Quotes on Mankind

See also: D&C 46:87

The only thing which places man above the beasts of the field is his possession of spiritual gifts.  Man’s earthly existence is but a test as to whether he will concentrate his efforts, his mind, his soul upon things which contribute to the comfort and gratification of his physical instincts and passions, or whether he will make as his life’s end and purpose the acquisition of spiritual qualities. — President David O. McKay, Conference Report, October 1951, p. 9

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which . . . you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.  All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.  It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.  There are no ordinary people.  You have never talked to a mere mortal.  Nations, cultures, arts, civilization – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.  But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.  ( C. S. Lewis, Joyful Christian, 197; emphasis added.) — Elder Tad R. Callister, The Infinite Atonement, p. 234

The second greatest question of life was asked by the ancient Psalmist: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?”  In importance, this query is next only to that concerning the nature of God.  Inability to answer this question has often defeated fervent faith.  The correct answer has enabled men and nations to build their futures securely.  Faith has been most effective when accompanied by an understanding of man’s relationship to Deity. The way out of the world’s tragic chaos, the terror of poverty, sickness and war must be illuminated by a comprehension of man’s nature and destiny. — Elder John A. Widtsoe, Conference Report, October 1936, p. 97

God has made His children like Himself to stand erect, and has endowed them with intelligence and power and dominion over all His works, and given them the same attributes which He Himself possesses. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 11:122

Who can define the divinity of man?  Man, by being exalted, does not lose the power and ability naturally given to him; but, on the contrary, by taking the road that leads to life, he gains more power, more influence and ability every step he progresses therein. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 7:274

We were created upright, pure and holy, in the image of our father and our mother, the image of our God. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:364

The greatest lesson you can learn is to learn yourselves . . . you cannot learn it immediately, neither can all the philosophy of the age teach it to you: you have to come here to get a practical experience and to learn yourselves.  You will then begin to learn more perfectly the things of God.  No being can thoroughly learn himself, without understanding more or less of the things of God: neither can any being learn and understand the things of God, without learning himself. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 8:334-35