Fit to be written upon by the pen of revelation


“All I have to do is … keep my spirit, feelings and conscience like a sheet of blank paper, and let the spirit and power of God write upon it what he pleases. When he writes, I will read; but if I read before he writes, I am very likely to be wrong.”
Deseret News Weekly, 19 Apr. 1871, 125

“It was asked me by a gentleman how I guided the people by revelation. I teach them to live so that the Spirit of revelation may make plain to them their duty day by day that they are able to guide themselves. To get this revelation it is necessary that the people live so that their spirits are as pure and clean as a piece of blank paper that lies on the desk before the inditer, ready to receive any mark the writer may make upon it. When you see the Latter-day Saints greedy, and coveteous of the things of this world, do you think their minds are in a fit condition to be written upon by the pen of revelation? When people will live so that the Spirit of revelation will be with them day by day, they are then in the path of their duty; if they do not live according to this rule, they live beneath their duty and privileges. I hope and pray that we may all live up to our privileges.”

Brigham Young, “Discourses of Brigham Young”, pg. 41. (or Journal of Discourses, 11:240)

Everything that is unholy will perish

Can error live? No, it is the very plant of destruction, it destroys itself; it withers, it fades, it falls and decays and returns to its native element. Every untruth, all error, everything that is unholy, unlike God, will, in its time, perish.

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 14:93.

The Devil delights in the work of destruction—to burn and lay waste and destroy the whole earth. He delights to convulse and throw into confusion the affairs of men, politically, religiously and morally, introducing war with its long train of dreadful consequences. It is evil which causeth all these miseries and all deformity to come upon the inhabitants of the earth. But that which is of God is pure, lovely, holy and full of all excellency and truth, no matter where it is found, in hell, in heaven, upon the earth, or in the planets.

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 11:240.

Every providence and dispensation of God to his earthly children tends directly to life and salvation, while the influences and powers exerted by the enemy upon mankind and every suggestion of our corrupt natures tends to death.

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:221.

Everyone should have a day like that

I love this description of a marine’s journey home from the war in Iraq. The author is Brian Taylor (who happens to be a Latter-day Saint), and the source is

“When we got off the plane at March Air Force Base near Camp Pendleton, Calif., there were two fire trucks on the flight line pumping great jets of water high in the air. I thought, “Don’t they know there’s a drought on?” But then I realized it was a tribute to us. We traveled by bus to Camp Pendleton, where our families waited. My brother Greg and my parents were there. My wife, Shari, and our three children were there. Fox Company marched down the road to where the cheering crowd waited and then the formation disintegrated as families found each other in the street.

“Shari put three-month-old John in my arms. I held and kissed him for the first time while Jane and Keith climbed all over me. I kissed my wife. I held my mother for a time, and then my children pulled me down to the curb so they could have their turn.

“Everyone should have a day like that. Parents should greet their children with undisguised affection as if they just returned from the war, the way I greeted Jane, Keith and John, and the way my mother and father greeted me. Husbands should regard their wives the way I regarded Shari, like a found treasure. The hardships my wife endured during my deployment transformed her into a stronger, lovelier woman.

“I felt enormously rich, and I hoped all the Marines there felt as fortunate as I did. I suffered a flash of pain for Marines and families whose homecomings might be at all imperfect, and for those who would have no homecoming at all. But for the moment I was pressed on all sides by hugs and cameras, kisses and questions. It was a great day. It was my best day.

Semper Fidelis.”

Harnessing the energies of love

“Someday, after we have mastered the winds,the waves, the tides, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love: and then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, as quoted by Vaughn J. Featherstone, Ensign, Nov. 1993, p. 43.

Give a crust, receive a loaf

 In 1920, Brother Marion G. Romney attended a Fremont Stake conference in the Rexburg Tabernacle. My grandfather, Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was the presiding authority. Because Brother Romney was 23 years of age and the financial circumstances of his family were very difficult, he had not contemplated serving a full-time mission.

Years later, on 15 October 1963, Elder Romney, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained his experience: “At the time I graduated, I planned to go in the fall to the University of Idaho. It was my intention to play basketball and football and prepare to be a coach. In late August, I attended a stake conference [and] sat on the front row at the east end of the choir seats directly north of the pulpit. As I listened intently with my eyes fixed on [Elder Ballard’s] profile, there came to me by the power of the Spirit an irresistible urgency to go on a mission. There and then I abandoned my plans for a coaching career. In November I left for a mission to Australia” (address given at a Ricks College devotional, 15 October 1963).

Elder Romney, en route to Australia, came to Salt Lake City, where my grandfather set him apart as a missionary. Grandfather gave Elder Romney counsel and said, among other things, “One never gives a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Anchored by Faith and Commitment,” Ensign, Jul 1995, 12
Quoted in F. Burton Howard, Marion G. Romney: His Life and Faith [1988], 66).

"The Atonement is the central thing in the whole gospel system."

Elder Bruce R. McConkie gave a BYU Devotional at Christmas time in 1969 which was later printed in the New Era in 1984. In it he talked about the Atonement being “the central thing in the whole gospel system.” Here are selections of his talk, each prefaced by part of a verse from 3 Nephi 27.

Christ elected, chose, and volunteered to come into the world and be born as God’s Son, undergo the mortal probation and ministry assigned him, and then climax it with the working out of the infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice.

And by virtue of this atonement, all things pertaining to life and immortality, to existence, to glory and salvation, to honor and rewards hereafter, all things are given full force and efficacy and virtue.

We have the obligation accordingly, because of the light and knowledge that has been poured out upon us, to walk as becometh saints, to rise above the world, to overcome the world, to be living witnesses of the truth and the divinity of the work.

Just as surely as we are, we shall reap for ourselves peace and joy and happiness in this life. We shall have the true spirit of Christmas at this season and at all seasons, and then in due course we shall go on to the fulness of the kingdom of our Father hereafter.

3 Nephi 27:13, 14, 21, 22
Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Behold the Condescension of God,” New Era, Dec. 1984, 35.