Thursday, August 30, 2012

And then, the Conspiring Man behind the counter asked me, "Do you want fries with that?"...

"Do you want fries with that?..."
Doctrine & Covenants 89:4 - "Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forwarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation-" ...

Want to know just how deep and widespread the "evils and designs" are in the hearts of "conspiring men" out there in the American Fast Food and supporting industries today? Read this book. Now.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What if the Temple had sticky floors and crayon marks all over the walls?

A friend of mine told me of a sign that she saw and wants to have in her home.  It reads:

Great mothers have stick floors, dirty ovens and happy kids.

I've heard of similar sentiments like this before, and I get it.  If it comes down to cleaning house or spending time with children and family building loving eternal relationships, then the pick-up game of kickball or the taking a moment to teach or comfort a child in need always wins. Sticky floors need to take a back seat to the nurturing of one's family.  There are moments where we just have to jump in and use the opportunities to spend time with our children and our families as they come.
But what happens after the kickball game is done, the mud pies have been baked, or the teaching moment has been educated?  What happens next?

What happens when the sticky floor comes up against Church callings?

vs. when a friend or sibling calls up and wants to stop by to visit?

vs. when you see a person in great need, or get an emergency call from a Sister on your Visiting Teaching list?

vs. when someone invites you to sing in the Stake Choir and needs you to go to choir practice several times a week?

vs. when you notice someone is having a really bad day and needs some cheering up?

vs. when your friends want to go out for a "Girl's Night Out", or when someone has a baby shower coming up and you saw this super-cute DIY craft on Pinterest or a craft blog that you think if you hurry up you'll have just enough time to finish?

vs. when your friend wants you to see their art exhibit or wants your support in some other endeavor they are attempting?

vs. the latest teenage fiction novel series that everyone is talking about, or when your favorite TV show is on or when you haven't checked Cake Wrecks or seen captioned pictures of cute kittens in a while?

Where does the sticky floor fall within all the other aspects of a modern Mormon life?

There are many different demands of our time, and it is easy to get lost within so many competing priorities, but I believe the Lord has given us sufficient direction on this matter.

(Warning - this is a work in progress with frequent updates and an extremely long and quote heavy post with a few lateral jumps and some gender flip-flops, so you may want to pace yourself on this one and realize it is subject to change without prior notice...)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

C.S. Lewis Quote: Are we optimistic inmates, or disgruntled (& delusional) hotel guests?

"If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place for correction and it's not so bad.  
"Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison.
"Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable.  
"So that what seems the ugly doctrine is one that comforts and strengthens you in the end. The people who try to hold an optimistic view of this world would become pessimists: the people who hold a pretty stern view of it become optimistic.” - C.S. Lewis
Wow.  Let that sink in a bit.

Are we being "optimistic inmates", or "disgruntled hotel guests"?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ensign: "Be on the Look-out for Wild Doctrines Roaming the City..." (Maxwell - 1975)

"Spiritual Ecology" by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign Feb. 1975

 I can picture in my head the opening scenes of an old black and white monster movie, where we pan to a little house in a quiet neighborhood and zoom in on a family sitting peacefully around the radio enjoying their favorite evening program.  Father is in his chair reading his paper, Mother is doing some knitting for the bundle of joy they are expecting, brother and sister are on the floor rapt with attention to hear what will happen next to their favorite radio hero.  All is as it should be - when all of the sudden an announcer breaks in to set the stage for the horror that is about to be unleashed on their small town and unsuspecting home ...

"Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt this program to bring you a special public safety news bulletin.  This just in ... Reports are coming in of escaped doctrines roaming the city.  

"They have broken away and unraveled themselves from the 'fabric of orthodoxy' and are considered wild and dangerous.  These doctrines are so powerful that left unchecked by the other doctrines they can ruin lives, wreck homes, and bring down whole civilizations.  

"They tend to travel in packs with other dangerous vagabonds such as ignorance, deception, idleness, idolatry, pride, and fear; they are also known to carry other vices as parasites.  Do not approach these renegade principles if you find them on the streets, do not feed them, and do not let them into your homes or introduce them to your family or friends.

"The authorities are advising everyone to return to their homes, lock their doors and windows, stay inside, and remain calm.  We will bring you further news as it becomes available."

