The Official Website of Kendel Christensen

Spiritual Wisdom, A Foundation For My Life:

 “I recall that as a graduate student I wrote a critique of an important political philosopher. It was clear that I disagreed with him. My professor told me that my paper was good, but not good enough. Before you launch into your criticism, she said, you must first present the strongest case for the position you are opposing, one that the philosopher himself could accept. I redid the paper. I still had important differences with the philosopher, but I understood him better, and I saw the strengths and virtues, as well as limitations, of his belief. I learned a lesson that I’ve applied across the spectrum of my life.” (Elder Robert S. Wood, “Instruments of the Lord’s Peace”, May 2006 Ensign, 94)

“Deal with the problems as wisely as you can.  Make your decisions.  You may be right; you may be wrong.  Hopefully, you will be right because you have prayed earnestly over the matter and you have discussed it with your associates.  But once these decisions are made, put them behind you and do not worry about them.  Turn around, stand tall, put your head up, and look forward to the marvelous opportunities that you have.”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, Standing for Something, p. 173)

“Kindness, merely as such, cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering . . . it is for people whom we care nothing about that we demand happiness on any terms: with our friends, our lovers, our children, we are exacting and would rather see them suffer much than be happy in contemptible and estranging modes.”
(C.S. Lewis, Problem of Pain, Chapter 3, p.29)“Be grateful for people in your lives who love you enough to correct you . . . correction can be an act of affection.”
(Neal A. Maxwell, “Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been,” Ensign, May 2004, 44)
“Discipline is a form of love, an expression of it.  It is necessary and powerful in people’s lives.
“When a toddler is playing near the road, we steer carefully around him.  That is, unless it is our own child or grandchild.  If we love them enough we will do it.  To withhold discipline when it would contribute to spiritual growth is an evidence of lack of love and concern.”
(Boyd K. Packer, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled, 1991, 15-19)

“If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. Have I imperfections? I am full of them. What is my duty? To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections. If I am an angry man, it is my duty to pray for charity, which suffereth long and is kind. Am I an envious man? It is my duty to seek for charity, which envieth not. So with all the gifts of the Gospel. They are intended for this purpose. No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them.”
(George Q. Cannon, Millennial Star, 23 Apr. 1894, 260).
(Quoted in Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual (1999), 84-85)

“Now as we conclude this general conference, let us all give heed to what was said to us. Let us assume the counsel given applies to us, to me. Let us hearken to those we sustain as prophets and seers, as well as the other brethren, as if our eternal life depended upon it, because it does!
“. . . May I stress again the value of reading the addresses given at our general conferences in the Ensign magazine.” (Ensign, May 1978, p. 77.)

“Only those who obey the fulness of the gospel law will inherit eternal life. . . . It is ‘the greatest of all the gifts of God’ . . . , for it is the kind, status, type, and quality of life that God himself enjoys. Thus those who gain eternal life receive exaltation; they are sons of God, joint-heirs with Christ, members of the Church of the Firstborn; they overcome all things, have all power, and receive the fulness of the Father”
(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 237).”
(As quoted by L. Tom Perry, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 2008, 44–46)

“The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.
A parable illustrates this understanding. A wealthy father knew that if he were to bestow his wealth upon a child who had not yet developed the needed wisdom and stature, the inheritance would probably be wasted. The father said to his child:
“All that I have I desire to give you—not only my wealth, but also my position and standing among men. That which I have I can easily give you, but that which I am you must obtain for yourself.”
(Dallin H. Oaks, “The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, Nov 2000,  32)

“As we strive for worthiness, a scripture we should not lose sight of is Doctrine and Covenants, section 136, verse 31: ‘He that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of [the Lord’s] kingdom.’ [D&C 136:31] Sometimes there is a great need for us to be chastised, disciplined, and corrected in a spirit of love, help, and hope. Guidance and suggestions should be offered in a loving way, but most of us have a tendency to rebel or be dismayed when someone suggests that our conduct is less than it should be. As Benjamin Franklin once said: ‘Those things that hurt, instruct. It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread but welcome problems.’”
(Marvin J. Ashton, “On Being Worthy,” Ensign, May 1989, 20)

