THOMAS S. MONSON
16th President of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (February 3, 2008 – present)

President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (March 12, 1995 – February 3, 2008)

First Counselor in the First Presidency (March 12, 1995 – February 3, 2008)

Second Counselor in the First Presidency (November 10, 1985 – March 12, 1995)

Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 4, 1963 – present)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 2017 General Conference
    • Kindness, Charity, and Love
      • “Brethren, we do not honor the priesthood of God if we are not kind to others.”
      • “The scriptures teach us that the righteous exercise of the priesthood is dependent upon our living the principles of kindness, charity, and love.”
      • “Let us examine our lives and determine to follow the Savior’s example by being kind, loving, and charitable.”
    • The Power of the Book of Mormon
      • “This morning I speak about the power of the Book of Mormon and the critical need we have as members of this Church to study, ponder, and apply its teachings in our lives. The importance of having a firm and sure testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be overstated.”
      • “I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and I solemnly testify that it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”
      • “If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.”
  • October 2016 General Conference
    • Principles and Promises
      • “Those who are obedient to the Lord’s commandments and who faithfully observe the Word of Wisdom are promised particular blessings, among which are good health and added physical stamina.”
      • “Brethren, may we care for our bodies and our minds by observing the principles set forth in the Word of Wisdom, a divinely provided plan. With all my heart and soul, I testify of the glorious blessings which await us as we do.”
    • The Perfect Path to Happiness
      • “Our Father’s plan for our happiness and our salvation is shared by our missionaries throughout the world. Not all who hear this divine message accept and embrace it. However, men and women everywhere, just like my young friend at the New York World’s Fair, recognize its truths, and they plant their feet on the path that will lead them safely home. Their lives are forever changed.”
      • “It is not enough, however, merely to believe in Him and His mission. We need to work and learn, search and pray, repent and improve. We need to know God’s laws and live them. We need to receive His saving ordinances. Only by so doing will we obtain true, eternal happiness.”
      • “We are blessed to have the truth. We have a mandate to share the truth. Let us live the truth, that we might merit all that the Father has for us. He does nothing save it be for our benefit.”
  • 2016 April General Conference
    • A Sacred Trust
      • “Wherever you go, your priesthood goes with you. Are you standing in holy places?”
      • “This precious gift of priesthood power brings with it not only solemn responsibilities but also special blessings for ourselves and for others. May we, in whatever place we may find ourselves, always be worthy to call upon its power, for we never know when our need and our opportunity to do so may come.”
      • “May we determine, here and now, ever to be prepared for our time of need, our time of service, our time of blessing.”
    • Choices
      • “When we left our premortal existence and entered mortality, we brought with us the gift of agency. Our goal is to obtain celestial glory, and the choices we make will, in large part, determine whether or not we reach our goal.”
      • “We know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life leads to our destination in the next life.”
      • “May we choose to build up within ourselves a great and powerful faith which will be our most effective defense against the designs of the adversary—a real faith, the kind of faith which will sustain us and will bolster our desire to choose the right. Without such faith, we go nowhere. With it, we can accomplish our goals.”
      • “May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”
      • “As we contemplate the decisions we make in our lives each day—whether to make this choice or that choice—if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice.”
  • October 2015 General Conference
    • Keep the Commandments
      • “God’s commandments are not given to frustrate us or to become obstacles to our happiness. Just the opposite is true. He who created us and who loves us perfectly knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible. He has provided us with guidelines which, if we follow them, will see us safely through this often treacherous mortal journey.”
      • “Disregard for the commandments has opened the way for what I consider to be the plagues of our day. They include the plague of permissiveness, the plague of pornography, the plague of drugs, the plague of immorality, and the plague of abortion, to name just a few.”
      • “If the commandments had been written by man, then to change them by inclination or legislation or by any other means would be the prerogative of man. The commandments, however, were God-given. Using our agency, we can set them aside. We cannot, however, change them, just as we cannot change the consequences which come from disobeying and breaking them.”
      • “We cannot allow ourselves the slightest bit of leeway in dealing with sin.”
    • Be an Example and a Light
      • “We become examples of the believers by living the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. As we do so, our lights will shine for others to see.”
      • “I reiterate what we have been told repeatedly—that in order to gain and to keep the faith we need, it is essential that we read and study and ponder the scriptures. Communication with our Heavenly Father through prayer is vital. We cannot afford to neglect these things, for the adversary and his hosts are relentlessly seeking for a chink in our armor, a lapse in our faithfulness.”
      • “As we prove to be examples in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity, we will qualify to be lights to the world.”
  • April 2015 General Conference
    • The Priesthood—a Sacred Gift
      • “I hope each young man who has been ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood is given a spiritual awareness of the sacredness of his ordained calling, as well as opportunities to magnify that calling.”
      • “Brethren, each of us has been entrusted with one of the most precious gifts ever bestowed upon mankind. As we honor our priesthood and live our lives so that we are at all times worthy, the blessings of the priesthood will flow through us.”
      • “As bearers of the priesthood of God, we are engaged in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have answered His call; we are on His errand. Let us learn of Him. Let us follow in His footsteps. Let us live by His precepts. By so doing, we will be prepared for any service He calls us to perform. This is His work. This is His Church. Indeed, He is our captain, the King of Glory, even the Son of God.”
    • Blessings of the Temple
      • “The building of temples is a very clear indication of the growth of the Church.”
      • “As I think of temples, my thoughts turn to the many blessings we receive therein. As we enter through the doors of the temple, we leave behind us the distractions and confusion of the world. Inside this sacred sanctuary, we find beauty and order. There is rest for our souls and a respite from the cares of our lives.”
      • “My brothers and sisters, in our lives we will have temptations; we will have trials and challenges. As we go to the temple, as we remember the covenants we make there, we will be better able to overcome those temptations and to bear our trials. In the temple we can find peace.”
  • October 2014 General Conference
    • Welcome to Conference
      • “We reaffirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty, and we encourage all worthy and able young men to serve. We are very grateful for the young women who also serve. They make a significant contribution, although they are not under the same mandate to serve as are the young men.”
    • Guided Safely Home
      • “Like the vital rudder of a ship, brethren, we have been provided a way to determine the direction we travel. The lighthouse of the Lord beckons to all as we sail the seas of life. Our purpose is to steer an undeviating course toward our desired goal—even the celestial kingdom of God. A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder, never likely to reach home port. To us comes the signal: chart your course, set your sail, position your rudder, and proceed.”
      • “Ours is the responsibility to be worthy of all the glorious blessings our Father in Heaven has in store for us. Wherever we go, our priesthood goes with us. Are we standing in holy places? Please, before you put yourself and your priesthood in jeopardy by venturing into places or participating in activities which are not worthy of you or of that priesthood, pause to consider the consequences.”
    • Ponder the Path of Thy Feet
      • “All of us commenced a wonderful and essential journey when we left the spirit world and entered this often-challenging stage called mortality. The primary purposes of our existence upon the earth are to obtain a body of flesh and bones, to gain experience that could come only through separation from our heavenly parents, and to see if we would keep the commandments.”
      • “As we look to Jesus as our Exemplar and as we follow in His footsteps, we can return safely to our Heavenly Father to live with Him forever.”
      • “All of us can walk the path He walked when, with His words ringing in our ears, His Spirit filling our hearts, and His teachings guiding our lives, we choose to follow Him as we journey through mortality.”
      • “We, as servants, can expect no more than the Master, who left mortality only after great pain and suffering.”
      • “We, like Jesus, can walk the path of service. As a glowing searchlight of goodness is the life of Jesus as He ministered among men. He brought strength to the limbs of the cripple, sight to the eyes of the blind, hearing to the ears of the deaf.”
    • Until We Meet Again
      • “There are those who struggle every day with challenges. Let us extend to them our concern, as well as a helping hand. As we care for each other, we will be blessed.”
      • “May we remember the elderly and those who are homebound. As we take time to visit them, they will know that they are loved and valued. May we follow the mandate to succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”
  • April 2014 General Conference
    • Welcome to Conference
      • “Although we are currently concentrating our efforts on completing the previously announced temples and will not be announcing any new temples in the immediate future, we will continue the process of determining needs and of finding locations for temples yet to come. Announcements will then be made in future general conferences. We are a temple-building and a temple-attending people.”
    • Be Strong and of a Good Courage
      • “We live in a world where moral values have, in great measure, been tossed aside, where sin is flagrantly on display, and where temptations to stray from the strait and narrow path surround us. We are faced with persistent pressures and insidious influences tearing down what is decent and attempting to substitute the shallow philosophies and practices of a secular society.”
      • “In order for us to make the correct decisions, courage is needed—the courage to say no when we should, the courage to say yes when that is appropriate, the courage to do the right thing because it is right.”
      • “We can help ourselves in our desire to do what is right if we put ourselves in places and participate in activities where our thoughts are influenced for good and where the Spirit of the Lord will be comfortable.”
      • “He who stands steadfastly for that which is right must risk becoming at times disapproved and unpopular.”
      • “Brethren, are you the same person wherever you are and whatever you are doing—the person our Heavenly Father wants you to be and the person you know you should be?”
      • “It is impossible to stand upright when one plants his roots in the shifting sands of popular opinion and approval.”
      • “Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.”
    • Love—the Essence of the Gospel
      • “We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey. Likewise, we cannot fully love our fellowmen if we do not love God, the Father of us all.”
      • “Love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar.”
      • “Forgiveness should go hand in hand with love. In our families, as well as with our friends, there can be hurt feelings and disagreements. Again, it doesn’t really matter how small the issue was. It cannot and should not be left to canker, to fester, and ultimately to destroy. Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals.”
      • “May we begin now, this very day, to express love to all of God’s children, whether they be our family members, our friends, mere acquaintances, or total strangers. As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way.”
    • Until We Meet Again
      • “As we ponder the messages we have heard, may we resolve to do a little better than we have done in the past. May we be kind and loving to those who do not share our beliefs and our standards. The Savior brought to this earth a message of love and goodwill to all men and women. May we ever follow His example.”
      • “We face many serious challenges in the world today, but I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. He will guide and bless us as we put our faith and trust in Him and will see us through whatever difficulties come our way.”
  • October 2013 General Conference
    • Welcome to Conference
      • “I am happy to announce that two weeks ago, the membership of the Church reached 15 million.”
      • “It has scarcely been one year since I announced the lowering of the age of missionary service. Since that time the number of full-time missionaries serving has increased from 58,500 in October 2012 to 80,333 today.”
      • The holy scriptures contain no proclamation more relevant, no responsibility more binding, no instruction more direct than the injunction given by the resurrected Lord as He appeared in Galilee to the eleven disciples. Said He, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
      • “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work.”
    • True Shepherds
      • “Brethren, as the priesthood of God we have a shepherding responsibility. The wisdom of the Lord has provided guidelines whereby we might be shepherds to the families of the Church, where we can serve, we can teach, and we can testify to them. Such is called home teaching.”
      • “The home teaching program is a response to modern revelation commissioning those ordained to the priesthood “to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, … and 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 be with and strengthen them; and see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking.”
      • “Home teaching is more than a mechanical visit once per month. Ours is the responsibility to teach, to inspire, to motivate, and where we visit those who are not active, to bring to activity and to eventual exaltation the sons and daughters of God.”
      • “Brethren, it will be our privilege through the years to visit and teach many individuals—those who are less active as well as those who are fully committed. If we are conscientious in our calling, we will have many opportunities to bless lives. Our visits to those who have distanced themselves from Church activity can be the key which will eventually open the doors to their return.”
      • “If any of you has slipped into complacency concerning your home teaching visits, may I say that there is no time like the present to rededicate yourself to fulfilling your home teaching duties. Decide now to make whatever effort is necessary to reach those for whom you have been given responsibility. There are times when a little extra prodding may be needed, as well, to help your home teaching companion find the time to go with you, but if you are persistent, you will succeed.”
    • “I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee”
      • “Brothers and sisters, it may be safely assumed that no person has ever lived entirely free of suffering and sorrow, nor has there ever been a period in human history that did not have its full share of turmoil and misery.”
      • “The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us: Shall I falter, or shall I finish? Some do falter as they find themselves unable to rise above their challenges. To finish involves enduring to the very end of life itself.”
      • “May we ever strive to be close to our Heavenly Father. To do so, we must pray to Him and listen to Him every day. We truly need Him every hour, whether they be hours of sunshine or of rain. May His promise ever be our watchword: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
    • Till We Meet Again
      • “We have been blessed to meet here in the magnificent Conference Center in peace and safety.”
      • “May heaven’s blessings be with you. May your homes be filled with love and courtesy and with the Spirit of the Lord. May you constantly nourish your testimonies of the gospel that they will be a protection to you against the buffetings of the adversary.”
  • April 2013 General Conference
    • Welcome to Conference
      • Announced new temples in Cedar City, Utah and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
      • “To maintain force, and because many of our missionaries come from modest circumstances, we invite you, as you are able, to contribute generously to the General Missionary Fund of the Church.”
      • Now, brothers and sisters, we will hear inspired messages today and tomorrow. Those who will address us have sought prayerfully to know that which the Lord would have us hear at this time.”
    • Come, All Ye Sons of God
      • “Missionary work is an identifying feature of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Always has it been; ever shall it be.”
      • “The challenge is to be more profitable servants in the Lord’s vineyard. This applies to all of us, whatever our age, and not alone to those who are preparing to serve as full-time missionaries, for to each of us comes the mandate to share the gospel of Christ.”
      • “The scriptures testify of God and contain the words of eternal life. They become the foundation of our message.”
      • “Brethren, as you plan with purpose your lives, remember that your missionary opportunities are not restricted to the period of a formal call. For those of you who serve in the military, such time can and should be profitable. Each year our young men in uniform bring many souls into the kingdom of God by honoring their priesthood, living the commandments of God, and teaching to others the Lord’s divine word.”
    • Obedience Brings Blessings
      • “There is no need for you or for me, in this enlightened age when the fulness of the gospel has been restored, to sail uncharted seas or to travel unmarked roads in search of truth. A loving Heavenly Father has plotted our course and provided an unfailing guide—even obedience. A knowledge of truth and the answers to our greatest questions come to us as we are obedient to the commandments of God.”
      • “There are rules and laws to help ensure our physical safety. Likewise, the Lord has provided guidelines and commandments to help ensure our spiritual safety so that we might successfully navigate this often-treacherous mortal existence and return eventually to our Heavenly Father.”
      • “As the Savior instructed His early Apostles, so He instructs you and me, “Follow thou me.” Are we willing to obey?”
    • Until We Meet Again
      • “We are a worldwide Church, brothers and sisters. Our membership is found across the globe. I admonish you to be good citizens of the nations in which you live and good neighbors in your communities, reaching out to those of other faiths as well as to our own. May we be tolerant of, as well as kind and loving to, those who do not share our beliefs and our standards. The Savior brought to this earth a message of love and goodwill to all men and women. May we ever follow His example.”
      • “We live at a time in the world’s history when there are many difficult challenges but also great opportunities and reasons for rejoicing. There are, of course, those times when we experience disappointments, heartaches, and even tragedies in our lives. However, if we will put our trust in the Lord, He will help us through our difficulties, whatever they may be. The Psalmist provided this assurance: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
      • “I bear my personal witness and testimony to you that God lives, that He hears the prayers of humble hearts. His Son, our Savior and Redeemer, speaks to each of us: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.” May we believe these words and take advantage of this promise.”
  • October 2012 General Conference
    • Welcome to Conference
      • Announced new temples in Arizona and Peru
      • Announced new age requirements for missionaries
      • Affirmed mission call to all worthy young men able to serve
    • See Others As They May Become
      • Brethren, to each of us comes the mandate to share the gospel of Christ. When our lives comply with God’s own standard, those within our sphere of influence will never speak the lament, The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
      • pray that we will have the courage to extend the hand of fellowship, the tenacity to try and try again, and the humility needed to seek guidance from our Father as we fulfill our mandate to share the gospel.
    • Consider the Blessings
      • testify that much of that joy comes as we recognize that we can communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer and that those prayers will be heard and answered—perhaps not how and when we expected they would be answered, but they will be answered and by a Heavenly Father who knows and loves us perfectly and who desires our happiness.
      • My brothers and sisters, the Lord’s purposes are often accomplished as we pay heed to the guidance of the Spirit. believe that the more we act upon the inspiration and impressions which come to us, the more the Lord will entrust to us His errands.
      • Again, my brothers and sisters, our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives.
      • never cease to be amazed by how the Lord can motivate and direct the length and breadth of His kingdom and yet have time to provide inspiration concerning one individual—or one cultural celebration or one Jumbotron. The fact that He can, that He does, is testimony to me.
    • God Be with You Till We Meet Again
      • Let us be of good cheer as we go about our lives. Although we live in increasingly perilous times, the Lord loves us and is mindful of us. He is always on our side as we do what is right. He will help us in time of need. Difficulties come into our lives, problems we do not anticipate and which we would never choose. None of us is immune. The purpose of mortality is to learn and to grow to be more like our Father, and it is often during the difficult times that we learn the most, as painful as the lessons maybe. Our lives can also be filled with joy as we follow the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
      • The Lord admonished, “Be of good cheer; have overcome the world.” What great happiness this knowledge should bring to us. He lived for us and He died for us. He paid the price for our sins. May we emulate His example. May we show our great gratitude to Him by accepting His sacrifice and living lives that will qualify us to return and one day live with Him.
  • April 2012 General Conference
    • As We Gather Once Again
      • “Should there be changes which need to be made in your life, may you find the incentive and the courage to do so as you listen to the inspired words which will be spoken. May each of us resolve anew to live so that we are worthy sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. May we continue to oppose evil wherever it is found.”
      • “There is much that is difficult and challenging in the world today, my brothers and sisters, but there is also much that is good and uplifting. As we declare in our thirteenth article of faith, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” May we ever continue to do so.”
    • Willing and Worthy to Serve
      • “How blessed we are to be here in these last days, when the priesthood of God is upon the earth. How privileged we are to bear that priesthood. The priesthood is not so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others. With these opportunities come responsibilities and duties. I love and cherish the noble word duty and all that it implies.”