Well, from the words of Elder Maxwell, maybe we need to have some PSA's like this in our day and time ...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quote: "Arriving at the Pearly Gates" (Sis. Hinckley)

(Reposted from the "Daily LDS Quotes" mailing list on LDS.NET...)
January 24, 2012 - Arriving at the Pearly Gates

"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.

I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.

I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.

I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.

I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.

I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."

Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BYU Devotional - Traps Impeding the Ability to Meet Challenges (Maxwell - 1974)

Neal  A. Maxwell, “But for a Small Moment,” BYU Devotional, 1 September 1974.

This one is one of my favorites.  Elder Maxwell gives warning about eight different traps he has been able to identify that we could fall pray to and lead us off the path.

Here are some excerpts from the ones I found particularly interesting.


"A seventh trap, brothers and sisters, is that some of us neglect to develop multiple forces of satisfaction. When one of the wells upon which we draw dries up through death, loss or status, disaffection, or physical ailment, we then find ourselves very thirsty because, instead of having multiple sources of satisfaction in our lives, we have become too dependent upon this or upon that.  How important it is to the symmetry of our souls that we interact with all the gospel principles and with all the Church programs, so that we do not become so highly specialized that, if we are deprived of one source of satisfaction, indeed we are in difficulty. It is possible to be incarcerated within the prison of one principle. We are less vulnerable if our involvements with the kingdom are across the board. We are less vulnerable if we care deeply about many principles–not simply a few.

Gen Conf: How can the New York temple be so quiet while in the middle of downtown Manhattan?‏ (Elder Stone - 2006)

April 2006 Gen. Conf - "Zion in the Midst of Babylon", Elder David R. Stone (2nd Quorum of the Seventy)

Powerful and sobering words about the blinding influence our cultures have on our spiritual progression without us even knowing it.

"My involvement with the building of the Manhattan temple gave me the opportunity to be in the temple quite often prior to the dedication. It was wonderful to sit in the celestial room and be there in perfect silence, without a single sound to be heard coming from the busy New York streets outside. How was it possible that the temple could be so reverently silent when the hustle and bustle of the metropolis was just a few yards away?

BYU-H Devotional - The "Happy Fruit" experiment vs. "Bad Thinking"‏ (Bro. Murray - 2011)

"Happy Fruit" - BYU Hawaii Devotional - May 3, 2011 - Michael Murray (Former Mission President & Former Executive @ Microsoft & Apple Computer)


Our Father in Heaven encourages us to experiment with the Gospel of Jesus Christ – to find out if it’s true or false.
Serving as a mission president in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania I felt like a gospel scientist with a lab of 350 young experimenters. These were our full-time missionaries whom Joyce and I came to know and love during our three years of service.

As part of this experiment, I expected lives to change. I expected testimonies to grow. I expected blessings to pour down from heaven upon the obedient and humble. And all of this happened in great abundance.

But there was an additional astonishing result that I did not predict from this experiment. And it happened time and time again.

BYU Devotional - Maxwell on Foreordination and "Meeting the Challenges of Today"‏ (Maxwell - 1978)

"Meeting the Challenges of Today", NEAL A. MAXWELL, BYU Devotional, Oct. 1978

Wonderful devotional about the doctrine of foreordination, and how a better understanding about knowing just how well Heavenly Father knows us can help us deal with the struggles of today and tomorrow, and "see things as they really are".


[T]he doctrine of foreordination properly understood and humbly pursued can help us immensely in coping with the vicissitudes of life. Otherwise, time can tug at us and play so many tricks upon us. We should always understand that while God is never surprised, we often are.

BYU Devotional - Who will be begging who in the final judgement?‏ (Bro. Wilcox - 2011)

"His Grace is Sufficient" - Bro. Brad Wilcox, (member of the Sunday School General Board) - BYU Devotional,  July 2011

This one sort of builds on the idea of us learning how to be comfortable in our "Refined Heavenly Home" from the article from Elder Callister yesterday.

I too had Bro. Wilcox's first concept of the interaction w/ Jesus in the final judgment, but after reading C. S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce", as well as Bro. Wilcox's and Elder Callister's words, I'm starting to see things a little differently.  I also had the "rocket booster" notion of Christ's grace, but Bro. Wilcox gave me some further light and knowledge on that one as well.