“. . . find joy each day. One source of joy is service, for when you are busy helping others, you will have less capacity to agonize over your own shortcomings. The Savior wisely taught, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”(Mark 8:35; see also Alma 36:24–25. )
You will experience greater joy in life as you eradicate adult-onset pessimism and substitute childlike optimism. Optimism is a virtue that allows us to see God’s loving hand in the details of our life.”
(Anthony D. Perkins, “The Great and Wonderful Love”, Ensign, November 2006, 76)

“Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God’s love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence. ‘Live in thanksgiving daily,’ said Amulek, ‘for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.'(Alma 34:38)”
(Bonnie D. Parkin, “Gratitude: A Path to Happiness,” Ensign, May 2007,  34–36)

“One thing professional teachers need to guard against is the tendency to be turned into skeptics or to be overcautious when declaring the truth. . . . What a refreshing thing to have a teacher who has the courage of his convictions and who can tell right from wrong and is willing to say so!”
(Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently, 329)

Prov. 19: 20:
        20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
“Gratitude is deeper than thanks. Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
(David O. McKay, “Gratitude Quotations,” Friend, Nov 1975,  39)

“It is greater to be trusted than loved.”
(Marvin J. Ashton, “Be a Quality Person,” Ensign, Feb 1993, 64)

 “[Common Misunderstanding#1] Some have a difficult time accepting in their hearts that when the Lord says ‘all’ He means them too. They seem to say to themselves, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of mankind, but what I have done is so terrible or so repeated that I don’t think the Atonement will work for me.’ Some who are faithful members of the Church actually seem to believe that they will never make it back to Heavenly Father’s presence. It is the idea that Christ can save all mankind, but He may not be able to save me. This kind of feeling is terribly discouraging, and it can become an excuse to dabble in sin. ‘After all,’ some rationalize, ‘I’m not going to make it anyway.’ . . .The question is not whether we are perfect or whether we are worth forgiving, but whether we are willing to admit when we do wrong, feel sorry, confess as appropriate, do all we can to set things right, and ask the Lord to forgive us. This is what the Savior meant when He said we must have ‘a broken heart and a contrite spirit’ (3 Ne. 9:20). I know that the Lord is ready, even anxious, to forgive each of us personally if we will but come to Him (see Mosiah 26:30).”
(J. Devn Cornish, “Learning How the Atonement Can Change You,” Ensign, Apr. 2002, 20)

Philip. 4: 11, 
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

“Don’t be critical of people.  Find their virtues—they have some—and build on those.  You will be very happy if you do.”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings, 412)

“To be humble is to recognize our utter dependence upon the Lord. We are conscious of our strengths, but we do not exalt ourselves and become prideful, for we know that all good things ultimately come from God. We are conscious of our weaknesses, but we know the Lord can use those very weaknesses to bless our lives and that through Him, as we learn from the book of Ether, our weaknesses can become strengths.
“To lack confidence is to have feelings of low self-worth. We are preoccupied with our weaknesses, and we lack faith in the Lord’s ability to use those weaknesses for our good. We do not understand our inestimable worth in the eyes of God, nor do we appreciate our divine potential. Ironically, both pride and a lack of self-confidence cause us to focus excessively on ourselves and to deny the power of God in our lives.”
(Glenn L. Pace, “Confidence and Self-Worth,” Ensign, Jan 2005, 32–35)

“Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm. . . . Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” 
(Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Complete Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (New York: Wm. H. Wise & Co., 1929), pp. 77, 222)

“The great Thomas Carlyle said: ‘The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder—a waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.’”
(See Harold B. Lee, CR, October 1952, 17; Thomas S. Monson, CR, April 1982, 84)
(As quoted by Thomas S. Monson, “Decisions Determine Destiny,” CES Fireside, 6 November 2005)

“To find invitations to truth either burdensome or beneficial may reveal more about us than about the quality of the message. The truths of the gospel are best understood when offered and received in love. To live after the manner of happiness is to seek the truth and to acknowledge what we could do if we only would. To find the truth burdensome may be the same as saying the gospel, in everyday life, is unrealistic.”
(Terrance D. Olson, “To Walk in the Light,” BYU Devotional, April 4, 1995)

