Presidents Day bon mots, MormonArts-style


[Note: I’ve made no effort to select quotations from their term as Church president. The words quoted may have been spoken at any point during their life.]

Joseph Smith

By proving contraries, truth is made manifest.

Brigham Young

Upon the stage of a theatre can be represented in character, evil and its consequences, good and its happy results and rewards; the weakness and the follies of man, the magnanimity of virtue and the greatness of truth. The stage can be made to aid the pulpit in impressing upon the minds of a community an enlightened sense of a virtuous life, also a proper horror of the enormity of sin and a just dread of its consequences. The path of sin with its thorns and pitfalls, its gins and snares can be revealed, and how to shun it.

John Taylor

You mark my words, and write them down and see if they do not come to pass. You will see the day that Zion will be far ahead of the outside world in everything pertaining to learning of every kind as we are today in regard to religious matters. God expects Zion to become the praise and glory of the whole earth, so that kings hearing of her fame will come and gaze upon her glory.

Wilford Woodruff

Every one should make it a matter of pride to be a producer, and not a consumer alone.

Lorenzo Snow

You exert a certain degree of influence, and be it ever so small, it affects some person or persons, and for the results of the influence you exert you are held accountable. You, therefore, whether you acknowledge it or not, have assumed an importance before God and man that cannot be overlooked.

Joseph F. Smith

Amusements people will have. It is needful and right that these should be provided.

Heber J. Grant

Let us endeavor to discover the occupation for which we are best suited by the natural abilities which the Lord has given us, and then labor to improve upon these talents.

George Albert Smith

Our love should pass beyond the borderlines of the Church with which we are identified.

David O. McKay

Music is truly the universal language, and when it is excellently expressed how deeply it moves our souls.

Joseph Fielding Smith

True greatness is never a result of a chance occurrence or a one-time effort or achievement. It requires the development of character.

Harold B. Lee

This people must increase in beauty before the world; have an inward loveliness which may be observed by mankind as a reflection in holiness and in those inherent qualities of sanctity.

Spencer W. Kimball

Our writers, our motion picture specialists, with the inspiration of heaven, should tomorrow be able to produce a masterpiece which would live forever.

Ezra Taft Benson

Encourage good music and art and literature in your homes. Homes that have a spirit of refinement and beauty will bless the lives of your children forever.

Howard W. Hunter

Gordon B. Hinckley

Good books are as friends, willing to give to us if we are willing to make a little effort.

Thomas S. Monson

God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation.

7 thoughts on “Presidents Day bon mots, MormonArts-style”

  1. I think it was Joseph F. Smith’s cousin, Joseph L(agoon) Smith, who said: “Amusement Parks the people will have!”

    Seriously though, nice collection of quotes!

  2. .

    Joseph Fielding Smith and George Albert Smith took the longest. Some, like John Taylor, I had to go famous for. Some, like Brigham Young and Spencer W. Kimball, were rich with artsy commentary. Some you will not find anywhere else. Not easily, anyway. It was an interesting exercise.

  3. What I like, Th., is the quotes that aren’t specifically about art, but that you are deploying to tell a story about what you think the purpose of Mormon-produced art is.

    Also: how long have you been sitting on the HWH photo? That’s awesome.

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