152nd Semi-Annual General Conference – October 1982

Official Report of the
One Hundred Fifty-second
Semiannual General


of The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints

held in the Tabernacle
Salt Lake City, Utah

October 2 and 3, 1982

Official Report
of the

One Hundred Fifty-second
Semiannual General Conference


The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints

held in the Tabernacle
Salt Lake City, Utah
October 2 and 3, 1982

Published by
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Salt Lake City, Utah

Copyright © 1 983 Corporation of the President


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

All Rights Reserved
Printed in the United States of America


The 152nd Semiannual General
Conference of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints convened
in the Tabernacle on Temple Square
in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday,
October 2, 1982, at 10:00 A.M.

The general sessions of the con-
ference were held at 10:00 A.M. and
2:00 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday,
October 2 and 3, 1982. The general
welfare session was held in the Tab-
ernacle on Saturday, October 2,
1982, at 7:00 A.M. The general
priesthood meeting was held in the
Tabernacle on Saturday, October 2,
1982, at 7:00 P.M.

President Spencer W. Kimball
attended and presided at the Saturday
morning and Sunday afternoon
sessions of the conference and
watched the other sessions on tele-
vision. President Marion G. Romney,
Second Counselor in the First Presi-
dency, conducted the general welfare
and Saturday morning sessions of the
conference. President Gordon B.
Hinckley, Counselor in the First
Presidency, conducted the Saturday
afternoon, general priesthood,
Sunday morning, and Sunday after-
noon sessions.

Television and radio stations
carried portions or all of some of the
conference sessions to large
audiences throughout the world. The
general sessions were also carried via
satellite transmission to approx-
imately four hundred and fifty stake
centers. The general priesthood
session was carried by closed-circuit
transmission to approximately 1,770
locations in many different countries.

General Authorities present

The following General Authori-
ties of the Church attended one or

more of the general sessions:

The First Presidency: Spencer
W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner,
Marion G. Romney, and Gordon B.

The Council of the Twelve: Ezra
Taft Benson, Mark E. Petersen, 1
Howard W. Hunter, Thomas S.
Monson, Boyd K. Packer, Marvin J.
Ashton, Bruce R. McConkie, L.
Tom Perry, David B. Haight, James
E. Faust, and Neal A. Maxwell.

The First Quorum of the
Seventy: Presidents: Franklin D.
Richards, J. Thomas Fyans, Carlos
E. Asay, M. Russell Ballard, Dean
L. Larsen, Roy den G. Derrick, and
G. Homer Durham. Additional
Members: Marion D. Hanks, A.
Theodore Tuttle, Theodore M.
Burton, Paul H. Dunn, Hartman
Rector, Jr., Loren C. Dunn, Robert
L. Simpson, Rex D. Pinegar, Wm.
Grant Bangerter, Robert D. Hales,
Adney Y. Komatsu, Joseph B.
Wirthlin, Gene R. Cook, Charles
Didier, William R. Bradford, George
P. Lee, John H. Groberg, Jacob de
Jager, Vaughn J. Featherstone,
Robert E. Wells, James M.
Paramore, Richard G. Scott, Hugh
W. Pinnock, F. Enzio Busche,
Yoshihiko Kikuchi, Ronald E.
Poelman, Derek A. Cuthbert, Robert
L. Backman, Rex C. Reeve, Sr., F.
Burton Howard, Ted E. Brewerton,
Jack H. Goaslind, Jr., and Angel

The Presiding Bishopric: Victor
L. Brown, H. Burke Peterson, and J.
Richard Clarke.

Emeritus General Authorities:
Eldred G. Smith, Sterling W. Sill,

‘Elder LeGrand Richards was
recuperating from surgery.


Saturday, October 2


First Day

Henry D. Taylor, Bernard P.
Brockbank, James A. Cullimore,
Joseph Anderson, John H.
Vandenberg, and O. Leslie Stone.

Other authorities present

Other authorities of the Church
in attendance included Regional Rep-

resentatives, presidents of stakes and
their counselors, presidents of
temples, bishops of wards, and presi-
dencies and members of the Aaronic
and Melchizedek priesthood

Many general, stake, and ward
auxiliary officers also attended.



The first general session of the
conference convened in the Taber-
nacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake
City, Utah on Saturday, October 2,
1982, at 10:00 a.m. President Marion
G. Romney, Second Counselor in the
First Presidency, conducted this

The music for the opening
session was provided by the Taber-
nacle Choir with Jerold Ottley and
Donald Ripplinger conducting and
John Longhurst at the organ.

Before the commencement of
the meeting, the Tabernacle Choir
sang "All Creatures of Our God and
King" without announcement.

President Romney then made the
following remarks:

President Marion G. Romney

President Spencer W. Kimball,
who is seated on the stand and who
presides at this conference, has asked
that I conduct this opening general

We are very pleased that Presi-
dent Kimball is with us today. He
has been greatly blessed since we
met in general conference last April
and in the interim has regularly at-
tended the meetings with his Coun-
selors and with the Twelve and other
General Authorities.

We welcome all assembled in

the Tabernacle on Temple Square at
the beginning of this 152nd Semi-
annual General Conference of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

We also welcome all others who
are participating by television, radio,
and direct wire, or by means of satel-
lite transmission and reception facil-
ities through which members of the
Church gathered in approximately
four hundred and fifty stake meetings
are watching this conference.

There are overflow congrega-
tions in the newly remodeled Assem-
bly Hall, where Elders J. Thomas
Fyans and Charles Didier preside,
and in the Salt Palace, where Elders
Wm. Grant Bangerter and F. Enzio
Busche preside.

We extend a special welcome to
government, education, and civic
leaders who are present.

The Tabernacle Choir, under the
direction of Jerold Ottley and Donald
Ripplinger with John Longhurst at
the organ, is providing the music for
this session.

The Choir opened this session
by singing "All Creatures of Our
God and King."

The Choir will now sing "Lead,
Kindly Light." Following the sing-
ing, the invocation will be offered by
Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member
of the Presidency of the First Quo-
rum of the Seventy.



The Choir sang "Lead, Kindly

Elder M. Russell Ballard offered
the invocation.

The Choir sang "Praise to the
Lord’ ‘ without announcement.

President Romney

The Tabernacle Choir has sung
"Praise to the Lord."

President Spencer W. Kimball
has prepared a keynote address for
this general conference, which will
now be read by his personal secre-
tary, D. Arthur Haycock.

President Spencer W. Kimball

(Read by his personal secretary, D. Arthur Haycock)

My beloved brothers and sisters,
I am deeply grateful for the privilege
of meeting with you once again in a
general conference of the Lord’s
church. I look forward to, and draw
strength from, these general confer-
ences, and I am anxious to receive
the counsel and instructions given to
us under the inspiration of the Lord.
I find that if I listen carefully and
heed all that is said, my life is
enriched and my inner soul is nour-
ished with the bread of life.

Grateful for Choir

This wonderful Tabernacle
Choir has just sung to us, and they
add so much to the spirit and enjoy-
ment of our conference sessions. The
Choir recently celebrated another
anniversary, more than a half-century
of "Music and the Spoken Word,"
the longest continuous radio broad-
cast in the free world. As I listen to
the lovely melodies of the Tabernacle
Choir and organ, I am comforted by
the assurance that there will be beau-
tiful music in heaven, and for that I
am most grateful. Some say there
will be no music in that other
place — but then some sounds that
pass for music probably belong in
that other place!

Report of activities

The past six months have not
been the most active of times for
Sister Kimball and me. As you are
aware, we have been somewhat re-
stricted due to a condition known as
growing older. I believe I now
understand a bit more clearly what is
meant by enduring to the end. It is
difficult and frustrating not to be able
to do all that I would like to do.
Nevertheless, I still do many things.
Almost daily I join with my Brethren
for meetings at the Church office,
and I meet every Thursday in the
temple with the First Presidency and
the Council of the Twelve.

I have enjoyed some extra-
curricular activities as well. During
the summer, Sister Kimball and I at-
tended the Salt Lake Valley Dance
Festival. We rode in the days of ’47
Pioneer Parade and attended the ro-
deo. Last Saturday, we joined with
65,000 others at the BYU-Air Force
football game at the newly expanded
BYU stadium in Provo.

Support during advancing years

I am grateful for my able and
devoted Counselors, President Tan-
ner, President Romney, and President


Saturday, October 2


First Day

Hinckley. As I reflect upon the great
loyalty and love these men extend to
me daily, I am reminded of an expe-
rience that Moses had during his
advancing years. The Israelites were
contending with the Amalekites,
"and it came to pass, when Moses
held up his hand, that Israel pre-
vailed: and when he let down his
hand, Amalek prevailed.

"But Moses’ hands were heavy;
and they took a stone, and put it
under him, and he sat thereon; and
Aaron [his brother] and Hur [the
husband of his sister, Miriam] stayed
up his hands, the one on the one
side, and the other on the other side;
and his hands were steady until the
going down of the sun." (Exodus

Surely Moses had no greater
support than that which I receive
from my beloved Brethren. I am
thankful, too, for President Benson
and the members of the Council of
the Twelve and the other General
Authorities, all of whom labor so dil-
igently in the Lord’s vineyard. I am
sorry, however, that my dear friend
Elder LeGrand Richards is not with
us this morning. He has been sitting
here on this stand since 1938.

I am gratified with the growth
of the Church around the world, for
the nearly fifty new stakes which
have been approved or created since
we were in general conference last
April, and for the groundbreakings
that have occurred for the building of
five more temples. These are all
important indicators of the growth of
the kingdom. I hope and pray always
for the spiritual as well as the numer-
ical growth of the Lord’s church.

Wickedness in the world

My brothers and sisters, there
seems to be a general state of
wickedness in the world in these per-
ilous yet crucially momentous days.
But in the midst of all the turmoil

about us, we can have an inner
peace. We are richly blessed and
have so much to be thankful for. As
I meditate upon these things, I
remember the words of the Lord,
"For unto whomsoever much is
given, of him much shall be re-
quired" (Luke 12:48). The Lord
expects of us righteousness and obe-
dience to His commandments in
return for the bounties of life He has
so richly bestowed upon us. It seems
that iniquity abounds on all sides,
with the Adversary taking full advan-
tage of the time remaining to him in
this day of his power. The leaders of
the Church continually cry out
against that which is intolerable in
the sight of the Lord: against
pollution of mind and body and our
surroundings; against vulgarity,
stealing, lying, cheating, false pride,
blasphemy, and drunkenness; against
fornication, adultery, homosexuality,
abortion, and all other abuses of the
sacred power to create; against mur-
der and all that is like unto it; against
all manner of degradation and sin.

Warning and call to repentance

As Latter-day Saints we must
ever be vigilant. The way for each
person and each family to guard
against the slings and arrows of the
Adversary and to prepare for the
great day of the Lord is to hold fast
to the iron rod, to exercise greater
faith, to repent of our sins and short-
comings, and to be anxiously en-
gaged in the work of His kingdom on
earth, which is The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. Herein
lies the only true happiness for all
our Father’s children. We invite all
men and women of good will every-
where to join in this divine and re-
deeming latter-day work.

Let us honor our families and
enjoy our happy homes. As I speak
to you of home and family, I desire
to give some further counsel



regarding the safety and well-being
of your loved ones. There is a grow-
ing evil in our nation — the kidnap-
ping of children. Our hearts go out in
love and sympathy and compassion
to all who have been thus bereft of
precious little ones. I implore you
mothers and fathers of Zion to keep a
constant watchcare over your chil-
dren. Teach them to beware of the
growing danger of evil and designing
men and pray ever for your chil-
dren’s welfare. The Devil is not
dead, nor does he sleep.

The Savior loved little children.
He often spoke of them, and He
called them, like lambs, to His side,
and He blessed them. And He said,
"But whoso shall offend one of these
little ones which believe in me, it
were better for him that a millstone
were hanged about his neck, and that
he were drowned in the depth of the
sea." (Matthew 18:6.)

I call upon all who, for what-
ever reason or purpose, have torn a
little child from the arms of its
mother, to repent and hearken to my
plea. I pray that the tears and plead-
ings of loved ones will soften their
hearts so that they may be con-
strained to return these little ones to
the bosom of their grieving families.

Obligation to share the gospel

My brothers and sisters, the day
for carrying the gospel to ever more
places and people is here and now.
We must come to think of our obli-
gation to share the message rather
than of our own convenience. Calls
from the Lord are seldom conven-
ient. The time is here when sacrifice
must become an even more important
element in the Church. We must in-
crease our devotion so that we can
do the work the Lord has for us to
do. There is a growing need for more
missionaries now that the term of
service is shorter — but they must be
those who have a desire to go and

who have been carefully trained and
prepared through the family and the
various Church organizations. Young
men, with the encouragement of their
parents, should begin early in life to
prepare with the spirit of saving,
with the spirit of studying and pray-
ing about the gospel, with the spirit
of attending seminary and institute
classes. And of prime importance is
preparation by keeping their lives
clean and worthy. The parting words
of the Master to His Apostles just
before His Ascension were, "Go ye
into all the world, and preach the
gospel to every creature.

"He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned."
(Mark 16:15-16.)

We must not falter nor weary in
well-doing. We must lengthen our
stride. Not only is our own eternal
welfare at stake, but also the eternal
welfare of many of our brothers and
sisters who are not now members of
this, the true Church. I thrill to the
words of the Prophet Joseph Smith in
a letter that he sent to the Church
from Nauvoo on September 6, 1842:
"Shall we not go on in so great
a cause? Go forward. . . .
Courage . . . and on, on to the
victory!" (D&C 128:22.)

Latter-day testimonies of Jesus

Now, my dear brothers and sis-
ters, there are some in the world who
mistakenly say that we are a non-
Christian Church — a cult; that we
worship Joseph Smith rather than our
Savior, Jesus Christ. How far from
the truth they are! What heresy! The
Lord declared, "For thus shall my
church be called in the last days,
even The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints" (D&C 115:4).

We have a hope in Christ here
and now. He died for our sins.


Saturday, October 2


First Day

Because of Him and His gospel, our
sins are washed away in the waters
of baptism; sin and iniquity are
burned out of our souls as though by
fire; and we become clean, we have
a clear conscience, and we gain that
peace which passeth understanding.

We believe, and it is our testi-
mony, and we proclaim it to the
world, "that there shall be no other
name given nor any other way nor
means whereby salvation can come
unto the children of men, only in and
through the name of Christ, the Lord
Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:17).

We know, and it is our testi-
mony, and we proclaim it to the
world, that to be saved men must
"believe that salvation was, and is,
and is to come, in and through the
atoning blood of Christ, the Lord
Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:18).

"And we talk of Christ, we
rejoice in Christ, we preach of
Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and
we write according to our prophe-
cies, that our children may know to
what source they may look for a
remission of their sins" (2 Nephi

For the past century and a half
since the Restoration, beginning with
the Prophet Joseph Smith, the latter-
day prophets of God have raised their
voices in clarity and with authority
and truth as they have borne their
testimonies of the divinity of this

great latter-day work and the
redemptive power of the gospel of
Jesus Christ.

To the testimonies of these
mighty men I add my testimony. I
know that Jesus Christ is the Son of
the living God and that He was
crucified for the sins of the world.
He is my friend, my Savior, my
Lord, and my God. With all my
heart I pray that the Saints may keep
His commandments, have His Spirit
to be with them, and gain an eternal
inheritance with Him in celestial

As we begin this conference let
us wait upon the Lord for His
blessing and His divine approbation.
I pray the Lord to bless you; and as
His servant, I bless you. In the name
of Jesus Christ, amen.

The Choir sang "Come unto
Jesus" without announcement.

President Romney

We have just heard an address
prepared by President Spencer W.
Kimball, which was read by his per-
sonal secretary, D. Arthur Haycock,
followed by the Tabernacle Choir
singing "Come unto Jesus."

We shall now be pleased to lis-
ten to President Gordon B. Hinckley.

President Gordon B. Hinckley

My brethren and sisters, I am
confident that I speak for all of you
when I express appreciation to Presi-
dent Kimball for his message just
read by his able and faithful secre-
tary, D. Arthur Haycock.

Testimony and thanks to Church

Thank you, President Kimball,
for your counsel, and particularly for
your testimony of God our Eternal



Father and his Beloved Son, our Sav-
ior and Redeemer. We add our wit-
ness to yours that we too know that
God lives and that he is the Ruler of
the universe, our Father in Heaven;
that Jesus Christ, his Only Begotten
in the flesh, was born in Bethlehem
of Judea as the promised Messiah;
that he was the Man of miracles, the
one perfect Man who has lived upon
the earth; that he was crucified and
gave his life as a sacrifice for the
sins of all men; that through that
great act of atonement, he became
the Redeemer of all mankind; that he
arose from the grave the third day,
thus becoming "the firstfruits of
them that slept" (1 Corinthians
15:20); that he was seen by many in
and about Jerusalem, and in this
hemisphere also, who testified that
they saw and felt and were instructed
by the risen Lord. By the power of
the Holy Spirit, which has borne wit-
ness to us, we can and do testify of
these great, transcendent truths. And
we add our witness that this, "the
dispensation of the fulness of times"
(D&C 112:30), spoken of in the
scripture, was ushered in by a
glorious visitation of the Father and
the Son for the blessing of all who
will seek and learn.

President Kimball, we assure
you that the prayers of this people
across the world ascend to our Father
in Heaven in your behalf. We sing
anew the beautiful hymn of Evan
Stephens, written for Wilford Wood-
ruff’s ninetieth birthday:

We ever pray for thee, our Prophet

That God will give to thee comfort

and cheer;
As the advancing years furrow thy


Still may the light within shine
bright as now.

{Hymns, no. 386.)

While speaking of prayers, may
I express appreciation to the mem-

bers of the Church throughout the
world for your prayers in behalf of
all of the General Authorities. We
recognize the great and sacred trust
reposed in us. We are aware of our
inadequacies and of the need for
divine help in carrying forward the
great work that must be done if this
cause is to roll on to its promised

We thank you for your
demonstrated faith and devotion, for
the immeasurable service you give in
behalf of others, for the virtue of
your lives, for the goodness of your
families, and for your personal integ-
rity. Of course, there are some who
do not measure up, but even with
many of them, there is a desire and
an effort. May the blessings of the
Lord be with all of you who strive to
walk according to his teachings.

What this work is all about

Now, I should like to read
portions of a letter that came to my
desk. I have changed the names to
preserve anonymity and have some-
what abbreviated it, paraphrasing a
few words in the process. The letter

"Dear President Hinckley,

"When I met you in the
elevator at the hospital I had the urge
to write you and tell you of some of
the things that have happened to me.

"When I was sixteen or seven-
teen I cared nothing for the Church
and would not have anything to do
with it. But a bishop who was con-
cerned about me came over to see
me and asked me to help build some
scenery for a road show production,
and of course I told him no.

"Well, about ten days went by,
and the bishop came back to ask me
to build the scenery, and again I told
him no. But then he went on to ex-
plain that he had asked others, and
they had told him that they didn’t
know how. He indicated that I was


Saturday, October 2


First Day

needed. I finally gave in and pro-
ceeded to build the scenery.

"When I got it done, I said,
‘There is your scenery,’ and decided
I had done my part. But the bishop
insisted that they needed me on the
stage to move the scenery and make
sure it got put up right and that it got
moved carefully as the road show
moved from ward to ward. So I fi-
nally gave in again.

"That bishop kept me busy for
quite a while, and pretty soon I was
involved and enjoying it. He then
moved from our area and we got a
new bishop, and he picked up the
challenge and kept after me.

"Bishop Smith had asked me to
go on a mission, but I was undecided
on that, and when Bishop Sorensen
was put in, he asked me also, and I
finally decided that I would go.

"Well, the bishop and I went to
tell Mom and Dad about my
decision. They told the bishop they
couldn’t pay for it. Dad told the
bishop that if I was really sincere
about going that I should work and
save, and pay for the mission myself.

"My eyesight was not the great-
est, as you know, and when I went
places I had to be taken. When I
became sixteen, I wanted to drive a
car more than anything, and Dad
took me to several eye doctors, all
with the same result. The vision in
my right eye was 20/800, and the
vision in my left eye was 20/50,
and I had astigmatism. So earning
enough money to go on a mission
was not an easy task. I worked in the
sign shop at a department store for
six to eight months to save some
money. The bishop finally felt it was
time for me to go, and we went to
talk to my parents again. I had a
thousand dollars saved, and the
bishop told my Dad that the elders
quorum would support me for the
rest. Dad sat there for a while and
said if anybody was going to support
his son, he would. I filled out my

papers and got my call in May of

"I went to Japan, where I loved
the people and the missionary experi-
ences that I had there. My compan-
ions and I baptized several people
into the Church. After I came home,
I went to work again in the sign
shop. During the time I worked
there, whenever I went to lunch, I
would see a young lady walking up
the street, who evidently worked in
the same general area. I knew 1 had
met her somewhere before but could
not place her.

"Well, one of my missionary
companions came home, and after
some time we ran around together.
Of course, he did all the chauffeuring
because of my eyesight. One night
he called and wanted to go out on a
date, and so I frantically called
around to find a date. Well, we went
to a party, and guess who he took
out. Right, he took out Sister
Marilyn Jones who also had been in
Japan, and whom I now remembered
meeting briefly there on one occa-
sion. She was the girl I had been
passing on the street for several
months and had not recognized.

"After this party, I went to Cal-
ifornia with my family for two
weeks, and when I got home I found
that my missionary friend had been
dating the girl I had taken to the
party. I thought I’d fix him, so I
called Marilyn to go out on a date.
You have to realize that it’s not easy
to do that when you don’t drive, so
my younger sister drove, and we had
eight other youngsters accompany us
to a ball game. That should have
been enough to discourage any young
lady from ever dating me again, but I
tried again when my family went to
the canyon to pick chokecherries.

"Finally came our date alone,
and Dad had to drive me to pick up
Marilyn, and then we drove him
home, and went out on our date, and
then back to our house to pick up



Dad, who drove us back to her
house, and then we went home. On
the next date I asked her to marry
me, and she told me no. Well, I
went out with her some more, and
asked her to marry me a couple more
times, and I finally got a maybe. I
thought that was a step in the right
direction, and persisted. Six months
after we started going together you
performed our marriage in the Salt
Lake Temple.

"President Hinckley, I thought
that I loved this young lady at that
time, but seventeen years later I find
that I love her more than I could ever
imagine. We now have five
wonderful children.

"I have held many positions in
the Church: chorister, senior Aaronic
adviser, everything in the elders quo-
rum, assistant ward clerk, seventies
president, executive secretary, and
now I am a counselor in the

"I am still working in the sign
shop at the department store. I
bought a small house about thirteen
years ago, and as my family got
larger, my house got smaller. I had
to do something, so I added on to
my house and made it twice the size.
I started this a little over three years
ago and have been working on it
ever since. It is coming along really

"Now for the most amazing
piece of news ever. Two years ago in
June, I went to a new eye doctor
who examined my eyes and asked
me what restrictions I had on my
driver’s license. I told him that I
didn’t have a license. He said that
my eyesight was probably

"I sat there in shock, and my
wife said, ‘Does this mean he could
get a driver’s license?’ The doctor
said, T don’t see why not.’ The next
day my wife had me signed up for a
driver education course, and after I
finished it I went to get my license
and they checked my eyes. The

doctor had written a note explaining
my eye problem, and that maybe I
should not drive at night. The exam-
iner put the letters up and I read
them right off. He went to talk to his
supervisor, and came back and ap-
proved my license with only a minor

"President Hinckley, the Lord
has blessed me more than I can ever
deserve. People say how lucky I am
that my eyes have improved so
much, but I know that it is the
Lord’s doing. I feel it is because I
have tried to serve the Lord and do
what I can to build up his kingdom
here on the earth. I am sure there are
times he is disappointed in me, and
I’m sure he should be. But I will try
to do my best and be worthy of his
blessings upon me and my family."

He concludes with appreciation
and testimony and signs his name. I
have taken your time to read this
somewhat lengthy letter because I
feel it tells so simply and yet so elo-
quently what this work is all about.

Work of redemption, of lifting, of

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.
Ours is the responsibility of building
self-reliance, of encouraging and
cultivating happy homes where
fathers and mothers love and respect
one another and children grow in an
atmosphere of peace and affection
and appreciation.

If you will recall what I have
just read, this man, when he was a
boy of sixteen or seventeen, was
drifting aimlessly and dangerously as
so many young men do at that age.
He was walking the broad way which


Saturday, October 2


First Day

leads to destruction. Noting the
course he was taking, his bishop, a
prayerful and dedicated man, recog-
nized his creative talent as an artist
and found a way to challenge him to
use that talent in the service of the
Church. That bishop was wise
enough to know that most young
men Will respond to a challenge
when they know they are needed. No
one else in the ward was quite ca-
pable of building the kind of scenery
the bishop wanted. This inactive boy
was capable of this, and the bishop
complimented and challenged him
with a request that his service was

Here is a great key to reactiva-
tion of many of those who have fall-
en by the wayside. Each has a talent
that can be employed. It is the task
of leaders to match those talents with
needs, and then to offer a challenge.
The boy of this letter, whom I shall
call Jack, responded, and he soon
found himself moving in the direc-
tion of the Church rather than away
from it.

Then came the challenge to go
on a mission. Jack, who was now
accustomed to saying yes rather than
no, responded affirmatively. The
father was not fully converted, and
responded that his son would have to
earn his own funds. That was not all
bad. There was something of good in
the requirement that he develop self-
reliance. He went to work, he pro-
vided much of what he needed, he
saved his money, and when he had a
thousand dollars, the bishop, again
under inspiration, felt the time had
come when he should go. Jack’s
brethren in the elders quorum would
assist, and that is proper. But the
father, with an awakened sense of
pride and of responsibility toward his
own son, rose to the occasion, as
men usually do when properly

I first met Jack in Japan when
he was serving as a missionary there.
I interviewed him on two or three

occasions. That was before we had
the Language Training Mission.
Young men and women were then
sent with no language training and
simply plunged in to work at the task
when they arrived there. I marveled
that this young man, with serious
eyesight deficiencies, was able to
grasp that difficult language and
speak it with power. Behind that was
a great effort and a great sense of
devotion, and above all, a certain hu-
mility and reliance on the Lord with
anxious, prayerful pleadings for help.

I can tell you, for I witnessed it,
that it was a miracle in his case as it
was in the case of many others.

I also first met in Japan and in-
terviewed on a number of occasions
the young lady he was later to marry.
She had a wonderful spirit, a deep
faith, and a moving sense of duty.
Their acquaintance in the field was
nothing more than having seen one
another on one occasion. They
worked in widely separated areas.
But out of their experiences had
come a common touchstone — a new
language in which each had learned
to share testimony with others while
laboring in the great and selfless
cause of service to our Father’s

As he indicated in his letter,
they asked me to perform their mar-
riage. It was done in the Salt Lake
Temple. Each knew that only in the
Lord’s house under the authority of
the holy priesthood could they be
joined in marriage for time and for
all eternity under a covenant which
death could not break and time could
not destroy. They wanted the very
best for themselves; they would not
be satisfied with anything else. Be it
said to their credit that each has
remained true to the sacred covenants
they made in the house of the Lord.

Five beautiful and handsome
children have graced that marriage.
They are a family with love and
appreciation and respect one for an-
other. They have lived in a spirit of



self-reliance. A small home which
has been enlarged is a home in which
father and mother and children gather
together and counsel and learn one
from another. It is a home in which
there is a reading of the scripture. It
is a home in which there is prayer:
family prayer and individual prayer.
It is a home in which service is
taught and exemplified. It is a simple
home; it is an unostentatious family.
There is not much of wealth, but
there is much of peace and goodness
and love. The children who are
growing up there are growing in "the
nurture and admonition of the Lord"
(Ephesians 6:4). The father is faithful
in his service to the Church. For
these many years he has responded to
every call made upon him. The
mother likewise, in the organizations
for women and children. They are
good citizens of the community and
the nation. They are at peace with
their neighbors. They love the Lord.
They love life. They love one

Now they have witnessed a mir-
acle in the improvement of his eye-
sight. To a kind and gracious God
goes the credit. This, too, is of the
essence of the gospel, the power of
healing and restoration, followed by
acknowledgment and thanksgiving.

Increased reactivation is needed

Is not this what the work is all
about? Sid the Savior, "I am come
that they might have life, and that
they might have it more abundantly"
(John 10:10). Without great
abundance of the things of the world,
these, my friends, live abundantly.
Such as they are the strength of the
Church. In their hearts is a quiet and
solid conviction that God lives and
that we are accountable to him; that
Jesus is the Christ, the Way, the
Truth, the Life (see John 14:6); that
this work is their work; that it is true;
and that gladness and peace and

healing come in walking in obedi-
ence to the commandments of God
(see D&C 89:18), as set forth in the
teachings of the Church.

I do not know whether the two
men who served as Jack’s bishops
know what has become of him. If
they know where he is, there must be
sweet satisfaction in their hearts.
There are thousands of bishops like
them, who serve night and day in
this great work of reactivation. And
there are tens of thousands of Jacks
in this Church whose hearts are
touched and who are brought back
into activity by a great sense of con-
cern, a quiet expression of love, and
a challenge to serve from bishops
and others. But there are many,
many more who need similar

This work of ours is a great
work of redemption. All of us must
do more because the consequences
can be so remarkable and everlasting.
This is our Father’s work, and he has
laid upon us a divine injunction to
seek out and strengthen those in need
and those who are weak. As we do
so, the homes of our people will be
filled with an increased measure of
love; the nation, whatever nation it
be, will be strengthened by reason of
the virtue of such people; and the
Church and kingdom of God will roll
forward in majesty and power on its
divinely appointed mission. Of this I
testify and for this I pray, in the
name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The Choir sang "Jesus, Mighty
King in Zion" without

President Romney

President Gordon B. Hinckley,
Counselor in the First Presidency,
has just spoken to us, followed by


Saturday, October 2


First Day

the Tabernacle Choir singing "Jesus,
Mighty King in Zion." The Choir
will now continue by singing "Faith
of Our Fathers, Living Still," fol-
lowing which the congregation will
join the Choir in singing "High on
the Mountain Top."

The Choir sang "Faith of Our
Fathers, Living Still."

The Choir and congregation
sang "High on the Mountain Top."

President Romney

We welcome those who have
just joined us on radio and television.
We are gathered in the Tabernacle on
Temple Square in Salt Lake City,
Utah, in the first session of the
152nd Semiannual General Confer-
ence of The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints.

Elder David B. Haight, a mem-
ber of the Council of the Twelve
Apostles, will now address us, and
he will be followed by Bishop J.
Richard Clarke, Second Counselor in
the Presiding Bishopric.

Elder David B. Haight

I pray for a heavenly blessing as
I stand at this historic pulpit to give
expression to direction received for
this conference.

We testify of Christ. Our hope
is in Christ. Our salvation is in
Christ. Our efforts, hopes, and
desires to build up the kingdom of
God on earth are centered in and
through His holy name.

We proclaim, as did John the
Baptist upon seeing Jesus
approaching the River Jordan,
"Behold the Lamb of God, which
taketh away the sin of the world"
(John 1:29).

He taught the doctrines of His
gospel, that every soul may have the
opportunity to gain the blessings of
eternal life.

A special ingredient

As we strive to fulfill our divine
responsibility to spread His gospel,
we need the full measure of every
promised blessing for His people: a
belief, a testimony, patience, obedi-
ence, charity, wisdom, and faith in
His word.

I believe our Father planted into
the soul of man a special ingredient
which, if used, will influence him

toward heavenly things. Families or
individuals wondering how to better
share the gospel or to show deeper
concern for new members, or mis-
sionaries wanting to touch the hearts
of those they are teaching, have
available to them this heavenly in-
fluence. That special ingredient in-
stilled in each of us may bring to us
our greatest joy. It will overcome
fear, peer pressure, hatred, self-
ishness, evil, and even sin. This spe-
cial ingredient must be nurtured as
the tiny mustard seed; it is powerful
beyond words and was taught by the
Savior himself when asked which
was the great commandment of the
Law. He said:

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy
God with all thy heart, and with all
thy soul, and with all thy mind.

"This is the first and great

"And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as

"On these two commandments
hang all the law and the prophets."
(Matthew 22:37^0.)

Love — a divine ingredient

Love is this divine ingredient. It



alone describes what can be our per-
fect relationship to our Heavenly
Father and our family and neighbors,
and the means by which we accom-
plish His work.

The two commandments — to
love God and to love man — had been
taught separately by Jewish teachers,
but Jesus brought them together and
made the second "like" the first; and
by the example of His own life, He
made love of God and love of
mankind the heart of the gospel. "By
this," He said, "shall all men know
that ye are my disciples, if ye have
love one to another" (John 13:35).

Besides loving God, we are
commanded to do what to many is a
more difficult commandment — to
love all, even enemies, and to go
beyond the barriers of race or class
or family relationships. It is easier,
of course, to be kind to those who
are kind to us — the usual standard of
friendly reciprocity.

Then are we not commanded to
cultivate genuine fellowship and even
a kinship with every human being on
earth? Whom would you bar from
your circle? We might deny
ourselves a nearness to our Savior
because of our prejudices of neigh-
borhood or possessions or race —
attitudes that Christ would surely
condemn. Love has no boundary, no
limitation of good will.

To the lawyer who asked,
"Master, what shall I do to inherit
eternal life?" and the lawyer’s sub-
sequent reciting of the command-
ments to "love . . . God . . . and
thy neighbour as thyself," Jesus re-
plied, "This do, and thou shalt
live." Then the lawyer pressed
further, "And who is my
neighbour?" (See Luke 10:25-29.)
The Savior’s parable that followed is
the pure essence of love:

"A certain man went down
from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell
among thieves, which stripped him
of his raiment, and wounded him,
and departed, leaving him half dead.

"And by chance there came
down a certain priest that way: and
when he saw him, he passed by on
the other side.

"And likewise a Levite, when
he was at the place, came and looked
on him, and passed by on the other

"But a certain Samaritan, as he
journeyed, came where he was: and
when he saw him, he had com-
passion on him,

"And went to him, and bound
up his wounds, pouring in oil and
wine, and set him on his own beast,
and brought him to an inn, and took
care of him.

"And on the morrow when he
departed, he took out two pence, and
gave them to the host, and said unto
him, Take care of him; and what-
soever thou spendest more, when I
come again, I will repay thee.

"Which now of these three,
thinkest thou, was neighbour unto
him that fell among the thieves?

"And he said, He that shewed
mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto
him, Go, and do thou likewise."
(Luke 10:30-37.)

The essential difference between
the Samaritan and the other two men
was that one had a compassionate
heart and the others had selfish
hearts. Though Samaritans were
looked down upon by the Jews, the
priest and the Levite — both of whom
were Jews — should have come to the
aid of the unfortunate man, but did

"The full and essential nature of
love we may not understand," wrote
Elder John A. Widtsoe. "But there
are tests by which it may be

"Love is always founded in
truth. . . . Lies and deceit, or any
other violation of the moral law, are
proofs of love’s absence. Love per-
ishes in the midst of untruth. . . .
Thus, . . . [he] who falsifies to his
loved one, or offers her any act con-
trary to truth, does not really love


Saturday, October 2


First Day

"Further, love does not offend
or hurt or injure the loved one. . . .
Cruelty is as absent from love … as
truth is from untruth. . . .

"Love is a positive active force.
It helps the loved one. If there is
need, love tries to supply it. If there
is weakness, love supplants it with
strength. . . . Love that does not
help is a faked or transient love.

"Good as these tests are, there
is a greater one. True love sacrifices
for the loved one. . . . That is the
final test. Christ gave of Himself,
gave His life, for us, and thereby
proclaimed the reality of his love for
his mortal brethren and sisters." (An
Understandable Religion, Salt Lake
City: Deseret Book Co., 1944,
p. 72.)

Love can neutralize negatives

Knowing that we should love is
not enough. But when knowledge is
applied through service, love can
secure for us the blessings of heaven.
Jesus taught:

"Greater love hath no man than
this, that a man lay down his life for
his friends" (John 15:13).

A commercial airplane plunged
into the Potomac River near Wash-
ington, D.C., earlier this year, and
an unidentified passenger gave his
life for his "unknown friends."
Bystanders watched in amazement as
he caught the life preserver lowered
from the helicopter to rescue those in
the water. Rather than save himself,
he passed the life preserver over to
another person; the helicopter
returned and he again passed the life
preserver to another. "Why doesn’t
he hold on and save himself?" some-
one shouted. After others near him
were saved, people on the shore
watched in anguish as he slowly sank
and disappeared into the frozen

"If a single man achieves the
highest kind of love," wrote
Mahatma Gandhi, "it will be

sufficient to neutralize the hate of
millions" (Hermann Hagedorn,
Prophet in the Wilderness: The Story
of Albert Schweitzer, New York:
MacMillan Co., 1948, title page).

God does not love us because
we are lovable, have a pleasing per-
sonality or a good sense of humor, or
at rare times show exceptional kind-
ness. In spite of who we are and
what we have done, God wants to
pour out His love on us, for the
unlovable are also precious unto

At a recent university ceremony
honoring Mother Teresa — who has
spent her life working for the poor,
the lepers, and abandoned children
around the world — she said, "Love
each other with a clean heart. . . .
[The poor] are not hungry for bread;
they are hungry for love." {The Salt
Lake Tribune, 31 May 1982, p. 4- A.)

"A man filled with the love of
God," wrote the Prophet Joseph
Smith, "is not content with blessing
his family alone, but ranges through
the whole world, anxious to bless the
whole human race" (History of the
Church, 4:227).

How can we earn God’s love?
The Savior taught:

"If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love; even as I
have kept my Father’s command-
ments, and abide in his love" (John

Love unlocks divine powers

Love is a gift of God, and as we
obey His laws and genuinely learn to
serve others, we develop God’s love
in our lives.

Love of God is the means of
unlocking divine powers which help
us to live worthily and to overcome
the world.

The worldly methods of pro-
moting great causes were discarded
by the Savior. Money to buy in-
fluence — He had none. Publi-
cations — He never used. The sword



was contrary to his purposes. The
people of His own nation disowned
Him. He planted His ideals in the
hearts of only a few. They were
mostly poor; but they met, listened,
prayed, and believed in His words.
As taught by the Master, they went
among other men and by act and
word passed on the new ideals, by
love unfeigned and by friendship, not
by force; and so the work spread.

God accomplishes His purposes
heart to heart. The prophet Nephi
helps us to understand this: "It is the
love of God, which sheddeth itself
abroad in the hearts of the children
of men; wherefore, it is the most
desirable above all things" (1 Nephi

The depth and magnitude of
God’s love for all of His children is
emphasized in the writings of John:
"For God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life"
(John 3:16).

"Love is a verb"

Brother and Sister Willes
Cheney were called as missionaries
to the Canada Halifax Mission and
assigned to the far north, to
Canbrook, Newfoundland. The in-
structions from their mission presi-
dent were: "Go up there and
strengthen the branch. Find some
housing so the people will have their
own place to meet in. And be
ambassadors of good will."

This faithful couple touched
many lives. Brother Cheney reported
of their numerous successes with
people and concluded with this trib-
ute to his lovely companion:

"Aside from the many exam-
ples, the major contribution to our
success was Sister Cheney. Her
whole mission was a labor of love —
teaching how to make a garden, can,
sew, quilt, and give compassionate

service. She was loved by all
because of her excellent example as a
wife, a mother, and as a friend."

He went on to say, "We helped
the branch acquire a chapel and saw
twenty- seven new members come
into the Church, and many who were
inactive return."

This lovely couple had shown
their love for the Lord and for their
newly found neighbors, though they
were far away from home.

Someone has written, "Love is
a verb." It requires doing — not just
saying and thinking. The test is in
what one does, how one acts, for
love is conveyed in word and deed.

John the Beloved, who had a
special closeness to our Lord, wrote:

"Herein is love, not that we
love God, but that he loved us, and
sent his Son to be the propitiation for
our sins.

"Beloved, if God so loved us,
we ought also to love one another."
(1 John 4:10-11.)

By his paying the debt of sin for
each of us, Jesus brings us, if we
desire, to his Father. We sing these
expressive words, which truly convey
our feelings:

I stand all amazed at the love

Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully

he proffers me;
I tremble to know that for me he

was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered,

he bled and died.

I marvel that he would descend

from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and

proud as mine;
That he should extend his great

love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and

to justify.

I think of his hands pierced and
bleeding to pay the debt!

Such mercy, such love, and
devotion can I forget?


Saturday, October 2


First Day

No, no, I will praise and adore at

the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel

at his feet.

(Hymns, no. 80.)

May each of us adequately play
our role in the final accomplishment
of God’s declared work and glory,
"to bring to pass the immortality and
eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39),
by striving for perfection and by
being obedient to all the laws and
ordinances of the gospel — all of us
strengthened by our compliance with

the great commandments to love God
and our neighbors, I pray as I bear
witness that this is His work, that He
loves us all. In the name of Jesus
Christ, amen.

President Romney

Elder David B. Haight, a mem-
ber of the Council of the Twelve
Apostles, has just spoken to us.

Bishop J. Richard Clarke, Sec-
ond Counselor in the Presiding Bish-
opric, will now speak to us.

Bishop J. Richard Clarke

My soul delighteth in the scriptures

One of the most beautiful and
inspiring passages in the Book of
Mormon is often referred to as "The
Psalm of Nephi." It begins with
these stirring words: "My soul
delighteth in the scriptures, and my
heart pondereth them, and writeth
them for the learning and the profit
of my children.

"Behold, my soul delighteth in
the things of the Lord." (2 Nephi

These words have special mean-
ing to me. I grew up in a small
Mormon community. I was raised in
a fine Latter-day Saint home. I was
taught to love the Lord, to reverence
His name, and to communicate with
Him in prayer. I was very young
when I learned that the Father and
the Son had appeared to Joseph
Smith. I believed as a boy and I have
never doubted as a man.

However, until I enlisted in the
navy, I had not experienced the
shock of meeting so many people
who had never seen a Mormon or
who had never heard of Mormonism.
I soon realized how limited was my
knowledge of the gospel. I was asked
some pretty tough questions about
the Church that I had difficulty an-

swering. I was the only Mormon in
our outfit and so there was no one
with whom I could counsel. The only
scripture I had was a small military
copy of the Book of Mormon. I am
ashamed to confess that I left Lehi
and his family somewhere in the wil-
derness on a number of occasions.

While I had grown up as an
active member of the Church, I had
felt no special need or urgency to
study the scriptures and the writings
of the prophets. When asked a ques-
tion or when strong ridicule was di-
rected at me and the Church, I could
only state the personal beliefs I had
learned from my family and teachers.
I tried to compensate for my knowl-
edge deficiency by being a good ex-
ample of the principles I professed.

To know eternal truths

After leaving the navy, I re-
ceived a mission call. I still had not
developed a real appetite for gospel
knowledge. I had not equated under-
standing the holy scriptures with
being a good Latter-day Saint. Fol-
lowing some brief training in the old
mission home in Salt Lake, my com-
panions and I were exposed to a few
weeks of tracting in Texas while
waiting for the ship that would take



us to South Africa. That exposure
expanded my vision of what I was
going to be doing for the next two
years. I gained a lot of humility in a

A quirk of fate

An unusual quirk of fate
changed my whole life as we sailed
toward Cape Town. It was to be a
twenty-eight-day voyage, but our
ship developed boiler problems
crossing the equator. Limping into
the port of Recife, Brazil, we hit the
rocks, gashing the ship’s hull. A
tugboat rescued us; but before we fi-
nally arrived in Cape Town, we had
spent eighty-four days on board ship.
I was fortunate enough to share quar-
ters with a fine companion, Roy
Stevens, who was a dedicated student
of the gospel. His father had also
been a missionary and had sent a
large box of Church books with his
son. It was during this confinement
that a whole new world of gospel
knowledge opened up to me.

It was a time to study, to
ponder, to pray. I read all the stan-
dard works from cover to cover, as
well as Jesus the Christ and several
other Church books. On this voyage
I received my witness from the Lord
that the Book of Mormon is the word
of God. It was here that I came to
know that Jesus is the Christ. It was
here I developed an insatiable
appetite to know the eternal truths.
What a pity I had waited so long. I
had wasted so much time during
military service. What a priceless
treasure I had ignored! I am per-
suaded that we will be held account-
able for how we use our
discretionary time.

Examples of Joseph Smith and
Spencer W. Kimball

There is so much we can learn
from the example of the young
Prophet Joseph Smith, whose per-

sistent, prayerful study of the Holy
Bible compelled him to seek the God
of Heaven for divine guidance. This
brought him to the threshold of the
greatest revelation ever given to man
since the mortal ministry of the Sav-
ior Himself. Throughout the
Prophet’s life, he continued to probe
and ponder until he gained a mastery
of the scriptures.

President Kimball labored to gain

Another young man, Spencer
W. Kimball, was about fourteen
when Susa Gates spoke at their stake
conference. He recalls: "She gave a
rousing talk on the reading of the
scriptures; . . . then she stopped . . .
to ask … us, ‘How many of you
have read the Bible through?’

"… My accusing heart said
to me, ‘You, Spencer Kimball, you
have never read that holy book.
Why?’ I looked around me . . . to
see if I was alone in my failure to
read the sacred book. Of the
thousand people, there were perhaps
a half dozen who proudly raised their
hands. . . . When the meeting
closed, I . . . rushed home . . .
gritting my teeth and saying to
myself, T will. I will.’ "

He went home, got a coal-oil
lamp, and climbed the stairs to his
attic room. "There," he said, "I
opened my Bible and began [with]
Genesis . . . and I read well into the
night with Adam and Eve . . . and
through the flood even to Abraham."
(President Kimball Speaks Out, Salt
Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981,
pp. 92-93.)

He continued to read a little
each night. Although he didn’t
always understand what he was read-
ing, he had made a commitment to
himself. At the end of a year, he had
finished. This achievement set a
pattern for his life. The sermons and
the writings of President Kimball
convince us that he has labored long


Saturday, October 2


First Day

hours to gain his profound insights
into the holy scriptures.

Examples of Bruce R. McConkie
and Marion G. Romney

I am convinced that families,
even young children, can learn to
love the scriptures. A few years ago
when I was in Colorado Springs for a
conference, I called on Mark
McConkie, son of Elder and Sister
Bruce R. McConkie, to address the
question: "How did you develop a
love for the scriptures?’ ‘

As I recall, he said: "I first
developed a love for the scriptures
from my mother. I remember she
would teach me while she did her
ironing. I felt how she loved the
scriptures by the way she would
speak about the prophets. How much
she loved them! As I grew older, I
would listen to the recordings of the
scriptures. I wanted to know the
scriptures like my father. Sometimes
he would enter the room while I was
listening and it would take him just a
moment to identify the exact scrip-
ture I was listening to. I wanted to
be able to do that. ‘ ‘

You may remember the sweet
experience shared by President
Romney, who had been reading the
Book of Mormon with his son. He
related: "I remember reading it with
one of my lads when he was very
young. . . . We were each reading
aloud alternate paragraphs of those
last three marvelous chapters of Sec-
ond Nephi. I heard his voice break-
ing and thought he had a cold, but
we went on to the end of the three
chapters. As we finished he said to
me, ‘Daddy, do you ever cry when
you read the Book of Mormon?’

" ‘Yes, son,’ I answered.
‘Sometimes the spirit of the Lord so
witnesses to my soul that the Book
of Mormon is true that I do cry.’

" ‘Well,’ he said, ‘that is what
happened to me tonight.’ " (In Con-
ference Report, Apr. 1949, p. 41.)

Some time later, I was reading a
Jack London book with our youngest
son Brandon, before going to bed. I
recalled President Romney ‘s story
and thought, What an experience
we’re missing by not reading the
standard works together. Before he
leaves on his mission, I want him to
become intimately acquainted with
the great heroes of sacred literature
and to pattern his life after them. We
began to read just fifteen minutes or
one chapter each day. What a choice
experience! I commend it to you.

