This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Members of the Church should be peers or superiors to any others in natural ability, extended training, plus the Holy Spirit which should bring them light and truth. With hundreds of “men of God” and their associates so blessed, we have the base for an increasingly efficient and worthy corps of talent.
Take a Nicodemus and put Joseph Smith’s spirit in him, and what do you have? Take a da Vinci or a Michelangelo or a Shakespeare and give him a total knowledge of the plan of salvation of God and personal revelation and cleanse him, and then take a look at the statues he will carve and the murals he will paint and the masterpieces he will produce. Take a Handel with his purposeful effort, his superb talent, his earnest desire to properly depict the story, and give him inward vision of the whole true story and revelation, and what a master you have!
Each of you who really wants to endure to the glorious end that our Heavenly Father has foreseen should firmly establish some personal priorities. With many interests competing for your loyalty, you need to be careful first to stay safely “on the boat.” No one can serve two masters. If Satan can get you to love anything—fun, flirtation, fame, or fortune—more than a spouse or the Lord with whom you have made sacred covenants to endure, the adversary begins to triumph. When faced with such temptations, you will find that strength comes from commitments made well in advance. The Lord said, “Settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.” He declared through His prophet Jeremiah, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
When priorities are proper, the power to endure is increased. And when internalized, those priorities will help keep you from “going overboard.” They will protect you from cheating—in marriage, in the Church, and in life.
If you really want to be like the Lord—more than any thing or anyone else—you will remember that your adoration of Jesus is best shown by your emulation of Him. Then you will not allow any other love to become more important than love for your companion, your family, and your Creator. You will govern yourself not by someone else’s set of rules but by revealed principles of truth.
There are several reasons for bearing testimony. One is that when you declare the truth, it will bring an echo, a memory, even if it is an unconscious memory to the investigator, that they have heard this truth before—and of course they have. A missionary’s testimony invokes a great legacy of testimony dating back to the councils in heaven before this world was. There, in an earlier place, these same people heard this same plan outlined and heard there the role that Jesus Christ would play in their salvation.
We must all hold two pulses simultaneously - God's and man's. We can never serve man's deepest needs without God. Neither do we serve God and his purposes without serving his children in his way. Am I really feeling the pulse of the Lord - praying to him; receiving his Spirit, understanding his ways and designs - if I am unloving, critical and judging of his children?
This truth became so clear in the mission field. Those missionaries who claimed to be so close to the Lord but were not to their companions and contacts served neither the Lord nor his children. They began to use the gospel, like the praying Pharisee, as a tool for judgement and rejection and self justification. Some of their opinions were right, but their spirits were wrong. Their unloving use of the religion of love distorted their perspectives, destroyed their effectiveness, and increasingly isolated them.
...Unless we hold the pulse of both heaven and earth, of God and man, learning from both, appreciating and loving both (God first), we hold neither. There is no power, no influence, no life in truth without love. There is no vision, no lifting power, no conviction, no light in life without truth.
Our greatest role in relationships is to be a light, not a judge.
We are called Mormons. Many people look upon us as a singular sect as they cry: "Delusion, false prophets, polygamy," as once was so common; or "Racists, antiwomen, patriarchal dictators," as some now say; or "Worshippers of Adam and deniers of Christ and his grace," as others falsely acclaim; or whatever sophistry of the moment will sow the seeds of prejudice among those
who otherwise might learn who we are and what we believe.
Oftentimes it seems to us that these cries from shallow minds and these self-serving statements of those who resent our rapid growth and increasing influence in the world and these voices whose social and political views we do not espouse are but another evidence of the truth and divinity of the work itself. The devil is not dead, and as his voice was once raised in cries of "Crucify him, crucify him," so it now shrieks in shrilling hysteria against Christ's people in this day.
We feel it is not too much to ask, in this age of enlightenment and open dialogue, to let us be the ones who tell who we are, what we believe, and why our cause is going forward in such a marvelous way.
Everyone is engaged in action. The law of karma means that there are reactions to every action and that a person must endure the reactions to his actions.
Doing what's right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified.
One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to recieve truth. Let it come from where it may.