Giving students opportunity to change

Teachers cannot be expected to make radical changes in students. The most we can reasonably ask of teachers is that they give students opportunities to change themselves.

Paul Woodruff, First Democrary, p. 205

The destroyers of nations

I have named the destroyers of nations: comfort, plenty, and security – out of which grow a bored and slothful cynicism, in which rebellion against the world as it is, and myself as I am, are submerged in listless self-satisfaction.

John Steinbeck, “America and Americans” (1966)

It is wise to fear that our own skills are inadequate

It is wise to fear that our own skills are inadequate to meet the charge we have to nourish the faith of others. Our own abilities, however great, will not be enough. But that realistic view of our limitations creates a humility that can lead to dependence on the Spirit and thus to power.

Henry B. Eyring, “Feeding His Lambs,” Ensign, Feb 2008, 4–9

Our burdens are not barriers; they help us practice virtues

I appreciated both the lessons and the similarities in these two quotes:

Challenge comes as testing from a wise, knowing Father to give experience, that we may be seasoned, mature, and grow in understanding and application of His truths. When you are worthy, a challenge becomes a contribution to growth, not a barrier to it.
Elder Richard G. Scott, “To Be Healed,” Ensign, May 1994, 7

Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues that contribute to eventual perfection. They invite us to yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and [put] off the natural man and [become] a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and [become] as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.” Thus burdens become blessings, though often such blessings are well disguised and may require time, effort, and faith to accept and understand.
Elder L. Whitney Clayton, “That Your Burdens May Be Light,” October General Conference, 2009

Never imitate

Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” from Essays: First Series (1841)