Keeping our hearts open to conviction

In February 1847 Joseph Smith appeared to Brigham Young in a dream and said: “Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord, and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you how to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife, and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world. Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it, and it will lead them just right.”

Brigham Young, vision, Feb. 17, 1847, in Brigham Young Office Files, 1832–1878, Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. (Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization modernized.)

God is making of our lives a mosaic

If God chooses to teach us the things we most need to learn because he loves us, and if he seeks to tame our souls and gentle us in the way we most need to be tamed and most need to be gentled, it follows that he will customize the challenges he gives us and individualize them so that we will be prepared for life in a better world by his refusal to take us out of this world, even though we are not of it. In the eternal ecology of things we must pray, therefore, not that things be taken from us, but that God’s will be accomplished through us. What, therefore, may seem now to be mere unconnected pieces of tile will someday, when we look back, take form and pattern, and we will realize that God was making a mosaic. For there is in each of our lives this kind of divine design, this pattern, this purpose that is in the process of becoming, which is continually before the Lord but which for us, looking forward, is sometimes perplexing.
Neal A . Maxwell, “But for a Small Moment,” BYU Fireside, September 1, 1974

Pull together

There will always be a need for civility and trust throughout the large BYU family, harnessed as we are together. John Taylor observed,

Many of us are tried and tempted, and we get harsh and hard feelings against one another. And it reminds me of your teams when going down hill with a heavy load. When the load begins to crowd on to the horses, you will frequently see one snap at his mate, and the other will prick up his ears and snap back again. And why? A little while before, perhaps, and they were playing with each other. Because the load crowds on them. Well, when the load begins to crowd, do not snap at your brethren, but let them feel that you are their friends, and pull together. [John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 21:214-15]

Lead horses are especially snapped and nipped at, even though they are pulling more than their share of the load.

Neal A. Maxwell, “Out of the Best Faculty,” BYU Annual University Conference, August 26, 1993

Inspiration and power are the fruits of spirituality

Inspiration is to know the will of the Lord. Power is the capability to accomplish that inspired will. (See D&C 43:15-16.) Such power comes from God after we have done “all we can do.” (2 Ne. 25:23.)

Richard G. Scott, “The Plan for Happiness and Exaltation,” Ensign, Nov. 1981, 11

Spirituality yields two fruits. The first in inspiration to know what to do. The second is power, or the capacity to do it. These two capacities come together. That’s why Nephi could say, ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded’ (1 Nephi 3:7). He knew the spiritual laws upon which inspiration and power are based. Yes, God answers prayer and gives us spiritual direction when we live obediently and exercise the required faith in Him.

Richard G. Scott,”To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 7

It is a very great thing to be little

Our Christian destiny is in fact a great one: but we cannot achieve greatness unless we lose all interest in being great. For our own idea of greatness is illusory, and if we pay too much attention to it we will be lured out of the peace and stability of the being God gave us, and seek to live in a myth we have created for ourselves. It is, therefore, a very great thing to be little, which is to say: to be ourselves. And when we are truly ourselves we lose most of the futile self consciousness that keeps us constantly comparing ourselves with others in order to see how big we are.

Thomas Merton