Now, I guess we have to ask ourselves, what sort of culture and environment are we training ourselves and our families to become accustomed to?  Are we seeking to find support and comfort in a culture that exists in this world but is beneath our regal heritage, or are we depending on the grace of Christ to sustain us and give us the strength and courage to build the one celestial culture upon the earth, even if it cannot be fully established until the Second Coming? 

Ensign: Preparing our Homes for the refinement of Heaven‏ (Elder McAllister - 2009)

From Elder Douglas L. McAllister of the Seventy:


"If we could part the veil and observe our heavenly home, we would be impressed with the cultivated minds and hearts of those who so happily live there. I imagine that our heavenly parents are exquisitely refined. In this great gospel of emulation, one of the purposes of our earthly probation is to become like them in every conceivable way so that we may be comfortable in the presence of heavenly parentage and, in the language of Enos, see their faces “with pleasure”(Enos 1:27).

General Conf was on the Last Days‏

From:Kathy ...
Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 3:23 PM

Subject: FW: General Conf was on the Last Days


 >>General Conference continues to resonate through my heart and mind as I ponder

>>the whisperings of the Spirit that accompanied the music,talks and testimonies.


>>But where were the warnings to prepare? some may ask. Let me share with you the

>>comments and observations of a wonderful young man that some of you may know

>>from his YouTube videos where he goes by the name of davidkat99. David shared

>>some thoughts after last April's General Conference which came so forcefully to

>>my mind this past week that I requested and received permission to post them



Devotional - How does the "living" you are making measure up?‏ (Elder Robbins - 2010)

Are we a Scrooge or a George Bailey?
Here is a BYU Idaho devotional from Oct 2010 by Elder Lynn G. Robbins (same one from the April 2011 conference who gave a great talk on "To Be" & "To Do").

He brings up some great points about how we are to not only make a living, but more importantly, "make a good and honest living". 

He presents a "grading system" on how to tell if the things we are doing to make a living, and the ways we go about making a living are in-line with the Gospel, and makes us take a good hard look at our motivations in doing so.

Talk: Self-esteem is a "Red-Herring"?‏ (Sis. Thomas - 1993)

"The Doer of Our Deeds and the Speaker of Our Words", BYU Devotional, Sis. M. Catherine Thomas, Dec 1993.

With all the talk about "self-esteem" in the world, (especially in child psychology circles), it's nice to hear that this is just another one of those things that when we "lose ourselves" and turn it over to the Lord, he takes care of it.

This seems to go along with the words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, who said, "The solutions to life's problems are always gospel solutions" - if you have a problem with low self-esteem, lose yourself and turn to the gospel.

(When you get to the part where she talks about the biggest obstacle to our own self-esteem, take a pause and let that sink in for a bit... )

BYU Devotional: What "Perfection" really means, and "Becoming Men and Women of Christ " (Maxwell, 1991)

"In Him All Things Hold Together" -  Maxwell - BYU Devotional - 1991
(Other media verions -

I really like the way Elder Maxwell lays out what the word "perfect" really means in the scripture "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48).  It make a lot more sense than the world's version of "Perfection".

He also goes on the lay out a "cheat sheet" of the Christ-like attributes we are to perfect outselves in, as well as opposite traits that can warn us that we may not be as centered on the path as we may think we are...

Excellent read.  Please take the time to read or listen - it will be worth it.


The Greek rendering for "perfect" is, by the way, "complete, finished, fully developed." After his atonement and resurrection, Jesus included himself as our pattern. "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48). One of the problems we have in the Church is that we consider perfection in abstraction, and it becomes too intimidating. But when we think of it in terms of the specific, cardinal attributes, and we strive to develop these in a steady process of self-improvement, it is quite a different matter.

New research on the effects of music on the body‏

"We all know that certain pieces of music can evoke strong emotional responses in people. Now, a research team from Canada's McGill University has uncovered evidence that reveals exactly what causes such feelings of euphoria and ecstasy and why music is so important in human society. Using a combination of brain scanning technologies, the study has shown that the same neurotransmitter which is associated with feeling pleasure from sex and food is released in the brain when listening to good music." ...

