John A. Widtsoe

“The reading habit is most valuable in life. I mean by that the practice of using a little time, say half an hour a day, in the systematic reading of worthwhile literature. The mind is opened to precious fields of thought; the achievements of the ages become ours; even the future takes form. As the mind and spirit are fed by well chosen reading, comfort, peace and understanding come to the soul. Those who have not tried it, have missed a keen and easily accessible joy. Moreover a person who engages in such a regular daily reading, if only a few minutes a day, in the course of a few years becomes a learned man. But it must be a regular daily habit. … Some of the best educated men that I have ever met have never been to college but have acquired the habit of daily reading of good books for a few minutes a day.”

John A. Widtsoe  |  Conference Report, April 1939, p. 21.

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“Fear which ‘shall come upon every man’ D&C 63:33 is the natural consequence of a sense of weakness, also of sin. Fear is a chief weapon of Satan in making mankind unhappy. He who fears loses strength for the combat of life, for the fight against evil. Therefore, the power of evil ever seeks to engender fear in human hearts. In this day of sorrow, fear walks with humanity. It directs, measurably, the course of every battle. It remains as a gnawing poison in the heart of victors as of the vanquished.

John A. Widtsoe  |  "If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear"

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In this world upheaval, in this day of wanton destruction, we, as a people must look upward. There must be trust and faith in our hearts. Hope must walk by our side. We must remember charity also. We must treasure the warm words of the Father to His Church, “Be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you” ( D&C 68:6). We who have been called to leadership in the Church of Christ must lead our people from anxiety and fear and doubt, to trust and faith in the Lord, and certainty in the outcome of the Lord’s plan of salvation. We must repeat with gladness the words of the Lord, “Fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks” ( D&C 98:1).

Above the roar of cannon and airplane, the maneuvers and plans of men, the Lord always determines the tide of battle. So far and no farther does He permit the evil one to go in his career to create human misery. The Lord is ever victorious; He is the Master to whose will Satan is subject. Though all hell may rage, and men may follow evil, the purposes of the Lord will not fail. The God of Israel, “He slumbers not nor sleeps” ( Ps. 121:4). It is well to remember the admonition of old: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).

John A. Widtsoe  |  Conference Report, April 1942, pp. 32-34

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“Whoever in absolute desire to know the truth places himself in harmony with divine forces and approaches God in humble prayer, with full surrender of inherited or acquired prejudices, will learn to his complete satisfaction that there is a God in Heaven, whose loving will is operative on earth.”

John A. Widtsoe  |  “The Articles of Faith,” Improvement Era, May 1935, p. 288

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“Would it not be well this Christmas to give first to the Lord, directly through obedience, sacrifice, and love, and then to give to him indirectly through gifts to friends and those in need as well as to our own? Should we do this, perhaps many of us would discover a new Christmas joy.”

John A. Widtsoe  |  "The Gifts of Christmas", Ensign, Dec. 1972, 4

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“When it is recalled that the language of science is made by men, and varies very often from age to age, and from country to country. Besides, the God who spoke to Joseph Smith, says, “These commandments were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.” If God had spoken the special language of science, the unlearned Joseph Smith would not, perhaps, have understood. Every wise man explains that which he knows in the language of those to whom he is speaking, and the facts and theories of science can be quite easily expressed in the language of the common man. It is needless to expect scientific phraseology in the writings of Joseph Smith

John A. Widtsoe  |  “Joseph Smith as Scientist.” iBooks.

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“The gospel accepts and embraces all truth; science is slowly expanding her arms, and reaching into the invisible domain, in search of truth. The two are meeting daily, religion has an equal right to try science. Either method, properly applied, leads to the same result: Truth is truth.”

John A. Widtsoe  |  “In Search of Truth: Comments on the Gospel and Modern Thought.”

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“The church supports and welcomes the growth of science. … The religion of the Latter-day Saints is not hostile to any truth, nor to scientific search for truth,”

John A. Widtsoe  |  “Evidences and Reconciliations”

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We are in possession of all the ordinances that can be administered in the flesh; but there are other ordinances and administrations that must be administered beyond this world. I know you would ask what they are. I will mention one. We have not, neither can we receive here, the ordinance and the keys of the resurrection. They will be given to those who have passed off this stage of action and have received their bodies again, as many have already done and many more will. They will be ordained, by those who hold the keys of the resurrection, to go forth and resurrect the Saints. . . .This is one of the ordinances we cannot receive here, and there are many more.

John A. Widtsoe  |  The Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 397

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“Modern revelation sets forth the high destiny of those who are sealed for everlasting companionship. They will be given opportunity for a greater use of their powers. That means progress. They will attain more readily to their place in the presence of the Lord; they will increase more rapidly in every divine power; they will approach more nearly to the like­ness of God; they will more completely realize their divine destiny. And this progress is not delayed until life after death. It begins here, today, for those who yield obedience to the law.”

John A. Widtsoe  |  Evidences and Reconciliations (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1960), 300

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