All this may be the only sermon I preach. Perhaps it is the only sermon any of us preaches, though in many variations. But it may be enough of a sermon: that we live by and bear the burden of Christ, that His Church is the form that liberates us and the energy we generate, that it provides us with the vision of form within which we find instructions to explore and express our love, that it provides the form to lead us toward our vision of heaven and our rejection of hell.
-from the title essay. This quote reminds me of
's "Why the Church is
as True of the Gospel." England
But surely a testimony, like education and freedom and creativity, is self-creative, is inwardly dynamic and alive, is something to be invested like talents. No hot-house plant, it needs exposure to wind and rain and cold to give it toughness, resilience, endurance. It too responds to opposition in all things.
-from "On the Mormon Commitment to Education"
We may submit ourselves to the Inferno, to the heart of darkness, for the sake of experience itself or for the sake of the artistry that creates it. but we also submit for the purpose of deepening our capacity for experience and awareness and compassion and love. We submit because our experience in the depths maybe the best way—perhaps even the only way—to know and experience the ultimate heights. If we really believe that there must needs be opposition in all things, we submit ourselves to the ultimate literary validation of the meaning of opposition. In more strictly Mormon terms, we submit ourselves to the trials of earth life—which can be enough of an Inferno—for the sake of a higher existence, for the ability to live a celestial life. As with literature, we have no assurance that we will survive the ordeal. Hell yawns, in Dante's version, for those who do not. But if we do, we should be much the stronger spirituality and in most other ways for having made the journey. we add the literary equivalent of a physical body which makes possible the literary equivalent of celestial experiences.
-from "Science, Religion and the Humanities"
What we need along with [Jesus] is whatever will nourish our spiritual lives. . . . But some kinds of knowledge will surely minister better to our spirits than others. And here is where I see a high destiny for the arts in our
and the Arts: What
Will Really Matter?" Zion
Implicit in what I have been saying has been the sense that one of our most significant failures as a people has been the failure to really face such possible and actual tragedy inherent in our beliefs and practices.
from "Paradox and Tragedy in Mormonism"