      • “Time certainly marches on. Duty keeps cadence with that march. Duty does not dim nor diminish. Catastrophic conflicts come and go, but the war waged for the souls of men continues without abatement. Like a clarion call comes the word of the Lord to you, to me, and to priesthood holders everywhere: “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.”
      • “Let us have ready hands, clean hands, and willing hands, that we may participate in providing what our Heavenly Father would have others receive from Him. If we are not worthy, it is possible to lose the power of the priesthood; and if we lose it, we have lost the essence of exaltation. Let us be worthy to serve.”
      • “Miracles are everywhere to be found when the priesthood is understood, its power is honored and used properly, and faith is exerted. When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes.”
      • “Let us learn and contemplate our duty. Let us be willing and worthy to serve. Let us in the performance of our duty follow in the footsteps of the Master. As you and I walk the pathway Jesus walked, we will discover He is more than the babe in Bethlehem, more than the carpenter’s son, more than the greatest teacher ever to live. We will come to know Him as the Son of God, our Savior and our Redeemer.”
    • The Race of Life
      • “When compared to eternal verities, most of the questions and concerns of daily living are really rather trivial. What should we have for dinner? What color should we paint the living room? Should we sign Johnny up for soccer? These questions and countless others like them lose their significance when times of crisis arise, when loved ones are hurt or injured, when sickness enters the house of good health, when life’s candle dims and darkness threatens. Our thoughts become focused, and we are easily able to determine what is really important and what is merely trivial.”
      • “Clearly, one primary purpose of our existence upon the earth is to obtain a body of flesh and bones. We have also been given the gift of agency. In a thousand ways we are privileged to choose for ourselves. Here we learn from the hard taskmaster of experience. We discern between good and evil. We differentiate as to the bitter and the sweet. We discover that there are consequences attached to our actions.”
      • “In our zeal, let us not overlook the sage counsel from Ecclesiastes: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.” Actually, the prize belongs to him or her who endures to the end.”
      • “It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings are earned through a lifetime of striving, seeking, repenting, and finally succeeding.”
    • As We Close This Conference
      • “My heartfelt thanks go to each who has spoken to us as well as to those who have offered prayers at each of the sessions. There are countless individuals who work either behind the scenes or in less visible positions each conference. It would not be possible for us to hold these sessions without their assistance. My thanks go to all of them as well.”
      • “How blessed we are, my brothers and sisters, to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives and in our hearts. It provides answers to life’s greatest questions. It provides meaning and purpose and hope to our lives.”
      • “If there are disagreements or contentions among you, I urge you to settle them now.”
  • October 2011 General Conference
    • As We Meet Again
      • “First, may I mention that no Church-built facility is more important than a temple. Temples are places where relationships are sealed together to last through the eternities. We are grateful for all the many temples across the world and for the blessing they are in the lives of our members.”
      • “To help in this regard, we have available what is called the General Temple Patron Assistance Fund. This fund provides a one-time visit to the temple for those who otherwise would not be able to go to the temple and yet who long desperately for that opportunity. Any who might wish to contribute to this fund can simply write in the information on the normal contribution slip which is given to the bishop each month.”
    • Dare to Stand Alone
      • “We must conduct our lives so that we are ever worthy of the priesthood we bear. We live in a time when we are surrounded by much that is intended to entice us into paths which may lead to our destruction. To avoid such paths requires determination and courage.”
      • “Brethren, none within the sound of my voice should be in any doubt concerning what is moral and what is not, nor should any be in doubt about what is expected of us as holders of the priesthood of God. We have been and continue to be taught God’s laws. Despite what you may see or hear elsewhere, these laws are unchanging.”
      • “Increasingly, some celebrities and others who—for one reason or another—are in the public eye have a tendency to ridicule religion in general and, at times, the Church in particular. If our testimonies are not firmly enough rooted, such criticisms can cause us to doubt our own beliefs or to waver in our resolves.”
      • “What a powerful tool of the adversary is ridicule and mockery! Again, brethren, do we have the courage to stand strong and firm in the face of such difficult opposition?”
      • “How grateful I am that I made the decision long ago to remain strong and true, always prepared and ready to defend my religion, should the need arise.”
      • “Yes, brethren, we represent some of His strongest children. Ours is the responsibility to be worthy of all the glorious blessings our Father in Heaven has in store for us. Wherever we go, our priesthood goes with us. Are we standing in holy places? Please, before you put yourself and your priesthood in jeopardy by venturing into places or participating in activities which are not worthy of you or of that priesthood, pause to consider the consequences.”
      • “When we know the Book of Mormon is true, then it follows that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet and that he saw God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. It also follows that the gospel was restored in these latter days through Joseph Smith—including the restoration of both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods.”
    • Stand in Holy Places
      • “Also evolving at a rapid rate has been the moral compass of society. Behaviors which once were considered inappropriate and immoral are now not only tolerated but also viewed by ever so many as acceptable.”
      • “The storms will still beat at our doors from time to time, for they are an inescapable part of our existence in mortality. We, however, will be far better equipped to deal with them, to learn from them, and to overcome them if we have the gospel at our core and the love of the Savior in our hearts.”
      • “If you do not now have such a relationship with your Father in Heaven, I urge you to work toward that goal. As you do so, you will be entitled to His inspiration and guidance in your life—necessities for each of us if we are to survive spiritually during our sojourn here on earth. Such inspiration and guidance are gifts He freely gives if we but seek them. What treasures they are!”
      • “As the winds of change swirl around us and the moral fiber of society continues to disintegrate before our very eyes, may we remember the Lord’s precious promise to those who trust in Him: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
    • Until We Meet Again
      • “Brothers and sisters, I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face in the world today. He loves each of us and will bless us as we strive to keep His commandments and seek Him through prayer.”
      • “How blessed we are to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It provides answers to the questions concerning where we came from, why we are here, and where we will go when we depart from this life. It gives meaning and purpose and hope to our lives.”
      • “I thank you for the service you so willingly give to one another. We are God’s hands here on this earth, with a mandate to love and to serve His children.”
  • April 2011 General Conference
    • It’s Conference Once Again
      • “Each year millions of ordinances are performed in the temples. May we continue to be faithful in performing such ordinances, not only for ourselves but also for our deceased loved ones who are unable to do so for themselves.”
      • “My brothers and sisters, I thank you for your faith and devotion to the gospel, for the love and care you show to one another, and for the service you provide in your wards and branches and stakes and districts. Thank you, as well, for your faithfulness in paying your tithes and offerings and for your generosity in contributing to the other funds of the Church.”
    • Priesthood Power
      • “Brethren, that is the definitive word of the Lord concerning His divine authority. We cannot be in doubt as to the obligation this places upon each of us who bear the priesthood of God.”
      • “We have come to the earth in troubled times. The moral compass of the masses has gradually shifted to an “almost anything goes” position.”
      • “I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed much of the metamorphosis of society’s morals. Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.”
      • “I am sorry that any of us is subjected to profane language, and I plead with you not to use it. I implore you not to say or to do anything of which you cannot be proud.”
      • “Stay completely away from pornography. Do not allow yourself to view it, ever. It has proven to be an addiction which is more than difficult to overcome. Avoid alcohol and tobacco or any other drugs, also addictions which you would be hard pressed to conquer.”
      • “What will protect you from the sin and evil around you? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior and of His gospel will help see you through to safety. If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it. I will not ask for a show of hands. If you do so prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Church is true. If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. Once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through obedience to the commandments of God and through regular prayer and scripture study. Attend church.”
      • “Choose a companion carefully and prayerfully; and when you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Priceless advice comes from a small framed plaque I once saw in the home of an uncle and aunt. It read, “Choose your love; love your choice.” There is great wisdom in those few words. Commitment in marriage is absolutely essential.”
      • “We left the temple that day, and no one ever knew who we were or why we had come, but my friends were holding hands as they walked out the front door. Their differences had been set aside. I had not had to say one word. You see, they remembered their own wedding day and the covenants they had made in the house of God. They were committed to beginning again and trying harder this time around.”
    • The Holy Temple—a Beacon to the World
      • “Our desire is to make the temple as accessible as possible to our members.”
      • “My brothers and sisters, temples are more than stone and mortar. They are filled with faith and fasting. They are built of trials and testimonies. They are sanctified by sacrifice and service.”
      • “Why are so many willing to give so much in order to receive the blessings of the temple? Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings. There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure. They understand that the saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort.”
      • “The world can be a challenging and difficult place in which to live. We are often surrounded by that which would drag us down. As you and I go to the holy houses of God, as we remember the covenants we make within, we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace; we will be renewed and fortified.”
    • At Parting
      • “We face many challenges in the world today, but I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. He loves each of us and will bless us as we seek Him through prayer and strive to keep His commandments.”
      • “May we be examples of honesty and integrity wherever we go and in whatever we do.”
  • October 2010 General Conference
    • As We Meet Together Again
      • “The ordinances performed in our temples are vital to our salvation and to the salvation of our deceased loved ones. May we continue faithful in attending the temples, which are being built closer and closer to our members.”
      • “First, to young men of the Aaronic Priesthood and to you young men who are becoming elders: I repeat what prophets have long taught—that every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much. Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. Keep yourselves clean and pure and worthy to represent the Lord. Maintain your health and strength. Study the scriptures. Where such is available, participate in seminary or institute. Familiarize yourself with the missionary handbook Preach My Gospel.”
      • “To those of you who are not yet to the season of life when you might serve a couples mission, I urge you to prepare now for the day when you and your spouse might do so. As your circumstances allow, as you are eligible for retirement, and as your health permits, make yourselves available to leave home and give full-time missionary service. There are few times in your lives when you will enjoy the sweet spirit and satisfaction that come from giving full-time service together in the work of the Master.”
    • The Three Rs of Choice
      • “We know that we had our agency before this world was and that Lucifer attempted to take it from us. He had no confidence in the principle of agency or in us and argued for imposed salvation. He insisted that with his plan none would be lost, but he seemed not to recognize—or perhaps not to care—that in addition, none would be any wiser, any stronger, any more compassionate, or any more grateful if his plan were followed.”
      • “Brethren, within the confines of whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we will always have the right to choose.”
      • “Next, with the right of choice comes the responsibility to choose. We cannot be neutral; there is no middle ground.”
      • “Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed—the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny.”
      • “Brethren, you are of a noble birthright. Eternal life in the kingdom of our Father is your goal. Such a goal is not achieved in one glorious attempt but rather is the result of a lifetime of righteousness, an accumulation of wise choices, even a constancy of purpose. As with anything really worthwhile, the reward of eternal life requires effort.”
      • “The lesson he learned is that it is easier to keep the commandments 100 percent of the time than it is 98 percent of the time.”
    • The Divine Gift of Gratitude
      • “My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”
      • “Gratitude is a divine principle.”
      • “A prayerful life is the key to possessing gratitude.”
      • “My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.”
    • Till We Meet Again
      • “We live in a troubled world, a world of many challenges. We are here on this earth to deal with our individual challenges to the best of our ability, to learn from them, and to overcome them. Endure to the end we must, for our goal is eternal life in the presence of our Father in Heaven. He loves us and wants nothing more than for us to succeed in this goal. He will help us and bless us as we call upon Him in our prayers, as we study His words, and as we obey His commandments. Therein is found safety; therein is found peace.”
      • “May we show increased kindness toward one another; may we ever be found doing the work of the Lord.”
  • April 2010 General Conference
    • Welcome to Conference
      • “This year marks 25 years since our humanitarian program became part of our welfare effort. The number of individuals assisted by this program could never adequately be measured. We will always strive to be among the first on the scene of disasters, wherever they may occur.”
      • “Now, brothers and sisters, we have come here to be instructed and inspired. We welcome those of you who are new in the Church. Others of you are struggling with problems, with challenges, with disappointments, with losses. We love you and we pray for you. Many messages, covering a variety of gospel topics, will be given during the next two days. Those men and women who will speak to you have sought heaven’s help concerning the messages they will give.”
    • Preparation Brings Blessings
      • “Everyone needs good friends. Your circle of friends will greatly influence your thinking and behavior, just as you will theirs. When you share common values with your friends, you can strengthen and encourage each other. Treat everyone with kindness and dignity. Many nonmembers have come into the Church through friends who have involved them in Church activities.”
      • “A Latter-day Saint young man lives as he teaches and as he believes. He is honest with others. He is honest with himself. He is honest with God. He is honest by habit and as a matter of course.”
      • “Brethren, fill your minds with good thoughts, and your actions will be proper.”
      • “Remember that prayer is the passport to spiritual power.”
      • “Clean hands, a pure heart, and a willing mind had touched heaven. A blessing, heaven-sent, had answered the fervent prayer of a missionary’s humble heart.”
    • He Is Risen!
      • “If there is a design in this world in which we live, there must be a Designer. Who can behold the many wonders of the universe without believing that there is a design for all mankind? Who can doubt that there is a Designer?”
      • “Man alone received intelligence—a brain, a mind, and a soul. Man alone, with these attributes, had the capacity for faith and hope, for inspiration and ambition.”
      • “Who could persuasively argue that man—the noblest work of the Great Designer, with dominion over all living things, with a brain and a will, with a mind and a soul, with intelligence and divinity—should come to an end when the spirit forsakes its earthly temple?”
      • “No mere mortal can conceive the full import of what Christ did for us in Gethsemane.”
      • “Our Savior lived again. The most glorious, comforting, and reassuring of all events of human history had taken place—the victory over death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. The Fall of Adam had been reclaimed.”
    • A Word at Closing
      • “My brothers and sisters, today, as we look at the world around us, we are faced with problems which are serious and of great concern to us. The world seems to have slipped from the moorings of safety and drifted from the harbor of peace.”
      • “Permissiveness, immorality, pornography, dishonesty, and a host of other ills cause many to be tossed about on a sea of sin and crushed on the jagged reefs of lost opportunities, forfeited blessings, and shattered dreams.”
      • “My counsel for all of us is to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing.”
      • “The Lord loves us, my brothers and sisters, and will bless us as we call upon Him.”
      • “How grateful we are for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and for all the good it brings into our lives. The Lord has poured out His blessings upon us as a people. I bear my testimony to you that this work is true, that our Savior lives, and that He guides and directs His Church here upon the earth.”
  • October 2009 General Conference
    • Welcome to Conference
      • “We continue to build temples. We desire that as many members as possible have an opportunity to attend the temple without having to travel inordinate distances. Worldwide, 83 percent of our members live within 200 miles (320 km) of a temple.”
      • “I would ask that your faith and prayers continue to be offered in behalf of those areas where our influence is limited and where we are not allowed to share the gospel freely at this time. Miracles can occur as we do so.”
    • School Thy Feelings, O My Brother
      • “We’ve all felt anger. It can come when things don’t turn out the way we want. It might be a reaction to something which is said of us or to us. We may experience it when people don’t behave the way we want them to behave. Perhaps it comes when we have to wait for something longer than we expected. We might feel angry when others can’t see things from our perspective. There seem to be countless possible reasons for anger.”
      • “To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan. No one can make us angry. It is our choice. If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry. I testify that such is possible.”
      • “Anger, Satan’s tool, is destructive in so many ways.”
      • “My brethren, we are all susceptible to those feelings which, if left unchecked, can lead to anger. We experience displeasure or irritation or antagonism, and if we so choose, we lose our temper and become angry with others. Ironically, those others are often members of our own families—the people we really love the most.”
    • What Have I Done for Someone Today?
      • “I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”
      • “My brothers and sisters, we are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.”
    • Closing Remarks
      • “We live at a time when many in the world have slipped from the moorings of safety found in compliance with the commandments. It is a time of permissiveness, with society in general routinely disregarding and breaking the laws of God. We often find ourselves swimming against the current, and sometimes it seems as though the current could carry us away.”
      • “How grateful we are that the heavens are indeed open, that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored, and that the Church is founded on the rock of revelation. We are a blessed people, with apostles and prophets upon the earth today.”
  • April 2009 General Conference
    • Welcome to Conference
      • “There is something about a temple dedication which prompts a reevaluation of one’s own performance and a sincere desire to do even better.”
      • “To those of you who are new in the Church, we welcome you. To those of you who are struggling with challenges or with disappointments or with losses, we pray for you. Our Heavenly Father loves each of us and is mindful of our needs.”
    • Be Your Best Self
      • “These stirring declarations from prophets of God help us to understand that each man and each boy who holds the priesthood of God must be worthy of that great privilege and responsibility. Each must strive to learn his duty and then to do it to the best of his ability. As we do so, we provide the means by which our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, can accomplish Their work here upon the earth. It is we who are Their representatives here.”
      • “In the world today we face difficulties and challenges, some of which can seem truly daunting. However, with God on our side we cannot fail. As we bear His holy priesthood worthily, we will be victorious.”
      • “This is not a time for fear, brethren, but rather a time for faith—a time for each of us who holds the priesthood to be his best self.”
      • “First, study diligently. Every holder of the priesthood should participate in daily scripture study. Crash courses are not nearly so effective as the day-to-day reading and application of the scriptures in our lives.”
      • “I promise you, whether you hold the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood, that if you will study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased.”
      • “Second, pray fervently. With God, all things are possible. Men of the Aaronic Priesthood, men of the Melchizedek Priesthood, remember the prayer of the Prophet Joseph, offered in that grove called sacred. Look around you and see the result of that answered prayer.”
      • “My final suggestion, my brethren: live righteously.”
      • “Let us never despair, for the work in which we are engaged is the work of the Lord.”
    • Be of Good Cheer
      • “The history of the Church in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times, is replete with the experiences of those who have struggled and yet who have remained steadfast and of good cheer as they have made the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of their lives. This attitude is what will pull us through whatever comes our way. It will not remove our troubles from us but rather will enable us to face our challenges, to meet them head on, and to emerge victorious.”
      • “How grateful I am for ancestors who had the faith to leave hearth and home and to journey to Zion, who made sacrifices I can scarcely imagine. I thank my Heavenly Father for the example of faith, of courage, and of determination Gibson and Cecelia Sharp Condie provide for me and for all their posterity.”
      • “I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.”
      • “My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”
    • Until We Meet Again
      • “To you parents, express your love to your children. Pray for them that they may be able to withstand the evils of the world. Pray that they may grow in faith and testimony. Pray that they may pursue lives of goodness and of service to others.”
