We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves that, though we cannot, yet these projections can, enjoy in themselves that beauty, grace, and power of which Nature is the image. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can't. They tell us that "beauty born of murmuring sound" will pass into human face; but it won't. Or not yet.
For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.
When instructed, we must obey that voice, observe the laws of the kingdom of God, that the blessing of heaven may rest down upon us.
Some would gather money
Along the path of life.
Some would gather roses
And rest from worldy strife.
But I would rather gather children
From among the thorns of sin;
I would seek a golden curl
And a freckled, toothless grin.
For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day,
And the roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way,
But oh, the laughing children
As I cross the Sunset Sea
And the gates swing wide to heaven
I can take them in with me.
Is death the last step? No, it is the final awakening.
We have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only one short hour before sunset in which to win them.
No one ever graduates from Bible study until he meet the Author face to face.
When I first heard him preach, he brought heaven and earth together; and all the priests of the day could not tell me anything correct about heaven, hell, God, angels, or devils; they were as blind as Egyptian darkness. When I saw Joseph Smith, he took heaven, figuratively speaking, and brought it down to earth; and he took the earth, brought it up, and opened up, in plainness and simplicity, the things of God; and that is the beauty of his mission.
If we could understand the glory we once had with our Father in heaven, we would be discontented in dwelling in this condition of existence. We would pine for the home we left behind us. Its glory and its beauty, its heavenly graces and delights were of such a character that we would pine for it with that homesickness that men have some partial knowledge of here on the earth....Wisely, in the providence of God, this knowledge is withdrawn from us. We can have a glimpse occasionally, through the revelations of the Spirit to us, of the glory there is awaiting us.
Your spirits when they came to take [earthly] tabernacles were pure and holy. There is no spirit among the human family that was begotten in hell; none that were begotten by angels, or by any inferior being. They [are all the children of] our Father in heaven. He is the Father of our spirits; and if we could know, understand, and do His will, every soul would be prepared to return back into His presence. And when they get there, they would see that they had formerly lived there for ages, that they had previously been acquainted with every nook and corner, with the palaces, walks, and gardens; and they would embrace their Father, and He would embrace them and say, My son, my daughter, I have you again; and the child would say, O my Father, my Father, I am here again.
"A home is much more than a house built of lumber, brick, or stone. A home is made of love, sacrifice, and respect. We are responsible for the homes we build. We must build wisely, for eternity is not a short voyage. There will be calm and wind, sunlight and shadows, joy and sorrow. But if we really try, our home can be a bit of heaven here on earth. The thoughts we think, the deeds we do, the lives we live not only influence the success of our earthly journey, they also mark the way to our eternal goals."