Asked what would be his idea of Heaven, one statesman in 1897 said it would be to "receive a flow of telegrams alternating news of a British victory by sea and a British victory by land.
Fire In The HeavensFire in the heavens, and fire along the hills,and fire made solid in the flinty stone,thick-mass'd or scatter'd pebble, fire that fillsthe breathless hour that lives in fire alone.This valley, long ago the patient bedof floods that carv'd its antient amplitude,in stillness of the Egyptian crypt outspread,endures to drown in noon-day's tyrant mood.Behind the veil of burning silence bound,vast life's innumerous busy littlenessis hush'd in vague-conjectured blur of soundthat dulls the brain with slumbrous weight, unlesssome dazzling puncture let the stridence throngin the cicada's torture-point of song.
Curiously enough, it seems that at times the spiritual side prevails, and then the materialistic side—in wave-like motions following each other. ...At one time the full flood of materialistic ideas prevails, and everything in this life—prosperity, the education which procures more pleasures, more food—will become glorious at first and then that will degrade and degenerate. Along with the prosperity will rise to white heat all the inborn jealousies and hatreds of the human race. Competition and merciless cruelty will be the watchword of the day. To quote a very commonplace and not very elegant English proverb, "Everyone for himself, and the devil take the hindmost", becomes the motto of the day. Then people think that the whole scheme of life is a failure. And the world would be destroyed had not spirituality come to the rescue and lent a helping hand to the sinking world. Then the world gets new hope and finds a new basis for a new building, and another wave of spirituality comes, which in time again declines. As a rule, spirituality brings a class of men who lay exclusive claim to the special powers of the world. The immediate effect of this is a reaction towards materialism, which opens the door to scores of exclusive claims, until the time comes when not only all the spiritual powers of the race, but all its material powers and privileges are centered in the hands of a very few; and these few, standing on the necks of the masses of the people, want to rule them. Then society has to help itself, and materialism comes to the rescue.
Give up the idea that by ruling over others you can do any good to them. But you can do just as much as you can in the case of the plant: you can supply the growing seed with the materials for the making up of its body, bringing to it the earth, the water, the air, that it wants. It will take all that it wants by its own nature, it will assimilate and grow by its own nature.
If we talk about the living oracles and want to pay respect to them, how shall we do this? Shall we do it by never reading their words-by paying not attention to that which they say? That is a very poor way of doing.We ought to listen to their words. When we cannot hear their words, we should read them; for they are the words of the authorized servants of God. I feel that there is a great neglect among us in this respect. --CR, 1897, 38, George Q. Cannon (CR is Reports of the General Conferences of the Church)
Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."(Speech in the House of Commons, 11 November 1947)
Maniacal suicide. —This is due to hallucinations or delirious conceptions. The patient kills himself to escape from an imaginary danger or disgrace, or to obey a mysterious order from on high, etc.
Let us be thankful for the fools,' Mark Twain wrote with typically dark humor in 1897. 'But for them the rest of us could not succeed.' Of all the paradoxes of failure in America, surely this is the darkest. Long ago, we saw through old fables of rags to riches; it is still fun to dream, but we know that we are partaking of a cultural myth. But if we do not quite believe in that kind of success, our faith in the myths of failure is unshaken. We are merrily cynical about whether the average tycoon really tugged on those bootstraps, but we still believe with deadly seriousness that the reasons for failure are usually individual-- "in the man." Failure is not the dark side of the American Dream; it is the foundation of it. The American Dream gives each of us the chance to be a born loser.
Man cannot become attached to higher aims and submit to a rule if he sees nothing above him to which he belongs. To free him from all social pressure is to abandon him to himself and demoralize him.
We must also remember that in every little village-god and every little superstitious custom is that which we are accustomed to call our religious faith. But local customs are infinite and contradictory. Which are we to obey, and which not to obey? The Brāhmin of Southern India, for instance, would shrink in horror at the sight of another Brahmin eating meat; a Brahmin in the North thinks it a most glorious and holy thing to do—he kills goats by the hundred in sacrifice. If you put forward your custom, they are equally ready with theirs. Various are the customs all over India, but they are local. The greatest mistake made is that ignorant people always think that this local custom is the essence of our religion.