Meekness implies a spirit of gratitude as opposed to an attitude of self-sufficiency, an acknowledgement of a greater power beyond oneself, a recognition of God, and an acceptance of his commandments.
Eligibility for a temple recommend is not based on financial worth. That has nothing whatever to do with it. It is based on consistent personal behavior, on the goodness of one's life. It is not concerned with money matters, but rather with things of eternity.
Marriage, in its truest sense, is a partnership of equals, with neither exercising dominion over the other, but, rather, with each encouraging and assisting the other in whatever responsibilities and aspirations he or she might have.
With all my heart, I plead with the Latter-day Saints to live honestly with the Lord in the payment of tithes and offerings. I plead with youth to establish this habit while you are still young and to resolve to continue with it all the days of your lives.
I do not concern myself much with reading long commentary volumes designed to enlarge at length upon that which is found in the scriptures. Rather, I prefer to dwell with the source, tasting of the unadulterated waters of the fountain of truth - the word of God as he gave it and as it has been recorded in the books we accept as scripture.
Let every mother realize that she has no greater blessing than the children who have come to her as a gift from the Almighty; that she has no greater mission than to rear them in light and truth, in understanding and love.
I cannot understand why any young man - or young woman, for that matter - would wish to undergo the painful process of disfiguring the skin with various multicolored representations of people, animals, and various symbols.
To you wives who are constantly complaining and see only the dark side of life, and feel that you are unloved and unwanted, look into your own hearts and minds. If there is something wrong, turn about. Put a smile on your faces. Make yourselves more attractive. Brighten your outlook.
It has been my privilege on various occasions to converse with presidents of the United States and important men in other governments. At the close of each such occasion, I have reflected on the rewarding experience of standing with confidence in the presence of an acknowledged leader.
I submit that in the few minutes that Joseph Smith was with the Father and the Son, he learned more of the nature of God the Eternal Father and the risen Lord than all the learned minds in all their discussions through all centuries of time.
Study a foreign language if you have opportunity to do so. You may never be called to a land where that language is spoken, but the study will have given you a better understanding of your own tongue or of another tongue you may be asked to acquire.
When all is said and done, the greatest satisfaction you'll have in this life as you grow old will be seeing your children grow in righteousness and faith and goodness as citizens of the society of which they are a part.
My heart goes out to a missionary who does not receive regular mail from home. Generally, a letter once a week is a good rule. But on the other hand, too much mail can be damaging to a missionary's morale.
Parents have no greater responsibility in this world than the bringing up of their children in the right way, and they will have no greater satisfaction as the years pass than to see those children grow in integrity and honesty and make something of their lives.
I promise you that the time will come, if you have tattoos, that you will regret your actions. They cannot be washed off. They are permanent. Only by an expensive and painful process can they be removed. If you are tattooed, then probably for the remainder of your life you will carry it with you.
If every man would make his prime concern the comfort and well-being of his wife and every wife make her chief concern the comfort and well-being of her husband, we would have very little divorce in the land.
No matter the circumstances, I encourage you to go forward with faith and prayer, calling on the Lord. You may not receive any direct revelation. But you will discover, as the years pass, that there has been a subtle guiding of your footsteps in paths of progress and great purpose.
How much more beautiful would be the world and the society in which we live if...every mother regarded her children as the jewels of her life, as gifts from the God of heaven, who is their Eternal Father, and brought them up in true affection in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord.
The true gospel of Jesus Christ never led to bigotry. It never led to self-righteousn ess. It never led to arrogance. The true gospel of Jesus Christ leads to brotherhood, to friendship, to appreciation of others, to respect and kindness and love
You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others....
A testimony is a conviction, a quiet inward certainty of the reality of the living God, of the divinity of His Beloved Son, of the restoration of Their work in this time. It demands that we do what He has asked us to do.
As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and His Beloved Son.
There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.
Christmas is more than trees and twinkling lights, more than toys and gifts and baubles of a hundred varieties. It is love. It is the love of the Son of God for all mankind. It is magnificent and beautiful.
No matter how old we become, we can acquire knowledge and use it. We can gather wisdom and profit from it. We can grow and progress and improve-and, in the process, strengthen the livs of those within our circle of influence.
All of us have to deal with death at one time or another, but to have in one's heart a solid conviction concerning the reality of eternal life is to bring a sense of peace in an hour of tragedy that can come from no other source under the heavens
In my ninety-plus years, I have learned a secret. I have learned that when good men and good women face challenges with optimism, things will always work out! Truly, things always work out! Despite how difficult circumstances may look at the moment, those who have faith and move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.
Stay out of the gutter in your conversation. Foul talk defiles the man who speaks it... Don't swear. Don't profane. Avoid so-called dirty jokes. Stay away from conversation that is sprinkled with foul and filthy words. You will be happier if you do so, and your example will give strength to others.
The Constitution under which we live and which has not only blessed us but has become a model for other constitutions, is our God-inspired national safeguard ensuring freedom and liberty, justice and equality before the law.
Fear not; only believe. This is a time to make resolutions that will be binding upon you. This is a season to set standards that will hold you to the right course and make you happy now and in the years that follow.
Everyone who owns a home recognizes the need for fire insurance. We hope and pray that there will never be a fire. Nevertheless, we pay for insurance to cover such a catastrophe, should it occur. We ought to do the same with reference to family welfare.
What I fear from these reports is that the prevalent use of foul language has become an acceptable pattern in the schools, probably due in large part to the influence of TV and the general permissiveness in our society.
Choose your friends carefully. It is they who will lead you in one direction or the other. Everybody wants friends. Everybody needs friends. No one wishes to be without them. But never lose sight of the fact that it is your friends who will lead you along the paths that you will follow.
There is no substitute for virtue. Keep your thoughts virtuous. Rise above the filth that's all around you in this world and stand tall in strength and virtue. You can do this and you will be happier for it for as long as you live. God bless you in cherishing, developing and holding on to this great gift, the quality of personal virtue.