Search the scriptures

All of our sacred records have
come to us at high cost. When we
consider the fiery furnace of conquest
and persecution through which the
Bible has passed, the great wonder is
not whether it is complete or trans-
lated correctly, but a miracle that it
has survived at all! Surely the Lord
has preserved it for the salvation of
his children.

Laban’s life was taken by divine
command that the Nephite nation not
"dwindle … in unbelief." (See 1
Nephi 4:13.) Think of the travail of
the Nephite prophets who kept the
records of their people so future gen-
erations might profit from their expe-
riences. Think of the millions of
people who have lived at a time
when there was no printing or trans-
lating capability or who, because of
political oppression or illiteracy, have
been denied access to the scriptures.
Think about the blessings of living in
this dispensation, when the holy
scriptures are available to us. In
1981, the United Bible Societies dis-
tributed 444,000,000 complete copies
or portions of the Bible throughout
the world. By the end of 1982, the
Book of Mormon or selected portions
will be available in fifty-seven

We are the beneficiaries of great
sacrifice. What excuse do we have
for not taking advantage of this?



Brothers and sisters, you don’t have
to be a natural student to read the
scriptures; you just need to love the

The value of sacred records was
indelibly taught by the Savior as he
ministered among the Nephites. He
declared: "A commandment I give
unto you that ye search these things
diligently; . . .

"Give heed to my words; write
the things which I have told
you; . . .

"Search the prophets, for many
there be that testify of these things.

"And now . . . after [Jesus] had
expounded all the scriptures unto
them which they had received, he
said unto them: Behold, other scrip-
tures I would that ye should write,
that ye have not. . . .

"How be it that ye have not
written this thing, that many saints
did arise and appear unto many and
did minister unto them?

"And . . . Nephi remembered
that this thing had not been written.

"And . . . Jesus commanded
that it should be written; . . .

"Now . . . when Jesus had
expounded all the scriptures in one,
which they had written, he com-
manded them that they should teach
the things whch he had expounded
unto them." (3 Nephi 23:1, 4-6,

I concur with the strong counsel
of President Romney, given to a
group of seminary and institute coor-
dinators in 1973. He told them, and I
quote: "I don’t know much about the
gospel other than what I’ve learned
from the standard works. When I
drink from a spring I like to get the
water where it comes out of the
ground, not down the stream after
the cattle have waded in it. . . . I
appreciate other people’s inter-
pretation, but when it comes to the
gospel we ought to be acquainted
with what the Lord says. . . . You
ought to read the Book of Mormon
and the Doctrine and Covenants;

and … all the scriptures with the
idea of finding out what’s in them
and what the meaning is and not to
prove some idea of your own. Just
read them and plead with the Lord to
let you understand what he had in
mind when he wrote them." (Ad-
dress delivered at Coordinators’ Con-
vention, Seminaries and Institutes of
Religion, 13 Apr. 1973.)

Admonition of Joseph Smith

I fear there are far too many
Latter-day Saints who do not have a
testimony of the gospel from their
own diligent efforts. Is it possible
that you are living on the reflected
light of others who have prayed and
pondered the revelations of God? A
testimony comes from personal en-
deavor. The Lord has provided us the
means of salvation, but our success
is dependent upon individual effort.

I conclude with this admonition
of the Prophet Joseph Smith, given
in 1832:

"Search the scriptures — search
the revelations which we publish and
ask your Heavenly Father, in the
name of His Son Jesus Christ, to
manifest the truth unto you, and if
you do it with an eye single to His
glory nothing doubting, He will an-
swer you by the power of His Holy
Spirit. You will then know for
yourselves and not for another. You
will not then be dependent on man
for the knowledge of God; nor will
there be any room for specula-
tion. . . . For when men receive their
instruction from Him that made
them, they know how He will save
them. . . . Again we say: Search the
Scriptures, search the Prophets and
learn what portion of them belongs to
you." {Teachings of the Prophet
Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding
Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book
Co., 1938, pp. 11-12.)

To this I add my witness. The
holy scriptures are the word of God.
If we are to know God, we must


Saturday, October 2


First Day

read His words, for therein He stands
revealed to the honest in heart. I so
testify in the name of Jesus Christ,

The Choir sang "Arise, Shine,
Thy Light Is Come" without

President Romney

The Tabernacle Choir has sung
"Arise, Shine, Thy Light Is Come."

We welcome those who have
just joined us on television or radio
for this, the first session of the 152nd
Semiannual General Conference of
the Church.

We are grateful to the managers
and operators of the many television
and radio stations and cable systems
for offering their facilities as a public
service to bring the proceedings of
this conference to a large audience
throughout many areas of the world.

Elder Mark E. Petersen, a mem-
ber of the Council of the Twelve
Apostles, will be our concluding
speaker, following which the Taber-
nacle Choir will sing "The Lord Is
My Shepherd."

The benediction will then be
given by Elder Richard G. Scott, a
member of the First Quorum of the
Seventy, after which this conference
will be adjourned until two o’clock
this afternoon.

Elder Mark E. Petersen

Christ — our dearest friend

We are thankful for this, another
opportunity to bear testimony of the
Lord Jesus Christ and of His divine
Sonship, for truly He is the well-
beloved and Only Begotten Son of
our Heavenly Father.

Again we testify that He is our
Savior and our Redeemer. He is our
Creator, the Maker of heaven and

But He also is our Friend — our
dearest Friend. He died for us. Is not
that the ultimate measure of

And He provided for us a resur-
rection from death, which is given
freely to every person who has lived
on the earth or ever will.

What a gift! What a Friend!
What a mighty Personage He is!

But marvelous as will be our
resurrection, joyfully as we will
welcome our victory over death,
salvation in His kingdom is quite an-
other matter. It comes only to those
who faithfully obey His command-
ments and accept all of His

Measure of complete salvation

Have you ever thought of the
process by which the gospel saves
people? Faith, repentance, and bap-
tism come first, of course. But there
is more, much more.

The meaning of complete
salvation is that we become like the
Savior in word and thought and
deed. We can measure our progress
toward salvation merely by
determining how Christlike we are. If
we are not becoming more like Him
in our everyday living, we are not
advancing toward salvation as we

Becoming Christlike is a matter
of daily spiritual growth. As a flower
develops from a seed, as a mature
adult develops from a tiny child, so
we can grow spiritually day by day,
eventually into Christlike

As one of our poets described it:

Heaven is not reached at a single

But we build the ladder by which
we rise



From the lowly earth to the

vaulted skies,
And we mount to its summit round

by round.

(Josiah Gilbert Holland,
"Gradatim," in Masterpieces of
Religious Verse, ed. James Dalton
Morrison, N.Y.: Harper and
Brothers, 1948, p. 443.)

Jesus the Savior is the supreme
example of how we should build our

"What manner of men ought ye
to be?" He asked, and then replied,
"Even as I am." (3 Nephi 27:27.)

Becoming like Him is not some-
thing we can achieve overnight. It is
a lifelong and an eternal process,
nothing less. In every hour and every
day we must strive to become like

Become believers and doers

Then what is the process by
which this is done? It is by
developing within our own selves the
very traits of character which make
Him what He is.

This does not come by studying
the gospel alone, nor is it only by
being baptized or receiving the
priesthood, nor even by becoming
temple workers. All of these are nec-
essary, of course, but none alone is

In it all, and above all, we need
to develop Christlike hearts. We
must have a change deep within us.
As the prophet Alma taught:

"All mankind, yea, men and
women, all nations, kindreds,
tongues and people, must be born
again; yea, born of God, changed
from their carnal and fallen state, to
a state of righteousness, being re-
deemed of God, becoming his sons
and daughters;

"And thus," Alma said, "they
become new creatures; and unless
they do this, they can in nowise in-

herit the kingdom of God" (Mosiah

Note this last sentence: "Unless
they do this, they can in nowise in-
herit the kingdom of God." This is a
direct warning to us all.

How to live a Christlike life

Unless we have this change of
heart, unless we follow the Savior’s
teachings, our sins may cancel out all
the benefits we otherwise might re-
ceive through the ordinances of the

The scriptures are very clear in
telling us how to live a Christlike
life. That is why we are to read them
so constantly.

For example, we are taught to
be poor in spirit, that is, humble.
We are taught to be meek. (See
Matthew 5:3, 5.) It is not Christlike
to be egotistical or proud or arrogant.

We are told to love Him so
much that we will hunger and thirst
after righteousness. (See Matthew
5:6.) Can we understand what that
means? He is completely righteous.
We wish to become like Him. But is
our desire so deep that we actually
hunger and thirst for it?

As a matter of fact, how great is
our desire to walk in His paths? That
alone can measure the depth of our
conversion. Desire! That word —
desire! How deep is it within our
souls — for righteousness?

To be Christlike also is to be
kind. Was He ever unkind? If we
lack in kindness and mercy, can we
say that we resemble Him?

Another great law we must
understand if we are to become like
Him is the Golden Rule. We must
learn to do unto others as we would
be done by.

How many of us truly live that
commandment? And yet, is there any
salvation without it? Read the
twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew for
an answer.

Just what does it mean to do


Saturday, October 2


First Day

unto others as we would be done by?

Would we like other people to
be cruel to us? Of course not. Would
we like them to cheat us? Would we
appreciate being lied to or robbed?
Then will we deceive others or steal
from anyone? Dishonesty in all its
forms is despicable and degrading. Is
it Christlike in any sense? We hardly
dare mention it in the same breath,
for it really is anti-Christ!

The Lord teaches us to be
peacemakers, and to avoid offenses,
unpleasantness, and disputations.
(See Matthew 5:9.) Should we not
make a conscientious effort to get
along well with other people, and
more especially with members of our
own families?

No man should quarrel with his
wife or give her any cause to quarrel
in return. The scriptures command us
also to avoid provoking our children
to wrath. (See Ephesians 6:4.) If
irritations arise in the home, they
should be removed in a genuine
Christian spirit.

To be like the Savior we can
hardly be without true charity, either.
How did the Apostle Paul express it?

"Though I speak with the
tongues of men and of angels. . . .

"And though I have the gift of
prophecy, and understand all
mysteries, and all knowledge. . . .

"And though I bestow all my
goods to feed the poor, and though I
give my body to be burned, and have
not charity [and have not the love of
Christ toward my family and other
people], it profiteth me nothing." (1
Corinthians 13:1-3; italics added.)

In fact, he says we would be as
nothing, except of course that we
would resemble sounding brass and
tinkling cymbals. (See 1 Corinthians

To come into God’s presence

The Savior said, "Blessed are
the pure in heart: for they shall see
God" (Matthew 5:8).

Will any others see Him — or
come into His presence? Can any-
thing that is impure?

What did He say about

"Touch not that which is
unclean; … be ye clean that bear
the vessels of the Lord" (3 Nephi
20:41). That is what He said, and
that is what He meant.

It is a divine commandment. If
you believe in Christ, touch not the
unclean thing!

Lust and covetousness are com-
pletely destructive. Sex sin is deadly.
Intoxication is vicious. Greed is of
the devil. So is selfishness, as it
leads to all forms of dishonesty.
They contaminate and demoralize our
very souls. They are completely
opposite to the Christlike life.

But what did He say about

He prayed that those who follow
Him will be so purified by righteous
living that they will be pure as He is
pure, so that, as He said, "I may be
in them as thou, Father, art in me,
that we may be one, that I may be
glorified in them" (3 Nephi 19:29).
Think of it! If we are pure, our righ-
teousness will add glory to His

And He taught something else.
If we have offended others, we are to
seek a reconciliation with them and
not allow ill feelings to persist.

Have you ever thought of these
words as a commandment?

"If thou bring thy gift to the
altar, and there rememberest that thy
brother hath ought against thee;

"Leave there thy gift before the
altar, and go thy way; first be
reconciled to thy brother, and then
come and offer thy gift" (Matthew

With this in mind can we
assume that our worship is acceptable
to God if we have ill feelings toward
others or if we have dealt unfairly
with anyone?

Sometimes I have wondered if



leaving our gift at the altar while
seeking this reconciliation could refer
to the Sacrament of the Lord’s
Supper. Can we partake of those
holy emblems with a clear con-
science if we have done an injustice
to another person?

The Lord also taught:

"If ye forgive men their tres-
passes, your heavenly Father will
also forgive you.

"But if ye forgive not men their
trespasses, neither will your Father
forgive your trespasses." (Matthew

Can we presume that we shall
enter His sacred presence if we are
still stained by unremitted sins?

And then He warned against
hypocrisy. Christlike people are not
two-faced or double-dealing. The
divine word is: "Ye cannot serve
God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24).

Requirements for perfection

Can we see how our day-by-day
acts — little though they may seem to
be — mold our souls?

Do His simple laws seem overly
strict? Are they too difficult for us to
live? But if we ignore them, do we
realize what we do to ourselves?

It is inspiring to read the Lord’s
own description of the traits which
make up His own character. He lists
them this way:

"Faith, hope, charity and love,
with an eye single to the glory of
God. …

"… virtue, knowledge, tem-
perance, patience, brotherly kind-
ness, godliness, charity, humility,
diligence." (D&C 4:5-6.)

These are the traits of character
of the Lord Jesus Christ. How
earnestly do we try to build them
into our own souls?

He commands us to become per-
fect, even as His Father in Heaven is
perfect. (See Matthew 5:48.)

Can perfection arise out of care-
less living? Can we achieve per-

fection by imperfect means? It is
plain to see why the Lord is strict
and why we must serve Him with all
our heart, might, mind, and strength.
(See D&C 4:2.)

It is no easy matter to live the
gospel as we should. But unless we
do, we cannot receive the blessings.
It is no easy matter to become per-
fect in anything. Perfection requires
devotion, long-suffering, persistence,
willingness to sacrifice, and constant
concentration. Imperfection can pro-
duce only further imperfection.

Could you good sisters bake a
good cake if you did not follow the
recipe? Could you brethren build a
house or a highway, or make a
clock, or send a man to the moon if
you ignored the formula provided for
such achievements? Could you
become a doctor if you did not fol-
low the prescribed course in a medi-
cal school? Could you become an
engineer if you ignored the principles
of engineering?

Follow the course

Then can we expect to achieve
perfection like that of Almighty God
if we fail to follow the course He
lays out for us?

The gospel will do us little good
if we do not live it.

Membership in the Church will
not save us unless we keep the

A half-hearted effort will not
save us either. Instead, it will bring
condemnation. The Lord has so de-
clared in section 58 of the Doctrine
and Covenants. (See D&C 58:29.)

One of the great prophets of an-
cient times was Samuel the
Lamanite. I like the way he taught.
He was plain and straightforward in
his manner of speech. He did not
mince words, nor did he leave the
people wondering what he meant.

As he spoke from the walls of
Zarahemla, calling the Nephites to
repentance, he told them bluntly that


Saturday, October 2


First Day

if they refused to live the gospel con-
demnation would come upon them,
and he made it clear that they would
have no one to blame but

"Remember, remember," he
said, "that whosoever perisheth, per-
isheth unto himself; and whosoever
doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself"
(Helaman 14:30).

Then he said that, since we have
free agency, we can choose the good
or the evil, life or death; but he de-
clared that in the end we shall most
certainly receive exactly what we
ourselves have chosen.

Should we not determine how
well we are really living the gospel?

And should we not remind ourselves
that now — in our mortal lives — is the
time of our probation, and that now
is the time of planting for whatever
kind of harvest we hope to receive?

Isn’t it time for each of us to
learn the lesson of Gethsemane and
say with Him: "Not my will, but
thine, be done"? (Luke 22:42.) In
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

The Choir sang "The Lord Is
My Shepherd."

The benediction was given by
Elder Richard G. Scott.



The second general session of
the 152nd Semiannual General Con-
ference began at 2:00 P.M. on Satur-
day, October 2, 1982.

President Gordon B. Hinckley,
Counselor in the First Presidency,
conducted .

Music for this session was pro-
vided by the Mormon Youth Chorus
under the direction of Robert C.
Bowden with Roy M. Darley at the

At the beginning of the meeting,
President Hinckley made the follow-
ing remarks:

President Gordon B. Hinckley

President Spencer W. Kimball is
watching the proceedings of this
session on television. He was with us
all morning. I have been assigned to
conduct this session.

We welcome all assembled
in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on
Temple Square in this, the second
general session of the 152nd Semi-

annual General Conference of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

We also welcome the many
members and friends of the Church
tuned to these proceedings by radio
or television, or by direct wire or
satellite transmission. You will be in-
terested to know that four hundred
and four stake centers are receiving
the proceedings of this conference
through the Church’s satellite link
and their own facilities in the stake
centers; and additionally we estimate
there are some fifty stake centers
equipped with down links which
have been rented for this occasion.
There are overflow congregations in
the Assembly Hall, where Elders
Robert D. Hales and Ronald E.
Poelman preside, and in the Salt Pal-
ace, where Elders Roy den G. Derrick
and William R. Bradford preside.

We are pleased to acknowledge
especially our guests who are present
this afternoon, along with general
and local Church leaders and mem-
bers from many parts of the world.

We express our appreciation to



the owners and operators of the many
radio and television stations and to
the owners and operators of cable
systems for their cooperation in
making these proceedings available
to members and friends of the
Church in many lands.

The music this afternoon will be
provided by the Mormon Youth
Chorus under the direction of Robert
Bowden with Roy Darley at the

The chorus will begin this ser-
vice by singing "Onward Christian
Soldiers," following which the in-
vocation will be offered by Elder
Dean L. Larsen, a member of the
Presidency of the First Quorum of
the Seventy.

The chorus sang "Onward
Christian Soldiers."

Elder Dean L. Larsen offered
the invocation.

President Hinckley

We miss very much this after-
noon, as we did this morning, the
presence of Elder LeGrand Richards
of the Council of the Twelve, who

because of circumstances of his
health has asked to be excused. We
send him our love and express our
prayers in his behalf.

There have been no changes
among the General Authorities since
the last general conference. It is
therefore proposed that we sustain all
of the General Authorities and gen-
eral officers of the Church as at
present constituted.

Those in favor may manifest it
by the uplifted hand. Any opposed
may manifest it by the uplifted hand.

The Mormon Youth Chorus will
now sing "O My Father," following
which Elder Thomas S. Monson, a
member of the Council of the Twelve
Apostles, will speak to us.

The chorus sang "O My

President Hinckley

Elder Thomas S. Monson, a
member of the Council of the Twelve
Apostles, will be our first speaker.
He will be followed by Elder Frank-
lin D. Richards of the Presidency of
the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, June 8, 1982, dawned
bright and clear in London, England.
It was destined to be an historic day.
A spirit of excitement permeated the
very air and filled expectant hearts
with keen anticipation. The President
of the United States of America had
arrived in Great Britain and soon
would be addressing Parliament.
Crowds gathered for the occasion,
filled the streets and overflowed the
nearby park. Uniformed policemen
maintained order while famous Big
Ben chimed its proud and clarion call
which marked the appointed hour.

Through Westminster Abbey

My wife, Frances, and I stood
midst the milling crowd. Then,
suddenly, Parliament’s doors swung
open, the Prime Minister and the
President greeted the throng, entered
their limousines, and the motorcade
drove slowly away. The crowd gave
a mighty cheer, then began to dis-
perse. Frances and I walked from the
sunbathed street into the semi-dark,
yet welcome, refuge of Westminster

A reverence filled this world-fa-


Saturday, October 2


First Day

mous edifice, as it should. For here,
kings are crowned, royalty wedded,
and rulers, whose mission of
mortality has ended, are honored
then buried. We walked along the
aisleways, thoughtfully reading the
inscriptions which marked the tombs
of the famous. We remembered their
achievements, recalled their deeds of
valor, and marked their well-earned
places in the world’s history. Then
we paused before the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier, one of many who
fell in France during the Great War.
From an unmarked grave, the body
of this fallen youth had been brought
to London to forever lie in honor. I
read aloud the inscriptions: "They
buried him among the kings because
he had done good toward God and
toward His house." "In Christ shall
all be made alive."

Toward the doorway we walked.
Still visible in the park beyond were
the remnants of the crowd. The im-
mortal words of Rudyard Kipling
coursed through my mind and spoke
to my soul:

The tumult and the shouting dies,
The captains and the kings depart;
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice:
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget.

("Recessional"; see also
Hymns, no. 77.)

Baden-Powell, builder of boys

One final marker to see, one
more inscription to read. As a
Scouter, I had come from America to
view the plaque of honor dedicated
to the memory of Scouting’s founder,
Lord Baden-Powell. We stood before
the magnificent marble memorial and
noted the words:
Robert Baden-Powell, 1857-1941
Founder of the Boy Scouts

Friend of all the World
On that day during this year
which commemorates the 75th

anniversary of Scouting and the
125th anniversary of its founder, I
pondered the thought, "How many
boys have had their lives blessed —
even saved — by the Scout movement
begun by Baden-Powell?" Unlike
others memorialized within the walls
of Westminster Abbey, Baden-Powell
had neither sailed the stormy seas of
glory, conquered in conflict the
armies of men, nor founded empires
of worldly wealth. Rather, he was a
builder of boys, one who taught them
well how to run and win the race of

Boys do become men.

Nobody knows what a boy is

We’ll have to wait and see.
But every man in a noble place
A boy once used to be.
(Quoted by Spencer W. Kimball,
in Conference Report, Apr.
1977, p. 50.)

A boy spared

The reality of this thought is
delightfully portrayed in the closing
lines of the well-known musical
Camelot. King Arthur’s Round Table
has been destroyed by the jealousies
of men, the infidelity of a queen, and
the appearance in the present of a
mistake from the past, even
Mordred. Deprived of his dream,
King Arthur and his forces prepare to
meet the armies of Lancelot. All he
held dear is gone; disillusionment has
darkened into despair.

Suddenly, however, there ap-
pears a stowaway — the young boy
Tom of Warwick. Filled with the
hope of youth, he tells the king he
has come to help him fight the
mighty battle. He reveals his in-
tention to become a knight. Under
the questioning of Arthur, Tom de-
clares his knowledge of the Round
Table. He repeats the familiar goals:
"Might for right! Right for right!
Justice for all!"



A look of renewed confidence
spreads across King Arthur’s face.
All is not lost. To the boy he repeats
the goals and glory of Camelot. Then
he formally knights him "Sir Tom of
Warwick." Thus commissioned to
depart the battlefield, to return to
England, to renew the dream of
Camelot, to grow up and to grow
old, Sir Tom places aside the weap-
ons of war; and armed with the
tenets of truth, he hears his monarch
command, "Run, boy, run!" A boy
had been spared, an idea safe-
guarded, a hope renewed. (Alan J.
Lerner, Camelot, New York:
Random House, 1961, p. 115.)

Scouting and the Church

Every boy blessed by Scouting
learns in his youth far more than that
envisioned by Sir Tom of Warwick.
He adopts the motto "Be Prepared."
He subscribes to the code "Do a
Good Turn Daily." Scouting provid-
es proficiency badges to encourage
skills and personal endeavor.
Scouting teaches boys how to live,
not merely how to make a living.
How pleased I am that The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
in 1913 became the first partner to
sponsor Scouting in the United

I love the inspired words of
President Spencer W. Kimball when
he spoke to Church members every-
where: "The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints affirms the con-
tinued support of Scouting and will
seek to provide leadership which will
help boys keep close to their families
and close to the Church as they
develop the qualities of citizenship
and character and fitness which
Scouting represents. . . . We’ve
remained strong and firm in our
support of this great movement for
boys and of the Oath and the Law
which are at its center." (In Confer-
ence Report, April 1977, pp.

Duty to God and country

What is the Scout Oath of which
President Kimball spoke?

"On my honor I will do my
best to do my duty to God and my
country and to obey the Scout Law;
to help other people at all times and
to keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake and morally
straight." (Boy Scout Handbook,
North Brunswick, New Jersey: Boy
Scouts of America, 1972, p. 34.)

A hero from war’s battlefield,
General of the Army Douglas
MacArthur, emphasized this same
commitment when, in the twilight of
his illustrious career, when the
daylight of youth had departed and
the shadows of age had descended,
he declared in a message to young
men: "In my dreams I hear again the
crash of guns, the rattle of musketry,
the strange, mournful mutter of the
battlefield. But in the evening of my
memory, I always come back to
West Point. Always there echoes and
re-echoes in my ears — Duty, Honor,
Country." (Address accepting Syl-
vanus Thayer Award, West Point, 12
May 1962.)

The Protestant minister Harry
Emerson Fosdick phrased differently
the same commitment: "Men will
work hard for money. They will
work harder for other men. But men
will work hardest of all when they
are dedicated to a cause. Until will-
ingness overflows obligation, men
fight as conscripts, rather than fol-
lowing the flag as patriots. Duty is
never worthily performed until it is
performed by one who would gladly
do more, if only he could." (Vital
Quotations, comp. Emerson Roy
West, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft,
1968, p. 38.)

And from the Confederate gen-
eral, Robert E. Lee: "Duty is the
sublimest word in the English lan-
guage. Do your duty in all things.
You cannot do more. You should
never wish to do less." (Inscription


Saturday, October 2


First Day

beneath his bust in the Hall of

Scout Law and laws of God

Let us consider the Scout Law
referred to by President Kimball.
When I think of the Scout Law, I
reflect upon the life of one who
knew the laws of God and who kept
them — even the Lord, Jesus Christ.
The twelve points of the Scout Law
have their counterpart in the message
of the Master.

1. A Scout is trustworthy. What did
the Lord say? "I have finished the
work which thou gavest me to do"
(John 17:4).

2. A Scout is loyal. "Get thee be-
hind me, Satan" (Luke 4:8).

3. A Scout is helpful. "Rise, take up
thy bed, and walk" (John 5:8).

4. A Scout is friendly. "Ye are my
friends" (John 15:14).

5. A Scout is courteous. "Therefore
all things whatsoever ye would that
men should do to you, do ye even so
to them" (Matthew 7:12).

6. A Scout is kind. "Suffer the little
children to come unto me. . . . And
he took them up in his arms, put his
hands upon them, and blessed
them." (Mark 10:14, 16.)

7. A Scout is obedient. "For I came
down from heaven, not to do mine
own will, but the will of him that
sent me" (John 6:38).

8. A Scout is cheerful. "Be of good
cheer; I have overcome the world"
(John 16:33).

9. A Scout is thrifty. "Sell all that
thou hast, and distribute unto the
poor, and thou shalt have treasure in
heaven: and come, follow me"
(Luke 18:22).

10. A Scout is brave. "O my Father,
if it be possible, let this cup pass
from me: nevertheless not as I will,
but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39).

11. A Scout is clean. "Be ye clean
that bear the vessels of the Lord"
(D&C 38:42).

12. A Scout is reverent. "Our Father

which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy
name" (Matthew 6:9).

Such inspired teachings, when
taught by devoted leaders to precious
boys of promise, influence not only
the lives of the boys; they also affect
eternity. "Cast thy bread upon the
waters: for thou shalt find it after
many days" (Ecclesiastes 11:1).
Such is Scouting.

"Run, boy, run!"

Several years ago a group of
men, leaders of Scouts, assembled in
the mountains near Sacramento for
Wood Badge training. This experi-
ence, where men camp out and live
as do the Scouts they teach, is a
most interesting one. They cook and
then eat — burned eggs! They hike the
rugged trails which age invariably
makes more steep. They sleep on
rocky ground. They gaze again at
heaven’s galaxies.

This group provided its own
reward. After days of being
deprived, they feasted on a delicious
meal prepared by a professional chef
who joined them at the end of their
endurance trail. Tired, hungry, a bit
bruised after their renewal experi-
ence, one asked the chef why he was
always smiling and why each year he
returned at his own expense to cook
the traditional meal for Scouting’s
leaders in that area. He placed aside
the skillet, wiped his hands on the
white apron which graced his rotund
figure, and told the men this experi-
ence. Dimitrious began:

"I was born and grew to
boyhood in a small village in Greece.
My life was a happy one until World
War II. Then came the invasion and
occupation of my country by the
Nazis. The freedom-loving men of
the village resented the invaders and
engaged in acts of sabotage to show
their resentment.

"One night, after the men had
destroyed a hydroelectric dam, the
villagers celebrated the achievement



and then retired to their homes."

Dimitrious continued: "Very
early in the morning, as I lay upon
my bed, I was awakened by the
noise of many trucks entering the
village. I heard the sound of soldier’s
boots, the rap at the door, and the
command for every boy and man to
assemble at once on the village
square. I had time only to slip into
my trousers, buckle my belt, and join
the others. There, under the glaring
lights of a dozen trucks, and before
the muzzles of a hundred guns, we
stood. The Nazis vented their wrath,
told of the destruction of the dam,
and announced a drastic penalty:
every fifth man or boy was to be
summarily shot. A sergeant made the
fateful count, and the first group was
designated and executed."

Dimitrious spoke more
deliberately to the Scouters as he
said: "Then came the row in which I
was standing. To my horror, I could
see that I would be the final person
designated for execution. The soldier
stood before me, the angry headlights
dimming my vision. He gazed in-
tently at the buckle of my belt. It
carried on it the Scout insignia. I had
earned the belt buckle as a Boy
Scout for knowing the Oath and the
Law of Scouting. The tall soldier
pointed at the belt buckle, then raised

his right hand in the Scout sign. I
shall never forget the words he spoke
to me: ‘Run, boy, run!’ I ran. I
lived. Today I serve Scouting, that
boys may still dream dreams and live
to fulfill them." (As told by Peter
W. Hummel.)

Dimitrious reached into his
pocket and produced that same belt
buckle. The emblem of Scouting still
shone brightly. Not a word was
spoken. Every man wept. A com-
mitment to Scouting was renewed.

It has been said, "The greatest
gift a man can give a boy is his
willingness to share a part of his life
with him." To leaders who build
bridges to the hearts of boys, to par-
ents of Scouts, and to Scouts every-
where, on this our 75th anniversary,
I salute you and pray our Heavenly
Father’s blessings upon you. In the
name of Jesus Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

Elder Thomas S. Monson has
just spoken to us.

We shall now hear from Elder
Franklin D. Richards of the Presi-
dency of the First Quorum of the
Seventy. He will be followed by
Elder Rex D. Pinegar of the First
Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Franklin D. Richards

My dear brothers and sisters, I
rejoice with you in the spirit of this
great conference and pray for the
guidance of the Holy Spirit as I
speak to you.

Worshiping with song

According to scripture, after the
Savior instituted the sacrament of the
Lord’s Supper with the Apostles,
they sang a hymn and "went out into
the mount of Olives" (Matthew
26:30). From this scripture it is
evident that the singing of hymns

was a part of the religious services at
that time.

Today, one of the important
parts of our worship services is the
congregational singing of hymns, in
addition to the beautiful choir music.
As each of our religious services is
opened by a hymn and a prayer, the
spirit of worship is established and a
beautiful feeling of fellowship is felt.
Today I would like to emphasize the
importance and value of participating
in congregational singing.

In our Latter-day Saint hymns,
we sing praises to the Lord, pray


Saturday, October 2


First Day

unto the Lord, recite great religious
truths — in effect sermons — and our
minds and spirits are elevated and
spiritually stimulated.

President Heber J. Grant, in dis-
cussing the matter, said: "No indi-
vidual singer, or organization of
singers, in the Church, should ever
render a selection unless the words
are in full harmony with the truths of
the gospel, and can be given from
the heart of the singer. In other
words, our songs should be in
very deed ‘Prayers unto the
Lord.’ " (Improvement Era, July
1912, pp. 786-87.)

President Spencer W. Kimball,
in referring to our singing of hymns,
said: "Some of the greatest sermons
that have ever been preached were
preached by the singing of a song.
There are many wonderful
songs. . . . Sing them through."
(New Zealand Area Conference Re-
port, 20-22 Feb. 1976, p. 27.)

Doctrine, prophecy, and

In July of 1830, just three
months after the organization of the
Church, a revelation from the Lord
was given to Emma Smith through
her husband, the Prophet Joseph
Smith, in which the Lord stated:
"For my soul delighteth in the song
of the heart; yea, the song of the
righteous is a prayer unto me, and it
shall be answered with a blessing
upon their heads" (D&C 25:12).

In this revelation, Emma Smith
was charged with the responsibility
of compiling a hymnbook for the use
of the Church. Brother W. W.
Phelps, one of the great hymn writers
of this dispensation, was appointed to
assist and arrange for the printing.
Ninety hymns were compiled, and in
1835 the first edition was published.

To illustrate the doctrine, proph-
ecy, and great inspiration contained
in our hymns, let me quote from a

"I Know That My Redeemer
Lives" was selected as one of the
ninety hymns in the first hymnbook,
and the words were written by
Samuel Medley. In this hymn, we

I know that my Redeemer lives;
What comfort this sweet sentence

He lives, he lives, who once was

He lives, my everliving head.

He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

O sweet the joy this sentence

"I know that my Redeemer

(Hymns, no. 95.)

J. Spencer Cornwall, com-
menting on this song, wrote: "To
hear this loved song rendered by an
assembly of devoted Latter-day
Saints is a spiritual baptism" (Stories
of Our Mormon Hymns, Salt Lake
City: Deseret Book Co., 1968,
p. 108). How true this is! This is one
of our most popular hymns in which
we express thanks for the atoning
sacrifice of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ.

Background of two great songs

"Praise to the Man," (Hymns,
no. 147), one of W. W. Phelps’ in-
spiring hymns, is a magnificent trib-
ute to the Prophet Joseph Smith. This
beautiful hymn not only incorporates
the elements of rejoicing and proph-
ecy, but also contains basic doctrine,
as is evidenced by the statement,
"Sacrifice brings forth the blessings
of heaven." The law of sacrifice is
an important part of the gospel of
Jesus Christ and contributes to the
building of faith, love, and many
other virtues.

Also in the same stanza with the
sacrifice doctrine, we sing, "Wake



up the world for the conflict of jus-
tice. Millions shall know ‘brother
Joseph’ again." What a prophetic ut-
terance! At the time Brother Phelps
wrote the hymn, there was fig-
uratively a handful of Church mem-
bers. Now, millions do know that
Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of
God and millions more will undoubt-
edly obtain this testimony. I thrill
every time I sing this tremendous

"We Thank Thee, O God, for a
Prophet" (Hymns, no. 196). The
words to this hymn were written by
William Fowler and published in
1863. This hymn basically acknowl-
edges our thanks and gratitude to our
Father in Heaven for restoring the
gospel in its fulness and establishing
His church with prophets to guide us
in these latter days. This beautiful
hymn is another of" the most popular
hymns as LDS congregations meet
and sing in every part of the world.

"Come, Come, Ye Saints"
(Hymns, no. 13) was composed by
William Clayton on 15 April 1846,
and in an edition of the Relief Society
Magazine in 1921 (Jan., p. 58), the
following story is told regarding the
origin of this hymn:

"President Brigham Young,
feeling great anxiety, because there
were murmurings in the camp of
Israel, called Elder William Clayton
aside, and said, ‘Brother Clayton, I
want you to write a hymn that the
people can sing at their camp-fires,
in the evening; something that will
give them succor and support, and
help them to forget the many troubles
and trials of the journey.’

"Elder Clayton withdrew from
the camp, and in two hours returned
with the hymn known as, ‘Come,
Come, Ye Saints.’ His personal testi-
mony is to the effect that it ‘was
written under the power and in-
spiration of the Lord.’ "

In this hymn we sing:

Why should we mourn or think
our lot is hard?

‘Tis not so; all is right.

Why should we think to earn a

great reward,
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage


Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to

All is well! all is well!

Many pathetic pioneer stories
are told with reference to how this
compassionate plea touched their
hearts and brought them great
courage and comfort.

In a southern states mission, a
young girl was walking home with a
friend and began humming "Come,
Come, Ye Saints." Her friend said,
"My, that’s a beautiful melody.
What is it?" The girl told her about
it, and made a date to take her to a
Church service. After attending a few
times, she arranged for the mission-
aries to teach her family. The family
have all been baptized and are happy
doing their part in building the

This great hymn truly
epitomizes the great faith and
courage of our pioneer ancestry and
today builds this faith and courage in
the present generation as we
approach the pioneering work of this

Other hymns with spiritual power

"O My Father" (Hymns,
no. 139), written by Eliza R. Snow
in Nauvoo in 1843, is another of the
greatest LDS hymns. This remark-
able hymn depicts our existence in
the premortal existence with the
Father and Mother of our spirits.
Then, in the last stanza we sing:

When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?

Then, at length, when I’ve


Saturday, October 2


First Day

All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.

This hymn truly lays out all the
great drama of eternal life as
revealed by the restored gospel of
Jesus Christ. As one sings this beau-
tiful hymn, he appreciates more and
more the literal Fatherhood of God
the Eternal Father.

"The Spirit of God Like a Fire"
(Hymns, no. 213) was another com-
position of W. W. Phelps and was
also published in the first LDS
hymnbook. The emotional impact
and spiritual power that this hymn
generates as it is sung was
demonstrated as it climaxed the dedi-
catory services of the Kirtland
Temple on 27 March 1836. It is my
understanding that this hymn has
been sung at the dedicatory services
of each of the LDS temples built
since the Kirtland Temple dedication.
It has, of course, been sung in many
dedicatory services of ward and stake

This hymn heralds the restora-
tion of the gospel, the bursting of the
veil over the earth, and the angels
coming to visit the earth. The chorus
is an exclamation of great joy:

We’ll sing and we’ll shout with

the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the


Let glory to them in the highest be

Henceforth and forever; Amen and

Music is inspirational

The great Tabernacle Choir and
the Mormon Youth Chorus have, for
many years, been an inspiration, not
only to LDS members, but to mil-
lions of others as they have sung
these and other hymns.

Ward and stake choirs also per-

form a most important part in our
worship meetings and are participated
in by thousands of members who re-
ceive great joy and spiritual growth
in so doing.

Again, I would like to empha-
size the value and importance of par-
ticipating in congregational singing. I
often wonder, when I see people in a
worship service not singing, could it
be that they are missing a beautiful,
inspirational experience?

As I have sung the inspired
messages contained in our hymns,
my testimony of the Fatherhood of
God and the divinity of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ, has been

Also, our LDS hymns bear wit-
ness that God the Father and His
Son, Jesus Christ, did appear to the
Prophet Joseph Smith, and that he
was and is a great prophet through
whom the gospel in its fulness was

Gratitude for President Kimball

My gratitude for our beloved
prophet Spencer W. Kimball is in-
tensified as I sing "We Thank Thee,
O God, for a Prophet." May the
Lord continue to bless and sustain

As we sing our hymns, let us be
conscious of the beauty and import
of each hymn, and as we do, our
singing will deeply move our souls,
bring us in closer harmony with the
Holy Spirit, and strengthen our testi-
monies. In the name of Jesus Christ,

President Hinckley

We have listened to Elder
Franklin D. Richards of the Presi-
dency of the First Quorum of the

Elder Rex D. Pinegar, a mem-
ber of the First Quorum of the Sev-
enty, will now address us.



Elder Rex D. Pinegar

To those searching for strength

I would like to address my com-
ments today to those who are search-
ing for the strength to meet the
challenges of life.

Not long ago I received a note
from a daughter who was leaving
home to attend college. After a sweet
message of thanks and appreciation,
came an expression of concern about
the responsibilities she would now
encounter being on her own. Up until
now she felt she had lived a sheltered
life and had relied on her family to
give her direction and strength. She
was beginning to realize life is hard!

My daughter’s note made me
think of the encounters I’ve had
during the past several months with
many people of the Church who
seem to be asking, "How do I deal
with the difficult challenges of life?"

Obstacles are part of living

Life is hard. It is a challenge.
At every age life presents trials to
bear and difficulties to overcome.
Growing up is hard. There are often
the heartaches of feeling wronged or
rejected. Pursuing an education can
press us to our financial, emotional,
and intellectual limits. Serving a mis-
sion is not easy. It requires total ded-
ication, spiritually and physically.
The problems accompanying mar-
riage, rearing a family, earning a liv-
ing, or coping with illness, old age,
and death are realities of life which
we are required to meet, but with
which we may be unprepared or
unwilling to deal.

We will be able to face and
solve these challenges more willingly
and courageously when we under-
stand that such obstacles are
encountered as a natural part of

C. S. Lewis wrote: "The great
thing, if one can, is to stop regarding

all the unpleasant things as inter-
ruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’
life. The truth is of course that what
one calls the interruptions are pre-
cisely one’s real life — the life God is
sending one day by day." (They
Stand Together: The Letters of C. S.
Lewis to Arthur Greeves, ed. Walter
Hooper, London: Collins, 1979,
p. 499.)

A story

An old Asian tale describes a
prince who was reared in a castle and
kept sheltered from the hardships of
life. He never saw anyone who was
ill. He never saw anyone who was
aged. He never saw anyone die.

When the prince grew to be a
young man, he desired to go out into
the kingdom he ruled. As he was
being carried along on a litter, he
saw for the first time an old man,
toothless, wrinkled, and bent with

The prince said to his bearers,
"Stop! Wait! What is this?"

The chief bearer replied, "This
is a man who is bent with age.
Though you are young and strong,
the time will come when you too
must be bent with age."

This disheartened the prince.
His confrontation with aging was
more than he could bear. He asked to
be taken back to the castle.

After a few days in familiar
surroundings he felt rejuvenated. He
decided to venture forth again. This
time as he passed by a group of men
he noticed that one of them was on
the ground, overcome with fever and
convulsing in pain.

"What is this?" the prince

"This is a man who is ill," said
the porter. "Though you are now
young and strong, you too will have
to suffer the problems of sickness."

The prince was again saddened


Saturday, October 2


First Day

and returned immediately to the pal-
ace. But again in a few days, he
wanted to visit his kingdom once

They hadn’t gone far from the
castle when the prince saw a coffin
being carried to its place of burial.

"What is this?" he asked.

When the meaning of death was
explained to the inquiring young
prince, he became depressed by the
inevitable vision of the future. As he
returned to the immediate comfort of
his palace, he vowed he would never
come out again.

The prince interpreted life to be
an evil trick because no matter what
a man did or what a man was, he
had to suffer sickness, aging, and

An opportunity for growth

Perhaps some of us feel about
life the way the young prince in this
fable did. We may feel that life is
cruel and unfair to us, that we would
like to retreat into our own shelter
and never have to venture forth into
the world. To do so, however, would
be to deny ourselves the opportuni-
ties for growth which life and its ex-
periences are designed to bring to us.

The Lord has made available to
us a power which will turn these
challenges into opportunities, a pow-
er which will enable us to understand
the Apostle Peter’s declaration that
such trials of our faith are indeed
more precious than gold. (See 1
Peter 1:7.)

When I was teaching an early-
morning seminary class a number of
years ago, we paused at the end of
the year to review some principles
we had learned from our study of the
Book of Mormon. One young lady
held up an illustration in her Book of
Mormon, painted by Arnold Friberg.
It depicted the two thousand sons of
Helaman known as the "stripling
soldiers." (See Alma 53:22.) Then in
all seriousness she asked, "Tell me,

Brother Pinegar, why aren’t our
young men built like this today?"

Now, I don’t know that the
young men in the days of the Book
of Mormon were built the way
Arnold Friberg depicts them, but her
question gave me the opportunity to
ask, "Where did the strength of
these young men come from?"

Those of you who have read the
Book of Mormon are familiar with
the story of the sons of Helaman.
(See Alma 53:56-58.) When their
fathers were converted to the gospel,
the fathers covenanted with the Lord
that they would never again take up
arms. But eventually their homes
were threatened by hostile armies to
the extent that the fathers would have
to choose to fight or die. It was then
that the two thousand young men,
not bound by the same covenant,
volunteered to defend their parents
and their homes.

A prophet-general described
these young men by saying, "They
were exceedingly valiant for courage,
and also for strength and activity; but
behold, this was not all — they were
men who were true at all times in
whatsoever thing they were
entrusted. . . .

"Yea, they had been taught by
their mothers, that if they did not
doubt, God would deliver them. . . .

"And they . . . fought as if
with the strength of God; yea, never
were men known to have fought with
such miraculous strength; and with
such mighty power." (Alma 53:20;
56:47, 56; italics added.)

Faith — the force of life

What gave the sons of Helaman
their strength? Their faith in God was
their "miraculous strength" and
"mighty power."

Leo Tolstoy, the famous
Russian writer, declared, "Faith is
the force of life." Tolstoy had spent
the major portion of his life seeking
to understand life’s purpose. He



found fame, position, fortune. He
married well and had a family. He
had experienced success by nearly
every measure the world uses.

He sought answers to the mean-
ing of life from his studies of sci-
ence, philosophy, and other fields of
knowledge. However, all the knowl-
edge he acquired, honors he
received, and personal accom-
plishments he achieved brought no
lasting satisfaction. Life still seemed
to him meaningless. At this point of
deepest despair, Tolstoy asked the
question, "How am I to live?" The
answer came, "By the Law of

Tolstoy was then compelled to
admit that "besides the reasoning
knowledge" there is "in every living
man another kind of knowledge, an
unreasoning one, but which gives a
possibility of living — faith. . . . Faith
is the force of life." (How I Came to
Believe, Christchurch, New Zealand:
The Free Age Press, 1901, p. 40.)

Tolstoy found that one can
possess about all one could desire of
worldly pleasure and acclaim; but
without faith in God, life will burden
the heart, the mind, and even the

Believe in God and live his law

It sometimes seems that the
problems others face are not quite as
hard as our own. Some of us may
feel that life would not be so hard if
we only had more wealth, or if we
had a higher social station or better
acceptance among our peers. Some
may feel that if only they were
married they could be truly happy.
Others are seeking to be free from
the responsibilities of marriage,
thinking that would ease their
challenges of life.

Not all challenges are related to
the presence of a physical or material
need. Yet the source of strength to
meet all challenges remains the same:
faith in God and remaining true at all

times. Believing in God and seeking
to live His law provides the power to
successfully overcome the testing
such challenges bring.

A friend of mine from South
Carolina has demonstrated that even
multiple problems can be overcome
when one is true to his faith in God.

Laurie Polk is a dwarf. From
the time of his birth, life has been a
challenge. When he became old
enough to go to school, he pedaled
himself on a tricycle in order to
move about and keep up with the
other children. When his short legs
kept him from playing games and
participating in athletics, he busied
himself in preparing for a vocation in
the business world. To obtain em-
ployment, he found it necessary to
persist and to prove himself. When a
job opportunity finally came to him,
he found joy in life through his love
for his work.

Then another challenge arose.
Laurie Polk, already extremely limit-
ed in his physical mobility, lost the
sight in one eye. Nearly complete
loss of the use of his crippled,
dwarfed legs followed shortly there-
after. Then, as if that were not
enough of a trial for any man, the
retina of Laurie’s other eye became
detached and complete blindness
encompassed him.

Approach challenges patiently and
with faith

Where did Laurie Polk gain his
strength to overcome such darkness
and despair? Through the power of
faith in God, Laurie Polk has learned
the meaning of life. In his thirty-four
inch frame, he possesses a strength
not unlike the sons of Helaman,
through which he not only overcomes
the personal challenges he
encounters — he actually finds joy in
living. He knows he can solve any
problem by putting his life in har-
mony with God and serving his
fellowman. He says, "With the help


Saturday, October 2


Firsl Day

of the Lord there are no problems,
only challenges." Laurie Polk is now
a high priest group leader in the
Charleston South Carolina Stake.

From my own experience with
life’s hardships I have learned that
faith in God develops a personal love
for Him which is reciprocated
through his blessings to us in times
of need. To my daughter and to all
others who are meeting new or
challenging times, I say: Do not fear
the challenges of life, but approach
them patiently, with faith in God. He
will reward your faith with power not
only to endure, but also to overcome
hardships, disappointments, trials,
and struggles of daily living.
Through diligently striving to live the
law of God and with faith in Him,
we will not be diverted from our
eternal course either by the ways or
the praise of the world.

