Let us prove our minds are set on beauty and true excellence

Let the people bring out their talents, and have the variety within them brought forth and made manifest so that we can behold it, like the variety in the works of nature. See the variety God has created—no two trees alike, no two leaves, no two spears of grass alike. The same variety that we see in all the works of God, that we see in the features, visages and forms, exists in the spirits of men. Now let us develop the variety within us, and show to the world that we have talent and taste, and prove to the heavens that our minds are set on beauty and true excellence, so that we can become worthy to enjoy the society of angels, and raise ourselves above the level of the wicked world and begin to increase in faith, and the power that God has given us, and to show to the world an example worthy of imitation.

Brigham Young, Journals of Discourses, 11:305

Every polished grace, every useful attainment

Every accomplishment, every polished grace, every useful attainment in mathematics, music, and in all science and art belongs to the Saints, and they should avail themselves as expeditiously as possible of the wealth of knowledge the sciences offer to every diligent and persevering scholar (DBY, 252).

I am happy to see our children engaged in the study and practice of music. Let them be educated in every useful branch of learning, for we, as a people, have in the future to excel the nations of the earth in religion, science and philosophy (DBY, 256).

Brigham Young (“Chapter 27: Learning by Study and by Faith,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997))

Keep your dish right side up

Brigham Young Stop! Wait! When you get up in the morning, before you suffer yourselves to eat one mouthful of food, . . . bow down before the Lord, ask him to forgive your sins, and protect you through the day, to preserve you from temptation and all evil, to guide your steps aright, that you may do something that day that shall be beneficial to the kingdom of God on the earth. Have you time to do this? . . . This is the counsel I have for the Latter-day Saints to day. Stop, do not be in a hurry. . . . You are in too much of a hurry; you do not go to meeting enough, you do not pray enough, you do not read the Scriptures enough, you do not meditate enough, you are all the time on the wing, and in such a hurry that you do not know what to do first. . . . Let me reduce this to a simple saying—one of the most simple and homely that can be used—’Keep your dish right side up,’ so that when the shower of porridge does come you can catch your dish full.

Brigham Young, in Deseret News Weekly, 5 June 1872, 248; emphasis added. Quoted by Keith B. McMullin in “Come to Zion! Come to Zion!,” October General Conference, 2002.

Having faith in the character of the Savior

  President Young observed that real faith requires faith in the Savior’s character, in His Atonement, and in the plan of salvation (in Journal of Discourses, 13:56). The Savior’s character necessarily underwrote His remarkable Atonement. Without His sublime character there could have been no sublime Atonement! His character is such that He went forth “suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” (Alma 7:11), yet He gave temptations “no heed” (D&C 20:22).

C. S. Lewis has said that only those who resist temptation really understand the power of temptation. Because Jesus resisted it perfectly, He understood temptation perfectly; hence He can help us. (See Mere Christianity [1952], 124–25.) The fact that He was dismissive of temptation and gave it “no heed” reveals His marvelous character, which we are to emulate (see 3 Ne. 12:48; 3 Ne. 27:27).

Jesus Christ, who by far suffered the most, has the most compassion—for all of us who suffer so much less. Moreover, He who suffered the most has no self-pity! Even as He endured the enormous suffering associated with the Atonement, He reached out to others in their much lesser suffering. Consider how, in Gethsemane, Jesus, who had just bled at every pore, nevertheless restored an assailant’s severed ear which, given Jesus’ own agony, He might not have noticed! (see Luke 22:50–51).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Enduring Well,” Liahona, Apr 1999, 10

Yielding the body to the spirit

If the spirit yields to the body, it becomes corrupt; but if the body yields to the spirit it becomes pure and holy, and is fitted to come forth with the just in the morning of the first resurrection, and to dwell with the sanctified; otherwise we cannot be prepared for this glory. We are gathered together to sanctify these bodies, to deal, act, transact, and do everything we do in the love of God, and in the fear of God, for the building up of his kingdom and to his name’s honor and glory.

Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:290

God is your Father; pray to Him

[God] is your Father; pray to him. If your life is in disarray and you feel uncomfortable and unworthy to pray because you are not clean, don’t worry. He already knows about all of that. He is waiting for you to kneel in humility and take the first few steps. Pray for strength. Pray for others to be led to support you and guide you and lift you. Pray that the love of the Savior will pour into your heart. Pray that the miracle of the Atonement will bring forgiveness because you are willing to change. I know that those prayers will be answered, for God loves you. His Son gave his life for you. I know they will help you.”
Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov. 1988, 77

Some of the brethren come to me and say, “Brother Brigham, is it my duty to pray when I have not one particle of the spirit of prayer in me?” True, at times, men are perplexed and full of care and trouble, their ploughs and other implements are out of order, their animals have strayed and a thousand things perplex them; yet our judgment teaches us that it is our duty to pray, whether we are particularly in the spirit of praying or not. My doctrine is, it is your duty to pray; and when the time for prayer comes, John should say, “This is the place and this is the time to pray; knees bend down upon the floor, and do so at once.” But John said, “I do not want to pray; I do not feel like it.” Knees get down, I say; and down bend the knees, and he begins to think and reflect. Can you say anything? Can you not say, God have mercy on me a sinner? Yes, he can do this, if he can rise up and curse his neighbor for some ill deeds. Now, John, open your mouth and say, Lord, have mercy upon me. “But I do not feel the spirit of prayer.” That does not excuse you, for you know what your duty is.
Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 45.

Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees. Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil. And I have learned to conclude all my prayers with “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10; see also Luke 11:2; 3 Nephi 13:10).
Elder Boyd K. Packer, “Prayer and Promptings,” Ensign, November 2009

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.