I love the youth of the Church. I have said again and again that I think we have never had a better generation than this. How grateful I am for your integrity, for your ambition to train your minds and your hands to do good work, for your love of the word of the Lord, and for your desire to walk in paths of virtue and truth and goodness.
Stand tall and be strong in defense of those great virtues which have been the backbone of our social progress. When you are united, your power is limitless. You can accomplish anything you wish to accomplish. -President Gordon B. Hinckley, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Truly, my dear young friends, you are a chosen generation. I hope you will never forget it. I hope you will never take it for granted. I hope there will grow in your hearts an overpowering sense of gratitude to God, who has made it possible for you to come upon the earth in this marvelous season of the world's history.
But even considering these, I have great confidence in our young people as a whole. I regard you as the finest generation in the history of the Church. I compliment you, and I have in my heart a great feeling of love and respect and appreciation for you.
There is something wonderful about a book. We can pick it up. We can heft it. We can read it. We can set it down. We can think of what we have read. It does something for us. We can share great minds, great actions, and great undertakings in the pages of a book.
There is no greater blessing that you can have than to stand as a proxy in a great service to those who have gone beyond. And it will be your privilege and your opportunity and your responsibility to live worthy to go to the temple of the Lord and be baptized in behalf of someone else.
Love is the very essence of family life. Why is it that the children we love become so frequently the targets of our harsh words? Why is it that these children who love their fathers and mothers sometimes speak as if with daggers that cut to the quick? "There is beauty all around," only when there's love at home.
You have the potential to become anything to which you set your mind. You have a mind and a body and a spirit. With these three working together, you can walk the high road that leads to achievement and happiness. But this will require effort and sacrifice and faith.
Integrity is at the heart of commerce in the world in which we live. Honesty and integrity comprise the very underpinnings of society.....Indeed, the strength and safety of any organization-including the family-lie in the integrity of its members. Without personal integrity, there can be no confidence. Without confidence, there can be no prospect of permanent success.
The way of the gospel is a simple way. Some of the requirements may appear to you as elementary and unnecessary. Do not spurn them. Humble yourselves and walk in obedience. I promise that the results that follow will be marvelous to behold and satisfying to experience.
Though my work may be menial, though my contribution may be small, I can perform it with dignity and offer it with unselfishness. My talents may not be great, but I can use them to bless the lives of others.... The goodness of the world in which we live is the accumulated goodness of many small and seemingly inconsequential acts.
The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.
He whose birth we commemorate this season is more than the symbol of a holiday. He is the Son of God, the Creator of the earth, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the fulfillment of the Law of Moses, the Redeemer of mankind, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace.
... the whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon. It is this grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become!
The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It should be recognized that this Church is not a social club. This is the kingdom of God on the earth. It is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Its purpose is to bring salvation and exaltation to both the living and the dead.
Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.
God has brought us together as families to bring to pass His eternal purposes. We are part of this plan in this marriage relationship. let us love and respect and honor one another. We can do it, and we will be the better for it.
Who can calculate the wounds inflicted, their depth and pain, by harsh and mean words spoken in anger? How pitiful a sight is a man who is strong in many ways but who loses all control of himself when some little thing, usually of no significant consequence, disturbs his equanimity.
Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.
With the increase of missionary work throughout the world, there must be a comparable increase in the effort to make every convert feel at home in his or her ward or branch. . . . I invite every member to reach out in friendship and love for those who come into the Church as converts.
Perhaps our greatest concern is with families. The family is falling apart all over the world. The old ties that bound together father and mother and children are breaking everywhere. We must face this in our own midst. There are too many broken homes among our own. The love that led to marriage somehow evaporates, and hatred fills its place. Hearts are broken, children weep...
Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.
Well, we have nothing to hide. Our history is an open book. They may find what they are looking for, but the fact is the history of the church is clear and open and leads to faith and strength and virtues.
In all this world there is no substitute for personal integrity. It includes honor. It includes performance. It includes keeping one's word. It includes doing what is right regardless of the circumstances
I forewarn you, this will be a rather long talk. I am an old man. I do not know how much longer I will live, and so I want to say what I have to say, while I have the strength to say it. ...Having been warned, some of you will wish to get comfortable. Pleasant dreams.
One of the great tragedies we witness almost daily is the tragedy of men of high aim and low achievement. Their motives are noble. Their proclaimed ambition is praiseworthy. Their capacity to achieve is great. But their discipline is weak. They succumb to indolence. Appetite robs them of will.
The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God on the earth will be combined together at Christ's coming - and that time is not far distant. How I wish we could get the vision of this work, the genius of it, and realize the nearness of that great event. I am sure it would have a sobering effect upon us if we realized what is before us.
Just as our Redeemer gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for all men, and in so doing became our Savior, even so we, in a small measure, when we engage in proxy work in the temple, become as saviors to those on the other side.
I wish for each of you a time, perhaps only an hour, spent in silent meditation and quiet reflection on the wonder and the majesty of this, the Son of God. Our joy at this season is because He came into the world.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who condescended to come into this world of misery, struggle, and pain to touch men's hearts for good, to teach the way of eternal life, and to give Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. How different, how empty our lives would be without Him. How infinite is our opportunity for exaltation made possible through His redeeming love.
Let our voices be heard. I hope they will not be shrill voices, but, I hope we shall speak with such conviction that those to whom we speak shall know of the strength of our feeling and the sincerity of our efforts.
It is not so much the major events as the small day-to-day decisions that map the course of our living. . . Our lives are, in reality, the sum total of our seemingly unimportant decisions and of our capacity to live by those decisions.
My plea...is a plea to save the children. Too many of them walk with pain and fear, in loneliness and despair. Children need sunlight...They need kindness and refreshment and affection. Every home, regardless of the cost of the house, can provide an environment of love which will be an environment of salvation.
I wish to be up and doing. I wish to face each day with resolution and purpose. I wish to use every waking hour to give encouragement, to bless those whose burdens are heavy, to build faith and strength of testimony.
There is another serious thing to which many young men become addicted. This is anger. With the least provocation they explode into tantrums of uncontrolled rage. It is pitiful to see someone so weak. But even worse, they are prone to lose all sense of reason and do things which bring later regret.