May each of us develop faith in
God sufficient to fight the battles of
life victoriously "with the strength of
God; yea, . . . with [His] miraculous
strength; and . . . mighty power"
(Alma 56:56). We will then find the

Elder Rex C

Turn hearts and lives to God

As fearful as the daily news
headlines are and even though there
are violence and ominous uncertainty
continually on almost every hand,
there is no problem, national or per-
sonal, which could not be solved,
and solved easily, if men and nations
would turn their hearts and lives to
God. It would be so simple.

He is our father, the actual
father of our spirits. He is the father
of all men. We are His children. He
knows us; He loves us. He may not
like all we do, but of one thing we
can be sure — He loves His children.
Yes, He is a loving Heavenly Father.
And He is there.

happiness we so much desire in our
lives. In the name of Jesus Christ,

President Hinckley

Thank you, Brother Pinegar.
Elder Rex D. Pinegar, a member of
the First Quorum of the Seventy, has
just spoken to us.

The chorus and congregation
will now join in singing "I Know
That My Redeemer Lives," follow-
ing which we shall hear from Elder
Rex C. Reeve, Sr.

The chorus and congregation
sang "I Know That My Redeemer

President Hinckley

We shall now be pleased to hear
from Elder Rex C. Reeve, Sr., of the
First Quorum of the Seventy. He will
be followed by Elder L. Tom Perry,
a member of the Council of the
Twelve Apostles.

Reeve, Sr.

How comforting and reassuring
it is each day as we behold the
wonders of the universe and this
beautiful world on which we live.
We can see His hand in the match-
less order with which the heavenly
bodies move and the delicate beauty
of the flowers and trees and other
growing things, all of them bearing
silent witness of His existence.

How stimulating and edifying to
approach Him in prayer each morn-
ing and evening and feel His
nearness and His love as we ac-
knowledge His hand, and in our
need, seek His help. What a blessing
to be able to approach the source of
life and light and be strengthened and
renewed by just humbly seeking and



Even in tragedy He is there.
When traumatic challenges come and
a life hangs in the balance or is
hopelessly marred and the future is
dark and hope grows dim and time
seems long — He is there. His reas-
suring feeling comes through, seem-
ingly saying, "I am here, do not
worry; this will be for your good if
you endure it well. Trust in me."

Life — time of testing

As He communed with our
father Abraham He told him of the
purpose of sending us to earth. He

"We will go down, for there is
space there, and we will take of
these materials, and we will make an
earth whereon these may dwell;

"And we will prove them
herewith, to see if they will do all
things whatsoever the Lord their God
shall command them" (Abraham

Yes, this life is a time of test-
ing. It is not the reward time. That
will come later. We are here being
tested. The test is going on now!

He wants us to know how we
feel in our heart. He has said, "For
as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is
he" (Proverbs 23:7).

"They draw near to me with
their lips, but their hearts are far
from me" (Joseph Smith — History

When our hearts are not right,
the Lord withholds His spirit. "They
sought evil in their hearts, and I, the
Lord, withheld my Spirit" (D&C

He "granteth unto men" ac-
cording to the desire of their heart.
(See Alma 29:4.)

"O ye that embark in the ser-
vice of God, see that ye serve him
with all your heart . . . that ye may
stand blameless before God at the
last day" (D&C 4:2).

Of offerings, the Lord has said,
"Speak unto the children of Israel,

that they may bring me an offering:
of every man that giveth it willingly
with his heart ye shall take my offer-
ing" (Exodus 25:2).

There was no concern as to the
gift itself, but only that he give "it
willingly with his heart."

Worship of the heart

I suppose in the day of judg-
ment the question won’t be so much
what did you do or where did you
serve, but rather, did you serve me
with all your heart? Did you put me
first in your life?

Yes, real worship is of the

If men and nations did reach up
to God with all their hearts, war
would cease. If love of God were in
the heart, a man would have no
desire to destroy his brother.

There would be no dishonesty if
the love of God were in the heart. If
God came first in his life, a man
would love his neighbor as himself,
and instead of taking from him, he
would feel to give to him.

In the home, if the love of God
were in the heart of the father and
the mother, the husband and the
wife, and God came first in their
lives, there would be an end to self-
ishness; there would be no discord.
Instead, there would be a feeling of
how can I help you or what can I do
for you instead of demanding my
rights and my desires, which often
destroys homes.

Home is really only the feeling
between husband and wife — how
they feel about one another and God.
Home isn’t the house, for the house
can still be there when home is gone.

If men and nations did reach up
to God with all their hearts, the
Sabbath day would be a holy day.
The desires of men’s hearts would be
to love and serve God and honor and
worship Him.

Yes, worship is really of the


Saturday, October 2


First Day

Put the Lord first

"But if from thence thou shalt
seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt
find him, if thou seek him with all
thy heart and all thy soul"
(Deuteronomy 4:29).

This question was asked of
Jesus: "Master, which is the great
commandment in the law?

"Jesus said unto him, Thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all
thy heart, and with all thy soul, and
with all thy mind." (Matthew

We need to grow in respect and
reverence and love of God, the
Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.
This can come as we desire and
seek. It will not come automatically,
but we as individuals, free to choose,
must desire and seek and pray and
ask. It must grow from the deep
feelings in our hearts.

The Lord has said, "For where
your treasure is, there will your heart
be also" (Matthew 6:21).

To you wonderful young men of
the Church, turn your hearts to the
Lord, put Him first in your lives.
The finest thing each of you can do
for the Lord and for yourself and
your family is to prepare yourself to
serve as a missionary, to carry His
gospel to the people who haven’t yet
heard it.

Not only would your service as
a missionary bless many other lives,
but it would bless your life. You
would grow in love for the Lord and
His children, your self-image would
be enhanced, you would grow in
confidence and understanding. You
would grow closer to the Lord and
know better how to use His holy
power in your life.

When you returned from your
mission you would be better prepared
to serve as a priesthood leader and as
a righteous father. It is the finest
thing you can do to bless the lives of
others as well as your own. Turn
your heart to Him, put Him first in

your life, prepare to serve Him as a

You lovely young women of the
Church, put the Lord first in your
lives, turn your hearts to Him. He
has placed such trust and confidence
in you as His daughters. Prepare to
marry in the temple. Work and plan
to this end. It will not only bless
your own lives, but the lives of many
others will be blessed by your desire
and example. Put the Lord first in
your lives and hearts.

You fathers and mothers, put
Him first in your lives and in your
hearts. Teach your children of the
Lord; let them feel that He comes
first in your hearts. Teach them of
His love and the great blessings He
has for each of them as they desire
and live worthy and go to His house.
Help them feel how wonderful a
family is, so they will desire to
belong to a family forever.

Children come to know God and
feel love for Him and His word and
His prophets before they can read
words if these sacred feelings exist in
the hearts of the father and mother
and they find expression in look and
word and deed.

The finest thing you parents can
do for your children is to love one
another and put God first in your
hearts and lives. It will strengthen
your home and safeguard your

You who are single and who
face many challenges, put Him first
in your lives. He loves you. As you
reach up and pour out your hearts to
Him, you will receive strength and
faith to meet the tests you struggle to
face. He will not remove the
challenges, but He will strengthen
you so you can carry the burdens and
meet the tests. He is there. He loves

Look to God

And you, our fine friends who
do not yet enjoy the blessings of His



restored gospel, turn your hearts to
Him and listen to His voice; He will
whisper to you in the quiet of your
hearts, as you seek Him.

God has spoken to man again in
our day. The heavens are open. He
does commune with man again, as in
times of old, through His prophet.
He has restored His priesthood au-
thority, authorizing man to act for
Him. He has restored His church
which makes the saving ordinances
available again to man.

You need not take our word
alone for it, but He has prepared a
way that you can know for

His timeless message will bring
real purpose and new meaning to
your lives and a richness and peace
you can enjoy in no other way.
Thousands are seeking and finding
each month. We invite you to seek
and find too. We will be pleased to
assist you, if you wish.

Yes, the answer and solution to
all the challenges and needs we have,
national or personal, is to turn our
hearts to God, put Him first in our

lives, keep His commandments — and
all things will work for our good,
even those tests which seem so big
and require so much. They, too, will
bless our lives.

We should look to God; put
Him first in our lives and especially
in our hearts.

I testify that He does live! He is
our Father! He loves His children! I
also testify that Jesus is the Christ,
and that He will be as close to us as
we will let Him be by how we live
and feel in our hearts.

In the name of Jesus Christ,

President Hinckley

We have heard from Elder Rex
C. Reeve, Sr., of the First Quorum
of the Seventy.

Elder L. Tom Perry, a member
of the Council of the Twelve
Apostles, will be our next speaker.
He will be followed by Elder Bruce
R. McConkie, also of the Council of
the Twelve.

Elder L. Tom Perry

A new era

This conference marks the be-
ginning of a new era for the Church
in communications. The advent of
the satellite affords us the opportu-
nity of reaching more of the member-
ship of the Church with general con-
ference than we have ever had the
privilege of doing before.

The office of bishop

There is a subject I have wanted
to address at general conference for
some time. It seems appropriate to
speak on this topic at this conference
because of our larger membership
audience. Some years ago I was as-
signed to a committee responsible for

reviewing all changes in bishops. We
would bring forward our recommen-
dations for consideration at a meeting
in the temple attended by the First
Presidency and the Council of the
Twelve. I became alarmed at the
number of bishops recommended for
release because of health reasons,
family difficulties, or employment
problems. Even though the number
was not large as a percentage of the
total, I felt any number was too high
because these great men were not
having the privilege of fulfilling their
assignment with the joy and satisfac-
tion that should accompany this sa-
cred calling.

I have always had the highest
admiration for the office of a bishop.
I have been associated with bishops


Saturday, October 2


First Day

all my life. When I was six months
old, my father was called to be the
bishop of our ward. He served until
after my eighteenth birthday. Within
a few years of my marriage, I was
called into a bishopric. I soon dis-
covered the love which is generated
within a bishopric as they serve to-
gether. An employment opportunity
came to me after about three years of
service, and it seemed appropriate
that I accept it. It was with deep
sorrow that I left the association of
this bishopric. On our final night in
the community in which we were liv-
ing, they held a party. To avoid
saying good-bye, we slipped away
from the party before it was over and
went to stay at a friend’s home. The
bishop and the other counselor I had
been serving with came over when
the party concluded and sat up all
night while we rested, awaiting our
early departure, so that we would not
leave without the proper farewell.
With a big lump in my throat, I said
good-bye to these two brethren as I
went on to other assignments.

Some years later I was called to
serve in another bishopric. Again this
love developed as we had opportuni-
ty to meet so often to direct the
affairs of the ward. A little over a
year later, a change was to be made
in our stake presidency. The bishop
and I were called in to be inter-
viewed by the General Authority who
was making the change. The first
question the General Authority asked
was, "How do you get along with
your bishop? Is he a good leader?"
Then I started to express in glowing
terms my love and appreciation for
this man and all he had done for the
ward. Suddenly I realized the pur-
pose of the interview. They could
call him into the stake presidency,
and we would lose our association. I
immediately stopped my compliments
on his great service, and after a
pause, I said with a little smile on
my face, "The only difficulty he has
is that when he is under pressure, he

goes home and beats his wife." The
General Authority leaned back in his
chair and said, "Isn’t that peculiar?
He was in here just a minute ago and
said you have leadership capabilities
but you too have a fault. You like to
go out behind the barn on occasion
and smoke a cigar." The strategy
failed: I was called into the new
stake presidency.

"For a bishop must be blameless"

Even though I have never had
the opportunity of serving as bishop,
my two brothers have enjoyed this
experience. One is presently serving
in the Pacific Northwest. I also have
a nephew whom I correspond with
frequently, serving as a bishop in the
northern plains area of the United
States. So my opportunities to ob-
serve, watch, and appreciate the role
of those who are called to serve as
bishops in the Church have filled my
heart and soul with admiration for
this noble calling.

Paul, in his epistle to Titus, set
forth some difficult requirements for
one who is called to the office of a

"For a bishop must be
blameless, as the steward of God; not
self-willed, not soon angry, not given
to wine, no striker, not given to
filthy lucre;

"But a lover of hospitality, a
lover of good men, sober, just, holy,

"Holding fast the faithful word
as he hath been taught, that he may
be able by sound doctrine both to
exhort and to convince the gain-
say ers" (Titus 1:7-9).

The Lord added to this burden
by revelation contained in the Doc-
trine and Covenants, appointing him
also as a judge.

"And whoso standeth in this
mission is appointed to be a judge in
Israel, like as it was in ancient days,
to divide the lands of the heritage of
God unto his children;



‘ ‘And to judge his people by the
testimony of the just, and by the as-
sistance of his counselors, according
to the laws of the kingdom which are
given by the prophets of God"
(D&C 58:17-18).

Prophets have counseled us on
the importance of a bishop’s role.
President George Albert Smith told

"There is no position in the
Church that will bring a greater
blessing to any man than the office
of a bishop, if he will honor that
office and be a real father to the
flock over whom he is called to pre-
side. Do not forget that. . . . But I
want to say to you that there is no
bishop, nor has there been a bishop
in the Church, who has given the
time that the Lord expected him to
give in looking after the flock and
teaching his people and preparing
them to do the work, that has not
received one hundred percent of the
blessings that he labored for, and
they will extend to him throughout
the ages of eternity." (In Conference
Report, Oct. 1948, pp. 186-87.)

Support and sustain bishops

Now, it is not my purpose here
today to spend time on the role and
commission of the bishops and
making them feel more burdened. In-
stead, let me talk to you about what
we can do to support and sustain
them in their great responsibility.

First, the wife of the bishop.
You are carefully evaluated before
your husband is approached to be
called as a bishop, to determine the
type of support you will give to him.
We assure you that his role as bishop
is secondary to his eternal callings as
husband and father. In order for him
to be successful, you must sustain
him completely. We know this puts
added burdens on you. You run a
telephone answering service and a
mailroom, act as a receptionist, and
have to fill in at home when he is

called out on emergencies. Often,
just by being there, you are exposed
to confidential information, which
you must keep within yourself and
never discuss with anyone. Nothing
would destroy the credibility of a
bishop more than having his compan-
ion reveal confidential information
she happened to overhear or see per-
taining to ward business.

You have the obligation, along
with your husband, of being a role
model for the young people and the
young married couples of the ward.
Yours should be an ideal marriage —
one they are striving to emulate by
following your example. Your contri-
bution is deeply appreciated and
understood. Nothing can relieve the
anxiety and load of being a bishop
quite like the aid of a supportive

Second, the children of a
bishop. I know it is sometimes like
living in a fishbowl with everyone
watching you to see if you will make
a wrong move or say the wrong
thing. I know resentment sometimes
builds up in your minds when you
have a vacation or a planned activity
interrupted by a ward emergency.

I learned a great lesson the night
before my father was released as a
bishop. It was the first time I had
really ever seen my father shed tears.
He called the family together to an-
nounce that his term of service as a
bishop was over. Then, with tears
streaming down his face, he told us
how he would miss the calling, even
though it had been a burden at times
and had occupied a great deal of
time. He taught us a real-life lesson
of the true joy of Church service. It
was not until then that I fully
appreciated the blessings we had had
in our home as a family, by having
the mantle of a bishop rest on the
shoulders of our father.

Children, next only to your
mother, your father needs your
sustaining support as he fulfills his
tremendous assignment.


Saturday, October 2


First Day

Third, quorums of the priest-
hood. Quorums are placed in a most
unique position. The Lord has
revealed a structure in His organiza-
tion which uses his priesthood hold-
ers to watch over and strengthen the
Church. Quorum leaders are to visit
quorum members in their homes to
give commendation where deserved,
to bless and encourage where
needed, to teach the gospel, and to
inspire all to keep the command-
ments and live righteous lives. They
are to see that the families of the
ward, through the home teaching
program, are visited at least monthly.

Home teachers, then, are called
to represent the quorum president
and, through the quorum president,
the bishop. Thus, they are priesthood
representatives called to assist the
quorum leaders in watching over and
strengthening the quorum members,
including fathers and their families.

Priesthood home teachers are to
"visit the house of each member,
and exhort them to pray vocally and
in secret and attend to all family
duties. . . .

"To watch over the church
always. . . .

"And see that there is no in-
iquity in the church, neither hardness
with each other, neither lying, back-
biting, nor evil speaking;

"And see that the church meet
together often, and also see that all
the members do their duty." (D&C
20:47, 53-55.)

The father is recognized and
supported as the presiding leader of
his family, responsible for teaching
them the basic doctrines of the king-
dom, seeing that they assist in build-
ing the kingdom, and for leading his
family into eternal life.

When the home teaching pro-
gram is functioning as outlined,
problems in families are discovered
and handled before they become so
large they involve the judgment and
time of a bishop. This relieves the
bishop of a great burden, giving him

more time to spend on matters he
cannot delegate to anyone else. Yes,
the quorums must assume their full
responsibility in taking care of the
membership assigned to them.

Fourth, the general membership
of the Church. I think you should
understand that most bishops are not
psychiatrists. Most are not social
workers. Most are not trained
financial advisers. But each bishop
has been called under the inspiration
of the Lord to serve you as members
of your ward.

We need to be considerate of
the time demands we make on them,
so they can complete the assignments
they have been given and have
sufficient time to plan, to organize,
to meditate, to ponder, and to be
receptive to the inspiration and
promptings of the Lord in their great
stewardship. If we continually bring
problems to their office that we could
solve ourselves, it only takes their
precious time which is needed in as-
signments they cannot delegate.
Could I offer just a few rules to the
membership of the Church in their
dealings with their bishop?

Five rules for Church members

First, never go to your bishop
before you have been on your knees
asking for inspiration and for
solutions. Don’t just come to the
bishop’s office to load him with
problems. I know how people go to
the office only wanting to talk about
problems, not wanting to listen for

Second, never involve your
bishop if your home teacher or your
quorum can care for your needs.
However, I know that problems
sometimes develop in a person’s life
which require the personal attention
and special consideration only a
bishop can provide. In matters such
as this, go to him, and then he will
help you.

Third, never speak ill or gossip



about your bishop or his family. Re-
spect this great and important calling.

Fourth, live your life in har-
mony with the gospel so that when
your bishop calls you to serve, you
will be ready and worthy to accept
that call. Then serve with all the
enthusiasm, vigor, vitality, dedica-
tion, and commitment you can.
Faithfully respond to the call to
which you have been assigned.

Fifth, remember your bishop in
your family prayers. Pray for his
welfare and for his strength, that he
may be blessed of the Lord in this
tremendous responsibility which has
come to him.

Improve relationship with bishop

I know of the great power there
is in the office of a bishop. I know
the peace, security, happiness, and
contentment he can bring to a ward if
we will only allow him to administer
in the role to which he has been
called and not keep diverting him to
lesser duties. Let him have the power
to organize his own time and not rob
him of those precious minutes he
needs. Remember, he has the same
obligations as other heads of house-
holds: to, first, be a good husband;
second, be a good father; and third,

discharge his responsibility to pro-
vide for his family. We should not
interrupt his family time or prevent
him from growing, accomplishing,
and achieving in his professional pur-
suits. After these obligations to his
family are met, then he has the op-
portunity to serve you in his great

I promise you, my brothers and
sisters, if we will sustain and support
our bishops, learn to be concerned
for their welfare, and pray for their
success in all they have to do, it will
bless our lives as we are placed
under their leadership and have op-
portunity to follow their inspired di-
rection, as they lead the wards of the

May God bless us that this may
be the beginning of a new and im-
proved relationship with our bishops,
is my humble prayer, in the name of
Jesus Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

Thank you, Brother Perry, for
those instructive remarks.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, also
a member of the Council of the
Twelve Apostles, will be our con-
cluding speaker.

Elder Bruce

The Seven Christs

May I speak of the seven
Christs, or, rather, of the one Christ
whose works and words are shown
forth in seven ways?

We live in a day of contention
and confusion, in which Christian
people cry, "Lo, here is Christ; or
lo, there" (see Matthew 24:23),
meaning, "Lo, here is the way of
salvation; or lo, there."

We hear voices of doom and
voices of glory. The doctrines and
dogmas of the contending sects are at

t. McConkie

war one with another. We are
exhorted to believe in tenets of dis-
agreement and to walk in crooked

The sounds are discordant; the
babble is incessant; and the messages
are at variance. Surely it is clear to
even the most blinded fanatic that
opposing religious views cannot all
be true.

In the midst of this war of
words and tumult of opinions we
raise a calm and reasoned voice, a
voice that goes forth with the sound
of a trumpet, a voice that is carried


Saturday, October 2


First Day

by the power of the Spirit into the
hearts of contrite souls.

It is a voice which speaks the
words of eternal life here and now
and prepares men to gain immortal
glory in the everlasting realms that
are to be.

We are the servants of the Lord,
and he has sent us to invite all men
to come unto Christ and be perfected
in him. We are sent to testify of the
true and only Christ, of the true and
only gospel, of the true and only

We invite all men to hear and
heed our witness. The Christ of
whom we preach, and whose wit-
nesses we are, is known in these sev-
en ways:

1. Christ — the Creator

There is a God in heaven — a
holy, exalted, perfected, and pure
being who is the Father of us all. He
is a Holy Man; he has a body of
flesh and bones; and he is the Father
of spirits.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the
Firstborn. He came forth as the heir
and offspring of the Father. Along
with all his spirit brethren he was
endowed with agency and subject to

By obedience, by righteousness,
through faith, over long ages and
eons, this Firstborn of the Father, our
Elder Brother, advanced and prog-
ressed until he became like unto God
in power, in might, in dominion, and
in intelligence. He became and was
"the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth,
who was, and is from all eternity to
all eternity" (Mosiah 3:5).

Then it was that he, under the
Father, became the Creator of worlds
without number.

Then it was that the Father or-
dained and established the plan of
salvation — called the gospel of
God — whereby all his spirit children,
Christ included, would be able to
gain mortal bodies, to live in a pro-

bationary estate, to die, to be raised
in immortal glory, and, if true and
faithful in all things, to gain the
same glorious exaltation enjoyed by
the Father himself.

And then it was that the one
who was beloved and chosen of the
Father was foreordained to be the
Savior and Redeemer, to be the one
whose atoning sacrifice would put
into full operation all of the terms
and conditions of the Father’s great
and eternal plan.

2. Christ — the God of our fathers

There is one God and Father of
us all, one eternal plan of salvation,
one way back to heaven. And Jesus
Christ is the name given by the
Father whereby men may be saved.
His is the only name given under
heaven — either now, or in ages past,
or in eternities yet unborn — whereby
salvation comes. (See D&C 18:23;
Moses 6:52.)

There is one everlasting gospel,
one Mediator between God and men,
one alone who came to reconcile fall-
en men to their Maker. All men in
all ages are saved by the same pow-
er, the same laws, the same Savior.
And that Savior is Christ.

It is written: "Jesus Christ the
same yesterday, and to day, and for
ever" (Hebrews 13:8). He is the
Lord Jehovah; he is the Great I Am;
and beside him there is no Savior.

He is the God of Adam and of
Enoch and of Noah and of all the
Saints who were before the flood.

He is the God of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob and of all Israel. He
is the Holy One of Israel, the God of
all the prophets of all the ages. It
was by faith in his name that they
performed all their mighty works.

He was the God of the Jaredites
and the Israelites and the Nephites.
Moses, "esteeming the reproach of
Christ greater riches than the trea-
sures in Egypt" (Hebrews 11:26),
chose to follow him.



He is the one who parted the
Red Sea at Moses’ word, who
stopped the sun and the moon when
Joshua spoke, who raised from death
the widow’s son because Elijah
desired it.

All of the prophets, all of the
patriarchs, all of the ancient Saints
worshipped the Father in his holy
name and in no other way.

All true believers, all of the
faithful from Adam to this hour, all
those who through faith have
wrought righteousness and gained
salvation — all, without exception,
have taken upon themselves his name
and have followed him with full pur-
pose of heart.

He is our God and he is the God
of our fathers!

3. Christ — the promised Messiah

For four thousand long years —
from the day Adam was cast out of
Eden to the day John baptized at
Bethabara — all of the prophets and
all of the Saints looked forward to
the coming of the Messiah.

They talked and taught of
Christ; they preached and prophesied
of Christ; they centered their lives
and all of their hopes in the promise
of his coming.

They knew that as God’s Son he
would be born of a virgin, that he
would work out the infinite and eter-
nal atonement, that immortality and
eternal life would come by him.

All of their doctrine, all of their
ordinances, all of their worship
linked his name with that of the
Father himself.

The whole law of Moses, with
all its types and shadows, testified of
the one who would come to save his
people. For instance, on the Day of
Atonement the high priest placed the
name of Jehovah upon a goat and
sacrificed it for the sins of the people
in similitude of the sacrifice Jehovah
himself would make when he was
lifted upon the cross and slain for the
sins of the world.

4. Christ — the mortal Messiah

Our Blessed Lord was born of
Mary in Bethlehem of Judea. In so
doing, he "made himself of no repu-
tation, and took upon him the form
of a servant, and was made in the
likeness of men" (Philippians 2:7).

As a man he lived a perfect life,
conforming to the will of the Father
in all things.

He taught the gospel, organized
the Church, and called others to the

He healed the sick and raised
the dead and performed many mighty

He was rejected of men, con-
demned by the evil powers that then
were, and crucified upon a cruel

5. Christ — the crucified yet risen

We speak now of the Christ
who came into the world to die, to
die upon the cross for the sins of
men. And we speak also of the
Christ who came to rise again from
the dead, of the Christ who, in
glorious immortality, invites us to
follow him in life and in death and in
life again.

In Gethsemane he bowed be-
neath a load none other could bear.
There he sweat great gouts of blood
from every pore as he bore the sins
of us all on conditions of repentance.
(See Luke 22:44.)

Again, on Calvary, during the
last three hours of his mortal passion,
the sufferings of Gethsemane
returned, and he drank to the full the
cup which his Heavenly Father had
given him.

In the garden and on the cross
he paid the ransom and finished his
atoning work. Early on the morning
of the third day he burst the bands of
death and came forth from the tomb
to inherit all power on earth and in

There is no language to extol


Saturday, October 2


First Day

the wonders of his works and all that
he has done for us. As our Advocate
and Intercessor he now dwells eter-
nally in the heavens.

Can we not hear his voice say to


"Reverently and meekly now
Let thy head most humbly bow.
Think of me, thou ransomed one;
Think what I for thee have done
With my blood that dripped like

Sweet in agony of pain.
With my body on the tree
I have ransomed even thee."

(Hymns, no. 280.)

6. Christ — today’s Messiah

We bear witness not alone of
the Christ who once was, but of the
Messiah who now is and who yet
shall be.

We speak not alone of a dead
Christ who was known to them of
old, but of a living Savior who leads
his people today as he did anciently.

We rejoice not alone in a people
who had the gospel in ancient days
and who worked miracles and gained
salvation, but in a gospel that now is
and in a people who glory in the
same gifts of the Spirit that were
poured out upon their fathers.

Thanks be to God, the day of
restoration has commenced. These
are the times of restitution of which
all the ancient prophets spoke. (See
Acts 3:21.)

Thanks be to God that the
heavens have been rent, that the
Father and the Son appeared to
Joseph Smith, that revelation and vi-
sions and gifts and miracles abound
among the true Saints.

Thanks be to God that in our
day many have seen the face of his
Son and that he has poured out the
gift of his Spirit upon an even greater

This is the day when the knowl-
edge of the true Christ and of his

everlasting gospel is being preached
among men for the last time.

This is the day in which the
Great God is sending forth his word
to prepare a people for the second
coming of the Son of Man.

This is the day in which the
Church of Jesus Christ has been or-
ganized anew and given the commis-
sion to administer that holy gospel by
which salvation comes.

7. Christ — the millennial Messiah

And now in words of soberness
we announce that the Lord Jesus, the
Everlasting Christ, the Savior who
was and is and is to be, shall soon
come again.

Just as surely as the son of
Mary came to dwell among his
fellowmen, so shall the Son of God
come, in all the glory of his Father’s
kingdom, to rule among the sons of

In that dread day the world that
now is shall end; wickedness will
cease; every corruptible thing will be
consumed. And the glory of the Lord
will shine daily upon all men from
the rising of the sun until it sinks in
the western sky.

Those among us who abide the
day of his coming shall find joy and
peace everlasting. The faithful Saints
shall live and reign with him on earth
for a thousand years and shall then
go on to their celestial rest.

The second coming of the Son
of Man will be a day of vengeance
and burning and sorrow for the
wicked and ungodly.

For those who love the Lord and
live his law it will be a day of peace
and triumph and glory and honor —
the day when the Lord comes to
make up his jewels. (See Malachi

And so now, knowing whereof
we speak, having a sure knowledge
born of the Spirit, we raise our
voices in praise and testimony of the
Lord Jesus Christ, whose witnesses
we are.



Our faith is centered in the true
and living Christ, who is our Friend,
our Lord, our God, and our King and
whom we serve in worshipful

We know he is God’s almighty
Son, that he has brought life and im-
mortality to light through the gospel,
and that all who believe in him, as
he is now revealed by living
prophets, shall be saved with him in
the kingdom of his Father.

We invite all men everywhere,
all men of every nation and kindred
and tongue and people, to come unto
Christ and be perfected in him.

We invite all men to come and
worship the Father in the name of the
Son by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And as the Lord’s agents, acting
for and on his behalf, we promise all
who pursue this course — working the
works of righteousness — that they
shall have peace in this life and eter-
nal life in the world to come.

In the name of the Lord Jesus
Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the
Council of the Twelve Apostles has
been our concluding speaker.

We remind the brethren of the

general priesthood meeting which
will convene here in the Tabernacle
this evening at 7:00 P.M. and which
will be carried by various electronic
means to other houses of worship
where our brethren may participate.

The nationwide CBS Radio Tab-
ernacle Choir broadcast tomorrow
morning will be from 9:30 to 10:00
A.M. Those desiring to attend this
broadcast must be in their seats no
later than 9:15 A.M.

The singing for this afternoon’s
session has been furnished by the
Mormon Youth Chorus. We are
grateful for the presence of you
young people and for the beautiful
spirit your music has added to this

The chorus will now sing in
closing "The Lord’s Prayer." Fol-
lowing the singing, the benediction
will be offered by Elder Yoshihiko
Kikuchi, a member of the First Quo-
rum of the Seventy, and this meeting
will be adjourned.

The chorus sang "The Lord’s

Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi offered
the benediction.



The general priesthood meeting
convened in the Tabernacle at 7:00
P.M. on Saturday, October 2, 1982.

President Gordon B. Hinckley,
Counselor in the First Presidency,

The music for this session was
provided by a combined men’s choir
from the Tabernacle Choir and the
Mormon Youth Chorus directed by
Jerold Ottley and Robert C. Bowden
with Roy M. Darley at the organ.

President Hinckley opened this
session with the following remarks:

President Gordon B. Hinckley

Brethren, President Spencer W.
Kimball is watching the proceedings
of this session on television in his
apartment and has asked that we go
forward with the meeting.

President Tanner has asked to be
excused. He feels weary. When
President Romney learned that Presi-
dent Kimball and President Tanner


Saturday, October 2


First Day

would not be here, he leaned over to
me and said, "We are getting down
to the kids."

For the information of the breth-
ren in the outlying areas who are
participating in this meeting by
means of satellite or closed-circuit
transmission or direct wire, we may
say that President Kimball is im-
proved in health and attended the
opening session of the conference
this morning.

He asked that we extend his
love and best wishes to all of the
brethren participating in this session;
and we do this also in behalf of
President Tanner. We regret that
Elder LeGrand Richards is not with
us. His health is such that his doctors
feel that he should not be present. As
all of you know, he is ninety-six
years of age now and has been a
great and remarkable exponent of the
word of the Lord all of his life. Our
prayers reach out to him.

These services are being relayed
by closed-circuit transmission and
will reach members of the priesthood
gathered in the Assembly Hall, the
Salt Palace, the Marriott Center on
the BYU campus, and in approx-
imately 1,770 locations in many
countries around the world.

Also, and most significantly,
they are being carried to approx-
imately four hundred and fifty stake
centers by satellite transmission.

We extend our greetings and
blessings to all the priesthood breth-
ren wherever they may be.

We note that Elders Theodore
M. Burton and John H. Groberg are
seated on the stand in the Assembly
Hall, Elder Adney Y. Komatsu and
F. Burton Howard preside at the Salt
Palace, and Elders Loren C. Dunn
and Jacob de Jager are at the BYU

Marriott Center.

The singing during this session
will be furnished by a combined
men’s choir of the Tabernacle Choir
and the Mormon Youth Chorus (that
is a bit of a contradiction to call the
youth a men’s choir) under the direc-
tion of Jerold Ottley and Robert
Bowden with Roy Darley at the

We shall begin this service by
the men’s choir singing "For the
Strength of the Hills." Following the
singing, Elder G. Homer Durham, a
member of the Presidency of the
First Quorum of the Seventy, will
offer the invocation.

The choir sang "For the
Strength of the Hills."

Elder G. Homer Durham offered
the invocation.

President Hinckley

Thank you, Brother Durham, for
that beautiful and moving prayer.

The choir will now favor us
with "Thou Wilt Keep Him in Per-
fect Peace."

The choir sang "Thou Wilt
Keep Him in Perfect Peace."

President Hinckley

Bishop C. Fredrick Pingel of the
Beavercreek Ward, Dayton Ohio East
Stake, will be our first speaker this
evening. He has been asked to speak
about successful activation of Aaron-
ic Priesthood members in his ward.
Bishop Pingel will be followed by
Michael Nicholas, a priest in the
Beavercreek Ward.

Bishop Frederick Pingel

Brethren, I am indeed grateful enly Father for this opportunity and
for the opportunity to be with you experience. My prayer is that my
this evening. I want to thank Heav- words and thoughts will be useful



and helpful in building up and
strengthening young men.

Activating young men of the
Aaronic Priesthood

My assignment is to discuss
what we are doing in our ward to
activate young men of the Aaronic

First, every ward needs a Sister

Let me tell you about Sister
McManaway, our Young Women
president. Bishops, I hope that you
have someone like her. When she
read that a bishop’s most important
responsibility was the youth of his
ward — well, she believed that. When
she pointed it out to me, I told her I
believed it, too. She said, "You
don’t act like it."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you never do anything
with the youth. You never interview
them. You never come to opening
exercises, and all during our meeting
you interview adults."

One day Sister McManaway
knocked on my door and said,
"Look here, bishop, I have a book
for you to read. You don’t have to
read it all, just the parts I’ve under-
lined." It was a book by Elder
Vaughn Featherstone entitled A Gen-
eration of Excellence .

First I read the underlined parts,
and then I read the entire book. That
book had a great impact on me, and
I’m grateful that Elder Featherstone
took the time to write it. But equally
important, I’m grateful to Sister
McManaway for caring enough about
the youth to say, "Bishop, you need
to read this book."

I used to home teach a sweet,
older sister. She had the ability to
flat tell you how she felt about
things. One evening I told her how
much she meant to me and that I
loved her. She leveled me when she
replied, "Talk’s cheap." Maybe in
dealing with my youth I’d also been
guilty of some cheap talk.

Second, use your priesthood ex-
ecutive committee and Relief Society .

As our bishopric has turned
more of our attention to the youth,
the responsibilities and the sphere of
influence of our priesthood executive
committee and Relief Society have
increased, particularly that of our
elders quorum president. Their
support has been characterized by 90
percent visiting teaching for the last
two years and home teaching that has
steadily improved until it also is at
the 90 percent level. Without such
support, we would not be able to put
the youth at the top of our priorities.

Use quality leaders

Third, fill your youth program
with quality people.

It has been said that, as you
organize a new ward, you first iden-
tify your best man and make him
your Scoutmaster. Our Scoutmaster
is a former bishop. Our Young Men
president is a former high councilor.
All of our leaders in the Young Men
organization served full-time mis-
sions; all hold temple recommends.
Brethren, don’t sacrifice here. I don’t
know where to tell you to sacrifice,
but don’t do it here. Put truly fine
people in your youth programs.

Fourth, don’t overlook your

Please don’t overlook your
Primary. Select your Cub Scout and
Blazer leaders with the same care
and concern that you do for the
Young Men organization.

When our young men turn
twelve, they have already been in-
troduced to the priesthood. A firm
foundation in Scouting has been es-
tablished through the Cub program,
and eleven-year-old Scouts have
already made significant progress on
their way to the Eagle Award.

Fifth, encourage a tradition of

There is nothing like a little suc-
cess to breed even more success. The


Saturday, October 2


First Day

tradition of Eagle Scouts in our ward
goes back to when our ward was first
organized. It is something I have
gratefully inherited.

There is something satisfying to
the soul to see teachers and priests
still working on their Eagle badges.
One of my first assistants in the quo-
rum earned his Eagle just before his
eighteenth birthday, but he earned it.
It was great. I love to put my arm
around them at their Eagle courts of
honor, embarrass them a little, tell
them how great they are. It’s the
only time they really listen to me.

Sixth, strengthen your tradition
of missionaries .

The lists of Eagles and mission-
aries almost read the same. But there
are additional names, such as Elder
Doug Blincoe and Sister Karen
Baughman. Each has been a member
of the Church less than eighteen
months, and both are now serving
full-time missions. The spirit of mis-
sionary service can do much to
strengthen your youth programs.

Hold quality interviews

Seventh, review stewardships.

It is important that the youth
leadership have an opportunity to re-
port on their stewardships. Personal
priesthood interviews usually are ac-
complished by the bishopric member
responsible for that class or quorum,
but each quarter I like to sit down
with the quorum and class presidents
and review their stewardships with
them. This provides me an opportu-
nity to learn how they are doing and
at the same time to strengthen, en-
courage, and train. I also extend the
calls to the presidents and act as
voice as they are set apart.

Eighth, conduct regular

One of the best means that a
bishop has to get to know his youth
is the interview. Each youth is
entitled to two quality interviews
each year, one by the bishop and the

other by the bishopric member re-
sponsible for that age-group. Each
interview is important; it can cover
their goals and their progress.
Needed counsel can be given.

Don’t hesitate to invite those
who are inactive. I’ve been pleas-
antly surprised a number of times. In
fact, several annual interviews have
been an important first step in the
activation process.

Ninth, encourage participation
in seminary.

I am convinced that seminary is
the single most effective tool that we
have for bringing youth to the under-
standing that Jesus is the Christ.

Key to activation

As Brother Mike comes up in a
minute to speak — and Mike, I want
you to know how proud I am of you
and how much I enjoy working with
you — he will give you an example of
the key to activation. That key is that
one touches the life and heart of an-
other who is having difficulty by
exercising a spirit of love, concern,
and patience — sometimes a lot of

There are many elements that
can go along with this great key to
activation. We’ve discussed several
this evening. But none of these
things in themselves will replace the
key. We’ve had great activities, like
our bike trip from Kirtland to
Dayton. As much as safety would
allow, they followed the course the
Saints took when some of them in
1834 moved from Kirtland to
Jackson County. Each night the boys
heard stories from diaries of the
Saints. After peddling for some fifty
miles each day, the boys had a better
appreciation of the early Saints.

Because of this experience,
much growth took place. The
importance of teamwork was better
recognized and testimonies were
strengthened, but the most significant
thing about this trip was the total
involvement of several young men



who before had stood on the per-
iphery of quorum activity.

Taking priesthood to the boy

We have done some unusual
things, too. We had two priests who
just couldn’t seem to overcome the
allure of bed on Sunday morning.
They had great difficulty in coming
to priesthood meeting. We decided
that, if they wouldn’t come to priest-
hood meeting, then we would take
priesthood meeting to them. After
deciding which of the two young
men to visit first, we left the meet-
inghouse and went to the first home.

I want you to know, brethren,
that I was really concerned about
how the father of that home would
feel about all of us being at his house
at 8:00 A.M. In fact, as we were
waiting at the door, I was thinking
that it sure would have been wise if I
had called him the night before and
told him what we were going to do.

The father answered the door,
and we explained our purpose. Breth-
ren, he couldn’t have been more
gracious. As we climbed the stairs,
we found our brother sleeping as
only a young man can sleep. I will
never forget how totally surprised he
was when he awoke to find us all
around his bed. Well, we had a great
meeting, complete with business, a
lesson, and some concluding

thoughts on activation.

We decided we had hit upon a
rather effective activation technique.
We also decided to use it next week
on the other young man. During the
week the word about what we were
going to do got out. Next Sunday,
for the first time since I had been the
bishop, 100 percent of our quorum
members were at priesthood meeting.
I can report to you that one of these
young men is presently serving a
full-time mission and the other will
soon be serving.

Remember the sister that I used
to home teach? The one who told me
that talk is cheap? Brethren, don’t be
guilty of cheap talk concerning your
young men. Get involved, activate
them, establish one-to-one relation-
ships with them. It’s a great key to
activation. In the name of Jesus
Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

You have just heard from the
president of the priests quorum of the
Beavercreek Ward. Now a member
of that quorum, Brother Michael
Nicholas, a priest in the Beavercreek
Ward, will speak on the subject
"How We Are Reactivating Inactive
Aaronic Priesthood Members in Our
Ward." He will be followed by
Elder Robert L. Backman, a member
of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

Brother Michael Nicholas

When the bishop came to my
house, speaking in general confer-
ence was the furthest thing from my
mind. When the bishop said that he
was going to speak for twelve min-
utes, I remarked that that would be
scary. Then he asked if six minutes
sounded better; I said that it would
be much better. Then the bishop told
me that was how long I was going to
speak. My jaw dropped. I didn’t
know what to say. But I am grateful
for the opportunity to speak tonight.

How we promote activation

I am going to tell you a little bit
about myself, my bishop, my quo-
rum adviser, and some of the things
we are trying to do to promote acti-
vation in our Aaronic Priesthood

First, my bishop is a pretty busy
person, but I enjoy the time he is
able to spend with me, especially the
interviews. He also participates in
our quorum activities.

I am happy that Bishop Pingel


Saturday, October 2


First Day

takes the time and effort to choose
good advisers — for example, Brother

Brother Connell was a recent
convert to the Church and was called
to be the teachers quorum adviser. I
was fourteen and a new member of
the quorum. I was called as the
president, even though I was having
a great deal of trouble learning to
control my temper.

The young men of the ward
went on a cave exploration trip to a
cave in Indiana, about two hundred
miles from home. This trip was taken
in the cool of October. I became
very angry over a situation and said I
was going to walk home. I started
out on my long journey. After I had
walked a short distance, all the cars
in our party went past me and did
not even slow down. My jaw
dropped and I thought, "Oh, no,
they’re leaving me." Then I turned
around and saw Brother Connell fol-
lowing me. I felt ashamed and
embarrassed. I stopped and waited
for him to catch up. He told me he
would not let me walk home alone
and would join me. We walked for
about five miles. Brother Connell
helped me understand my feelings
and straighten them out. By prior
arrangement, one of the cars returned
and picked us up. This was the be-
ginning of a great friendship between
Brother Connell and me. During the
time that Brother Connell was my
adviser, he helped me to control my
temper and use my energy in con-
structive ways. He had me come and
help him put a new roof on his
house. He has had me babysit his
children. Brother Connell has helped
me learn more about the gospel and
how to care about other people.

Involving inactives and

In one of our presidency meet-
ings, Brother Connell brought up the
fact that we had an inactive member

and asked us what we should do to
activate him. We decided to invite
him to our next caving trip. Mike
took us up on the invitation, and we
all had a great time. We also invited
Mike to several other activities. He
enjoyed the outdoors activities the
best. Mike has since moved to Cali-
fornia, and I hope he is now

This past summer our deacons
quorum brought two members into
full quorum activity and introduced
three nonmembers to the Church.
The quorum took a 270-mile bike
trip from Kirtland to Dayton, follow-
ing the path of the Zion’s Camp
expedition. The deacons and ad-
visers, the bishop, and many of the
parents drove to Kirtland on a Satur-
day. They attended Church and vis-
ited Church historical sites the next
day. That evening they had a fire-
side. Monday they started out on
their bikes. It took a week for them
to pedal to Dayton. They camped
overnight at campgrounds, bicycled
in the rain, and contended with
traffic. One of the best parts of the
trip was that one of the boys who
was handicapped pedaled right along
with the rest of the group.

Church programs worked in my

In our ward we have early
morning seminary. I have to get up
at 5:15 every morning. That means I
have to get to bed early enough to
avoid going to sleep in school. We
also have a "consecutive reading
club," which helps me to read the
scriptures and learn more about the
Church and its prophets. I am one of
two Mormons in the junior class of
about 750 people in my high school.
Daily contact with the other youth in
the ward at seminary helps me to
maintain my standards. Being in the
seminary presidency and quorum
presidency helps me to learn to con-
duct meetings. Seminary, quorum ac-



tivities, quorum advisers, and
bishops have helped me learn to con-
trol my temper and use my excess
energy in constructive ways. These
things will help me while I am on a
mission, after I am married, and after
I become a parent.

I know that the Aaronic Priest-
hood and Young Men program
works. It has worked in my life, and
I have seen it work in the lives of
other young men. I say these things
in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

Thank you, Michael. This has
been a tremendous thing for all of

It will be our pleasure to hear
from Elder Robert L. Backman, a
member of the First Quorum of the
Seventy, who has been asked to ex-
plain how to organize an Aaronic
Priesthood quorum for reactivation.
He will be followed by Bishop H.
Burke Peterson, First Counselor in
the Presiding Bishopric.

Elder Robert L. Backman

President Kimball has declared,
"The vitalizing of the Aaronic Priest-
hood Quorums and awakening of the
Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums
will affirmatively affect all other pro-
grams in the Church."

How can we vitalize the Aaronic
Priesthood quorum?

Consider the quorum

First, consider the source of the
quorum itself.

Every priesthood holder has the
sacred privilege of belonging to a
quorum and has the right to activity
in that quorum. We have no right to
deny him that honor. Yet we do just
that when we do not reach out to
involve him.

When we contemplate the pur-
poses for which priesthood quorums
are organized — to provide a brother-
hood, a service unit, and a school for
learning the principles of the gospel
and the responsibilities we have as
priesthood bearers — we might well
ask, Is our quorum properly orga-
nized and functioning?

Is the presidency in place,
schooled in their duties, and aware of
their responsibility to lead all of the
young men in their age group? Is the
presidency meeting weekly to plan
and carry out a meaningful quorum
activity program?

The Aaronic Priesthood Quorum
Guidebook has been published to
provide training materials for the
quorum presidency and their adviser.
Quorum advisers should teach the ten
training sessions in the guidebook as
part of the quorum presidency meet-
ings, which should be held weekly.

As the presidency learns their
duties, they will include the quorum
members in planning and
implementing the quorum program,
including the activation of those who
need special attention, using the
active quorum members to apply pos-
itive peer pressure, surrounding the
inactives with their protective love
and concern.

To help in the activation pro-
cess, the quorum presidency will as-
sign particular quorum members to
fellowship each inactive young man
in a specific way and to make prog-
ress reports on the assignment. A
wise quorum presidency will plan ac-
tivities to appeal to all those in the

The quorum presidency will per-
sonally visit the homes of all the
young men of quorum age.

Mark Peterson was ordained a
deacon one Sunday last March.
When the family returned from
church, the telephone rang. It was
the deacons president who asked for
an appointment for the presidency of


Saturday, October 2


First Day

the deacons quorum to visit with
Mark and with his parents. The
appointment was set. Promptly at the
hour set, the doorbell rang. The
members of the presidency stood on
the porch, dressed in suits, white
shirts, and ties, and each one
carrying his scriptures.

