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"When we feel the closeness to God that comes with keeping His standards, we do not want to do anything to offend Him. Joseph's experience in resisting Potiphar's wife is a powerful example of this truth. His moral courage came from his relationship with God, as illustrated by his words: "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Gen. 39:9).
"When God feels as close and real to us as He did to Joseph, we will no longer view the gospel simply as a set of rules or standards to be obeyed. We will move to a higher plane and realize that our loyalty is really to a living, loving Father in Heaven who wants us to become like Him and to share eternally with our families in all He has. We must never forget that we are now becoming what we will one day be. His standards will help us become what He is. God bless us to succeed—on His terms!" - Marlin K. Jensen, "The Message: Making a Mighty Change," New Era, June 2001
"The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that 'friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 316.) That thought ought to inspire and motivate all of us because I feel that friendship is a fundamental need of our world. I think in all of us there is a profound longing for friendship, a deep yearning for the satisfaction and security that close and lasting relationships can give. Perhaps one reason the scriptures make little specific mention of the principle of friendship is because it should be manifest quite naturally as we live the gospel. In fact, if the consummate Christian attribute of charity has a first cousin, it is friendship. To paraphrase the Apostle Paul slightly, friendship 'suffereth long, and is kind; [friendship] envieth not; seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; [friendship] never faileth.' (1 Cor. 13:4-8.)" - Marlin K. Jensen, "Friendship: A Gospel Principle," Ensign (CR), May 1999, p.64
"I am often deeply moved by evidences of humility in the scriptures. Consider John the Baptist declaring of the Savior, 'He must increase, but I must decrease.' (John 3:30.) Think of Moroni pleading with us not to condemn him because of his imperfections, but to thank God that He made Moroni's imperfections manifest so that we can learn to be wiser than Moroni was. (See Morm. 9:31.) Nor should we forget the exclamation of Moses, who, after experiencing the greatness of God and His creations, acknowledged that 'for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.' (Moses 1:10.) Is not Moses' recognition of our complete dependence on God the beginning of true humility?
"I resonate to the English author John Ruskin's memorable statement that 'the first test of a truly great man is his humility.' He continued: 'I do not mean, by humility, doubt of his own power. ... [But really] great men ... have a curious ... feeling that ... greatness is not in them, but through them. ... And they see something Divine ... in every other man ... , and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.' (The Works of John Ruskin, ed. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, 39 vols. (1903-12), 5:331.)" - Marlin K. Jensen, "To Walk Humbly with Thy God," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p.9
"If we pay close attention to the uses of the word remember in the holy scriptures, we will recognize that remembering in the way God intends is a fundamental and saving principle of the gospel. This is so because prophetic admonitions to remember are frequently calls to action: to listen, to see, to do, to obey, to repent. (See 2 Nephi 1:12; Mosiah 6:3; Helaman 5:14.) When we remember in God's way, we overcome our human tendency simply to gird for the battle of life and actually engage in the battle itself, doing all in our power to resist temptation and avoid sinning." - Marlin K. Jensen, "Remember and Perish Not," General Conference, April 2007
I have come to appreciate the Prophet Joseph Smith more than ever before because of his monumental accomplishments as the founding prophet of this dispensation.
Of all the things I’ve come to treasure, I think the most important is the conviction that if we’re honest in heart and desire to know God, we can come to know Him and feel accountable to Him. We have the example of the Prophet Joseph Smith to thank for that. He modeled it, he taught it, and he held out the promise that we can come to know Christ also. That’s priceless to me. - Marlin K. Jensen, "There Shall Be a Record Kept among You," Liahona, December 2007
As members of the Church from many nations, we all share the early history of the Church in common. It is important for all of us to become familiar with our Church’s history, especially what I will call its “founding stories.” These stories—Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, angelic visitations by John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, Elijah, Elias, and others—contain the foundational truths upon which the Restoration of the gospel is based. - Marlin K. Jensen, "Stand in the Sacred Grove," CES Devotional for Young Adults • May 6, 2012 • Sacramento, California
Another helpful perspective on humility can be obtained by examining its antithesis—pride. Just as humility leads to other virtues such as modesty, teachableness, and unpretentiousness, pride leads to many other vices. In Latter-day Saint theology, it was through pride that Satan became the adversary of all truth. It was the growth of this arrogance, termed hubris, that the wise men of ancient Greece portrayed as the sure road to destruction. - Marlin K. Jensen, "To Walk Humbly with Thy God," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p. 9
To begin, it should come as no surprise that, in the estimation of some, humility ranks quite low on the scale of desirable character traits. Popular books have been written in recent years on integrity, common sense, civility, and a host of other virtues, but apparently there is little market for humility. Obviously, in these coarsening times when we are taught the art of negotiating by intimidation, and assertiveness has become a byword of the business world, those seeking to become humble will be a small and overlooked but critically important minority. - Marlin K. Jensen, "To Walk Humbly with Thy God", Ensign (CR), May 2001, p.9
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