      • “Children, let your parents know you love them. Let them know how much you appreciate all they have done and continue to do for you.”
      • “Now, a word of caution to all—both young and old, both male and female. We live at a time when the adversary is using every means possible to ensnare us in his web of deceit, trying desperately to take us down with him. There are many pathways along which he entices us to go—pathways that can lead to our destruction. Advances in many areas that can be used for good can also be used to speed us along those heinous pathways.”
      • “I feel to mention one in particular, and that is the Internet. On one hand, it provides nearly limitless opportunities for acquiring useful and important information. Through it we can communicate with others around the world. The Church itself has a wonderful Web site, filled with valuable and uplifting information and priceless resources. On the other hand, however—and extremely alarming—are the reports of the number of individuals who are utilizing the Internet for evil and degrading purposes, the viewing of pornography being the most prevalent of these purposes. My brothers and sisters, involvement in such will literally destroy the spirit. Be strong. Be clean. Avoid such degrading and destructive types of content at all costs—wherever they may be! I sound this warning to everyone, everywhere. I add—particularly to the young people—that this includes pornographic images transmitted via cell phones.”
  • October 2008 General Conference
    • Welcome to Conference
      • “It has been my privilege during the past six months to meet with leaders of countries and with representatives of governments. Those with whom I’ve met feel kindly toward the Church and our members, and they have been cooperative and accommodating. There remain, however, areas of the world where our influence is limited and where we are not allowed to share the gospel freely. As did President Spencer W. Kimball over 32 years ago, I urge you to pray for the opening of those areas, that we might share with them the joy of the gospel. As we prayed then in response to President Kimball’s pleadings, we saw miracles unfold as country after country, formerly closed to the Church, was opened. Such will transpire again as we pray with faith.”
    • To Learn, to Do, to Be
      • “We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt. The financial affairs of the Church are being managed in this manner, for we are aware that your tithing and other contributions have not come without sacrifice and are sacred funds.”
      • “Let us make our homes sanctuaries of righteousness, places of prayer, and abodes of love that we might merit the blessings that can come only from our Heavenly Father. We need His guidance in our daily lives.”
      • “Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. It is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that the Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed upon it.”
    • Finding Joy in the Journey
      • “This conference marks 45 years since I was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. As the junior member of the Twelve then, I looked up to 14 exceptional men, who were senior to me in the Twelve and the First Presidency. One by one, each of these men has returned home. When President Hinckley passed away eight months ago, I realized that I had become the senior Apostle. The changes over a period of 45 years that were incremental now seem monumental.”
      • “This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.”
      • “But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know.”
      • “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”
      • “May we be found among those who give our thanks to our Heavenly Father. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.”
      • “Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His word. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude.”
    • Until We Meet Again
      • “We are a global church, brothers and sisters. Our membership is found throughout the world. May we be good citizens of the nations in which we live and good neighbors in our communities, reaching out to those of other faiths, as well as to our own. May we be men and women of honesty and integrity in everything we do.”
      • “There are those throughout the world who are hungry; there are those who are destitute. Working together, we can alleviate suffering and provide for those in need. In addition to the service you give as you care for one another, your contributions to the funds of the Church enable us to respond almost immediately when disasters occur anywhere in the world. We are nearly always among the first on the scene to provide whatever assistance we can. We thank you for your generosity.”
      • “There are other difficulties in the lives of some. Particularly among the young, there are those who are tragically involved in such things as drugs, immorality, gangs, and all the serious problems that go with them. In addition, there are those who are lonely, including widows and widowers, who long for the company and the concern of others. May we ever be mindful of the needs of those around us and be ready to extend a helping hand and a loving heart.”
  • April 2008 General Conference
    • Examples of Righteousness
      • “As bearers of the priesthood, we have been placed on earth in troubled times. We live in a complex world with currents of conflict everywhere to be found. Political machinations ruin the stability of nations, despots grasp for power, and segments of society seem forever downtrodden, deprived of opportunity, and left with a feeling of failure.”
      • “You know what is right and what is wrong, and no disguise, however appealing, can change that. The character of transgression remains the same.”
      • “Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow. There is no friendship more valuable than your own clear conscience, your own moral cleanliness—and what a glorious feeling it is to know that you stand in your appointed place clean and with the confidence that you are worthy to do so.”
      • “To you who are fathers of boys or who are leaders of boys, I say, strive to be the kind of example the boys need. The father, of course, should be the prime example, and the boy who is blessed with a worthy father is fortunate indeed. Even an exemplary family, however, with diligent and faithful father and mother, can use all the supportive help they can get from good men who genuinely care. There is also the boy who has no father or whose father is not currently providing the type of example needed. For that boy, the Lord has provided a network of helpers within the Church—bishops, advisers, teachers, Scoutmasters, home teachers. When the Lord’s program is in effect and properly working, no young man in the Church should be without the influence of good men in his life.”
    • Looking Back and Moving Forward
      • “I know without question, my brothers and sisters, that God lives. I testify to you that this is His work. I testify as well that our Savior Jesus Christ is at the head of this Church, which bears His name. I know that the sweetest experience in all this life is to feel His promptings as He directs us in the furtherance of His work. I felt those promptings as a young bishop, guided to the homes where there was spiritual—or perhaps temporal—want. I felt them again as a mission president in Toronto, Canada, working with wonderful missionaries who were a living witness and testimony to the world that this work is divine and that we are led by a prophet. I have felt them throughout my service in the Twelve and in the First Presidency and now as President of the Church. I testify that each one of us can feel the Lord’s inspiration as we live worthily and strive to serve Him.”
      • “I feel to express thanks to my Heavenly Father for His countless blessings to me. I can say, as did Nephi of old, that I was born of goodly parents, whose own parents and grandparents were gathered out of the lands of Sweden and Scotland and England by dedicated missionaries. As those missionaries bore humble testimonies, they touched the hearts and the spirits of my forebears. After joining the Church, these noble men, women, and children made their way to the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Many were the trials and heartaches they encountered along the way.”
      • “Throughout the journey along the pathway of life, there are casualties. Some depart from the road markers which point toward life eternal, only to discover the detour chosen ultimately leads to a dead end. Indifference, carelessness, selfishness, and sin all take their costly toll in human lives.”
      • “We are waging a war with sin, my brothers and sisters, but we need not despair. It is a war we can and will win. Our Father in Heaven has given us the tools we need in order to do so. He is at the helm. We have nothing to fear. He is the God of light. He is the God of hope. I testify that He loves us—each one.”
    • Abundantly Blessed
      • “Brethren, let’s treat our wives with dignity and with respect. They’re our eternal companions. Sisters, honor your husbands. They need to hear a good word. They need a friendly smile. They need a warm expression of true love.”
  • October 2007 General Conference
    • Mrs. Patton—the Story Continues
      • “My brothers and sisters, I do not believe it was a coincidence that I was impressed to give that particular message at the April 1969 general conference. Nor do I believe it was a coincidence that Mrs. Terese Patton was invited by neighbors to join them in their home for that particular session of conference. I am certain our Heavenly Father was mindful of her needs and wanted her to hear the comforting truths of the gospel.”
      • “Although Mrs. Patton has long since left mortality, I have felt a strong impression to share with you the manner in which our Heavenly Father blessed and provided for her, a widow, in her need. With all the strength of my soul I testify that our Heavenly Father loves each one of us. He hears the prayers of humble hearts; He hears our cries for help, as He heard Mrs. Patton. His Son, our Savior and Redeemer, speaks to each of us today: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.”
      • “Will we listen for that knock? Will we hear that voice? Will we open that door to the Lord, that we may receive the help He is so ready to provide?”
    • A Royal Priesthood
      • “How I pray that every boy and every man will have the mark of vision.”
      • “The second principle I should like to emphasize as a characteristic of a true priesthood holder of God is the mark of effort. It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the effort. We must actually make the effort. It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals. If we constantly put our goals off, we will never see them fulfilled. Someone put it this way: Live only for tomorrow, and you will have a lot of empty yesterdays today.”
      • “The third principle I would like to emphasize is the mark of faith. We must have faith in ourselves, faith in the ability of our Heavenly Father to bless us and to guide us in our endeavors.”
      • “I add to my list the mark of virtue. The Lord indicated that we should let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly.”
      • “Finally, may I add the mark of prayer. The desire to communicate with one’s Heavenly Father is a mark of a true priesthood holder of God.”
      • “As we cultivate the mark of prayer, we will receive the blessings our Heavenly Father has for us.”
  • April 2007 General Conference
    • I Know That My Redeemer Lives!
      • “My brothers and sisters, we laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. And then we die. Death is our universal heritage. All must pass its portals. Death claims the aged, the weary and worn. It visits the youth in the bloom of hope and the glory of expectation. Nor are little children kept beyond its grasp.”
      • “And dead we would remain but for one Man and His mission, even Jesus of Nazareth. Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, His birth fulfilled the inspired pronouncements of many prophets. He was taught from on high. He provided the life, the light, and the way. Multitudes followed Him. Children adored Him. The haughty rejected Him. He spoke in parables. He taught by example. He lived a perfect life.”
      • “Through tears and trials, through fears and sorrows, through the heartache and loneliness of losing loved ones, there is assurance that life is everlasting. Our Lord and Savior is the living witness that such is so.”
    • Tabernacle Memories
      • “I have been honored and pleased during my lifetime to raise my arm to the square in sustaining nine Church Presidents as their names have been read. This morning I joined you in sustaining once again our beloved prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley. It is a joy and a privilege to serve by his side, along with President Faust.”
    • The Priesthood—a Sacred Gift
      • “My brethren, the priesthood is a gift which brings with it not only special blessings but also solemn responsibilities. It is our responsibility to conduct our lives so that we are ever worthy of the priesthood we bear.”
      • “My brethren, let us ever remember that the priesthood of God which we bear is a sacred gift which brings to us and to those we serve the blessings of heaven. May we, in whatever place we may be, honor and protect that priesthood. May we ever be on the Lord’s errand, that we might ever be entitled to the Lord’s help.”
  • October 2006 General Conference
    • True to Our Priesthood Trust
      • “To you who are or have been presidents of your quorums, may I suggest that your duty does not end when your term of office concludes. That relationship with your quorum members, your duty to them, continues throughout your life.”
      • “Brethren, our task is to reach out to those who, for whatever reason, are in need of our help. Our challenge is not insurmountable. We are on the Lord’s errand, and therefore we are entitled to the Lord’s help. But we must try.”
      • “Time marches on. Duty keeps cadence with that march. Duty does not dim nor diminish. Catastrophic conflicts come and go, but the war waged for the souls of men continues without abatement. Like a clarion call comes the word of the Lord to you and to me, and to priesthood holders everywhere.”
    • How Firm a Foundation
      • “Stated simply, if we do not have a deep foundation of faith and a solid testimony of truth, we may have difficulty withstanding the harsh storms and icy winds of adversity which inevitably come to each of us.”
      • “Of course we do not live in a world where we experience nothing but the spiritual, but we can fortify our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth, so that we will not falter, we will not fail. How, you may ask, can we most effectively gain and maintain the foundation needed to survive spiritually in the world in which we live?”
      • “First, fortify your foundation through prayer.”
      • “Let us pray with sincerity and meaning, offering our thanks and asking for those things we feel we need.”
      • “This is the service that counts, the service to which all of us have been called: the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.”
  • April 2006 General Conference
    • True to the Faith
      • “Avoid any semblance of pornography. It will desensitize the spirit and erode the conscience.”
      • “The clock of history, like the sands of the hourglass, marks the passage of time. A new cast occupies the stage of life. The problems of our day loom ominously before us. Surrounded by the challenges of modern living, we look heavenward for that unfailing sense of direction that we might chart and follow a wise and proper course. Our Heavenly Father will not deny our petition.”
    • Our Sacred Priesthood Trust
      • “When the time for performance arrives, the time for preparation is past.”
      • “As a result of these experiences, all of us carry the requirement—even the blessed opportunity and solemn duty—to be true to the trust we have received.”
      • “We need to know the oath and covenant of the priesthood because it pertains to all of us. To those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, it is a declaration of our requirement to be faithful and obedient to the laws of God and to magnify the callings which come to us. To those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood, it is a pronouncement concerning future duty and responsibility, that they may prepare themselves here and now.”
      • “The priesthood is not really so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others.”
  • October 2005 General Conference
    • Do Your Duty—That Is Best
      • “Home teaching answers many prayers and permits us to see the occurrence of living miracles.”
      • “Some of you young men here tonight may be shy by nature or might consider yourselves inadequate to respond to a calling. Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. We can look up and reach out for divine help.”
      • “Miracles are everywhere to be found when priesthood callings are magnified. When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes. The priesthood is not really so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others.”
    • The Prophet Joseph Smith: Teacher by Example
      • “To this fitting tribute to our beloved Joseph, I add my own testimony that I know he was God’s prophet, chosen to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days. I pray that as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth, we may learn from his life. May we incorporate into our own lives the divine principles which he so beautifully taught—by example—that we, ourselves, might live more completely the gospel of Jesus Christ. May our lives reflect the knowledge we have that God lives, that Jesus Christ is His Son, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that we are led today by another prophet of God—even President Gordon B. Hinckley.”
  • April 2005 General Conference
    • Constant Truths for Changing Times
      • “Someone has said that our complacency tree has many branches, and each spring more buds come into bloom.”
      • “I would say to each mother, each father—be a good listener. Communication is so vital today in our fast-paced world. Take time to listen. And to you children, talk to your mother and to your father. It may be difficult to realize, but your parents have lived through many of the same challenges which you face today. Often they see the big picture more clearly than you can. They pray for you each day and are entitled to the inspiration of our Heavenly Father in providing you counsel and advice.”
      • “Time with your children is fleeting. Do not put off being with them now. “
      • “Parents, live your lives in such a way that your children will find you an example worthy of emulation.”
    • The Sacred Call of Service
      • “What does it mean to magnify a calling? It means to build it up in dignity and importance, to make it honorable and commendable in the eyes of all men, to enlarge and strengthen it, to let the light of heaven shine through it to the view of other men.”
      • “The work of reactivation is no task for the idler or daydreamer. Children grow, parents age, and time waits for no man. Do not postpone a prompting; rather, act on it, and the Lord will open the way.”
      • “Now, some of you may be shy by nature, perhaps feeling yourselves inadequate to respond affirmatively to a calling. Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. It is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, brethren, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that the Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed upon it.”
  • October 2004 General Conference
    • Anxiously Engaged
      • “Our youth need fewer critics and more models to follow.”
      • “My brethren of the priesthood, the task is ours. Let us remember and never forget, however, that such an undertaking is not insurmountable. Miracles are everywhere to be seen when priesthood callings are magnified. When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes. We are on the Lord’s errand. We are entitled to the Lord’s help.”
    • Choose You This Day
      • “Do we have a guide to help us choose the right and avoid dangerous detours? Positioned on the wall of my office, directly opposite my desk, is a lovely print of the Savior, painted by Heinrich Hofmann. I love the painting, which I have had since I was a 22-year-old bishop and which I have taken with me wherever I have been assigned to labor. I have tried to pattern my life after the Master. Whenever I have a difficult decision to make, I have looked at that picture and asked myself, “What would He do?” Then I try to do it. We can never go wrong when we choose to follow the Savior.”
      • “Some choices may seem more important than others, but no choice is insignificant.”
      • “The boy prophet Joseph Smith sought heavenly help by entering a grove which then became sacred. Do we need similar strength? Does each need to seek his or her own “Sacred Grove”? A place where communication between God and man can go forth unimpeded, uninterrupted, and undisturbed is such a grove.”
      • “Fill your minds with truth. Fill your hearts with love. Fill your lives with service.”
  • April 2004 General Conference
    • Your Personal Influence
      • “The family is the ideal place for teaching. It is also a laboratory for learning. Family home evening can bring spiritual growth to each member.”
      • “I testify that He is a teacher of truth—but He is more than a teacher. He is the Exemplar of the perfect life—but He is more than an exemplar. He is the Great Physician—but He is more than a physician. He is the literal Savior of the world, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One of Israel, even the risen Lord.”
    • The Call for Courage
      • “Life’s journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, “No,” the courage to say, “Yes.” Decisions do determine destiny.”
      • “The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be.”
      • “Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but also as a determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.”
      • “Time marches on. Duty keeps cadence with that march. Duty does not dim nor diminish. Catastrophic conflicts come and go, but the war waged for the souls of men continues without abatement. Like a clarion call comes the word of the Lord to you, to me, and to priesthood holders everywhere: “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.””
  • October 2003 General Conference
    • Bring Him Home
      • “Brethren, ours is the responsibility, yes, even the solemn duty, to reach out to those who have slipped into inactivity or strayed from the family circle.”
      • “Brethren of the Melchizedek Priesthood, you have the same sacred charge and obligation as pertains to your duties to other men and to their families. And you have the same promise of the Lord to attend your efforts.”
    • The Bridge Builder
      • “In reality, we are all travelers—even explorers of mortality. We do not have the benefit of previous personal experience. We must pass over steep precipices and turbulent waters in our own journey here on earth.”
      • “The message of the poem has prompted my thinking and comforted my soul, for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was the supreme architect and builder of bridges for you, for me, for all mankind. He has built the bridges over which we must cross if we are to reach our heavenly home.”
  • April 2003 General Conference
    • In Search of Treasure
      • “The promised reward was not a treasure of ivory, gold, or silver. Neither did it consist of acres of land or a portfolio of stocks and bonds. The Master spoke of riches within the grasp of all—even joy unspeakable here and eternal happiness hereafter.”
      • “Our journey into the future will not be a smooth highway which stretches from here to eternity. Rather, there will be forks and turnings in the road, to say nothing of the unanticipated bumps. We must pray daily to a loving Heavenly Father, who wants each of us to succeed in life.”
      • “There is no tomorrow to remember if we don’t do something today, and to live most fully today, we must do that which is of greatest importance. Let us not procrastinate those things which matter most.”
    • Stand in Your Appointed Place
      • “I firmly believe that the Church today is stronger than it has ever been. Activity levels of our youth testify that this is a generation of faith and devotion to truth. Yet there are some who drop by the wayside, who find other interests that persuade them to neglect their Church duties. We must not lose such precious souls.”