Sitting down with Mark and his
parents, they began with prayer, then
handed an agenda to everyone there.

The president then opened the
scriptures, having Mark and his
father read those references which
speak of the power of the Aaronic
Priesthood, what it is, and the
particular duties of a deacon.

The president then spoke about
Mark’s particular responsibilities and
duties: how he should dress, how he
should pass the sacrament, act as a
messenger, collect fast offerings.
And then they asked him if he had
any questions.

At the end of the visit they
welcomed him to the quorum and
offered help whenever he needed it.
As they left, Mark’s eyes were as big
as saucers. He said to his Dad:
"They were awesome!"

Oh, that every Aaronic Priest-
hood quorum was a royal brother-
hood where each member could say,
"I have true brothers who care about
me, who will protect me and sustain
me, who think enough of me to
correct me."

The right man as adviser

Second, what miracles the right
man serving as an adviser can per-
form in the lives of the Aaronic
Priesthood holders.

We have discovered that the
nature and quality of a young man’s
relationship with his Aaronic Priest-
hood adviser is a potent predictor of
many of the outcomes we desire in
that young man’s life. This
relationship becomes increasingly
important as young men advance
through the priesthood. In fact, it is

the best predictor of the real religious
feelings and experience for priest-age
young men.

How vital it is to choose an ad-
viser who can provide the hero image
for our young men as they begin to
assert their independence from father
and family.

Our young men will respond
almost overnight to a man who really
shows he cares. But he must be left
in his assignment long enough to
build relationships, to gain the trust
and confidence of the young men, to
truly make them his friends.

The advisers need training to be

Once again, the Aaronic Priest-
hood Quorum Guidebook provides
information, material, and a time-
table for such training to be given by
the bishopric. Please see that this is

Bishop responsible for each young

Third, the Lord has called the
bishop to be the president of the
Aaronic Priesthood. President
Kimball has reminded the bishops
that this is their first and foremost
responsibility. All bearers of the
Aaronic Priesthood should know that
the Lord has assigned the bishop to
be their champion and exemplar, that
it should be safe for each of them to
follow the bishop’s example in every
activity of his life.

As the president of the Aaronic
Priesthood, the bishop has the re-
sponsibility to give his personal at-
tention to each bearer of the Aaronic
Priesthood. No young man in the
ward should ever feel that he walks
alone, that he is not wanted or
needed. He should always know that
his bishop is his fellow servant,
approachable, empathetic, a con-
fidant, his champion.

It is not enough for the bishop
to meet his Aaronic Priesthood only
in the confines of the Church. Our



bishops need to come out from be-
hind the pulpit, take their ties off,
and come to know their Aaronic
Priesthood in real-life situations.

I have a dear friend who served
as a very successful bishop. During
his tenure, the stake president asked
a boy and a girl from each ward to
visit with him about their relationship
with their bishop. During the conver-
sation, the stake president asked, "If
you had a serious problem in your
life, would you take it to your
bishop?" Most responded that they
would not. And when he asked why,
their response surprised him. They
said, "Our bishop seems too righ-
teous." To the credit of my friend,
his youth replied: "Not our bishop."

The bishop’s most positive
impact on youth comes in informal
settings, activities, Scouting, service
projects, athletics — real-life settings
where they get to know him as a

At a recent encampment planned
and directed by stake and ward
priesthood leaders, I asked a young
man how he felt about his leaders.
He responded: "I’ve always been
scared around stake presidents and
bishops. For some reason I always
feel like I’m getting interviewed. But
living in camp with them has helped
me make friends with them. Next
time I have an interview we’ll have
memories to talk about."

Note that the Lord called the
bishop to personally serve as presi-
dent of the priests quorum. By virtue
of that presidency, the bishop holds
the keys of that office, which may
not be delegated to another. The
Lord requires that the bishop become
the friend of each priest, that he be
sensitive to personal and group needs
at all times, that there be a feeling of
brotherhood and fellowship between
him and his priests. No priest should
ever go astray if the bishop, through
the exercise of his keys of presi-
dency, helped him hold on to the
doctrines and practices of the

In words carefully selected to
impress upon a bishop the
importance of his calling and
appointment as president of the
priests quorum, President David O.
McKay said, "Bishop, what is your
priests’ quorum but an opportunity
for you as president of that quorum
to get these young men around you
as your bodyguard, young men who
crave the social atomosphere of the
ward and whom you may lead in
paths of honor, trustworthiness, and

Please, bishops, interview each
priest at least twice a year, and each
deacon and each teacher at least once
a year, for worthiness and spiritual
progress. Help him set goals, help
teach him to understand the oath and
covenant of the Melchizedek Priest-
hood, and help prepare him for a
mission and for temple marriage. In-
clude the inactive boys in these inter-
views and challenge them to
participate actively in the quorum.
See that your counselors interview
those deacons and teachers at least
once a year.

Personalize those interviews.
Make them meaningful. Show you
care. Those one-to-one, heart-to-heart
opportunities are priceless in guiding
our young men.

We are so anxious to have your
great influence on the youth, and we
can promise you that your mark will
be on them for eternity if you
demonstrate your love for them.

Plan balanced activities with a
priesthood purpose

Fourth, the program of the
Aaronic Priesthood quorum should
not only provide opportunities for
learning the doctrines of the Church
in the classroom, but also for trans-
lating the doctrine into real-life expe-
riences through balanced activities
having a priesthood purpose. The
Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Guide-
book tells us how to plan effectively
to have successful experiences.


Saturday, October 2


First Day

All of the young men’s activities
should be an outgrowth of the quo-
rum — quorum led, quorum planned.

It is important for these activi-
ties to be held regularly. Our Church
handbooks request that each quorum
have a weekly activity on a day other
than Sunday. At least once a month a
combined activity with the Young
Women should be held. When these
directions are followed, good habits
are formed; but when activities are
held sporadically or "as needed,"
the continuity essential for the suc-
cess of the program is missing. Plan
them well in advance, at least three
months in advance, but preferably a
year in advance. Careful calendaring
and adequate planning will allow
time to do things well and will be
attractive to our youth.

Considering the many interests,
skills, and personalities of our young
men, it is imperative that you use all
the resources available to reach every

Among those resources,
Scouting provides a tested, proven
program for us to use in holding our
young men close to the Church. It
appeals to boys. Its trail to the Eagle
rank helps a young man set worth-
while goals, then realize them. For
some reason there is a direct correla-
tion between young men who achieve
the Eagle rank and those who serve

In an area encampment held in
Arizona this summer, an Eagle Scout
banquet was held to honor 1,150
Eagle Scouts. During that banquet,
every Eagle Scout committed himself
to serving a mission.

Its camping, hiking, and high
adventure provide marvelous oppor-
tunities for our young men to enjoy a
man’s experience with men, building
wholesome relationships between
youth and adult leaders, something
that happens too seldom in our day.
Becoming a man is more than chro-
nological. It involves proving the
young man’s manhood, testing his

mettle, challenging the world,
demonstrating he can accomplish
more than he thought he was capable
of. That is what builds character and
manliness .

A small Scout began a fifty-mile
hike in the mountains, laden down
with a backpack he could hardly lift.
As he struggled up the trail, he
thought of giving up many times, yet
carried on, successfully completing
the hike. At the end of the trail, he
stood in front of a framed map of the
area, pointed his finger at the trail,
and shouted, "I licked ya!"

How many young men have
been converted to the Church through
athletics, and how many more have
been saved from inactivity through
our sports programs? As our young
men grow up, they tell us that team
sports are the most popular activity
in the Church. That doesn’t mean
unsupervised basketball on activity
night. The sports program can be as
broad as the interests of the young
men: basketball, softball, volleyball,
soccer, wrestling, boxing, cycling,
swimming, tiddledy winks. Through
sports we can appeal to the most in-
active young men and, at the same
time, build a spirit of brotherhood as
quorum members learn to compete as
a team.

Personalize activities to the young

Some young men march to the
beat of a different drum. Because
they may not enjoy physical activity,
as most do, they are often isolated
from the group. I remember one
young man, not much of an athlete,
who excelled on the stage. In our
ward plays and roadshows, we could
always count on a stellar perform-
ance from Mike.

Later in his youth he directed a
theater-in-the-round production in the
ward. Today he teaches drama in a
great university and is a faithful
member of the Church. How easily



we could have lost him without that
opportunity to be someone and to
excel at something. Our cultural arts
have been neglected in recent years,
not intentionally, but when stakes
and wards were given the liberty to
choose their activities instead of
being dictated to from Church head-
quarters — something made necessary
by the worldwide growth of the
Church — some took this as a signal
that cultural arts were no longer to be
promoted. The ward and stake activ-
ity committees are there to help our
bishoprics, quorums, and Young
Women classes carry out those cul-
tural activities planned by the bishop-
ric youth committee: music, drama,
speech, dance. These again are as
broad as the interests of the youth
and a valuable resource in promoting
activity and brotherhood in the
Aaronic Priesthood quorums.

Service — the key to lasting

Please give our young men the
opportunity to stretch their souls in
service. Too often we only entertain,
leaving our young men in the role of
spectators. They will grow as they
are involved, and they will develop
love for their fellowmen, at the same
time forgetting their own weaknesses
and frailties as they serve. The
sooner our young men have experi-
ences in meaningful service, the
sooner they will understand their
priesthood responsibilities and their
own capacity to truly be their
brother’s keeper, and the sooner they
will discover the key to lasting hap-
piness. In service every quorum
member will know that he is needed.
Even the most inactive will respond
to an invitation to bless someone’s

All of these activities provide a
wholesome environment where
relationships can be cemented. Is this
important? President David O.
McKay reminded us, "The spiritual-
ity of a ward will be commensurate

with the activity of the youth of that

Costs: use good judgment

I must say something about
costs. Our presiding brethren have
instructed us to be very careful how
we spend the Saints’ money. We
who deal with the youth recognize
that a good portion of stake and ward
budgets, and much of the out-of-
pocket Church expenses of our fami-
lies, are related to youth activities
such as athletics, Scouting, dances,
plays, and youth conferences. They
do cost money.

Yet it was never intended to do
away with youth activities. If we do,
we will be making a sad mistake. As
President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke
on the subject in general conference,
he said: "We do not mean to be
parsimonious. [That means stingy.]
We mean to be judicious." I plead
with you to weigh the worth of a
young man against the dollar spent:
use good judgment.

It is not necessary to spend a lot
of money to meet the needs of our
youth. Even a high adventure does
not need to be an exotic, expensive
trip. High adventures can be had
close to home when well planned.
Youth conferences need not be held
in faraway places to serve their pur-
poses. And what is wrong in letting
our young men earn their money for
Scouting, athletics, and other pro-
grams? They will learn some valu-
able lessons about the realities of life
as they do.

Just before his death, Elder S.
Dilworth Young appeared before our
Young Men General Board and told
us about the dangers of giving boys
everything. He spread out in front of
us patterns for making tents, back-
packs, sleeping bags, stoves, cooking
utensils; and then he talked about the
pride and the growth experienced by
his young men as they enjoyed build-
ing them for themselves.


Saturday, October 2


First Day

As we use all the resources
available to us to vitalize the Aaronic
Priesthood quorums, we will be suc-
cessful in reaching our young men.
Further, we will be awakening the
Melchizedek Priesthood quorums as
these stalwart young men come of
age, taking the oath and covenant of
the Melchizedek Priesthood and
transferring their faith, devotion, and
loyalty to their elders quorums. And
all the programs of the Church will
be affirmatively affected.

Challenge: reactivate three quorum

As the Presidency of the Young
Men of the Church, we challenge
you stake presidents, bishops, ad-
visers and adult leaders, and quorum
presidencies and quorum members:
select three quorum members who
are presently inactive. If the quorum
is small, select three nonmembers on
whom you will focus your efforts.
Use every resource available to
activate, convert, and involve these
three young men in the next year —
that’s only one every four months.
Three young men per quorum in the
next year? That’s not much from
where you sit, but Churchwide we
would have close to 100,000 young
men active and participating in the

quorums who are now fumbling in
darkness without the quorum.

As I was called to be the Presi-
dent of the Young Men of the
Church, I was given the "challenge
to provide a program which will pre-
pare this generation of youth to meet
the Savior when He comes. " I pass
that challenge on to all of you, adult
leaders and young men, bearing my
witness that this generation of youth
is a royal generation with very spe-
cial things to do. May God help all
of us to give the time, attention, and
tender, loving care we need to give,
to prepare these noble young men for
the rich adventures and the singular
missions that lie ahead of them, I
pray in the sacred name of Jesus
Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

We have heard from Elder
Robert L. Backman, a member of the
First Quorum of the Seventy and
President of the Young Men’s orga-
nization of the Church.

Bishop H. Burke Peterson, First
Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric,
will now speak to the subject of how
a father’s example of activity or in-
activity is reflected in the lives of his

Bishop H. Burke Peterson

Unforgettable lesson from taxi

My brethren of the priesthood,
as an introduction to my thoughts
tonight, I would like to tell of a great
learning experience I had a few years
ago while in a taxi going from down-
town Washington, D.C., to the
Dulles Airport. As you may know, it
is not a short ride, so I engaged in a
rather lengthy conversation with the

I learned an unforgettable lesson

from this black man. He was a big
fellow. He weighed at least 250
pounds. He said he was the father of
three sons, that his oldest was
fourteen. The father was a regular
employee of the U.S. Postal Service,
and to augment his income, he drove
a taxi in the afternoon when he fin-
ished his postal shift. "But," said
he, "I’m always home every evening
for dinner."

I said, "Your wife must be an
excellent cook."

"She is," he said. But that



wasn’t the main reason he came
home at that hour. He could have
eaten later. "The reason I come
home early is to be with my boys,"
he said. "My fourteen-year-old is
almost as tall as I am. In a few years
I’ll no longer be able to handle him
physically. When that time comes, I
know he will only be obedient if he
knows of my love and respect for
him and also feels love and respect
for me. So every evening we play
ball or do homework together, or I
just listen to him tell of his day.
There are times," said he, "when
time with a boy is more important
than money, or the things money can

Dad’s example — for good or ill

Recently, I’ve been thinking
how the example we set will be re-
flected in the conduct and lives of
our children — for good or ill. For in-
stance, I’ve been concerned about
what goes through a boy’s mind
when he hears his dad quarrel with
or speak unkindly to his mother, or
abuse her in any way. I’ve wondered
where he puts his values when dad
goes hunting on Sunday, or works in
the yard, or goes shopping on the
Sabbath. Is there a lasting impression
in a boy’s heart when he hears dad
criticize the bishop, the home
teacher, or the Sunday School
teacher — or maybe even the prophet?
Though it may be ever so slight,
does it have an effect?

I’ve been thinking: what respect
will a fourteen-year-old Aaronic
Priesthood holder develop for the law
when his dad drives forty-five miles
an hour in a twenty-five-mile zone,
or seventy when it should be fifty-
five? Are there acts of dishonesty
that are so small they can escape the
gaze of a boy? Is it possible that if a
boy hears his father swear or curse
he will grow up to think that that is
the mark of true manhood, or of a
Melchizedek Priesthood holder?

I believe that through all these
acts of inconsistency in living priest-
hood standards, generally speaking, a
son will still love his dad and think
he is the greatest; and because of
these feelings, he may well want to
be just like him. With those
thoughts, I’ve then wondered: what
respect will the boy have for the
priesthood, and for authority, and for
obedience? What are his chances to
develop faith, and testimony, and
devotion, and an unwavering belief
in his priesthood leaders and what
they represent, if his father sends up
the wrong kind of signals?

Sons: blessings from heaven and
divine responsibilities

There is a time in almost every
boy’s life when dad can do no
wrong, when he wants to be just like
him. Therein lies the tragedy. Even
when dad does set a poor example,
even when he is wrong — to a son he
is still great, "because he’s dad."

Would it surprise you to know
that in most cases faithful sons come
from faithful fathers, and wavering
and faithless sons come from waver-
ing and faithless fathers? We are
grateful that from among the army of
faithful converts there are exceptions
to the general rule, but the odds are
overwhelmingly in favor of the son
following his father’s example.

Recognizing that it is sometimes
hard to imagine that the six-year-old
who dumped your favorite aftershave
in his dog’s bath water; or the
twelve-year-old who used your three
new ties as a rope to practice tying
his Boy Scout knots; or the sixteen-
year-old who came home from his
first date with a newly dented fender
and said simply, "Dad, I just don’t
know what happened" — recognizing
that it is sometimes hard to believe
that sons really are blessings from
heaven — I shall attempt to help you
understand that they truly are
blessings and that you do have a


Saturday, October 2


First Day

divine responsibility for them. I hope
I can give some suggestions to help
you handle it.

Prepare the heart of your son

Because faith and testimony and
obedience are as important as the
prophets say they are, maybe we
ought to rethink the pattern we’re
following as we help our sons come
to this conviction we so earnestly
desire for them. In that regard, it
would be well for us to be reminded
that because free agency is so basic a
gospel principle, we need to under-
stand that we cannot force the heart
of another to believe. We cannot
force faith and testimony and obedi-
ence. We can lead another to be-
lieve, but we cannot push another to

One of my heroes, and a great
Book of Mormon missionary, under-
stood and practiced this eternal
principle. Ammon was tremendously
successful. Among many others, the
two thousand sons of Helaman were
products of his efforts. He taught that
before conversion comes — before one
will believe words of truth — his heart
must be prepared to receive the
message. Thus, to encourage the
conversion process of a son, there
are many things a father can do.
Attitudes are changed and father-son
barriers are removed by dads who
will keep in mind and practice some
important principles of conduct. Let’s
consider some ways that we, as
fathers, might prepare the hearts of
our children to believe in our words.

Renew the purification process

First, remember the impact of
your example, brethren. As we think
of those who are watching us, let us
remember that power in the priest-
hood, the power to bless and guide
and teach, the power to forgive and
forget, the power to give positive di-
rection to a family — to a son — comes
through righteousness. The laying on

of hands we all received is not
enough. Priesthood power comes to
those prepared to receive it as a
result of the righteous pattern of their

Let’s begin tonight to weed out
the little inconsistencies that we all
have in the way we live. Let’s renew
the purification process — whatever
that may mean — in each of our lives.
If our words are not consistent with
our actions, they will never be heard
above the thunder of our deeds.

Give more ear and less lip

Secondly, a boy’s heart is better
prepared to believe if he has a listen-
ing father. If I were a boy, what
would I want my dad to be like? I
would probably wish he didn’t
preach to me so much, but rather,
would listen to me more. Many dads
spend too much time preaching and
not enough time teaching. Sometimes
great things happen inside a boy
when he’s listened to by his dad. He
begins to think he is special — that he
is not just another twelve-year-old or
sixteen-year-old. His self-image im-
proves. One of our crying needs is to
have young men who have a worthy
self-image. These are the effective
builders of the kingdom. In a father-
son visit, who talks most? One suc-
cessful father said, "Dads need to
give more ear and less lip to their

Priority of importance

Next, a boy’s heart is prepared
to hear when a father gives his son
time alone. I’ve already told you
about the Washington, D.C., cab
driver. Elder Richard L. Evans had a
meaningful thought. Said he:

"In all things there is a priority
of importance. . . . And one of our
urgent opportunities is to respond to
a child when he earnestly asks —
remembering that they don’t always
ask, that they aren’t always teach-
able, that they won’t always listen.



And often we have to take them on
their terms, at their times, and not
always on our terms, and at our
times. But if we respond to them
with sincere attention and sincere
concern, they will likely continue to
come to us and ask. And if they find
they can trust us with their trivial
questions, they may later trust us
with the more weighty ones."
{Thoughts for One Hundred Days, 5
vols., Salt Lake City: Publishers
Press, 1972, 5:114-15.)

Be patient

Another way to prepare the
heart of a boy: let him find in his
father one who does not criticize —
whether it be the boy himself, or
Church leaders, or teachers, or
neighbors, or even his own wife.
Yes, especially the boy’s mother.
There are few things a father can
give his son that are worth quite as
much as knowing he is in love with
his mother. It doesn’t take much of a
man to criticize another. Faultfinding
is easy. It takes a true disciple of the
Master to look beyond the weak-
nesses we all have and find the
threads of gold that are always there.

A boy needs a patient father —
one who is slow to anger; one who is
quick to forgive; one who can
remember that he, too, was once a
boy and does not expect his son to
behave like a small-sized adult.

Recently, on a Saturday eve-
ning, a young family of four were
eating at a restaurant. There were a
father, mother, and two boys, ages
about six and ten. The six-year-old
made a mistake; the father was harsh
with him and jerked him about as he
reprimanded him. For the rest of the
meal, though there was a holiday at-
mosphere at most of the tables, there
was little conversation at theirs. As
the young boy would take each bite,
he glanced at his father to see if he
had displeased him. On the boy’s
face there was a look of worry and

fear, and a soberness unnatural to a

The measure of a man

A boy needs a father who will
correct him when necessary, but
beyond that, one who will love him,
and like him, and accept him
regardless of his performance: a
father who may treat a teenager like
an adult, but not expect him to act
like one. It takes quite a dad to look
beyond the actions of boyhood and
see the potential of manhood — and
even more important, for him to get
a glimpse of eternity.

From Elbert Hubbard’ s
Scrapbook we have a classic:

"The place to take the true mea-
sure of a man is not in the darkest
place or in the amen corner, nor the
cornfield, but by his own fireside.
There he lays aside his mask and you
may learn whether he is an imp or an
angel, cur or king, hero or humbug.
I care not what the world says of
him: whether it crowns him boss or
pelts him with bad eggs. I care not a
copper what his reputation or religion
may be: if his babies dread his home-
coming and his better half swallows
her heart every time she has to ask
him for a five-dollar bill, he is a
fraud of the first water, even though
he prays night and morning until he
is black in the face. . . . But if his
children rush to the front door to
meet him and love’s sunshine
illuminates the face of his wife every
time she hears his footfall, you can
take it for granted that he is pure, for
his home is a heaven. … I can for-
give much in that fellow mortal who
would rather make men swear than
women weep; who would rather have
the hate of the whole world than the
contempt of his wife; who would
rather call anger to the eyes of a king
than fear to the face of a child." (W.
C. Brann, "A Man’s Real Mea-
sure," in Elbert Hubbard’s
Scrapbook, New York: Wm. H.
Wise and Co., 1923, p. 16.)


Saturday, October 2


First Day

Brethren, I testify to you that
the priesthood is divine. We have
been given it to bless the lives of
others, as well as our own. May we
remember the importance of pre-
paring hearts as we teach sacred
truths. May we renew the
purification process in each of us so
that we might be a strength and not a
hindrance to those we love most, in
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

President Hinckley

Bishop H. Burke Peterson, First
Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
and First Counselor in the Presidency
of the Aaronic Priesthood of the

Church, has just spoken to us.

The choir and congregation will
now join in singing "Come, Come,
Ye Saints," following which I have
been asked to speak to you.

The choir and congregation sang
"Come, Come, Ye Saints."

President Hinckley

President Romney was to have
spoken when I concluded, and he has
asked that he be excused from doing
so and that I take all the time. They
really are turning it over to the kids!

President Gordon B. Hinckley

Priesthood of Aaron

"Upon you my fellow servants,
in the name of Messiah I confer the
Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the
keys of the ministering of angels,
and of the gospel of repentance, and
of baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins; and this shall never
be taken again from the earth, until
the sons of Levi do offer again an
offering unto the Lord in righteous-
ness" (D&C 13).

All of you recognize these
words as section 13 of the Doctrine
and Covenants. They are the words
of John the Baptist to Joseph Smith
and Oliver Cowdery as he laid his
hands upon their heads and conferred
upon them the Aaronic Priesthood on
15 May 1829.

When I was a little boy, twelve
years of age, and was about to be
ordained a deacon, my father
challenged me to memorize those
words. I did so, and they have
remained with me throughout my

We have many boys with us
tonight, and I should like all of the
boys who hold the Aaronic Priest-

hood who are in the Tabernacle, and
in every other hall where this meet-
ing is heard, to stand and repeat with
me these words.

"Upon you my fellow servants,
in the name of Messiah I confer the
Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the
keys of the ministering of angels,
and of the gospel of repentance, and
of baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins; and this shall never
be taken again from the earth, until
the sons of Levi do offer again an
offering unto the Lord in

I want to commend those who
knew and repeated these words.
Some of you did not repeat them,
and I urge you to open the Doctrine
and Covenants when you go home
and to read these words and memo-
rize them. They are the charter of the
priesthood you hold. They are
evidence that this priesthood is valid
and genuine in every respect.

Powers in the priesthood

Now I would like to talk with
you about some of the particular



words of this statement given by
John the Baptist when he restored
this priesthood. I think you should be
aware, if you are not already aware,
of the powers you have in the priest-
hood you hold.

First, I should like to call your
attention to the words "my fellow
servants. " Have you ever realized
that in the holding and exercise of
this priesthood you are a fellow ser-
vant with John the Baptist, the very
man who, while he was alive,
baptized Jesus, the Savior of the
world and the Son of God, in the
waters of the River Jordan? It is in-
teresting to me that John spoke to
Joseph and Oliver, when they were
both young men and when they were
not highly regarded by people of the
world, as his fellow servants. He did
not speak down to them as a king
might speak to one of his subjects.
He did not speak down to them as a
judge might speak to an individual
on trial before him. He did not speak
down to them as a university presi-
dent or a high school principal might
speak to his students. Rather, he who
was a resurrected being addressed
these young men as his fellow ser-
vants. To me there is something
wonderful in this. It speaks of the
true spirit of the great and
magnificent brotherhood of which we
are all a part, the priesthood of God.
We are all servants together,
regardless of our position in the
Church or in the world, regardless of
wealth or lack of it, regardless of the
color of our skin — we are all servants
together, brothers one to another and
sons of God as a part of this great
body of sacred priesthood.

That should mean something to
each of us. It does not demean us or
put us down in any way. It elevates
all of us as fellow servants of the
Lord in the responsibility of carrying
on the work of the ministry in his
Church. You and I, including all of
the Brethren seated on the stand in
this Tabernacle, and each of you out
across the Church in many places,

are all fellow servants of the Lord;
we hold the holy priesthood and have
the right to exercise it in the work of
which we are a part. I hope you will
never forget this, particularly you
young men.

The next phrase to which I bring
your attention denotes the authority
in which John spoke. Said he, "in
the name of Messiah." None of us
exercises this priesthood in the power
or authority which we have naturally
within ourselves. Always in the
exercise of the priesthood we do it in
the authority of Messiah. Who was
Messiah? He was Jesus Christ, the
Son of God. John might have said
"in the name of Jesus Christ," as we
usually do. I hope you will never
forget that in exercising your priest-
hood as young men, whether in pass-
ing the sacrament, in serving as a
home teacher, in administering the
sacrament, or in baptizing, you are
acting as a servant of the Lord in his
holy name and by his divine

Boys, if you will remember this,
it will have a tremendous influence
upon your lives. You will know that
if you are to serve in the name of
Jesus Christ, as one holding the
priesthood, you cannot with propriety
be dishonest, you cannot abuse your
bodies with drugs or alcohol or
tobacco, you cannot take the name of
the Lord in vain, you cannot be mor-
ally unclean. You hold the priesthood
which authorizes you to act in the
name of Jesus Christ. I plead with
you tonight to live worthy of the
exercise of this priesthood at all
times and under all circumstances.

Right to guidance, protection, and

Then John the Baptist, in his
bestowal of this authority, spoke con-
cerning the powers of this priest-
hood. He said, among other things,
that it "holds the keys of the min-
istering of angels."

When Wilford Woodruff, a man


Saturday, October 2


First Day

who had lived many years and had
many experiences, was the President
of the Church, he said to the boys of
the Aaronic Priesthood: "I desire to
impress upon you the fact that it does
not make any difference whether a
man is a Priest or an Apostle, if he
magnifies his calling. A Priest holds
the keys of the ministering of
angels," said he. "Never in my life,
as an Apostle, as a Seventy, or as an
Elder, have I ever had more of the
protection of the Lord than while
holding the office of a Priest." {Mil-
lennial Star, 53:629.)

Think of it, my dear young
brethren. This priesthood which you
hold carries with it the keys of the
ministering of angels. That means, as
I interpret it, that if you live worthy
of the priesthood, you have the right
to receive and enjoy the very power
of heavenly beings to guide you, to
protect you, to bless you. What boy,
if he is thoughtful, would not
welcome this remarkable blessing?

In the same talk from which I
quoted a statement from President
Woodruff, he also said: "After I
came to these valleys and returned to
Winter Quarters, I was sent to
Boston by President Brigham
Young. . . . While on the road there,
I drove my carriage one evening into
the yard of Brother Williams.
Brother Orson Hyde drove a wagon
by the side of mine. I had my wife
and children in the carriage. After I
turned out my team and had my
supper I went to bed in the carriage.
I had not been there but a few min-
utes when the Spirit said to me, ‘Get
up and move that carriage.’ I told my
wife I had to get up and move the
carriage. She said, ‘What for?’ I
said, T don’t know.’ That is all she
asked me on such occasions; when I
told her I did not know, that was
enough. I got up and moved my
carriage four or five rods, and put
the off fore wheel against the corner
of the house. I then looked around
me and went to bed. The same Spirit
said, ‘Go and move your animals

from that oak tree.’ They were two
hundred yards from where my
carriage was. I went and moved my
horses, and put them in a little
hickory grove. I again went to bed.

"In thirty minutes a whirlwind
came up and broke that oak tree off
within two feet from the ground. It
swept over three or four fences and
fell square in that dooryard, near
Brother Orson Hyde’s wagon, and
right where mine had stood. What
would have been the consequences if
I had not listened to that Spirit?
Why, myself and wife and children
doubtless would have been killed.
That was the still, small voice to
me — no earthquake, no thunder, no
lightning — but the still, small voice
of the Spirit of God. It saved my
life. It was the spirit of revelation to
me." {Millennial Star, 53:642-3.)

Such was the testimony of a
great and wise and prayerful man
who became the President of the
Church. He told that story while talk-
ing of the blessing that is yours as
one who has received the priesthood
and who is eligible to have "the
ministering of angels."

Of course, you know, as I
know, that none of us can expect this
great blessing if our lives are not as
they should be as Latter-day Saints
who hold the priesthood.

Teach repentance

The next words given by John
to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cow-
dery — "[the keys] of the gospel of

Many of you are teachers and
priests and have home teaching as-
signments. You have the authority in
this service to be teachers of repen-
tance — that is, to encourage those
Latter-day Saints for whom you have
some responsibility to live the gospel
principles more faithfully. A young
man who is a priest comes to my
home with his father as a home
teacher. He has the opportunity and
the responsibility to encourage me to



live more fully the principles of the
restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

The great burden of our work in
the ministry of the Lord is to teach
repentance, to encourage people to
resist sin and to walk uprightly
before the Lord. This is the gospel of
repentance, and yours is the responsi-
bility and the authority under the
priesthood which you hold to teach
this gospel of repentance. You recog-
nize, of course, that if you are to do
so effectively, your own life must be
an example.

And now the next statement of
John the Baptist as he conferred the
Aaronic Priesthood — "[the keys] of
baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins."

As all of you who are priests
know, you have the authority to
baptize by immersion for the
remission of sins. Have you ever
thought of the wonder of that power?

If a man or woman has truly
repented of his or her sins, then he
or she may be eligible to be baptized
by immersion with the understanding
that those sins will be forgiven and
that life can begin anew.

It is no small or unimportant
thing to baptize an individual. You
as a young priest, acting in the name
of the Lord and under divine author-
ity, wipe out, as it were, by the
marvelous process of baptism, the
sins of the past and bring about a
birth into a new and better life. What
a tremendous responsibility you have
to live worthy of the exercise of this
sacred power!

Cultivate Holy Spirit of God

Now, as I speak to you young
men I wish to repeat in conclusion
some other words spoken by Presi-
dent Wilford Woodruff.

The occasion was a Sunday
afternoon, on February 28, 1897.
The place was this Tabernacle. It
was in commemoration of President
Woodruff’s ninetieth birthday. This
great building was filled to capacity

with all seats occupied and the aisles
packed in every part of the building,
such as we are not permitted to do
now. It is estimated there were more
than ten thousand young people
present — a vast congregation of
young men your age and young
women of the same age. President
Woodruff, who was then weak in
body and whose voice was not
strong, stood at the pulpit where I
stand and said, particularly to the
young men present, these words:

"I have passed through the
periods of boyhood, early manhood
and old age. I cannot expect to tarry
a great while longer with you, but I
want to give you a few words of
counsel. You occupy a position in
the Church and Kingdom of God and
have received the power of the holy
priesthood. The God of heaven has
appointed you and called you forth in
this day and generation. I want you
to look at this. Young men listen to
the counsel of your brethren. Live
near to God; pray while young; learn
to pray; learn to cultivate the Holy
Spirit of God; link it to you and it
will become a spirit of revelation
unto you, inasmuch as you nourish
it. …"

He went on to say: "God in
heaven has willed to spare me to see
this day. He has given me power to
reject every testimony and reject
every example that leads to evil. I
say to you … do not use tobacco,
liquor, or any of these things that
destroy the body and mind, but hon-
or Him and you will have a mission
upon your heads that the world
knows not of. May God bless you.
Amen." (Wilford Woodruff: Fourth
President of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, prepared
for publication by Matthias F. Cow-
ley, Salt Lake City: Deseret News,
1909, pp. 602-3.)

Walk in dignity of sacred calling

I echo that great counsel of
President Wilford Woodruff as I tes-


Saturday, October 2


First Day

tify to you young men this night that
God our Eternal Father lives and that
Jesus Christ is his Beloved Son, that
the priesthood of which we have
spoken is verily here upon the earth,
and that we are partakers of its
blessings, powers, and

God bless the young men of the
Aaronic Priesthood, that they may
walk in the dignity of the sacred and
marvelous calling and authority that
has been conferred upon them
through the mercy and goodness of
the God of heaven.

Sacrament meetings — for spiritual

And now, at the risk involved in
speaking on an entirely different sub-
ject, I should like to say a few words
to you older brethren, and
particularly to those of you who
serve in bishoprics. I wish to speak a
few thoughts concerning sacrament

We who are responsible for
these meetings deny our people a
great blessing if we fail to see that
they are spiritual, that they become
meetings in which the gospel is
taught and in which testimony is
borne, particularly concerning the
Savior of the world.

The sacrament meeting is not a
time for entertainment; it is not a
time for telling stories unrelated to
the gospel. Rather, it is time in
which to grow spiritually and in
which to increase our understanding
of the marvelous revelations of the
Lord concerning his eternal plan and
of himself as our Savior and our

It is in our sacrament meetings
that we should be testifying of the
Lord and teaching of his life and
ways, and particularly of his redeem-
ing sacrifice.

I think the Lord had in mind our
sacrament meetings when, in a reve-
lation given to Joseph Smith August

7, 1831, he said to us and to all of
the people of his Church:

"And that thou mayest more
fully keep thyself unspotted from the
world, thou shalt go to the house of
prayer and offer up thy sacraments
upon my holy day; . . .

"Remember that on this, the
Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine
oblations and thy sacraments unto the
Most High, confessing thy sins unto
thy brethren, and before the Lord."
(D&C 59:9, 12.)

How shall our people keep
themselves unspotted from the world
unless they develop within
themselves the spiritual strength and
capacity to resist temptation that is so
rampant everywhere we go these
days? And where shall they develop
such discipline? I think the meaning
of this revelation is clear: they shall
develop such discipline of self and
such desire to live above the stains of
the world in their communion with
the Lord as worshipers in sacrament

Spirit of reverence

Every sacrament meeting ought
to be a spiritual feast. It ought to be
a time for meditation and in-
trospection, a time for singing songs
of praise to the Lord, a time of re-
newing one’s covenants with him and
our Eternal Father, and a time for
hearing the word of the Lord with
reverence and appreciation.

I plead with you who are re-
sponsible for these meetings that you
strive a little more diligently to pro-
gram them in such a manner that
each sacrament meeting will become
a time for spiritual refreshening. I
plead with all of you who participate
in these meetings, and I include with
some emphasis you boys, to see that
there is cultivated a spirit of rever-
ence in these sacred gatherings.

It is not easy to keep oneself
unspotted from the world. Each of us
needs all the help he can get. The



Lord has given us direction in how to
achieve this. That direction is clear
and unequivocal. I pray that we shall
follow it, as I leave with you, my
brethren of the holy priesthood, my
testimony and witness of the divinity
of this work, and invoke the
blessings of the Lord upon you. In

the name of him whom we serve,
even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

President Romney will now
speak to us.

President Mar

I have enjoyed being here with
you in this meeting and have enjoyed
the talks that have been given. I feel
that the Spirit of the Lord has been
with us.

The power of the priesthood

It is a great thing to hold the
priesthood of God, and that is what
this is tonight — a priesthood meeting.
The priesthood of God is power. It is
an endowment, which the Lord has
given to us who hold the priesthood,
to perform sacred ordinances that
have effect in this world and in the
world to come. It is the greatest
power in the world — the priest-
hood — and I am very happy that I
have had the privilege through the
years to bear the priesthood and to
receive offices in the priesthood from
deacon up to the offices of the
Melchizedek Priesthood which I have
had assignments to work in. I know
that it is the priesthood that will save
this world. It is not a man-made or-
ganization; it is not a man-prepared
organization — it embodies a power
revealed from heaven and sent here
to us to help us prepare our lives for
eternal life in the presence of our
Father in Heaven.

It is a great thing to see this
building completely filled with bear-
ers of the priesthood, both men who
bear the Melchizedek Priesthood —
old men like myself — and young men
who bear the Aaronic Priesthood. I
hope that we appreciate the authority
that the Lord has given us to act in

m G. Romney

his service in the respective offices in
the priesthood that we hold.

The priesthood is sacred

I have held the priesthood for
three-quarters of a century, from the
time I was a deacon until I now hold
the Melchizedek Priesthood, and I
have enjoyed it all through the years.
It has been sacred to me, and it is
sacred to me now. I hope that you
have the same feeling about the
priesthood. Don’t ever do anything
that you would be ashamed of, that
you would be ashamed to talk to the
Lord about, because we will meet
him some day if we live the gospel
well enough to have that privilege.
We will be very grateful then, if we
know, as he will know, that our lives
have been in harmony with the teach-
ings of the gospel and the responsi-
bility that is placed upon us who
hold the priesthood.


I have enjoyed this meeting. I
am glad I came, and I am glad I
have heard what I have heard here
tonight. I pray the Lord will bless
each boy and man, old and young,
that is here tonight with the feeling
and determination that he will live
the teachings of the gospel and
magnify the priesthood which the
Lord has given him. It will be a
great day for us individually when
we are called to give an account of
our deeds down here on the earth, if


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

we can be assured that the Lord will
approve our actions and we can go
on to the eternities beyond this life to
experience the growth that comes to
men and boys who hold the priest-
hood, faithfully do their duties, and
seek the Lord.

As I said before I have enjoyed
this meeting tonight and I am happy
that you have been here. I hope you
will all come tomorrow to the

I leave my blessings with you
and pray that you will be given an
understanding that priesthood power
is the power of God. Never do any-
thing to disappoint yourselves or
your loved ones or the Lord, or that
would diminish your right to
blessings that will come to you
through obedience to the priesthood
as long as you live. I leave my
blessings with you and my testi-
mony, in the name of Jesus Christ,

President Hinckley

Thank you, President Romney,
for those wonderful words and that
moving wonderful testimony.

We call to your attention that
the nationwide CBS Radio Taber-

nacle Choir broadcast will be from
9:30 to 10:00 tomorrow morning and
those desiring to attend in the Taber-
nacle must be in their seats before
9:15 A.M.

As you leave tonight, we remind
you to obey traffic rules, to use
caution, and to be courteous in

The beautiful music for this
priesthood session has been furnished
by the combined men’s choir of the
Tabernacle Choir and Mormon Youth

We are grateful to you men for
your inspiring music and express
thanks for the service you have given
here tonight, as well as the
tremendous service you give in many
other capacities. The choir will now
sing "I Need Thee Every Hour,"
following which Elder Ted E.
Brewerton, a member of the First
Quorum of the Seventy, will offer
the benediction.

The choir sang "I Need Thee
Every Hour."

Elder Ted E. Brewerton offered
the benediction.



The fourth general session of the
conference commenced at 10:00 A.M.
on Sunday, October 3, 1982. Presi-
dent Gordon B. Hinckley, Counselor
in the First Presidency, conducted.

The Tabernacle Choir provided
the music for this session with Jerold
Ottley and Donald Ripplinger direct-
ing and Robert Cundick at the organ.

Prior to the beginning of the

session, the Choir sang "Praise the
Lord with Heart and Voice" without

President Hinckley then made
the following remarks:

President Gordon B. Hinckley

President Spencer W. Kimball is
watching the proceedings of this
session on television and has asked
that I conduct it. We miss this morn-



ing Elder LeGrand Richards of the
Council of the Twelve, and ask the
Lord’s blessings upon him.

This beautiful morning we
welcome all who are present in the
Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple
Square in this fourth session of the
152nd Semiannual General Confer-
ence of The Church of Jesus of Lat-
ter-day Saints.

We acknowledge the many
tuned to this conference by radio,
television, cable TV, and our special
satellite network which is carrying
these proceedings to approximately
four hundred and fifty stake centers,
and all those who are seated in the
overflow congregations in the As-
sembly Hall where Elders Hartman
Rector, Jr. and James M. Paramore
preside and in the Salt Palace where
Elder Joseph Wirthlin and Bishop J.
Richard Clarke preside.

We acknowledge the presence
of government, education, and civic
leaders, and officers and members
of the Church from many lands who
have assembled to worship and to
counsel together in this conference.

The Tabernacle Choir, under the
direction of Jerold Ottley and Donald

Ripplinger with Robert Cundick at
the organ, is providing the music for
this session.

The Choir opened these services
by singing "Praise the Lord with
Heart and Voice" and will now sing
"To God Be Praise and Glory," fol-
lowing which Elder Marion D.
Hanks, a member of the First Quo-
rum of the Seventy, will offer the

The Choir sang "To God Be
Praise and Glory."

Elder Marion D. Hanks offered
the invocation.

The Choir sang "God Is in His
Holy Temple" without

President Hinckley

The Tabernacle Choir has sung
"God Is in His Holy Temple." It
will now be our privilege to hear
from President Marion G. Romney,
Second Counselor in the First

President Marion G. Romney

I am sorry, brethren and sisters,
I cannot see you, but it looks like
somebody is in front of me. Even a
blind man can feel that gratitude. I
have in mind talking to you a few
minutes about gratitude and
thanksgiving. The virtues of gratitude
have been widely extolled and the
sinfulness of ingratitude has been just
as widely condemned.

Only one gave thanks

It has been said that "an
ungrateful man is like a hog under a
tree eating acorns, but never looking
up to see where they come from"
(Timothy Dexter, The New

Dictionary of Thoughts, Garden City,
N.Y.: Standard Book Co., p. 308).

Jesus revealed his feeling about
ingratitude when only one of ten
lepers who had been healed turned
back and gave thanks. Luke tells us
that "it came to pass, as [Jesus] went
to Jerusalem, that he passed through
the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

"And as he entered into a
certain village, there met him ten
men that were lepers, which stood
afar off:

"And they lifted up their
voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have
mercy on us.

"And when he saw them, he
said unto them, Go shew yourselves


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

unto the priests. And it came to pass,
that, as they went, they were

"And one of them, when he
saw that he was healed, turned back,
and with a loud voice glorified God,

"And fell down on his face at
his feet, giving him thanks: and he
was a Samaritan.

"And Jesus answering said,
Were there not ten cleansed? but
where are the nine?

"There are not found that
returned to give glory to God, save
this stranger." (Luke 17:11-18.)

Occasions of thanksgiving

Christ set an example in giving
thanks when, at the Last Supper, "as
they did eat, Jesus took bread, and
blessed, and brake it, and gave to
them, and said, Take, eat: this is my

"And he took the cup, and
when he had given thanks, he gave it
to them: and they all drank of it."
(Mark 14:22-23; italics added.)

Both ancient and modern scrip-
tures are replete with references to
occasions of supplication, praise, and
thanksgiving to the Lord.

The Psalmist sang, "Know ye
that the Lord he is God: . . . Enter
into his gates with thanksgiving, and
into his courts with praise: be
thankful unto him, and bless his
name." (Psalm 100:3^.)

King Benjamin (as recorded in
Mosiah in the Book of Mormon) ad-
monished his people:

"O how you ought to thank
your heavenly King!

"I say unto you, my brethren,
that if you should render all the
thanks and praise which your whole
soul has power to possess, to that
God who has created you, and has
kept and preserved you, and has
caused that ye should rejoice, and
has granted that ye should live in
peace one with another —

"I say unto you that if ye
should serve him who has created

you from the beginning, and is pre-
serving you from day to day, by
lending you breath, that ye may live
and move and do according to your
own will, and even supporting you
from one moment to another — I say,
if ye should serve him with all your
whole souls yet ye would be
unprofitable servants. " (Moses

Sin of ingratitude

"I believe," said President
Joseph F. Smith many years ago,
"that one of the greatest sins of
which the inhabitants of the earth are
guilty today is the sin of ingratitude,
the want of acknowledgment, on
their part, of God and his right to
govern and control. We see a man
raised up with extraordinary gifts, or
with great intelligence, and he is in-
strumental in developing some great
principle. He and the world ascribe
this great genius and wisdom to
himself. He attributes his success to
his own energies, labor and mental
capacity. He does not acknowledge
the hand of God in anything con-
nected with his success, but ignores
him altogether and takes the honor to
himself; this will apply to almost all
the world. In all great modern dis-
coveries in science, in the arts, in
mechanics, and in all the material
advancement of our age, the world
says, ‘We have done it.’ The individ-
ual says, T have done it,’ and he
gives no honor and credit to God.
Now, I read in the revelations
through Joseph Smith, the prophet,
that because of this, God is not
pleased with the inhabitants of the
earth but is angry with them because
they will not acknowledge his hand
in all things." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th
ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book
Co., 1939, pp. 270-71.)

Comments and blessings

[President Romney read the text
up to this point. He then made the



following comments:] Well, now, I
have a fine talk prepared that I can’t
read. I will have it printed, and you
can get the message plainly from
what the Lord has revealed that we
must give him credit for our gifts and
our accomplishments, and be grateful
for all things that he confers upon us.
I am grateful to him for the privilege
of being in his service. I appreciate
the opportunities that I have and
hope that I can serve him some way
and show my gratitude the rest of my
life. I leave my blessings with all of
you in the name of Jesus Christ,

Gratitude and thanksgiving

[The following is the rest of his
prepared talk.]

Great men have always recog-
nized the greatness of God and their
dependence upon him, and they have
with regularity rendered to him grati-
tude and thanksgiving.

Consider these words written by
Abraham Lincoln as part of a resolu-
tion in 1863:

"We have been the recipients of
the choicest bounties of heaven; we
have been preserved these many
years in peace and prosperity; we
have grown in number, wealth, and
power as no other Nation has ever
grown. But we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious hand
which preserved us in peace and
multiplied and enriched and strength-
ened us, and we have vainly imag-
ined, in the deceitfulness of our
hearts, that all these blessings were
produced by some superior wisdom
and virtue of our own. Intoxicated
with unbroken success we have
become too self-sufficient to feel the
necessity of redeeming and pre-
serving grace, too proud to pray to
the God who made us.

"It behooves us, then, to
humble ourselves before the offended
power, to confess our . . . sins, and
to pray for clemency and forgive-
ness." (John Wesley Hill, Abraham

Lincoln, Man of God, 4th ed., New
York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, p. 391.)

Note also how the Prophet
Joseph Smith responded to the
receipt of some letters during the
time he was languishing in Liberty
Jail. "We received some letters last
evening [and] we were much gratified
with their contents," he wrote. "We
had been a long time without infor-
mation; and when we read those
letters they were to our souls as the
gentle air is refreshing." {History of
the Church, 3:293.)

