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.)

Friendship is designed to revolutionize and civilize the world

Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism’; [it is designed] to revolutionize and civilize the world, and cause wars and contentions to cease and men to become friends and brothers. …

… Friendship is like Brother [Theodore] Turley in his blacksmith shop welding iron to iron; it unites the human family with its happy influence.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007), Chapter 40, pp. 458–67

Zion: destroying darkness, renewing the earth

The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; . . . it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory [of Zion] . . . a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 231–32; emphasis added.

Pondering is what you do after you have carefully read the scriptures

As you ponder—not just read but ponder and meditate—on scriptural passages, the power of the Holy Ghost will distill truths in your mind and heart as a secure foundation in this uncertain time in which we live.
Richard G. Scott, “He Lives! All Glory to His Name!,” Ensign, May 2010

Our humility and our faith that invite spiritual gifts are increased by our reading, studying, and pondering the scriptures. We have all heard those words. Yet we may read a few lines or pages of scripture every day and hope that will be enough.

But reading, studying, and pondering are not the same. We read words and we may get ideas. We study and we may discover patterns and connections in scripture. But when we ponder, we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering, to me, is the thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying in the scriptures carefully.
Henry B. Eyring, “Serve with the Spirit,” Ensign, November 2010

The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out.
Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ed. B. H. Roberts, 2nd ed. rev. 3:295.

Joseph Smith: Why should it be thought a thing incredible?

“Seeing that the Lord has never given the world to understand by anything heretofore revealed that he had ceased forever to speak to his creatures when sought unto in a proper manner, why should it be thought a thing incredible that he should be pleased to speak again in these last days for their salvation?”

“…. I may believe that Enoch walked with God. I may believe that Abraham communed with God and conversed with angels. I may believe that Isaac obtained a renewal of the covenant made to Abraham by the direct voice of the Lord. I may believe that Jacob conversed with holy angels and heard the word of his Maker, that he wrestled with the angel until he prevailed and obtained a blessing. I may believe that Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire with fiery horses. I may believe that the saints saw the Lord and conversed with him face to face after his resurrection. I may believe that the Hebrew church came to Mount Zion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. I may believe that they looked into eternity and saw the Judge of all, and Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant.

“But will all this purchase an assurance for me, or waft me to the regions of eternal day with my garments spotless, pure, and white? Or, must I not rather obtain for myself, by my own faith and diligence in keeping the commandments of the Lord, an assurance of salvation for myself? And have I not an equal privilege with the ancient saints? And will not the Lord hear my prayers and listen to my cries as soon as he ever did to theirs if I come to him in the manner they did?”5
“Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith,” p. 128.

“And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.”

Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29:9