One of the aspects I saw in this was a concern that we have to make sure that the "feelings of euphoria and ecstasy" are not too strong, and we don't mistake them for feeling the Spirit or get so caught up that we mask the Spirit:

Talk: Consistent Dedication vs. Frenzied Outbursts (Oaks - 2005)

Dallin H. Oaks - "The Dedication of a Lifetime" - May 01, 2005 - BYU Devotional

Wonderful talk. 

It caused me to pause and think about my personal habits, and wither I live the Gospel with "steady and tranquil dedication" or "short frenzied outbursts of emotion".

(Spoiler Alert!- Putting off finishing something until the last minute and then cramming all into the night is actually against Gospel principles as Elder Oaks lays them out...)

I also had to think about his comments at the beginning about those who after hearning a message from the General Authorities say they  "enjoyed his talk", and those who take them to fulfill their real purpose and are inspired to take the necessary action to change and recommit themselves.

Here are some of the highlights that caused me to think:

Talk: Sacrifice, Mercy, and the Destitute‏ (Elder Robbins - 2005)

I found this talk while listening to the April 2005 General Conference on my way to work last week.  It has a lot of wonderful points of doctrine about not just tithing but sacrifice in general, and how we are all commanded to give to the Lord first, no matter our circumstances.

It's a wonderful talk.  It helped me to put things into better perspective in my life, and pretty much destroyed all excuses I had built up for not giving my all to the Lord first.

After listening to it a few times, I took it a step farther.  Any place he talked about the financially "poor", I interpreted it to also mean those who are poor in time, energy, physical comfort, capabilities, opportunities, mental capacity, social skills, mood, spirit, friends, etc., and how much we are expected to sacrifice in the simple everyday duties of our often mundane day-to-day lives.  I realized I need to start giving the "firstlings" of my personal resources to my Lord in all he commands me, instead of trying to keep a death-grip on them in hopes keeping the "pint of creme" will protect me when things get rocky or I'm afraid I won't have enough for myself afterwards. (Goes against the many voices and philosophies of the world out there about what to do when someone's life takes a downturn...).

BYU Talk - Michael Ballam on music and "Recognizing Inspiration in the Arts"‏

Here is the awesome talk from Michael Ballam on how music and the arts can be used as a force for both good and bad.  I really enjoyed it, and he talked about a lot of things that I had never thought about regarding "spiritual vibrations".

I particularly find his words around 25:50 and 47:20 very insightful.

Talk: Priorities and Power (Sis. Beck - 2010)

Here is a talk I found from the BYU Women’s Conference 2010 by Sis. Julie B. Beck, but I think it applies equally well to the men of the Church as well.

She lays out a pretty simple starting framework for setting out the way we prioritizing our time and find those things that will bring us closer to the Lord.

Here are some links to a video presentation of the talk:

Here is an excerpt of the main points in cause you have problems seeing the videos:


Sisters, you are each like the lioness at the gate. This means that there has to be some prioritizing. I was taught years ago that when our priorities are out of order, we lose power. If we need power and influence to carry out our mission, then our priorities have to be straight.

Talk: Making Final Judgements vs. Intermediate Judgement‏ (Oaks - 1999)

Here is a great talk I ran across while listening to the Mormon Channel.

I have personally been thinking about this ever since a discussion on the topic of judging rightousely came about while watching a popular dance program during a family gathering.  This has answered a lot of questions for me and opened up others to ponder.

Elder Oaks starts with his own lack of understanding between "Final Judgements" and "Intermediate Judgements", and goes on to discuss the difference and what our role is in making judgements:

"I have been puzzled that some scriptures command us not to judge and others instruct us that we should judge and even tell us how to do it. But as I have studied these passages I have become convinced that these seemingly contradictory directions are consistent when we view them with the perspective of eternity. The key is to understand that there are two kinds of judging: final judgments, which we are forbidden to make, and intermediate judgments, which we are directed to make, but upon righteous principles."

Pick a format, and go for it.  You won't be sorry.

Talk Excerpt: Soberness (Elder Hamula - 2008)

"Winning the War against Evil" - Elder James J. Hamula , Oct 2008 Priesthood session

This was in the Priesthood Session, and Elder Hamula was directing is words towards the Aaronic Priesthood, but I think they apply to us all, old or young, male or female.