You and I are, of course, moved
by these quotations. They are not,
however, the source of our most
powerful motivation to develop great-
er gratitude and more fervent
thanksgiving. We have been com-
manded by the Lord to be thankful.

In March of 1831, before the
Church had been organized a year,
the Lord said to the Saints in

"Ye are commanded in all
things to ask of God, who giveth
liberally; and that which the Spirit
testifies unto you even so I would
that ye should do in all holiness of
heart, walking uprightly before me,
considering the end of your
salvation, doing all things with pray-
er and thanksgiving, that ye may not
be seduced by evil spirits, or doc-
trines of devils, or the command-
ments of men; for some are of men,
and others of devils. . . .

"And ye must give thanks unto
God in the Spirit for whatsoever
blessing ye are blessed with." (D&C
46:7, 32; italics added.)

Five months later he gave unto
the Church in Zion — that is Jackson
County, Missouri — this command-
ment. Now notice how the Lord puts
the commandment to be thankful
along with other strong command-
ments. He said:

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy
God with all thy heart, with all thy
might, mind, and strength; and in the
name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

"Thou shalt love thy neighbor
as thyself. Thou shalt not steal;
neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor
do anything like unto it.

"Thou shalt thank the Lord thy
God in all things." (D&C 59:5-7;
italics added.)

Give thanks — a commandment

It is perfectly evident from this
scripture that to thank the Lord in all
things is not merely a courtesy, it is
a commandment as binding upon us
as any other commandment.

In a later revelation the Lord


"And he who receiveth all
things with thankfulness shall be
made glorious; and the things of this
earth shall be added unto him, even
an hundred fold, yea, more" (D&C
78:19; italics added).

"Verily I say unto you my
friends" — that always moves me, to
think of the Lord calling you and me
his friends — "Verily I say unto you
my friends, fear not, let your hearts
be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore,
and in everything give thanks"
(D&C 98:1; italics added).

"If thou art merry, praise the
Lord with singing, with music, with
dancing, and with a prayer of praise
and thanksgiving" (D&C 136:28;
italics added).

This last commandment that I
have just read came through the
prophet Brigham Young at Winter
Quarters when the Saints were on
their way across the plains. At that
time the Saints were suffering the
greatest of hardships, but the Lord
was commanding them to be full of
praise and thanksgiving.

These commandments that I
have read put us under a solemn ob-
ligation to develop gratitude and the
spirit of thanksgiving. We should be
thankful and express appreciation for
all of our blessings.

To the Lord Jesus, who bought
us with a great price, we owe an

undying debt of gratitude. It is
impossible for us, weak mortals as
we are, to fully comprehend and
appreciate the suffering he endured
on the cross so that he might gain for
us victory over death. And even less
can we understand the suffering he
endured in Gethsemane so that we
might obtain forgiveness of our sins.
"Which suffering," he said, "caused
myself, even God, the greatest of all,
to tremble because of pain, and to
bleed at every pore, and to suffer
both body and spirit — and would that
I might not drink the bitter cup, and
shrink" (D&C 19:18).

But nevertheless, he endured it
for our sake. None of us could have
endured that suffering. No mortal
man nor any number of men together
could have endured it. All people
who understand what Jesus did for us
ought to love him and demonstrate
that love by rendering to him, in a
realistic manner, thanks and

Elder Richard L. Evans once
said, "Gratefully we acknowledge
the infinite mind of our Maker, and
gratefully ought to offer our tithes
and offerings, and earnestly con-
sistent service, in thanks for all that
God has given, and keep his com-
mandments in remembrance of the
love and providence and purpose of
the Creator, the God and Father of us
all, the organizer and operator of
heaven and earth, without whom all
these things would not be so. Thank
God for all this: for life and what
sustains it, for loved ones that make
it meaningful, for faith and purpose
and continuance, always and forever.
Thank God for all of this — and
much, much more." ("Thanks: for
the Organization and Operation of
the Earth," Improvement Era, Feb.
1968, p. 74; KSL "The Spoken
Word" broadcast, 19 Nov. 1967.)

Now, brethren and sisters, I
bear my testimony to you that the
Lord wants us to be grateful and
thankful unto him. And if we do



these things which he has advised us
to do, we will be the happiest people
who dwell upon the earth, for this is
the way to the presence and society
of our Father in Heaven. I so testify,
in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

Thank you, President Romney.
We shall look forward to reading
that. We appreciate what you have
said and what you have done, and
express to you our great love for the
wisdom which you have shown as a
valiant and wonderful servant of the

The Choir will now sing "Praise
to the Man."

The Choir sang "Praise to the

President Hinckley

Thank you for that marvelous
presentation of that great and moving
hymn "Praise to the Man who com-
muned with Jehovah," written by
one who knew the Prophet Joseph
Smith, who walked with him, and
who carried in his heart the testi-
mony and conviction of his divine
calling as a Prophet of God.

We shall now be pleased to hear
from Elder Boyd K. Packer, a mem-
ber of the Council of the Twelve

Elder Boyd K. Packer

Fulfillment of a prophecy

I must tell you of a work that
has moved quietly forward in the
Church virtually unnoticed. It had its
beginning in Old Testament times
and is the fulfillment of a prophecy
by Ezekiel, who wrote:

"The word of the Lord
came . . . unto me, saying, More-
over, thou son of man, take thee one
stick, and write upon it, For Judah,
and for the children of Israel his
companions: then take another stick,
and write upon it, For Joseph, the
stick of Ephraim, and for all the
house of Israel his companions: And
join them one to another into one
stick; and they shall become one in
thine hand" (Ezekiel 37:15-17).

The sticks, of course, are
records or books. In ancient Israel
records were written upon tablets of
wood or scrolls rolled upon sticks.
The record of Judah and the record
of Ephraim, according to the proph-
ecy, were to become one in our
hands. Two events connected with
the fulfillment of the prophecy were
centered in print shops.

Publication of Book of Mormon

The first began on the second
floor of a building on Main Street in
the village of Palmyra, New York. In
June of 1829 Joseph Smith and
Martin Harris called upon Mr. Egbert
B. Grandin, the proprietor, to discuss
the publication of a new book of
scripture. Mr. Grandin, then twenty-
three, was three months younger than
Joseph Smith. Only three months
earlier he had advertised his intention
to print books, a very ambitious
undertaking for so small a shop with
only a hand-operated, cast-iron press.

Others had refused to print the
book, and young Mr. Grandin, a reli-
gious man, was very skeptical
himself. But as the contract was
secured by a mortgage on the farm of
Martin Harris, it was signed and
printing commenced in August of

No sooner had the project begun
than one Obediah Dogberry, Jr.,
began to steal pages of the work and
print them with accompanying ridi-
cule in his weekly paper, The


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

In March of 1830, the Book of
Mormon came from the press and
was advertised for sale. It met such a
bitter and destructive response that it
did not sell, and Martin Harris lost
his farm.

An epoch of scriptural history
had begun. The Prophet Joseph
Smith and his successors to this day
would proclaim the Book of Mormon
to be another testament of Jesus
Christ. Obadiah Dogberry and his
successors, moved by another spirit,
would, with the same methods, to
this day revile it.

Latter-day Saint edition of King
James Bible

One hundred forty-eight years
later, in June 1977, again in a print
shop, another step in the coming to-
gether of these two sticks occurred.

James Mortimer, long experi-
enced in publishing scriptures, and
Dr. Ellis T. Rasmussen, recently
dean of Religious Instruction at
Brigham Young University, called at
the Cambridge University Press in
Cambridge, England. Bibles had
been printed at this prestigious press
for 293 years before Egbert Grandin
opened his print shop in Palmyra.

They met with Mr. Roger
Coleman, director of religious pub-
lishing, to discuss the publication of
a most unusual edition of the King
James Bible. The printers were quite
as skeptical about this proposal as
Egbert Grandin had been nearly 150
years before.

The Cambridge Press had been
publishing the King James Bible
since the first edition in 1611, but
they had never been asked to do any-
thing like this. The text was to
remain exactly as it was, no changes,
not one. But all footnoting, cross-
references, chapter introductions, in-
dexes, and so on, were to be re-
placed. Only the chapter and verse
numbering for the sixty-six books
would be retained.

And that was just the beginning.

This edition of the Bible would be
cross-referenced with three other
books of scripture: the Book of
Mormon, the Doctrine and Cov-
enants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
The printers had barely heard of

But there was more. A new, in-
novative system of footnoting was to
be used. Instead of progressing from
A to Z in each chapter, the letters
would start over in every verse, for
innumerable verses would have many
footnotes in them.

The technical problems seemed
insurmountable. Computers could
help, but there was always the hu-
man factor. How could you cross-
reference the Bible with any other
book? To cross-reference it with the
three volumes was to require tens of
thousands of footnotes. Thereafter
there would be hundreds of
thousands of possible combinations
of information. It was too big even
to think about. The technical
challenge alone was staggering, to
say nothing of maintaining accuracy,
harmony, and consistency with the
biblical text itself. It could not be

But in that meeting also was
Mr. Derek Bowen, editor, a most re-
markable man. A World War II in-
jury had left him unable to hear.
Thereafter he devoted his remarkable
compensating abilities to the editing,
typesetting, and printing of Bibles.
He was, perhaps, the one man in the
world who could direct such a print-
ing project.

All of the problems mentioned
so far related only to the printing part
of the project. The actual compiling
and organizing of the tens of
thousands of footnotes would require
many hundreds of workers. This
work had already been underway for
several years. Without the computer
it would be manifestly impossible!

That was also but a beginning.
There would be a combined con-
cordance and topical guide, listing
hundreds of subjects; a Bible



dictionary; maps; and a new format.
New chapter headings would be writ-
ten. All in harmony with the sacred
message of the Old and the New

Several years into the project we
asked for a report. How were they
progressing with the tedious, labori-
ous listing of topics in alphabetical
order? They responded, "We have
been through Heaven and Hell, past
Love and Lust, and now we’re work-
ing toward Repentance."

The 750 headings for the Topi-
cal Guide were painfully rendered
down from a list nearly twice that
long. For there was a practical con-
sideration: the book had to be of a
size for everyday use.

There was a spirit of inspiration
brooding over their work, and those
working with the project talked often
of how it was blessed. There were
humbling spiritual experiences.

After more than seven years of
quiet, intensive work, the Latter-day
Saint edition of the King James Bible
came off the press. Already work
was well under way on the Book of
Mormon, the Doctrine and Cov-
enants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Over the years manuscripts had come
into our hands which made possible
the correction of printers’ errors
which had crept into early editions.

The work would be seen by
more than the sympathetic students
and the devoted members of the
Church. The cold, impartial eyes of
the research scholars would study it,
and the angry eyes of enemies and
detractors would pore over it. It must
be correct in every detail.

Another testament of Jesus Christ

Finally, after two more years,
the books came from the press, the
most accurate we have ever had.

Three months later, Derek Bow-
en, master editor of Bibles, passed
away in England.

You should know also that by
recent decision of the Brethren the

Book of Mormon will henceforth
bear the title "The Book of
Mormon," with the subtitle "Anoth-
er Testament of Jesus Christ. ‘ ‘

The stick or record of Judah —
the Old Testament and the New Tes-
tament — and the stick or record of
Ephraim — the Book of Mormon,
which is another testament of Jesus
Christ — are now woven together in
such a way that as you pore over one
you are drawn to the other; as you
learn from one you are enlightened
by the other. They are indeed one in
our hands. Ezekiel’s prophecy now
stands fulfilled.

With the passing of years, these
scriptures will produce successive
generations of faithful Christians who
know the Lord Jesus Christ and are
disposed to obey His will.

The older generation has been
raised without them, but there is an-
other generation growing up. The
revelations will be opened to them as
to no other in the history of the
world. Into their hands now are
placed the sticks of Joseph and of
Judah. They will develop a gospel
scholarship beyond that which their
forebears could achieve. They will
have the testimony that Jesus is the
Christ and be competent to proclaim
Him and to defend Him.

New revelations added

Without the inspired help of
hundreds of dedicated workers it
would have been impossible! Among
them were scholars in Hebrew,
Greek, Latin, Old and New Testa-
ment studies. More than this, they
are worthy men and women in whose
lives the gospel of Jesus Christ is the
dominating influence. Their work, if
they only knew it, may well be their
greatest contribution in mortality.

As the generations roll on, this
will be regarded, in the perspective
of history, as the crowning achieve-
ment in the administration of Presi-
dent Spencer W. Kimball.

As a very direct outgrowth of


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

the scripture project, two new revela-
tions were added to the Doctrine and
Covenants. That had not occurred in
over a hundred years. And before the
books were closed, there came the
glorious revelation on the priesthood,
just in time to be bound with all else
that the Lord has revealed to His
Saints in this, the dispensation of the
fulness of times.

Restructuring of Church

Even all of this is but a begin-
ning, for we have it only in English.
Already work is well under way in
Spanish, with the other languages to
follow in the years ahead.

Concurrent with this publication
project, another great work was con-
tinuing. The entire curriculum of the
Church was restructured. All courses
of study for children, youth, and
adults were revised to center on the
scriptures, on Jesus Christ. A veri-
table army of volunteer workers —
many of them experts in writing,
curriculum, instruction, and other
related fields — worked for years to
complete it.

While we have been about the
work of anchoring ourselves to the
scriptures, others have been busily
cutting themselves loose from them.
They have been drifting downstream,
interpreting and revising the scrip-
tures to agree with the philosophies
of men. We, on the other hand, have
been struggling upstream against the
same current. We are determined to
read the headwaters of divine com-
munication and revelation, to have it,
as the Doctrine and Covenants
demands, "that every man might
speak in the name of God the Lord,
even the Savior of the world" (D&C

Fifty-eight categories about Jesus

There are Church watchers, in
and out of the Church, who show

great interest in what we do. They
watch what they define as the power
structure, the resources of the
Church, the changes in organization,
the political and social issues; and
they draw conclusions from their
watching. They write their observa-
tions and print them in publications
and represent them to be accurate
and objective reports of what is
going on in the Church. In all of
their watching and claiming, they
have missed the most important of all
the things that we have done in re-
cent generations.

Some of them say that we have
lost our way, that we are not Chris-
tians. Should they turn to that one
thing in which they show the least
interest and in which they have the
least knowledge, the scriptures and
the revelations, they would find in
the Topical Guide fifty-eight cate-
gories of information about Jesus
Christ; eighteen pages of small print,
single-spaced, list literally thousands
of scriptural references on the

These references from the four
volumes of scripture constitute the
most comprehensive compilation of
scriptural information on the mission
and teachings of the Lord Jesus
Christ that has ever been assembled
in the history of the world.

The work affirms an acceptance
of, a reverence for, and a testimony
of the Lord Jesus Christ. Follow
those references and you will open
the door to whose church this is,
what it teaches and by whose author-
ity — all anchored to the sacred name
of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the
Messiah, the Redeemer, our Lord.

I began by quoting Ezekiel,
prophet of Judah. Two of those Old
Testament verses show ten footnotes.
One of the ten leads to the Book of
Mormon, which is another testament
of Jesus Christ, where half a world
away the prophet Lehi, of the lineage
of Joseph, quoted this prophecy:

"Wherefore, the fruit of thy
loins shall write; and the fruit of the



loins of Judah shall write; and that
which shall be written by the fruit of
thy loins, and also that which shall
be written by the fruit of the loins of
Judah, shall grow together, unto the
confounding of false doctrines and
laying down of contentions, and es-
tablishing peace among the fruit of
thy loins, and bringing them to the
knowledge of their fathers in the lat-
ter days, and also to the knowledge
of my covenants, saith the Lord" (2
Nephi 3:12).

Testaments of the Lord Jesus

One footnote may seem a flimsy
thread to tie the two together, but
five of the ten footnotes lead us to
headings in the Topical Guide where
611 other references broaden our
knowledge of this one subject and
speak as voices from the dust.

Threads are wound into cords
that bind together in our hands the
sticks of Judah and of Ephraim — tes-
taments of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I say again, these references
constitute the most comprehensive
compilation of scripture information
on the mission and teachings of the
Lord Jesus Christ that has ever been

assembled in the history of the

Do not mistake our reverent
hesitation to speak glibly or too fre-
quently of Him to mean that we do
not know Him.

Our brethren of Judah knew
Him in ancient times, our brethren of
Ephraim also. He is no stranger to
His Saints, to His prophets and
Apostles now.

He lives. He is our Savior, our
Redeemer, our Lord. Of Him I bear
an apostolic witness, in the name of
Jesus Christ, amen.

The choir sang "Jesu, Joy of
Man’s Desiring" without

President Hinckley

We have just listened to Elder
Boyd K. Packer, a member of the
Council of the Twelve Apostles, fol-
lowed by the Tabernacle Choir sing-
ing "Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring."

We shall now hear from Elder
Derek A. Cuthbert, a member of the
First Quorum of the Seventy.

Elder Derek A. Cuthbert

Signs of maturity "Give therefore thy servant an

understanding heart to judge thy

"In Gibeon the Lord appeared people, that I may discern between

to Solomon in a dream by night: and g00 d and bad." (1 Kings 3:7, 9.)

God said, Ask what I shall give "And God gave Solomon

thee" (1 Kings 3:5). Before King wisdom and understanding exceeding

Solomon replied, he reflected on muc h, and largeness of heart, even

what was his greatest need. Was it a s the sand that is on the sea shore"

power and influence? Was it wealth (i Kings 4:29).

and riches? Was it fame and glory? Wisdom, understanding,

Let us ponder carefully largeness of heart are signs of matu-

Solomon’s answer: rity. When Solomon acquired these

"And now, O Lord my God, qualities, he was no longer "but a

thou hast made thy servant king in- little child."

stead of David my father: and I am However, the process of

but a little child: I know not how to maturing is not as simple as
go out or come in. . . .


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

acquiring wisdom. Did not the Savior
say: "Except ye be converted, and
become as little children, ye shall not
enter into the kingdom of heaven"
(Matthew 18:3). To mature, then, is
to retain or regain some childlike
qualities we need to have and to
develop other qualities which chil-
dren do not have. I would like to
suggest to you ten aspects of matu-
rity, five of which are childlike and
five of which are developed later.

Childlike qualities

First, innocence. Can anyone
deny the innocence of a newborn
babe or a very small child? The Sav-
ior taught, "Suffer little chil-
dren … to come unto me: for of
such is the kingdom of heaven"
(Matthew 19:14). In latter-day reve-
lation the Lord has enlightened us
further by proclaiming: "Every spirit
of man was innocent in the begin-
ning; and God having redeemed man
from the fall, men became again, in
their infant state, innocent before
God" (D&C 93:38). Yes, the
challenge to each one of us in these
days of deceit and discord is to be
innocent, to be guileless.

Second, humility. "Whosoever
therefore shall humble himself as this
little child, the same is greatest in the
kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:4).
How wonderful to hear the humble
prayer or testimony of a child. I
think of the young boy I heard relate
the Joseph Smith story in great detail
and bear his testimony in the Xhosa
language in southern Africa as we
met in a one-room African home in

We live in a world where men
have largely turned away from righ-
teousness and are self-seeking, grat-
ifying their pride and vain ambition.
We have the challenge to humble
ourselves before God and become, in
King Benjamin’s words, "as a child,
submissive, meek, humble, patient,
full of love, willing to submit to all

things which the Lord seeth fit to
inflict upon [us] , even as a child doth
submit to his father" (Mosiah 3:19).

All over the world, people of
different races and cultures are over-
coming traditions to accept the truth
and submit themselves humbly to
baptism. How inspiring to see them
overcome hardship and affliction. I
remember interviewing a fine young
Shona man, a Church member in
Zimbabwe, to be the first missionary
from his nation. Although per-
manently on crutches because of
polio, Elder Peter Chaya submitted
happily to the call to serve.

Third, simplicity. A child is
uncomplicated and expresses himself
without becoming devious. The
Apostle Paul counseled the Saints at
Corinth: "But I fear, lest by any
means, as the serpent beguiled Eve
through his subtilty, so your minds
should be corrupted from the sim-
plicity that is in Christ" (2
Corinthians 11:3). I have always
been impressed that, although Paul
was a very learned man, after his
conversion he declared: "For I
determined not to know any thing
among you, save Jesus Christ, and
him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).
These thoughts came to mind when,
on a recent visit to Ghana, I heard
Dr. Emmanuel Kissi, a prominent
surgeon and now the district presi-
dent, teach the simple truths of the
gospel in the district conference

Yes, we need to strive for the
simplicity of a child, and raise our
own children to have simple,
unshakable testimonies of Jesus
Christ. Then they will not fall prey
to those temptations which would di-
vert them from the strait and narrow
way. As Elder Matthew Cowley used
to say, "Life should be beautifully
simple. And then it will be simply
beautiful." ("Learn to Live," ad-
dress delivered at Brigham Young
University, 19 June 1953.)

Fourth, faith. It has always been



a source of happiness to my wife and
me when one of our children has
shown faith by asking for a blessing
of health or of comfort and counsel.
The occasions have been numerous,
but the one that comes to mind is
when one of our children was suffer-
ing from a bad earache and was very
upset. I remember that after I had
given her a blessing she settled down
and went to sleep and experienced no
further pain. It is a wonderful thing
that when the Lord restored the
fulness of the gospel, he made it pos-
sible for fathers to bless their fami-
lies in so many ways.

Oh, for the faith of a child, to
"dream the impossible dream" and
"reach the unreachable star," as our
beloved President Kimball has
challenged us to do. His mighty faith
has removed many mountains; his
childlike faith has brought forth
many miracles.

The fifth childlike quality is
love, unquestioning love, freely
given. What father can resist the
little upturned face saying, "I love
you, daddy"? What mother does not
feel an inward glow on finding a
little note on her pillow: "I love you,
mummy"? It has been my privilege
in many lands to hear the sweet
voices of children echo the words of
the Savior: "As I have loved
you, . . . love one another" (John

Jesus exemplified innocence,
humility, simplicity, and faith. He
showed his great love for us by
taking upon himself our sins, by lay-
ing down his precious life, and by
raising himself from the grave. "God
is love; and he that dwelleth in love
dwelleth in God, and God in him"
(1 John 4:16). Throughout the world,
our missionaries are going two by
two, preaching faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ and repentance. There
may be few who have retained all of
the five qualities mentioned, but all
can regain them through repentance
and change.

Other qualities leading to maturity

Once we have made the neces-
sary changes in our lives, we must
add to these five basic qualities five
more in order to achieve maturity in
the Lord.

Sixth, then, we need to acquire
wisdom, that which Solomon desired
so that he could make righteous judg-
ments. Many of us are not wise, for
we are blinded by the material world
around us. Wisdom comes from a
realization of true values and prior-
ities. It is a spiritual quality, for it is
founded on discernment and an
understanding heart. Great is the
wisdom of the prophets, and all who
heed them are blessed.

The Lord has counseled us to
"seek not for riches but for wisdom"
(D&C 6:7). In this general confer-
ence, pearls of wisdom have come
from those who have spoken under
the inspiration of the Spirit. We
would all do well to study and apply
the truths that have been declared.

Knowledge by itself can be dan-
gerous, and he who seeks to acquire
knowledge must also be helped to
obtain wisdom. Wisdom is a sign of
maturity. It is usually related to age
and experience, but not necessarily
so. When serving as a mission presi-
dent in Scotland, I saw the Lord
quicken the understanding of many
young missionaries so that they
developed beyond their years. Now,
less than five years later, six have
been called as bishops and two into
stake presidencies in the British Isles,
and all are giving fine leadership.

The seventh quality I shall refer
to is leadership, not only leadership
in the Church, but of every honor-
able kind. A child looks to parents
for leadership, both by word and
deed. The Lord, speaking to parents
in Israel through Moses, declared:
"And these words, which I com-
mand thee this day, shall be in thine

"And thou shalt teach them dili-


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

gently unto thy children, and shalt
talk of them when thou sittest in
thine house, and when thou walkest
by the way, and when thou liest
down, and when thou risest up"
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7).

Yes, above all, parents need the
maturity to lead and teach their chil-
dren in righteousness. The family is
the basic unit of society and the
foundation of a nation. It is sobering
to realize that, as parents, our chil-
dren have been placed in our care as
a sacred trust by the Almighty God
himself. Our sons, our daughters, are
his spirit children whom he expects
us to love and cherish, teach and

How important that both parents
and children read and study the word
of God regularly. How important that
we live these basic principles and
fulfill our Heavenly Father’s
expectations for us.

Thus we come to the eighth
aspect of maturity — namely account-
ability. A small child does not have
accountability until the age of eight,
for thus the Lord has decreed, and
most national laws agree. However,
it is not being accountable that brings
maturity. It is realizing that we are
accountable, acting accordingly, and
being prepared to give an accounting
to those in authority over us and
eventually to the Lord himself.

During the Savior’s ministry he
taught this principle, even as to the
words we speak: "But I say unto
you, That every idle word that men
shall speak, they shall give account
thereof in the day of judgment"
(Matthew 12:36). The adversary is
constantly trying to distract us and
deter us from living righteously and
being able to render a good account-
ing of our actions. We need to be
consistently strong, never dropping
our guard or compromising the
principles given by the Lord.

Ninth, we will consider
dependability. As children, we laugh
one minute and cry the next. We

change friends quickly and change
our view of the world according to
circumstance and surroundings. As
we mature, we become more
dependable and stable. Paul the
Apostle expressed the hope that "we
henceforth be no more children,
tossed to and fro, and carried about
with every wind of doctrine, by the
sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait
to deceive" (Ephesians 4:14).

We need to warn and teach,
protect and safeguard, so that our
little ones are not led away either
physically or spiritually. There are so
many voices, so many doctrines
which are not of the Lord. However,
as we "press forward with a
steadfastness in Christ, . . . and en-
dure to the end" (2 Nephi 31:20),
we shall achieve the maturity of
dependability, consistency, and spiri-
tual endurance. I am very grateful for
our beloved President Kimball who
exemplifies these qualities. He has
been a significant help to me, and I
am sure to many of us, in the quest
for spiritual maturity.

This has been particularly so
with regard to the tenth quality, that
of self-mastery. The Nephite prophet
Alma counseled, "See that ye bridle
all your passions, that ye may be
filled with love" (Alma 38:12). Jesus
Christ, the Son of God, became our
Savior and Redeemer because he
overcame the world. When Satan
tempted him, he did not succumb;
when he was ridiculed and reviled,
he did not compromise. When death
faced him, he did not waver. His
maturity was full.

May we, like him, be innocent
and humble, simple, and full of faith
and love. May we become wise and
dependable, leading others by first
mastering ourselves. May we become
mature enough to give an acceptable
accounting before the Lord when he
comes. He is the living Christ. This
is his living Church. He speaks
through a living prophet, of which I



bear joyful testimony, in the name of
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,

President Hinckley

Thank you, Elder Cuthbert, for
those inspiring words. The Choir and
congregation will now join in singing
"Shall the Youth of Zion Falter?"

The Choir and congregation
sang "Shall the Youth of Zion

President Hinckley

To those of the television and
radio audience who have just joined

us, we are convened in the historic
Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt
Lake City, Utah, in this fourth
session of the 152nd Semiannual
General Conference of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Tabernacle Choir will now
sing "God of Our Fathers, Whose
Almighty Hand."

The Choir sang "God of Our
Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand."

President Hinckley

We shall now be pleased to hear
from Elder Howard W. Hunter, a
member of the Council of the Twelve

Elder Howard W. Hunter

Commitment to God

Reading and studying the scrip-
tures make us conscious of the many
conditional promises made by the
Lord to encourage obedience and
righteous living. Israelite history is
filled with examples of covenants,
which constitute one of the central
themes of the Old Testament — the
promises of God made in exchange
for the commitments of the prophets
and the people.

The Lord made a covenant with
Noah, and the rainbow became the
token of that eternal covenant with
all mankind. (See Genesis 9:13.) The
covenant made with Abraham and his
seed was sealed by the ceremony of
circumcision as a sacrament. (See
Genesis 17:10-11.) And the token or
sign of the great covenant with all
Israel made at Sinai was the Sabbath.
(See Exodus 31:12-17.)

Relationship between blessings and

Several experiences in the life of

Joshua are instructive to us today
regarding the importance placed by
the Lord on keeping commitments
and on being committed to following
the commandments and direction he
has given.

Joshua is remembered as the one
who, on the death of Moses, took
command and completed the task of
giving leadership to the tribes of
Israel. Perhaps to comfort Joshua,
who now had the responsibility for
the children of Israel, who didn’t yet
have a homeland, and perhaps to
comfort that large body of people
who had just lost their leader of more
than forty years, the Lord spoke to
Joshua and said:

"As I was with Moses, so I will
be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor
forsake thee.

"Be strong and of a good
courage: for unto this people shalt
thou divide for an inheritance the
land, which I sware unto their fathers
to give them." (Joshua 1:5-6.)

The Lord then continues to
speak to Joshua by way of


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

"Only be thou strong and very
courageous, that thou mayest observe
to do according to all the law, which
Moses my servant commanded thee:
turn not from it to the right hand or
to the left, that thou mayest prosper
whithersoever thou goest" (Joshua

Then speaking about the law
given to Moses, the Lord adds:

"Observe to do according to all
that is written therein: for then thou
shalt make thy way prosperous, and
then thou shalt have good success"
(Joshua 1:8).

Finally, we have this last
reiteration by the Lord of what he
had previously said, to comfort and
to remind Joshua of the relationship
between the blessings of heaven and
obedience to divine law:

"Have not I commanded thee?
Be strong and of a good courage; be
not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the Lord thy God is with thee
whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua

Obedience brings success

Joshua would need courage for
what he had to do. He would need
the Lord’s help at every step. Here is
a commitment of the Lord to provide
that help. With faith in the Lord,
Joshua could now go forward,
knowing that the Lord would direct
him in the way he should go. Joshua
knew that his obedience would bring
success, and although he did not
know exactly how he would succeed,
he now had confidence in the result.

The record tells us that the
tribes of Israel moved to the Jordan
River and encamped for three days,
preparing to cross at a point near the
city of Jericho. At that time Joshua
gave his people this interesting coun-
sel. He said, "Sanctify yourselves:
for to morrow the Lord will do
wonders among you" (Joshua 3:5).

He knew the victory that would
surely come would depend upon their
willingness to do the will of the

Lord. Then the Lord said unto
Joshua, "This day will I begin to
magnify thee in the sight of all
Israel, that they may know that, as I
was with Moses, so I will be with
thee" (Joshua 3:7).

Joshua now knew that the mir-
acles of the Lord would continue,
just as when Moses had been the
leader of Israel. And so it was that
when the feet of the priests bearing
the ark of the covenant before the
people touched the water of the
Jordan, it dried up, "and all the
Israelites passed over on dry ground"
(Joshua 3:17).

Soon after, when Joshua was di-
rected to destroy the city of Jericho
that lay before them, the great walls
of the city stood as an imposing and
physically impossible barrier to
Israel’s success — or at least so it
seemed. Not knowing the means, but
assured as to the end, Joshua carried
out the instructions he had been
given by a messenger of the Lord.
His commitment was to complete
obedience. His concern was to do
precisely as he was instructed, that
the promise of the Lord would be
fulfilled. The instructions no doubt
seemed strange, but his faith in the
outcome urged him on. The result, of
course, was another in a long series
of miracles experienced by the Israel-
ites as they were led over many years
by Moses, by Joshua, and by many
other prophets who were committed
to follow the commandments and the
directives of the Lord.

As Joshua and his people
approached Jericho, the instructions
of the Lord were followed precisely,
and according to the scriptural ac-
count, "the wall fell down flat, so
that the people went up into the city,
every man straight before him, and
they took the city" (Joshua 6:20).

Full commitment by Joshua

The record states that after Israel
had rested from the wars with their
enemies, Joshua, who was now very



old, called all Israel together. In his
farewell address he reminded them
they had been victorious because
God had fought for them, but if they
now ceased to serve the Lord and
keep his law they would be
destroyed. He recalled how the Lord
God of Israel had led Abraham
throughout Canaan and had "multi-
plied his seed" (Joshua 24:3). He
reminded them of how Jacob and his
children had gone down into Egypt.
He told of how the Lord had been
with Moses and Aaron and had
brought their fathers out of Egypt;
how, in all of the battles and con-
quests, they had prevailed, adding
this significant statement: "But not
with thy sword, nor with thy bow"
(Joshua 24:12). They had been led
by the Lord to victory. The battles
had not been won by swords and
bows. He then admonished them:
"Fear the Lord, and serve him in
sincerity and in truth: and put away
the gods which your fathers served
on the other side of the flood, and in
Egypt; and serve ye the Lord"
(Joshua 24:14).

This great military and spiritual
leader then urged a commitment, and
made one himself and for his family:
"Choose you this day whom ye will
serve . . . but as for me and my
house, we will serve the Lord"
(Joshua 24:15).

Here was a great statement of
full commitment of a man to God; of
a prophet to the desires of the Lord;
of Joshua the man to his God, who
had many times previously blessed
his obedience. He was telling the
Israelites that regardless of how they
decided, he would do what he knew
was right. He was saying that his
decision to serve the Lord was inde-
pendent of whatever they decided;
that their actions would not affect
his; that his commitment to do the
Lord’s will would not be altered by
anything they or anyone else would
do. Joshua was firmly in control of
his actions and had his eyes fixed on

the commandments of the Lord. He
was committed to obedience.

Unwavering determination

Surely the Lord loves, more
than anything else, an unwavering
determination to obey his counsel.
Surely the experiences of the great
prophets of the Old Testament have
been recorded to help us understand
the importance of choosing the path
of strict obedience. How pleased the
Lord must have been with Abraham,
after receiving direction to sacrifice
his only son, Isaac, did as he was
instructed, without question and
without wavering. The record states
that God said unto Abraham:

"Take now thy son, thine only
son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get
thee into the land of Moriah; and
offer him there for a burnt offering
upon one of the mountains which I
will tell thee of" (Genesis 22:2).

The next verse simply states:

"And Abraham rose up early in
the morning . . . and took . . . Isaac
his son . . . and went unto the place
of which God had told him"
(Genesis 22:3).

Years later, when Rebekah was
asked if she would go with the ser-
vant of Abraham to become Isaac’s
wife, and no doubt knowing that the
servant’s mission had the blessing of
the Lord, she simply said, "I will
go" (Genesis 24:58).

A generation after that, when
Jacob was instructed to return to the
land of Canaan, which meant leaving
all for which he had worked for
many years, he called Rachel and
Leah into the field where his flock
was and explained what the Lord had
said. The reply of Rachel was simple
and straightforward and indicative of
her commitment: "Whatsoever God
hath said unto thee, do" (Genesis

Evaluate with eternal perspective

We have, then, examples from


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

the scriptures of how we should con-
sider and evaluate the command-
ments of the Lord. If we choose to
react like Joshua, and Abraham, and
Rebekah and Rachel, our response
will be, simply, to go and do the
thing that the Lord has commanded.

There is good reason to make
our decision now to serve the Lord.
On this Sunday morning, when the
complications and temptations of life
are somewhat removed, and when we
have the time and more of an in-
clination to take an eternal per-
spective, we can more clearly
evaluate what will bring us the great-
est happiness in life. We should
decide now, in the light of the morn-
ing, how we will act when the dark-
ness of night and when the storms of
temptation arrive.

I pray that we will have the

strength to decide now to do what we
ought to do. I pray that we will
decide now to serve the Lord. In the
name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The Choir sang "On Great Lone
Hills" without announcement.

President Hinckley

We extend our appreciation to
the owners and operators of the many
radio and television stations and
cable systems who have offered their
facilities as a public service to make
the proceedings of this conference
available to a large audience through-
out many areas of the world. Our
next speaker will be President Ezra
Taft Benson, President of the Coun-
cil of the Twelve Apostles.

President Ezra Taft Benson

Family life ordained of God

Marriage is the rock founda-
tion, the cornerstone, of civilization.
No nation will ever rise above its

Marriage and family life are or-
dained of God.

In an eternal sense, salvation is
a family affair. God holds parents
responsible for their stewardship in
rearing their family. It is a most sa-
cred responsibility.

Today we are aware of great
problems in our society. The most
obvious are sexual promiscuity,
homosexuality, drug abuse,
alcoholism, vandalism, pornography,
and violence.

These grave problems are symp-
toms of failure in the home — the dis-
regarding of principles and practices
established by God in the very

Because parents have departed

from the principles the Lord gave for
happiness and success, families
throughout the world are undergoing
great stress and trauma. Many par-
ents have been enticed to abandon
their responsibilities in the home to
seek after an elusive "self-
fulfillment." Some have abdicated
parental responsibilities for pursuit of
material things, unwilling to post-
pone personal gratification in the in-
terest of their children’s welfare.

It is time to awaken to the fact
that there are deliberate efforts to
restructure the family along the lines
of humanistic values. Images of the
family and of love as depicted in
television and film often portray a
philosophy contrary to the command-
ments of God.

If one doubts that the family as
an institution is being restructured,
consider these facts:

Nearly one out of every three
marriages ends in divorce.



The traditional family — one
which has a husband, a wife not
working outside the home, and chil-
dren — constitutes only 14 percent of
American households. (Current Popu-
lation Reports, 1980.)

Nearly fifty percent of the work
force is now female.

About 56 percent of these fe-
male workers are mothers with pre-
school children, and nearly 60
percent of them have teenagers at

In the United States alone it is
estimated that eight to ten million
youngsters, six and under, are in
child-care situations outside the

Almost one-fifth of all children
in the United States live in a one-
parent home.

No society will long survive
without mothers who care for their
young and provide that nurturing care
so essential for their normal

Innocent sounding phrases are
now used to give approval to sinful
practices. Thus, the term "alternative
life-style" is used to justify adultery
and homosexuality, "freedom of
choice" to justify abortion, "mean-
ingful relationship" and "self-
fulfillment" to justify sex outside of

If we continue with present
trends, we can expect to have more
emotionally disturbed young people,
more divorce, more depression, and
more suicide.

The family is the most effective
place to instill lasting values in its
members. Where family life is strong
and based on principles and practices
of the gospel of Jesus Christ, these
problems do not as readily appear.

My message this morning is to
return to the God-ordained funda-
mentals that will ensure love, stabil-
ity, and happiness in our homes.
May I offer three fundamentals to
happy, enduring family relationships.

Attain righteous unity

First: A husband and wife must
attain righteous unity and oneness in
their goals, desires, and actions.

Marriage itself must be regarded
as a sacred covenant before God. A
married couple have an obligation
not only to each other, but to God.
He has promised blessings to those
who honor that covenant.

Fidelity to one’s marriage vows
is absolutely essential for love, trust,
and peace. Adultery is unequivocally
condemned by the Lord.

Husbands and wives who love
each other will find that love and
loyalty are reciprocated. This love
will provide a nurturing atmosphere
for the emotional growth of children.
Family life should be a time of hap-
piness and joy that children can look
back on with fond memories and

Hear these simple admonitions
from the Lord which may be applied
to the marriage covenant.

First: "See that ye love one an-
other; cease to be covetous; learn to
impart one to another as the gospel
requires. . . . Cease to be unclean;
cease to find fault one with another"
(D&C 88:123-24).

Second: "Thou shalt love thy
wife with all thy heart, and shaft
cleave unto her and none else. . . .
Thou shalt not commit adultery."
(D&C 42:22, 24.)

Third: "He that hath the spirit
of contention is not of me, but is of
the devil, who is the father of con-
tention" (3 Nephi 11:29).

And there are many more scrip-
tural admonitions.

Restraint and self-control must
be ruling principles in the marriage
relationship. Couples must learn to
bridle their tongues as well as their

Prayer in the home and prayer
with each other will strengthen your
union. Gradually thoughts,


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

aspirations, and ideas will merge into
a oneness until you are seeking the
same purposes and goals.

Rely on the Lord, the teachings
of the prophets, and the scriptures for
guidance and help, particularly when
there may be disagreements and

Spiritual growth comes by solv-
ing problems together — not by run-
ning from them. Today’s inordinate
emphasis on individualism brings
egotism and separation. Two individ-
uals becoming "one flesh" is still
the Lord’s standard. (See Genesis

The secret of a happy marriage
is to serve God and each other. The
goal of marriage is unity and one-
ness, as well as self-development.
Paradoxically, the more we serve one
another, the greater is our spiritual
and emotional growth.

The first fundamental, then, is
to work toward righteous unity.

Nurture children with love

Second: Nurture your children
with love and the admonitions of the

Rearing happy, peaceful chil-
dren is no easy challenge in today’s
world, but it can be done, and it is
being done.

Responsible parenthood is the


Above all else, children need to
know and feel they are loved,
wanted, and appreciated. They need
to be assured of that often.
Obviously, this is a role parents
should fill, and most often the
mother can do it best.

Children need to know who they
are in the eternal sense of their iden-
tity. They need to know that they
have an eternal Heavenly Father on
whom they can rely, to whom they
can pray, and from whom they can
receive guidance. They need to know
whence they came so that their lives
will have meaning and purpose.

Children must be taught to pray,
to rely on the Lord for guidance, and
to express appreciation for the
blessings that are theirs. I recall
kneeling at the bedsides of our young
children, helping them with their

Children must be taught right
from wrong. They can and must
learn the commandments of God.
They must be taught that it is wrong
to steal, lie, cheat, or covet what
others have.

Children must be taught to work
at home. They should learn there that
honest labor develops dignity and
self-respect. They should learn the
pleasure of work, of doing a job

The leisure time of children
must be constructively directed to
wholesome, positive pursuits. Too
much time viewing television can be
destructive, and pornography in this
medium should not be tolerated. It is
estimated that growing children today
watch television over twenty-five
hours per week.

Communities have a responsi-
bility to assist the family in pro-
moting wholesome entertainment.
What a community tolerates will
become tomorrow’s standard for
today’s youth.

Families must spend more time
together in work and recreation.
Family home evenings should be
scheduled once a week as a time for
recreation, work projects, skits,
songs around the piano, games, spe-
cial refreshments, and family pray-
ers. Like iron links in a chain, this
practice will bind a family together,
in love, pride, tradition, strength,
and loyalty.

Family study of the scriptures
should be the practice in our homes
each Sabbath day.

Daily devotionals are also a
commendable practice, where scrip-
ture reading, singing of hymns, and
family prayer are a part of our daily



Prepare children for gospel

Third: Parents must prepare
their children for the ordinances of
the gospel.

The most important teachings in
the home are spiritual. Parents are
commanded to prepare their sons and
daughters for the ordinances of the
gospel: baptism, confirmation, priest-
hood ordinations, and temple mar-
riage. They are to teach them to
respect and honor the Sabbath day,
to keep it holy. Most importantly,
parents are to instill within their chil-
dren a desire for eternal life and to
earnestly seek that goal above all

Eternal life may be obtained
only by obedience to the laws and
ordinances of the gospel.

When parents themselves have
complied with the ordinances of
salvation, when they have set the ex-
ample of a temple marriage, not only
is their own marriage more likely to
succeed, but their children are far
more likely to follow their example.

Parents who provide such a
home will have, as the Lord has
said, "a house of prayer, a house of
fasting, a house of faith, a house of
learning, … a house of order, a
house of God" (D&C 88:119).
Regardless of how modest or humble
that home may be, it will have love,
happiness, peace, and joy. Children
will grow up in righteousness and
truth and will desire to serve the

One past Church President gave
this counsel to parents:

"The home is what needs
reforming. Try today, and tomorrow,
to make a change in your home by
praying twice a day with your fam-
ily. .. . Ask a blessing upon every
meal you eat. Spend ten minutes . . .

reading a chapter from the words of
the Lord in the [scriptures]. . . . Let
love, peace, and the Spirit of the
Lord, kindness, charity, sacrifice for
others, abound in your families.
Banish harsh words, . . . and let the
Spirit of God take possession of your
hearts. Teach to your children these
things, in spirit and power. . . . Not
one child in a hundred would go
astray, if the home environment, ex-
ample and training, were in harmony
with . . . the gospel of Christ."
(Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine,
5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret
Book Co., 1939, p. 302.)

I testify that, by following these
precepts and practices, serious prob-
lems with the family can and will be

Thank God for the joys of fam-
ily life. I have often said there can
be no genuine happiness separate and
apart from a good home. The sweet-
est influences and associations of life
are there.

God bless us to strengthen our
homes with love and unity and by
following his precepts, I pray in the
name of Jesus Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

We have just heard President
Ezra Taft Benson, President of the
Council of the Twelve Apostles.
Thank you, President Benson. Our
concluding speaker will be Elder J.
Thomas Fyans, a member of the
Presidency of the First Quorum of
the Seventy. Following his remarks
the Tabernacle Choir will sing
"Father in Heaven, We Do Be-
lieve." The benediction will then be
pronounced by Elder Jack H.
Goaslind, Jr., a member of the First
Quorum of the Seventy. This confer-
ence will then be adjourned until two
o’clock this afternoon.


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

Elder J. Th

My dear brothers and sisters,
what a privilege it is to stand before
you and bear my testimony that Jesus
is the Christ!

Exterior beauty

There’s an ancient oriental leg-
end that tells the story of a jeweler
who had a precious pearl he wanted
to sell. In order to place this pearl in
the proper setting, he conceived the
idea of building a special box of the
finest woods to contain the pearl. He
sought these woods and had them
brought to him, and they were pol-
ished to a high brilliance. He then
reinforced the corners of this box
with elegant brass hinges and added
a red velvet interior. As a final step,
he scented that red velvet with per-
fume, then placed in that setting this
precious pearl.

The pearl was then placed in the
store window of the jeweler, and
after a short period of time, a rich
man came by. He was attracted by
what he saw and sat down with the
jeweler to negotiate a purchase. The
jeweler soon realized that the man
was negotiating for the box rather
than the pearl. You see, the man was
so overcome by the beauty of the
exterior that he failed to see the pearl
of great price.

Fellowship nonmember friends

Recently we had in our home
some nonmember friends from
another part of the country, and they
were with us for about a week. One
of them is a very well educated man.
He initially prepared for the ministry,
and then determined he would not
continue in that vein but would
become a psychologist, and he re-
ceived his doctorate in that field.

Upon graduating, he established
a clinic, and in that clinic today there
are several psychiatrists and a
number of psychologists and social

omas Fyans

workers. This man is also an adviser
to a state board of education and to a
state university. He is involved in the
accreditation tests of universities.

When we realized that this very
well educated person was coming to
our home, we wondered what we
could show him and how we could
tell him about the things that we

First, we brought him here to
this magnificent building. It was on a
Sunday morning, and he was
impressed with the artistic ability of
this great choir. He went into the
visitors’ centers here on the grounds
and was exposed to what is there.

I sought an interview for him
with the commissioner of education.
I wanted to impress him with the fact
that we have people who have some
background in the field of education
as well. We took him to Brigham
Young University and had him visit
with persons there who are in his
field, hoping that he would be
impressed with that great univer-
sity — and he was impressed.

Then I took him behind the
scenes and introduced him to the
curriculum planning functions of the
Church as described by Elder Packer
today. Because of his background in
education he had been involved in
curriculum planning for all different
levels, but as he saw this plan, he
was amazed. He said, "I’ve never
seen anything like it. You should
have the Nobel prize for curriculum

He saw many things. Then,
during his last evening at our home,
I said, "What questions do you

He said, "How do you console
the bereaved?"