I urge our people everywhere, with all of the persuasiveness of which I am capable, to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it as a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the House of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein.
Everything that occurs in the temple is uplifting and ennobling. It speaks of life here and life beyond the grave. It speaks of the importance of the individual as a child of God. It speaks of the importance of the family and the eternity of the marriage relationship.
The home is under siege. So many families are being destroyed...If anyone can change the dismal situation into which we are sliding, it is you. Rise up, oh women of Zion, rise up to the great challenge which faces you. My message to you, my challenge to you, my prayer is that you will rededicate yourselves to the strengthening of your homes.
I know of no other practise which will make one more attractive in conversation than to be well-read in a variety of subjects. There is a great potential within each of us to go on learning. Regardless of our age, unless there be serious illness, we can read, study, drink in the writings of wonderful men and women. It is never too late to learn.
I am suggesting that as we go through life, we 'accentuate the positive.' I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort.
My wife once said that one of her great ambitions was to walk down the streets of Hong Kong with her children. So we all went to Asia on one occasion. Then she said she'd like to walk down the streets of Jerusalem with her children. So we arranged our family finances and all went to Jerusalem.
I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know.
Some of you, unfortunately, will never marry in this life. That turns out to be the case sometimes. If that happens, do not spend your life grieving over it. The world still needs your talents. It needs your contribution.
The problem is, I think, that so many of us pray as if we are ordering groceries. We pick up the telephone and say, 'Is this the right place to place my order?' and we proceed right to dictating our order. When we have then ended that list, we hang up.
Absence of gratitude is the mark of the narrow, uneducated mind. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge and the ignorance of self-sufficiency. It expresses itself in ugly egotism and frequently in wanton mischief. We have seen our beaches, our parks, our forests littered with ugly refuse by those who evidently have no appreciation for their beauty. I have driven through thousands of acres of blackened land scourged by a fire evidently set by a careless smoker whose only concern had been the selfish pleasure gained from a cigarette.
Aim high, but do not aim so high that you totally miss the target. What really matters is that he will love you, that he will respect you, that he will honor you, that he will be absolutely true to you, that he will give you the freedom of expression and let you fly in the development of your own talents. He is not going to be perfect, but if he is kind and thoughtful, if he knows how to work and earn a living, if he is honest and full of faith, the chances are you will not go wrong, that you will be immensely happy.
All of us have problems. We face them every day. How grateful I am that we have difficult things to wrestle with. They keep us young, they keep us alive, they keep us going, they keep us humble. Be grateful for your problems, and know that somehow there will come a solution. Just do the best you can, but be sure it is the very best.
Baptism into this Church is a serious thing. It represents a covenant made with our Heavenly Father. It is much more than a right of passage. It is a gateway to a new manner of living, and a new road on which to walk that leads to immortality and eternal life. It was never intended as a dead end. It was intended to open a glorious and wonderful way of life to all who would walk in obedience to the commandments of God.
Be strong-be strong in the discipline of self. How many otherwise good men squander their strength and dissipate their will and literally destroy their lives because they have not the power of self-discipline.
Beer and other forms of alcohol will do you no good. Their use will be expensive, will dull your conscience, and could lead to the disease called alcoholism, which is humiliating, dangerous, and even deadly...
Behold your little ones. Pray with them. Pray for them and bless them. The world into which they are moving is a complex and difficult world. They will run into heavy seas of adversity. They will need all the strength and all the faith you can give them while they are yet near you. While they are young, pray with them that they may come to know that source of strength which shall then always be taught of the Lord' and great shall be the peace of thy children.
Believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, the Son of God, who came to earth and walked the dusty roads of Palestine-the Son of God-to teach us the way of truth and light and salvation, and who, in one great and glorious act offered an atonement for each of us. He opened the way of salvation and exaltation for each of us, under which we may go forward in the Church and kingdom of God. Be not faithless, but believe in the great and wonderful and marvelous blessings of the Atonement
Believe in yourselves. Believe in your capacity to do some good in this world. God sent us here for a purpose, and that was to improve the world in which we live. The wonderful thing is that we can do it.
Bind to you friends of your own kind, friends who will encourage you, stand with you, live as you desire to live, who will enjoy the same kind of entertainment, and who will resist the evil that you determine to resist.
But no one can blink at the fact that in this land, and in other lands across the world, there is an epidemic affecting the lives of millions of youth. It is a sickness that comes of a loss of values, of an abandonment of moral absolutes. The virus which has infected them comes of leaderless families, leaderless schools, leaderless communities. It comes of an attitude that says, "We will not teach moral values. We will leave the determination of such to the individual."
Carry on. Things will work out. If you keep trying and praying and working, things will work out. They always do. If you want to die at an early age, dwell on the negative. Accentuate the positive, and you'll be around for a while.
Choose a companion of your own faith. You are much more likely to be happy. Choose a companion you can always honor, you can always respect, one who will complement you in your own life, one to whom you can give your entire heart, your entire love, your entire allegiance, your entire loyalty.
Christmas means 'giving,' and the gift without the giver is bare. Give of yourselves; give of your substance; give of your heart and mind. "Christmas means 'compassion and love' and, most of all 'forgiveness' How poor indeed would be our lives without the influence of His teachings and His matchless example. "He whose birth we commemorate this season is more than the symbol of a holiday. He is the Son of God, the Redeemer of mankind, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace.
Contrary to what you may think, an immoral act of any kind will only lower your self-esteem. Be true to yourselves, and your respect for yourself will increase. Know that yours is a divine birthright. Cultivate a good opinion of yourselves. Others may make cutting remarks concerning you. This is only a sign of their ignorance and not of your qualities. Walk with that dignity which is becoming a young woman who is a daughter of God.
Divorce too often is the bitter fruit of anger. A man and a woman fall in love, as they say; each is wonderful in the sight of the other; they feel romantic affection for no one else; they stretch their finances to buy a diamond ring; they marry. All is bliss-that is, for a season. Then little inconsequential activities lead to criticism. Little flaws are magnified into great torrents of faultfinding; they fall apart, they separate, and then with rancor and bitterness they divorce.
