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Bits o’ Wisdom From The Great Elder Clifton

Rusty - April 17, 2005

For this project I’m working on I was shuffling through a bunch of my old mission notebooks and I came across a little Libreta El Quijote I had forgotten about. At some point on the mission I decided to write down every somewhat profound thought that came into my head. What follows is a little sampling:

- Through time we can understand “why” God gives us certain commandments, but those reasons shouldn’t ever be the primary reason for obeying them. The primary reason should always be to obey God.

- More important that knowing more doctrine is living what we know.

- One reason we don’t help or give service is because we think they can get along fine without our help.

- We are here (on the mission) to help people recognize the Holy Ghost, including ourselves.

- [President] The majority of doctrine is not found in the scriptures but rather from the Holy Ghost.

- If we ask for mercy in prayer, why don’t we ask for mercy for other people instead of justice?

- As missionaries we don’t inherently have the right for people to listen to us and care, we have to earn it.

- There is NO advantage in being a realist if we are expecting miracles.

- As sons of God we have rights.

- When someone appears the maddest, it could be that they are the saddest.

- Why does it matter that we are LDS if we’re not different (fruits) to the community?

- God doesn’t reward us for the convenient things we do, but rather rewards us for the inconvenient ones.

- If the gospel doesn’t produce happiness in our lives then there is something wrong.

- When you have covenanted with the Lord the only answer is “yes.”

- [Elder Bradford] Spirituality is measured by what we’re thinking about during the Sacrament.

-We should pray to be instruments in the Lord’s hands and look for the opportunities to help bring to pass His will.

- God lifts us to His level, we don’t bring Him down to ours.

-The blessing of missionary work is being instruments, not baptisms (Alma 26:3)

- We go on the mission to learn how to be a good member. We go home to be one.

- I know more, am I doing more?

Okay, I know, some of these are a bit trite, some are a bit obvious, and some are kinda off the mark, but after reviewing them again (it’s been like six years) I found a few of them to be quite nice.

Anyone else write their most profound thoughts down?

1 Comment »

  1. Nice collection.
    Stephen M (Ethesis) | Email | Homepage | 04.17.05 – 11:15 pm | #

    This was quite cool. I didn’t find any of them to be trite, and many of them to be quite profound.

    Best I got is “Always accept a breath mint”, and “90% of life is in showing up”.

    Mark Hansen | Email | Homepage | 04.18.05 – 12:32 am | #

    Thanks guys. I guess I left out most of the really trite ones. Mark, I like the breath mint one, I’ll have to remember that.
    Rusty | Email | Homepage | 04.18.05 – 12:40 am | #

    Six years? Good grief — you’re that young?

    - [Elder Bradford] Spirituality is measured by what we’re thinking about during the Sacrament.

    Hmmm. Maybe Elder Bradford was on the podium when he had a bunch of little kids… Those of us sitting with them in the pews are thinking: “knock that off… Stop pinching her… be careful where you swing that pencil… Someone go grab the baby from the podium…” etc.
    Geoff Johnston | Email | Homepage | 04.18.05 – 1:22 am | #

    I like all of them except one. I’ve found, especially here in Rexburg, that when we covenant with God, the answer is always “no.”
    Bret | Email | Homepage | 04.18.05 – 1:14 pm | #

    Actually, it’s been seven years, me and math don’t get along. Also, I think Elder Bradford was referring to during the actual taking of the Sacrament (which I don’t think changes your response though .

    Rusty | Email | Homepage | 04.18.05 – 4:01 pm | #

    Those are great. The one about happiness is something I could argue, though. It should produce happiness, but it doesn’t preclude unhappiness. The gospel can be a divisive thing at times. A sword and all that.

    We just had a great talk in our Stake Conf this weekend about the wise man and the foolish man. They were both subject to harsh experiences (rain, floods, etc), but the gospel gives us strength and comfort during difficult times and helps us weather them.
    Susan M | Email | Homepage | 04.18.05 – 8:33 pm | #

    As in, a bunch of “I can’t do this” and “I can’t do that” because of all the rules. But now it’s no longer funny since I had to explain it…
    Bret | Email | Homepage | 04.19.05 – 11:40 am | #


    Thanks–that’s exactly what I was thinking when I read the Elder Bradford quote.


    As I read this post, I was surprised to realize I never made such a list on my mission… and I think that’s because my brother sent me all the bits o’ wisdom I needed by POUCH mail. Thanks! Some of the ones you mentioned are actually recorded in my scripture margins.

    (I did, however, start a list of “profound” questions I wanted to find the answers to… but I don’t remember any of them because by the end of my mission I must have realized the truth to your second statement!)
    Amy | Email | Homepage | 04.19.05 – 3:45 pm | #



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