Consoling the bereaved

We opened up the Old Testa-
ment, and then we read from the
New Testament. Then we looked in



another testament, the Book of
Mormon. We studied from Alma and
other parts of this testament that
Jesus is the Christ. We then moved
on to modern-day scriptures and
studied the 76th and 138th sections
of the Doctrine and Covenants. We
also read from the Pearl of Great

And we talked about the cross-
referencing of these scriptures. They
are not isolated one from another.
They are one integral whole and have
come from one source — the Lord
God, and his Son Jesus Christ, who
through prophets over the ages have
inspired those thoughts and had them
recorded so that they would lift us to
an understanding of the pearl of great

We have many wonderful teach-
ings in this Church, all of which con-
tribute to an uplifting, wonderful life.
And yet as we look through all these
trappings, and down to the very cen-
ter core, we find that there is the
message: yes, the Lord Jesus Christ
came in the meridian of time. There
he called others — Apostles and sev-

enty, and others — to assist him in the
task. He was placed on the cross and
then in the tomb, and on the third
day he arose. He lives today, and
because he lives today, we will live
tomorrow. That, I told my friend, is
how we console the bereaved.

And I bear my witness, brothers
and sisters, that I know that Jesus is
the Christ, that this is the Church of
Jesus Christ. There are many testa-
ments of him — the Old Testament,
the New Testament, another testa-
ment commonly known as the Book
of Mormon. May we drink deeply
from these testaments to bear up that
testimony in our hearts. And may we
share it with others so that the king-
dom of God will be here upon the
earth, that the kingdom of heaven
may come, I pray humbly in the holy
name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

The Choir sang "Father in
Heaven, We Do Believe."

The benediction was offered by
Elder Jack H. Goaslind, Jr.



The fifth and final general
session of the 152nd Semiannual
General Conference commenced at
2:00 P.M. on Sunday, October 3,

President Gordon B. Hinckley,
Counselor in the First Presidency,
conducted this session.

Music was provided by the Tab-
ernacle Choir directed by Jerold
Ottley and Donald Ripplinger with
John Longhurst at the organ.

President Hinckley made the fol-
lowing remarks at the outset of the

President Gordon B. Hinckley

We are delighted, my brethren
and sisters, to have with us on the
stand and presiding at this confer-
ence, President Spencer W. Kimball.
He has asked that I conduct this
session. We excuse Elder LeGrand
Richards who because of the condi-
tion of his health feels that he cannot
be with us, and we extend our love
and prayers in his behalf.

We extend a sincere welcome to
all assembled this afternoon in the
Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt
Lake City, Utah in the fifth and final
session of the 152nd Semiannual


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

General Conference of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We also welcome those seated in the
Assembly Hall where Elders Robert
L. Simpson and Bernard P.
Brockbank preside and in the Salt
Palace where Elders Gene R. Cook
and Hugh W. Pinnock preside.

We send our greetings and
blessings to members of the Church
and many friends everywhere who
are participating in these proceedings
by radio and to those who are
gathered in approximately four hun-
dred and fifty stake centers to which
the proceedings of the conference are
fed via satellite. A survey taken
during the noon recess indicated that
there were more than a quarter mil-
lion members in these various stake
centers this morning.

The Tabernacle Choir with
Jerold Ottley and Donald Ripplinger
conducting and John Longhurst at the
organ is providing the music for this

The Choir will begin this service
by singing "In Hymns of Praise."
The invocation will be offered by

Elder A. Theodore Tuttle, a member
of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

The Choir sang "In Hymns of

Elder A. Theodore Tuttle
offered the invocation.

President Hinckley

The Tabernacle Choir will now
sing "Turn Back O Man." Follow-
ing the singing, we shall hear from
Elder Marvin J. Ashton, a member
of the Council of the Twelve

The Choir sang "Turn Back O

President Hinckley

Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the
Council of the Twelve Apostles will
now address us. He will be followed
by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, also of
the Council of the Twelve.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton

An encounter

A few weeks ago as I
approached these temple grounds
where I was to meet a friend, a
young woman — a stranger to me—
stepped up and said, "Would you
like to know what kind of people
these Mormons really are?"

I responded with, "I think I
already know a little bit about what
they really are."

To this the heckler retorted,
"They surely don’t live the teachings
of Jesus Christ as they should."

My concluding comment was,
"Who does?"

As I continued my walk to the

visitors’ center, I began to ponder the
actions of those persons who are giv-
ing time and money to discredit,
embarrass, ridicule, and shame those
who have religious views that differ
from their own. Sometimes such
actions can unify and strengthen
those who are attacked. However, in
some few instances they plant seeds
of discord, and at times righteous
people are hurt by their slander.

Look for the good

I doubt that such actions can be
called Christlike. At no time did
Jesus Christ encourage us to spend
time participating in damaging,



destructive criticism. His message
was to encourage us to seek, learn,
and share all that is praiseworthy and
of value as we associate with our
fellowmen. Only those who are
vindictive and cantankerous partici-
pate in ferreting out and advertising
the negative and unsavory.

I will be forever grateful for the
wise counsel my mission president
gave me as I arrived in England to
serve as a missionary. He said,
"Elder Ashton, these people in this
land have been at it a long time. If
you will keep your eyes, ears, and
mind open, you can learn much
while you are here. Look for the
good and overlook that which is
different from your ways."

The longer I stayed in England,
the more I appreciated his advice.
Day by day I grew to love and
appreciate that great country and its
people. For example, instead of
freezing in the raw winter weather, I
did as the English did — I put on an-
other sweater rather than wasting
time murmuring and complaining.

Refuse to become anti-anti-

Robert West wrote, "Nothing is
easier than faultfinding; no talent, no
self-denial, no brains … are re-
quired to set up in the grumbling
business" (Richard L. Evans’ Quote
Book, Salt Lake City: Publishers
Press, 1971, p. 221).

Whether accusations, innuendos,
aspersions, or falsehoods are whis-
pered or blatantly shouted, the gospel
of Jesus Christ reminds us that we
are not to retaliate nor contend.
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren,
let every man be swift to hear, slow
to speak, slow to wrath:

"For the wrath of man worketh
not the righteousness to God" (James

No religion, group, or individual
can prosper over an extended period
of time with faultfinding as their
foundation. To the world, and

especially to members of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
we declare there is no time for con-
tention. "If any man among you
seem to be religious, and bridleth not
his tongue, but deceiveth his own
heart, this man’s religion is vain"
(James 1:26).

The poet Robert Frost once de-
fined education as "the ability to lis-
ten to almost anything without losing
your temper or your self-con-
fidence." Probably we will never be
free of those who are openly anti-
Mormon. Therefore, we encourage
all our members to refuse to become
anti-anti-Mormon. In the wise words
of old, can we "live and let live"?
(Johann Schiller, in The Home Book
of Quotations, New York: Dodd,
Mead and Company, 1935, p. 1119.)

Practice pure religion

Certainly one of our God-given
privileges is the right to choose what
our attitude will be in any given set
of circumstances. We can let the
events that surround us determine our
actions — or we can personally take
charge and rule our lives, using as
guidelines the principles of pure reli-
gion. Pure religion is learning the
gospel of Jesus Christ and then
putting it into action. Nothing will
ever be of real benefit to us until it is
incorporated into our own lives.

It seems to me there has never
been a period in history when it has
been more important for us to be
engaged in pure religion as taught by
the Savior. This religion is not to
retaliate, or to exchange in kind, evil
actions or unkind statements. Pure
religion encompasses the ability to
cherish, to build up, and to turn the
other cheek in place of destroying
and tearing down. Blessed are they
who strive to serve Him without
wasting time faulting Him or those
who serve Him.

The discerning realize that it is
not realistic to expect perfection in
others when none of us is perfect.


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

"And why beholdest thou the
mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but
considerest not the beam that is in
thine own eye?

"Or how wilt thou say to thy
brother, Let me pull the mote out of
thine eye; and behold, a beam is in
thine own eye?

"Thou hypocrite, first cast out
the beam out of thine own eye; and
then shalt thou see clearly to cast out
the mote out of thy brother’s eye."
(Matthew 7:3-5.)

Meaningful progress can be
made only when all of us can cast
the motes out of our own eyes, leave
judgment to our Father in Heaven,
and lose ourselves in righteous

As we reflect upon actions that
do not fit the definition of pure reli-
gion, perhaps we should contemplate
the nature of this term: "Pure reli-
gion and undefiled before God and
the Father is this, To visit the father-
less and widows in their affliction,
and to keep . . . unspotted from the
world" (James 1:27).

The words are simple, but a ba-
sic formula is revealed — namely,
help those who are in need, build
your life around the gospel of Jesus
Christ, and avoid yielding to worldly

As with most simple formulas,
all of us must analyze our own lives
and use wisdom and free agency as
we apply the basic principles. Jesus
said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you,
this is my gospel; and ye know the
things that ye must do in my church;
for the works which ye have seen me
do that shall ye also do; for that
which ye have seen me do even that
shall ye do" (3 Nephi 27:21). The
doing is always more difficult than
the knowing.

Assume responsibility

We were visiting some friends
this past summer. A very young son
with a new tricycle was disturbed

because his parents were giving us
their attention and all of us were
ignoring him. He rode his trike as
fast as his little legs could pedal,
calling, "Look at me!" The inevi-
table happened as he looked at us
instead of where he was going. He
rode directly into a lawn chair. To
try to stem the tears and take his
mind off the hurt, his mother said,
"That naughty chair hurt you. Let’s
spank the chair."

I suppose her response
momentarily distracted the boy, but
the mother was letting her son blame
something else for the accident rather
than himself.

How many times do we look for
something external on which to place
blame for our actions? It hurts to
look inward and assume responsi-
bility for our situations.

To keep ourselves unspotted
from the world requires taking charge
of and ruling our lives from within,
accepting responsibility for our own
actions, and choosing the role of
peacemaker rather than retaliator
when those around us are critical or
spread false propaganda. It includes
being aware that God’s work on
earth is done by human beings, all of
whom have some weaknesses. It
encompasses the ability to look for
the good accomplished rather than
being disillusioned when human fail-
ings surface. It includes resisting the
urge to proclaim such weaknesses so
adamantly that the basic good is
overshadowed and testimonies waver.

Extend mercy and care

Pure religion is maintaining a
balance between sophisticated, in-
tellectual information and the basic
"bread and butter" principles of the
gospel. Latter-day Saints are encour-
aged to pursue learning in all areas.
However, superior knowledge and
academic achievements need to be
enhanced by wisdom, good judg-
ment, and spiritual guidance in order



to use all that is learned for the bene-
fit of the individual and his

Some think they can learn of
God only by appreciating his handi-
work. Mountains, streams, flowers,
birds, and animals are to be enjoyed
and admired; but this is not enough.
In the formal Church setting, gospel
truths are shared, new concepts are
internalized, and new experiences are
offered — all of which can result in
enriched feelings about oneself and
in learning better methods of helping

One who practices pure religion
soon discovers it is more rewarding
to lift a man up than to hold him
down. Happiness is bound up with
helpfulness. Those who fail to pro-
tect someone’s good name, who take
advantage of the innocent or
uninformed, who build a fortune by
pretending godliness to manipulate
others, are missing the joy of prac-
ticing pure religion.

Many have found joy by extend-
ing mercy and tender care to those
around them. What a strength it is to
witness friends visiting nursing
homes to comfort patients who don’t
even have the capacity to express
appreciation. There are some who
would question God’s motives when
he allows many to linger in pain and
hopeless physical and mental
deterioration. While this process is
taking place, others teach us by their
compassionate service and patience.
One who has served in many lead-
ership positions in the Church, even
in missions and temples, now with-
out specific assignment, meets each
month with those confined in a nurs-
ing home and often says, "What sat-
isfaction I get each month as I visit
these precious souls."

Be patient and long-suffering

Pure religion is showing concern
and affection for those who, because
they have lost their companions, are

experiencing feelings of loneliness
and neglect. Recently I visited with a
bishop who has in his ward more
than sixty widows. He beamed, "I
love them all!" At least once a week
he and his counselors visit them, in
addition to the calls made by their
home teachers. "They are the joys of
our lives," he repeated. He might
have said, "Don’t you think that is
more than our share?"

Another worthy practice in pure
religion is a daily telephone call to
each housebound person in a neigh-
borhood. A loving, older, widowed
lady said, "If I telephone each day,
it gives them a lift, and if they don’t
answer the phone, it lets me know
they probably need a personal visit
from me." One of these friends
could not afford a telephone, so this
same sister had a phone installed and
took care of the monthly bill.

Pure religion encompasses
patience and long-suffering. A father
recovering from the wounds of
alcoholism has often said, "I am
making my way back because my
family would not give up on me.
Everyone had written me off except
my wife and children." How sweet
are those words: "I am making my
way back because my family would
not give up on me."

Pure religion is practiced when
we lift the unfortunate and unusual
children. Some of God’s choicest
earthly spirits are those without
meaningful parental care. Many are
given family relationships by foster
parents on a part-or full-time basis.

Be sensitive

Pure religion is having the
courage to do what is right and let
the consequence follow. It is doing
the right things for right reasons. To
be righteous or serving or loving or
obedient to God’s laws just to earn
praise or recognition is not pure reli-
gion. It is being able to withstand
ridicule and even temporary


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

unpopularity with some peer groups
when you know who you are and for
what goals you are reaching. So
many of our young people, and older
ones also, have developed just such
inner strength. They have a great in-
fluence for good on others with
whom they associate.

Loving those around us includes
being sensitive to feelings of others.
As is often done, a conducting of-
ficer announced that when the dea-
cons were through passing the
sacrament, they were invited to go
and sit with their families. One father
noticed a boy walk out and sit in the
foyer. The next week he invited that
deacon to sit with his family rather
than go through the embarrassment
and loneliness caused by not having
his own family in attendance. This
parent responded to the need of the
boy rather than criticizing the leaders
for the policy. The actions of this
father can be enlarged on and put
into practice by every member.

Have sincere love for self and

The safety and protection of
each person, especially children,
should be a concern for all of us. We
can be instrumental in assisting in the
protection of each other by being
aware of potential dangers and being
willing to do our part to thwart those
who would injure, steal, or abuse
any person, young or old.

Another example of pure reli-
gion can be practiced in today’s po-
litical election processes by those
who explain and debate the issues
and avoid pettiness and slander. Real
political winners are those who
would accept defeat rather than par-
ticipate in character assassination.

Examples of pure religion can
be found on every hand. At a funeral
about a month ago, I learned of a
valiant young lady on a mission in a
distant land who, after much prayer
and many tears, wrote to her dying

mom just before the terminal illness
took its toll, and told her that even
though she would like to be at her
bedside, she would follow her
mother’s teachings and stay in the
mission field to finish her assignment
and search out those who wanted to
hear the gospel.

From the simple scripture that
defines pure religion comes great
guidelines. To be unspotted from the
world, one must avoid all of Satan’s
evil plans for the inhabitants of the
world. Retaliation, faultfinding,
deceit, pettiness, hypocrisy, judging,
and destroying one another do not
belong in the definition of pure

Empathy is sincere love for self
and our fellowmen. Henry David
Thoreau said, "Could a greater mir-
acle take place than for us to look
through each other’s eyes for an in-
stant?" If this were possible, I’m
sure we could visit and help the wid-
owed and fatherless and all who need
our help with the pure love of Christ
and thus be responsive to the needs
of those around us.

May God help us to learn and
live the principles of pure religion.
The business of lifting each other is a
full-time occupation. Pure religion
can never be taught or lived by those
who are petty, prejudiced, con-
tentious, or unresponsive to the needs
of their fellowmen. Pure religion is
following the teachings of our Sav-
ior. Jesus Christ does live. This is
his Church. To this I bear witness in
the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

Elder Marvin J. Ashton, a mem-
ber of the Council of the Twelve
Apostles, has just spoken to us.

We shall now be pleased to hear
from Elder Neal A. Maxwell, also a
member of the Council of the
Twelve. He will be followed by
Elder Robert E. Wells of the First
Quorum of the Seventy.



Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Be of good cheer

My brothers and sisters, we are
living in a time in which we shall see
things both wonderful and awful.
There is no way that we can be a
part of the last days and have it
otherwise. Even so, we are instructed
by our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus
Christ, to "be of good cheer" (D&C
•61:36; 78:18).

Jesus has given that same in-
struction to others before, when the
stressful circumstances in which they
found themselves were anything but
cheerful. For instance, he told the
original Twelve to be of good cheer
when, on the surface, there was
nothing to be cheerful about. (John
16:33.) The indescribable agonies of
Gethsemane were imminent. Judas ‘s
betrayal lay immediately ahead.
Likewise, Jesus’ arrest and
arraignment. The Twelve would be
scattered like sheep. Jesus’ unjust
and mocking trial and His terrible
scourging were but hours away. The
shrill and disappointing cry of the
mob — to release Barabbas instead of
Jesus — would soon echo in the air.
Then would come the final, awful
moments on Calvary!

Therefore, how could Jesus
expect the Twelve to be of good
cheer? Because, the Savior said, "/n
the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer; I have over-
come the world" (John 16:33; italics

Because Christ had overcome
the world, the Atonement was about
to be accomplished! Death would be
irrevocably defeated! Satan would
have failed to stop the unfolding plan
of salvation! All mankind would be
given — through the grace of God —
immortality! Additionally, for those
who would earn it, there would be
the richness of eternal life! These
were among the resplendent realities
and the fundamental facts which

justified the Twelve’s being of good
cheer — not their grim, temporary cir-
cumstances! The precious per-
spectives of the gospel give to us this
gospel gladness!

It was the same on another oc-
casion when, of a night, the
resurrected Jesus stood by an impris-
oned Paul, instructing Paul to be of
good cheer. (Acts 23:11.) Once
again, the circumstances of the
moment included Paul’s having been
struck publicly on the mouth by
order of Ananias. Forty individuals
were plotting his death. He faced a
trial for sedition. Why, therefore,
should he be of good cheer?
Because, Jesus announced, though in
bad circumstances, Paul would soon
take the good news of the gospel to

Church members in another age
were being held hostage until certain
prophecies were fulfilled — with their
lives being forfeit if those prophecies
were not fulfilled precisely on time.
They, too, were told by the Lord to
be of good cheer. Why? Because,
said Jesus, "On the morrow come I
into the world" (3 Nephi 1:13). With
His birth, the mortal ministry of the
Messiah would, at last, be launched!

Trust in God’s purposes

Gospel gladness was a part of
the Prophet Joseph Smith’s attitude.
In the fall of 1842, rumors were rife
of armed mobs on their way to
Nauvoo. His beloved Emma was of-
ten ill, and there were concerns she
would not recover. Joseph was hunt-
ed in the City of Joseph. In this same
period, of Joseph’s circumstance we
learn that upon his return home on
one occasion he found "Emma
sick . . . delivered of a son, which
did not survive its birth" {History of
the Church, 5:209).

Though in a period of such
anguish and affliction, the persecuted


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

Prophet wrote concerning temple
work: "Now, what do we hear in the
gospel which we have received? A
voice of gladness! … a voice of
gladness for the living and the dead;
glad tidings of great joy. . . . Let
your hearts rejoice, and be exceed-
ingly glad." And "Let the moun-
tains shout for joy, and all ye valleys
cry aloud." (D&C 128:19, 22, 23;
italics added.)

What precious perspective we
obtain from the gospel of Jesus
Christ concerning things that really
matter — against which we measure
the disappointments of the day!

In the late 1820s, Brigham
Young, as yet untouched by the re-
stored gospel, was a somewhat dis-
couraged young man. He found
himself disapproving of much of
what he saw in the world and
wondering if he had a work yet to
do. His loving brother, Phineas, gave
Brigham prescient counsel: "Hang
on, for I know the Lord is agoing to
do some thing for us." (Sermon of
Heber C. Kimball in minutes, 8 Jan.
1845, Brigham Young Papers, His-
torical Department, The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)
What then happened is Moses-like

Thus we see, brothers and sis-
ters, how we are justified in being of
good cheer for ultimate reasons — rea-
sons to be distinguished, however,
from proximate circumstances. If our
attitude, for instance, toward life
depends upon the praise of men, the
level of interest rates, the outcome of
a particular election or athletic con-
test — we are too much at the mercy
of men and circumstance. Nor should
our gratitude for the gift of mortal
life depend upon the manner in
which we die, for surely none of us
will rush eagerly forward to tell Jesus
how we died!

Instead, Jesus calls upon us to
have a deliberate trust in God’s
unfolding purposes, not only for all
humankind but for us individually.

And we are to be of good cheer in
the unfolding process.

The less love, the more fear

We must not underestimate,
however, the difficulty of the last
days. Joel and Zephaniah both speak
of the last days as being "a day
of . . . gloominess" (Joel 2:2;
Zephaniah 1:15). The coming dec-
ades will be times of despair. Why?
Because, as Moroni said, despair
comes of iniquity. (See Moroni
10:22.) The more iniquity, the more
despair. And unless there is wide-
spread repentance, despair will both
deepen and spread — except among
those who have gospel gladness.

Alas, though we are asked to be
peacemakers, we do live in a time
when peace has been taken from the
earth. (See D&C 1:35.) War has
been the almost continuing experi-
ence of modern man. There have
been 141 wars, large and small, just
since the end of World War II in
1945. As the American Civil War
was about to begin, the Lord de-
clared there would be a succession of
wars poured out upon all nations,
resulting in the "death and misery of
many souls" (D&C 87:1).

Moreover, that continuum of
conflict will culminate in "a full end
of all nations" (D&C 87:6). Mean-
while, let mortals, if they choose,
put overreliance upon mortal arms.
As for us, we shall "put on the
whole armour of God"! (Ephesians
6:11.) And in the midst of such
affliction, if we are righteous and we
die, we die unto Him; and if we live,
we live unto Him. (See D&C 42:44.)

Alas, brothers and sisters, we
likewise live in a time when the love
of many will wax cold. (See D&C
45:27; Matthew 24:12.) Fear will
therefore increase. Why? Because
when men fear, it is because we are
not perfect in love. (See 1 John 4:18;
Moroni 8:16.) The less love, the
more fear — as well as the more war!



As with Paul, however, we may
be perplexed, but we are not in
despair. (See 2 Corinthians 4:8.) For
if we are prepared spiritually, we
need not fear. (See D&C 38:30.)

Trial of faith and patience

Even so, the Lord has made no
secret of the fact that He intends to
try the faith and the patience of His
Saints. (See Mosiah, 23:21.) We
mortals are so quick to forget the
Lord: "And thus we see that except
the Lord doth chasten his people with
many afflictions . . . they will not
remember him" (Helaman 12:3).

However, the Lord knows our
bearing capacity, both as to coping
and to comprehending, and He will
not give us more to bear than we can
manage at the moment, though to us
it may seem otherwise. (See D&C
50:40; 78:18.) Just as no temptations
will come to us from which we
cannot escape or which we cannot
bear, we will not be given more
trials than we can sustain. (See 1
Corinthians 10:13.)

Therefore, given the
aforementioned grand and over-
arching reasons to rejoice, can we
not "be of good cheer" in spite of
stress and circumstance?

President Brigham Young said
of a geographical destination, "This
is the place." Of God’s plan of
salvation, with its developmental
destination, it can be said, "This is
the process"!

Believing participation without full

President Young, who knew
something about trial and tribulation
but also of man’s high destiny, said
that the Lord lets us pass through
these experiences that we might
become true friends of God. By
developing our individual capacities,
wisely exercising our agency, and
trusting God — including when we

feel forsaken and alone — then we
can, said President Young, learn to
be "righteous in the dark." (Secre-
tary’s Journal, 28 Jan. 1857.) The
gospel glow we see radiating from
some — amid dark difficulties — comes
from illuminated individuals who are
"of good cheer"!

To be cheerful when others are
in despair, to keep the faith when
others falter, to be true even when
we feel forsaken — all of these are
deeply desired outcomes during the
deliberate, divine tutorials which God
gives to us — because He loves us.
(See Mosiah 3:19.) These learning
experiences must not be misread as
divine indifference. Instead, such tu-
torials are a part of the divine

Even as believers, however,
when we are a part of encapsulating
events, we can scarcely savor all that
swirls about us. It is unlikely, for
instance, on that night so long ago in
Bethlehem, that Joseph and Mary
looked at the newly born Christ
child’s feet with the realization that
those feet would, one day, walk the
length and breadth of the Holy Land.
And, further, that, later on, spikes
would pierce those feet.

As a loving Mary grasped those
tiny hands, and, as in the months
ahead those tiny hands clasped her,
did she know that those hands, when
grown, would ordain the original
Twelve or, still later, carry the
rough-hewn cross?

As she heard her Baby cry, did
she hear intimations of Jesus’ later
weeping at the death of Lazarus or
after blessing the Nephite children?
(See John 11:35; 3 Nephi 17:21-22.)
Did she foresee that those baby-soft
knees would later be hardened by so
much prayer, including those
glorious but awful hours in
Gethsemane? (See Matthew 26:36-

As she bathed that Babe so
many times to cleanse His pores,
could she have been expected to


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

foresee that one day, years later,
drops of blood would come from His
every pore? (See Mosiah 3:7.)

There is such a thing as cheer-
ful, believing participation — even
without full understanding — when
you and I keep certain things in our
hearts and are nourished as we
ponder them! (See Luke 2:29.)

Maintain right perspective

In the midst of our afflictions,
reassurances will come to us from
the Lord and from His prophets— as
they did to the Lord’s people in an-
other age when they feared an
approaching army, and the prophet
reminded and reassured them, and
"therefore they hushed their fears"
(Mosiah 23:28). Like a young Eliza
Snow in an ox wagon in the midst of
tribulation, we can maintain our per-
spective about "things as they really
are" and, in her words, be "thankful
that we are so well off." (Jacob
4:13; Kenneth W. Godfrey, Women’s
Voices, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book
Co., 1982, p. 147.) Such reas-
surances and perspective will surely
be needed, brothers and sisters, for
the Lord has clearly indicated that
His purifying and sifting judgment
would begin first at the house of God
and then proceed outward to the
world. (See 1 Peter 4:17; D&C
112:25.) Just what this sifting will
consist of is not now clear, what spe-
cial pressures — combined with the
ongoing and demanding rigors of
"taking up the cross daily" — we
know not. (See Luke 9:23.) We do
know that the tempter’s triad of
tools, identified by Jesus as tempta-
tion, persecution, and tribulation,
will be relentlessly used. (See
Matthew 13:21; Luke 8:13.)

And if the heat from the sun of
such circumstances will scorch even
a green tree, this heat will be very
real. (See Luke 23:31; D&C 135:6;
Alma 32:38.)

Much sifting will occur because

of lapses in righteous behavior which
go unrepented of. A few will give up
instead of holding out to the end. A
few will be deceived by defectors.
Likewise, others will be offended,
for sufficient unto each dispensation
are the stumbling blocks thereof! A
few will stumble because, in their
preoccupation with the cares of the
world, they do not have oil in their
lamps. And, again and again, those
who refuse to eat their spiritual spin-
ach will come off second when they
wrestle with the world. Some,
because of the scorn of the world,
will grow ashamed and let go of the
iron rod. (See 1 Nephi 8:28.) A few
who have not been Saints, but
merely tourists passing through, will
depart from the path. A few, failing
to be of good cheer, will even charge
God foolishly. (See Job 1:22.)

Surely, brothers and sisters,
already too many Church members
have broken hearts and broken homes
because of broken covenants and
broken promises. Society’s increasing
slide toward pleasure seeking brings
our so-called civilization com-
paratively closer to Sodom than to

Forerunner of eternal riches

In our striving to be prepared,
therefore, let us be careful to rely on
parents, priesthood, and principles —
and on scriptures, and temples, and
leaders who lead — to see us through.
Let us not mistake program
scaffolding for substance.

If we are of good cheer, we will
find no use for nostalgia for another
time, even though a wistful lamen-
tation such as this one is

"Oh, that I could have had my
days in the days when my father
Nephi first came out of the land of
Jerusalem, . . . then were his people
easy to be entreated, firm to keep the
commandments of God, and slow to
be led to do iniquity. . . .



"But behold, I am consigned
that these are my days." (Helaman
7:7, 9.)

Brothers and sisters, these are
our days. This is our time on earth!
These are our tasks to be done!

And in these days, being of
good cheer is part of being valiant in
the testimony of Jesus. (See D&C
76:79; D&C 121:29.)

Finally, in those moments when
we feel the pain which is a necessary
part of the plan of happiness, we can
remember that there was an ancient
time when that plan was first
unveiled. Then the perceptive among
us voted not secretly, but audibly —
by shouting for joy! (See Job 38:7.)
Let us not go back on those feelings
now — for we saw more clearly then
what we are experiencing now!

May God help us to be of good

cheer, for this is the forerunner
feeling which precedes that glorious
condition when our joy will be full!
(See D&C 93:34.)

Meanwhile, He who knows the
path perfectly has promised, "Be of
good cheer, for I will lead you
along. The kingdom is yours . . .
and the riches of eternity." (D&C

In the name of Him who waits
"with open arms to receive" us —
Jesus Christ, amen. (Mormon 6:17.)

President Hinckley

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a mem-
ber of the Council of the Twelve
Apostles, has just spoken to us.

We shall now be pleased to hear
from Elder Robert E. Wells, a mem-
ber of the First Quorum of the

Elder Robert E. Wells

Another testament of Christ

This is The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are
Christians. We know additional
details about the Savior’s role in the
premortal existence before we came
here: we have new information about
His part in the creation of the world
under the direction of our Father; we
can identify Him as Jehovah of the
Old Testament, communicating with
the prophets of Israel. We have the
Book of Mormon, which is another
testament of Jesus Christ, which has
great illuminating doctrines and in-
formation about the Savior. Our
modern prophets have given revealed
explanations, doctrines, light, and
knowledge on the Christ as the Re-
deemer to whom we look for the
remission of our sins. We have a
wealth of information of tremendous
value to all Christian churches. We
do not diminish or tear down the
faith others have in Christ, but seek

only to share with them our addition-
al knowledge of the Lamb, the Shep-
herd, the Holy One of Israel (see
Psalm 71:22) — for their benefit and

Like Nephi of old, "we believe
in Christ, we . . . look forward with
steadfastness unto Christ. . . . We
are made alive in Christ because of
our faith. . . . We talk of Christ, we
rejoice in Christ, we preach of
Christ. . . . We . . . look forward
unto that life which is in Christ." (2
Nephi 25:24-27.) Can anyone doubt
that we are Christians in the full
sense of the word?

We are Christians

Some time ago, I was on an
airplane over the Columbian jungle
of South America. I had been telling
my seat companion about the
Church. At one point in my
enthusiastic gospel conversation, my
friend commented, "You Mormons


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

have surely built a magnificent shrine
at Joseph Smith’s grave site."

In surprise, I exclaimed, "What
shrine — what grave site?

He replied, "Why that tall
building in Salt Lake City with the
gold angel on top. Isn’t that a mau-
soleum or a shrine of some kind
where you worship your prophet?"
He was referring to the great Salt
Lake Temple.

In dismay, I recognized his mis-
understanding. No telling where it
came from. I proceeded to correct
the error, to the best of my ability.

I said to my friend, "Please al-
low me to explain that we definitely
are Christians — we do worship God
the Father and His Son Jesus Christ,
and we do not worship any prophet
or any saint — modern or of ancient
times. We do not worship the
Prophet Joseph Smith, although we
love and honor him. But we never
pray to him. In our doctrine, philos-
ophy, and practice, he is not an in-
termediary of any kind, nor is any
other prophet or saint. Christ alone is
the advocate with the Father" — and I
repeated for emphasis — "not Mary,
not Joseph, not Peter, James, or
John, not any of the ancient prophets
like Adam, Moses, or Abraham. No
modern prophet like Joseph Smith or
Brigham Young is ever worshiped or
prayed to."

Live so no one will doubt

I went on further to explain that
the temple in Salt Lake City is not to
honor the Prophet Joseph, nor is he
even buried there. To make my point
that we do not worship our prophets,
I said, "Please believe me when I
say that we never make a pilgrimage
to where the Prophet Joseph is bur-
ied; as a matter of fact, / do not even
know where he is buried!"

This explanation of my not
knowing where Joseph Smith is bur-
ied seemed to be the most dramatic
kind of clarification my friend could
have received. He was thoroughly

astonished, but he could easily see
that his understanding of our Church
had been completely wrong. This
turnabout then led to a conversation
in which truths regarding how we do
worship the Savior could be dis-
cussed easily and openly. The posi-
tive fact that we are practicing
Christians was established.

I believe it to be the responsi-
bility of every member of the Church
to so live and teach and preach that
there will never be any doubt on the
part of our friends, associates, and
casual acquaintances as to our being
Christians, having the desire to re-
ceive redemption through Him; to be
the kind of person that is a friend of
the Savior, a servant of the Savior,
and a son or a daughter of the Sav-
ior. Let me discuss each one of these
three roles:

Be a friend of the Savior

First, Be a Friend of the Savior.

President Kimball qualifies as a
friend of the Savior. When he was in
the hospital ready to undergo open-
heart surgery a few years ago, he
was being wheeled down the hall and
into the operating room by a young
orderly. The young man accidentally
smashed his finger between the metal
door frame and the metal frame of
the bed on which lay the already
sedated prophet. When this mishap
occurred, the young man, in pain,
used an unfortunate expression in
which he took in vain the name of
the Savior. The prophet stirred,
opened his eyes, and gently rebuked
the orderly, saying, "Young man,
don’t say that; He’s my best friend!"

Do you and I have a relationship
with the Savior such that we would
decry the misuse of His name? Does
Jesus know that we feel about Him
the way President Kimball feels
about Him?

Another example of President
Kimball’s discipleship occurred one
Christmas Eve several years ago. He
called and asked if I were busy. I



quickly responded, "Not at all. What
can I do for you, President
Kimball?" He told me he needed a
companion to go with him to the
Primary Children’s Hospital to give a
few blessings. It turned out that he
had heard of several children from
South America, as well as some
American Indian children, who were
in the hospital. We went from floor
to floor giving blessings to all the
Latins and Lamanites and many
others too. I was deeply affected by
the love of President Kimball and his
tender friendship with each child. He
was a friend to the sick — a friend to
those far from home. He exemplified
the tender, loving friendship that the
Savior would give. It was easy to see
how he could say, "The Savior is
my best friend."

Be a servant of the Savior

Second, Be a Servant of the

King Benjamin made this clear:
"For how knoweth a man the
master whom he has not served, and
who is a stranger unto him, and is
far from the thoughts and intents of
his heart?" (Mosiah 5:13.)

How can we possibly be a ser-
vant to the Savior if we have not
served Him, if we are strangers to
Him, if we keep Him far from the
daily thoughts and intents of our

President Harold B. Lee was the
kind of person who so knew the Sav-
ior and had been a servant for such a
long period of time that he knew in-
stinctively what the Savior would say
or do in any given situation.

For example, shortly after
becoming President of the Church,
President Lee held his first press con-
ference as the new prophet of the
Church. The reporters posed for
President Lee what could have been
a difficult question: "What is your
position with regard to the Vietnam
war?" You recall that at that time
the war was underway, and there

were those who supported it and
those who were against our

If President Lee said, "I am in
favor of our government’s position,"
the reporters could say, "How
strange — a spiritual leader in favor of
war?" If he answered, "I am against
our government’s involvement," the
reporters could also raise doubts by
saying, "How unusual — a religious
leader who pretends to support his
government, but does not?"

When the people of the press
presented the question, President Lee
responded as a servant of the Savior
would, knowing how to use the very
words of the Lord in an inspired
manner. His answer disarmed them,
impressed them. As I remember, he
said, "We, together with the entire
Christian world, abhor war." And he
went on, "The Savior said, Tn the
world ye shall have tribulations.’ But
He also said, Tn me ye might have
peace’." (See John 16:33.) Contin-
uing, President Lee quoted from John
14: " ‘Peace I leave with you, my
peace I give unto you: not as the
world giveth, give I [peace] unto
you.’ " (Verse 27.)

And then President Lee taught a
great principle. And he said to them:
"The Savior was not speaking of the
kind of peace which is won with
armies or navies or force; nor was
He speaking of the kind of peace
which can be negotiated in the halls
of congresses. He was speaking of
the kind of peace we each can have
in our hearts only when we live His
commandments to such a degree that
we know He is pleased with us."
President Lee, speaking as a true ser-
vant of the Prince of Peace, had an-
swered them with inspiration.

Be a son or daughter of the Savior

Third, Be a Son or a Daughter
of the Savior

Let there be no confusion — our
Heavenly Father is the Father of our
spirits. He is also the Father of the


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

spirit of Jesus. The Holy Trinity is
not a blur, but rather three separate
and distinct personages. Heavenly
Father gave to His Son those of His
children who would take upon
themselves the name of His Son,
demonstrating faith in Him by re-
penting of their sins and entering the
holy waters of baptism and then
going forth steadfastly in His king-
dom forever.

King Benjamin tells us:
"And now, because of the cov-
enant which ye have made ye shall
be called the children of Christ, his
sons, and his daughters; for behold,
this day he hath spiritually begotten
you; for ye say that your hearts are
changed through faith on his name;
therefore, ye are born of him and
have become his sons and his daugh-
ters" (Mosiah 5:7).

I pray that the entire member-
ship of this church, The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will
so live that if there are any who
would accuse us falsely of not being
Christians, their words would not be
believed by any who know us. Let us
so live that every person who has
ever met a member of this Church
would know that we all strive daily
to be better friends of the Savior,
more unselfish servants of the Sav-

ior, more like sons and daughters
given by the Father to our Savior by
virtue of our taking His name upon
us in the holy waters of baptism.

To this I testify humbly and
with love, in the name of Jesus
Christ, our Master and Redeemer,

President Hinckley

Thank you, Elder Wells.

The Choir and congregation will
now join in singing "We Thank
Thee, O God, for a Prophet."

After the singing, Elder
Vaughn J. Featherstone, a member of
the First Quorum of the Seventy, will
speak to us.

The Choir and congregation
sang "We Thank Thee, O God, for a

President Hinckley

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, a
member of the First Quorum of the
Seventy, will next address us. We
shall then hear from Elder George P.
Lee, a member of the First Quorum
of the Seventy.

Elder Vaughn

Personal feelings about parable

My beloved brothers and sisters,
I would like to share my personal
feelings about a parable of great hope
and compassion. The Savior said,
"A certain man had two sons"
(Luke 15:11). The younger of the
two sons seemed always to be in the
shadow of his older, more mature
brother. Compliments would come
freely to the older brother. His age
and size were in his favor; he could
work harder. The younger son,
always compared to his older

J. Featherstone

brother, never quite measured up. He
tired more quickly, did not get all the
work done, and probably had a fairly
poor self-image. He may have
determined that the "system" was
against him. He was not being
judged on his own merits. He
decided to leave home and start in a
new environment.

The parable continues: "And the
younger of them said to his father,
Father, give me the portion of goods
that falleth to me" (Luke 15:12).
Apparently the father had previously
discussed with his sons that one day



each would receive an inheritance.
The inheritance would be a free-will
gift from the father. It is doubtful
that either son actually earned much
more than his room and board. Nev-
ertheless, the father "divided unto
him his living" (Luke 15:12). This,
in essence, was approval for the
younger man to strike out on his own
with his inheritance. The father loved
him. He may have had an idea what
the younger son would do with his
share. The younger brother
"gathered all together, and took his
journey into a far country" (Luke

He may have intended to do
something honorable. However, he
found, after arriving in the distant
city in a far country, people did not
just automatically gather round and
make him welcome. He was in a
predicament, no influence and no
friends. True friends must be earned,
others can be bought. The younger
son found that flies are attracted by
honey. He began to flash his inher-
itance around. The flies came. Not
only did he not invest or use his
money wisely, he wasted it on riot-
ous living. (See Luke 15:13.) There
were evil and drunken men and vile
and adulterous women whose lust for
his companionship was gone when
the money was spent.

"And when he had spent all,
there arose a mighty famine in that
land" (Luke 15:14). Conditions were
bad, for not only had he used up all
his inheritance, but even the average
citizen waxed sore. He had been
taught to work at home and apparent-
ly attempted to find work. He may
have gone to many who had been his
friends when he was "flush."

Wells of despair

The prodigal began to be in
want and "went and joined himself
to a [certain] citizen of that country;
and he sent him into his fields to
feed swine" (Luke 15:15). Now he

was not only destitute, but also
forced to take the most humble kind
of work. In such great poverty was
he that "he would fain have filled
his belly with the husks that the
swine did eat: and no man gave unto
him" (Luke 15:16). The Savior is
undoubtedly showing us the contrast
and the depths of poverty and need
to which he had sunk. He had in-
dulged with all who came when he
had money. Now not even one of his
supposed friends so much as gave
him a husk of corn so that he might
feed at least as well as the swine.

There is a great purging and
humbling that comes from the wells
of despair. False pride is stripped
away. The light of home flickers
dimly through the dark miles of

In the despair of this great,
humbling experience, the young man
"came to himself, [and] he said, How
many hired servants of my father’s
have bread enough and to spare, and
I perish with hunger!

"I will arise and go to my
father, and [I] will say unto him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven,
and before thee,

"And am no more worthy to be
called thy son: make me as one of
thy hired servants.

"And he arose, and came to his
father." (Luke 15:17-20.)

The son returns

It is possible that he rehearsed
the speech over and over again. The
father had been faithful and had
worked hard all his life, a frugal man
with character and integrity. Would
he turn his son away? The younger
son arose and came unto his father —
undoubtedly a long journey.

Now, the older son may have
noticed that since the younger
brother’s leaving, the father seemed
always preoccupied. His father had
little interest in the work. He would
work a bit, then leave the field to


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

look down the road, each time
returning with a faraway look in his
eyes. Not only did the older brother
have to do his own work and make
up for the younger brother’s absence,
but he also had an additional work
load which was previously done by
the father. It also seemed that his
father paid him little attention.
Before the younger brother’s leaving,
there was always a word of praise for
the way the older son worked. Now,
there was little or no fun, no singing,
no dancing, and precious little talk.
Both the mother and father would sit
at night and stare into the open fire.
Days, weeks, even months passed

The Master states: "But when
[the younger son] was yet a great way
off, his father saw him, and had
compassion, and ran, and fell on his
neck, and kissed him.

"And the son said unto him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven,
and in thy sight, and am no more
worthy to be called thy son.

"But the father said to his ser-
vants, Bring forth the best robe, and
put it on him; and put a ring on his
hand, and shoes on his feet." (Luke
15:20-22.) The long journey proba-
bly had been made with little or no
footwear, so the robe and shoes were
necessities. But the father also had a
ring brought for his son’s hand. This
was an unexpected gift, an
expression of the gratitude of the
father for the son’s return.

"And bring hither the fatted
calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and
be merry:

"For this my son was dead, and
is alive again . . . was lost, and is
found. And they began to be merry.

Thy brother is found

"Now his elder son was in the
field: and as he came and drew nigh
to the house, he heard musick and

"And he called one of the ser-

vants, and asked what these things

"And he said unto him, Thy
brother is come; and thy father hath
killed the fatted calf, because he hath
received him safe and sound.

"[Now the elder brother] was
angry, and would not go in." (Luke

The weeks and months of doing
work which his brother had pre-
viously done, compensating for his
father’s inattention, receiving no
compliments, and the father’s pre-
occupation settled in on him. Perhaps
he thought he should have taken his
inheritance also. He would not have
wasted it, but increased it. In spite of
these thoughts, he had stayed at
home and been a dutiful son. There
was no music, no dancing for his
righteous life; and yet when his
younger brother returned, all of these
things celebrated his coming.

Word came to the father that his
son was outside and would not come
in, "therefore came his father out,
and intreated him" (Luke 15:28).
The father must have realized the
oversight; he may even have apol-
ogized. The great concern for his
younger son was off his mind. He
remembered he had not been as com-
plimentary to the older son as usual.
He recalled the older son’s more in-
tense work to compensate — no danc-
ing, no music, no sumptuous feasts.
Hearts were too heavy for those

"And he answering said to his
father, Lo, these many years do I
serve thee, neither transgressed I at
any time thy commandment: and yet
thou never gavest me a kid, that I
might make merry with my friends:

"But as soon as this thy son
was come, which hath devoured thy
living with harlots, thou hast killed
for him the fatted calf" (Luke

The father, with full under-
standing, said, "Son, thou art ever
with me, and all that I have is thine"



(Luke 15:31). The father had planned
all along to reward the older brother
by giving him everything, but this
was the first time this had been

The father said, "It was meet
that we should make merry, and be
glad: for this thy brother was dead,
and is alive again; and was lost, and
is found" (Luke 15:32).

Compassion and hope for all

A minister recently read the par-
able of the prodigal son over the
radio. He concluded with: "The
younger brother stood justified before
the Lord due to his repentance, and
the older brother fell under the great-
er condemnation." When I heard
this, I wept and I thought, "Oh, you
foolish man. You do not understand
the Lord’s teachings." The older son
had been hurt and neglected and,
true, had not exercised love and
compassion to his wayward brother;
but no thinking man could ever sup-
pose that his transgression compared
to the wasteful, extravagant, riotous
living with harlots of the younger

I think I have an understanding
of what the Lord was trying to teach
in this beautiful parable which ex-
tends hope to all. The Savior is
standing with open arms to receive
and forgive all who come unto him.
His atoning and redemptive suffering
in Gethsemane and on Golgotha’s
hill are the greatest acts of love ever

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, in her
poem entitled "Gethsemane," said:

All paths that have been, or should

Pass somewhere through

All those who journey, soon or


Must pass within the garden’s

Must kneel alone in darkness

And battle with some fierce

God pity those who cannot say:
"Not mine, but thine"; who only

"Let this cup pass," and cannot

The purpose in Gethsemane.

(James Dalton Morrison, ed. ,
Masterpieces of Religious Verse,
New York and London: Harper
and Brothers, 1948, p. 184.)

Death, divorce, transgression,
loneliness, and despair drive us to
Gethsemane’s garden. The Master’s
outstretched arms are open to receive
all. The parable of the prodigal son
is beautiful. It demonstrates charity.
His love and compassion are eter-
nally surrounding every soul who
walks the earth. Every man, woman,
or youth who returns home after a
prodigal journey or an inactive period
will find the Savior waiting with
open arms. His atoning act will satis-
fy justice and extend mercy to all
who will "come unto him." (See
D&C 18:11.)

Come home

All who are active have some-
one close who may be inactive,
indifferent, or clothed in trans-
gression’s soiled robes. They need
the sweet, abiding love of a com-
passionate parent or loving brother or
sister. Jesus will bless every member
of the Church who will go out and
bring someone back.

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.,


"Every human being is born
with the light of faith kindled in his
heart as on an altar, and that light
burns and the Lord sees that it burns,
during the period before we are ac-
countable. When accountability
comes then each of us determines
how we shall feed and care for that
light. If we shall live righteously that
light will glow until it suffuses the
whole body, giving to it health and


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

strength and spiritual light as well as
bodily health. If we shall live
unrighteously that light will dwindle
and finally almost flicker out. Yet it
is my hope and my belief that the
Lord never permits the light of faith
wholly to be extinguished in any hu-
man heart, however faint the light
may glow. The Lord has provided
that there shall still be there a spark
which, with teaching, with the spirit
of righteousness, with love, with
tenderness, with example, with living
the Gospel, shall brighten and glow
again, however darkened the mind
may have been. And if we shall fail
so to reach those among us of our
own whose faith has dwindled low,
we shall fail in one of the main
things which the Lord expects at our
hands." (In Conference Report, Oct.
1936, p. 114.)

We are the keepers of the light.
We invite all who are here to reach
out and bless others who are not
here. Listen to the voice of a
prophet. President Spencer W.
Kimball said: "We extend to every
listener a cordial invitation to come
to the watered garden, to the shade
of pleasant trees, to unchangeable

"Come with us to sureness,
security, consistency. Here the cool-
ing waters flow. The spring does not
go dry.

"Come listen to a prophet’s
voice and hear the word of God."
(In Conference Report, Apr. 1971,
p. 11.)

