This is a compilation of thoughts and quotes that I have found or written recently, as well as many that I've collected throughout the years. Most thoughts are posted randomly, as I feel inspired. A listing of quotes can be found alphabetically (check the 2008 and 2009 archives listing), or by source.

Feel free to suggest additions!

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hold on Tight!

Riding horses was one of their favorite things to do.  The man and his young daughter were sharing the saddle on a hired horse, at their family's favorite mountain resort. They came here every summer, and today was a perfect day for riding.

With others in the family riding group, the two rode on through the lush, green forest.  Sitting forward in the saddle, the young girl felt the excitement of the ride and the rush of the wind blowing in her hair.  Her father behind her felt happy, strong and secure on the back of this steed, similar to the many he had ridden before.

The group of riders happily trotted through the varied and scenic landscape.  Suddenly, the man's horse bolted into a terrifying speed.  Grabbing his daughter as he tried to stabilize his own position on the saddle, the man tried to gain control of the horse.  "Whoa!" he repeatedly cried out, yanking strongly on the reins.  But the horse would not obey, as it furiously raced on.  Branches whipped them as they held fiercely to the saddle horn.

"Daddy!" the young girl screamed, "Why is the horse running so fast?"

"I don't know!" he cried, losing confidence in his ability to control the situation.

"All we can do is hold on! Hold on tight!" the father commanded his frightened daughter.

Many questions began running through his head. "Why can't I control the horse?  Why is he running out of control?  How can I stop this? Will this ever end?  Will it end badly?" Fear began to overtake him as the horse continued its wild flight.

A few moments later the horse came to a slow pace and then continued steadily forward.  The man pulled again on the reins and cried "whoa!"  This time the horse obeyed and stopped.

"What happened?", he thought.  "What was wrong with the horse?  How did I lose control?  What did I do wrong?"

Soon they were joined by the others in the group, who had done their best to catch up.

"Are you all right?" was their worried query.

"Yes, I guess so." he replied.  "I don't know what happened, something must be wrong with the horse."

"Oh, no." he was told. "The horse is fine, quite normal. He came upon an active hornets nest. It must have spooked him pretty bad.  But see how he high-tailed it and brought you all to safety."

On the ride of life we sometimes come upon terrifying trials, where despite all we can do, we lose control.  All we can do is to hold on tight and have faith that our horse will lead us to safety.

See also

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Oak Tree: Strength in Roots

The Oak Tree

A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the Oak Tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
until the Oak was tired and stark.

But still the Oak Tree held its ground
while other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing Oak?"

The Oak Tree said, I know that you
can break each branch of mine in two,
carry every leaf away,
shake my limbs and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see
they are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn't sure
of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found with thanks to you,
I'm stronger than I ever knew.

by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.


Also, here are some great comments on this, borrowed from other bloggers:

Did anyone notice in the poem that the wind became weary?

How does wind become weary?!!

I find it fascinating that the beginning sentence is about the oak tree holding its groundHolding our ground can be excruciatingly painful at times. Especially when you feel alone in your stance. But surely, there is truth to the statement “the weary wind.” Perhaps our persistence and our stronghold endurance help the wind to eventually weary and lose its grip on us.

We may wonder sometimes if the wind will let up. We wonder if we are doing the right thing. And most painful can be not knowing if we will be standing when it is through. And yet, something deep within me tells me there is a true principle to this statement. Through it all the oak is still standing. The wind is weary. The wind has exhausted all its creativity in knocking this oak over. The oak is using one formula: Stand.

I picture the wind as a person looking all frazzled, tongue sticking out from thirst, Face red from blowing, shoulders hunched staring at the oak with desperation saying unbelievably, “How can you still be standing Oak?” Seriously!!!

The poem doesn't talk about how long the wind blew. But it does describe it was so powerful to steal every leaf away. And most importantly, in the end, the oak was still standing. Broken limbs, snapped boughs, stolen leaves and all.

One of my favorite quotes by Thomas Jefferson states:

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

Whatever your stance may be. As long as we feel the guiding hand of our Heavenly Father, stand, endure and eventually the wind will become weary.

-by Mamma Mia


After reading the poem "The Oak Tree" I immediately thought of an article by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin entitled "Deep Roots".  In the article he talks about a time when he and his wife were visiting one of the islands in Hawaii.  While there they passed two very large trees that had been uprooted and blown over by strong winds.  He said that as he looked at those trees he wondered if they might have survived the winds and storms if their roots had been deeper. 

I loved his comparison of the beautiful palm trees and the might oak trees.  Palm trees are beautiful to look at, but when the strong winds come along these trees are easily swayed and if the wind is strong enough, they can be easily uprooted and blown over.  In contrast, the mighty oak tree, no matter how severe the storm and how strong the wind, the oak tree will continue to stand tall - branches may break and the tree may be stripped of it's leaves, but through it all it will continue to stand tall.   

He also pointed out an interesting fact, of which I was unaware, that the roots of an oak tree can extend down into the ground up to two and one-half times their height.  Now that, my friends, is a deeply rooted tree.

Now the question for each of us is - how deeply rooted are your values?   Do you let yourself be blown to-and-fro with what is popular at the time?  Or do you stand for what you believe in?  I think that what we stand for defines who we truly are. 

- by Lil' Acorn


See also:

The Strength of the Willow Tree
Good Timber
The Butterfly: Strength Through Adversity
Adversity Quotes

Friday, September 21, 2012

Beautiful People

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.

- Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quotes by Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Dieter F. Uchtdorf is known and loved by many as a man of wise and inspiring words. Born in East Germany, he worked for many years as an airline pilot.  Today, Dieter serves as an Apostle and 2nd Counselor to the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

What we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are — and who we will become.