Don't be gloomy. Do not dwell on unkind things. Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. Even if you are not happy, put a smile on your face. "Accentuate the positive.' Look a little deeper for the good. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life.
Enjoy music. Not the kind that rocks and rolls, but the music of the masters, the music that has lived through the centuries, the music that has lifted people. If you do not have a taste for it, listen to it thoughtfully. If you do not like it the first time, listen to it again and keep listening.
Every man who truly loves a woman, and every woman who truly loves a man, hopes and dreams that their companionship will last forever. But marriage is a covenant sealed by authority. If that authority is of the state alone, it will endure only while the state has jurisdiction, and that jurisdiction ends with death. But add to the authority of the state the power of the endowment given by Him who overcame death, and that companionship will endure beyond life if the parties to the marriage live worthy of the promise.
Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we'll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain.
For as long as (the Founding Fathers of this nation) lived and led, they acknowledged the hand of the Almighty in the affairs of this republic. Our coinage and our currency carry the national motto. It simply says, 'In God We Trust.' I believe this is the foundation upon which this nation was established, an unequivocal trust in the power of the Almighty to guide and defend us.
For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this, the Dispensation of the Fulness [sic] of Times. He, together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages
Gratitude is of the very essence of worship. ... When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives. Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God's love.
How sweet is the assurance, how comforting is the peace that come from the knowledge that if we marry right and live right, our relationship will continue, notwithstanding the certainty of death and the passage of time. Men may write love songs and sing them. They may yearn and hope and dream. But all of this will be only a romantic longing unless there is an exercise of authority that transcends the powers of time and death.
How thankful we ought to be ... how thankful we are, for a prophet to counsel us in words of divine wisdom as we walk our paths in these complex and difficult times. The solid assurance we carry in our hearts, the conviction that God will make his will known to his children through his recognized servant is the real basis of our faith and activity. We either have a prophet or we have nothing: and having a prophet, we have everything
How wonderful it is that we believe in modern revelation. I cannot get over the feeling that if revelation were needed anciently, when life was simple, that revelation is also needed today, when life is complex. There never was a time in the history of the earth when men needed revelation more than they need it now.
I am grateful for emphasis on reading the scriptures. I hope that for you this will become something far more enjoyable than a duty; that, rather, it will become a love affair with the word of God. I promise you that as you read, your minds will be enlightened and your spirits will be lifted. At first it may seem tedious, but that will change into a wondrous experience with thoughts and words of things divine. Gordon B. Hinckley
I am saying that out of a spirit of appreciation and gratitude, and a sense of duty, you ought to make whatever adjustment is necessary to give a little of your time-as little as two years-consecrating your strength, your means, your talents to the work of sharing with others the gospel, which is the source of so much of the good that you have. I promise that if you will do so, you will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make...
I am so profoundly grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, for a testimony of the Atonement of the Savior. I believe in it with all my heart, and I live for it, and I bear witness of it this day. Of all of the events of human history, none other approaches the Atonement of the Savior in its meaning and in its results. God be thanked for the gift of His precious Son, to whom we all owe thanks for His sacrifice in our behalf.
I am suggesting that we spend a little less time in idleness, in the fruitless pursuit of watching inane and empty television programs. Time so utilized can be put to better advantage, and the consequences will be wonderful.
I believe that I am a child of God, endowed with a divine birthright. I believe that there is something of divinity within me and within each of you. I believe that we have a godly inheritance and that it is our responsibility, our obligation, and our opportunity to cultivate and nurture the very best of these qualities within us.
I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass.
I have now been an officer in this Church for a very long time. I am an old man who cannot deny the calendar. I have lived long enough and served in enough different capacities to have removed from my mind, if such were necessary, any doubt of the divinity of this, the work of God. We respect those of other churches. We desire their friendship and hope to render meaningful service with them. We know they all do good, but we unabashedly state"and this frequently brings criticism upon us"that this is the true and living Church of our Father in Heaven and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have seen miracles in my time, my brothers and sisters. The greatest miracle of all, I believe, is the transformation that comes into the life of a man or a woman who accepts the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and tries to live it in his or her life.
I meet young people everywhere who are wonderful and faithful; youth who want to do the right thing and who indicate the reality of what I have been saying for a long time, that we've never had a better generation of young people in the Church than we have today. They are faithful. They are active. They're knowledgeable. They are a great generation, notwithstanding the environment in which many of them are growing up.
I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ," said President Hinckley. "How can any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color, is ineligible?
I see a wonderful future in a very uncertain world. If we will cling to our values, if we will build on our inheritance, if we will walk in obedience before the Lord, if we will simply live the gospel we will be blessed in a magnificent and wonderful way. We will be looked upon as a peculiar people who have found the key to a peculiar happiness.
I think [forgiveness] may be the greatest virtue on earth, and certainly the most needed. There is so much of meanness and abuse, of intolerance and hatred. There is so great a need for repentance and forgiveness. It is the great principle emphasized in all of scripture, both ancient and modern. Somehow forgiveness, with love and tolerance, accomplishes miracles that can happen in no other way.
I too believe that God will always make a way where there is no way. I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way.
I would like to suggest to you that you 'grab life by the horns' and do not let life grab you by the horns. You take control of your lives. "¦ Do not let life control you. "¦ Take charge. Rise to the divinity that is within you.
I would that the healing power of Christ might spread over the earth and be diffused through our society and into our homes, that it might cure men's hearts of the evil and adverse elements of greed and hate and conflict. I believe it could happen. I believe it must happen. If the lamb is to lie down with the lion, then peace must overcome conflict, healing must mend injury.
If every husband and every wife would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce. Argument would never be heard. Accusations would never be leveled. Angry explosions would not occur. Rather, love and concern would replace abuse and meanness.
If there be any who nurture in their hearts the poisonous brew of enmity toward another, I plead with you to ask the Lord for strength to forgive. This expression of desire will be of the very substance of your repentance. It may not be easy, and it may not come quickly. But if you will seek it with sincerity and cultivate it, it will come. And even though he whom you have forgiven continues to pursue and threaten you, you will know you have done what you could to effect a reconciliation. There will come into your heart a peace otherwise unattainable.
