge the main purpose of continued education? I don't believe so. The knowledge explosion is so vast and so rapid, no one, giving all his time, could keep up. If it's not knowledge, what then is it? To keep intellectually alive, to renew ourselves, to learn how to learn, how to adapt, how to change, what not to change.
We must develop a felling and competence within that we can "make a go of it" in any situation, regardless of what happens. One main source of this confidence is continuing education.