LDS Quotes on Character

“I suspect that you and I are much more familiar with the redeeming power of the Atonement and not as associated with the enabling power of the Atonement. The Atonement is also for saints. I don’t think many of us get it. We mistakenly think that we have to make the journey from good to better all by ourselves. Individuals through faith in the Atonement receive strength and power to do good works that they could not do otherwise.”

Elder David A. Bednar  |  "The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality"

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“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Helen Keller

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“The final judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts – what we have done. It is an acknowledgement of the final effect or our acts and thoughts – what we have become.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

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Joseph Smith Portrait

You will always discover in the first glance of a man, in the outlines of his features something of his mind

Joseph Smith  |  Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 299


“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Abraham Lincoln

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“We may be quite sure that Christ-centeredness and Christ-likeness will never be attained by our own unaided efforts. How can self drive out self? We could as well expect Satan to drive out Satan. We’re not interested in skin-deep holiness and a merely external resemblance to Jesus Christ. We’re not satisfied by a superficial modification of behavior patterns in conformity to some Christian subculture which expects this, commands that, and prohibits the other. No, what we long for is a deep inward change of character resulting from a change of nature and leading to a radical change of conduct. In a word, we want to be like Christ, and that thoroughly, profoundly, entirely. Nothing less than that will do.”

Robert Millet  |  1992 CES Symposium at BYU

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“The attributes of the Savior, as we perceive them, are not a script to be followed or list to be checked off. They are interwoven characteristics, added one to another, which develop in us in interactive ways. In other words, we cannot obtain one Christlike characteristic without also obtaining and influencing others. As one characteristic becomes strong, so do many more.”

Elder Robert D. Hales  |  Becoming a Disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ

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“The decisions we make, individually and personally, become the fabric of our lives. That fabric will be beautiful or ugly according to the threads of which it is woven. I wish to say particularly to the young men who are here that you cannot indulge in any unbecoming behavior without injury to the beauty of the fabric of your lives. Immoral acts of any kind will introduce an ugly thread. Dishonesty of any kind will create a blemish. Foul and profane language will rob the pattern of its beauty.”

Gordon B. Hinckley  |  "This Work Is Concerned with People," Conference, April 1995

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“Let me spend a moment on an item that I think a great many people, particularly members of the Church, do not understand. A lot of our people–including a lot of you–have great amounts of faith but sometimes tend to distort that faith a little by saying, “I am not going to move until I receive a positive assurance”–a burning in the bosom, as it were–“that that is the right thing to do.”

“You are all familiar with the scripture where Oliver Cowdery was trying to translate and could not do it. The Lord explained that Oliver had to figure it out himself, and if it was right He would give him a burning in his bosom; and if it was wrong he would have a stupor of thought. Many people say, “I am not going to move because I do not have that burning in my bosom. I am not positive about this, that, or the other . . . .” Too often we want to be positive about everything. We feel that we need to have this burning all the time. Often people say, “I am confused. I don’t know what to do”–and so they end up treading water and not doing anything, not making any real progress–and that, in and of itself, is a great sin. We should not do things wrong–and, as I said before, the Lord will let you know when things are wrong–but, for heaven’s sake, we should do something! This lengthening of our stride and quickening of our pace about which our modern-day prophet, the Lord’s spokesman, talks so much cannot happen if we are standing still. We must be moving, and we should be moving in the right direction.

“Let me tell what I have discovered–and this is somewhat repetitious. I do not say that we will not get that burning in our bosom, for we will when it is the right thing. In my life there have been quite a few occasions where there was absolutely no question about it–that burning was there. For instance, I have had the experience of installing stake presidents when there was absolutely no question, when I was positive that “that is the man to be the stake president now.” It has happened in other situations also, but generally it has worked the other way–that is by eliminating the wrong directions to reveal the right direction, especially concerning our opportunities for progress in life in what we often term the temporal sense. We must try to figure it out ourselves. In the past I have tried out whether I should go into business or into teaching or into the arts or whatever. As I have begun to proceed along one path, having more or less gathered what facts I could, I have found that if that decision was wrong or was taking me down the wrong path–not necessarily an evil one, but one that was not right for me–without fail, the Lord has always let me know just this emphatically: “That is wrong; do not go that way. That is not for you!””

John H. Groberg  |  What is Your Mission, BYU Devotional Address, May 1979

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“Exercising agency in a setting that sometimes includes opposition and hardship is what makes life more than a simple multiple-choice test. God is interested in what we are becoming as a result of our choices. He is not satisfied if our exercise of moral agency is simply a robotic effort at keeping some rules. Our Savior wants us to become something, not just do some things. He is endeavoring to make us independently strong – more able to act for ourselves than perhaps those of any prior generation. We must be righteous, even when He withdraws His Spirit, or, as President Brigham Young said, even ‘in the dark.’”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson  |  “Moral Agency,” Ensign, June 2009, p. 53

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