The government of the United States is acknowledged by the wise and good of other nations, to be the most free, impartial, and righteous government of the world; but all agree, that for such a government to be sustained many years, the principles of truth and righteousness, taught in the Holy Scriptures, must be practiced.
All the religious world is boasting of righteousness: It is the doctrine of the devil to retard the human mind, and hinder our progress, by filling us with self-righteousness. The nearer we get to our Heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs. … If you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another.
"The constant exercise of our faith by lofty thinking, prayer, devotion, and acts of righteousness is just as essential to spiritual health as physical exercise is to the health of the body. Like all priceless things, faith, if lost, is hard to regain. Eternal vigilance is the price of our faith. In order to retain our faith we must keep ourselves in tune with our Heavenly Father by living in accordance with the principles and ordinances of the gospel."
Good women always have a desire to know if they are succeeding. In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources. To paraphrase a list found in Preach My Gospel, we are doing well when we develop attributes of Christ and strive to obey His gospel with exactness. We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit. When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly.
"Personal unrighteousness can lead toward a welfare state. What is the real
cause of this trend toward the welfare state, toward more socialism? In the
last analysis, in my judgment, it is personal unrighteousness. When people
do not use their freedoms responsibly and righteously, they will gradually
lose these freedoms. If man will not recognize the inequalities around him
and voluntarily, through the gospel plan, come to the aid of his brother, he
will find that through "a democratic process" he will be forced to come to
the aid of his brother. The government will take from the "haves" and give
to the "have nots." Both have lost their freedom. Those who "have," lost
their freedom to give voluntarily of their own free will and in the way they
desire. Those who "have not," lost their freedom because they did not earn
what they received. They got "something for nothing," and they will neither
appreciate the gift nor the giver of the gift. Under this climate, people
gradually become blind to what has happened and to the vital freedoms which
they have lost."
The exaltation and happiness of any community, goes hand in hand with the knowledge possessed by the people, when applied to laudable ends;
whereupon we can exclaim like the wise man; righteousness exalteth a nation; for righteousness embraces knowledge and knowledge is power.
..... it is our own desires which determine the sizing and the attractiveness of various temptations. We set our thermostats as to temptations......
Each assertion of a righteous desire, each act of service, and each act of worship, however small and incremental, adds to our spiritual momentum. Like Newton’s Second Law, there is a transmitting of acceleration as well as a contagiousness associated with even the small acts of goodness.
The Lord has made it very clear that we do not have to serve Him, but if we seek the blessings of righteousness, we will serve Him, and there is no peace nor happiness, no joy, nor satisfaction, nor freedom in any other course. Let our love extend, and our righteousness increase, for our own sakes and for those who depend upon us.
Do not trade your birthright as a mother for some bauble of passing value. Let your first interest be in your home. The baby you hold in your arms will grow quickly as the sunrise and the sunset of the rushing days. I hope that when that occurs you will not be led to exclaim as did King Lear, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!” (King Lear, I, iv, 312). Rather, I hope that you will have every reason to be proud concerning your children, to have love for them, to have faith in them, to see them grow in righteousness and virtue before the Lord, to see them become useful and productive members of society. If with all you have done there is an occasional failure, you can still say, “At least I did the very best of which I was capable. I tried as hard as I knew how. I let nothing stand in the way of my role as a mother.” Failures will be few under such circumstances.