Choose the Lord first, pick your friends carefully

Whether young or old, we need to be good friends, but also to pick our friends carefully. By choosing the Lord first, choosing one’s friends becomes easier and much safer.

Neal A. Maxwell, “The Tugs and Pulls of the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 35

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Life must be composed by ear

Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule. Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases, though not often.

Samuel Butler

Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn’t first take

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don’t multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving. The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don’t have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don’t get to enjoy the fruit of their labor.

Dr. Adrian Rogers, “Ten Secrets for a Successful Family” 1996

Priesthood eyes

No priesthood holder who wants to succeed will be careless about where his eyes may go. Choosing to look at images which incite lust will cause the Spirit to withdraw. You have been warned by Elder Clayton as well as you may ever be warned about the dangers of the Internet and the media in putting pornographic images before us. But immodesty is now so common that everyday life requires discipline—a conscious choice not to linger watching whatever might create in us feelings which would repel the Spirit.

The same care is required in what we say. We cannot hope to speak for the Lord unless we are careful with our speech. Vulgarity and profanity offend the Spirit. Just as immodesty seems to be more common, so does vulgar and profane language. It used to be that only in certain places and with certain groups would we hear the name of the Lord taken in vain or hear vulgar words and crude humor. Now it seems to be everywhere and, for many, socially acceptable, where
once it was not.

….God helps the faithful priesthood holder who decides to see and say no evil, even in a wicked world. It will not be easy. It never is. But you can have the promise fulfilled for you as I know that it can be for me: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven” (D&C 121:45).

Henry B. Eyring, “God Helps the Faithful Priesthood Holder,” October 2007 General Conference

Are you most careful to control what

enters your mind
through your eyes
and ears

to ensure that it is wholesome and elevating?

Richard G. Scott, “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well,” October General Conference, 2008

Young men of the Aaronic Priesthood, remember the scriptural injunction “Be ye clean who bear the vessels of the Lord.” ( 3 Ne. 20:41; D&C 38:42; see also Isa. 52:11.) Remember the story of Joseph in Egypt, who hearkened not to the wife of Potiphar and maintained his purity and virtue. (See Gen. 39:6–20.)

Consider carefully the words of the prophet Alma to his errant son, Corianton, “Forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes.” ( Alma 39:9.)

“The lusts of your eyes.” In our day, what does that expression mean?

Movies, television programs, and video recordings that are both suggestive and lewd.

Magazines and books that are obscene and pornographic.

We counsel you, young men, not to pollute your minds with such degrading matter, for the mind through which this filth passes is never the same afterwards. Don’t see R-rated movies or vulgar videos or participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive, or pornographic. Don’t listen to music that is degrading.

Ezra Taft Benson, “To the ‘Youth of the Noble Birthright’,” Ensign, May 1986

The Idea of a University: knowing her children one by one

A University is, according to the usual designation, an Alma Mater, knowing her children one by one, not a foundry, or a mint, or a treadmill.

John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University, pp. 144-145

Yours is the great opportunity and the very precious responsibility, in effect, of reaching down to lift up those who come to learn and prepare for a productive and meaningful life. Most have been sent here by hopeful parents, who pray night and morning for their success. Great sacrifice has been made to enable them to come. They long for success. And it is your opportunity and your responsibility to see that they do not fail.

We should not have failures on this campus. We are more than teachers. We are shepherds. And we know that the spirit of shepherding resides in the hearts of those who serve here as members of the great Brigham Young University faculty.

Gordon B. Hinckley, Remarks at the Inauguration of President Cecil O. Samuelson, September 9, 2003

Dare to be true

Lie not; but let thy heart be true to God,
Thy mouth to it, thy actions to them both:
Cowards tell lies, and those that fear the rod;
The stormie working soul spits lies and froth.
Dare to be true. Nothing can need a ly:
A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.

George Herbert (1593-1633), from “The Church-porch” in his book The Temple