Maybe we each need to take stock in ourselves. Are we being sober enough considering the weight of the situation we are in, or are we spending too much time idling our time away with "useless cares"?

I recommend taking a few minutes to do a "spiritual breathalyzer" test to gauge the sobriety level of yourselves and you families and see if the level is appropriate to the war we are waged in.  How many irreverent or light-minded behaviors and manners of speech have slipped in unnoticed to become habits, and how many have we deliberately adopted or accepted in order to "fit in" with cultures or friends that are not trying to reach the same eternal goals as we are.

How much better would our whole families do to protect ourselves from the forces that would tear us apart if we fostered soberness in our children and ourselves instead of the many distractions that flank us day-to-day.

Talk Excerpt: Bondage & Self Depreciation (Oaks, 2006)

"All Men Everywhere" - Dallin H. Oaks - May 2006 Ensign
I love how Elder Oaks frequently embeds lessons inside his lessons.
Take for instance this insight into the true meaning of Bondage in his talk about how the blessings of the Gospel are available to all:

"He inviteth them all." We understand "male and female." We also understand "black and white," which means all races. But what about "bond and free"? Bond—the opposite of free—means more than slavery. It means being bound (in bondage) to anything from which it is difficult to escape. Bond includes those whose freedom is restricted by physical or emotional afflictions. Bond includes those who are addicted to some substance or practice. Bond surely refers to those who are imprisoned by sin—“encircled about” by what another teaching of the Book of Mormon calls “the chains of hell” (Alma 5:7). Bond includes those who are held down by traditions or customs contrary to the commandments of God (see Matt. 15:3–6; Mark 7:7–9; D&C 74:4–7; D&C 93:39). Finally, bond also includes those who are confined within the boundaries of other erroneous ideas.
It really helped me to have a better understanding of things that can drag us down and slow or prevent our spiritual progress.  Looking around, I am starting to realize just how much of the world is in bondage, including those around me and myself.  Even this little things that we may feel are innocuous or are just part of our personality quirks can be holding us down in bondage.  Looks like we have a lot more things that we need the Lord's help in overcoming than we may have thought, but at the same time it is comforting to know the Lord still promises his full assistance in overcoming any and all bondage.
The next excerpt gave me pause when I flipped it upside-down.... 

BYU Devotional: "Becoming and Overcoming " (Carol Wilkinson, BYU Devotional: 2009)

"Becoming and Overcoming " - Carol Wilkinson,  BYU Devotional: March 17, 2009


Our Father in Heaven wants us to become like Him, and in so doing He wants us to overcome the world and the influence of Satan. Difficulties in life allow us to find out how much we need the divine strength and love of our Father—not just during the difficulties, but always. As we reach out to God, we can find and experience His goodness and want to be like Him. Satan also wants us to be like him—evil and miserable—and so he seeks to overcome us and thwart God’s plan.

Elder Henry B. Eyring said, "The great test of life is . . . not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage" ("Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady," Ensign, November 2005, 38). In the premortal life we shouted for joy at the opportunity to come to earth to take this test. Yet there have been times when I’ve been really struggling in the midst of a trial and I’ve thought, "In pre-earth life was I excited for this? What was I thinking?" And I’ve wondered if when all the joyful shouting took place I was actually in the spiritual restroom taking a break!

Talk: Eternalism vs. Secularism (Maxwell - 1974)

Too much good stuff in this one to excerpt anything.

Eternalism vs. Secularism

Neal A. Maxwell

Got some time to kill?  Read the article, get out a pad of paper and pencil, and go on a "Secular Scavenger Hunt".  See how many secular influences you can spot in the media you watch/read/surf.  It's fun for the whole family!!! :->

"Classic" Ensign Excerpt: "Emotional Integrity"‏

Victor L. Brown Jr., “A Better Me, a Better Marriage: Developing Emotional Integrity,” Ensign, Aug 1985, 35


Naturally, we want our own marriages to succeed, so we turn to books and theories about relationships between spouses—books on marital communication, physical satisfaction, child-rearing methods, and family activities. Yet, as I have worked with couples, I have observed that individual preparation is necessary before interaction between spouses can be truly effective. This personal preparation results in what I call emotional integrity.

