Quotes on Life

I know what I have to do, and that is to teach this people to appreciate their own present lives.  There is no life more precious than the present life which we enjoy; there is no life that is worth any more to us than this life is.  It may be said that an eternal life is worth more.  We are in eternity, and all that we have to do is to take the road that leads into the eternal lives.

Eternal life is an inherent quality of the creature, and nothing but sin can put a termination to it.  The elements in their nature are as eternal as are the Gods.  Let us learn, under the guidance and direction of Heaven, how to use these eternal elements for the building up, establishment and sending forth of the kingdom of God, gathering up the poor in heart to begin with, and the further things we will learn as we progress. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:22

In 1905, Elder George Albert Smith said, “We are not here to while away the hours of this life and then pass to a sphere of exaltation; but we are here to qualify ourselves day by day for the positions that our Father expects us to fill hereafter” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1905, 62). — Elder F. Burton Howard, Ensign, September 1996, p. 10

Thank the Lord for letting you have the ride. . . . Enjoy it.  Laugh about it.  Sing about it. — President Gordon B. Hinckley

It sometimes seems that we live as if we wonder when life is going to begin.  It isn’t always clear just what we are waiting for, but some of us sometimes persist in waiting so long that life slips by – finding us still waiting for something that has been going on all the time. . . . This is the life in which the work of this life is to be done.  Today is as much a part of eternity as any day a thousand years ago or as will be any day a thousand years hence.  This is it, whether we are thrilled or disappointed, busy or bored!  This is life, and it is passing. — Elder Richard L. Evans, Improvement Era, January 1967, p. 65

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather  to skid in sideways, sparkling cider in one hand – strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO!  What a Ride! — Anonymous

If we’re not occupying our time with things of eternity, we’re wasting our time. — President Harold B. Lee

How fragile life, how certain death.  We do not know when we will be required to leave this mortal existence.  And so I ask, “What are we doing with today?”  If we live only for tomorrow, we’ll have a lot of empty yesterdays today.  Have we been guilty of declaring, “I’ve been thinking about making some course corrections in my life.  I plan to take the first step – tomorrow”?  With such thinking, tomorrow is forever.  Such tomorrows rarely come unless we do something about them today.

Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day. . . .

My brothers and sisters, may we resolve from this day forward to fill our hearts with love.  May we go the extra mile to include in our lives any who are lonely or downhearted or who are suffering in any way.  May we “[cheer] up the sad and [make] someone feel glad” (Hymns, #223).  May we live so that when that final summons is heard, we may have no serious regrets, no unfinished business, but will be able to say with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2Tim. 4:7). — President Thomas S. Monson, “Now Is the Time,” Ensign, November 2001, pp. 60-61

Your life is your own, to develop or to destroy. You can blame others little and yourself almost totally if that life is not a productive, worthy, full, and abundant one. — “President Kimball Speaks Out on Planning Your Life,” Sept. 1981, p. 47

This earth is not our home.  We are away at school, trying to master the lessons of “the great plan of happiness” so we can return home and know what it means to be there.  Over and over the Lord tells us why the plan is worth our sacrifice – and His. . . . Because He and we are so totally in this together, our being “at one” with Him in overcoming all opposition will itself bring us “incomprehensible joy.” — Elder Bruce C. Hafen, “The Atonement: All for All,” Ensign, May 2004, p. 98

Powers greater than yours are shaping events.  The Lord really does reign.  Our primary contribution is to help when we can and be wise enough not to get in His way.  He makes the history while we write our supporting parts in it. — President Henry B. Eyring, “Inauguration at LDS Business College,” Church News, Oct. 17, 2009, p. 5

Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. — President Gordon B. Hinckley

You can be smart and happy or stupid and miserable. . . it’s your choice. — President Gordon B. Hinckley

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass . . . it’s about learning how to dance in the rain. — Unknown

As a new year begins and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been.  The past is to be learned from but not lived in.  We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future.  Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. — Jeffrey R. Holland, BYU Devotional address, January 13, 2009, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Best is Yet to Be,” Ensign, January 2010, p. 24

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.  You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.  You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.  You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.  You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. — Abraham Lincoln

Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said, “We are here in mortality, and the only way to go is through; there isn’t any around!”  I would add, the only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.  You either have to laugh or cry.  I prefer to laugh.  Crying gives me a headache. — Marjorie Pay Hinckley

There are some years in our lives that we would not want to live again.  But even these years will pass away, and the lessons learned will be a future blessing. — Marjorie Pay Hinckley

It must not be expected that the road of life spreads itself in an unobstructed view before the person starting her journey.  You must anticipate coming upon forks and turnings in the road.  But you cannot hope to reach your desired journey’s end if you think aimlessly about whether to go east or west.  You must make your decisions purposefully.