      • “The work of reactivation is no task for the idler or dreamer. Children grow, parents age, and time waits for no man. Don’t postpone a prompting; rather, act on it, and the Lord will open the way.”
  • October 2002 General Conference
    • Peace, Be Still
      • “As a boy, I could fathom somewhat the danger of a storm-tossed sea. However, I had but little understanding of other demons which can stalk our lives, destroy our dreams, smother our joys, and detour our journey toward the celestial kingdom of God.”
      • “We must learn to separate need from greed.”
      • “We must not allow our yearnings to exceed our earnings.”
      • “For each of us it is infinitely better to hear and heed the call of conscience, for conscience always warns us as a friend before punishing us as a judge.”
      • “There is one responsibility that no man can evade. That is the effect of personal influence.”
    • Models to Follow
      • “All of us living in the world today need points of reference—even models to follow. John the Baptist provides for us a flawless example of unfeigned humility, as he deferred always to the One who was to follow—the Savior of mankind.”
      • “Noah had the unwavering faith to follow God’s commandments. May we ever do likewise. May we remember that the wisdom of God ofttimes appears as foolishness to men; but the greatest lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and we obey, we will always be right.”
      • “My brothers and sisters, in this marvelous dispensation of the fulness of times, as we journey through mortality and face the trials and challenges of the future, may we remember the examples of these models to follow which I have referred to this morning. May we have the unfeigned humility of John the Baptist, the unquestioning obedience of Abraham, the unlimited patience of Job, the unwavering faith of Noah, the undeviating loyalty of Ruth, the unflagging determination of Nephi, the undaunted courage of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the unfailing optimism of President Hinckley. Such will be as a fortress of strength to us throughout our lives.”
  • April 2002 General Conference
    • Hidden Wedges
      • “The spirit must be freed from tethers so strong and feelings never put to rest, so that the lift of life may give buoyancy to the soul. In many families, there are hurt feelings and a reluctance to forgive. It doesn’t really matter what the issue was. It cannot and should not be left to injure. Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals.”
      • “There are some who have difficulty forgiving themselves and who dwell on all of their perceived shortcomings.”
      • “In a day of danger or a time of trial, such knowledge, such hope, such understanding will bring comfort to the troubled mind and grieving heart. The entire message of the New Testament breathes a spirit of awakening to the human soul. Shadows of despair are dispelled by rays of hope, sorrow yields to joy, and the feeling of being lost in the crowd of life vanishes with the certain knowledge that our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us.”
    • They Pray and They Go
      • “We need to pray, and then we need to act. Both are important.”
      • “Let us, as a mighty body of priesthood, be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Let us pray; then let us go and do.”
  • October 2001 General Conference
    • Duty Calls
      • “At times the performance of duty, the response to a divine call, or the reaction to a spiritual prompting are not overwhelming. On occasion, however, the duty to respond is downright overpowering.”
      • “The desire to help another, the quest for the lost sheep, may not always yield success at once. On occasion, progress is slow—even indiscernible.”
    • Now Is the Time
      • “Frequently death comes as an intruder. It is an enemy that suddenly appears in the midst of life’s feast, putting out its lights and gaiety. Death lays its heavy hand upon those dear to us and at times leaves us baffled and wondering. In certain situations, as in great suffering and illness, death comes as an angel of mercy. But for the most part, we think of it as the enemy of human happiness.”
      • “If we live only for tomorrow, we’ll have a lot of empty yesterdays today.”
      • “Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved.”
      • “Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day.”
  • April 2001 General Conference
    • Compassion
      • “We have no way of knowing when our privilege to extend a helping hand will unfold before us. The road to Jericho each of us travels bears no name, and the weary traveler who needs our help may be one unknown.”
      • “At some period in our mortal mission, there appears the faltering step, the wan smile, the pain of sickness—even the fading of summer, the approach of autumn, the chill of winter, and the experience we call death, which comes to all mankind. It comes to the aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life’s journey. Often it hushes the laughter of little children.”
      • “Throughout the world there is enacted daily the sorrowful scene of loved ones mourning as they bid farewell to a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, or a cherished friend.”
      • “Let us remember that after the funeral flowers fade, the well wishes of friends become memories, and the prayers offered and words spoken dim in the corridors of the mind. Those who grieve frequently find themselves alone. Missed is the laughter of children, the commotion of teenagers, and the tender, loving concern of a departed companion. The clock ticks more loudly, time passes more slowly, and four walls can indeed a prison make.”
    • To the Rescue
      • “Brethren, the world is in need of your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. The blessings of eternity await you. Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of priesthood service.”
      • “There is an old song of my vintage. It’s entitled “Wishing Will Make It So.” It’s not true. Wishing will not make it so. The Lord expects our thinking. He expects our action. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies. He expects our devotion.”
      • “Two fundamental reasons largely account for these changes of attitudes, of habits, of actions. First, men have been shown their eternal possibilities and have made the decision to achieve them. Men cannot really long rest content with mediocrity once they see excellence is within their reach.”
      • “Second, other men have followed the admonition of the Savior and have loved their neighbors as themselves and helped to bring their neighbors’ dreams to fulfillment and their ambitions to realization.”
      • “Another principle of truth which will guide us in our determination is that boys and men can change.”
      • “A friend makes more than a dutiful visit each month. A friend is more concerned about helping people than getting credit. A friend cares. A friend loves. A friend listens. And a friend reaches out.”
      • “In a day of danger or a time of trial, such knowledge, such hope, such understanding bring comfort to a troubled soul and a grieving heart. Shadows of despair are dispelled by rays of hope; sorrow yields to joy; and the feeling of being lost in the crowd of life vanishes with the certain knowledge that our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us.
  • October 2000 General Conference
    • The Call to Serve
      • “The world seems to have slipped from the moorings of safety and drifted from the harbor of peace. Permissiveness, immorality, pornography, and the power of peer pressure cause many to be tossed about on a sea of sin and crushed on the jagged reefs of lost opportunities, forfeited blessings, and shattered dreams.”
      • “Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing.”
      • “Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. Cast out doubt. Cultivate faith.”
    • Dedication Day
      • “The need for personal dedication and recommitment is essential in today’s society.”
      • “Actually, a home is much more than a house. A house is built of lumber, brick, and stone. A home is made of love, sacrifice, and respect. A house can be a home, and a home can be a heaven when it shelters a family.”
      • “As parents, we should remember that our lives may be the book from the family library which the children most treasure.”
      • “We cannot call back time that is past, we cannot stop time that now is, and we cannot experience the future in our present state. Time is a gift, a treasure not to be put aside for the future but to be used wisely in the present.”
  • April 2000 General Conference
    • Your Eternal Voyage
      • “As bearers of the priesthood, we have been placed on earth in troubled times. We live in a complex world, with currents of conflict everywhere to be found. Political machinations ruin the stability of nations, despots grasp for power, and segments of our society seem forever downtrodden, deprived of opportunity, and left with a feeling of failure.”
      • “We who have been ordained to the priesthood of God can make a difference. When we qualify for the help of the Lord, we can build boys. We can mend men. We can accomplish miracles in His holy service. Our opportunities are without limit.”
      • “The call to serve has ever characterized the work of the Lord. It rarely comes at a convenient time. It prompts humility; it invites prayer; it inspires commitment. The call came—to Kirtland. Revelations followed. The call came—to Missouri. Persecution prevailed. The call came—to Nauvoo. Prophets died. The call came—to the basin of the Great Salt Lake. Hardship beckoned.”
      • “That long journey, made under such difficult circumstances, was a trial of faith. But faith forged in the furnace of trials and tears is marked by trust and testimony. Only God can count the sacrifice; only He can measure the sorrow; only He can know the hearts of those who serve Him—then and now.”
      • “Fathers, bishops, quorum advisers—yours is the responsibility to prepare this generation of missionaries, to quicken in the hearts of these deacons, teachers, and priests not only an awareness of their obligation to serve but also a vision of the opportunities and blessings which await them through a mission call. The work is demanding, the impact everlasting. This is no time for “summer soldiers” in the army of the Lord.”
      • “Through humble prayer, diligent preparation, and faithful service, we can succeed in our sacred callings.”
    • Your Eternal Home
      • “In a very real sense, we are builders of eternal houses. We are apprentices to the trade—not skilled craftsmen. We need divine help if we are to build successfully.”
  • October 1999 General Conference
    • Becoming Our Best Selves
      • “In His earthly ministry, the Master outlined how we should live, how we should teach, how we should serve, and what we should do so that we could become our best selves.”
      • “In the search for our best selves, several questions will guide our thinking: Am I what I want to be? Am I closer to the Savior today than I was yesterday? Will I be closer yet tomorrow? Do I have the courage to change for the better?”
      • “Reach out to rescue those who need your help. Lift such to the higher road and the better way.”
    • Priesthood Power
      • “Brethren of the Aaronic Priesthood, whether deacon, teacher, or priest, learn your duty. Brethren of the Melchizedek Priesthood, learn your duty.”
      • “I hope with all my heart and soul that every young man who receives the priesthood will honor that priesthood and be true to the trust which is conveyed when it is conferred.”
      • “Should there be anyone who feels he is too weak to change the onward and downward course of his life, or should there be those who fail to resolve to do better because of that greatest of fears—the fear of failure—there is no more comforting assurance to be had than these words of the Lord: “My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.””
      • “Miracles are everywhere to be found when priesthood callings are magnified. When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes.”
      • “The priesthood is not really so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others.”
      • “May all of us assembled tonight in this priesthood meeting make a renewed effort to qualify for the Lord’s guidance in our lives. There are many out there who plead and pray for help. There are those who are discouraged, those who are beset by poor health and challenges of life which leave them in despair.”
  • April 1999 General Conference
    • The Priesthood—Mighty Army of the Lord
      • “It is essential, even critical, that we study the Aaronic Priesthood pathway, since far too many boys falter, stumble, then fall without advancing into the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood, thereby eroding the active priesthood base of the Church and curtailing the activity of loving wives and precious children.”
      • “This, then, is our goal: to save every young man, thereby assuring a worthy husband for each of our young women, strong Melchizedek Priesthood quorums, and a missionary force trained and capable of accomplishing what the Lord expects.”
      • “In fulfilling our responsibility to those who bear the Aaronic Priesthood, both the youth and the prospective elders, I urge that we remember that there is no need for us to walk alone. We can look up and reach out for divine help.”
    • For I Was Blind, but Now I See
      • “Each of us knows those who do not have sight. We also know many others who have their eyesight but who walk in darkness at noonday.”
      • “On this Easter morning and always, may our light so shine that we glorify our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, whose name is the only name under heaven whereby we might be saved.”
  • October 1998 General Conference
    • Think to Thank
      • “My brothers and sisters, do we give thanks to God “for his unspeakable gift” and His rich blessings so abundantly bestowed upon us?”
      • “Gracias, danke, merci—whatever language is spoken, “thank you” frequently expressed will cheer your spirit, broaden your friendships, and lift your lives to a higher pathway as you journey toward perfection. There is a simplicity—even a sincerity—when “thank you” is spoken.”
      • “I express my profound thanks to a loving Heavenly Father who gives to you, to me, and to all who sincerely seek, the knowledge that death is not the end, that His Son—even our Savior, Jesus Christ—died that we might live. Temples of the Lord dot the lands of many countries. Sacred covenants are made. Celestial glory awaits the obedient. Families can be together—forever.”
    • Today Determines Tomorrow
      • “Our children are watching. They are absorbing eternal lessons. They are shaping their futures. What is the example we are presenting to them?”
      • “In analyzing the statistical performance of those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood as deacons, teachers, and priests, we become concerned when significant numbers of deacons slip into inactivity and fail to be ordained teachers at the proper time. The same is true with some who are teachers but not ordained priests—and particularly priests who never receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. Brethren, this should never be. We have an awesome responsibility to guide and inspire these young men on the priesthood trail, that no avalanche of sin or error will deter their progress or sweep them away from their eternal goals.”
      • “Our youth need less criticism and more models to follow. You advisers to the Aaronic Priesthood quorums are teachers and models for the young men. Do you know the gospel? Have you prepared the lesson? Do you know each boy and prayerfully determine how you might reach his mind, his heart, and help fashion his future?”
  • April 1998 General Conference
    • In Harm’s Way
      • “Our journey through mortality will at times place us in harm’s way. Is there a road map to safety? Are there those to whom we can look for help? May I offer to you tonight six road signs which, when observed and followed, will guide you to safety. They are: 1. Choose good friends. 2. Seek parental guidance. 3. Study the gospel. 4. Obey the commandments. 5. Serve with love. 6. Pray with purpose.”
      • “Develop a yearning to know the Lord, to understand His commandments and to follow Him. Then shadows of despair are dispelled by rays of hope, sorrow yields to joy, and the feeling of being lost in the crowd of life vanishes with the certain knowledge that our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us.”
      • “No man is called to work with youth until his membership certificate is in the hands of the bishop. In addition, no man is called to work in Scouting until he is fully registered with the governing board of Scouting and his record merits consideration for a call. This procedure has been expounded many times, yet wolves continue to enter with the intent to destroy the flock. President Hinckley asked that I stress tonight this instruction.”
      • “The magnificent buck deer, with its highly developed senses to warn of impending danger, does not have the capacity to look directly upward and thus detect the enemy. The deer finds himself in harm’s way. Man is not so restricted. His greatest safety is found in his ability and his desire to look upward—to “look to God and live.”
    • Look to God and Live
      • “Life is a school of experience, a time of probation. We learn as we bear our afflictions and live through our heartaches.”
      • “Such comfort is priceless as we journey along the pathway of mortality, with its many forks and turnings. Rarely is the assurance communicated by a flashing sign or a loud voice. Rather, the language of the Spirit is gentle, quiet, uplifting to the heart, and soothing to the soul.”
  • October 1997 General Conference
    • Teach the Children
      • “Because of Jesus Christ the world has changed—the divine Atonement has been made, the price of sin has been paid, and the fearful spectacle of death yields to the light of truth and the assurance of resurrection. Though the years roll by, His birth, His ministry, His legacy continue to guide the destiny of all who follow Him as He so invitingly urged.”
      • “We learn to pray by praying. One can devote countless hours to examining the experiences of others, but nothing penetrates the human heart as does a personal, fervent prayer and its heaven-sent response.”
      • “At times the most effective lesson in living truth is found close to the home and dear to the heart.”
      • “Children then and children now bless our lives, kindle our love, and prompt good deeds.”
      • “It is in the home that we form our attitudes, our deeply held beliefs.”
    • Home Teaching—a Divine Service
      • “The bishop of each ward in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assigns priesthood holders as home teachers to visit the homes of members every month. They go in pairs; often a youth holding the Aaronic Priesthood accompanies an adult holding the Melchizedek Priesthood.”
      • “In performing our home teaching responsibilities, we are wise if we learn and understand the challenges of the members of each family. A home teaching visit is also more likely to be successful if an appointment is made in advance.”
      • “We, the priesthood of the Church, cannot afford to leave families in a cocoon, isolated from the body of the Church.”
  • April 1997 General Conference
    • They Will Come
      • “These missionaries go forward with faith. They know their duty. They understand that they are a vital link for the persons they will meet as missionaries and in the teaching and testifying they will experience as they bring others to the truth of the gospel.”
      • “They yearn for more persons to teach. They pray for the essential help each member can give to the conversion process.”
      • “The decision to change one’s life and come unto Christ is, perhaps, the most important decision of mortality. Such a dramatic change is taking place daily throughout the world.”
      • “All of us here and abroad this evening must answer the call of our prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, to spare no effort in fellowshiping and reactivating those who need our help, our labors, and our testimonies.”
    • They Showed the Way
      • “The Apostles went before, showing others the way to follow. They were pioneers.”
      • “History records, however, that most men did not come unto Christ, nor did they follow the way He taught. Crucified was the Lord, slain were most of the Apostles, rejected was the truth. The bright sunlight of enlightenment slipped away, and the lengthening shadows of a black night enshrouded the earth.”
      • “Turning the pages of scriptural history from beginning to end, we learn of the ultimate pioneer—even Jesus Christ. His birth was foretold by the prophets of old; His entry upon the stage of life was announced by an angel. His life and His ministry have transformed the world.”
  • October 1996 General Conference
    • Christ at Bethesda’s Pool
      • “The mortal mission of our Lord was foretold by the holy prophets, as was His birth. For generations, enlightened mankind in the old and the new world anxiously sought the fulfillment of prophecies uttered by righteous men inspired of Almighty God.”
      • “Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick; He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life. He provided for you and for me the greatest gift we shall ever receive: the Atonement and all that it conveys. He willingly died that we might forever live.”
      • “Let us remember that it was not the waters of Bethesda’s pool which healed the impotent man. Rather, his blessing came through the touch of the Master’s hand.”
    • “Be Thou an Example”
      • “All of us can afford to pay tithing. In reality, none of us can afford not to pay tithing. The Lord will strengthen our resolve. He will open a way to comply.”
      • “Most of you are home teachers. You are the eyes and ears of the bishops in seeking out the poor and the afflicted. While doing their duty, vigilant home teachers have observed unemployed fathers anxious to obtain work; distraught mothers seeing their tiny broods suffer; children crying from hunger, inadequately clothed to protect them from the cold of winter. In one instance, all of the family members were sleeping on the floor because they had no beds. Without delay, needed help was provided.”
  • April 1996 General Conference
    • Duty Calls
      • “We live in a world of waste. Too often our natural resources are squandered. We live in a world of want. Some enjoy the lap of luxury, yet others stare starvation in the face. Food, shelter, clothing, and love are not found by all. Unrelieved suffering, unnecessary illness, and premature death stalk too many. We live in a world of wars. Some are political in nature, while others are economic by definition. The greatest battle of all, however, is for the souls of mankind.”
      • “How does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it.”
    • The Way of the Master
      • “Times change, the years roll by, circumstances vary—but the Master’s counsel to the lawyer applies to you and to me just as surely as though we heard His voice speaking directly to us this Easter morn.”
      • “How might we fulfill today the first part of the divine commandment to love the Lord our God?”
      • “By learning of Him, by believing in Him, by following Him, there is the capacity to become like Him. The countenance can change, the heart can be softened, the step can be quickened, the outlook enhanced. Life becomes what it should become. Change is at times imperceptible, but it does take place.”