“It is critically important that a person already knows right from wrong, that he is innately, inherently, and intuitively good.  When someone says, ‘I can’t!  I can’t solve my problems! – I want to thunder out, ‘Don’t you realize who you are?  Haven’t you learned yet that you are a son or a daughter of Almighty God?  Do you not know that there are powerful resources inherited from Him that you can call upon to give you steadiness and courage and great power?”
(Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently, 242)

“One way we can practice charity is to be generous in our praise of others, thus helping them gain confidence as well.”
(Glenn L. Pace, “Confidence and Self-Worth,” Ensign, Jan 2005,  32–35)

“One reason the Lord illustrates doctrines with the most extreme circumstances is to eliminate excuses. If the Lord expects even the poorest widow to pay her mite, where does that leave all others who find that it is not convenient or easy to sacrifice?”
(Lynn G. Robbins, “Tithing—a Commandment Even for the Destitute,” Ensign, May 2005,  34)

D&C 82: 4, 
4 Ye call upon my name for revelations, and I give them unto you; and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings, which I give unto you, ye become transgressors; and justice and judgment are the penalty which is affixed unto my law.

 “You can study the word of God, not for yourself alone but to be an emissary of the Lord Jesus Christ to all the world. When you increase your power to teach the gospel, you are qualifying to help Heavenly Father in gathering His children.”
(Henry B. Eyring, “Faith and the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood,” Ensign, May 2008, 61–64)

 “When we have done all that we can, our desires will carry us the rest of the way. It also means that if our desires are right, we can be forgiven for the unintended errors or mistakes we will inevitably make as we try to carry those desires into effect. What a comfort for our feelings of inadequacy!

President Brigham Young expressed this comforting assurance in a sermon he gave in 1857:

No matter what the outward appearance is—if I can know of a truth that the hearts of the people are fully set to do the will of their Father in heaven, though they may falter and do a great many things through the weaknesses of human nature, yet, they will be saved. . . .

If their motives are pure—no matter whether their outward appearance is particularly precise, their acts will be discerned by the Spirit of the Lord, and will be appreciated for what they were intended. If people act from pure motives, though their outward movements may not always be so pleasant as our traditions would prefer, yet God will make those acts result in the best good to the people. (Journal of Discourses 5:256.)”
(Dallin H. Oaks, Pure in Heart, 59-60)

“Inadequacy is not the same as being sinful—we have far more control over the choice to sin than we have over our innate capacity . . . a sense of falling short or falling down is not only natural but essential to the mortal experience. Still, after all we can do, the Atonement can fill that which is empty, straighten out our bent parts, and make strong that which is weak.
“The Savior’s victory can compensate not only for our sins but also for our inadequacies; not only for our deliberate mistakes but also for our sins committed in ignorance, our errors of judgment, and our unavoidable imperfections.”
(Bruce C. Hafen, Broken Heart, Deseret Book. 2008. 23)

“Everything belongs to God, so there is not much you can give him, after you have given him a repentant heart. But you can give kindness to his children. If you were my earthly friend, you would win my heart by being kind to my children. God loves his children more than any earthly parent, so think what your kindness to his children means to him.”
(Henry B. Eyring, “To Draw Closer to God,” Ensign, May 1991, 65)

 “I found the other day an interesting thought from John Cassian, who was a Christian teacher born in A.D. 354. In a paraphrased translation from the German text, I quote:
‘It is easier for a worldly person to come to a healing change of his life, or even to the top of perfection, than a tired saint who is fallen from his first enthusiasm, because the worldly man will go through pain and agony and, sooner or later, he will not be able to stand it any longer, and will rush in the depths of depression to the source of true cleansing. But, when somebody has begun to pollute his name as a saint, without joyfulness and enthusiasm, he will still feel safe and, therefore, will not recognize what he is missing and, therefore, he is not easy to be taught. He will say in his heart, I’m blessed. I know it all and need nobody.’” [Johannes Cassian, Spannkraft der Seele (Freiburg: Herder, 1981), pp. 149­50; or see John Cassian, Collations (Conferences) 4:19]
(F. Enzio Busche, “Unleashing the Dormant Spirit,” BYU Devotional, 14 May 1996)