Marvin J. Ashton

Quotes By Marvin J. Ashton

Marvin J. Ashton was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from 1971-1994 as well the author of several LDS books including The Measure of Our Hearts and Ye are My FriendsAshton also served as president of the Polynesian Cultural Center.

“A friend is a priceless possession because a true friend is one who is willing to take us the way we are but is able to leave us better than he found us. We are poor when we lose friends because generally they are willing to reprove, admonish, love, encourage, and guide for our best good. A friend lifts the heavy heart, says the encouraging word, and assists in supplying our daily needs. As friends we will make ourselves available without delay to those who need us.”

Marvin J. Ashton  |  BYU Speeches, 30 March 1982

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“Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher repulsive.

“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.”

Marvin J. Ashton  |  Ensign, May 1992, p. 19

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“True love is a process. True love requires personal action.”

Marvin J. Ashton  |  Love Takes Time

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“One may have many talents and knowledge but never acquire wisdom because he does not learn to be compassionate with his fellow man. We will never approach godliness until we learn to love and lift. Indifference to others and their plight denies us life’s sweetest moments of joy and service.”

Marvin J. Ashton  |  “The Measure Of Our Hearts,” General Conference, October 1988

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“Generally our Heavenly Father will not interfere with the agency of another person unless He has a greater purpose for that individual. Two examples come to mind: Saul, who became the Apostle Paul, and Alma the Younger. Both these men were deterred from their unrighteous objective of persecuting and trying to destroy the church of God. Both became great missionaries for the Church. But even as the Lord intervened, they were given choices. Alma, for example, was told, ‘If thou wilt be destroyed of thyself, seek no more to destroy the church of God.’”

Marvin J. Ashton  |  “Know He Is There,” Ensign, February 1994, p. 54

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“One of the most common of all sins among worldly people is relying on and then boasting in the arm of flesh. This is a most serious evil. It is a sin born of pride, a sin that creates a frame of mind which keeps men from turning to the Lord and accepting his saving grace. When a man knowingly or unknowingly engages in self-exultation because of his riches, his political power, his worldly learning, his physical prowess, his business ability, or even his works of righteousness, he is not in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. We would all do well to take a lesson from the Savior, who repeatedly acknowledged and gave credit to the Father in all things. Indeed, that precedent was set in the premortal council when Jesus Christ pledged the fruits of all he might himself accomplish to go to the Father: “And the glory be thine forever.” (Moses 4:2)

Marvin J. Ashton  |  “Neither Boast of Faith Nor of Mighty Works,” Ensign, May 1990, p. 65

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“We need to come to terms with our desire to reach perfection and with our frustration when our accomplishments or our behaviors are less than perfect. I feel that one of the great myths we would do well to dispel is that we’ve come to earth to perfect ourselves, and nothing short of that will do. If I understand the teachings of the prophets of this dispensation correctly, we will not become perfect in this life, though we can make significant strides toward that goal. . . .I am also convinced of the fact that the speed with which we head along the straight and narrow path isn’t as important as the direction in which we are traveling. That direction, if it is leading toward eternal goals, is the all-important factor.”

Marvin J. Ashton  |  Ensign, May 1989, pp. 20-21

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Let me share four basic contributing factors which might prevent our personal progress and church activity: (1) the constant nursing of personal hurts, (2) yielding to the sorrow of tragedy and grief, (3) being fettered with the habits and mistakes of misconduct, (4) letting fears inhibit progress.

Let us ponder these enemies of eternal progress and seek ways of gathering the courage to cast them aside.

Marvin J. Ashton  |  Road Blocks to Progress

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“The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people.”

Marvin J. Ashton

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“A friend is a possession we earn, not a gift. ….The Lord has declared that those who serve him and keep his commandments are called his servants. After they have been tested and tried and are found faithful and true in all things, they are called no longer servants, but friends. His friends are the ones he will take into his kingdom and with whom he will associate in an eternal inheritance.”

Marvin J. Ashton

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