And we invite all those who are
not here to come home. We gaze
steadily down the road, anxious for
your return. We will run with open
arms, and hearts filled with com-
passion. There are shoes for your
feet, a robe, a ring for your hand,
and a fatted calf. Come home and we
will rejoice together, in the name of
Jesus Christ, amen.

President Hinckley

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, a
member of the First Quorum of the
Seventy, has just spoken to us.

We shall now be pleased to hear
from Elder George P. Lee, also a
member of the First Quorum of the
Seventy, following which the Taber-
nacle Choir will sing "For I Am
Called by Thy Name."

Elder Gee

Testimony of Christ as Redeemer

In our world of skepticism, con-
fusion, and wickedness, to know the
truth, to have a deep, humble, and
solemn conviction that Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of the living God, is
a very precious thing. I have re-
ceived the witness of the divinity of
my Savior through the sweet in-
fluence and power of the Holy
Ghost. I have received this witness in
my own heart, which exceeds all
other evidences. It bears record to
me, to my very soul, of the existence
of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

This silent, sweet conviction
came early in my youth, while I was

ge P. Lee

on my knees in deep supplication in
our humble hogan, and at other
times, after reading the Book of
Mormon while tending the sheep out
in the hot desert on the reservation.
Just as I know that my life did not
begin when I was born, just as I
know that it will not end when I die,
likewise I know for certain that the
life of Christ did not begin at
Bethlehem; neither did it end on
Calvary. Of himself, the Lord Jesus
Christ said:

"I have glorified thee on the
earth: I have finished the
work . . . thou gavest me to do.

"And now, O Father, glorify
thou me with thine own self with the



glory … I had with thee before the
world was." (John 17:4—5.)

I bear testimony that Jesus
Christ was the first begotten Son of
God in the Spirit. Like the Father
himself, he was a personage of great
power and intelligence in the uni-
verse. For ages before this world was
created, he lived and ruled with his
Father in Heaven in the premortal
existence on a spiritual basis. The
Lord Jesus had much to do with our
growth and training prior to our birth
on earth. Under the direction of the
Father, he created this earth and ac-
cepted the appointment to come here
and to be its redeemer. It was he
who came forth in the Grand Council
in Heaven and said: "Here am I,
send me" (Abraham 3:27).

"Father, thy will be done, and
the glory be thine forever" (Moses

Of his beloved Son, our Heav-
enly Father has declared, "And
worlds without number have I cre-
ated; and I also created them for
mine own purpose; and by the Son I
created them, which is mine Only
Begotten" (Moses 1:33).

Was known before His birth

There was no other good enough
to pay the price of sin. He was the
only one that could unlock heaven’s
gate and let us in (see Hymns, no.
201), because he was and is the only
one suited, eligible, worthy, able,
willing, perfect, and qualified for this
great supreme sacrifice.

I bear testimony that our Re-
deemer’s birth in Bethlehem was an-
nounced by a great concourse of
angels and by an angel of great au-
thority and power who had come
from the presence of God, saying, "I
am Gabriel, that stand in the pres-
ence of God; and am sent to speak
unto thee, and to shew thee these
glad tidings" (Luke 1:19).

Ancient prophets from the time
of Adam down knew of his coming.

He was known by name, character,
and his good works long before his
birth. Before his birth, he was a per-
sonage of spirit. After his birth, a
body of flesh and bones was added.
After he conquered death and after
resurrection, he became a person
with an indestructible glorified body,
inseparably joined together with his
immortal spirit. His whole mortal life
was devoted to bringing peace and
blessings to others. He lived a per-
fect life in the midst of evil and

His excruciating agony in the
Garden of Gethsemane was not only
physical and mental anguish, but also
a spiritual agony that only a god was
capable of experiencing. In that hour
of tremendous anguish the Savior
took upon himself the burden of the
sins of the world from Adam down
to the end of the world. Then they
hanged him on the cross and
crucified him in the most inhumane
and cruel method of execution. A
spike was driven through his hands
and feet as was the method at that
time. Of his suffering he said:

"For behold, I, God, have suf-
fered these things for all, that they
might not suffer if they would repent;

"But if they would not repent
they must suffer even as I;

"Which suffering caused
myself, even God, the greatest of all,
to tremble because of pain, and to
bleed at every pore, and to suffer
both body and spirit" (D&C

In his infinite love and mercy he
prayed for the very people that
crucified him. He prayed and asked
Heavenly Father to bless and forgive
those that ridiculed, mocked, and in-
sulted him. In pain and anguish he
cried, "Father, forgive them; for
they know not what they do" (Luke

Resurrected and glorified

I bear testimony that this same
crucified Christ arose on the third


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

day from the tomb, after having met
and mingled with others in the spirit
world, his spirit was reunited with
his body. After being among men on
earth, he ascended to his Heavenly
Father as a resurrected and glorified
being. An angel, speaking of Jesus,

"He is not here: for he is risen,
as he said. Come, see the place
where the Lord lay.

"And go quickly, and tell his
disciples that he is risen from the
dead; and, behold, he goeth before
you into Galilee; there shall ye see
him." (Matthew 28:6-7.)

For thousands of years from the
time of Adam up to Christ’s cruci-
fixion, millions of people had entered
the dark grave and suffered death and
the end of life. For thousands of
years, no one had ever returned.
When our Redeemer arose from the
tomb with his resurrected and immor-
tal body, he robbed death of its sting
and the grave of its victory. (See 1
Corinthians 15:55; Mosiah 16:7-8;
Mormon 7:8.) Man was freed from
sin’s dark prison. Death was con-
quered; Christ won the victory. (See
Mosiah 15:8; Mormon 7:5; Alma
27:28.) He had opened heaven’s

Immediately following his resur-
rection many others were resurrected.
In Matthew we read:

"And the graves were opened;
and many bodies of the saints which
slept arose,

"And came out of the graves
after his resurrection, and went into
the holy city, and appeared unto
many" (Matthew 27:52-53).

Thus, our risen Lord removed
the last barrier in our march toward
perfection and eternal life. Just as it
is said of him "He is not here: . . .
he is risen" (Matthew 28:6), so it
will be for each of us, because the
empty tomb of the Lord Jesus is not
only a symbol but also a guarantee of
our own resurrection and immortal-
ity. It would be a serious mistake

and a tragedy for anyone to assume
that Jesus was just a great teacher
and just a great humanitarian.
Because of him, life continues
throughout eternity. There is no other
name under heaven whereby man
will be saved and exalted. (See Acts
4:12; 2 Nephi 25:20.)

I bear testimony that our
resurrected Lord, clothed in glory,
personally manifested himself to the
Nephites and the Lamanites in an-
cient America as they were gathered
around their temple in the land
Bountiful. God our Eternal Father
said unto them:

"Behold my Beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased, in whom I
have glorified my name — hear ye
him" (3 Nephi 11:7).

They saw the Lord Jesus Christ,
clothed in a white robe, coming
down out of heaven; and he
descended until he stood in their
midst. He said unto them:

"Behold, I am Jesus Christ,
whom the prophets testified shall
come into the world.

"And behold, I am the light and
the life of the world; and I have
drunk out of that bitter cup which the
Father hath given me, and . . .
glorified the Father in taking upon
me the sins of the world." (3 Nephi

The multitude fell at his feet and
worshiped him. They then arose and
came to him at his invitation to see
and feel the prints of the nails in his
hands and feet. They also saw and
felt the spear wound in his side, and
they did fall at his feet, overwhelmed
and overjoyed. Their own eyes and
hands were witnesses. Words cannot
describe their heartfelt joy and grati-
tude. It was a glorious manifestation
and spiritual feast for all.

I bear testimony that this, the
last great dispensation of the fulness
of times, was ushered in by the voice
of God our Eternal Father, saying:
"This is My Beloved Son. Hear
Him!" (Joseph Smith — History



The Father and the Son appear

In the spring of 1820, God our
Eternal Father and his Son, Jesus
Christ, revealed themselves to the
boy-prophet Joseph Smith. The dark-
ness of the long night of the apostasy
was lifted. This glorious
manifestation illuminated the world.
Other divine visitations by heavenly
messengers and personages were
made to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Many revelations were given to him.
The giver of these revelations was
none other than our risen Lord, Jesus
Christ. The gospel was restored with
all of its former blessings, keys,
rights, privileges, and holy priest-
hood with authority to minister in the
name of God. The Church, bearing
his name and founded upon the rock
of revelation, was restored.

Seek perfection for ourselves and

The gospel principles and laws
that the Lord restored in our day are
not that much different from those
that he revealed in the times past.
Latter-day Saints are expected, as
were the Saints in the past, to seek
first the kingdom of God and his
righteousness. The Savior’s divine
formula for success and perfection
has always been the same: "Seek ye
first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things
shall be added unto you" (Matthew

The Lord Jesus wants us to
build the necessary character, righ-
teousness, industry, and godliness
into our lives first. Then we are to
do the same for others. That is, to
assist him in teaching, baptizing, and
perfecting individuals and families
throughout the world.

Even in our own day and age
we can perfect ourselves in many
areas. For example, we can become
perfect in abstaining from the use of
coffee, tea, tobacco, and liquor. We
can become perfect in the paying of
our tithing. We can become perfect

in our sacrament meeting attendance.
We can become perfect in honesty,
in morality, in charity, in punc-
tuality, in dependability, and in many
other virtues. If we can live one gos-
pel principle perfectly today, we can
live two principles perfectly
tomorrow. Perfection in one thing
can act as a stepping-stone to per-
fection in something else.

The Second Coming

I bear testimony that our risen
Lord and Redeemer will return to
earth a second time in his
resurrected, immortal body of flesh
and bones, and in celestial glory and
power. When he came the first time
he was misunderstood, condemned,
and ridiculed and was a man ac-
quainted with much grief. (See Isaiah
53:3.) When he came the first time,
he atoned for the sins of the world.
But when he comes the second time
he will come as a triumphant King of
Kings and a glorious Lord of Lords.
(See Revelation 17:14.) He will stand
in judgment of sinners who have not
repented. He will come as the
Almighty God to cleanse the earth
and to inaugurate his glorious millen-
nial reign. (Articles of Faith 1:10).
The Lord Jesus and the resurrected
Saints will reign upon the earth
during the thousand years of millen-
nium. (See D&C 29:11.) Satan will
be tied and will have no power to
tempt any man (See D&C 43:31.)
Then after the end of the thousand
years, Satan will be loosed again for
a little season, and then will come
the end of the earth. Satan and his
forces will be banished forever and
ever. Every person will be
resurrected and stand before God to
be judged. Our Lord, Jesus Christ,
will be crowned with the crown of
his glory to reign forever and ever.
(See D&C 76:108.) Those that have
endured until the end and have
achieved eternal life will abide with
him and Heavenly Father forever and
ever in the celestial kingdom.


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

The promised Messiah

I testify that he is the creator of
"all things bright and beautiful, All
creatures great and small" (Cecil
Frances Alexander, in Masterpieces
of Religious Verse, ed. James Dalton
Morrison, New York: Harper and
Brothers Publishers, 1948, p. 17).
He is the master over ocean, earth,
and skies. He is the promised
Messiah. He is the victor over death
and the grave. He is the Prince of
Peace. (See Isaiah 9:6.) He is the
same yesterday, today, and forever.
(See Hebrews 13:8.) Everlasting is
his name. Eternal is his name. He is
Jesus the Christ. I so testify, in his
holy name, amen.

The Choir sang "For I Am
Called by Thy Name."

President Hinckley

That moving testimony on the
Savior of the world was given by
Elder George P. Lee, a member of
the First Quorum of the Seventy.

The Choir has just sung "For I
Am Called by Thy Name."

We should like to express, on
behalf of all who have listened to the
singing during sessions of this gen-
eral conference, appreciation and our
sincere gratitude to the Tabernacle
Choir and Mormon Youth Chorus
and to their conductors and

We appreciate the attention
given by local and national press rep-
resentatives of radio and television in
reporting the sessions of this

We thank our city officials for
the cooperation given us, the Relief
Society and Church health unit nurs-
es who have been on hand to render

service throughout the conference,
and the ushers and interpreters.

We express appreciation to the
owners and managers of the many
radio and television stations and
cable systems who have given public
service time to carry sessions of this
conference in many countries.

And to the many who have la-
bored long and hard under difficult
circumstances in setting in place the
satellite transmission service which
the Church is inaugurating. To all of
these our very deep appreciation and
gratitude and to each of you for your
presence with us.

We were to have heard at this
time from Elder LeGrand Richards.
He is not able to be with us. We
talked with him on the telephone just
prior to this meeting. He had hoped
that he might be here to give, as it
were, his valedictory testimony of
this great and sacred work, which
had been so much a part of his life
during the ninety-six years that he
has lived.

As most of you know, he re-
cently underwent very serious sur-
gery which has had a traumatic effect
upon his health. I am sure that each
of you here today is disappointed and
will miss his great voice as without
hesitation he spoke out in defense of
the restored gospel, and in testimony
of Him who was the Restorer.

The Brethren have suggested
that before President Tanner speaks
to us, I perhaps should say a few
words of summary. Then President
N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor in
the First Presidency, will speak, after
which the Choir will sing "Come,
Follow Me."

The benediction will then be
offered by Elder Angel Abrea, a
member of the First Quorum of the
Seventy, and the conference will
stand adjourned for six months.



President Gordon B. Hinckley

Study conference talks

We have had a wonderful time
since early yesterday morning when
President Romney spoke to us on
self-reliance in the welfare meeting.
It was a timely message, and in the
environment in which we live today,
we all should be looking to greater
self-sufficiency, a greater spirit of
self-reliance, a greater desire to take
care of ourselves and our own. His
talk, along with others given at that
session, should be read and reread
for our blessing and benefit.

Then when we opened the con-
ference yesterday morning, we had
the marvelous and wonderful experi-
ence of hearing Brother Haycock
read in behalf of President Spencer
W. Kimball a stirring message. It
touched our hearts. We were blessed
by reason of it. And I should like to
suggest that at the earliest opportu-
nity — it will be published in the En-
sign — all of us should read that talk.
We have sung here this afternoon a
hymn which is peculiar to this
Church: "We thank thee, O God, for
a prophet To guide us in these latter
days" (Hymns, no. 196). Do we
mean it? If so, we should read and
hearken to his words. God help us to
be obedient to the counsel which
comes through his prophet.

And then during the subsequent
sessions, we have been taught, we
have been encouraged, we have been
fortified in our faith, we have been
strengthened in our convictions, we
have gained a greater appreciation of
this work and a more certain knowl-
edge of Him who stands at its head.

I think that among all of the
many wonderful and significant
things which the Prophet Joseph
Smith said, there are few that are of
greater import than his declaration to
a traveler who had asked how he
governed so heterogeneous a people.
"I teach them correct principles," he
said, "and they govern themselves."

(See George Q. Cannon, Life of
Joseph Smith the Prophet, Salt Lake
City: Deseret Book Co., 1958, p.
529.) My brethren and sisters, having
been taught correct principles, let us
go from this conference with a
determination to govern ourselves in
accordance with these principles.

Use self-discipline to resist evils

There is so much of evil in the
world, and so great a need for good
to overcome it. Anyone who has read
a newspaper or listened to a news
broadcast during the past few days
could not help being moved by the
story of what must have been the
work of a depraved individual in in-
troducing a deadly poison in place of
a beneficent medication. It is an in-
dication of the depths to which men
may sink, and of the great need in
this world to overcome evil with
good. We ought to do better; we
ought to become as leaven; we ought
to become as a light from which
goodness and truth and beauty and
virtue could spread across the world.

There are those among us who
would succumb to evil things and to
the wiles of the adversary. I would
just like to say a word about
pornography. It is a growing, vile,
and evil thing. It is on our motion
picture screens, it comes into the
homes of the people on television re-
ceivers, it is on newsstands, it reach-
es out in other ways to entrap and
beguile and destroy those who are
enticed to partake of it. I am satis-
fied, my brethren and sisters, that no
Latter-day Saint can with impunity
afford to witness or read or partake
of this growing evil in any way. God
help us and bless us with the self-
discipline to resist and abstain and
flee from, if necessary, this per-
nicious and growing thing which
would destroy us.

We have been encouraged to
strengthen our homes, to fortify the


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

Spirit of the Lord in those homes, to
cultivate appreciation and respect and
affection one for another. It is a
terrible thing that we hear occasion-
ally of child abuse. This is a growing
evil across the world. I opened the
Doctrine and Covenants the other day
while thinking of this, and read these
words of the Lord given through the
Prophet Joseph Smith who was then
in the misery and loneliness of Lib-
erty Jail. He spoke out concerning
those who should raise their hands
against the Church, but in a larger
sense he spoke out against those who
would abuse children. He said, "Wo
unto them; because they have
offended my little ones they shall be
severed from the ordinances of mine

"Their basket shall not be full,
their houses and their barns shall per-
ish, and they themselves shall be
despised by those that flattered
them." (D&C 121:19-20.) What a
statement that is, concerning those
who would offend little children!

I feel likewise that it ill becomes
any man who holds the priesthood of
God to abuse his wife in any way, to
demean or injure or take undue ad-
vantage of the woman who is the
mother of his children, the compan-
ion of his life, and his companion for
eternity if he has received that
greater blessing. Let us deal in kind-
ness and with appreciation with those
for whom the Lord will hold us ac-
countable. I never get over the depth
of meaning of the words President
McKay often quoted, "The most
important thing a father can do for
his children is to love their mother"
(Quoted in Richard Evans’ Quote
Book, Salt Lake City: Publishers
Press, 1971, p. 11).

Counsel on politics

Now a word on politics. This is
an election year, and there are many
strong and strident voices incident to
political campaigning. It’s a whole-

some and wonderful system that we
have under which people are free to
express themselves in electing those
who shall represent them in the coun-
cils of government. I would hope
that those concerned would address
themselves to issues and not to per-
sonalities. The issues ought to be dis-
cussed freely, openly, candidly, and
forcefully. But, I repeat, I would
hope that there would be an avoid-
ance of demeaning personalities. Said
Shakespeare in Othello, the Moor of

Who steals my purse steals

trash. . . .
But he that filches from me my

good name
Robs me of that which not

enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.

(Act 3, sc. 3, lines 157-61.)

Reach out with love

Let us reach out with love and
kindness to those who would revile
against us — and there are some, as
Elder Ashton has indicated. I think
frequently of the words of Edwin
Markham as he put them in that little

He drew a circle that shut me
out —

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

(In Hazel Fellman, ed., The Best
Loved Poems of the American
People, Garden City, N.Y.:
Garden City Publishing Co., 1936,
p. 67.)

In the spirit of the Christ who
advised us to turn the other cheek,
let us try to overcome evil with

Spread the gospel graciously

We live in a great and
challenging day. General Omar



Bradley is quoted as having said,
"We have grasped the mystery of the
atom and rejected the Sermon on the
Mount. . . . Ours is a world of nu-
clear giants and ethical infants. We
know more about war than we know
about peace, more about killing than
we know about living." (As quoted
in Louis Fischer, The Life of
Mahatma Gandhi, New York: Harper
and Brothers, Publishers, 1950, p.

We have so much to do in this
world to spread the influence of this
gospel. Let us go forth on our as-
signed mission. We feel the com-
pulsion of the Lord’s mandate to
teach the gospel to every nation, kin-
dred, tongue, and people. (See D&C
133:37.) We hope that in so doing
we shall not offend, but rather that
we shall do so with graciousness and
in that spirit of love which was of
the very essence of him of whom we

Continue in well-doing

We shall continue the great
work of strengthening our people
wherever they may be found in the

nations of the earth. We shall give
encouragement to those who are
weak in the faith. We shall try to
teach them by example and precept.
We shall work together in the spirit
of charity and love one for another.
We shall go on building houses of
worship across the world, where our
people may gather together and
strengthen one another as they
unitedly worship the Lord.

We shall continue the great
work that goes on in our temples, an
unmatched work of love reaching out
even to those who have gone beyond
the veil of death. Can there be a
greater labor of love than this? It
comes more nearly of partaking of
the spirit of the Lord himself, who
gave his life as a vicarious sacrifice
for all of us, than any other work of
which I know. It is done in the name
of him whose salvation is universal.

God bless all of us to open our
eyes and to unstop our ears, to look,
to listen, to learn, and to come to an
understanding and appreciation of the
great, eternal truths of which we bear
witness, I humbly pray in the name
of Jesus Christ, amen.

President N. Eldon Tanner

Gratitude for prayer

My brothers and sisters, this has
been a grand day for me, to sit here
and listen to the conference of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints in our famous tabernacle. The
prayer offered by Brother Russell
Ballard has been answered, I am
sure, during this conference.

Speaking of prayer, it is so
important that we know to whom we
are praying and that our prayers will
be answered in our best interests. As
we pray to the Lord, let us remember
that it was prayer that brought this
church to the earth, when Joseph
Smith, as a boy, read:

"If any of you lack wisdom, let
him ask of God, that giveth to all
men liberally, and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him" (James

I wonder if we realize just what
a blessing it is to have our prayers
answered, and to be able to ask for
what we need.

Strive to follow teachings

And then that beautiful speech
of President Kimball’s that Arthur
[Haycock] read to us in the beginning
session: it in itself gave us enough to
think about as we strive to follow the
teachings of the Lord and Savior


Saturday, October 2


First Day

while we sojourn here upon the
earth. It has been a great joy for me
to be associated with President
Kimball as long as I have, to learn
from him and to feel the influence of
his spirit.

As we hear this beautiful choir
we should realize how fortunate we
are to have a choir that is known all
over the world for good, and which
has sung to so many congregations.

It has been great to mingle with
you brethren and sisters and to be
here and partake of the Spirit with
you today. As we leave this session,
I hope and pray that each of us will
remember the things we have heard
and realize that they can help us do
better. As we leave this conference,
let us go forward and do the things
we have been counseled to do in the
sermons in this great hall.

Appreciation for blessings

I want to thank the Lord per-

sonally for all the blessings he has
bestowed upon me and my family,
and on us as a church. There is no
other organization in the world that
can offer the sermons we have heard
here today. They are the best, and as
well done as any I can imagine.

I wish to thank the Lord that we
can participate in this kind of ser-
vice, and go away from here
determined to improve our lives and
to be an influence for good in the
world. And I bear testimony that this
is the work of the Lord. I know it is
true, and if we will live according to
its teachings we will have greater joy
than we will find in any other way.

May the Lord bless us to this
end, I pray in the name of Jesus
Christ, amen.

The Choir sang "Come, Follow

Elder Angel Abrea offered the


A general welfare services
session was held in connection with
general conference on Saturday,
October 2, 1982, at 7:00 A.M. In at-
tendance at this meeting were Gen-
eral Authorities, the general Relief
Society presidency, Regional Repre-
sentatives, stake presidencies, high
councilors involved in welfare work,
bishoprics, stake and ward Relief
Society presidencies, and others re-
sponsible for operating welfare pro-
duction projects.

President Marion G. Romney,
Second Counselor in the First Presi-
dency, conducted this session.

President Romney opened the
meeting with the following remarks:

President Marion G. Romney

Brothers and sisters, we
welcome you to this general welfare
services meeting.

President Kimball asked me to
extend his love to you, and to
reaffirm his commitment to the wel-
fare services program and to welfare
principles. It is expected that he will
be in attendance at the first general
session of conference at ten o’clock
this morning.

As usual we urge you to take
notes during this session so you can
later instruct your co-workers about
the matters to be discussed at this



The music for this session will
be under the direction of Jerold
Ottley with Clay Christiansen at the
organ. Brother Christiansen was re-
cently appointed as a Tabernacle
organist and is playing at a general
conference for the first time.

We shall begin this meeting by
singing "Redeemer of Israel." The
invocation will be offered by Elder
Carlos E. Asay, a member of the
Presidency of the First Quorum of
the Seventy.

The congregation sang "Re-
deemer of Israel."

The invocation was given by
Elder Carlos E. Asay.

President Romney

Bishop Victor L. Brown, Presid-
ing Bishop, will be our first speaker.
He will be followed by Sister
Barbara B. Smith, General President
of the Relief Society.

Bishop Vicl

Preparation for tomorrow

It has been suggested that I ad-
dress the subject "Meeting the
Challenges of Today — the Best
Preparation for Tomorrow." As I
have pondered this subject, I have
concluded that if we meet today’s
problems with adequate preparation,
there will be no need for panic
preparation tomorrow.

The parable of the ten virgins,
as recorded in Matthew, emphasizes
this point:

"Then shall the kingdom of
heaven be likened unto ten virgins,
which took their lamps and went
forth to meet the bridegroom.

"And five of them were wise,
and five were foolish.

"They that were foolish took
their lamps, and took no oil with

"But the wise took oil in their
vessels with their lamps.

"While the bridegroom tarried,
they all slumbered and slept.

"And at midnight there was a
cry made, Behold, the bridegroom
cometh; go ye out to meet him.

"Then all those virgins arose,
and trimmed their lamps.

"And the foolish said unto the
wise, Give us of your oil; for our
lamps are gone out.

>r L. Brown

"But the wise answered,
saying, Not so; lest there be not
enough for us and you: but go ye
rather to them that sell, and buy for

"And while they went to buy,
the bridegroom came; and they that
were ready went in with him to the
marriage: and the door was shut.

"Afterward came also the other
virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to

"But he answered and said,
Verily I say unto you, I know you

"Watch therefore, for ye know
neither the day nor the hour wherein
the Son of man cometh." (Matthew

As we contemplate the lessons
of this parable, we realize that all ten
virgins had oil in their lamps. Five
were wise and kept the oil
replenished so they would always
have sufficient. The other five were
foolish and shortsighted. Con-
sequently, they were found wanting
when the bridegroom came.

We also learn from the parable
that preparation necessary to help
them meet the immediate circum-
stances was a simple, everyday task.
The arrival of the bridegroom did not
require unusual or elaborate prepara-
tion. Our preparation should be


Saturday, October 2


First Day

deliberate and structured to meet
today’s problems. We should prepare
ourselves one step at a time as the
Lord so inspires us.

Live providently and righteously

President David O. McKay used
to tell a story about a railroad engi-
neer. Let me share it with you as
recorded by President Harold B. Lee:

"The engineer pulled his train
into a station one dark night, and a
timid passenger inquired of the engi-
neer if he wasn’t frightened to pull
his train out in the dark with 400 or
500 passengers’ lives at stake. The
engineer said, pointing up to the
bright headlight, T want to tell you
one thing: when I pull out of this
station I won’t be running in dark-
ness one foot of the way. You see
that light a thousand yards ahead? I
run my engine just to the edge of the
light, and when I get there it will
still be on a thousand yards ahead.’
Having said that, President McKay
added: T want to tell you something.
Through all this dark night of
uncertainty, I want to tell you that
this Welfare Program will not be run-
ning in the dark one foot of the way.
You remember it. We can only see
the next October as the first circle of
light. We have told you what to do
six months from now. By the time
we get there the light will be on
ahead of us, but every step of the
way that light will be there. You
teach your people to follow the light
and they will be safe on Zion’s hill
when the destructive forces come in
the world.’ " (Welfare Agricultural
Meeting, 5 Apr. 1969.)

If we will just do as the Breth-
ren have counseled and live each day
as it comes, providently and righ-
teously, there will be no need for
drastic adjustments in preparation to
meet future challenges.

A troubled world

I fear that many think the wel-

fare services program was designed
primarily for doomsday. This is not
true. The principles of the welfare
services program are designed to help
us live providently each day and to
cope successfully with serious prob-
lems as they come into our lives.

Just as the virgins did not know
that the bridegroom would come in
the night when their lamps would be
needed, we do not know when
serious problems such as illness or
unemployment will come into our

It would seem from almost
everything we read and hear in the
news media today that doomsday has
arrived. For instance, in one local
daily newspaper, over two-thirds of
the headlines and stories exposed
problems of the world such as
murders, wars, bankruptcies,
unemployment, and so on, leaving
very little room for stories with a
positive impact. One might be per-
suaded that conditions are

It is true that we live in a trou-
bled world. There are many
unemployed. Bankruptcies of individ-
uals, of corporations, and of nations
are alarming. Wars and rumors of
wars are all about us. (See D&C
45:26.) Man’s inhumanity to man is
shocking. Moral values have
deteriorated to the level of Sodom
and Gomorrah. The list is long.

Counsel on problem areas

Many of these problems exist
today because we did not prepare
yesterday. These problems are not in-
surmountable to those who are pre-
pared. Neither do they come as a
surprise to those who have been lis-
tening. Here are just a few of the
areas upon which we have received

In 1935, President George
Albert Smith said, "This very day
upon which we meet here to worship
[the Sabbath] has become the play-
day of this great nation — the day set



apart by thousands to violate the
commandment that God gave long,
long ago, and I am persuaded that
much of the sorrow and distress that
is afflicting and will continue to
afflict mankind is traceable to the
fact that they have ignored his
admonition to keep the Sabbath day
holy" (in Conference Report, Oct.
1935, p. 120).

In 1937, President J. Reuben
Clark, Jr., said, "Let us avoid debt
as we would avoid a plague; where
we are now in debt let us get out of
debt" (in Conference Report, Apr.
1937, p. 26).

In 1970, President Harold B.
Lee said, "For thirty years the lead-
ers of this church have been telling
us to store food and to prepare for a
rainy day. We have listened, many
have paid no attention, and now
suddenly disaster begins to strike and
some of those who have been
slothful are running to the banks and
taking out their savings, and buy-
ing .. . foodstuffs." (Welfare Agri-
cultural Meeting, 4 Apr. 1970.)

And, finally, in 1974 President
Spencer W. Kimball said, "The
earth cannot justify nor continue its
life without marriage and the family.
Sex without marriage, for all people,
young or older, is an abomination to
the Lord, and it is most unfortunate
that many people have blinded their
eyes to these great truths.

"Husbands and wives should
love and cherish their spouses. They
must not break up their homes with
divorce, and especially through in-
fidelity and immorality." (In Confer-
ence Report, Oct. 1974, p. 9.)

How many of today’s problems
could have been avoided or coped
with more effectively if we had fol-
lowed the counsel given in just these
few examples?

Education and excellence

Let us now turn to an example
of the things we might do to prepare
for today’s and tomorrow’s prob-

lems. I would like to speak specifi-
cally to parents to stress the
responsibility they have to teach their
children how to obtain an adequate

The Lord is very clear in his

"And again, inasmuch as par-
ents have children in Zion, or in any
of her stakes which are organized,
that teach them not to understand the
doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ
the Son of the living God, and of
baptism and the gift of the Holy
Ghost by the laying on of the hands,
when eight years old, the sin be upon
the heads of the parents. . . .

"And they shall also teach their
children to pray, and to walk up-
rightly before the Lord." (D&C
68:25, 28.)

Walking uprightly before the
Lord includes becoming a responsible
individual in all aspects of life. As
children attend school, particularly
high school, they should be encour-
aged to take basic courses which may
be more demanding than others but
which will better prepare them for
possible further schooling or for

At whatever level our children
complete their formal schooling, they
should have learned how important
excellence is in all they do. There is
always room at the top in any enter-
prise, and it is always crowded at the
bottom. It doesn’t matter what the
field of endeavor — plumber, doctor,
teacher, lawyer, farmer, carpenter,
whatever — if our children learn early
in their lives that they should do their
very best, they will be eminently bet-
ter prepared for the responsibilities of

Continue to learn

We should teach our children
the importance of schooling as a help
in discovering how to think and to
learn. They need to know, and we
need to be reminded, that schooling
is merely the formal part of educa-


Saturday, October 2


First Day

tion. Education should never stop,
but should be a continuing activity
throughout life.

The world-renowned educator
Mortimer Adler once indicated in an
interview that his education had
begun just twenty-five years earlier.
The interviewer in some surprise
said, "But you are famous for the
many years you were associated with
the University of Chicago."

Mr. Adler’s response was,
"Those years I was obtaining my
schooling. It was only after I had
finished my formal schooling that my
education began."

Education is a basic tool

In the eighty-eighth section of
the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord
instructs us:

"And I give unto you a com-
mandment that you shall teach one
another the doctrine of the kingdom.

"Teach ye diligently and my
grace shall attend you, that you may
be instructed more perfectly in
theory, in principle, in doctrine, in
the law of the gospel, in all things
that pertain unto the kingdom of
God, that are expedient for you to

"Of things both in heaven and
in earth, and under the earth; things
which have been, things which are,
things which must shortly come to
pass; things which are at home,
things which are abroad; the wars
and the perplexities of the nations,
and the judgments which are on the
land; and a knowledge also of coun-
tries and of kingdoms —

"That ye may be prepared in all
things when I shall send you again to
magnify the calling whereunto I have
called you, and the mission with
which I have commissioned
you. . . .

"And as all have not faith, seek
ye diligently and teach one another
words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out
of the best books words of widsom;

seek learning, even by study and also
by faith." (D&C 88:77-80, 118.)

If we and our children are to be
responsible individuals and properly
take care of our own, we must pre-
pare ourselves to do so. Education is
one of the elementary and basic tools
in this preparation.

Prepare for tomorrow today

Notice that this example of edu-
cation follows the same systematic
course as other preparation. Second
grade follows first grade, third grade
follows second grade, and so on,
until graduation from high school oc-
curs and college or vocational train-
ing is finished. This takes us back to
the basic premise that adequate
preparation for today’s problems is
the best preparation for the future.

Parents should also teach their
children to use financial resources
wisely, to stay out of debt, to take
pride in their own appearance and in
the appearance of their surroundings,
to be dependable, to give a full day’s
work for a full day’s pay, and many
other principles of welfare services.
In none of these principles is there a
hint of a "doomsday" philosophy.

Also prepare spiritually

As important as human physical
needs are, the spiritual ones are
much more so. It goes without
saying that to sustain life we must
have food, shelter, clothing, and the
other necessities. However, we could
have all of these in abundance and
still be lacking in those things that
will sustain eternal life. The Savior
taught this in many ways, one of
which is the parable of the rich man.

"And he spake a parable unto
them, saying, The ground of a
certain rich man brought forth

"And he thought within
himself, saying, What shall I do,
because I have no room where to
bestow my fruits?



"And he said, This will I do: I
will pull down my bams, and build
greater; and there will I bestow all
my fruits and my goods.

"And I will say to my soul,
Soul, thou hast much goods laid up
for many years; take thine ease, eat,
drink, and be merry.

"But God said unto him, Thou
fool, this night thy soul shall be re-
quired of thee: then whose shall
those things be, which thou has

"So is he that layeth up treasure
for himself, and is not rich toward
God." (Luke 12:16-21.)

In April conference fourteen
years ago, President David O.
McKay said, "With all my soul, I
plead with members of the church,
and with people everywhere, to think
more about the gospel; more about
the development of the spirit within;
to devote more time to the real things
of life, and less time to those things
which will perish" (in Conference
Report, Apr. 1968, p. 144).

Spiritual preparedness follows
the same steady course we have been
alluding to: we can only build
tomorrow on that which we attain
today. Yet we need not wait until
tomorrow to enjoy the fruits of our
current spiritual development. If we
consistently follow the teachings of
the Savior, we need not walk in
darkness; rather, we will enjoy the
light of life. (See John 8:12.)

As parents, we must teach and
practice both physical and spiritual
preparedness. Let us make every
effort to avoid the remorse which
comes from not following the coun-
sel of the Lord and his anointed. Let
us follow the admonition and ex-
ample of President Kimball when he
says, "Do it."

As the Lord has said, "Not

every one that saith unto me, Lord,
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
heaven; but he that doeth the will of
my Father which is in heaven"
(Matthew 7:21).

Follow counsel and obtain peace

Let us not look back to this day
twenty or thirty years from now and
ask, "How many of today’s prob-
lems could have been avoided if we
had only followed the counsel given
in the 1980s?" Let us instead follow
the Brethren and apply welfare ser-
vices principles to today’s problems,
thereby bringing about our prepara-
tion for tomorrow. By so doing, we
can move forward with happiness,
cheerfulness, and confidence.

Jesus said, "If a man love me,
he will keep my words: and my
Father will love him, and we will
come unto him, and make our abode
with him. . . .

"These things have I spoken
unto you, being yet present with you.

"But the Comforter, which is
the Holy Ghost, whom the Father
will send in my name, he shall teach
you all things, and bring all things to
your remembrance, whatsoever I
have said unto you.

"Peace I leave with you, my
peace I give unto you: not as the
world giveth, give I unto you. Let
not your heart be troubled, neither let
it be afraid." (John 14:23, 25-27.)

This is the peace that can give
each of us an inner tranquility when
all about us is confusion. It is a
peace that transcends all material
things. That we might meet today’s
challenges, thereby moving forward
with confidence into tomorrow, is
my humble prayer, in the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.


Saturday, October 2


First Day

Sister Barbara B. Smith

Light of the gospel

My beloved brethren and sisters,
"In the beginning was the Word"
(John 1:1)—— or, in the words of the
Joseph Smith translation, "In the be-
ginning was the gospel preached
through the Son. And the gospel was
the word." (JST John 1:1.) And
further, "In [the Son] was the gospel,
and the gospel was the life, and the
life was the light of men" (JST John

Sadly, not all men and women
enjoy the light that was intended for
them. Not all who have the gospel
know how to bring its radiance into
their lives.

One woman felt she had little or
no light in her life. Her husband
spent three days of each week travel-
ing out of town because of his work.
This left her home alone to manage
their house and two small children.
She was just nineteen when they
were married. She had almost no ex-
perience in caring for young chil-
dren, and certainly felt no confidence
in handling her own. She often found
their demands and the pressing
household duties overwhelming. In
her frustration, she grew increasingly
harsh with them until her abusive be-
havior became frightening, even to
herself. Feeling alone, ashamed, and
inadequate, she was often in the
depths of despair. What light did the
gospel offer to her?

She and her husband considered
themselves good members of the
Church. But what difference did that
make when the children were crying,
the laundry piled higher and higher,
the letter from her mother remained
unanswered, and the dress she was to
make this week for her husband’s
company party lay unfinished on the
sewing machine? All these frustra-
tions spoke so loudly the dis-
couragement of the present. They

made the blessings of the gospel
seem very far away.

Love — more than a concept

Fortunately, there were those
who helped her learn to apply the
principles of the gospel in solving
many of her problems. Her visiting
teachers, responding to her anxiety
over her children, brought a special
toy for each child. They had care-
fully selected playthings that an adult
could use with a child in a delightful
but problem-solving way. They took
time to show the mother how to
relate to her children through activ-
ity. She was surprised to find how
happy and responsive the children
were. They began to look forward to
a playtime association with their
mother. She realized that she was
providing for their needs through
play, and that they were becoming
more relaxed with her.

Because of the relationship they
were establishing through their activi-
ties together, the children were more
willing to do as their mother asked —
to pick up their clothes, put their
toys away, and take their naps. This,
in turn, helped her have more time to
organize her other responsibilities.
She learned to be considerate of her
children and sensitive to their con-
cerns. She has continued giving the
children this special attention each
day. Love in this home is now more
than a concept; it is the way they
respond to each other’s needs.

Actions and attitudes

The word of the gospel as it is
preached and learned is, for each of
us, the beginning. "Knowing" alone
is not always sufficient to bring the
promised light. We have to live by
every word. We speak often in our
worldwide Church about translation.



Computers are being employed to as-
sist, and hundreds of language spe-
cialists are engaged in this important
work. But the translation for which
we each bear personal responsibility
is converting the words of the gospel
into actions, attitudes, and habits.

The gospel principle of love
suggests action in the injunction to
"love one another" (John 13:34).
When these words are translated into
a determined effort to change a be-
havior that brings hurt or
embarrassment or sorrow to one who
loves you, it becomes a key to solv-
ing a family problem. These few
lines, written by a wife to her
husband, underscore the need to
make a principle more than a word:

"Valentine’s Day 1951
"Dear Bill,

"I feel I love you more today
than I have in all our twenty-three
years together. Although you have
always told me of your affection,
nothing has so convinced me that
you really care as your recent prepa-‘
ration to take our family to the

"In spite of the exciting things
we had done together, there has
always been, for me, a sadness, a
kind of lingering unhappiness,
because we weren’t really one. I am
filled now with great expectation and
joy when I think of the closeness we
can have in studying the gospel to-
gether, in sharing the same friends,
and, above all, the eternities that are
now possible for us with our children
and their children and theirs.

"My admiration for you has
grown as I have seen you succeed in
the difficult struggle to give up
enslaving habits that had become so
much a part of you.

"Your sons, your daughters,
and I are not only extremely proud,
but deeply grateful too.


Serve one another

Not all marital unhappiness
stems from obvious bad habits. Some
problems develop silently, almost
imperceptibly, as we are involved in
taxing schedules and multiple
demands. Consider the couple who
had spent all their married years in
devotion to Church and children. The
children were now grown and had
left home; church callings were less
demanding; and unexpectedly, they
who had spent years helping others
resolve difficulties, faced problems
of their own. Preoccupied with serv-
ing their children, they had forgotten
to serve each other. Quick to lavish
affection on those about them, they
had neglected sharing simple
expressions of love and concern with
one another. Now, in the time when
they might enjoy the richness of their
experiences together, they found their
relationship strained. Each felt a
sense of falling short which easily
led to criticism and complaint. Their
years of church activity, however,
had taught them a better way. They
had experienced the light of the gos-
pel and longed for it now.

They found that by taking a
fresh view of gospel principles, this
time as a means of solving their own
problems, they could relearn how to
serve one another. They realized that
expressing their affection in those
mellowing years together brought a
sweetness and satisfaction that was
especially rewarding. They selected
some projects on which they worked
together around their home; they
found meaningful church activity,
prepared family records and histories,
and learned how to preserve other
valuable documents. Already, in the
gospel, they had the principles they
needed, and found them more than
adequate as they brought them to
bear on their own problems.


Saturday, October 2


First Day

Solve problems with the materials
at hand

G. K. Chesterton in an essay
entitled "A Piece of Chalk" wrote of
going into the countryside in the
south of England to draw with his
colored chalks — only to find,
ruefully, that he was missing the
color white. Being too far from a
store to remedy the situation, he felt
his expedition ruined until he
suddenly realized that the rock upon
which he sat was, in fact, white
chalk. (In Robert K. Thomas, ed.,
The Joy of Reading, Salt Lake City:
Bookcraft, 1978, 35-40.)

There, in a Sussex meadow, he
was "sitting on an immense
warehouse of white chalk." For him
to think he had no chalk was like a
chemist in the middle of the ocean
looking for salt water to perform ex-
periments or someone in the vast
Sahara searching for sand to fill an
hour glass. Many times the solutions
to our problems await only our dis-
covery that we already have the key
to the answer. The need is for us to
learn to use it effectively.

We see this continually in
people’s lives. One example was the
woman who had little money to
spend but wanted to share a Christ-
mas treat with her neighbors. She
didn’t feel that she could buy even
inexpensive containers, but she was
quite self-reliant. With what she had
on hand, she made charming remem-
brances using brown lunch-size paper
bags decorated with a white paper
roof, a door and windows, and the
words "Merry Christmas,
Neighbor!" These brown-bag houses,
filled with her home-dried apple
slices, were welcome gifts.

This same kind of ingenuity in
working out problems with what one
already has can be seen in the
attractive jackets a mother made for
her children out of the boys’ old
jeans. In each case, work, service,
love, and self-reliance were the keys

that opened the way for solving prob-
lems and fulfilling needs.

Strength of family and of character

Many problems are severe and
debilitating. They cause fear and
guilt and heartache. Often, the differ-
ence in people’s finding their way or
discovering solutions is the kindly,
understanding friendship we can pro-
vide for them in our priesthood and
Relief Society meetings or other
Church settings. Many times it is the
sympathetic arm around the shoulder
and the encouraging smile that give
to the distressed hope and to the
downtrodden courage to try again.
We can help them know that others
wrestle with problems, too; but
strength of family and of character,
developed through living gospel
principles, has enabled them to rise
above life’s difficulties.

One such family was left by the
father when the youngest child was
four months old. It was a traumatic
time with a difficult divorce, but the
courageous mother was full of faith
and determined that she would do
everything she could to succeed as a
single parent.

She found, as many do, that the
gospel, when translated into action,
not only provides a key to solving
many welfare problems, but it can
also prevent them. Difficulties that
could lead to dependency can be
resolved and bring, instead, strength
and happiness.

This mother gathered her chil-
dren about her and explained their
situation. There were back payments
due on the house, current bills of
every sort, and no income. They
could turn to others for help; but if
they were willing to work together as
a family, she thought they could
keep their house and make it, once
more, a happy home. They were
willing. Every child who was old
enough found a way to help earn



some money. They cut lawns,
delivered papers, tended babies, col-
lected aluminum cans, did house-
work. One of the older children took
the responsibility for the gas bill, an-
other for the lights; the mother put
her earnings toward the house pay-
ments. They limited other spending
to bare necessities.

In time, the house payments
were caught up. They were able to
meet their other obligations and
actually invest in some small, in-
expensive properties they could fix
up to generate income. This enabled
the mother to be at home. With these
ends achieved, the children no longer
needed to contribute all their earnings
to the family’s physical requirements.
With freedom from financial threat,
the mother now suggested to her
children that if they wanted to con-
tinue to work they could attend
college, go on missions, and even
travel and see the world together.
The children did continue to earn and
save their money. They learned the
value of work and of family, and
they have accompanied their mother
to places others only dream of.

All this has been done while
fulfilling their Church obligations.
They are quick to testify that the
greatest reward they have received
from the experiences of the past few
years has been their spiritual growth.
Putting such principles as love, work,
service, self-reliance, and consecra-
tion into practice has brought to this
family the dignity of accom-
plishment, a unity of purpose, and a
closeness to one another and to the
Lord that is immediately apparent
when one is in their company.

Living gospel principles

Life does present problems, and
although the gospel provides a means
for finding answers, the resolutions
do not always come quickly. There
are, however, desirable strengths we

develop by striving against
difficulties. It is often when
struggling to the very extremity of
our power that we come to know that
our Father in Heaven is close.

Sariah, the wife of Lehi, had the
wrenching experience of leaving their
home and their possessions to travel
in the wilderness. We are not told of
the trials she may have experienced;
but going on foot, living in tents,
and cooking over an open fire could
have been devastating after their
comfortable life in Jerusalem. We do
read of her anguished waiting when
she feared her beloved sons had per-
ished in their return to obtain the
plates. (See 1 Nephi 5:2.) But in
spite of troubles, she did love and
serve her family. With the return of
her sons, she knew of a certainty that
the Lord had commanded her
husband to flee into the wilderness,
and in their safe return she found the
assurance that the Lord was with
them. (See 1 Nephi 5:8.) Their cir-
cumstances did not change; they still
slept in tents. But she had joy and
comfort in the knowledge that the
Lord was guiding them. In that light
she could carry on and meet further
difficulties as they came.

For each of us, whatever our
knowledge of the gospel, can contin-
ue to learn. But learning is just the
beginning. The fulness of blessings
comes as we adopt the principles and
live our lives by them. When we
make them our way, when we live
the principles, we are promised that
they will be a light unto us. As we
come to know that light, it will lead
us through the midst of darkness, and
as we begin to bring that light into
our homes, it can become a beacon
to our children, and to their children,
and to theirs.

May we press on, with a perfect
brightness of hope, overcome our
problems, and enjoy the love of God
and of all men, I humbly pray, in the
name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Saturday, October 2


First Day

President Romney ond Stake and father of ten children,

will now speak to us about the
President Dean Jarman, presi- blessings of family work projects,
dent of the Salt Lake University Sec-

President Dean Jarman

Work — a spiritual principle

The blessings that come from
family work projects are both
temporal and spiritual. The com-
mandments given to Adam were
spiritual, for the the Lord himself
said that he never gave to Adam a
temporal commandment. (See D&C
29:35.) Work, then, as instituted in
the beginning of this earth, was a
spiritual principle.

