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Ichabod Spencer

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He who is false to present duty breaks a thread in the loom, and will see the defect when the weavingof a life-time is unrolled. Neglect of one duty often renders us unfit for another. God "is a rewarder," and one great principle on which He dispenses His rewards is this through our faithfulness in one thing He bestows grace upon us to be faithful in another.
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P. 201.

 
Ichabod Spencer

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Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants "just a few minutes of your time, please  this won't take long." Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time  and squawk for more!
So learn to say No  and to be rude about it when necessary.
Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.
(This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don't do it because it is "expected" of you.)

 
Robert A. Heinlein
 

"The design of the great God in sending us into this world, and organizing us to prepare us for eternal worlds, I shall keep in my own bosom at present." (DHC 5:403) He also said "It is not always wise to relate all truth." (DHC 6:608) Clearly, he followed this philosophy for when he was at one time expounding on some parables he was asked: "What is the meaning of the scripture, 'He that is faithful over a few things shall be made ruler over many; and he that is faithful over many, shall be made ruler over many more?' What is the meaning of the parable of the ten talents? Also the conversation with Nicodemus 'Except a man be born of water and of the spirit?' were questions put to me which I shall not answer at present." (DHC 5:325)

 
Joseph Smith
 

"Do the Duty which lies nearest thee," which thou knowest to be a Duty! Thy second Duty will already have become clearer.

 
Thomas Carlyle
 

That the threat is now intense is not a reason to abandon our quest for knowledge. It is a reason to hold it more tightly, in spite of the need for action to preserve our freedom, in spite of the distractions of living in turmoil, that it may not be lost or brushed aside by the demands of the hour. We would not neglect our duty to our country and our fellows to strive mightily to preserve our ways and our lives. There is an added duty, not inconsistent, not less. It is the duty to so live that there may be a reason for living, beyond the mere mechanisms of life. It is the duty to carry on, under stress, the search for understanding.

 
Vannevar Bush
 

You and I may perish. Temptation which has been too strong for thousands of stronger men, may be too great for me; I may prove false to my own idea of religion and of duty; the gold of commerce may buy me, as it has bought richer men; the love of the praise of men may seduce me; or the fear of men may deter my coward voice, and I may be swept off in the earthquake, in the storm, or in the fire, and prove false to that still small voice. If it shall ever be so, still the great ideas which I have set forth, of man, of God, of religion, they will endure, and one day will be "a flame in the heart of all mankind." To-day! why, my friends, eternity is all around to-day, and we can step but towards that. A truth of the mind, of the conscience, of the heart, of the soul, it is the will of God; and the omnipotence of God is pledged for the achievement of that will. Eternity is the life-time of Truth.

 
Theodore Parker
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