If we live by the principles of the gospel, we must be good people, for we will be generous and kind, thoughtful and tolerant, helpful and outreaching to those in distress. We can either subdue the divine nature and hide it so that it finds no expression in our lives, or we can bring it to the front and let it shine through all that we do.
If you serve a mission faithfully and well, you will be a better husband, you will be a better father, you will be a better student, a better worker in your chosen vocation. Love is of the essence of this missionary work. Selflessness is of its very nature. Self-discipline is its requirement. Prayer opens its reservoir of power.
If you will accept every call that comes to you within the Church, you will grow in a remarkable and marvelous and wonderful way. With responsibility comes growth, and the Lord will magnify you and make you equal to every responsibility which is given you.
If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on through eternity
Imagine how our own families, let alone the world, would change if we vowed to keep faith with one another, strengthen one another, look for and accentuate the virtues in one another, and speak graciously concerning one another. Imagine the cumulative effect if we treated each other with respect and acceptance, if we willingly provided support. Such interactions practiced on a small scale would surely have a rippling effect throughout our homes and communities and, eventually, society at large.
In terms of you happiness, in terms of the matters that make you proud or sad, nothing-I repeat, nothing-will have so profound an effect on you as the way your children turn out. You will either rejoice and boast of their accomplishments or you will weep, head in hands, bereft and forlorn, if they become a disappointment or an embarrassment to you.
It is both relaxing and invigorating to occasionally set aside the worries of life, seek the company of a friendly book...from the reading of 'good books' there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.
It is both revealing and invigorating to occasionally set aside the worries of life, seek the company of a friendly book and mingle with the great of the earth, counsel with the wise of all time, look into the unlived days with prophets...To become acquainted with real nobility as it walks the pages of history and science and literature is to strengthen character and develop life in its finer meanings.
It is good to LOOK to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the FUTURE. It is good to look upon the VIRTUES of those who have gone before; to gain STRENGTH for whatever lies ahead. It is good to REFLECT upon the work of those who labored so hard and gained so little in this world, but out of whose DREAMS and early pains, so well nurtured, has come a great gravest of which we are the beneficiaries. Their tremendous EXAMPLE can become a compelling MOTIVATION for all of us. ~Gordon B. Hinckley
It is important to know when you feel down that many others do also and that their circumstances are generally much worse than yours. And it's important to know that when one of us is down it becomes the obligation of his friends to give him a lift. I hope that each of us will cultivate a sensitivity toward the feelings of others and when encouragement is needed make an effort to extend it. Be a friend and you will have a friend. God be thanked for wonderful friends.
It is naive to believe that a steady diet of blatant immorality, played out nightly in our living rooms, has no effect on people. I am always curious when individuals insist that what they watch on television or in movie theaters doesn't affect them. . . . Are we really to believe that hours, leading to years, of television viewing will not affect attitudes about everything from family life to appropriate sexual relations?
It is possible to be honest every day. It is possible to live so that others can trust us-can trust our words, our motives, and our actions. Our examples are vital to those who sit at our feet as well as those who watch from a distance. Our own constant self-improvement will become as a polar star to those within our individual spheres of influence. They will remember longer what they saw in us than what they heard from us. Our attitude, our point of view, can make a tremendous difference.
It is so important to see that we are all converted, that we have in our hearts a conviction concerning this great work. It is not a matter of the head only. It is a matter of the heart. It is being touched by the Holy Spirit until we know that this work is true, that Joseph Smith was verily a prophet of God, that God lives and that Jesus Christ lives and that they appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, that the Book of Mormon is true, that the priesthood is here with all of its gifts and blessings.
It is the home which produces the nursery stock of new generations. I hope that you mothers will realize that when all is said and done, you have no more compelling responsibility, nor any laden with greater rewards, than the nurture you give your children in an environment of security, peace, companionship, love and motivation to grow and do well.
It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.
Let everything that you do bring credit and honor to the Church, of which you are a member, and the Lord will bless you and magnify you. Let there be no animosity among you but only love, regardless of race, regardless of circumstances. Let us love one another as the Lord would have us do
Let there be music in the home. If you have teenagers who have their own recordings, you will be prone to describe the sound as something other than music. Let them occasionally hear something better. Expose them to it. It will speak for itself. More of appreciation will come than you may think. It may not be spoken, but it will be felt, and its influence will become increasingly manifest as the years pass.
Let thy spirit move upon him to bring to pass those measures which will lift the burdens of government from the backs of the people and keep this nation, under God, a citadel of freedom standing as an example to all the world.
Let us not live a life "¦ that would bring regret. "¦ It is not going to matter very much how much money you made, what kind of a house you lived in, what kind of a car you drove, the size of your bank account"any of those things. What is going to matter is that dear woman who has walked with you side by side as your companion through all of the years of life and those children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and their faithfulness and their looking to you "¦ with respect and love and deference and kindness.
Likewise the piercing of the body for multiple rings in the ears, in the nose, even in the tongue. Can they possibly think that is beautiful? It is a passing fancy, but its effects can be permanent. Some have gone to such extremes that the ring had to be removed by surgery. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve have declared that we discourage tattoos and also "the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes." We do not, however, take any position "on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings"-one pair only.
Love is the only force that can erase the differences between people, that can heal relationships shattered by bitterness....I f the world is to be improved, the process of love must make a change in the hearts of men. It can do so when we look beyond self to give our love to God and others, and do so with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.
Love is the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shinning through death.
Marriage in its truest sense, is a partnership of equals, with neither exercising dominion over the other, but, rather, with each encouraging and assisting the other in whatever responsibilities and aspirations he or she might have.
May I mention earrings and rings placed in other parts of the body. These are not manly. They are not attractive. You young men look better without them, and I believe you will feel better without them. As for the young women, you do not need to drape rings up and down your ears. One modest pair of earrings is sufficient.
May I suggest that you write, that you keep journals, that you express your thoughts on paper. Writing is a great discipline. It is a tremendous educational effort. It will assist you in various ways, and you will bless the lives of many-your families and others-now and in the years to come, as you put on paper some of your experiences and some of your musings.
Mutual respect, the soft answer, financial honesty with the Lord, prayer. "I do not hesitate to promise that if you will go to your homes and cultivate and nurture it among these four cornerstones, your lives will be happy."
My plea is that as we continue our search for truth, particularly we of the Church, that we look for strength and goodness rather than weakness and failings in those who did so great a work in their time. We recognize that our forefathers were human. They doubtless made mistakes. Some of them acknowledged making mistakes. But the mistakes were minor when compared with the marvelous work which they accomplished.
My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight...I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort.
No system can long command the loyalties of men and women which does not expect of them certain measures of discipline, and particularly self-discipline. The cost in comfort may be great. The sacrifice may be real. But this very demanding reality is the substance of which comes character and strength and nobility. Permissiveness never produced greatness. Integrity, loyalty, and strength are virtues whose sinews are developed through the struggles that go on within as we practice self-discipline under the demands of divinely spoken truth.
None of us is perfect. There was only one perfect man who ever walked the earth, and He was the Son of God. We all have weaknesses and I guess we all make mistakes and will make mistakes in the future, but look for the virtues, the strengths, the goodness in those with whom you labor, and draw those characteristics into your own lives and make them a part of yourselves, and you will be the richer for it all the days that you live.
Notwithstanding the trouble, notwithstanding the argument, notwithstanding the increasingly heavy hand of government, notwithstanding the spirit of arrogance we so often display, notwithstanding the growing tide of pornography and permissiveness, notwithstanding occasional corruption in public office and betrayal of sacred trust-I marvel at the miracle of America...
Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth. God will hold us accountable if we neglect His daughters. He has given us a great and compelling trust. May we be faithful to that trust.
Of all times, it is Christmas when we must surely realize that there can be no true worship of Him who is the Christ without giving of ourselves. At this season let us, each one, reach out a little more generously in the spirit of the Christ. It is not enough to give toys and baubles. It is not enough to give alms to those in need.... It is also important that we give of ourselves with our alms.
Of course we're Christian. The very name of the church declares that. The more people see us and come to know us, the more I believe they will come to realize that we are trying to exemplify in our lives and in our living the great ideals which (Jesus Christ) taught.
On whether his church still holds that God the Father was once a man, [Hinckley] sounded uncertain, `I don't know that we teach it. I don't know that we emphasize it... I understand the philosophical background behind it, but I don't know a lot about it, and I don't think others know a lot about it.'
One of the bellwether marks of the growth and vitality of the Church is the construction of temples. . . . We will keep on working to bring the temples to the people, making it more convenient for Latter day Saints everywhere to receive the blessings which can only be had in these holy houses.
One of the great compliments paid the Savior was that he taught as one having authority. The missionary who knows scripture and can quote it speaks with the voice of authority...May I suggest that in our family night gatherings we make it a project to memorize one scripture a week pertinent to this work. At the conclusion of a year our children will have on their lips a fund of scripture which will remain with them throughout their lives.
Our entire case as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the validity of this glorious First Vision. ... Nothing on which we base our doctrine, nothing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration. I submit that if Joseph Smith talked with God the Father and His Beloved Son, then all else of which he spoke is true. This is the hinge on which turns the gate that leads to the path of salvation and eternal life.
Our Eternal Father lives. He stands as the great God of the universe, ruling in majesty and power. And yet He is my Father, to whom I may go in prayer with the assurance that He will hear, listen, and answer.
Our foundation is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The authority of the holy priesthood is here, restored under the hands of those who received it directly from our Lord. The curtains have been parted, and the God of heaven and His Beloved Son have spoken to the boy prophet Joseph in opening this last and final dispensation. Our burden in going forward is tremendous. But our opportunity is glorious.
Our whole strength rests on the validity of [Joseph Smith's] vision. It either occurred or it did not occur. If it did not, then this work is a fraud. If it did, then it is the most important and wonderful work under the heavens.
People who carry in their hearts a strong conviction concerning the living reality of the Almighty and their accountability to Him for what they do with their lives are far less likely to become enmeshed in problems that inevitably weaken society.
Prayer is the great gift which our Eternal Father has given us by which we may approach Him and speak with Him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be prayerful. You cannot make it alone. You cannot reach your potential alone. You need the help of the Lord.
Selfishness so often is the basis of money problems, which are a very serious and real factor affecting the stability of family life. Selfishness is at the root of adultery, the breaking of solemn and sacred covenants to satisfy selfish lust. Selfishness is the antithesis of love. It is a cankering expression of greed. It destroys self-discipline. It obliterates loyalty. It tears up sacred covenants. It afflicts both men and women.
Sloppy language and sloppy ways go together. Those who are truly educated have learned more than the sciences, the humanities, law, engineering, and the arts. They carry with them a certain polish that marks them as loving the better qualities of life, a culture that adds luster to the mundane world of which they are apart, a patina that puts a quiet glow on what otherwise might be base metal.
Some of you may feel that you are not as attractive and beautiful and glamorous as you would like to be. Rise above any such feelings, cultivate the light you have within you, and it will shine through as a radiant expression that will be seen by others. You need never feel inferior. You need never feel that you were born without talents or without opportunities to give them expression. Cultivate whatever talents you have, and they will grow anÐ² refine and become an expression of your true self appreciated by others.
Television is perhaps the greatest medium ever discovered to teach and educate and even to entertain. But the filth, the rot, the violence, and the profanity that spew from television screens into our homes is deplorable. It is a sad commentary on our society. The fact that a television set is on six or seven hours every day in most of the homes of America says something of tremendous importance.
Thank and glorify His Beloved Son, who, with indescribable suffering, gave His life on Calvary's cross to pay the debt of mortal sin. He it was who, through His atoning sacrifice, broke the bonds of death and with godly power rose triumphant from the tomb. He is our Redeemer, the Redeemer of all mankind. He is the Savior of the world. He is the Son of God, the Author of our salvation.
The best food storage is not in welfare grain elevators but in sealed cans and bottles in the homes of our people. What a gratifying thing it is to see cans of wheat and rice and beans under the beds or in the pantries of women who have taken welfare responsibility into their own hands. Such food may not be tasty, but it will be nourishing if it has to be used.
The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary. ... We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs.
The Church expects that each of us carry a share of the burden of leadership. There is no paid clergy. The work is done because of a love of the cause. And as people serve, they grow in capacity. The time and effort is not a sacrifice because there is returned more than is given.
The decisions we make, individually and personally, become the fabric of our lives. That fabric will be beautiful or ugly according to the threads of which it is woven. I wish to say particularly to the young men who are here that you cannot indulge in any unbecoming behavior without injury to the beauty of the fabric of your lives. Immoral acts of any kind will introduce an ugly thread. Dishonesty of any kind will create a blemish. Foul and profane language will rob the pattern of its beauty.
The gospel is a thing of joy. It provides us with a reason for gladness. Of course there are times of sorrow. Of course there are hours of concern and anxiety. We all worry. But the Lord has told us to lift our hearts and rejoice. I see so many people...who seem never to see the sunshine, but who constantly walk with storms under cloudy skies. Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.
The Lord would want you to be successful. He would. You are His sons and His daughters. He has the same kind of love and ambition for you that your earthly parents have. They want you to do well and you can do it.
The most important step you have made or will make in your life is marriage. Its consequences are many, so important and so everlasting.. No other decision will have such tremendous consequences for the future.
The religion of which you are a part is 7 days a week. It isn't just Sunday, it isn't the block plan, it isn't just 3 hours in church, it isn't just the time you spend in Seminary - it's all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The remedy for most marital stress is not in divorce. It is in repentance and forgiveness, in sincere expressions of charity and service. It is not in separation. It is in simple integrity that leads a man and a woman to square up their shoulders and meet their obligations. It is found in the Golden Rule, a time-honored principle that should first and foremost find expression in marriage.
The temple is concerned with things of immortality. It is a bridge between this life and the next. All of the ordinances that take place in the house of the Lord are expressions of our belief in the immortality of the human soul.
The things of God are understood by the Spirit of God. That Spirit is real. To those who have experienced its workings, the knowledge so gained is as real as that received through the operation of the five senses. I testify of this. . . . I urge you to continue throughout your lives to cultivate a heart in tune with the Spirit. If you do so, your lives will be enriched. You will feel a kinship with God our Eternal Father. You will taste the sweetness of joy that can be had in no other way.
The Voice of Heaven is a still small voice. The voice of peace in the home is a quiet voice. There is need for much discipline in marriage, not of one's companion, but of oneself... When couples cultivate the art of the soft answer, it blesses their home, their life together, and their companionship.
The way of the Lord is the way of happiness. "Wickedness never was happiness' [Alma 41:10]. Transgression never was happiness. Sin never was happiness. Disobedience never was happiness. The way of happiness is following the way of the Lord. I believe this with all my heart.
The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either -- or both -- when needed?
There are some men who, in a spirit of arrogance, think they are superior to women. They do not seem to realize that they would not exist but for the mother who gave them birth. When they assert their superiority they demean her.
There has come to you as your birthright something beautiful and sacred and divine. Never forget that. Your Eternal Father is the Great master of the Universe. He rules over all, but He also will listen to your prayers as His daughter and hear you as you speak with Him. He will answer your prayers. He will not leave you alone.
There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed...No one knows when emergencies will strike...Set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wife and children and peace in your hearts. That's all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable.
There is a sad tendency in our world today for persons to cut one another down. Did you ever realize that it does not take very much in the way of brainpower to make remarks that may wound another? Try the opposite of that. Try handing out compliments.
There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others. Let us not dwell on the critical or the negative. Let us pray for strength; let us pray for capacity and desire to assist others. Let us radiate the light of the gospel at all times and all places, that the Spirit of the Redeemer may radiate from us.
There is no more compelling motivation to worthwhile endeavor than the knowledge that we are children of God, that God expects us to do something with our lives, and that He will give us help when help is sought.
There is no substitute under the heavens for productive labor. It is the process by which dreams become realities. It is the process by which idle visions become dynamic achievements. Most of us are inherently lazy. We would rather play than work. We would rather loaf than work...But it is work that spells the difference in the life of a man or woman. It is stretching our minds and utilizing the skills of our hands that lift us from mediocrity.
There is something almost sacred about a great library because it represents the preservation of the wisdom, the learning, and the pondering of men and women of all the ages, accumulated under one roof.
This cause will roll on in majesty and power to fill the earth. Doors now closed to the preaching of the gospel will be opened. The Almighty, if necessary, may have to shake the nations to humble them and cause them to listen to the servants of the living God. Whatever is needed will come to pass.
This church does not belong to its President. Its head is the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name each of us has taken upon ourselves. We are all in this great endeavor together. We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory. . . . Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or of little consequence.
This Church is true. It will weather every storm that beats against it. It will outlast every critic who rises to mock it. It was established by God our Eternal Father for the blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations. It carries the name of Him who stands as its head, even the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. It is governed and moves by the power of the priesthood. It sends forth to the world another witness of the divinity of the Lord. Be faithful, my friends. Be true. Be loyal to the great things of God which have been revealed in this dispensation.
This is my prayer for all of us"'Lord, increase our faith.' Increase our faith to bridge the chasms of uncertainty and doubt. . . . Grant us faith to look beyond the problems of the moment to the miracles of the future. . . . Give us faith to do what is right and let the consequence follow.
Those who are living the principle of honesty know that the Lord does bless them. Theirs is the precious right to hold their heads in the sunlight of truth, unashamed before any man. Brothers and sisters, the Lord requires his people to be honest. May we desire with all our hearts to be honest in all our relationships and in all the things that we do.
To me the gospel is not a great mass of theological jargon. It is a simple and beautiful and logical thing, with one quiet truth following another in orderly sequence. I do not fret over the mysteries. I do not worry whether the heavenly gates swing or slide. I am only concerned that they open.
