“Said the Prophet Joseph Smith after one of the most revelatory meetings in his life, “There was nothing made known to these men [the Twelve] but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive” (Teachings, p. 237). This is the religion of every man. Not “Take my word for my experience,” but “Duplicate it in your own life.” How far do I go with this? All the way.
Let me then come to a close. I have hiked, with my wife and at night, all the way from the base of what is known as Mt. Sinai to the top. (Incidentally, with a very sore toe. Climbing hurts, and the more you climb, sometimes the more it hurts.) We went up to where the air is thinner and the veil thinner. There isn’t time to describe the feeling, but we were able to recollect that Moses, there, had face-to-face communion with God. He came back down and said to the children of Israel, in the name of the God whose name he knew, “Now, you are invited to go back up with me.”
And they said, “Thank you. No. That’s for prophets. That’s for people who are a bit fanatical. We will stay here and you go up, Moses.”
In his absence they built an idol. The power of religious impulses goes in many directions. They built an idol—a thing—and were denied the privileges of Moses (D&C 84:23–25). That is what our generation is now doing again. We are staying down below and then claiming superiority for our judgment in doing so.” Truman G. Madsen, On How We Know, BYU Devotional Address, Sept. 20, 1994
“You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary that you be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God . . . God will feel after you and he will take hold of you, and wrench your heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of God” –Joseph Smith. As quoted by John Taylor, JD, 24:197.
“Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation . . . It was through this sacrifice [of all earthly things], and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life.” Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, pp. 6-7
“Men have to suffer that they may come upon Mount Zion and be exalted above the heavens.” Joseph Smith. Words of Joseph Smith, 244, 247.
“In either situation, the object is for our wills to be finally swallowed up in the will of the Father” (Msh. 15:7), eventually bringing to us the joys gladly given by the Father and constituting “all that He hath” (Gen. 24:36). In a very real sense, therefore, what we can take now foretells what He can give later! This reality should be kept firmly in mind as we understandably pray for relief from short-term stress or long-term trauma. We would, if we could, put periods, if not exclamation points, where God is content to put commas in the process. Either way, the “process of time” is needed to facilitate our incremental improvement (Moses 7:21). Therein, individual increments of personal improvement are often scarcely discernable by themselves, yet the cumulative process moves us ever closer to Home.” Neal A. Maxwell. The Promise of Discipleship, pp. 36
“The Master Mentor has comfortingly promised “I will lead you along” (D&C 78:18). He has also said, ‘Ye cannot bear all things now’ (D&C 78:18). Ponder, however, the implications of the word now. Precisely because He loves us, on occasion there may need to be a further ratcheting up in the degree of difficulty in our discipleship.” Neal A. Maxwell, The Promise of Discipleship, pp. 38.
“The challenges you face, the growth experiences you encounter, are intended to be temporary scenes played out on the stage of a life of continuing peace and happiness. Sadness, heartache, and disappointment are events in life. It is not intended that they be the substance of life. I do not minimize how hard some of these events can be. When the lesson you are to learn is very important, trials can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining focus of everything you do. Your life can and should be wondrously rewarding. It is your understanding and application of the laws of God that will give your life glorious purpose as you ascend and conquer the difficulties of life. That perspective keeps challenges confined to their proper place–stepping-stones to further growth and attainment.” Richard G. Scott, The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness, Ensign, 11/2006
“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.” Richard G. Scott – Trust in the Lord, General Conference 10/95
“You must hold firmly to the rod of iron through the mists and darknesses, the hardships and trials of life. If you relax your grip and slip from the path, the iron rod might become lost in the darkness for a time until you repent and regain your grasp of it.” Joseph B. Wirthlin – GC 10/89