Let us not try to wrest the scriptures in an attempt to explain away what we can not explain. The opening chapters of Genesis, and scriptures related thereto, were never intended as a text-book of geology, archaeology, earth-science or man-science. Holy Scripture will endure, while the conceptions of men change with new discoveries. We do not show reverence for the scriptures when we misapply them through faulty interpretation.
When I interviewed this elder, I asked him how he was doing financially. His eyes clouded up, and he said was really trying, but his folks weren’t sending him quite enough. He said, “President, I haven’t been wasting. I haven’t eaten anything for three days, trying to cut back.” Then he said, “Even my little sister is helping. She received a one-dollar bill for her birthday, and she put it in an envelope and sent it to me because she thought I needed it more than she did.” Then he wept openly.
The daily newspaper screamed the headlines: “Plane Crash Kills 43. No Survivors of Mountain Tragedy,” and thousands of voices joined in a chorus: “Why did the Lord let this terrible thing happen?”
If any of you plan to remember anything that I am going to say to you tonight, I would just like to have you write in your notebook that—and I am sure of this—the one business of life is to succeed. I am absolutely certain in my own mind that God did not go to all the trouble of creating this beautiful earth, with all of its utilities and beauties and opportunities, without something very important in mind for those he expected to live here upon it. And I am even more sure that he did not create us in his own image and endow us with these potentially magnificent brains, miraculous personalities, and fantastic physical bodies and then expect us to waste our lives in failure.
My topic is that of human intimacy, a topic as sacred as any I know and more sacred than anything I have ever addressed from this podium. If I am not careful and you are not supportive, this subject can slide quickly from the sacred into the merely sensational, and I would be devastated if that happened.
Since the publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830, its adherents have sought, found, and enjoyed publishing evidences in its support. What spiritual value do such evidences have? How do bits of knowledge contribute to an increase of faith? How do reason and revelation work together? What is evidence, and how is it related to faith? Without diminishing the essential power of the Holy Ghost in bearing testimony, and knowing that we cannot prove anything in absolute terms, I still speak favorably about the power of evidence. It is an important ingredient in Heavenly Father's plan of happiness.
The critics would have you believe that they are disinterested pursuers of the truth. There they were, minding their own business, going about their conscientious study of Church history and—shock and dismay!—they came across this, whatever this is, that blew them away. As hurtful as it is for them, they can no longer believe in the Church and, out of love for you, they now want to help you see the light of day.
My heart melted. My daughter was doing everything in her power to follow my instructions. I hadn’t actually lied to her. If she saved all of her pennies, she would eventually have enough for a bike, but by then she would want a car.
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We are now entering a time of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: We will see a maximum, if indirect, effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion.