I had a particularly good day at church today. Good lessons all around. When Brittany and I came home from dinner at my aunt’s house, I cracked open B.H. Roberts’ The Truth, The Way, The Life (my sunday reading of choice right now) and started reading.
Then I got the urge to blog. But because it’s Sunday I thought it might be best to blog about my faith in some form or another. I’ve purposefully avoided doing that in the past, but I decided today I might want to dabble a bit in expressing my religious thoughts on the internet. So, I began to write about a bunch of stuff I’ve had on my mind this week pertaining to God and faith, etc. But I ultimately decided to take the lazy way out.
So here, in no particular order, are three of my favorite quotes, or teachings, or whatever you want to call them, that have helped me shape how I view my relationship with God and my Mormon faith:
The first one actually comes from Roberts’ The Truth, The Way, The Life, and if you are interested in finding it in the book itself it’s on page 15 (that is, in the edition released by the Smith Research Associates, not BYU Studies).
It comes while he is discussing the nature of “truth”, and might just be one of my favorite explanations of the expansive possibilities within Mormon theology. He explains that truth, as Mormons see it (or at least as we should see it, according to our theological foundations) must include the “knowledge of things as they are to come.”
“This presents a view of truth seldom, if ever, made. With it is given the idea of movement. Truth is not a standing pool but a living fountain; not a Dead Sea, without tides or currents. On the contrary, it is an ocean, immeasurably great, vast, co-extensive with the universe itself. It is the universe, bright-heaving, boundless, endless, and sublime. Moving in majestic currents, uplifted by cosmic tides in ceaseless ebb and flow, variant but orderly; taking on new forms from ever changing combinations, new adjustments, new relations — multiplying itself ten thousand ways, ever reflecting the Intelligence of the Infinite, and declaring alike in its whispers and its thunders the hived wisdom of the ages.”
Next is a Hugh Nibley one. One of my favorites, though there are many. It’s from an interview that ran in the collection Eloquent Witness: The Collected Works of Hugh Nibley on Himself, Others, and the Temple. The very first Nibley book I ever bought. It’s basically just Nibley telling it like it is.
“We’re just sort of dabbling around, playing around, being tested for our moral qualities, and above all the two things we can be good at, and no two other things can we do: We can forgive and we can repent. It’s the gospel of repentance. We’re told that the angels envy men their ability both to forgive and to repent, because they can’t do either, you see. But nobody’s very clever, nobody’s very brave, nobody’s very strong, nobody’s very wise. We’re all pretty stupid, you see. Nobody’s very anything.”
And here’s the last one. This one’s a quote from John Taylor, but I didn’t find it from digging through his journals, or even reading a book about him. I read it in an essay in Dialogue titled “Seers, Savants and Evolution: The Uncomfortable Interface.”
“Our religion … embraces every principle of truth and intelligence pertaining to us as moral, intellectual, mortal and immortal beings, pertaining to this world and the world that is to come. We are open to truth of every kind, no matter whence it comes, where it originates, or who believes in it …
A man in search of truth has no peculiar system to sustain, no peculiar dogma to defend or theory to uphold; he embraces all truth, and that truth, like the sun in the firmament, shines forth and spreads its effulgent rays over all creation, and if men will divest themselves of bias and prejudice, and prayerfully and conscientiously search after truth, they will find it wherever they turn their attention.”
In the essay, this quote comes just after another great quote by J. Taylor. I wouldn’t rate it as one of my favorites, but it’s still really good so I might as well mention it here.
“I do not want to be frightened about hell-fire, pitchforks, and serpents, nor to be scared to death with hobgoblins and ghosts, nor anything of the kind that is got up to scare the ignorant; but I want truth, intelligence, and something that will bear investigation. I want to probe things to the bottom and to find out the truth if there is any way to find it out.”
So there you have it. Three (four-ish) quotes that charge my spiritual battery.