In Vermont we get a great deal of rain. One day a farmer was walking down a back road, and suddenly he came upon a large puddle, and in the middle of the puddle he saw a straw hat. He thought he recognized it. He waded in and lifted it up, and under it was his friend Zeb, and he was right up to his neck in mud.

“Zeb, it looks like you have a problem. Do you need some help?”

“No thanks, Zeke, I’ll be all right. I have a good horse under me.”

—President Paul H. Dunn of the First Council of the Seventy October Conference, 1969


It is an extraordinary era in which we live; it is altogether new. The world has seen nothing like it before. I will not pretend, no one can pretend, to discern the end; but everybody knows that the age is remarkable for scientific research into the heavens, the earth, what is beneath the earth, and perhaps more remarkable still is the application of this scientific research to the pursuit of life. The ancients saw nothing like it. The moderns have seen nothing like it until the present generation … the progress of the age has almost outstripped human belief.

—Daniel Webster, 1847

It seems a shame that future generations can’t be here now to see for themselves all the splendid things we are doing with their money.

Improvement Era November 1937, p. 728

Satan is cunning. I will never forget what Brother Thomas E. McKay said in an address from this pulpit: “We do not lose our faith from a blowout—just by slow leaks.”

—Elder ElRay L. Christiansen Assistant to the Council of the Twelve April Conference, 1958

Speaking of growing older, Elder Hugh B. Brown told it best of all when he related how his little great-grandson was on his knee, and looking up in admiration, felt some of the wrinkles in Elder Brown’s face and stroked his beautiful white hair.

“Grandpa Brown, were you on Noah’s ark?”

“No, Granddaddy Brown was not on Noah’s ark.”

“Well, how come you weren’t drowned?”

—Bishop Robert L. Simpson Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric Brigham Young University Devotional November 3, 1970

Life is a short walk along a narrow thread … beginning and ending in a mysterious unknown. Life is short as we see it, but in reality it is just beginning, and never ends—and, long or short, it is all we have.

—Arthur Brisbane


Sir Isaac Newton, after spending forty years in discovering the law of gravity, gave credit to his patience for the result. William Cullen Bryant is reported to have written his immortal poem “Thanatopsis” one hundred times before releasing it for publication. These are examples of patience with things and ideas. What about patience with parents, children, teachers, and associates? …

In defining patience, Webster uses such terms as endurance, sufferance, quiet waiting, long-suffering, forbearance, self-control. Behind all these words is suggested the purpose, meaning, and reason for patience.

—Wilford W. Richards The Instructor, February 1968, p. 60