Famous Quotes & Sayings

Hugh Nibley Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 54 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Hugh Nibley.

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Competitiveness always rests on the assumption of a life-and-death struggle. — Hugh Nibley

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The gas-law of learning: ... any amount of information no matter how small will fill any intellectual void no matter how large. — Hugh Nibley

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Being self-taught is no disgrace; but being self-certified is another matter. — Hugh Nibley

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Self-justification, that was the danger
the exhilerating exercise of explaining why my ways are God's ways after all. — Hugh Nibley

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[Eve] sees through Satan's disquise of clever hypocrisy, identifies him, and exposes him for what he is ... [ever since Satan has] had it in for women. — Hugh Nibley

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As knowledge increases, the verdict of yesterday must be reversed today, and in the long run the most positive authority is the least to be trusted. — Hugh Nibley

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Well, I have a testimony, I may be ignorant, but I am not lost. — Hugh Nibley

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Don't be like anybody else. Be different. Then you can make a
contribution. Otherwise, you just echo something; you're just a reflection. — Hugh Nibley

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Things that appear unlikely, impossible, or paradoxical from one point of view often make perfectly good sense from another. — Hugh Nibley

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When, indeed, is a thing proven? Only
when an individual has accumulated in his own consciousness
enough observations, impressions, reasonings and feelings to
satisfy him personally that it is so. The same evidence which
convinces one expert may leave another completely unsatisfied. — Hugh Nibley

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At UCLA I quickly learned the knack of getting grades, a craven surrender to custom, since grades had little to do with learning. — Hugh Nibley

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No matter where we begin, if we pursue knowledge diligently and honestly, our quest will inevitably lead us from the things of the earth to the things of heaven. — Hugh Nibley

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Every way of life produces its own environment and in turn is influenced by that environment. — Hugh Nibley

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The tragedy of the Book of Mormon is not what became of the Nephites but what the Nephites became. — Hugh Nibley

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Who is righteous? Anyone who is repenting. No matter how bad he has been, if he is repenting he is a righteous man. There is hope for him. And no matter how good he has been all his life, if he is not repenting, he is a wicked man. The difference is which way you are facing. The man on the top of the stairs facing down if much worse off than the man on the bottom step who is facing up. The direction we are facing, that is repentance; and that is what determines whether we are good or bad. — Hugh Nibley

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The genius of stable societies is that they achieve stability without stagnation, repetition without monotony, conformity with originality, obedience with liberty. — Hugh Nibley

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Joseph Smith could not have picked a better year to start The Book of Mormon than 600 B.C. — Hugh Nibley

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Why read the Book of Mormon? Because angels do not come on trivial errands. — Hugh Nibley

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True knowledge never shuts the door on more knowledge, but zeal often does. — Hugh Nibley

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Man's dominion is a call to service, not a license to to exterminate. — Hugh Nibley

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God's command to have dominion over every living thing is a call to service, a test of responsibility, a rule of love, a cooperation with nature, whereas Satan's use of force for the sake of getting gain renders the earth uninhabitable. Brigham Young's views on the environment direct attention to man's responsibility to beautify the earth, to eradicate the influences of harmful substances, and to use restraint, that the earth may return to its paradisiacal glory. — Hugh Nibley

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Careerism is the determination to reign in hell rather than serve in heaven. — Hugh Nibley

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All scholarship, like all science, is an ongoing, open-ended discussion in which all conclusions are tentative forever, the principal value and charm of the game being the discovery of the totally unexpected. — Hugh Nibley

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I would rather be a doorkeeper in the House of the Lord than mingle with the top brass in the tents of the wicked. — Hugh Nibley

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What on earth have a man's name, degree, academic position, and of all things, opinions, to do with whether a thing is true? — Hugh Nibley

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No matter what happens, it will, then, always remain secret: only I know exactly the weight and force of the covenants I have made
I and the Lord with whom I have made them
unless I choose to reveal them. If I do not, then they are secret and sacred no matter what others may say or do. Anyone who would reveal these things has not understood them, and therefore that person has not given them away. You cannot reveal what you do not know! — Hugh Nibley

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The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism ... the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances. — Hugh Nibley

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Doctors and trainers often see perfectly developed bodies, but nobody can even begin to imagine what a perfect *mind* would be like; that is where the whole range of progress and growth must take place. — Hugh Nibley

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The book of Isaiah is a tract for our own times; our very aversion to it testifies to its relevance. — Hugh Nibley

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Beauty is whatever gives joy. — Hugh Nibley

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The very helplessness of the public which makes it necessary for them to consult the experts also makes it impossible for them to judge how expert they are. — Hugh Nibley

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Indolent and unworthy the beggar may be - but that is not your concern: It is better, said Joseph Smith, to feed ten impostors than to run the risk of turning away one honest petition. — Hugh Nibley

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And the issue is never the merits of the evidence but always the jealous rivalry of the contestants to see which would be the official light unto the world. Right down to the present day we have been the spectators of a foolish contest between equally vain and bigoted rivals. — Hugh Nibley

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Only if you reach the boundary will the boundary recede before you. And if you don't, if you confine your efforts, the boundary will shrink to accommodate itself to your efforts. And you can only expand your capacities by working to the very limit. — Hugh Nibley

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Nobody loves the rat race, but nobody can think of anything else - Satan has us just where he wants us. — Hugh Nibley

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In the business of scholarship, evidence is far more flexible than opinion. The prevailing view of the past is controlled not by evidence but by opinion. — Hugh Nibley