Emotional integrity is the personal achievement of emotional strength, discipline, and completeness that remains constant no matter what others say or do. It includes both a control of emotions and an honest acknowledgement of them—pleasant or unpleasant.

When we achieve emotional integrity, we are steady, consistent, and resilient. Our actions are not determined by the actions of our companions. We are emotionally resilient within ourselves, more enjoyable to live with, and easier to communicate with. We have put our own emotional “houses” in order and are thereby prepared for effective communication with others.

Talk Excerpt: "_The_ Way"

"The Way" by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy - Oct 2008 Gen. Conference
One of the most popular and attractive philosophies of men is to live life your own way, do your own thing, be yourself, don’t let others tell you what to do.

But the Lord said, "I am the way." He said, "Follow me." He said, "What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am."

Don’t think you can’t.

We might think we can’t really follow Him because the standard of His life is so astonishingly high as to seem unreachable. We might think it is too hard, too high, too much, beyond our capacity, at least for now. Don’t ever believe that. While the standard of the Lord is the highest, don’t ever think it is only reachable by a select few who are most able.

In this singular instance life’s experience misleads us. In life we learn that the highest achievements in any human endeavor are always the most difficult and, therefore, achievable only by a select few who are most able. The higher the standard, the fewer can reach it.

But that is not the case here because, unlike every other experience in this life, this is not a human endeavor. It is, rather, the work of God. It is God’s work and it is His "glory . . . to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." There is nothing else like it. Not anywhere. Not ever.
"Unselfish Service" by Dallin H. Oaks, May 2009 General Conference

A few favorite quotes / words of warning:

Unfortunately, some Latter-day Saints seem to forego unselfish service to others, choosing instead to fix their priorities on the standards and values of the world.

But Jesus taught that we who follow Him should be precious and unique, "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world," to shine forth to all men.

Those chastisements remind us that we are called to establish the Lord's standards, not to follow the world's.

Elder John A. Widtsoe declared, "We cannot walk as other men, or talk as other men, or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves [to it]."

That reality has current application to every trendy action ... As a wise friend observed, "You can't be a life saver if you look [and act] like all the other swimmers on the beach.

Talk Excerpt: Modern Pioneers (Ballard - Oct 2008)

(From "The Truth of God Shall Go Forth" - Elder M. Russell Ballard, Oct 2008 General Conference)


This is God’s work, and God’s work will not be frustrated. But there is still much to be done before the Great Jehovah can announce that the work is done.

While we praise and honor those faithful Saints who have brought us to this point of public prominence, we cannot afford, my brothers and sisters, to be comfortable or content.

We are all needed to finish the work that was begun by those pioneering Saints over 175 years ago and carried out through the subsequent decades by faithful Saints of every generation.

We need to believe as they believed.

We need to work as they worked.

We need to serve as they served.

And we need to overcome as they overcame.

Excellent Talk: "Quick To Observe" - Bednar @ BYU, 2005

Wonderful talk from Elder Bednar in 2005.

(I've been listening to "The Mormon Channel" on the internet at work. I highly recommend it -

Quotes on the nature of Heavenly Father

Here are some quotes about Heavenly Father's history from talks / quotes / books I found.

There seems to be some big anti-Mormon chatter about a way Hinkley answered the question in an interview and tried to side-step it, and everyone saying it's a hypocrisy, (or it could have just been Hinkley knowing that we was walking into a trap and back-peddled a bit to stay out of harms way).

Be forewarned, though - I found many anti-Mormon sites discussing the interview, and I had to back out very quickly because I felt a dark spirit creeping up and had to get back to and read a bit to take a "spiritual shower". <shudder>

"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret... It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God and to know...that he was once a man like us. Here, then, is eternal life--to know that only wise and true God, and you have got to learn how to become Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you. .. God himself, the father of us all dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ."
- The Prophet Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 342-345, also quoted heavily by the church, see Gospel Principles, Chapter 47.

"The idea that the Lord our God is not a personage of tabernacle is entirely a mistaken notion. He was once a man. Brother Kimball quoted a saying of Joseph the Prophet, that he would not worship a God who had not a Father; and I do not know that he would if be had not a mother; the one would be as absurd as the other. If he had a Father, he was made in his likeness. And if he is our Father we are made after his image and likeness. He once possessed a body, as we now do; and our bodies are as much to us, as his body to him. Every iota of this organization is necessary to secure for us an exaltation with the Gods."
- Prophet Brigham Young, True Character of God, Salt Lake Tabernacle, February 23, 1862, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p.286

"What, is it possible that the Father of Heights, the Father of our spirits, could reduce himself and come forth like a man? Yes, he was once a man like you and I are and was once on an earth like this, passed through the ordeal you and I pass through. He had his father and his mother and he has been exalted through his faithfulness, and he is become Lord of all. He is the God pertaining to this earth. He is our Father. He begot our spirits in the spirit world. They have come forth and our earthly parents have organized tabernacles for our spirits and here we are today. That is the way we came.
- Prophet Brigham Young, 14 July 1861, Recorded in "The Essential Brigham Young", p.138

"On the other hand, the whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342-62); and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is this grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become!
- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, October 1994

"Many religions teach that human beings are children of God, but often their conception of Him precludes any kind of bond resembling a parent-child relationship. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught of a much simpler and more sensible relationship: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit … was to make himself visible … , you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another.”"
- “Strengthening the Family: Created in the Image of God, Male and Female,” Ensign, Jan. 2005, 48

"The doctrine that God was once a man and has progressed to become a God is unique to this church."
- Official LDS Lesson Manual, 1997, page 34, "The Teachings of Brigham Young"

"God the Father and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, are glorified, exalted, resurrected, beings, and from the moment of the appearance of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith, we have known their true nature."
- Offical LDS publication, Ensign, June 1998, Apostle Russell Ballard, "Building Bridges of Understanding"

"That exalted position was made manifest to me at a very early day. I had a direct revelation of this. It was most perfect and complete. If there ever was a thing revealed to man perfectly, clearly, so that there could be no doubt or dubiety, this was revealed to me, and it came in these words: "As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be." This may appear to some minds as something very strange and remarkable, but it is in perfect harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and with His promises."
- Prophet Lorenzo R. Snow, Unchangeable Love of God, Sunday, September 18, 1898.

"We all know that like begets like and that for the offspring to grow to the stature of his parent is a process infinitely repeated in nature. We can therefore understand that for a son of God to grow to the likeness of his Father in heaven is in harmony with natural law. We see this law demonstrated every few years in our own experience. Sons born to mortal fathers grow up to be like their fathers in the flesh. This is the way it will be with spirit sons of God. They will grow up to be like their Father in heaven. Joseph taught this obvious truth. As a matter of fact, he taught that through this process God himself attained perfection. From President Snow's understanding of the teachings of the Prophet on this doctrinal point, he coined the familiar couplet: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." This teaching is peculiar to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ."
- Elder Marion G. Romney, General Conference, October 1964

"We often say, and you have heard the expression as it has already been referred to in this conference, that "as man now is, God once was, and as God now is, man may become." The only way man may become as God now is, is through fulfilling the laws of celestial marriage and the laws of the gospel, as I have just read to you the word of the Lord from the D&C. Can we afford to overlook such opportunities for exaltation? Temple marriage is not just another form of church wedding; it is a divine covenant with the Lord that if we are faithful to the end, we may become as God now is."
- Elder Eldred G. Smith (Patriarch to the Church), General Conference, October 1948

"Mormonism be it true or false, holds out to men the greatest inducements that the human mind can grasp. And so it does... It teaches men that they can become divine, that man is God in embryo, that God was once man in mortality, and that the only difference between Gods, angels and men is a difference in education and development. Is such a religion to be sneered at? It teaches that the worlds on high, the stars that glitter in the blue vault of heaven, are kingdoms of God, that they were once earths like this, that they have been redeemed and glorified by the same laws, the same principles that are applied to this planet, and by which it will ascend to a perfected and glorified state. It teaches that these worlds are peopled with human beings, God's sons and daughters, and that every husband and father, may become an Adam, and every wife and mother an Eve, to some future planet."
- Orson F. Whitney, Divine Evidences of Truthfulness, Y.M.M.I.A. Annual Conference, June 9th, 1895.

