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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Orson F. Whitney

"The God of Israel has set his hand to gather his elect and prepare the world for the sanctifying reign of righteousness. He will accomplish what he has undertaken, using for that purpose every means consistent and available. Christ died to save the souls of men, and save them he will—by mild measures whenever these will avail; but by stern methods if necessary, after the mild have proved ineffectual. First, the 'fishers,' with gentle, kind persuasion. Then the 'hunters'—war, commotion and destruction. Such is the divine program." — Orson F. Whitney, "Saturday Night Thoughts," p. 184

"Jesus knew it was an astounding proposition-the doctrine of the resurrection. He told his disciples before the crucifixion that he had power to lay down his life and take it up again. But when he appeared to the Apostles in his risen body they were frightened, deeming him an apparition. 'It is I, be not afraid,' said he, 'for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.' He wished to convince them that he had actually come forth from the grave, and he succeeded in convincing them of that fact. One, however, was absent, and when he, Thomas, was told by his brethren that the Lord had arisen and had been with them, he replied, 'I will not believe it, unless I can feel the prints of the nails in his hands, and thrust my hand into his wounded side.' Now Thomas was one of the Twelve Special Witnesses whose mission was to proclaim the resurrection of Christ, and these men had to know what they were preaching. They could not go out into the world and say, 'We believe Christ has risen from the dead; it is our opinion that it is so; peradventure it happened, as he said it would.' What kind of a message would that have been to a waiting world, hungry for the words of eternal life? These men had to know, not merely believe, and that is why he allowed them to hear his voice, and even to touch him, that they might be convinced beyond a doubt. And so, when he condescended to come again-this time to Thomas-he said: 'Reach hither thy hand, feel of me, and see that it is I.' Thomas, no longer doubting, fell at his feet, exclaiming, 'O Lord, my God!' The Savior then said: 'Thomas, thou hast believed because thou has seen, but blessed are they who have believed and have not seen.' (See Luke 24:36-39; John 20:24-28.)" - Orson F. Whitney, "The Doctrine of the Resurrection," Improvement Era, April, 1952

"We do not confer a favor upon the Almighty by obeying his laws, by receiving his blessings; though we please him, no doubt, by so doing. And when we stand before him at the last day, having 'come up through great tribulation' and made our calling and election sure, I think I can hear Him say: 'Well done, good and faithful servant, or good and faithful handmaid-enter into the joy of thy Lord.' But I cannot by any stretch of imagination, conceive Him as saying: 'Thank you, my child, for coming to Heaven!'" - Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1931, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.65

"While it is true that the Savior, when He commissioned His apostles to preach the Gospel, used these words: 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned,'—there is nothing in this to indicate that the Gospel is a Gospel of damnation. Damnation is no part of the Gospel of Christ. There is no damnation in it, but there is plenty of damnation outside of it. When the end comes, and Christ's mission is consummated, it will be found that He has exhausted every means for the salvation of man; and those who stand condemned after the Gospel has done its work, will be found to have condemned themselves. God is bent upon saving, not damning, the human race; and He will use every possible means to that end. He will send His servants with the voice of persuasion, the voice of solemn warning, and will fashion, shape, mold and manipulate all things for the spread of truth-the message of salvation." - Orson F. Whitney, "Conference Report," April 1908, Outdoor Meeting, p.86

"Why am I a Mormon? Why, I came to the earth to be one. It was the object of my descent from the life pre-existent into this lower world of mortality. I believe it is expected of me; that I made a covenant to that effect before leaving the presence of my Father and God, to take upon me this clay; and that if I were to break my covenant and prove false to the trust reposed in me, I would become bankrupt in the estimation of my best and dearest friends. It is to preserve my credit with the heavens that I am a Latter-day Saint, and to keep the way open for my return to what I had formerly, taking with me what I earn as the reward of faithful service in this probation. There is joy in heaven over the victorious return of every soul engaged in the great conflict here below; but the heavens weep, as they wept over fallen Lucifer, when a soul surrenders to sin, turns traitor to God, and forsakes the cause of the great Captain for which it was sent forth to battle.

"The skeptical reader will, of course, say I am a fanatic, and that all this is mere drivel-idle, visionary speculation. To such I would answer, that may be your reason, or what you mistake as a reason, for not believing it. But I am not at present dealing with other people's reasons for believing or disbelieving anything. I am simply trying to make plain my own. For some good and sufficient cause, I was deemed worthy of coming here to be a Mormon, or Latter-day Saint. What I had done to merit the high honor, I do not know, or do not now recollect. But one thing I am certain of, as certain as I am that I live; it was an honor, a most precious privilege; one which the wealth of worlds would not now tempt me to barter or forego." - Orson F. Whitney, "The Contributor," Volume 8

"Young man, or young woman, just commencing life! Be true to yourself. Act your own character. Live the life for which you were intended, and you will succeed and be honored as certainly as God intended you should. But if you strive to be another than yourself, or to fill a place for which you were never designed, you will fall as would fall the exotic before a northern blast, or melt like the iceberg in the tropics." - Orson F. Whitney, "The Contributor," Volume 1

