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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

Where did the phrase, “This too, shall pass” come from?  It sounds Book of Mormon, or at least LDS in the spirit of what it conveys, but I can’t find it in the scriptures.  It is used very often by people within and without the Church.

Any ideas?

Robert

 

Answer

 

Dear Robert,

It sounds like something biblical because it comes from biblical regions! Edward Fitzgerald (A Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances) attributes it to an exchange between between Solomon and a sultan. A handful of Persian (modern day Iran) poets from the 1100’s have also used the phrase. Abraham Lincoln shared the story (probably based on Fitzgerald’s telling) about the time it was getting popular in America:

 “It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! — how consoling in the depths of affliction! “And this, too, shall pass away.” And yet let us hope it is not quite true. Let us hope, rather, that by the best cultivation of the physical world, beneath and around us; and the intellectual and moral world within us, we shall secure an individual, social, and political prosperity and happiness, whose course shall be onward and upward, and which, while the earth endures, shall not pass away.”

Gramps

 

 

 

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