Cultural decline: facilitated by the indifferent or the indulgent

Cultural decline is accelerated when single-interest segments of society become indifferent to general values once widely shared. This drift is facilitated by the indifferent or the indulgent as society is led carefully down to hell (see 2 Ne. 28:21). Some may not join in this drift, but instead they step aside, whereas once they might have constrained, as is their representative right. Of such circumstances Yeats lamented, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity” (W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”).

Today, in place of some traditionally shared values is a demanding conformity pushed, ironically, by those who eventually will not tolerate those who once tolerated them.

Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Repent of [Our] Selfishness’ (D&C 56:8),” April 1999 General Conference

Beholding the Glory of Christ, and trying to be like Him

Ultimately, it will all work outLet us follow the Son of God in all ways and in all walks of life. Let us make him our exemplar and our guide. We should at every opportunity ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” and then be more courageous to act upon the answer. We must follow Christ, in the best sense of that word. We must be about his work as he was about his Father’s. . . . To the extent that our mortal powers permit, we should make every effort to become like Christ—the one perfect and sinless example this world has ever seen.

His beloved disciple John often said of Christ, “We beheld his glory” (John 1:14). They observed the Savior’s perfect life as he worked and taught and prayed. So, too, ought we to “behold his glory” in every way we can.

We must know Christ better than we know him; we must remember him more often than we remember him; we must serve him more valiantly than we serve him. Then we will drink water springing up unto eternal life and will eat the bread of life.

What manner of men and women ought we to be? Even as he is.

Howard W. Hunter, “What Manner of Men Ought Ye to Be?”, April General Conference, 1994

Doing the duty least enjoyed may be the one most needed

“. . .  the duty least enjoyed by us, like the doctrine least understood, may be the one we need the most.  Furthermore, our reminders to do these specific duties are often a call to an unkept rendezvous, to an experience we would not want to miss. The true believer understands this; he does his duties even though they are seemingly repetitious, but he is never surprised if duty develops into a new adventure.” 

Neal A. Maxwell, “True Believers In Christ,” BYU Devotional, 7 October 1980.

Charity that impels us to be sympathetic of others’ weaknesses

When we are filled with charity, we understand that the behavior of others is most often motivated by their desires to do good, even when that is not the reality of their actions. President Thomas S. Monson articulates it well: “I have in mind the charity that impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others.”  When we give a charitable response to someone, rather than an accusatory or defensive one, we inspire and motivate others to open their hearts, and try harder to make things right.  True charity in our everyday encounters with one another leads to everyday miracles.

The Beginning of Better Days by Shari L. Dew and Virginia H. Pearce

Evidence that the Atonement is working

If you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost during this day, or even this evening, you may take it as evidence that the Atonement is working in your life. For that reason and many others, you would do well to put yourself in places and in tasks that invite the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Henry B. Eyring, “Gifts of the Spirit for Hard Times,” CES Fireside for Young Adults, September 10, 2006

The dots only connect looking backwards

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
Steve Jobs