      • “If we truly seek our Lord and Savior, we shall surely find Him. He may come to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old by the lakeside He came to those men who knew Him not.”
  • October 1995 General Conference
    • Who Honors God, God Honors
      • “Youth is a time for growth. Our minds during these formative years are receptive to truth, but they are also receptive to error. The responsibility to choose rests with each deacon, teacher, and priest. As the years go by, the choices become increasingly complex, and at times we may be tempted to waver. The need for a personal code of honor is demanded not only on a daily basis, but frequently many times in a given day.”
      • “We who hold the priesthood know where it is we wish to go. Our objective is the celestial kingdom of our Heavenly Father. Ours is the sacred duty to follow the well-defined path that leads to it.”
    • Patience—A Heavenly Virtue
      • “Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required.”
  • April 1995 General Conference
    • That All May Hear
      • “Brethren of the priesthood, the world is in need of your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. The harvest truly is great. Let there be no mistake about it; the missionary opportunity of a lifetime is yours. The blessings of eternity await you. Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of priesthood service.”
      • “Missionary work is difficult. It taxes one’s energies, it strains one’s capacity, it demands one’s best effort—frequently a second effort. No other labor requires longer hours or greater devotion or such sacrifice and fervent prayer.”
    • Mercy—The Divine Gift
      • “There are those among us who torture themselves through their inability to show mercy and to forgive others some supposed offense or slight, however small it may be.”
  • October 1994 General Conference
    • My Brother’s Keeper
      • “Since the two special fast days in 1985, called for by the First Presidency, humanitarian efforts by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have reached into every corner of the globe. Millions of the earth’s needy have been blessed as members of the Church have consecrated their means to provide life-sustaining food and clothing, establish immunization and infant feeding programs, teach basic literacy, dig freshwater wells, foster village banks, create new jobs, sustain hospitals and orphanages, teach basic self-reliance, and act in many other ways to help Heavenly Father’s children improve their lives both spiritually and temporally.”
    • The Fatherless and the Widows—Beloved of God
      • “Death shows no mercy. Death is no respecter of persons, but in its insidious way it visits all. At times it is after long-suffering and is a blessing, while in other instances those in the prime of life are taken by its grasp.”
      • “Needed are eyes to see the pitiable plight, ears to hear the silent pleadings of a broken heart; yes, and a soul filled with compassion, that we might communicate not only eye to eye or voice to ear, but in the majestic style of the Savior, even heart to heart.”
      • “The widow’s home is generally not large or ornate. Frequently it is a modest one in size and humble in appearance. Often it is tucked away at the top of the stairs or the back of the hallway and consists of but one room. To such homes he sends you and me.”
      • “Thank you to thoughtful and caring bishops who ensure that no widow’s cupboard is empty, no house unwarmed, no life unblessed. I admire the ward leaders who invite the widows to all social activities, often providing a young Aaronic Priesthood lad to be a special escort for the occasion.”
  • April 1994 General Conference
    • The Priesthood—A Sacred Trust
      • “Can you young men realize the shock I felt, while attending an officers’ meeting of our ward conference, when a member of the stake presidency, after calling upon the priesthood and auxiliary leaders to speak, without warning read my name and office, inviting me to give an account of my stewardship and to express my feelings regarding my calling as secretary of the deacons quorum and thus a ward officer. I don’t recall what I said, but a sense of responsibility engulfed me, never to depart thereafter.”
      • “To merit this blessing, it is necessary for each of us to recall who is the Giver of every gift and the Provider of every blessing.”
      • “From a wise stake president to a young bishop: “The work is all-consuming, but ever realize three guidelines to be a successful bishop: feed the poor, have no favorites, and tolerate no iniquity.””
      • “Spirituality is not bestowed simply by wishing; rather, it comes quietly and imperceptibly by serving.”
      • “Somehow I feel that if we will always remember who it is we serve, and on whose errand we are, we will draw closer to the source of the inspiration we seek—even our Master and Savior.”
      • “High-powered sales techniques are not the answer in priesthood leadership; rather, devotion to duty, continuous effort, abundant love, and personal spirituality combine to touch the heart, prompt the change, and bring to the table of the Lord His hungry children who have wandered in the wilderness of the world but who now have returned “home.””
    • The Path to Peace
      • “Anger, hatred, and contention are foes not easily subdued.”
      • “Peace after the way of man is perishable. Peace after the manner of God will prevail.”
      • “When faced with temptation, He shunned it. When offered the world, He declined it. When asked for His life, He gave it.”
  • October 1993 General Conference
    • The Upward Reach
      • “In this world where some misguided men and women strive to tear down and destroy great movements such as Scouting, I am pleased to stand firm for an organization that teaches duty to God and country, that embraces the Scout Law. Yes, an organization whose motto is “Be prepared” and whose slogan is “Do a good turn daily.””
      • “The Aaronic Priesthood prepares boys for manhood and the weightier duties of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Scouting helps our boys to walk uprightly the priesthood path to exaltation.”
      • “Remember that throughout the ages of time, our Heavenly Father has shown His confidence in those of tender years.”
    • Meeting Life’s Challenges
      • “As we ponder the events that can befall all of us—even sickness, accident, death, and a host of lesser challenges, we can say, with Job of old, “Man is born unto trouble.” Needless to add, that reference to man in the King James Version of the book of Job encompasses women as well. It may be safely assumed that no person has ever lived entirely free of suffering and tribulation. Nor has there ever been a period in human history that did not have its full share of turmoil, ruin, and misery.”
      • “When the pathway of life takes a cruel turn, there is the temptation to think or speak the phrase, “Why me?” Self-incrimination is a common practice, even when we may have had no control over our difficulty.”
      • “However, at times there appears to be no light at the tunnel’s end—no dawn to break the night’s darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone.”
      • “Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life’s fight, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome.”
  • April 1993 General Conference
    • The Temple of the Lord
      • “President Benson, your words are welcomed. We have heard them. We shall follow them. They, like the temples you so much love, are as a refuge from life’s storms—even a never-failing beacon guiding us to safety.”
    • Search and Rescue
      • “Tonight I express the gratitude of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles and all the General Authorities of the Church to members worldwide for your generosity and sacrifice in contributing your time, talents, and means through fast offerings and other service to alleviate suffering and to bless lives.”
      • “Brethren, in our priesthood callings I am confident we at times wonder if we are affecting the lives of others in a favorable manner. The instructor in the quorum who prepares so diligently, the home teachers who put aside their own convenience and carry a message to the families upon whom they call, and the quorum officers who reach out to rescue perhaps will never fully know the far-reaching influence of their service. This is particularly true of the faithful missionaries who day after day carry on in the service of the Master. Never complaining, ever serving, always sacrificing for the benefit of others, these noble servants deserve our undying gratitude and our fervent prayers.”
    • Gifts
      • “Ours was the divine privilege to depart our heavenly home to tabernacle in the flesh and to demonstrate by our lives our worthiness and qualifications to one day return to Him, precious loved ones, and a kingdom called celestial. Our mothers and our fathers bestowed this marvelous gift on us. Ours is the responsibility to show our gratitude by the actions of our lives.”
      • “The passport to peace is the practice of prayer. The feelings of the heart, humbly expressed rather than a mere recitation of words, provide the peace we seek.”
      • “All that we hold dear, even our families, our friends, our joy, our knowledge, our testimonies, would vanish were it not for our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • October 1992 General Conference
    • The Priesthood in Action
      • “Fathers, grandfathers, are we reading to our sons and grandsons the word of the Lord? Returned missionaries, do your messages and your lives inspire others to stand up and serve? Brethren, are we sufficiently in tune with the Spirit that when the Lord calls, we can hear, as did Samuel, and declare, “Here am I”? Do we have the fortitude and the faith, whatever our callings, to serve with unflinching courage and unshakable resolve? When we do, the Lord can work His mighty miracles through us.”
      • “When one holds the priesthood of God, he never knows when his moment of service may come. The challenge is to be ready to serve.”
    • Miracles—Then and Now
      • “If, why, where, how—those recurring words—do not bring back the lost son, the perfect body, the plans of parents, or the dreams of youth. Self-pity, personal withdrawal, or deep despair will not bring the peace, the assurance, or help which are needed. Rather, we must go forward, look upward, move onward, and rise heavenward.”
    • At Parting
      • “My brothers and sisters, I know the love President Benson has for you, for the Lord, and for His work. He would urge us to keep the commandments, sanctify our homes, and perfect our lives. May we, in unity, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, achieve these three objectives. Doing so will bring joy to our souls, peace to our prophet’s heart, and the smile of God’s approval on our efforts.”
  • April 1992 General Conference
    • Memories of Yesterday, Counsel for Today
      • “This year we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Relief Society. Women of the Church rejoice as they reflect on past achievements of their organization and, with foresight coupled with faith, meet today’s challenges and plan for future accomplishments.”
      • “Though President Benson has addressed these suggestions primarily to mothers, I am confident he would expect those of us who are men and fathers bearing the holy priesthood to do our part, along with each son and daughter, to implement them and bring to fruition their divine objectives.”
    • To Learn, To Do, To Be
      • “We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt. The financial affairs of the Church are being managed in this manner, for we are aware that your tithing and other contributions have not come without sacrifice and are sacred funds.”
      • “We have the hearts to serve faithfully in our priesthood callings and thereby inspire others to walk on higher ground and to avoid the swamps of sin which threaten to engulf so many. The worth of souls is indeed great in the sight of God. Ours is the precious privilege, armed with this knowledge, to make a difference in the lives of others.”
      • “Learn what we should learn. Do what we should do. Be what we should be. By so doing, the blessings of heaven will attend. We will know that we do not serve alone. He who notes the sparrow’s fall will, in His own way, acknowledge our service.”
    • An Attitude of Gratitude
      • “Like the leprosy of yesteryear are the plagues of today. They linger; they debilitate; they destroy. They are to be found everywhere. Their pervasiveness knows no boundaries. We know them as selfishness, greed, indulgence, cruelty, and crime, to identify but a few. Surfeited with their poison, we tend to criticize, to complain, to blame, and, slowly but surely, to abandon the positives and adopt the negatives of life.”
      • “If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.”
      • “Our most cherished friend is our partner in marriage. This old world would be so much better off today if kindness and deference were daily a reflection of our gratitude for wife, for husband.”
      • “He taught us how to pray. He taught us how to live. He taught us how to die. His life is a legacy of love. The sick He healed; the downtrodden He lifted; the sinner He saved.”
  • October 1991 General Conference
    • “Called to Serve”
      • “Let us remember that a boy is the only known substance from which a man can be made.”
      • “The enormous financial investment in physical facilities made by the Church, with the anticipation that all may benefit, can provide fellowship and brotherhood, as well as the development of athletic skills. These goals, however, are defeated if winning the game overshadows participation in the game. Young men come to play—not to sit on the bench. Ours is the privilege to provide this opportunity.”
      • “Through humble prayer, diligent preparation, and faithful service we can succeed in our sacred callings. Some priesthood bearers are gifted with the ability to reach out to the less active and renew the faith and rekindle the desire to once again return to the fold. Give such specially endowed brethren an assignment which will utilize this talent. Other brethren have the ability to work with youth, to win their respect, prompt their determination to overcome temptation, and lead with love these choice young spirits as they travel along that pathway which, when followed, provides eternal life. The Lord will hear your prayers and guide your decisions, for this is His work in which we are engaged.”
      • “As priesthood leaders, we soon discover that some of our work, though not recorded on any written report, is of vital significance. The visits to the homes of quorum members, blessing the sick, helping a member with a project, or comforting grieving hearts when a loved one passes on are all sacred privileges of priesthood service. True, they may not be recorded on a written report; but more important, they find lodgment in the soul and bring joy to the heart. They are also known of the Lord.”
    • Precious Children—A Gift from God
      • “I think it significant that Jesus loved these little ones who so recently had left the preexistence to come to earth. Children then and children now bless our lives, kindle our love, and prompt our good deeds.”
      • “Children seem to be endowed with abiding faith in their Heavenly Father and His capacity and desire to answer their sweet prayers. It has been my personal experience that when a child prays, God listens.”
      • “Liars, bullies who abuse children, they will one day reap the whirlwind of their foul deeds. The quiet, the hurt, the offended child victim of abuse, and at times incest, must receive help.”
    • “The Lord Bless You”
      • “How President Benson loves meeting and shaking hands with children and youth! He has traveled throughout the Church and has always taken great pleasure in singing to the children the song “A Mormon Boy.””
      • “This touching account is representative of the personal influence for good President Benson has ever been. He is gentle. He is kind. He is loving. He is your friend and my friend, and he knows the Lord, our Savior.”
  • April 1991 General Conference
    • The Power of Prayer
      • “The words of testimony spoken by President Benson are particularly appropriate on this special day of prayer and thanksgiving. He said: “I testify that there is a God in heaven who hears and answers prayers. I know this to be true, for He has answered mine. I would humbly urge all within the sound of my voice to keep in close touch with our Father in Heaven, through prayer.””
    • A Royal Priesthood
      • “Brethren of the priesthood, each of us is so employed. Ours is the responsibility to teach, to lift, to build, and to inspire our fellowmen, for “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” (D&C 18:10.)”
      • “May we hear His voice. May we follow His example. May we live His teachings. Then we will be as the Apostle Peter declared, even a “royal priesthood.””
    • Never Alone
      • “What power, what tenderness, what compassion did our Master and Exemplar thus demonstrate! We, too, can bless if we will but follow His noble example. Opportunities are everywhere. Needed are eyes to see the pitiable plight and ears to hear the silent pleadings of a broken heart. Yes, and a soul filled with compassion, that we might communicate not only eye to eye or voice to ear but, in the majestic style of the Savior, even heart to heart.”
  • October 1990 General Conference
    • That We May Touch Heaven
      • “While we may differ in age, in custom, or in nationality, we hold membership in the same church and are united as one in our priesthood callings.”
      • “Servants of the Lord have always counseled us to dress modestly to show respect for our Heavenly Father and for ourselves. The way you dress sends messages about yourself to others and often influences the way you and others act. Dress in such a way as to bring out the best in yourself and those around you. Avoid extremes in clothing and appearance.”
      • “A Latter-day Saint young man lives as he teaches and as he believes. He is honest with others. He is honest with himself. He is honest with God. He is honest by habit and as a matter of course.”
    • Days Never to Be Forgotten
      • “Temples like the Toronto Temple are built with stone, glass, wood, and metal. But they are also a product of faith and an example of sacrifice. The funds to build temples come from all tithe payers and consist of the widow’s mite, children’s pennies, and workmen’s dollars—all sanctified by faith.”
  • April 1990 General Conference
    • Conference Is Here
      • “My young brothers and sisters, from the days President Benson was a Scoutmaster to the present period of presiding over the entire Church, he has not forgotten you. He rejoices in your achievements, he admires your strengths. He is your friend and your advocate.”
      • “To the parents of the Church—President Benson has long urged that a good example is the best teacher. I have heard him offer sublime prayers to our Heavenly Father. Simple supplication, generous gratitude mark these petitions. Children joining parents in prayer will tend to be united with their families and found following the teachings of the Lord.”
    • My Brother’s Keeper
      • “Our service to others may not be so dramatic, but we can bolster human spirits, clothe cold bodies, feed hungry people, comfort grieving hearts, and lift to new heights precious souls.”
      • “We have no way of knowing when our privilege to extend a helping hand will unfold before us. The road to Jericho each of us travels bears no name, and the weary traveler who needs our help may be one unknown. Altogether too frequently, the recipient of kindness shown fails to express his feelings, and we are deprived of a glimpse of greatness and a touch of tenderness that motivates us to go and do likewise.”
    • “A Little Child Shall Lead Them”
      • “When we realize just how precious children are, we will not find it difficult to follow the pattern of the Master in our association with them.”
      • “Peace will then be their blessing. It will be our blessing, also, as we remember and follow the Prince of Peace.”
  • October 1989 General Conference
    • The Service That Counts
      • “This is the service that counts, brethren—the service to which all of us have been called, the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
      • “I add my own commendation: God bless the leaders, the young men, and the young women who so unselfishly brought such joy to the lonely and such peace to their souls. Through their experience they learned the meaning of service and felt the nearness of the Lord.”
    • Windows
      • “The holy scriptures are replete with sacred accounts of our Master’s love for the downtrodden and the poor of this world. Though many are forgotten by men, they are remembered by God and are ofttimes seen through the window of personal example.”
      • “When we catch the vision regarding the worth of human souls, when we realize the truth of the adage, “God’s sweetest blessings always flow through hands that serve Him here below,” then we have quickened within our souls the desire to do good, the willingness to serve, and the yearning to lift to a higher plane the children of God.”
  • April 1989 General Conference
    • Go For It!
      • “Life was never intended to consist of a glut of luxury, be an easy course, or filled only with success. There are those games which we lose, those races in which we finish last, and those promotions which never come. Such experiences provide an opportunity for us to show our determination and to rise above disappointment.”
      • “My brethren, this is an inspired plan for each of us to follow: Pray, and then go to work.”
      • “Brethren of the priesthood, like the Charles Dickens character Philip Pirrip, we have great expectations. The goal of eternal life awaits. May we strive unflinchingly for its attainment.”
    • Thanks Be to God
      • “The work moved forward. The paramount blessing needed was the privilege of our worthy members to receive their endowments and their sealings.”
      • “The black darkness of night had ended. The bright light of day had dawned. The gospel of Jesus Christ would now be carried to the millions of people in that nation. Their questions concerning the Church will be answered, and the Kingdom of God will go forth.”
      • “The faith and devotion of our members in that nation have not gone unnoticed by God. The excellent service of other General Authorities, Regional Representatives, and mission presidents has been of inestimable help. The understanding cooperation of government leaders is most appreciated. Assignments have been made to the first ten missionaries from the German Democratic Republic to serve abroad; and just three days ago, on Thursday, March 30, the first full-time missionary representatives in exactly fifty years entered the German Democratic Republic. Their mission president was there to greet them. The long period of preparation is past. The future of the Church unfolds. Thanks be to God.”
