Saturday, July 20, 2013

Some interesting thoughts

I find my thinking challenged by statements like these.  Perhaps you will, too.

Women of God

“We know so little, brothers and sisters, about the reasons for the division of duties between womanhood and manhood as well as between motherhood and priesthood. These were divinely determined in another time and another place. We are accustomed to focusing on the men of God because theirs is the priesthood and leadership line. But paralleling that authority line is a stream of righteous influence reflecting the remarkable women of God who have existed in all ages and dispensations, including our own. Greatness is not measured by coverage in column inches, either in newspapers or in the scriptures.The story of the women of God, therefore, is, for now, an untold drama within a drama.” (Neal A. Maxwell, “The Women of God,” Ensign, May 1978). 

“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this” (Neal A. Maxwell, “The Women of God,” Ensign, May 1978, 11).

Elder J. Richard Clarke said that “the family is society’s strongest and most important institution” (Conference Report, April 1995).  Since that is true, wouldn’t God want His finest warriors and most obedient servants assigned to stand guard there?  Men guard the Church and help in the home, but women guard the home and help in the Church. (Ted Gibbons)  Spencer W. Kimball said that mothers “have been placed here to help enrich, to protect, and to guard the home –which is society’s basic and most noble institution” (Ensign, November 1978, p. 103, emphasis added). 

He also said:  How special it is for ...women to be given the lofty assignments they have been given by our Father in Heaven, especially those of you who have been privileged to be born in this part of this last dispensation.  Let other women pursue heedlessly what they perceive as their selfish interests.  You can be a much needed force for love and truth and righteousness on this planet.  Let others selfishly pursue false values, but God has given to you the tremendous tasks of nurturing families, friends, and neighbors. (Ensign, November 1979, p. 104).

And these:

Graduates by E B de Vito

Knowledge comes, in a way, unsought,
as in the Chinese tale
of the youth who came for daily lessons
in what there was to learn of jade.
And each day, for a single hour,
while he and the master talked together,
always of unrelated matters,
jade pieces were slipped into his hand,
till one day, when a month had passed,
the young man paused and with a frown,
said suddenly, “That is not jade.”

As Life is something, we are told,
that happens while you make other plans,
learning slips in and comes to stay
while you are faced the other way.

Gardner’s polemical 1978 essay On Moral Fiction begins with a 
charming story:

It was said in the old days that every year Thor made a circle around 
Middle-earth, beating back the enemies of order. Thor got older every 
year, and the circle occupied by gods and men grew smaller. 
The wisdom god, Woden, went out to the king of the trolls, got him in an 
armlock, and demanded to know of him how order might triumph 
over chaos.
“Give me your left eye,” said the king of the trolls, “and I’ll tell you.”
Without hesitation, Woden gave up his left eye. “Now tell me.”
The troll said, “The secret is, Watch with both eyes!”

And this one: 
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Earth's crammed with heaven
And every common bush
Afire with God,
But only he who seest
Takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it
And pluck blackberries. 

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