As Lewis Carroll tells us in his well-known “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Alice was following a path through a forest in Wonderland when it divided in two directions. Standing irresolute, she inquired of the Cheshire cat, which had suddenly appeared in a nearby tree, which path she should take.  “Where do you want to go?” asked the cat.

            “I don’t know,” said Alice.

            “Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

We know where we want to go.  Do we have the resolution – even the faith – to get there? — President Thomas S. Monson, “Your Celestial Journey,” General Young Women meeting, March 1999

From [the] majestic world of spirits we enter the grand stage of life to prove ourselves obedient to all things commanded of God. During mortality we grow from helpless infancy to inquiring childhood and then to reflective maturity.  We experience joy and sorrow, fulfillment and disappointment, success and failure.  We taste the sweet, yet sample the bitter.  This is mortality.

Then to each life comes the experience known as death.  None is exempt.  All must pass its portals. 

To most, there is something sinister and mysterious about this unwelcome visitor called death.  Perhaps it is a fear of the unknown which causes many to dread its coming. . . . [The Savior’s] words to the grieving Martha and to His disciples today bring comfort to us:

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” — President Thomas S. Monson, “Mrs. Patton – the Story Continues,” Ensign, Nov. 2007, pp. 22-23

Those who “live without God in the world” anxiously glean their few and fleeting satisfactions, but they are unable to find real happiness. . . . Ignorant of the plan of salvation, many simply do not know what the journey of life is all about.  Therefore, modern selfishness and skepticism brush aside the significance of the Savior. . . . — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, March 1998, p. 9

Stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s “real” life.  They are precisely one’s real life. — C. S. Lewis

Those who “live without God in the world” anxiously glean their few and fleeting satisfactions, but they are unable to find real happiness. . . . Ignorant of the plan of salvation, many simply do not know what the journey of life is all about.  Therefore, modern selfishness and skepticism brush aside the significance of the Savior. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, March 1998, p. 9

So far as this world is concerned, some people look upon it as a horrid world, a world full of pain, sorrow and suffering.  I do not regard it as such.  I consider it a blessed world, a glorious world, which affords us very many privileges.  What other place is there besides this world where we can obtain remission of sins?  That ordinance belongs to this life and this world and to no other.  And a great many things pertaining to this world we can do here, but which we cannot do after we pass behind the veil.  If we attend to the duties of this life in the time and season thereof, not leaving undone anything which we are able to do, all will be well with us hereafter; but if we fail in the performance of our duties here, we certainly shall regret and perhaps mourn our negligence when we shall have passed away; and besides we shall then have to depend upon others to do things in our behalf, which we might have done ourselves.  Let us improve our opportunities here, and appreciate them as fully we ought to.  — Charles C. Rich, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 19:376

From Gethsemane and Calvary there are many lessons we need to apply to our own lives. We, too, at times may wonder if we have been forgotten and forsaken.  Hopefully, we will do as the Master did and acknowledge that God is still there and never doubt that sublime reality – even though we may wonder and might desire to avoid some of life’s experiences.  We may at times, if we are not careful, try to pray away pain or what seems like an impending tragedy, but which is, in reality, an opportunity.  We must do as Jesus did in that respect – also preface our prayers by saying, “If it be possible,” let the trial pass from us – by saying, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt,” and bowing in a sense of serenity to our Father in heaven’s wisdom, because at times God will not be able to let us pass by a trial or a challenge.  If we were allowed to bypass certain trials, everything that had gone on up to that moment in our lives would be wiped out.  It is because he loves us that at times he will not intercede as we may wish him to.  That, too, we learn from Gethsemane and from Calvary. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “But For a Small Moment,” BYU Fireside, September 1, 1974

Let us remember, too, that greatness is not always a matter of the scale of one’s life, but of the quality of one’s life.  True greatness is not always tied to the scope of our tasks, but to the quality of how we carry out our tasks whatever they are.  In that attitude, let us give our time, ourselves, and our talents to the things that really matter now, things which will still matter a thousand years from now. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “A Gift of Gratitude,” Tambuli, December 1977, p. 1

Please don’t nag yourself with thoughts of failure.  Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve.  Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know, and the Lord will accept of your effort. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Rise to the Stature of the Divine within You,” Ensign, November 1989, p. 94

Some are willing to set aside the precious gospel truths restored by Joseph Smith because they get diverted on some historical issue or some scientific hypothesis not central to their exaltation, and in so doing they trade their spiritual birthright for a mess of pottage.  They exchange the absolute certainty of the Restoration for a doubt, and in that process they fall into the trap of losing faith in the many things they do know because of a few things they do not know. — Elder Tad R. Callister, “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration,” Ensign, November 2009, p. 37

We knew before we were born that we were coming to the earth for bodies and experience and that we would have joys and sorrows, ease and pain, comforts and hardships, health and sickness, successes and disappointments, and we knew also that after a period of life we would die.  We accepted all these eventualities with a glad heart, eager to accept both the favorable and unfavorable.  We eagerly accepted the chance to come earthward even though it might be for only a day or a year.  Perhaps we were not so much concerned whether we should die of disease, of accident, or of senility.  We were willing to take life as it came and as we might organize and control it, and this without murmur, complaint, or unreasonable demands. — President Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 106

The purpose of our life should be to build up the Zion of our God, to gather the House of Israel, bring in the fulness of the Gentiles, restore and bless the earth with our ability and make it as the Garden of Eden, store up treasures of knowledge and wisdom in our own understandings, purify our own hearts and prepare a people to meet the Lord when he comes. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, p. 111

Human beings are expected by their Creator to be actively employed in doing good every day of their lives, either in improving their own mental and physical condition, or that of their neighbors. Discourses of Brigham Young, 88

This life is now the only life to us; and if we do not appreciate it properly it is impossible to prepare for a higher and more exalted life. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:222

The object of this existence is to learn, which we can only do a little at a time. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 87

Instead of preparing to die, prepare to live in the midst of all the exaltations of the Gods. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 9:291

It is our privilege to say, every day of our lives, “That is the best day I ever lived.”  Never let a day so pass that you will have cause to say, “I will live better tomorrow,” and I will promise you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that your lives will be as a well of water springing up to everlasting life.  You will have his Spirit to dwell in you continually, and your eyes will be open to see, your ears to hear, and your understanding to comprehend. Discourses of Brigham Young, 90

 . . . [Clayton] Christensen says his confrontations with mortality have given him a new perspective on death – and on life.

“There is no virtue in long life,” he says.  “I never had framed it this way, but to ask for [God] to extend my life just to have a longer life just has no meaning.”  With his certainty about what is to come, Christensen says it makes little difference which side of the veil he labors on.  “What matters is Where can I do the most good?” — Peter B. Gardner, “The Disruptor,” BYU Magazine, Spring 2013, p. 29

Let us remember, too, that greatness is not always a matter of the scale of one’s life, but of the quality of one’s life.  True greatness is not always tied to the scope of our tasks, but to the quality of how we carry out our tasks whatever they are.  In that attitude, let us give our time, ourselves, and our talents to the things that really matter now, things which will still matter a thousand years from now.  — President Spencer W. Kimball, “First Presidency Message: A Gift of Gratitude,” Liahona, December 1977, p. 1

This life is but a chapter in the eternal plan of our Father. It is full of conflict and seeming incongruities.  Some die young.  Some live to old age.  We cannot explain it.  But we accept it with the certain knowledge that through the atoning sacrifice of our Lord we shall all go on living, and this with the comforting assurance of His immeasurable love. 

He has said, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.”  (D&C 19:23) 

And there, my brothers and sisters, we rest our faith. Regardless of the circumstances, we have the comfort and peace of Christ our Savior, our Redeemer, the living Son of the living God.  I so testify in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ, amen. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “War and Peace,” Ensign, May 2003