  • October 1988 General Conference
    • Goal beyond Victory
      • “Brethren, let’s take the necessary steps to rekindle sportsmanship, to emphasize participation, and to strive for the development of a Christlike character in each individual.”
      • “On a few occasions, however, the experience of being volunteer city farmers provided not only blisters on the hands, but also frustration of heart and mind.”
    • Halmarks of a Happy Home
      • “Happiness does not consist of a glut of luxury, the world’s idea of a “good time.” Nor must we search for it in faraway places with strange-sounding names. Happiness is found at home.”
      • “Prayer qualifies as the number-one hallmark of a happy home.”
      • “Family prayer is the greatest deterrent to sin, and hence the most beneficent provider of joy and happiness.”
      • “Reading is one of the true pleasures of life. In our age of mass culture, when so much that we encounter is abridged, adapted, adulterated, shredded, and boiled down, it is mind-easing and mind-inspiring to sit down privately with a congenial book.”
      • “The standard works offer the library of learning of which I speak. We must be careful not to underestimate the capacity of children to read and to understand the word of God.”
      • “Unlike the book on the library shelf, the covers of which shield the contents, our lives cannot be closed. Parents, we truly are an open book.”
  • April 1988 General Conference
    • You Make a Difference
      • “As bearers of the priesthood, we have been placed on earth in troubled times. We live in a complex world with currents of conflict everywhere to be found. Political machinations ruin the stability of nations, despots grasp for power, and segments of society seem forever downtrodden, deprived of opportunity and left with a feeling of failure.”
      • “We do not have a monopoly on goodness. There are God-fearing men and women in all nations who influence for good those with whom they associate.”
      • “You can make a difference. Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies. This promise extends not only to missionaries, but also to home teachers, quorum leaders, presidents of branches, and bishops of wards. When we qualify ourselves by our worthiness, when we strive with faith nothing wavering to fulfill the duties appointed to us, when we seek the inspiration of the Almighty in the performance of our responsibilities, we can achieve the miraculous.”
    • An Invitation to Exaltation
      • “How grateful we should be that a wise Creator fashioned an earth and placed us here, with a veil of forgetfulness of our previous existence, so that we might experience a time of testing, an opportunity to prove ourselves, and qualify for all that God has prepared for us to receive.”
      • “We have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey. We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life, but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve.”
      • “Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return. Yes, I speak of prayer. I speak, too, of the whisperings from that still, small voice within each of us; and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, written by mariners who successfully sailed the seas we too must cross.”
      • “It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings must be earned.”
    • Happiness through Service
      • “President Benson has suggested that I bear my testimony to you at this time. I am pleased to again express my witness that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, that this work is true, and that happiness comes through serving our Heavenly Father and serving our fellowmen.”
      • “If from this conference we can gain a new feeling of closeness to the Savior and a testimony of his divine mission, and on this Easter Sunday if we can, renewed with the spirit of the Resurrection, go forward in looking after his sheep and our family responsibilities and our church duties in a way which will be pleasing to our Heavenly Father, we ourselves will be abundantly blessed.”
  • October 1987 General Conference
    • Missionary Memories
      • “We are a missionary-minded people. We have a divine mandate to proclaim the message of the Restoration. You young men here this night are on the threshold of your missionary opportunity.”
      • “Fathers, bishops, quorum advisers, yours is the responsibility to prepare this generation of missionaries, to quicken in the hearts of these deacons, teachers, and priests not only an awareness of their obligation to serve, but also a vision of the opportunities and blessings which await them through a missionary call. The work is demanding, the impact everlasting. This is no time for “summer soldiers” in the army of the Lord.”
      • “In many respects, a mission is a family calling. The letters which a missionary sends to Mother and Father are packed with power—spiritual power. They are filled with faith—abiding faith. I’ve always maintained that such letters seem to pass through a heavenly post office before being delivered to home and family. Mother treasures every word. Father fills with pride. The letters are read over and over again—and are never discarded.”
      • “I commend the many couples who now go forth to serve. Leaving the comforts of home, the companionship of family, they walk hand in hand as eternal companions, but also hand in hand with God as His representatives to a faith-starved world.”
    • A Doorway Called Love
      • “Love is the catalyst that causes change. Love is the balm that brings healing to the soul. But love doesn’t grow like weeds or fall like rain. Love has its price.”
      • “Home should be a haven of love. Honor, courtesy, and respect symbolize love and characterize the righteous family.”
  • April 1987 General Conference
    • Tears, Trials, Trust, Testimony
      • “Then and now, servants of God take comfort from the Master’s assurance: “I am with you alway” (Matt. 28:20). This magnificent promise sustains you brethren of the Aaronic Priesthood who are called to positions of leadership in the quorums of deacons, teachers, and priests. It encourages you in your preparations to serve in the mission field. It comforts you during those moments of discouragement, which come to all. This same assurance motivates and inspires you brethren of the Melchizedek Priesthood as you lead and direct the work in the wards, the stakes, and the missions.”
      • “That long journey, made under such difficult circumstances, was a trial of faith. But faith forged in the furnace of trials and tears is marked by trust and testimony. Only God can count the sacrifice; only God can measure the sorrow; only God can know the hearts of those who serve Him—then and now.”
      • “Tabernacles and temples are built with more than stone and mortar, wood and glass. Particularly is this true when we speak of the temple described by the Apostle Paul: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16). Such temples are built with faith and fasting. They are built with service and sacrifice. They are built with trials and testimonies.”
      • “If any brethren within the sound of my voice feel unprepared, even incapable of responding to a call to serve, to sacrifice, to bless the lives of others, remember the truth: “Whom God calls, God qualifies.” He who notes the sparrow’s fall will not abandon the servant’s need.”
    • The Will Within
      • “The wayward son, the willful daughter, the pouting husband, the nagging wife—all can change. There can occur a parting of the clouds, a break in the storm. Maturity comes, friendships alter, circumstances vary. “Cast in concrete” need not describe human behavior.”
      • “From the perspective of eternity, our sojourn in this life is ever so brief. Detours are costly; they must be shunned. The spiritual nature within us should not be dominated by the physical. It behooves each of us to remember who he or she is and what God expects him or her to become.”
      • “In our journey on earth, we discover that life is made up of challenges—they just differ from one person to another. We are success oriented, striving to become “wonder women” and “super men.” Any intimation of failure can cause panic, even despair. Who among us cannot remember moments of failure?”
      • “Our responsibility is to rise from mediocrity to competence, from failure to achievement. Our task is to become our best selves. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final.”
      • “Each of us is a runner in the race of life. Comforting is the fact that there are many runners. Reassuring is the knowledge that our eternal Scorekeeper is understanding. Challenging is the truth that each must run. But you and I do not run alone. That vast audience of family, friends, and leaders will cheer our courage, will applaud our determination as we rise from our stumblings and pursue our goal. The race of life is not for sprinters running on a level track.”
  • October 1986 General Conference
    • Courage Counts
      • “Life’s journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny.”
      • “Those who followed Him then, and those who follow Him now, win a far more significant victory, with consequences that are everlasting. But the need for courage is constant. Courage is ever required.”
      • “Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but as the determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.”
    • Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light
      • “The same Lord who provided a Liahona Lehi provides for you and for me today a rare and valuable gift to give direction to our lives, to mark the hazards to our safety, and to chart the way, even safe passage—not to a promised land, but to our heavenly home. The gift to which I refer is known as your patriarchal blessing. Every worthy member of the Church is entitled to receive such a precious and priceless personal treasure.”
      • “Who is this man, this patriarch, through whom such seership and priesthood power flow? How is he called? The Council of the Twelve Apostles has special responsibility pertaining to the calling of such men. From my own experience I testify that patriarchs are called of God by prophecy. How else could our Heavenly Father reveal those to whom such prophetic powers are to be given? A patriarch holds an ordained office in the Melchizedek Priesthood. The patriarchal office, however, is one of blessing—not of administration. I have never called a man to this sacred office but what I have felt the Lord’s guiding influence in the decision.”
      • “Patriarchs are humble men. They are students of the scriptures. They stand before God as the means whereby the blessings of heaven can flow from that eternal source to the recipient on whose head rests the hands of the patriarch. He may not be a man of letters, a possessor of worldly wealth, or a holder of distinguished office. He, however, must be blessed with priesthood power and personal purity. To reach to heaven for divine guidance and inspiration, a patriarch is to be a man of love, a man of compassion, a man of judgment, a man of God.”
      • “Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers. Unlike the struggling bomber of yesteryear, lost in the desert wastes, the sands and storms of life will not destroy you on your eternal flight. Your patriarchal blessing is to you a personal Liahona to chart your course and guide your way.”
  • April 1986 General Conference
    • The Call of Duty
      • “The call of duty came to Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to Samuel, to David. It came to the Prophet Joseph Smith and to each of his successors, even to President Ezra Taft Benson.”
      • “Ofttimes the wisdom of God appears as foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that, when God speaks and a man obeys, man will always be right.”
      • “What does it mean to magnify a calling? It means to build it up in dignity and importance, to make it honorable and commendable in the eyes of all men, to enlarge and strengthen it, to let the light of heaven shine through it to the view of other men. And how does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it. An elder magnifies the ordained calling of an elder by learning what his duties as an elder are and then by doing them. As with an elder, so with a deacon, a teacher, a priest, a bishop, and each who holds office in the priesthood.”
    • A Provident Plan—A Precious Promise
      • “The holy scriptures leave no doubt concerning the responsibility to care for the poor, the needy, the downtrodden. The organization has been perfected, the duties defined, and the guidelines given.”
      • “Are we prepared for the emergencies of our lives? Are our skills perfected? Do we live providently? Do we have on hand our reserve supply? Are we obedient to the commandments of God? Are we responsive to the teachings of prophets? Are we prepared to give of our substance to the poor, the needy? Are we square with the Lord?”
  • October 1985 General Conference
    • Those Who Love Jesus
      • “His answer could not be faulted. His very actions gave credence to His words. He demonstrated genuine love of God by living the perfect life, by honoring the sacred mission that was His. Never was He haughty. Never was He puffed up with pride. Never was He disloyal. Ever was He humble. Ever was He sincere. Ever was He true.”
      • “Today, the challenge which we face and must meet is not that we should go forth on the battlefield of war and lay down our lives. Rather, it is that we, on the battlefield of life, so live and serve that our lives and actions reflect a true love of God, of His Son, Jesus Christ, and of our fellowmen.”
  • April 1985 General Conference
    • “The Spirit Giveth Life”
      • “There is one language, however, that is understood by each missionary: the language of the Spirit. It is not learned from textbooks written by men of letters, nor is it acquired through reading and memorization. The language of the Spirit comes to him who seeks with all his heart to know God and to keep His divine commandments. Proficiency in this language permits one to breach barriers, overcome obstacles, and touch the human heart.”
      • “We live in a complex world with daily challenges. There is a tendency to feel detached—even isolated—from the Giver of every good gift. We worry that we walk alone.”
      • “We watch. We wait. We listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. We do not postpone following promptings of the Spirit.”
      • “I, too, learned a lesson that day: Never, never, never postpone following a prompting.”
  • October 1984 General Conference
    • The Aaronic Priesthood Pathway
      • “It is essential, even critical, that we study the Aaronic Priesthood pathway, since far too many boys falter, stumble, then fall without crossing the finish line into the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood. In fact, today, for the first time in the history of the Church, the prospective elders outnumber the holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood, thereby eroding the active priesthood base of the Church and curtailing the activity of loving wives and precious children.”
      • “This, then, is our assignment: to save every boy, thereby assuring a worthy husband for each of our young women, strong Melchizedek Priesthood quorums, and a missionary force trained and capable of accomplishing what the Lord expects.”
      • “Beyond the influence of the bishopric and the Aaronic Priesthood quorum advisers is the impact of the home. Help of parents, when enlisted wisely, can frequently make the difference between success and failure. Our recent surveys reveal that the influence of the home surpasses all other factors as a determinant of missionary service and temple marriage.”
  • April 1984 General Conference
    • Building Your Eternal Home
      • “Such a house would meet the building code outlined in Matthew—even a house built “upon a rock” (Matt. 7:24), a house capable of withstanding the rains of adversity, the floods of opposition, and the winds of doubt everywhere present in our challenging world.”
      • “Our house is to be a house of glory. For our house to be such, we need to be square with God, fair with others, and honest with ourselves. One cannot be one person and pretend to be another.”
      • “Finally, let our house be a house of God. Clean thoughts, noble purpose, a willing heart, and ready hands are all features of a house of God. He does not leave us to struggle alone but stands ever ready to help.”
  • October 1983 General Conference
    • Labels
      • “Then there are those who may outwardly appear impoverished, without talent, and doomed to mediocrity. A classic label appeared beneath a picture of the boy Abraham Lincoln as he stood in front of his humble birthplace—a simple log cabin. The words read: “Ill-housed, ill-clothed, ill-fed.” Unanticipated, unspoken, and unprinted was the real label of the boy: “Destined for immortal glory.””
      • “Like a golden thread woven through the tapestry of life is the message on the label of a humble heart.”
  • April 1983 General Conference
    • “Anonymous”
      • “It is not only in dying that one can show forth the true gift. Opportunities abound in our daily lives to demonstrate our adherence to the Master’s lesson.”
      • “May this truth guide our lives. May we look upward as we press forward in the service of our God and our fellowmen.”
  • October 1982 General Conference
    • “Run, Boy, Run!”
      • “Scouting provides 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 States.”
  • April 1982 General Conference
    • Sailing Safely the Seas of Life
      • “Like the Bismarck, each of us is a miracle of engineering. Our creation, however, was not limited by human genius. Man can devise the most complex machines, but he cannot give them life or bestow upon them the powers of reason and judgment. Why? Because these are divine gifts, bestowed solely at God’s discretion. Our creator has provided us with a circulatory system to keep all channels constantly clean and serviceable, a digestive system to preserve strength and vigor, and a nervous system to keep all parts in constant communication and coordination. God gave man life, and with it, the power to think, to reason, to decide, and to love.”
      • “The clock of history, like the sands of the hourglass, marks the passage of time. A new cast occupies the stage of life. The problems of our day loom ominously before us. Surrounded by the sophistication of modern living, we look heavenward for that unfailing sense of direction, that we might chart and follow a wise and proper course. He whom we call our Heavenly Father will not leave our sincere petition unanswered.”
  • October 1981 General Conference
    • “He Is Risen”
      • “I never did reveal to him that wherever I travel I try to pay a visit to the town cemetery. It is a time of contemplation, of reflection on the meaning of life and the inevitability of death.”
      • “This is the clarion call of Christendom. The reality of the resurrection provides to one and all the peace that surpasses understanding. (See Philip. 4:7.) It comforts those whose loved ones lie in Flanders fields, who perished in the depths of the sea or rest in tiny Santa Clara or peaceful Heber Valley. It is a universal truth.”
  • April 1981 General Conference
    • The Long Line of the Lonely
      • “Consistently the Master has taught, by example, His concern for the widow. To the grieving widow at Nain, bereft of her only son, He came personally and to the dead son restored the breath of life—and to the astonished widow her son. To the widow at Zarephath, who with her son faced imminent starvation, He sent the prophet Elijah with the power to teach faith as well as provide food.”
      • “Whatever the name, there lives within each city the widow deprived of her companion and often her child. The need is the same. The affliction is real.”
      • “As we resolve to minister more diligently to those in need, let us remember to include our children in these learning lessons of life.”
      • “The leadership of this Church is mindful of the widow, the widower, the lonely. Can we be less concerned?”
  • October 1980 General Conference
    • The Bishop—Center Stage in Welfare
      • “Our bishops today need the same instruction and counsel. Many are new. They hear from every side that this program or that requires emphasis. Theirs is a sacred trust. Frequently that which counts most is recorded least. The visit to the elderly, the blessing to the sick, the comfort to the weary, the food to the hungry may not be recorded here, but I am convinced that they are known above and that we are guided in such ministrations.”
      • “May our Heavenly Father ever bless our bishops in their sacred welfare responsibilities. Such duties are God-given. They were authored in heaven to bless in our day those who stand in need.”
  • April 1980 General Conference
    • Preparing the Way
      • “To each of you this day, I testify that when Robert acted in the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood, he spoke with power, with conviction, and with heavenly help.”
      • “Such is the legacy of one called John, even John the Baptist. We hear his voice today. It teaches humility; it prompts courage; it inspires faith.”
  • October 1979 General Conference
    • Pornography—the Deadly Carrier
      • “How like the elm is man. From a minute seed, and in accordance with a divine plan, we grow, are nurtured, and mature. The bright sunlight of heaven, the rich blessings of earth are ours. In our private forest of family and friends, life is richly rewarding and abundantly beautiful. Then suddenly, there appears before us in this generation a sinister and diabolical enemy—pornography. Like the bark beetle it too is the carrier of a deadly disease.”
      • “First, a return to righteousness. An understanding of who we are and what God expects us to become will prompt us to pray—as individuals and as families. Such a return reveals the constant truth: “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). Let not the evil one dissuade. We can yet be guided by that still small voice—unerring in its direction and all-powerful in its influence.”
      • “Second, a quest for the good life. I speak not of the fun life, the sophisticated life, the popular life. Rather, I urge each to seek eternal life—life everlasting with mother, father, brothers, sisters, husband, wife, sons, and daughters, forever and forever together.”
      • “Third, a pledge to wage and win the war against pernicious permissiveness. As we encounter that evil carrier, the pornography beetle, let our battle standard and that of our communities be taken from that famous ensign of early America, “Don’t tread on me” (John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, p. 1090).”
  • April 1979 General Conference
    • The Army of the Lord
      • “The priesthood represents a mighty army of righteousness—even a royal army. We are led by a prophet of God. In supreme command is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our marching orders are clear. They are concise.”
  • October 1978 General Conference
    • Profiles of Faith
      • “I am confident that youth were faced with difficult challenges to meet and vexing problems to solve. Youth is not a time of ease nor of freedom from perplexing questions. It wasn’t then, and it surely isn’t today. In fact, as time passes it seems that the difficulties of youth increase in size and scope. Temptation continues to loom large on life’s horizon. Accounts of violence, theft, drug abuse, and pornography blare forth from the television screen and peer constantly from most daily newspapers. Such examples blur our vision and fault our thinking. Soon assumptions become generally accepted opinions, and all youth everywhere are categorized as “not so good as yesteryear,” or “the worst generation yet.” How wrong are such opinions! How incorrect are such statements!”
