An acquaintanceship with the literature of the world may be won by any person who will devote half an hour a day to the careful reading of the best books. The habit of reading good books is one that gives great comfort in all the stages and among all the vicissitudes of life. The man who has learned to love good reading is never alone. His friends are the great ones of human history, and to them he may always go for stimulating and helpful communion. --GQ 71 (GQ is A Guide for Quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood, 3rd Edition, 1930)
We are aware that the order of God requires the exercise of humility, but not of servility of slaves; but a humility that can be associated with undoubted courage and unflinching integrity; at the same time there is no room for pride, self-sufficient pride, that rests solely upon its own capabilities, and refuses to look for the support and countenance of others.--MS 7:91 [MS is the Millenial Star]
Men, discouraged by their failure to accomplish exactly what they desire, often speak of their lives as purposeless, but it is idle talk, for, in fact, no intelligent life which concerns itself vigorously and properly with the things about it can be said to be purposeless. Such a life adheres, automatically, to the law of progression, and therefore moves toward a great destiny of supreme power and accompanying joys. The only purposeless life is the one that does not use its faculties. It matters little what tasks men perform in life, if only they do them well and will all their strength. In the eternal plan they are given progressive value. In an infinite universe, one cannot possibly learn all or do all, at once. A beginning must be made somewhere and corner by corner, department by department, space by space, all will be known and conquered. In the end, all must be explored, and whether one begins in the east or the west cannot matter much. The big concern is the extent to which a man offers himself, mind and body, to his worthwhile work. Upon that will growth depend.
No one attribute so clearly distinguishes man as does the intelligent will or the will to act intelligently. It was by the exercise of their wills that spiritual beings in the beginning gathered information rapidly or slowly, acquired experiences freely or laboriously. Through the exercise of their wills they grew, remained passive, or retrograded, for with living things motion in any direction is possible.
If we talk about the living oracles and want to pay respect to them, how shall we do this? Shall we do it by never reading their words-by paying not attention to that which they say? That is a very poor way of doing.We ought to listen to their words. When we cannot hear their words, we should read them; for they are the words of the authorized servants of God. I feel that there is a great neglect among us in this respect. --CR, 1897, 38, George Q. Cannon (CR is Reports of the General Conferences of the Church)
Without denying that adaptation may be one of God's methods of operation, it may be definitely said, that an intelligent Master of the universe, in which we believe, has the power to prepare an earth to fit the needs of man; or fit man to meet the conditions of earth. If He were not able to do so, He would be inferior to His creatures who build houses for human comfort, and equip them with heating, freezing, and many other devices. The argument for adaptation, standing alone, requires chance as a creative force. That we do not and cannot believe.
Do not make loose promises. But, when you make a promise, keep it. Be true to yourself. Be dependable. Whatever you have to do, do it the very best you can. It is not the fuss and feathers that count; it is the hard, steady effort that makes the grade.--SP 64 (SP is Studies in Priesthood, European Mission, 1930)