One’s life . . . cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free. . . . Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, ”Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!” . . .Real faith . . . is required to endure this necessary but painful developmental process.
Just as the capacity to defer gratification is a sign of real maturity, likewise the willingness to wait for deferred explanation is a sign of real faith and of trust spread over time.
“I am going to preach a hard doctrine to you now. The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. It is a hard doctrine, but it is true. The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him. And that hard doctrine lies at the center of discipleship.”
“Personality patterns, habits, strengths, and weaknesses observed by God over a long period of time in the pre-mortal world would give God a perfect understanding of what we would do under a given set of circumstances to come.”
“Isn’t it marvelous, brothers and sisters, that God, who knows everything, still spends time listening to our prayers? Compared to that cosmic fact, what does the world really have to offer us? One round of applause, one fleeting moment of adulation, or an approving glance from a phantom Caesar? May God bless us to see things as they really are and as they really will be (see Jacob 4:13; D&C 93:24), and may we give the glory and honor and praise unto God.”
“When we pray, we are not conveying any information to God that he does not already have. Nor, when we confess our sins before him, is it news to him that we have misbehaved. More than we realize, being honest with God in our prayers helps us to be more honest with ourselves.”
“Your lives, your friendships, your marriages, your families, your neighbors and coworkers currently constitute the sample of humanity which God has given you. We are each other’s clinical material, and we make a mistake when we disregard that sober fact. . . . These special moments – one-on-one, in small groups, in corridors, hallways, or wherever – do something so subtle that we are scarcely aware that it is happening. Yet these help to further define our relationships with the Lord and with each other. It is often the one-liners that come from these special moments which have such a long shelf life and which help us long after the dispersal of those friends has occurred.”