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Why do people feel guilty about TV? What is wrong with it? Just this: it shuts out all the wonderful things of which the mind is capable, leaving it drugged in a state of thoughtless stupor. — Hugh Nibley

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Wherever we look in the ancient world the past has been controlled, but nowhere more rigorously than in the history of the Christian church. The methods of control, wherever we find them, fall under three general heads which might be described as (a) the invention, (b) the destruction, and (c) the alteration of documents. — Hugh Nibley

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The unique value of Christianity lies in those things which would never in a million years occur to men if left to themselves. — Hugh Nibley

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Work is, after all, not a busy running back and forth in established grooves, though that is the essence of our modern business and academic life, but the supreme energy and disciplined curiosity required to cut new grooves. — Hugh Nibley

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You can always somebody who is worse than you are to make you feel virtuous. It's a cheap shot: those awful terrorists, perverts, communists
they are the ones who need to repent! Yes, indeed they do, and for them repentance will be a full-time job, exactly as it is for all the rest of us. — Hugh Nibley

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It is not only in the field of religions but in all ancient studies that preconceived ideas are being uprooted on all sides. The religious take it harder than others because they are committed to a "party line" - usually so deeply committed that a major readjustment produces disillusionment and even disaffection. Yet the discoveries that have proven so upsetting should have been received not with hostility but joy, for if they have a way of shattering the forms in which the labors of scholarship have molded the past, they bring a new substance and reality to things that the learned of another age had never thought possible. — Hugh Nibley

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Who can be 'agents unto themselves' if they are in bondage to others and have to accept their terms? — Hugh Nibley

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Blindness to larger contexts is a constitutional defect of human thinking imposed by the painful necessity of being able to concentrate on only one thing at a time. We forget as we virtuously concentrate on that one thing that hundreds of other things are going on at the same time and on every side of us, things that are just as important as the object of our study and that are all interconnected in ways that we cannot even guess. Sad to say, our picture of the world to the degree to which it has that neatness, precision, and finality so coveted by scholarship is a false one.
I once studied with a famous professor who declared that he deliberately avoided the study of any literature east of Greece lest the new vision destroy the architectonic perfection of his own celebrated construction of the Greek mind. His picture of that mind was immensely impressive but, I strongly suspect, completely misleading. — Hugh Nibley

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Who then is to judge what is good, true, and beautiful? You are. Plato says it is the soul: the proper dimensions and proportions are already stored in our minds, and when we recognize the good, true, and beautiful
how is it that we do it? It is by anamnesis, the act of recalling what we have seen somewhere before. You must have received an impression of what is right somewhere else, because you recognize it instantly; you don't have to have it analyzed; you don't have to say, "That is beautiful," or "That is ugly"; you welcome it as an old acquaintance. We recognize what is lovely because we have seen it somewhere else, and as we walk through the world, we are constantly on the watch for it with a kind of nostalgia, so that when we see an object or a person that pleases us, it is like recognizing an old friend. — Hugh Nibley

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Meteorology ... is quite as "scientific" as geology and far more so than archaeology - it actually makes more use of scientific instruments, computers, and higher mathematics ... Yet we laugh at the weatherman every other day; we are not overawed by his impressive paraphernalia, because we can check up on him any time we feel like it: he makes his learned pronouncements - and then it rains or it doesn't rain.
No scientific conclusion is to be trusted without testing - to the extent to which exact sciences are exact they are also experimental sciences; it is in the laboratory that the oracle must be consulted. But the archaeologist is denied access to the oracle. For him there is no neat and definitive demonstration; he is doomed to plod along, everlastingly protesting and fumbling through a laborious, often rancorous running debate that never ends. — Hugh Nibley

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There is no patriarchy or matriarchy in the garden; the two supervise each other. Adam is given no arbitrary power; Eve is to heed him only insofar as he obeys their Father
and who decides that? She must keep check on him as much as he does on her. It is, if you will, a system of checks and balances in which each party is as distinct and independent in its sphere as are the departments of government under the Constitution
and just as dependent on each other. — Hugh Nibley

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If you pray for an angel to visit you, you know what he'll do if he comes. He'll just quote the scriptures to you - so you know you're wasting your time waiting for what we already have. I'm quite serious about that. — Hugh Nibley

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Knowledge can be heady stuff, but it easily leads to an excess of zeal!
to illusions of grandeur and a desire to impress others and achieve eminence ... Our search for knowledge should be ceaseless, which means that it is open-ended, never resting on laurels, degrees, or past achievements. — Hugh Nibley

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In this crucible of wickedness the true greatness of Mormon shines like a star. — Hugh Nibley

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The Book of Mormon is an inexhaustible encyclopedia of knowledge. — Hugh Nibley

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It is throwing your life away to think of the wrong things. — Hugh Nibley

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A professor is not one who knows, but one who professes to know, and [thus] is constantly in the position of inviting challenge ... He professes publicly where everyone is invited to come and challenge, [and] at any time he must be willing and able to defend it openly against all comers. The degree is originally a chivalric device-a gauntlet of defiance to all rivals-and not a safe rampart or dug-out for a scholar to hide behind in safe immunity from any challenge. — Hugh Nibley

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Can the mere convenience that makes money such a useful device continue indefinitely to outweigh the horrendous and growing burden of evil that it imposes on the human race and ultimately brings its dependents to ruin? — Hugh Nibley