Subjection to God is really emancipation

It is so easy to be halfhearted, but this only produces half the growth, half the blessings, and just half a life, really, with more bud than blossom….

Sometimes, our holding back occurs because we lack faith or we are too entangled with the cares of the world. Other times, there is in us an understandable tremulousness which slows our yielding, because we sense what further yielding might bring.

Yet we need to break free of our old selves—the provincial, constraining, and complaining selves—and become susceptible to the shaping of the Lord. But the old self goes neither gladly nor quickly. Even so, this subjection to God is really emancipation.

How can we truly acknowledge the Fatherhood of God and refuse His tutorials? Especially in view of the fact, the Lord even chastens those whom He loves.

Neal A. Maxwell, “Willing to Submit,” Ensign, May 1995

I need Thee every hour

Brothers and sisters, we do not go many hours in our lives without having to decide again “which way do we face” and whether we will pitch our tents facing Sodom or the holy temple (see Gen. 13:12Mosiah 2:6).

Neal A. Maxwell, “How Choice a Seer,” Ensign, November 2003

Adversities are temporary. What we become by them is permanent.

Dallin H. Oaks  “… each of us [must] focus our attention on the individual responses we must make to the personal adversities that are sure to hound us throughout our lives. Our responses will inevitably shape our souls and ultimately determine our status in eternity. Because opposition is divinely decreed for the purpose of helping us to grow, we have the assurance of God that in the long view of eternity it will not be allowed to overcome us if we persevere in faith. We will prevail. Like the mortal life of which they are a part, adversities are temporary. What is permanent is what we become by the way we react to them.

Dallin H. Oaks, Adversity, Ensign, July 1998

 

Beauty of soul, truth in art

In an age like ours, confined to the surface of things, “beauty” inevitably comes to be thought of primarily as beauty of appearance rather than beauty of character or mind (or ”soul”). Thus, contemporary performing values stress smoothness, homogeneity, and glamour at the expense of all other qualities — despite the fact that these other qualities compose seventy-five percent of art, which is great, when it is great, not because it is beautiful but because it is true. Composers like Mussorgsky, Mahler, Berg, Britten, and Shostakovich — for whom the articulacy of sound is so critical as to teeter perpetually on the verge of speech — can be utterly obliterated by performers and critics whose interest is in beauty rather than truth, form rather than being, the score rather than the mind behind it.

Ian MacDonald, The New Shostakovich, p. 259.