To our brothers and sisters in harm's way, we say that we pray for you. We pray that the Lord will watch over you and preserve you from injury and that you may return home and pick up your lives again. We know that you are not in that land of blowing sand and brutal heat because you enjoy the games of war. The strength of your commitment is measured by your willingness to give your very lives for that in which you believe.
Under the plan of heaven, the husband and the wife walk side by side as companions, neither one ahead of the other, but a daughter of God and a son of God walking side by side. Let your families be families of love and peace and happiness. Gather your children around you and have your family home evenings, teach your children the ways of the Lord, read to them from the scriptures, and let them come to know the great truths of the eternal gospel as set forth in these words of the Almighty.
Under the sacred and compelling trust we have as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, ours is a work of redemption, of lifting and saving those who need help. Ours is a task of raising the sights of those of our people who fail to realize the great potential that lies within them.
Watch what you choose to do. For instance, someone might want you to smoke. Never forget that I told you - don't do it. Say no.That can of beer that somebody wants you to try, don't do it. Don't you ever do it.That drug that someone might want you to use, don't touch it.Stay away from it. It can destroy you.
We are all prone to brood on the evil done us. That brooding becomes as a gnawing and destructive canker. Is there a virtue more in need of application in our time than the virtue of forgiving and forgetting? There are those who would look upon this as a sign of weakness. Is it? I submit that it takes neither strength nor intelligence to brood in anger over wrongs suffered, to go through life with a spirit of vindictiveness, to dissipate one's abilities in planning retribution. There is no peace in the nursing of a grudge. There is no happiness in living for the day when you can "get even.
We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory, 'to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man' (Moses 1:39). Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere
We are involved in an intense battle. It is a battle between right and wrong, between truth and error, between the design of the Almighty on the one hand and that of Lucifer on the other. For that reason, we desperately need moral men and women who stand on principle, to be involved in the political process. Otherwise, we abdicate power to those whose designs are almost entirely selfish.
We are particularly proud of our youth. I think we have never had a stronger generation of young men and women than we have today. For the most part they are true to the faith of their forebears. Surrounded by forces that would pull them down and tremendous pressures to pull them away from time-tested virtues, they are going forward with constructive lives, nurturing themselves both intellectually and spiritually. We have no fears or doubts concerning the future of this work.
We are sometimes told that we are not a biblical church. We are a biblical church. This wonderful testament of the Old World, this great and good Holy Bible is one of our standard works. We teach from it. We bear testimony of it. We read from it. It strengthens our testimony. And we add to that this great second witness, the Book of Mormon, the testament of the New World, for as the Bible says, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall [all things] be established" (2 Cor. 13:1)
We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. . .I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. . .Begin in a small way, ... and gradually build toward a reasonable objective.
We have never found, and I think we never shall find, an adequate substitute for the situation in which two wholesome young men meet with a family, reason with them, teach them, testify to them, and pray with them. We shall always need missionaries.
We live in terribly complex times. We are confronted by very serious problems. Some of us are faced with sickness, with economic difficulties, with worry and concern over many matters. Our refuge, our peace, our well-being lie in walking in the way of the Lord.
We must build more temples, and we must build them more quickly. This is the season to build temples. They are needed, and we have the means to do so. The Lord will hold us accountable if we do not work with greater accomplishment than we are now doing.
We pledge our loyalty; we affirm our determination to be of good courage; we declare, sometimes even publicly, that come what may we will do the right thing, that we will stand for the right cause, that we will be true to ourselves and to others. Then the pressures begin to build. Sometimes these are social pressures. Sometimes they are personal appetites. Sometimes they are false ambitions. There is a weakening of the will. There is a softening of discipline. There is capitulation. And then there is remorse, self-accusation, and bitter tears of regret.
We should also build the attitude that there is nothing of a vacation, nothing of a holiday in this great missionary service. It is hard, and at times discouraging, work. Last year our missionaries averaged sixty-seven hours a week in actual proselyting effort. Let those who contemplate missions realize that they will work as they have never worked before, and that they may expect such joy as they have not previously known.
We've got to have a little humor in our lives. You had better take seriously that which should be taken seriously but, at the same time, we can bring in a touch of humor now and again. If the time ever comes when we can't smile at ourselves, it will be a sad time.
What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another's virtues more than we speak of one another's faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: "Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.
When I was a missionary in London fifty years ago, my companion and I would shake hands in the morning and say to one another, 'Life is good'. Life in the service of the Lord is good. It is beautiful. It is rewarding.
While you should be friendly with all people, select with great care those whom you wish to have close to you. They will be your safeguards in situations where you may vacillate between choices, and you in turn may save them.
Why all of these broken homes? What happens to marriages that begin with sincere love and a desire to be loyal and faithful and true one to another? There is no simple answer. I acknowledge that. But it appears to me that there are some obvious reasons that account for a very high percentage of these problems. I say this out of experience in dealing with such tragedies. I find selfishness to be the root cause of most of it.
Within your sphere of responsibility you have as serious an obligation as do I within my sphere of responsibility. Each of us should be determined to build the kingdom of God on the earth and to further the work of righteousness.
Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.
Woman is God's supreme creation. Only after the earth had been formed, after the day had been separated from the night, after the waters had been divided from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created, and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good.
You are doing the best you can, and that best results in good to yourself and to others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord;then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do.
You are great young people. I have said again and again, we have the finest generation of young people ever in the history of this Church. I believe it. You know the gospel better. You come to seminary and you learn about the things of the Lord here. You know more about the gospel than those of my generation at your age did without any question. I am satisfied of that. Furthermore, you are intrinsically better. You are wonderful young people!
You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities.
You have as great an opportunity for satisfaction in the performance of your duty as I do in mine. The progress of this work will be determined by our joint efforts. Whatever your calling, it is as fraught with the same kind of opportunity to accomplish good as is mine. What is really important is that this is the work of the Master. Our work is to go about doing good as did He.
You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out... Do not trade your birthright as a mother for some bauble of passing value... The baby you hold in your arms will grow as quickly as the sunrise and the sunset of the rushing days.
You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experiences.