There are several influences in
my life that have instilled in me a
desire to teach our children to work.
The first are experiences I enjoyed as
a child growing up in the home of
wise and wonderful parents. Our first
family work project began when I
was around nine years old. One night
dad came home with a shoe-shining
kit that had an adaptable shoe tree
that fastened to the wall. He encour-
aged my brother and me to be in-
dustrious and earn some money by
charging fifteen cents for every pair
of shoes we shined. Of course, my
parents’ shoes were always well
shined, but our big opportunities
came when my parents entertained. I
would mingle among the guests and
ask if any would like to have their
shoes shined. Many a person was
seen in our home sitting or visiting in
his stocking feet.

A few years passed, and dad
came home one night with another
idea. "Why don’t you boys sell
Christmas wreaths?" he said. And
thus we were off on another venture.
We would go from door to door
taking orders, and then we purchased

the wreaths from a wholesaler for our
customers. For the next several years
mom and dad spent many hours help-
ing us in this project.

Philosophy of work

During my college years I began
to realize that there were more values
to work than simply the money one
earns. Three individuals made state-
ments that have left indelible impres-
sions upon my mind. The first
statement came while I was attending
the University of Utah. The director
of the Institute of Religion, Lowell
L. Bennion, shared with me a philos-
ophy of raising children. He grew a
large vegetable garden, and when
asked what he was growing, his re-
ply was not the usual tomatoes, corn,
or carrots, but simply, "boys."

The second statement came from
a student at BYU when he offered an
explanation as to why he alone
among his high school friends had
remained active in the Church. He
said it was because of a cow. He
went on to explain that while his
friends had nothing to do after school
and began to get into trouble, he had
to go home every day to milk the
cow. Although he resented it at the
time, he since has been very grateful
to wise parents and the cow.

The third statement was made
by a returned mission president who
commented that many missionaries
do not know how to work when they
arrive in the mission field. They lack
experience in organizing their time
and in being self-starters.



A philosophy of work gradually
emerged in my mind. When I got
married, I wanted to achieve three
goals: use work as a means of
"growing children"; see that they
did not have too much free time; and
prepare our children to effectively
serve the Lord.

Following my marriage to a
wonderful companion, our home was
blessed with the arrival of children.
In the space of a few years we found
ourselves the parents of ten chil-
dren — all girls but eight. We knew as
our children grew older they would
need to assist with family finances.
This became evident when our four
older children expressed a desire to
learn to ski. One Christmas we
bought four pairs of used wooden
skis, and some poles, and we
acquired some used boots. On Christ-
mas morning our children were
delighted to receive their skis, and
they accepted the responsibility for
most of their future expenses.

Family work projects

Since my wife and I didn’t be-
lieve in the dole system in any form
of finance, we kept wondering how
our young family could begin to
become self-sufficient. It wasn’t long
until we were offered an opportunity
to collate and distribute advertising
materials to 5,000 homes. We
worked at the project after school, in
the evenings, and on Saturdays.
Everyone was involved in collating
several pieces of advertising
materials. Mom or dad assisted by
driving the children to different
locations and offering encour-
agement. The project was repeated
several times. Our children were be-
ginning to earn money, and we
learned that we could have fun to-
gether while working.

After a couple of years, we
graduated from advertising packets to
telephone directories. During several
summers, we loaded up our station

wagon with books and children. The
days were hot, the hours were long,
some streets were hard to find, some
addresses couldn’t be found, the
books were heavy, some driveways
were long and went uphill, some
dogs were mean; but we had fun.
Sometimes two children would go to
a home, one to play with the dog and
the other to take the books.

One summer one of the boys
broke his foot while on the job.
Within a few days he realized that he
didn’t want to be left out of the
summer work; besides he loved to
ski. Soon he was in the back of the
station wagon unwrapping the books
and giving directions to the children
as to how many books were to go to
each house.

At the end of a day’s work,
there were stories to tell, experiences
to laugh at, accomplishments to brag
about — and no one had any trouble
sleeping. Yes, we were having fun
and experiencing a sense of

Our next project began when
our oldest son started mowing lawns
the year before his mission. We
bought a 1962 truck that ran most of
the time, and some lawn-care equip-
ment. That first year he did most of
the work himself and occasionally
took a younger brother with him.
The next year dad decided to get in-
volved, since none of the younger
boys had drivers’ licenses. We
advertised, gave bids, received
referrals, and increased the number
of our customers. Then came the day
when dad mowed his first lawn. First
the edger didn’t start, so he traveled
across town to find out what to do.
When he returned, one mower had
broken down so he went back across
town again to find out what to do.
After several hours on that job, the
second oldest boy looked at his dad
and asked, "And is this what we are
going to do all summer?"

We stuck with it and are now
completing our fourth year. We have


Saturday, October 2


First Day

learned to keep our sense of humor
through broken sprinklers, a flooded
basement, unexpected rain, a burned-
out truck engine, broken equipment,
dad pulling up someone’s prized
miniature tree, and the front wheel
coming loose off the truck in busy
traffic. And then there are those days
when every piece of equipment is
working, the truck is running, the
sun is shining, we are on schedule,
and someone forgets to fasten the
tailgate of the truck. One by one our
equipment slides out as we travel to
the next customer.

Blessings of family projects

One might ask why we do all of
these things. The obvious answers
are: (1) all of our teenagers have siz-
able missionary funds; (2) all of our
children over eleven know they will
have a job; (3) no Sunday work is
involved; (4) the children have
learned valuable skills; (5) they are
learning to budget their resources and
to distinguish between wants and
needs; and (6) as their father, I have
had many wonderful teaching
moments with them as we have
worked side by side.

But these are not all. There are
values that are often hard to describe
but are real. A couple of Sundays
ago the boys sat down at the direc-
tion of their mother and wrote what
they felt the values were of working
together as a family.

An eighteen-year-old boy writes,
"Since I can remember, I have been
taught the value of hard work and
honoring all of your responsibilities
and your family name. As I look
back to my experience in family
projects, I can see how they have
shaped my character and personality
by letting me make many important
decisions. I have gained confidence
by meeting new people and am better
able to express myself. But the most
important thing about family work
projects is that your family comes

closer together in love and respect."

A thirteen-year-old who has
been mowing lawns for four years
writes, "Family projects have really
helped me to understand how to
work. The harder you work, the bet-
ter you feel. I am grateful for a
closer relationship with my brothers
and parents."

A sixteen-year-old said, "Work-
ing on family projects has taught us
the importance of being honest and
dependable. It has taught us to make
a lot of sacrifices in order to keep
our name in good standing."

And finally, our fifteen-year-old
said, "The family work projects have
helped me manage my money. When
I buy my clothes and other things, I
take care of them because I know
how much they cost and how much
work it takes to buy them. When my
parents bought my things, I honestly
thought there was an endless supply
of money, so I wouldn’t take care of
them. Also, work gives me a feeling
of satisfaction — and a great tan."

Their mother writes, "I watch
other youth with too much free time
and am grateful that our boys know
there are people relying on them.
They sometimes have to sacrifice
personal wants for the sake of their

May I add my own feelings.
Our family work has become a big
factor in bringing a higher degree of
love, peace, and unity into our
home. Many neighbors have com-
mented on how much our children
really enjoy each other. I am amazed
as I witness our children stretching in
their tender years toward self-
reliance. Yes, work is a spiritual and
essential principle. Our own beloved
prophet has taught that "life is not
wholly for fun and frolic."

I bear testimony that family
work, when combined with family
prayer and family scripture study,
will do much to secure the blessings
of heaven for families on earth. In
the name of Jesus Christ, amen.



President Romney

Brother Ottley will now lead us
in singing hymn no. 98, "Let Us All
Press On," following which we shall
hear from Elder James E. Faust of
the Council of the Twelve Apostles.

The congregation sang "Let Us
All Press On."

Elder James E. Faust

Difficult economic times

Some years ago Bishop James
T. Erekson, a wise and successful
member of a high council I was in-
volved with, made a statement which
impressed me greatly. He said,
"There are many in our generation
who have not known the blessings of
economic adversity!" I wish to speak
this morning about the blessings we
may receive as we meet the
challenges of economic stress.

Economists seem to have a hard
time deciding when we are in a
depression or a recession. One per-
son said you can tell it this way: "A
recession: a period in which you
tighten your belt, a depression: a
time in which you have no belt to
tighten" (Braude Speaker
Encyclopedia, p. 46).

Many countries of the world
have moved into more difficult eco-
nomic times. Some people are losing
their employment and their hard-
earned possessions. Others are faced
with a lack of food and clothing. In a
normal lifetime most people have
had, or will face, difficult economic
times. We read in Ecclesiastes that
"the race is not to the swift, nor the
battle to the strong, neither yet bread
to the wise, nor yet riches to men of
understanding, nor yet favour to men
of skill; but time and chance hap-
peneth to them all" (Ecclesiastes

The Savior verified this when,
speaking of the Father, he said, "For
he maketh his sun to rise on the evil
and on the good, and sendeth rain on
the just and on the unjust" (Matthew

Some calamities become blessings

There are lessons from the dis-
pensations of the gospel that help us
understand that some calamities have
ultimately been blessings. Although
the following examples have far
greater meaning for mankind in gen-
eral, they have their lessons for us
individually when we are confronted
with trials in our lives.

The great suffering of the Savior
in Gethsemane and his crucifixion
were calamities, but man was re-
deemed from death and hell by his
atoning sacrifice. The scattering of
Israel throughout the world sprinkled
the blood that believes, so that many
nations may now partake of the gos-
pel plan. The history of the Nephites
is one of trial, calamities, and suffer-
ing, but through it all the experiences
gained brought strength and

The Lord knows the values to
be learned from trials and adversities.

Every year is a year for new
opportunities. Charles Dickens laid
the setting for his book A Tale of
Two Cities in the following

"It was the best of times, it was
the worst of times, it was the age of
wisdom, it was the age of foolish-
ness, it was the epoch of belief, it
was the epoch of incredulity, it was
the season of Light, it was the season
of Darkness, it was the spring of
hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had
nothing before us" (A Tale of Two
Cities, New York: Doubleday, n.d.,
p. 9).


Saturday, October 2


First Day

In Leicester, England, there is
an inscription on the outside wall of
an old church which bears a remark-
ably fine thought. The inscription

"In the year 1654 when all
things were, throughout this nation,
either demolished or profaned, Sir
Robert Shirley, Baronet, founded and
built this church. He it is whose
singular praise it is to have done the
best things in the worst times, and to
have hoped them in the most

Jewel of adversity

Aside from the economic tides
which run in the affairs of nations,
financial hard times can befall any of
us at any time. There is no guarantee
against personal hard financial times.
Financial difficulty may result from
several kinds of misfortunes, includ-
ing all types of natural disasters such
as floods, fires, and earthquakes. Ac-
cidents and illness can produce unex-
pected and staggering medical and
hospital bills. The misfortunes of
other members of our own family
may require our help. Unemployment
and inflation can quickly wipe away
hard-earned savings.

Economic stress can involve
personal challenges. Discouragement
and frustration are frequent compan-
ions to misfortune. Economic prob-
lems occasionally put a strain on
family relationships. They often
require us to do without things we
feel we want or need. What can be a
calamity for one can be an opportu-
nity for another. Shakespeare, speak-
ing through Duke Senior, said,

Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and

Wears yet a precious jewel in his


(As You Like It, act 2, sc. 1,
lines 12-14.)

The lasting effects of economic
challenges are often determined by
our attitude toward life. One writer
said, "Out of the same substances
one stomach will extract nour-
ishment, and another poison; and so
the same disappointments in life will
chasten and refine one man’s spirit
and embitter another’s" (William
Matthews, Webster’s Encyclopedia of
Dictionaries, New American Edition,
Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc.,
p. 864).

Elder LeGrand Richards told
this story to a young person who in a
time of desperation asked what youth
have to live for:

" ‘You remember the story of
the two buckets that went down in
the well; as the one came up, it said,
"This is surely a cold and dreary
world. No matter how many times I
come up full, I always have to go
down empty." Then the other bucket
laughed and said, "With me it is
different. No matter how many times
I go down empty, I always come up
full." ‘ " (In Conference Report,
Apr. 1951, p. 40.)

Blessings in overcoming adversity

Brother Joseph Stucki, a faithful
Church member, died Christmas Eve
in 1927 after a short illness, leaving
his wife with seven children, the
eldest son being on a mission. Two
of the children and a nephew she was
rearing were later taken in death. An-
other son was also sent on a mission.
This was accomplished by much hard
work — taking in sewing and living
on a few dollars per month from an
insurance policy.

During this difficult time, flour
was being distributed to needy mem-
bers of the ward. Some of the young
men had been asked to deliver it. A
bag of flour was brought to Sister
Stucki’s home. Since she felt that
there were other families in the ward
that needed that flour worse than she



did, she declined to keep it, telling
the young man that she was trying to
teach her family to be independent
and self-reliant. While worthy mem-
bers of the Church should feel free to
accept help from the Church prof-
fered by the bishop, Sister Stucki
was trying to teach the young man
who came to her door a lesson. You
see, the young man delivering the
flour was her own son! All the
surviving children attended college
and became very successful people.
They lived by the motto, "Make it
do, or do without."

A wise man said, "The Lord
gets his best soldiers out of the high-
lands of affliction" (C. H. Spurgeon,
Sorrow’s Discipline, no. 9). Some of
the blessings available in overcoming
economic adversity are:

Eight blessings

First, and perhaps most
important, our faith and testimony
can be strengthened. The faithful
member of the Church learns that in
times of economic stress the Lord
helps those who have sought him
early. (See D&C 54:10.) But those
members who haven’t begun early in
their religious life may resolve to
seek the Lord more diligently. We
learn to recognize the Lord’s hand in
helping us. In hard times we have a
chance to reevaluate and reorder our
priorities in life. We learn what is
most important to us. The way is
open to strengthen faith and

Second, we may learn the need
for humility. Our dependence upon
the Lord becomes a means of
developing teachableness, an
important aspect of humility.

Third, family members learn co-
operation and love for each other by
being forced to draw closer together
to survive.

Fourth, personal dignity and
self-respect may be achieved. Some-
one said, "Be glad there are big

hurdles in life, and rejoice, too, that
they are higher than most people care
to surmount. Be happy they are nu-
merous." (Anonymous.)

Fifth, we can become stronger
and more resilient. Edmund Burke
said: "Difficulty is a severe instruc-
tor, set over us by the supreme ordi-
nance of a parental Guardian and
Legislator, who knows us better than
we know ourselves, and he loves us
better too. … He that wrestles with
us strengthens our nerves, and sharp-
ens our skill. Our antagonist is our
helper." ("Reflections on the Revo-
lution in France," in Edmund Burke,
Harvard Classics, 50 vols., New
York: P. F. Collier and Son Co.,
1909, 24:299-300.)

Sixth, we learn patience. Some-
times economic adversity requires
more time than we anticipate. He
who learns to bear his adversities
while working to overcome them in-
creases in patience, and thus he is
not overcome by his circumstances.
In economic and social affliction
certain people of the Book of
Mormon were exhorted to bear them
patiently that they might not be "led
away by the temptations of the
devil" (Alma 34:39).

Seventh, we rise to heights pre-
viously unobtainable by the use of
talents and skills which might not
have been developed otherwise. Eco-
nomic necessity opens the way for
profitable learning experiences.

Eighth, we can learn to trust the
Lord and thus overcome fear. "If ye
are prepared ye shall not fear" (D&C

There are many ways economic
hard times can be met. Sometimes
we must accept less than we hope
for. A speaker once stated, "I passed
a small church displaying a large
sign. It read: ‘Annual Strawberry
Festival,’ and below in small letters
‘On account of depression, prunes
will be served.’ " (Braude Speakers
Encyclopedia, p. 51.)

Karen Nielson was born in


Saturday, October 2


First Day

Aalborg, Denmark, in 1844. She was
the daughter of a farm family. In her
early years she was taught the skills
of successful dairy farming at the
knee of her father.

In 1861, Karen was baptized
and was never able to return to her
home because of her father’s opposi-
tion to her conversion. She left
Denmark and immigrated to Utah
with a group of Scandinavian Saints
in 1862. She lived for a few years in
Utah County where she married Ben-
jamin Franklin Barney, and then they
were called to settle the Sevier

Karen bore ten children and then
was left a widow with several of her
children still at home. She had no
close family to return to, so she drew
on the knowledge she had gained on
the Danish farm. She improved the
dairy herd using the breeding skills
she’d learned from her father. Her
herd was soon recognized as one of
the finest in the area, and she was
able to support her family and care
for their needs. Until Karen was well
into her eighties, she milked her
cows night and morning and cared
for her farm with the help of her
sons and grandsons. Her legacy was
one of hard work and the knowledge
that our lives are only as good as we
make them. She never turned away
from hardships — they seemed only to
strengthen her.

Six ways to overcome

I have previously suggested
eight blessings that may come as we
strive to overcome economic
adversities. I should like to now sug-
gest six ways to help us from being
overcome by economic stress:

1. Seek first the kingdom of
God. (See Matthew 6:33.) This seek-
ing includes the payment of our
tithes and a generous fast offering
and thus being blessed both spiritual-
ly and temporally by our obedience.
Seeking first the kingdom of God

will involve striving to keep the law
the Apostle James called "the royal
law," which is, "Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thyself" (James 2:8).
Seeking first the kingdom of God in-
volves the keeping of the divine
commandments. Spiritual strength
comes from many sources, including
personal prayer, the study of the
scriptures, and the willingness to
"submit to all things … the Lord
seeth fit to inflict" (Mosiah 3:19).
These measures can give us a
certain, peaceful stability.

2. Solidify family strengths and
resources. Chief among a family’s
resources are its spiritual strengths,
which are enhanced by praying to-
gether. Budgeting money together
will produce a special unity, as will
the holding of family councils. We
should work together toward storing
a year’s supply of food, clothing,
and other necessities. In times of
stress extra acts of kindness are
particularly needed and appreciated.
When there is limited money avail-
able, it is easier to teach children the
wise use of money, including the
need to save for the future. The fam-
ily can be reminded to maintain an
eternal perspective rather than con-
centrate on worldly possessions and
wealth. Family organizations are
helpful to render the individual help
that may be needed. It is also
important to learn how to accept
family help graciously.

3. Exercise faith. The Savior re-
minds us, "All things are possible to
him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).
And again, "All things shall work
together for your good" (D&C
90:24). The attitude with which we
submit to "all things" is important.
Maintaining a positive attitude and
being cheerful are helpful. A belief
that "all these things shall give thee
experience, and … be for thy
good" is like a spiritual stabilizer
(D&C 122:7).

4. Be adaptable in your work.
Theodore Roosevelt said: "No man



needs sympathy because he has to
work. . . . Far and away the best
prize that life offers is the chance to
work hard at work worth doing."
(The Reader’s Digest Treasury of
Modern Quotations, New York:
Reader’s Digest Press, 1975, p.
169.) In times of economic difficulty
it may be necessary to work for less
pay. We should be willing to learn
new, marketable skills. There are a
great many men who have found new
joy and satisfaction in having a sec-
ond career wholly unrelated to the
work for which they were originally
trained. Family members need to find
ways to supplement income through
appropriate work opportunities.
Being flexible in our approach to our
work opportunities may just make it
possible to keep afloat financially.
Giving a full day’s work for a full
day’s pay has saved many jobs. It
will also help us avoid accepting
government doles which rob us of
our dignity and our self-respect.

David Grayson said, "Hap-
piness, I have discovered, is nearly
always a rebound from hard work"
(The Reader’s Digest Treasury of
Modern Quotations, p. 171).

5. Avoid Debt. President J.
Reuben Clark, Jr., taught us to
"avoid debt as we would a plague"
(in Conference Report, Apr. 1937, p.
26). This is particularly sound coun-
sel in these times of exorbitantly high
interest rates. Debt and its ever-
present offspring, interest, are
merciless taskmasters. A year and a
half ago in this Tabernacle, President
Clark’s voice, on a tape, was heard
to say, "Whoever borrows should
understand what interest is; it is with
them every minute of the day and
night" (in Conference Report, Apr.
1938, p. 103).

6. Reduce expense. When asked
how some people in a small farming
community in southern Utah got by
on their meager cash income, George
Lyman said, "They lived on the

absence of expense." On another oc-
casion, someone observed: "Genera-
tions of great thinkers have dreamed
of a moneyless society somewhere in
the future. As far as some of us are
concerned, we’re already ahead of
our time." (Sam Levenson, "You
Don’t Have to Be in Who’s Who to
Know What’s What," Simon and
Schuster, 1979, p. 184.) Economic
wealth does not endow eternal
blessings, and financial difficulty
does not revoke eternal covenants.

Eternal blessings can result

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said:
"An economic depression would be
grim, but it would not change the
reality of immortality. The inevita-
bility of the second coming is not
affected by the unpredictability of the
stock market. … A case of cancer
does not cancel the promises of the
temple endowment. . . .

"All that matters is gloriously
intact. The promises are in place. It
is up to us to perform." ("Notwith-
standing My Weakness," Salt Lake
City: Deseret Book Co., 1981,
p. 57.)

Before teaching the parable of
the rich man whose ground brought
forth plentifully, Jesus said, "Take
heed, and beware of covetousness:
for a man’s life consisteth not in the
abundance of the things which he
possesseth" (Luke 12:15).

The Lord has said: "Trouble me
no more concerning this matter.

"But learn that he who doeth
the works of righteousness shall re-
ceive his reward, even peace in this
world, and eternal life in the world
to come." (D&C 59:22-23.)

From the refiner’s fire of eco-
nomic difficulty may come eternal
blessings which can help save fami-
lies and exalt their members by their
being united and strengthened — to
which I testify in the name of Jesus
Christ, amen.


Saturday, October 2


First Day

President Mari

Brothers and sisters, I have been
asked to speak in so many of these
welfare meetings that I’m beginning
to feel that I ought to respond in a
manner similar to a grandfather I
once knew who was getting along in
years and some people thought he
didn’t know when to quit talking. At
a ward gathering they thought they
shouldn’t call on him because he
would speak too long. Their final
decision was, however, that they
couldn’t pass him by, so they called
on him and asked him to stand and
tell them in just a word how they
could live to be as old as he was and
still be of service. So he got up and
said, "Keep breathing." I won’t be
that brief, but I will attempt to be to
the point.

Self-reliance and freedom

I love the simple truths con-
tained in the welfare principles as
taught by all the holy prophets since
the world began, and I never tire of
speaking about them. Today I shall
speak to you about the principle of
self-reliance and its impact upon our
spiritual development.

Since the beginning of time man
has been counseled to earn his own
way, thereby becoming self-reliant. It
is easy to understand the reason why
the Lord places so much emphasis on
this principle when we come to
understand that it is tied very closely
to freedom itself.

On this subject, Elder Albert E.
Bowen said, "The Lord must want
and intend that His people shall be
free of constraint whether enforceable
or only arising out of the bindings of
conscience. . . . That is why the
Church is not satisfied with any sys-
tem which leaves able people per-
manently dependent, and insists, on
the contrary, that the true function
and office of giving, is to help
people [get] into a position where

3n G. Romney

they can help themselves and thus be
free." (The Church Welfare Plan,
Gospel Doctrine manual, 1946, p.

Many programs have been set
up by well-meaning individuals to
aid those who are in need. However,
many of these programs are designed
with the shortsighted objective of
"helping people," as opposed to
"helping people help themselves."
Our efforts must always be directed
toward making able-bodied people

Gullible gulls

I clipped the following article
from the Reader’s Digest some time
ago and have told it before, but it
bears repeating. It reads:

"In our friendly neighbor city of
St. Augustine great flocks of sea
gulls are starving amid plenty. Fish-
ing is still good, but the gulls don’t
know how to fish. For generations
they have depended on the shrimp
fleet to toss them scraps from the
nets. Now the fleet has moved. . . .

"The shrimpers had created a
Welfare State for the . . . sea gulls.
The big birds never bothered to learn
how to fish for themselves and they
never taught their children to fish.
Instead they led their little ones to
the shrimp nets.

"Now the sea gulls, the fine
free birds that almost symbolize lib-
erty itself, are starving to death
because they gave in to the ‘some-
thing for nothing’ lure! They sacri-
ficed their independence for a hand-

"A lot of people are like that,
too. They see nothing wrong in
picking delectable scraps from the
tax nets of the U.S. Government’s
‘shrimp fleet.’ But what will happen
when the Government runs out of
goods? What about our children of
generations to come?



"Let’s not be gullible gulls.
We . . . must preserve our talents of
self-sufficiency, our genius for creat-
ing things for ourselves, our sense of
thrift and our true love of indepen-
dence." ("Fable of the Gullible
Gull," Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1950,
p. 32.)

Don’t sacrifice self-respect and

The practice of coveting and re-
ceiving unearned benefits has now
become so fixed in our society that
even men of wealth, possessing the
means to produce more wealth, are
expecting the government to guaran-
tee them a profit. Elections often turn
on what the candidates promise to do
for voters from government funds.
This practice, if universally accepted
and implemented in any society, will
make slaves of its citizens.

We cannot afford to become
wards of the government, even if we
have a legal right to do so. It
requires too great a sacrifice of self-
respect and in political, temporal,
and spiritual independence.

In some countries it is extremely
difficult to separate earned from
unearned benefits. However, the
principle is the same in all countries:
We should strive to become self-
reliant and not depend on others for
our existence.

Caution to parents and priesthood

Governments are not the only
guilty parties. We fear many parents
in the Church are making "gullible
gulls" out of their children with their
permissiveness and their doling out
of family resources. Parents who
place their children on the dole are
just as guilty as a government which
places its citizens on the dole. In
fact, the actions of parents in this
area can be more devastating than

any government program.

Bishops and other priesthood
leaders can be guilty of making
"gullible gulls" out of their ward
members. Some members become
financially or emotionally dependent
on their bishops. A dole is a dole
whatever its source. All of our
Church and family actions should be
directed toward making our children
and members self-reliant. We can’t
always control government programs,
but we can control our own homes
and congregations. If we will teach
these principles and live them, we
can do much to counter the negative
effects which may exist in govern-
ment programs in any country.

We know there are some who
for no reason of their own cannot
become self-reliant. President Henry
D. Moyle had these people in mind
when he said:

"This great principle does not
deny to the needy nor to the poor the
assistance they should have. The
wholly incapacitated, the aged, the
sickly are cared for with all
tenderness, but every able-bodied
person is enjoined to do his utmost
for himself to avoid dependence, if
his own efforts can make such a
course possible; to look upon
adversity as temporary; to combine
his faith in his own ability with hon-
est toil; to rehabilitate himself and
his family to a position of indepen-
dence; in every case to minimize the
need for help and to supplement any
help given with his own best efforts.

"We believe [that] seldom [do
circumstances arise in which] men of
rigorous faith, genuine courage, and
unfaltering determination, with the
love of independence burning in their
hearts, and pride in their own accom-
plishments, cannot surmount the
obstacles that lie in their paths.

"We know that through humble,
prayerful, industrious, God-fearing
lives, a faith can be developed within
us by the strength of which we can


Saturday, October 2


First Day

call down the blessings of a kind and
merciful Heavenly Father and liter-
ally see our handicaps vanish and our
independence and freedom estab-
lished and maintained." (In Confer-
ence Report, Apr. 1948, p. 5.)

Welfare program is spiritual

Self-reliance is not the end, but
a means to an end. It is very possible
for a person to be completely inde-
pendent and lack every other
desirable attribute. One may become
wealthy and never have to ask any-
one for anything, but unless there is
some spiritual goal attached to this
independence, it can canker his soul.

The welfare program is spiritual.
In 1936, when the program was in-
troduced, President David O. McKay
made this astute observation:

"The development of our spiri-
tual nature should concern us most.
Spirituality is the highest acquisition
of the soul, the divine in man; ‘the
supreme, crowning gift that makes
him king of all created things.’ It is
the consciousness of victory over self
and of communion with the infinite.
It is spirituality alone which really
gives one the best in life.

"It is something to supply
clothing to the scantily clad, ‘ to
furnish ample food to those whose
table is thinly spread, to give activity
to those who are fighting desperately
the despair that comes from enforced
idleness, but after all is said and
done, the greatest blessings that will
accrue from the Church [welfare pro-
gram] are spiritual. Outwardly, every
act seems to be directed toward the
physical: re-making of dresses and
suits of clothes, canning fruits and
vegetables, storing foodstuffs,
choosing of fertile fields for
settlement — all seem strictly
temporal, but permeating all these
acts, inspiring and sanctifying them,
is the element of spirituality."
(In Conference Report, Oct. 1936,
p. 103.)

Seek the kingdom of God

In the Doctrine and Covenants
we read:

"Wherefore, verily I say unto
you that all things unto me are spiri-
tual, and not at any time have I
given unto you a law which was
temporal; neither any man, nor the
children of men; neither Adam, your
father, whom I created.

"Behold, I gave unto him that
he should be an agent unto himself;
and I gave unto him commandment,
but no temporal commandment gave
I unto him, for my commandments
are spiritual." (D&C 29:34-35.)

This scripture tells us there is no
such thing as a temporal command-
ment. It also tells us that man is to
be "an agent unto himself." Man
cannot be an agent unto himself if he
is not self-reliant. Herein we see that
independence and self-reliance are
critical keys to our spiritual growth.
Whenever we get into a situation
which threatens our self-reliance, we
will find our freedom threatened as
well. If we increase our dependence,
we will find an immediate decrease
in our freedom to act.

Thus far, we should have
learned that self-reliance is a prereq-
uisite to the complete freedom to act.
We have also learned, however, that
there is nothing spiritual in self-
reliance unless we make the right
choices with that freedom. What then
should we do once we have become
self-reliant in order to grow

The key to making self-reliance
spiritual is in using the freedom to
comply with God’s commandments.
The scriptures are very clear in their
command that it is the duty of those
who have to give to those who are in

Jacob, speaking to the people of
Nephi, said:

"Think of your brethren like
unto yourselves, and be familiar with
all and free with your substance, that



they may be rich like unto you.

"But before ye seek for riches,
seek ye for the kingdom of God.

"And after ye have obtained a
hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches,
if ye seek them; and ye will seek
them for the intent to do good — to
clothe the naked, and to feed the
hungry, and to liberate the captive,
and administer relief to the sick and
the afflicted." (Jacob 2:17-19.)

Service is exalted life

In our own dispensation, when
the Church was only nine months
old, the Lord said:

"And for your salvation I give
unto you a commandment, for I have
heard your prayers, and the poor
have complained before me, and the
rich have I made, and all flesh is
mine, and I am no respecter of per-
sons" (D&C 38:16).

This revelation was given on the
second day of January 1831. The
next month, in another revelation,
the Lord said:

"If thou lovest me thou shalt
serve me and keep all my

"And behold, thou wilt
remember the poor, and consecrate
of thy properties for their support."
(D&C 42:29-30.)

The same month, the Lord
referred to this subject again.
Evidently the Brethren had been a
little remiss. They had not moved
fast enough.

"Behold, I say unto you, that
ye must visit the poor and the needy
and administer to their relief" (D&C

The scriptures are full of com-
mandments regarding our obligation
to care for the poor; therefore, I will
not elaborate further. It has always
seemed somewhat paradoxical to me
that we must constantly have the
Lord command us to do those things
which are for our own good. The
Lord has said,

"He that findeth his life shall
lose it: and he that loseth his life for
my sake shall find it" (Matthew

We lose our life by serving and
lifting others. By so doing we experi-
ence the only true and lasting hap-
piness. Service is not something we
endure on this earth so we can earn
the right to live in the celestial king-
dom. Service is the very fiber of
which an exalted life in the celestial
kingdom is made.

Knowing that service is what
gives our Father in Heaven
fulfillment, and knowing that we
want to be where He is and as He is,
why must we be commanded to serve
one another? Oh, for the glorious day
when these things all come naturally
because of the purity of our hearts.
In that day there will be no need for
a commandment because we will
have experienced for ourselves that
we are truly happy only when we are
engaged in unselfish service. Let us
use the freedom which comes from
self-reliance in giving and serving.

Giving sanctifies

Can we see how critical self-
reliance becomes when looked upon
as the prerequisite to service, when
we also know service is what God-
hood is all about? Without self-
reliance one cannot exercise these in-
nate desires to serve. How can we
give if there is nothing there? Food
for the hungry cannot come from
empty shelves. Money to assist the
needy cannot come from an empty
purse. Support and understanding
cannot come from the emotionally
starved. Teaching cannot come from
the unlearned. And most important of
all, spiritual guidance cannot come
from the spiritually weak.

There is an interdependence be-
tween those who have and those who
have not. The process of giving
exalts the poor and humbles the rich.
In the process, both are sanctified.


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

The poor, released from the bondage
and limitations of poverty, are en-
abled as free men to rise to their full
potential, both temporally and spiri-
tually. The rich, by imparting of
their surplus, participate in the eter-
nal principle of giving. Once a per-
son has been made whole or self-
reliant, he reaches out to aid others,
and the cycle repeats itself.

We are all self-reliant in some
areas and dependent in others. There-
fore, each of us should strive to help
others in areas where we have
strengths. At the same time, pride
should not prevent us from
graciously accepting the helping hand
of another when we have a real need.
To do so denies another person the
opportunity to participate in a sancti-
fying experience.

Again, I say the principle of
self-reliance is spiritual, as are all the
principles of the welfare program.
This is not a doomsday program, but
a program for today. One of the
three areas of emphasis recently out-

lined in the statement on the mission
of the Church is to perfect the Saints,
and this is the purpose of the welfare
program. Today is the time for us to
perfect our lives. May we continue to
hold fast to these truths, I pray, in
the name of Jesus Chirst, amen.

President Romney

The first general session of the
152nd Semiannual General Confer-
ence of the Church will convene in
the Tabernacle at ten o’clock this

We shall sing in closing hymn
no. 27, "Do What Is Right," fol-
lowing which the benediction will be
offered by Elder Paul H. Dunn, a
member of the First Quorum of the

The congregation sang "Do
What Is Right."

The benediction was offered by
Elder Paul H. Dunn.


The following broadcast, an-
nounced by J. Spencer Kinard and
originating with KSL Radio and
Television, Salt Lake City, Utah,
was presented from 9:30 to 10:00
A.M. on Sunday, October 3, 1982,
through the courtesy of the Columbia
Broadcasting System’s network
throughout the United States, parts of
Canada, and through other facilities
to several points overseas:

Announcer: Once more we welcome
you within these walls with Music
and the Spoken Word from the
crossroads of the West.

CBS and its affiliated stations
bring you at this hour the Mormon

Tabernacle Choir from Temple
Square in Salt Lake City, with Jerold
Ottley conducting the Choir, Robert
Cundick, Tabernacle Organist, and
the Spoken Word given by Spencer

(Choir without announcement:
"All Breathing Life, Sing and Praise
Ye the Lord"— Bach)

Announcer: "All breathing life, sing
and praise ye the Lord." The Taber-
nacle Choir opened today’s broadcast
of Music and the Spoken Word with
these words of rejoicing set to music
by Bach.

We now hear the music of How-
ard Hanson with a text from the book



of Psalms as the psalmist worships
the Lord, "O Lord our Lord, how
excellent thy name."

(Choir: "How Excellent Thy
Name" — Hanson)

Announcer: We again hear a text
from Psalms with music by Thomas
Matthews, "The Lord is my shep-
herd, … he restoreth my soul: he
leadeth me in the paths of righteous-
ness for his name’s sake."

(Choir: "The Lord Is My Shep-
herd’ ‘ — Matthews)

Announcer: Tabernacle Organist
Robert Cundick now plays "Sketch
in D Flat" by Robert Schumann.

(Organ: "Sketch in D Flat"—

Announcer: We live in a busy
world. There are so many things to
do, so many reponsibilities pulling
for our attention. Even our tech-
nologies do not seem able to make
our lives less crowded; as soon as we
invent a system to simplify one task,
another responsiblity moves in to
consume whatever time we have

True, that may mean that we get
more things done by making more
efficient use of our time. But it may
also mean that as our lives become
full, more complex, more detailed,
some of the more important aspects
of living receive less attention or are
forgotten altogether.

For instance, how many times
have we justified the amount of time
spent away from families, justified
the neglect families suffer, because
of careers or other distractions. "I’m
doing these things for you," neglect-
ed families are often told. And in
fact, while that may be true, it does
not make the neglect any less real.

Recently, when a boy received
such an explanation from the father
who never had time to play ball with
him, the boy responded, "The
trouble, Dad, is that I’m not in your

"Book?" the father asked.
"What book?"

"You know," the boy replied,
"the book you write your
appointments in; the one where you
keep track of meetings with
important people. I’m not in there."

Jesus spoke about this prob-
lem — the problem of mismanaged
priorities. The occasion was when he
visited the home of Martha, sister to
Lazarus and Mary.

While Mary sat at the feet of
Christ, learning of salvation, Martha
worked in the kitchen and was an-
noyed that Mary did not help her.
Finally, Martha complained to Jesus,
who answered: "Martha, Martha,
thou art careful and troubled about
many things: But one thing is
needful: And Mary hath chosen that
good part, which shall not be taken
away from her" (Luke 10:41-42).

Too often, we do not recognize
what is "needful," what is most full
of need. Too often, perhaps we allow
what is important in our lives to be
displaced by the details and activity
that we think we’re doing for our

Someone needs to do the dishes;
the details must be taken care of. But
sometimes the details can wait, so
that the words of the Savior may be
heard, so that a father has time to
play ball with his son, so that a
mother has time to talk to her daugh-
ter; so that what is important receives
the most attention in our lives.

(Choir without announcement:
"My Lord, What a Mornin’ " — arr.

Announcer: The Tabernacle Choir
has sung a spiritual harmonized by
H. T. Burleigh with a text from the
writings of the Apostle John, "My
Lord, What a Mornin’."

We next hear a traditional
Hebrew melody with text by Daniel
Ben Judah, "The God of Abraham
praise, all praised be his name."

(Choir: "The God of Abraham
Praise’ ‘ — Hebrew Melody)


Sunday, October 3


Second Day

Announcer: The Tabernacle Choir
concludes this broadcast of Music
and the Spoken Word singing music
by John Rutter with a text adapted
from an old Gaelic tune, "(May the)
deep peace of Christ (be) to you."

(Choir: "A Gaelic Blessing" —

Announcer: Again we leave you
from within the shadows of the ever-
lasting hills. May peace be with you
this day . . . and always.

Announcer (on radio): This con-
cludes the two-thousand, seven-hun-

dred, seventy-second performance
continuing the fifty-fourth year of
this traditional broadcast from the
Mormon Tabernacle on Temple
Square, brought to you by CBS and
its affiliated stations, originating with
Station KSL in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jerold Ottley conducted the
Choir, Robert Cundick was at the
organ, the Spoken Word was given
by Spencer Kinard.

In another seven days at this
same hour, Music and the Spoken
Word will be heard again from the
crossroads of the West.

This is the CBS Radio Network.


The Salt Lake Tabernacle Choir
furnished the choral numbers for the
Saturday morning, Sunday morning,
and Sunday afternoon sessions of the
conference with Jerold Ottley and
Donald H. Ripplinger conducting.

The music for the Saturday
afternoon session was provided by
the Mormon Youth Chorus with Rob-
ert Bowden conducting.

At the general priesthood meet-
ing, a combined men’s choir from
the Tabernacle Choir and the


Mormon Youth Chorus directed by
Jerold Ottley and Robert C. Bowden
furnished the music.

Prelude, postlude, and interlude
music and accompaniments on the
Tabernacle organ throughout the con-
ference sessions were played by Rob-
ert Cundick, Roy M. Darley, John
Longhurst, and Clay Christiansen,
Tabernacle organists.

Francis M. Gibbons

Clerk of the Conference




Ashton, Elder Marvin J.


An encounter; Look for the good; Refuse to become anti-
anti-Mormon; Practice pure religion; Assume responsibility;
Extend mercy and care; Be patient and long-suffering; Be
sensitive; Have sincere love for self and fellowmen

Authorities and Officers, Sustaining of General


Authorities Present, General


Authorities Present, Other



Backman, Elder Robert L.


Consider the quorum; The right man as adviser; Bishop
responsible for each young man; Plan balanced activities
with a priesthood purpose; Personalize activities to the
young men; Service — the key to lasting happiness; Costs:
use good judgment; Challenge: reactivate three quorum

Benson, President Ezra Taft 84

Family life ordained of God; Attain righteous unity; Nurture
children with love; Prepare children for gospel ordinances

Brown, Bishop Victor L 115

Preparation for tomorrow; Live providently and righteously;
A troubled world; Counsel on problem areas; Education and
excellence; Continue to learn; Education is a basic tool;
Prepare for tomorrow today; Also prepare spiritually; Follow
counsel and obtain peace

My soul delighteth in the scriptures; To know eternal truths;
A quirk of fate; Examples of Joseph Smith and Spencer W.
Kimball; President Kimball labored to gain insights; Exam-
ples of Bruce R. McConkie and Marion G. Romney; Search
the scriptures; Admonition of Joseph Smith

Cuthbert, Elder Derek A 77

Signs of maturity; Childlike qualities; Other qualities leading
to maturity


Clarke, Bishop J. Richard





Faust, Elder James E 127

Difficult economic times; Some calamities become blessings;
Jewel of adversity; Blessings in overcoming adversity; Eight
blessings; Six ways to overcome; Eternal blessings can result

Featherstone, Elder Vaughn J 102

Personal feelings about parable; Wells of despair; The son
returns; Thy brother is found; Compassion and hope for all;
Come home

Fifth Session 89

First Day — Afternoon Meeting 24

First Day — Morning Meeting 2

First Session 2

Fourth Session 68

Fyans, Elder J. Thomas 88

Exterior beauty; Fellowship nonmember friends; Consoling
the bereaved


General Authorities and Officers, Sustaining of 25

General Authorities Present 1

General Priesthood Meeting 47

General Welfare Session 114


Haight, Elder David B 12

A special ingredient; Love — a divine ingredient; Love can
neutralize negatives; Love unlocks divine powers; "Love is
a verb"

Hinckley, President Gordon B. (Fifth Session) Ill

Study conference talks; Use self-discipline to resist evils;
Counsel on politics; Reach out with love; Spread the gospel
graciously; Continue in well-doing

Hinckley, President Gordon B. (First Session) 6

Testimony and thanks to Church members; What this work
is all about; Work of redemption, of lifting, of saving;
Increased reactivation is needed



Hinckley, President Gordon B. (Priesthood Session) 62

Priesthood of Aaron; Powers in the priesthood; Right to
guidance, protection, and blessings; Teach repentance;
Cultivate Holy Spirit of God; Walk in dignity of sacred
calling; Sacrament meetings — for spiritual growth; Spirit of


Hunter, Elder Howard W 81

Commitment to God; Relationship between blessings and
obedience; Obedience brings success; Full commitment by
Joshua; Unwavering determination; Evaluate with eternal


Jar man, President Dean 124

Work — a spiritual principle; Philosophy of work; Family
work projects; Blessings of family projects


Kimball, President Spencer W 3

Grateful for Choir; Report of activities; Support during
advancing years; Wickedness in the world; Warning and call
to repentance; Obligation to share the gospel; Latter-day
testimonies of Jesus Christ


Lee, Elder George P 106

Testimony of Christ as Redeemer; Was known before His
birth; Resurrected and glorified; The Father and the Son
appear; Seek perfection for ourselves and others; The Sec-
ond Coming; The promised Messiah


Maxwell, Elder Neal A 95

Be of good cheer; Trust in God’s purposes; The less love,
the more fear; Trial of faith and patience; Believing partici-
pation without full understanding; Maintain right per-
spective; Forerunner of eternal riches

McConkie, Elder Bruce R 43

The seven Christs; 1. Christ — the Creator; 2. Christ — the
God of our fathers; 3. Christ — the promised Messiah; 4.
Christ — the mortal Messiah; 5. Christ — the crucified yet
risen one; 6. Christ — today’s Messiah; 7. Christ — the mil-
lennial Messiah



Monson, Elder Thomas S.


Through Westminster Abbey; Baden-Powell, builder of
boys; A boy spared; Scouting and the Church; Duty to God
and country; Scout Law and laws of God; "Run, boy, run!"

Music, Summary of Conference



Nicholas, Brother Michael

How we promote activation; Involving inactives and non-
members; Church programs worked in my life



Packer, Elder Boyd K.


Fulfillment of a prophecy; Publication of Book of Mormon;
Latter-day Saint edition of King James Bible; Another testa-
ment of Jesus Christ; New revelations added; Restructuring
of Church curriculum; Fifty-eight categories about Jesus
Christ; Testaments of the Lord Jesus Christ

Perry, Elder L. Tom 39

A new era; The office of bishop; "For a bishop must be
blameless"; Support and sustain bishops; Five rules for
Church members; Improve relationship with bishop

Petersen, Elder Mark E 20

Christ — our dearest friend; Measure of complete salvation;
Become believers and doers; How to live a Christlike life;
To come into God’s presence; Requirements for perfection;
Follow the course

Peterson, Bishop H. Burke 58

Unforgettable lesson from taxi driver; Dad’s example — for
good or ill; Sons: blessings from heaven and divine respon-
sibilities; Prepare the heart of your son; Renew the
purification process; Give more ear and less lip; Priority of
importance; Be patient; The measure of a man

Pinegar, Elder Rex D 33

To those searching for strength; Obstacles are part of living;
A story; An opportunity for growth; Faith — the force of life;
Believe in God and live his law; Approach challenges
patiently and with faith

Pingel, Bishop Frederick 48

Activating young men of the Aaronic Priesthood; Use qual-
ity leaders; Hold quality interviews; Key to activation;
Taking priesthood to the boy



Priesthood Meeting, General 47


Reeve, Elder Rex C, Sr 36

Turn hearts and lives to God; Life — time of testing; Worship
of the heart; Put the Lord first; Look to God

Richards, Elder Franklin D 29

Worshiping with song; Doctrine, prophecy, and inspiration;
Background of two great songs; Other hymns with spiritual
power; Music is inspirational; Gratitude for President

Romney, President Marion G. (Fourth Session) 69

Only one gave thanks; Occasions of thanksgiving; Sin of
ingratitude; Comments and blessings; Gratitude and
thanksgiving; Give thanks — a commandment

Romney, President Marion G. (Priesthood Meeting) 67

The power of the priesthood; The priesthood is sacred;

Romney, President Marion G. (Welfare Session) 132

Self-reliance and freedom; Gullible gulls; Don’t sacrifice
self-respect and independence; Caution to parents and priest-
hood leaders; Welfare program is spiritual; Seek the king-
dom of God; Service is exalted life; Giving sanctifies


Salt Lake Tabernacle Choir and Organ Broadcast 136

Second Day — Afternoon Meeting 89

Second Day — Morning Meeting 68

Second Session 24

Smith, Sister Barbara B 120

Light of the gospel; Love — more than a concept; Actions
and attitudes; Serve one another; Solve problems with the
materials at hand; Strength of family and of character; Liv-
ing gospel principles

Summary of Conference Music 138

Sustaining of General Authorities and Officers 25




Tabernacle Choir and Organ Broadcast, Salt Lake 136

Tanner, President N. Eldon 113

Gratitude for prayer; Strive to follow teachings; Appreciation
for blessings

Third Session 47


Welfare Session, General 114

Wells, Elder Robert E 99

Another testament of Christ; We are Christians; Live so no

one will doubt; Be a friend of the Savior; Be a servant of
the Savior; Be a son or daughter of the Savior



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About Jacob Householder

Jacob is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints. He is the senior intern over Development and External Relations at the Madison Liberty Institute, the Director of Outreach for the Columbus Center for Constitutional Studies, and a senior at BYU-Idaho studying Financial Economics.

Copyright © 2019 | Jacob Householder — All Rights Reserved.

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