"The gospel makes us willing to do anything that the Lord requires; and that spirit can be trusted. When we are dominated by the opposite influence, it is a sure sign that we are skating where the ice is thin, and we had better get over to the other side of the pond. The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience. There is a story told of two buckets that hung in a well, on either end of a long chain, so that when one went up the other went down, and vice versa. They were both drawing water out of the well, both doing precisely the same kind of work, but one of the buckets was an optimist, and the other was a pessimist. The pessimistic bucket complained of its lot, saying: 'It doesn't matter how full I come up, I always go back empty.' The optimistic bucket, with a bright smile, retorted: 'It doesn't matter how empty I go down, I always come back full'. Much depends, you see, upon the spirit in which a thing is viewed." - Orson F. Whitney, "Conference Report," April 1917, Second Day—Morning Session, p.43

“If in this life only we had hope of our Savior, if it were only in this life that we could enjoy the sweets of our religion, they would be insufficient to strengthen us for the trying ordeals through which we are called to pass.  But our religion points to the future.  It is that which lifts the [veil] that hides the future from the gaze of the world, which brings things past to remembrance and shows us things to come, which teaches us concerning our relationship with God, with time, with eternity. And the glorious thought of the resurrection comes like a balm to our sorrowing spirits, for we have received the promise that though our bodies are laid away in mother earth for a season, they shall come forth clothed upon with immortality and eternal life; that though we die, we shall live again, even as the sun which sets rises on the morrow with a greater and a brighter [luster].  We have this hope within us, for God has implanted it there.  This is what comforts us, to know that this life is only one among many scenes through which we have passed, and through which we will pass in the future.” – Orson F. Whitney, at the funeral of Louisa Free Wells, June 20, 1886

“What has been the purpose of the scattering and the gathering of the House of Israel? What is the significance of sending into the world a chosen race of spirits, called upon earth the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but known to us to have been the children of God before Abraham was born? They were chosen in the heavens, before they came in the flesh, and were sent forth from the presence of God with a mission. We who call ourselves Latter-day. Saints are a branch of the house of Israel, gathered out from among the Gentiles; we are a portion of that martyred nation, chosen of God and sent upon earth to suffer and endure for His sake and for the sake of all mankind; to bear the oracles of God, and be His representatives in the midst of the human race.” - Orson F. Whitney, “Conference Report,” October 1905, Outdoor Meeting, p. 97

“It was no accident, no chance happening—Joseph Smith's going into the grove that spring morning, one hundred years ago. It was an event predestined, heaven-inspired. I once thought that any good boy who prayed in faith could see just what Joseph saw. But I have put away that childish notion. I have learned that all boys are not Joseph Smiths. God hears and answers the prayers of the humblest of his children; but he answers them as seemeth him best, and not always in the same way. He gives according to the capacity of the one who receives.” - Orson F. Whitney, “Conference Report,” April 1920, Afternoon Session, p. 123

“Suppose the man refuses to climb. Who is responsible for his failure to emerge from the pit into which he has fallen? Is he not worse off, by rejecting the means of escape, than if it had never been offered to him? He can do nothing for himself, and when assistance is tendered, he rejects it. Who is to blame?

“That is the light in which the problem presents itself to me. By the transgression of our first parents, the human race fell into a pit, and there was no help, and no hope, this side of heaven, for the race could not redeem itself. Man cannot be honest enough, nor virtuous enough, nor truthful enough, nor benevolent enough, to save his soul. That is why the Gospel was provided, as a means of salvation, and it had to come from above. No part of that which was under condemnation could be used as the means of redemption. Adam and Eve, with their posterity, were under the curse, and it was the curse of eternal death,—death spiritual, death temporal,—never-ending banishment from the presence of God.

“But the Son of God came down from the Courts of Glory, and offered Himself as a sacrifice, a ransom. He was not under the curse; He had not fallen; and His life could pay the debt. It could be used as the means of the world's redemption; and it was so used, and thus He became the Author of life and salvation to us all. He was the first fruits of the resurrection, and He declared: ‘Because I live, ye shall live also.’” - Orson F. Whitney, “Conference Report,” April 1908, Outdoor Meeting, p. 87

The first and second comings of the Savior complement each other. As Lamb then; as Lion now; not again to be sacrificed, but to ascend the Throne of David and reign over the House of Israel forever. It was to prepare the way before the glorious advent of the King of kings, that God's prophet, revelator and seer, Joseph Smith, was raised up, or rather sent down, to play his noble part in the winding up scene of the great Drama of the Ages. - Orson F. Whitney, "Conference Report," April 1927, Second Day-Morning Meeting, p.101

You parents of the wilful and the wayward! Don't give them up. Don't cast them off. They are not utterly lost. The Shepherd will find his sheep. They were his before they were yours-long before he entrusted them to your care; and you cannot begin to love them as he loves them. They have but strayed in ignorance from the Path of Right, and God is merciful to ignorance. Only the fulness of knowledge brings the fulness of accountability. Our Heavenly Father is far more merciful, infinitely more charitable, than even the best of his servants, and the Everlasting Gospel is mightier in power to save than our narrow finite minds can comprehend. - Orson F. Whitney, “Conference Report,” April 1929, Third Day-Morning Meeting, p.110

Revelation does not depend upon books. It is an eternal principle, a perennial, ever- flowing fountain. Books may come and books may go, but revelation goes on forever. - Orson F. Whitney, “Conference Report,” October 1925, Afternoon Session, p.102

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