      • “The contrast between good and evil is so stark, the exceptions to the prevailing trends are magnified, observed, and appreciated by decent persons throughout the world.”
  • April 1978 General Conference
    • The Prayer of Faith
      • “Men and women of integrity, character, and purpose have ever recognized a power higher than themselves and have sought through prayer to be guided by that power. Such has it ever been. So shall it ever be.”
      • “Unfortunately, prosperity, abundance, honor, and praise lead some men to the false security of haughty self-assurance and the abandonment of the inclination to pray. Conversely, trial, tribulation, sickness, and death crumble the castles of men’s pride and bring them to their knees to petition for power from on high.”
      • “Most of the time there are no flags waving nor bands playing when prayer is answered. His miracles frequently are performed in a quiet and natural manner.”
  • October 1977 General Conference
    • The Way of the Lord
      • “Situated somewhat off the beaten path, away from the crowd, is yet another famous square. Here in a quiet fashion, motivated by a Christlike love, elderly and handicapped workers serve one another after the divine plan of the Master. I speak of Welfare Square, sometimes known as the Bishops Storehouse. At this central location and at numerous other sites throughout the world, fruits and vegetables are canned, commodities processed, labeled, stored, and distributed to those persons who are in need. There is no sign of government dole nor the exchange of currency here, since only the signed order from an ordained bishop is honored.”
      • “Guided by this principle, in a plan outlined and taught by inspired prophets of God, Latter-day Saints fast one day each month and contribute generously to a fast offering fund at least the equivalent of the meals forfeited and usually many times more. Such sacred offerings finance the operation of storehouses, supply cash needs of the poor, and provide medical care for the sick who are without funds.”
      • “To all within the sound of my voice I declare that the welfare plan of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is inspired of Almighty God. Indeed, the Lord Jesus Christ is its Architect. To you I extend a heartfelt and sincere invitation: Come to Salt Lake City and visit Welfare Square. Your eyes will glow a little brighter, your heart will beat a little faster, and life itself will acquire a new depth of meaning.”
  • April 1977 General Conference
    • Your Jericho Road
      • “Each of us, in the journey through mortality, will travel his own Jericho Road. What will be your experience? What will be mine? Will I fail to notice him who has fallen among thieves and requires my help? Will you? Will I be one who sees the injured and hears his plea, yet crosses to the other side? Will you? Or will I be one who sees, who hears, who pauses, and who helps? Will you?”
      • “Now the Jericho Road may not be clearly marked. Neither may the injured cry out, that we may hear. But when we walk in the steps of that good Samaritan, we walk the pathway that leads to perfection.”
      • “Some remember mother for her rhymes recited, others for her music played, songs sung, favors bestowed, or stories told; but I remember best that day we together traveled our Jericho Road and, like the good Samaritan, found a cherished opportunity to help.”
  • October 1976 General Conference
    • Which Road Will You Travel?
      • “The road to anywhere is the road to nowhere, and the road to nowhere leads to dreams sacrificed, opportunities squandered, and a life unfulfilled.”
      • “There will be the inevitable trials of our faith and the temptations of our times. We simply cannot afford the luxury of a detour, for certain detours lead to destruction and spiritual death. Let us avoid the moral quicksands that threaten on every side, the whirlpools of sin, and the crosscurrents of uninspired philosophies. That clever pied piper called Lucifer still plays his lilting melody and attracts the unsuspecting away from the safety of their chosen pathway, away from the counsel of loving parents, away from the security of God’s teachings. His tune is ever so old, his words ever so sweet. His prize is everlasting. He seeks not the refuse of humanity but the very elect of God. King David listened, then followed, then fell. But then so did Cain in an earlier era, and Judas Iscariot in a later one.”
  • April 1976 General Conference
    • Hopeless Dawn—Joyful Morning
      • “Frequently, death comes as an intruder. It is an enemy that suddenly appears in the midst of life’s feast, putting out its lights and gaiety. It visits the aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life’s journey, and often it hushes the laughter of little children. Death lays its heavy hand upon those dear to us and at times leaves us baffled and wondering. In certain situations, as in great suffering and illness, death comes as an angel of mercy. But for the most part, we think of it as the enemy of human happiness.”
  • October 1975 General Conference
    • The Faith of a Child
      • “To you, my little friend in the upper balcony, and to believers everywhere, I bear witness that Jesus of Nazareth does love little children, that he listens to your prayers and responds to them. The Master did indeed utter those words, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14.) I know these are the words he spoke to the throng gathered on the coast of Judea by the waters of Jordan—for I have read them. I know these are the words he spoke to an apostle on assignment in Shreveport, Louisiana—for I heard them.”
  • April 1975 General Conference
    • The Way Home
      • “Little wonder that men did tarry for the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. It was the gospel of Jesus Christ that was to be preached, his work that was to be done, and his apostles at the head of his church who were entrusted with the work.”
      • “From then to now, truth has been and is available to us. Like the children of Israel in former times, endless days of wandering now can end with our entry to a personal promised land.”
      • “Like the peal of a remembered bell will be the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the soul of him who earnestly seeks. Many of you have traveled long in a personal quest for that which rings true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sends forth to you an earnest appeal. Open your doors to the missionaries. Open your minds to the word of God. Open your hearts, even your very souls, to the sound of that still, small voice which testifies of truth.”
  • October 1974 General Conference
    • My Personal Hall of Fame
      • “In the interior of our consciousness, each of us has a private hall of fame reserved exclusively for the real leaders who have influenced the direction of our lives.”
      • “The name—Jesus of Nazareth—the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, has singular place and honored distinction in our Hall of Fame.”
  • April 1974 General Conference
    • The Paths Jesus Walked
      • “In a very real sense, all can walk where Jesus walked when, with his words on our lips, his spirit in our hearts, and his teachings in our lives, we journey through mortality. I would hope that we would walk as he walked—with confidence in the future, with an abiding faith in his Father, and a genuine love for others.”
      • “Likewise shall we walk the path of pain. We cannot go to heaven in a feather bed. The Savior of the world entered after great pain and suffering. We, as servants, can expect no more than the Master. Before Easter there must be a cross.”
  • October 1973 General Conference
    • “Behold Thy Mother”
      • “Men turn from evil and yield to their better natures when mother is remembered.”
      • “One certain way each can demonstrate genuine love for mother is to live the truths mother so patiently taught.”
      • “May each of us treasure this truth; one cannot forget mother and remember God. One cannot remember mother and forget God. Why? Because these two sacred persons, God and mother, partners in creation, in love, in sacrifice, in service, are as one.”
  • April 1973 General Conference
    • Yellow Canaries with Gray on Their Wings
      • “Can we not appreciate that our very business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves? To break our own records, to outstrip our yesterdays by our todays, to bear our trials more beautifully than we ever dreamed we could, to give as we have never given, to do our work with more force and a finer finish than ever—this is the true idea: to get ahead of ourselves.”
      • “The Master could be found mingling with the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the afflicted. He brought hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, and freedom to the captive. He taught of the better life to come—even eternal life.”
  • October 1972 General Conference
    • Hands
      • “Honest effort and loving service become identifying features of the abundant life.”
      • “Not to be overlooked is the hand of a father. Whether he be a skilled surgeon, a master craftsman, or a talented teacher, his hands support his family. There is a definite dignity in honest labor and tireless toil.”
      • “Pitied is the hand that sins. Envied is the hand that paints. Honored is the hand that builds. Appreciated is the hand that helps. Respected is the hand that serves. Adored is the hand that saves—even the hand of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of all mankind. With that hand he knocks upon the door of our understanding.”
  • April 1972 General Conference
    • “Finishers Wanted”
      • “From the very beginning to the present time, a fundamental question remains to be answered by each who runs the race of life. Shall I falter or shall I finish? On the answer await the blessings of joy and happiness here in mortality and eternal life in the world to come.”
      • “When the burdens of life become heavy, when trials test one’s faith, when pain, sorrow, and despair cause the light of hope to flicker and burn low, communication with our Heavenly Father provides peace.”
  • October 1971 General Conference
    • With Hand and Heart
      • “The hand of Jesus was not polluted by touching the leper’s body, but the leper’s body was cleansed by the touch of that holy hand.”
      • “Time passes. Circumstances change. Conditions vary. Unaltered is the divine command to succor the weak and lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. Each of us has the charge to be not a doubter, but a doer; not a leaner, but a lifter. But our complacency tree has many branches, and each spring more buds come into bloom. Often we live side by side but do not communicate heart to heart.”
      • “When we treat people merely as they are, they will remain as they are. When we treat them as if they were what they should be, they will become what they should be.”
  • April 1971 General Conference
    • Lost Battalions
      • “Are there “lost battalions” even today? If so, what is our responsibility to rescue them? Their members may not wear clothes of khaki brown nor march to the sound of drums. But they share the same doubt, feel the same despair, and know the same disillusionment that isolation brings.”
      • “Those who labor so willingly and give so generously to those who have lost so tragically find ample reward in the light that they bring into the lives of the sightless.”
      • “Consider the “lost battalions” of the aged, the widowed, the sick. All too often they are found in the parched and desolate wilderness of isolation called loneliness. When youth departs, when health declines, when vigor wanes, when the light of hope flickers ever so dimly, the members of these vast “lost battalions” can be succored and sustained by the hand that helps and the heart that knows compassion.”
      • “Each of us is a partaker of the experience called death. None escapes. Were we to remain unrescued, lost would be paradise sought. Lost would be family loved. Lost would be friends remembered. Realizing this truth, we begin to appreciate the supreme joy which accompanied the birth of the Savior of the world.”
  • October 1970 General Conference
    • The Ensign
      • “The name of the new adult magazine will be The Ensign of The Church of ]esus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its contents will be as a beacon upon the top of a mountain and as an ensign on a hill, that the adults of the Church might be more adequately prepared to be examples to their children and to the world.”
      • “The Ensign will be written in such a way as to enhance its use. There will be articles on home teaching, family home evenings, missionary, welfare, and genealogical work. Leadership and teacher development will also be vital features. Material from the Ensign will be used widely in every teaching classroom of the Church, including that special classroom called home. In addition, there will be fiction, poetry, and those feature articles which have been so popular in the present adult publications.”
      • “The goal of gospel teaching today, as emphasized in the teacher development program, is not to “pour information” into the minds of class members. It is not to show how much the teacher knows, nor is it merely to increase knowledge about the Church. The basic goal of teaching in the Church is to help bring about worthwhile changes in the lives of boys and girls, men and women. The aim is to inspire the individual to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles.”
      • “He instructed his disciples of that day, and to us he speaks the same words, “Follow thou me.” Then, as now, foolish, unwise persons will stop their ears, close their eyes, and turn away their hearts. Let us remember, there is no deafness so permanent as the deafness which will not hear. There is no blindness so incurable as the blindness which will not see. There is no ignorance so deep as the ignorance that will not know.”
  • April 1970 General Conference
    • Teachers
      • “Prime time for teaching is fleeting. Opportunities are perishable.”
      • “Unfortunately, there are those few teachers who delight to destroy faith, rather than build bridges to the good life. Ever must we remember that the power to lead is also the power to mislead, and the power to mislead is the power to destroy.”
  • October 1969 General Conference
    • Missionary Work
      • “At best, missionary work necessitates drastic adjustment to one’s pattern of living. No other labor requires longer hours or greater devotion, nor such sacrifice and fervent prayer. As a result, dedicated missionary service returns a dividend of eternal joy that extends throughout life and into eternity.”
      • “Preparation for a mission begins early. It is a wise parent who encourages young Jimmy to commence even in boyhood his personal missionary fund. As the fund grows, so does Jimmy’s desire to serve. He may well be encouraged as the years go by to study a foreign language, that if necessary his language skills could be utilized.”
      • “As you plan with purpose your lives, remember that your missionary opportunities are not restricted to the period of a formal call.”
      • “Regarding your testimony, remember, that which you willingly share you keep, while that which you selfishly keep you lose.”
  • April 1969 General Conference
    • Will We Live Again?
      • “Death leaves in its cruel wake shattered dreams, unfulfilled ambitions, crushed hopes. In our helplessness, we turn to others for assurance. Men of letters and leaders of renown can express their beliefs, but they cannot provide definitive answers.”
      • “The plan of life and an explanation of its eternal course come to us from the Master of heaven and earth, even Jesus Christ the Lord. To understand the meaning of death, we must appreciate the purpose of life.”
      • “Mrs. Patton, God our Father is mindful of you. Through sincere prayer you can communicate with him. He, too, had a son who died, even Jesus Christ the Lord. He is our advocate with the Father, the Prince of Peace, our Savior and Divine Redeemer. One day we shall see him face to face.”
  • October 1968 General Conference
    • Tonga
      • “The new morality is a cleverly designed maka-feke. In a headlong dash for what they envision will be social acceptance, the weak-willed, deceived by a counterfeit bait, discover not social acceptance, but experience social rejection.”
      • “With a never-waning confidence in the people of Tonga, John H. Groberg has taught them not to pray for tasks equal to their powers, but rather to pray for powers equal to their tasks. Then the doing of their work shall be no miracle, but they shall be the miracle.”
  • April 1968 General Conference
    • Out of Nazareth
      • “Out of Nazareth and down through the generations of time come his excellent example, his welcome words,
        his divine deeds. They inspire patience to endure affliction, strength to bear grief, courage to face death, and confidence to meet life. In this world of chaos, of trial, of uncertainty, never has our need for such divine guidance been more desperate.”
      • “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? From Nazareth came example. From Nazareth came sight. From Nazareth came strength. From Nazareth came life. From Nazareth came faith. From Nazareth came peace. From Nazareth came courage. From Nazareth came Christ.”
  • October 1967 General Conference
    • David and Goliath
      • “I, however, like to think of David as the righteous lad who had the courage and the faith to face insurmountable odds when all others hesitated, and to redeem the name of Israel by facing that giant in his life—Goliath of Gath.”
      • “Well might we look carefully into our own lives and judge our courage, our faith. Is there a Goliath in your life? Is there one in mine? Does he stand squarely between you and your desired happiness? Oh, your Goliath may not carry a sword or hurl a verbal challenge of insult that all may hear and force you to decision. He may not be ten feet tall, but he likely will appear equally as formidable, and his silent challenge may shame and embarrass.”
      • “Just as David went to the brook, well might we go to our source of supply—the Lord. What polished stones will you select to defeat the Goliath that is robbing you of your happiness by smothering your opportunities?”
      • “The stone of courage will be essential to your victory. As we survey the challenge of life, that which is easy is rarely right. In fact, the course that we should properly follow at times appears impossible, impenetrable, hopeless.”
      • “The decision to overcome a fault or correct a weakness is an actual step in the process of doing so. “Thrust in thy sickle with thy might” was not spoken of missionary work alone.”
      • “Then there must be in our selection the stone of humility, for haven’t we been told through divine revelation that when we are humble, the Lord, our God, will lead us by the hand and give us answer to our prayers?”
      • “And who would go forth to battle his Goliath without the stone of prayer, remembering that the recognition of a power higher than oneself is in no way debasing; rather it exalts. “
      • “Finally, let us choose the stone of duty. Duty is not merely doing the thing we ought to do, but doing it when we should, whether we like it or not.”
  • April 1967 General Conference
    • Pioneers
      • “The passage of time dims our memories and diminishes our appreciation for those who walked the path of pain, leaving behind a tear-marked trail of nameless graves. But what of today’s challenge? Are there no rocky roads to travel, no rugged mountains to climb, chasms to cross, trails to blaze, or rivers to ford? Or is there a very present need for that pioneer spirit to guide us away from the dangers that threaten to engulf us and lead us rather to a Zion of safety?”
      • “Many are on a giant roller coaster of disaster, seeking the thrills of the moment while sacrificing the joys of eternity. We conquer space but cannot control self. Thus we forfeit peace.”
      • “The unsatisfied yearnings of the soul will not be met by a never-ending quest for joy midst the thrills of sensation and vice. Vice never leads to virtue. Hate never points to love. Cowardice never reflects courage. Doubt never inspires faith.”
  • October 1966 General Conference
    • Polynesia
      • “The gift of faith, which they also enjoy, at times takes the form of miraculous healings of body and mind. In other instances it is reflected by simple trust and calm assurance that God will provide.”
      • “There came to me an appreciation of these gifts of God to Polynesia’s people: The gift of song, the gift of faith, the gift of love, the gift of obedience, and the gift of gratitude. But such gifts were suddenly dwarfed as I remembered God’s greatest gift, given not only to the Polynesians, but to you, to me, and to all persons everywhere — the gift of his Only Begotten and precious Son, Jesus Christ.”
  • April 1966 General Conference
    • Resurrection
      • “We laugh, we cry, we work, we play, we love, we live. And then we die. And dead we would remain but for one man and his mission, even Jesus of Nazareth. Bom in a stable, cradled in a manger, his birth fulfilled the inspired pronouncements of many prophets. He was taught from on high. He provided the life, the light, and the way. Multitudes followed him. Children adored him. The haughty rejected him. He spoke in parables. He taught by example. He lived a perfect life. Through his ministry blind men saw, deaf men heard, and lame men walked. Even the dead returned to life.”
  • October 1965 General Conference
    • Testimony of Christ
      • “All of us love the beautiful account from the Holy Bible of Abraham and Isaac. How exceedingly difficult it must have been for Abraham, in obedience to God’s command, to take his beloved Isaac into the land of Moriah, there to present him as a burnt offering. Can you imagine the heaviness of his heart as he gathered the wood for the fire and journeyed to the appointed place? Surely pain must have racked his body and tortured his mind as he bound Isaac and laid him on the altar upon the wood and stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son. How glorious was the pronouncement, and with what wondered welcome did it come, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou has not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” (Gen. 22:12.)”
      • “Some have attempted to answer these questions by turning to idols, others by burning incense or lighting candles. In times past, great throngs journeyed in the crusades of Christianity, feeling that, if only the Holy Land could be secured from the infidel, then Christ would be found in their lives. How mistaken they were. Thousands upon thousands perished. Many others committed heinous crimes in the very name of Christianity. ]esus will not be found by crusades of men.”