In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance.

The heavens will not be filled with those who never made mistakes but with those who recognized that they were off course and who corrected their ways to get back in the light of gospel truth.

Never give up on anyone. And that includes not giving up on yourself.

Each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy and to forgive one another.

We will receive the joy of forgiveness in our own lives when we are willing to extend that joy freely to others.

As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.

What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you.

Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount—that is the measure of God’s love for you.

Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely.

No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.”

The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments.

The Lord doesn't expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn't (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be.

When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration.

We know from modern revelation that ‘the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.’ We cannot gauge the worth of another soul any more than we can measure the span of the universe.

Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.

As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.

‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’ This is the essence of what it means to be a true disciple: those who receive Christ Jesus walk with him.

Are you focused on the things that matter most? How you spend your quiet time may provide a valuable clue. Where do your thoughts go when the pressure of deadlines is gone? Are your thoughts and heart focused on those short-lived fleeting things that matter only in the moment or on things that matter most?

Often the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us. Selfless acts of service and consecration refine our spirits remove the scales from our spiritual eyes and open the windows of heaven. By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer we often find the answer to our own.

Our motives and thoughts ultimately influence our actions. Jesus repeatedly emphasized the power of good thoughts and proper motives: 'Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not'.

We have a choice. We can seek for the bad in others. Or we can make peace and work to extend to others the understanding, fairness, and forgiveness we so desperately desire for ourselves. It is our choice; for whatever we seek, that we will certainly find.

Let us simplify our lives a little, let us make the changes necessary to focus on the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship.

You can't go through life on borrowed light.

Love is spelled T.I.M.E.

May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity. Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest.

Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!

God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God! For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become.

Would the marathon runner feel the triumph of finishing the race had she not felt the pain of the hours of pushing against her limits? Would the pianist feel the joy of mastering an intricate sonata without the painstaking hours of practice?

Patience means staying with something until the end. It means delaying immediate gratification for future blessings.

Don't judge me because I sin differently than you.

Developing Christlike attributes in our lives is not an easy task, especially when we move away from generalities and abstractions and begin to deal with real life. The test comes in practicing what we proclaim.

It is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.

God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those who will never appear in the chronicles of history. They are the blessed, humble souls who emulate the Savior’s example and spend the days of their lives doing good.

Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience.

It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Over-scheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks.

Work is an antidote for anxiety, and ointment for sorrow, and a doorway to possibility.

Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive.

A person’s true value has little to do with what the world holds in high esteem…you could pile up the accumulated currency of the entire world and it could not buy a loaf of bread in the economy of heaven.

Many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.

If you consider success to be only the most perfect rose or dazzling orchid, you may miss some of life’s sweetest experiences.

Patience means to abide in faith, knowing that sometimes it is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most.

God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal. He wants us to become perfect, and if we stay on the path of discipleship, one day we will. It’s OK that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself.

STOP IT:  This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
Stop it!  It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.

It is often in the trial of adversity that we learn those most critical lessons that form our character and shape our destiny.

See also:
Quotes by Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quotes by Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra is an Indian-born, American physician and writer. Chopra has taught at the medical schools of Tufts University, Boston University and Harvard University.  Chopra has written more than 65 books with 19 New York Times bestsellers. His books have been translated into 35 languages and sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.

Here are some great quotes from this wise man:

The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.

You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices. 

There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle. 

Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real. 

If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world. 

You can free yourself from aging by reinterpreting your body and by grasping the link between belief and biology. 

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.
Every person is a God in embryo. Its only desire is to be born.
Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there -buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.
Each of us is here to discover our true Self, that essentially we are spiritual beings who have taken manifestation in physical form, that we're not human beings that have occasional spiritual experiences, that we're spiritual beings that have occasional human experiences.
Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals. 
In our imaginations we believe that love is apart from us. Actually there is nothing but love, once we are ready to accept it. When you truly find love, you find yourself.

The law of giving is very simple: if you want joy, give joy.  If love is what you seek, offer love.  If you crave material affluence, help others become prosperous.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Quotes by Wayne W. Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer is know by millions as a great self-help guru and positive thinker. Here are some of his great quotes:

Heaven on earth is a choice you must make, not a place you must find.

The only limits you have are the limits you believe.

The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams, at once, to any degree that you possibly can.

You have a very powerful mind that can make anything happen as long as you keep yourself centered.

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice.

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.

When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.

A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.

It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there's nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.

Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.

Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.

Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with.

Conflict cannot survive without your participation.

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about.

Your children will see what you're all about by what you live rather than what you say.

Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.

Deficiency motivation doesn't work. It will lead to a life-long pursuit of try to fix me. Learn to appreciate what you have and where and who you are.

Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way.

Anything you really want, you can attain, if you really go after it.

Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you.

Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.

It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.

Judgements prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.

Maxim for life: You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you.

What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.

You'll see it when you believe it.

When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out - because that's what's inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.

Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules.

Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.

Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.

The fact that you are willing to say, "I do not understand, and it is fine," is the greatest understanding you could exhibit.

The components of anxiety, stress, fear, and anger do not exist independently of you in the world. They simply do not exist in the physical world, even though we talk about them as if they do.

You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, 'I release the need for this in my life'.

It's never crowded along the extra mile.

Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.

Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.

Self-worth comes from one thing - thinking that you are worthy.

Everything is perfect in the universe - even your desire to improve it.

We are Divine enough to ask and we are important enough to receive.

Only the insecure strive for security.

You are doomed to make choices. This is life's greatest paradox.

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.

There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there's only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.

You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.

You are important enough to ask and you are blessed enough to receive back.

The last suit that you wear, you don't need any pockets.

See also:
You'll See It If You Believe It
I Can See Clearly Now