American vs. European culture

The great thing about American culture is its unique ability to tell a story. That’s what artists are able to tell on some level—a story that is fairly readable. America is a culture where there’s always a narrative. European culture is different. European culture is sometimes…more symbolic, more convoluted, more romantic, more enlightened. But America has a kind of urgency, which, in movies, in literature, in art, is able to tell you a story. American-ness is this capacity.

Interview with Francesco Bonami, Co-curator, Whitney 2010 Bienneal
Interview Magazine, February 2010

Unlocking the Lord’s power in our lives

In discussing these principles with you today I have had one desire: that somehow in the mind and heart of each of us there might be generated, as though we were talking to ourselves, this sort of conviction: “I am truly and deeply loved of the Lord. He will do all in his power for my happiness. The key to unlock that power is in myself. While others will counsel, suggest, exhort, and urge, the Lord has given me the responsibility and the agency to make the basic decisions for my happiness and eternal progress. As I read and ponder the scriptures daily and with sincere faith earnestly seek my Father in prayer, peace will envelop my being. This, coupled with full obedience to the commandments of God and selfless service to and genuine concern for others, will purge fear from my heart and condition me to receive and to interpret the divine aid given to mark my path with clarity. No friend, bishop, stake president, or General Authority can do this for me. It is my divine right to do it for myself. I will be at peace; I will be happy; I will have a rewarding, productive, meaningful life.”

Elder Richard G. Scott, “Truth,” BYU Devotional, 13 June, 1978

We live beneath our privileges

There is no doubt, if a person lives according to the revelations given to God’s people, he may have the Spirit of the Lord to signify to him his will, and to guide and to direct him in the discharge of his duties, in his temporal as well as his spiritual exercises. I am satisfied, however, that in this respect, we live far beneath our privileges.

Brigham Young
Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. and arr. by John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973, p. 32.