"So the Prophet Joseph Smith, in this age, has added to this truth by the assertion that "As man is God once was, and that as He is man may became," because He is our Father, and like begets like, and inherent within us are the attributes of divinity that shall lead us into perfection, which Christ intended His Saints to attain unto."
- Elder Joseph E. Robinson, General Conference, April 1912

"God our Heavenly Father is still progressing. While He knows all that is, all that has been, and possibly all things that He designs for the future and what will be in the future, yet He is constantly adding to His dominion, constantly increasing His power, constantly developing in His resources and in His glorious aspirations. This, at least, is our understanding of the condition of our Father in heaven. The thought has been expressed and accepted as a truth, that as we are now, God has been, and as God is now we may be; and if we admit this to be a truth-and I have no disposition to dispute it-then I repeat that even God our Heavenly Father has not reached the ultimatum of His greatness, His power, or His capacity, but that He is continually increasing and expanding in power, in dominion, in glory and in greatness, if I may be permitted to use such terms as these which some people who know no better would call blasphemous, in connection with the Supreme Being, the Father of us all.
- Prophet Joseph F. Smith, Sustaining Each Other in the Gospel, Sunday, February 16, 1896.

"We are His children in Very deed, having been born of Him in the spirit, and we have inherited the very attributes which he possesses. They are in us, and they make us God's embryo, We believe that as we are now God once was, and by the practice of virtue and righteousness, by obedience unto law and authority, He has become what He is, and as He is, man may become, on the same principle."
- Elder Goege F. Richards, General Conference, April 1913

"The doctrine of the relationship between God and men, as made plain through the word of revelation, is today as it was of old, though in the light of later scripture we are enabled to read the meaning more clearly. It is provided that we, the sons and daughters of God, may advance until we become like unto our Eternal Father and our Eternal Mother, in that we may become perfect in our spheres as they are in theirs. That grand truth, taught by the Prophet Joseph and ridiculed for the time, has now gripped the minds of the thinkers and philosophers of the age... It was crystallized into what we may call an aphorism, by President Lorenzo Snow: 'As man is God once was; as God is man may be'."
- Elder James E. Talmage, General Conference, April 1915

"I don't understand that the Mormon doctrine, announced by President Lorenzo Snow, and so often quoted by us: "As man is God once was, and as God is man may become" means that all men are going to become what God is, not by any manner of means. It is possible they may become; yes, when men keep and obey the fulness of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I understand, my brethren and sisters, this great scheme of our Father contemplates that the privilege of gaining celestial glory has been extended to nearly all of his children. There are a very few in the world who are barred from all the privileges. Evidently according to the revelations of the Lord, those races and divisions existing among us now, existed before we came into this world, and some had failed to carry out the will of God and to conform to his plans in their former life to prove themselves worthy to receive the highest of privileges, namely, salvation in the celestial kingdom of our God."
- Elder Melvin J. Ballard, General Conference, October 1917

"Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God the Eternal Father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth life similar that through which we are now passing. He became God - an exalted being - through obedience to the same eternal Gospel truths that we are given opportunity today to obey."
- Elder Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, p 104

"It is a Mormon truism that is current among us and we all accept it, that as man is God once was and as God is man may become. That does not signify that man will become God. I am sorry to say, and yet it is a truth, that not many men will become what God is, simply because they will not pay the price, because they are not willing to live up to the requirements; and still all men may, if they will, become what God is, but only those who are heirs of the celestial glory shall ever be possible candidates, to become what God is."
- Elder Melvin J. Ballard, General Conference, April 1921

"We believe that God is a personal being. By a personal being, we mean that he is a man--an exalted man. Approximately one hundred years ago, soon after Lorenzo Snow became a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ, he formulated a remarkable couplet which has since that time become famous. He said: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." (Lorenzo Snow, The Millennial Star 54:404.) Time and time again during the period of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph Smith, various evidences were given to him sustaining, amplifying, and explaining the personality of God. If time would permit, many excellent quotations could be cited from the D&C which would help to describe the personality of our Eternal Father."
- Elder Milton R. Hunter, General Conference, October 1948

"We remember the numerous scriptures which, concentrated in a single line, were said by a former prophet, Lorenzo Snow: "As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become." This is a power available to us as we reach perfection and receive the experience and power to create, to organize, to control native elements. How limited we are now! We have no power to force the grass to grow, the plants to emerge, the seeds to develop."
- Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, April 1977