      • “Still others searched for Jesus in councils of debate. Such was the historic Council of Nicea in 325 AD. There, with the help of the Roman Emperor, the delegates did away in Christendom with the concept of a personal God and a personal Son—the two separate and distinct Glorified Beings of the scriptures. The Creed of Nicea, the “incomprehensible mystery” of which its originators seemed so proud precisely because it could not be understood, substituted for the personal God of love and for Jesus of the New Testament an immaterial abstraction. The result was a maze of confusion and a compoundment of error. Jesus will not be found in councils of debate. Men of the world have modified his miracles, doubted his divinity, and rejected his resurrection.”
      • “Before we can successfully undertake a personal search for Jesus, we must first prepare time for him in our lives and room for him in our hearts. In these busy days there are many who have time for golf, time for shopping, time for work, time for play, but no time for Christ.”
      • “As we undertake our personal search for Jesus, aided and guided by the principle of prayer, it is fundamental that we have a clear concept of him whom we seek. The shepherds of old did seek Jesus the child. But we seek Jesus the Christ, our older Brother, our Mediator with the Father, our Redeemer, the Author of our salvation, him who was in the beginning with the Father, him who took upon himself the sins of the world and so willingly died that we might forever live. This is the Jesus whom we seek.”
  • April 1965 General Conference
    • Spiritual Sight
      • “Each of us knows those who do not have sight. We also know many others who walk in darkness at noonday. Those in this latter group may never carry the usual white cane and carefully make their way to the sound of its familiar tap, tap, tap. They may not have a faithful seeing-eye dog by their side nor carry a sign about their neck which reads, “I am blind.” But blind they surely are. Some have been blinded by anger, others by indifference, by revenge, by hate, by prejudice, by ignorance, by neglect of precious opportunities.”
      • “Those who have felt the touch of the Master’s hand somehow cannot explain the change which comes into their lives. There is a desire to live better, to serve faithfully, to walk humbly, and to live more like the Savior.”
      • “Two fundamental reasons largely account for these changes of attitudes, of habits, of actions. First, men have been shown their eternal possibilities and have made the decision to achieve them. Men cannot really long rest content with mediocrity once they see excellence is within their reach. Second, other men and women and, yes, young people have followed the admonition of the Savior and have loved their neighbors as themselves and helped to bring their neighbors’ dreams to fulfilment and their ambitions to realization.”
  • October 1964 General Conference
    • Truth
      • “How grateful we should be that revelation, the clear and uncluttered channel of truth, is still open. Our Heavenly Father continues to inspire his prophets. This inspiration can serve as a sure guide in making life’s decisions. It will lead us to truth.”
      • “You do not find truth groveling through error. Truth is found by searching, studying, and living the revealed word of God. We learn truth when we associate with truth. We adopt error when we mingle with error.”
      • “For those who humbly seek, there is no need to stumble or falter along the pathway leading to truth. It is well marked by our Heavenly Father. We must first have a desire to know for ourselves. We must study. We must pray. We must do the will of the Father. And then we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free. Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it.”
    • Wisdom
      • “Too many Americans have been screaming ever louder for more and more of the things we cannot take with us and paying less and less attention to the real sources of the very happiness we seek. We have been measuring our fellowmen more by balance sheets and less by moral standards. We have developed frightening physical power and fallen into pathetic spiritual weakness. We have become so concerned over the growth of our earning capacity that we have neglected the growth of our character.”
      • “As humans we cannot really see very far ahead and need, therefore, to take each step with all the wisdom we can muster.”
  • April 1964 General Conference
    • Prayer
      • “As a people, aren’t we grateful that family prayer is not an out-of-date practice with us? There is no more beautiful sight in all this world than to see a family praying together.”
      • “We cannot know what faith is if we have never had it, and we cannot obtain it as long as we deny it. Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other.”
      • “Times have not really changed. Prayer continues to provide power—spiritual power. Prayer continues to provide peace—spiritual peace.”
  • October 1963 General Conference
    • Introduction
      • “I know that God lives, my brothers and sisters. There is no question in my mind. I know that this is his work, and I know that the sweetest experience in all this life is to feel his promptings as he directs us in the furtherance of his work. I have felt these promptings as a young bishop, guided to the homes where there was spiritual, or perhaps temporal, want. I felt it again in the mission field as I worked with your sons and your daughters—the missionaries of this great Church who are a living witness and testimony to the world that this work is divine and that we are led by a prophet.”
      • “My sincere prayer today, President McKay, is that I might always obey you and these, my brethren. I pledge my life, all that I may have. I will strive to the utmost of my ability to be what you would want me to be.”

Other Talks

  • September 2013 General Relief Society Meeting
    • We Never Walk Alone
      • “I too love Relief Society. I testify to you that it was organized by inspiration and is a vital part of the Lord’s Church here upon the earth. It would be impossible to calculate all the good which has come from this organization and all the lives which have been blessed because of it.”
      • “We were not placed on this earth to walk alone. What an amazing source of power, of strength, and of comfort is available to each of us. He who knows us better than we know ourselves, He who sees the larger picture and who knows the end from the beginning, has assured us that He will be there for us to provide help if we but ask. We have the promise: “Pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.”
      • “Allied with prayer in helping us cope in our often difficult world is scripture study. The words of truth and inspiration found in our four standard works are prized possessions to me. I never tire of reading them. I am lifted spiritually whenever I search the scriptures. These holy words of truth and love give guidance to my life and point the way to eternal perfection.”
  • March 2012 General Young Women’s Meeting
    • Believe, Obey, and Endure
      • “Is there a way to safety? Is there an escape from threatened destruction? The answer is a resounding yes! I counsel you to look to the lighthouse of the Lord. I have said it before; I will say it again: there is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety. This way to home.” It sends forth signals of light easily seen and never failing. If followed, those signals will guide you back to your heavenly home.”
      • “You have but one life to live. Keep it as free from trouble as you can.”
      • “Finally, may you endure. What does it mean to endure? I love this definition: to withstand with courage. Courage may be necessary for you to believe; it will at times be necessary as you obey. It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence.”
  • BYU Devotional, November 1, 2011
    • Be a Light to the World
      • “We know that what we do—and don’t do—here in mortality is of utmost importance. We also know that, should we fall short, our Savior has provided us with the precious gift of the Atonement and that, if we change our lives and our hearts and take advantage of the power of the Atonement, our sins and shortcomings will be forgiven and forgotten.”
      • “With the decline of religion in our society, many people have come to feel that they are sufficient unto themselves and have no need of a higher power. Wrong. A loss of religious faith implies a loss of faith in anyone greater than oneself.”
      • “Our opportunities to shine are limitless. They surround us each day, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves. As we follow the example of the Savior, ours will be the opportunity to be a light, as it were, in the lives of those around us—whether they be our own family members, our coworkers, mere acquaintances, or total strangers.”
  • September 2010 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Charity Never Faileth
      • “None of us is perfect. I know of no one who would profess to be so. And yet for some reason, despite our own imperfections, we have a tendency to point out those of others. We make judgments concerning their actions or inactions.”
      • “There is really no way we can know the heart, the intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize. Thus the commandment: “Judge not.””
      • “There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.”
      • “Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.”
  • BYU Devotional, September 15, 2009
    • Principles from Prophets
      • “President Grant loved to stand before the priesthood of the Church. Those were the days when everything was a little less structured, and he’d go to the microphone and say, “We’re now in priesthood session. We’re off the record. The press is not in attendance.” Then he’d discuss any subject he chose.”
      • “Just over twelve years later, in October of 1963, President McKay extended to me a call to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. As I sat there in his office, he had me pull my chair up very close to him, and he put his hand on my knee. His eyes penetrated to my very soul. I will simply say this much about a very sacred experience which I don’t share often. He said, “Brother Monson, the Lord has called you to the apostleship. You will become the newest member of the Council of the Twelve.” We both wept a little bit. I later wept a lot more when I realized the extent of my responsibilities.”
      • “Again, the noble principle from President McKay that I would share with you today is consideration. May we ever be considerate.”
      • “What would be his guiding principle for us? It would be gospel scholarship. He was truly a scholar. I believe we could say that he would leave for you and for me this advice: Be studious. I say that to you as student body members too: be studious. When it is test week, you’ll be grateful you were studious!”
      • “For President Kimball, obstacles became his opportunities. He was totally dedicated, a worker such as one seldom sees. He cared not at all about personal aggrandizement.”
      • “What is a guiding principle from President Benson? I’d have to say it is love. The manner in which he treated his sweet companion and, indeed, all with whom he came in contact provides an example for all of us. Let us love one another.”
      • “What would be a guiding principle from President Hunter’s life? I believe it would be his ability always to look for the best in people—such an important quality to emulate.”
      • “What would be a guiding principle from President Hinckley’s life? It is one which we would all do well to follow: Do your best.”
      • “May we be persistent in those things which are good and noble. May we ever stay safely on the Lord’s side of the line. May we be considerate, studious, and responsive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. May we be dedicated to the gospel of Jesus Christ. May we love one another and always look for the best in people. May we do our best in all that we do.”
  • March 2009 General Young Womens Meeting
    • May You Have Courage
      • “As I contemplate all that you face in the world today, one word comes to my mind. It describes an attribute needed by all of us but one which you—at this time of your life and in this world—will need particularly. That attribute is courage.”
      • “True love can alter human lives and change human nature.”
      • My precious young sisters, I plead with you to have the courage to refrain from judging and criticizing those around you, as well as the courage to make certain everyone is included and feels loved and valued.”
      • “Help in maintaining the proper perspective in these permissive times can come to you from many sources. One valuable resource is your patriarchal blessing. Read it frequently. Study it carefully. Be guided by its cautions. Live to merit its promises. If you have not yet received your patriarchal blessing, plan for the time when you will receive it, and then cherish it.”
      • “My earnest prayer is that you will have the courage required to refrain from judging others, the courage to be chaste and virtuous, and the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness.”
  • BYU Devotional, January 11, 2009
    • Great Expectations
      • “I say to you, as that lawyer said about Pip, you have great expectations—not as the result of an unknown benefactor, but as the result of a known benefactor—even our Heavenly Father—and great things are expected of you.”
      • “Life is a sea upon which the proud are humbled, the shirker is exposed, and the leader is revealed. To sail it safely and reach your desired port, you need to keep your charts at hand and up-to-date. You need to learn by the experience of others, to stand firm for principles, to broaden your interests, to be understanding of the rights of others to sail the same sea, and to be reliable in the discharge of your duty.”
      • “To those who humbly seek, there is no need to stumble or falter along the pathway leading to truth. It is well marked by our Heavenly Father. We must first have a desire to know for ourselves. We must study. We must pray. We must do the will of the Father. And then we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free. Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it. That is a promise which I leave with you. Think of it.”
      • “Faith implies a certain trust, even a reliance, upon the word of our Creator.”
      • “Bad habits also can be such pitfalls. At first we could break them if we would. Later, we would break them if we could.”
      • “In reality, you can never love the Lord until you serve Him by serving His people.”
  • September 2007 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Three Goals to Guide You
      • “Perhaps there has never been a time when we had greater need to pray and to teach our family members to pray. Prayer is a defense against temptation. It is through earnest and heartfelt prayer that we can receive the needed blessings and the support required to make our way in this sometimes difficult and challenging journey we call mortality.”
      • “My dear sisters, do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle.”
  • March 2005 General Young Womens Meeting
    • Be Thou an Example
      • “Do not let your passions destroy your dreams. Withstand temptation.”
      • “When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life. It will help to determine how you spend your time and with whom you choose to associate. It will affect the way you treat your family, how you interact with others. It will bring love, peace, and joy into your life. It should help you determine to be modest in your dress and in your speech. In the past year or so we have noticed a dramatic change in the way some of our young women are dressing. Styles in clothing change; fads come and go; but if the dress styles are immodest, it is important that our young women avoid them. When you dress modestly, you show respect for your Heavenly Father and for yourself. At this time, when dress fashions are styled after the skimpy clothing some of the current movie and music idols are wearing, it may be difficult to find modest apparel in clothing stores. However, it is possible, and it is important.”
  • September 2004 General Relief Society Meeting
    • If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear
      • “You, my beloved sisters, know who you are and what God expects you to become. Your challenge is to bring all for whom you are responsible to a knowledge of this truth. The Relief Society of this, the Lord’s Church, can be the means to achieve such a goal.”
      • “Being a mother has never been an easy role. Some of the oldest writings in the world admonish us not to forsake the law of our mother, instruct us that a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother, and warn us not to ignore our mother when she is old.”
  • March 2002 General Young Women’s Meeting
    • Pathways to Perfection
      • “Unlike Alice, each of you knows where you want to go. It does matter which way you go, for the path you follow in this life leads to the path you will follow in the next.”
      • “Be grateful for your mother, for your father, for your family, and for your friends. Express gratitude for your Young Women teachers. They love you; they pray for you; they serve you. You are precious in their sight and in the sight of your Heavenly Father. He hears your prayers. He extends to you His peace and His love. Stay close to Him and to His Son, and you will not walk alone.”
      • “We must be true to our ideals, for ideals are like the stars: you can’t touch them with your hands, but by following them you reach your destination.”
      • “Decisions determine destiny. You can’t make eternal decisions without eternal consequences.”
      • “The battle for self-discipline may leave you a bit bruised and battered but always a better person. Self-discipline is a rigorous process at best; too many of us want it to be effortless and painless. Should temporary setbacks afflict us, a very significant part of our struggle for self-discipline is the determination and the courage to try again.”
  • September 2001 General Relief Socity Meeting
    • “Be Thou an Example”
      • “We do not find truth groveling through error.”
      • “We adopt error when we mingle with error. We learn truth when we associate with truth.”
  • March 1999 General Young Womens Meeting
    • Your Celestial Journey
      • “No problem is too small for His attention nor so large that He cannot answer the prayer of faith.”
      • “Avoid the tendency to postpone a prompting or an opportunity to grow and to serve. Procrastination is truly a thief of time.”
  • September 1997 General Relief Society Meeting
    • The Mighty Strength of the Relief Society
      • “Each of you, single or married, regardless of age, has the opportunity to learn and to grow. Expand your knowledge, both intellectual and spiritual, to the full stature of your divine potential.”
      • “The holy scriptures adorn our bookshelves. Make certain they provide nourishment to our minds and guidance for our lives.”
      • “In a Latter-day Saint home children are not simply tolerated, but welcomed; not commanded, but encouraged; not driven, but guided; not neglected, but loved.”
  • March 1997 General Young Women’s Meeting
    • Pioneers All
      • “We honor those who endured incredible hardships. We praise their names and reflect on their sacrifices.”
      • “What about our time? Are there pioneering experiences for us? Will future generations reflect with gratitude on our efforts, our examples? You young women, wherever you are this night, can indeed be pioneers in courage, in faith, in charity, in determination.”
      • “My dear young sisters, don’t wait until that light from your household is gone; don’t wait until that voice you love is stilled before you say, “I love you, Mother; I love you, Father.” Now is the time to think and the time to thank. I trust you do both.”
  • March 1995 General Young Women’s Meeting
    • A Time to Choose
      • “I came to appreciate the importance of having the right perspective. It has been said that the young want to change the world—and the old want to change the young!”
      • “All of you commenced an awesome and vital undertaking when you left the spirit world and entered the stage of mortality. Loving parents made you welcome. Inspired teachers taught you truth. True friends provided counsel. Yet life’s choices remain for each one to make. No choice is insignificant, for we become what we think about. Our choices determine our destiny.”
      • “Take the Lord as your guide. Do not lend a listening ear to the persuasive voice of that evil one who would entice you to depart from your standards, your home-inspired teachings, and your philosophy of life.”
      • “Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.”
  • September 1992 General Women’s Meeting
    • “An Example of the Believers”
      • “In His infinite vision, He literally can view all of us and bless all of us. All we need do is to so live that we merit the blessings ever predicated on our faithfulness to His commandments.”
      • “Frequently we are too quick to criticize, too prone to judge, and too ready to abandon an opportunity to help, to lift, and, yes, even to save.”
      • “Our opportunities lie before us here and now. But they are perishable.”
  • March 1992 Relief Society Broadcast
    • The Spirit of Relief Society
      • “Each of you, single or married, regardless of age, has the opportunity to learn and grow. Expand your knowledge, both intellectual and spiritual, to the full stature of your divine potential. There is no limit to your influence for good. Share your talents, for that which we willingly share, we keep. But that which we selfishly keep, we lose.”
      • “Remembering that children often outgrow their need for affection, but husbands never do.”
      • “In such a house will be found happy, smiling children who have been taught, by precept and example, the truth. In a Latter-day Saint home, children are not simply tolerated, but welcomed; not commanded, but encouraged; not driven, but guided; not neglected, but loved.”
  • September 1990 General Women’s Meeting
    • The Lighthouse of the Lord
      • “Those first years were precious, special years. Satan had no power to tempt us. We had not yet become accountable but were innocent before God. They were learning years.”
      • “Soon we entered that period some have labeled “the terrible teens.” I prefer “the terrific teens.” What a time of opportunity, a season of growth, a semester of development, marked by the acquisition of knowledge and the quest for truth.”
      • “No one has described these years as being easy. Indeed, they have become increasingly more difficult. The world seems to have slipped from the moorings of safety and drifted from the harbor of peace.”
      • “Permissiveness, immorality, pornography, and the power of peer pressure cause many to be tossed about on a sea of sin and crushed on the jagged reefs of lost opportunities, forfeited blessings, and shattered dreams.”
      • “Spiritual strength frequently comes through selfless service.”
  • April 1990 Member Finance Fireside
    • The Lord’s Way
      • “The newly announced local unit budget allowance program is but one of several carefully studied and prayerfully implemented steps taken by the Church to relieve the membership of financial burdens which some simply could not carry.”
      • “It is the desire that restraint be used in programming youth activities and that consistency between Young Women and Young Men programs be achieved.”
      • “The building of testimonies is not related to financial costs. It is not necessary to buy the activity of our youth. Our youth activities depart from the pattern of the world.”
      • “To measure the goodness of life by its delights and pleasures is to apply a false standard. The abundant life does not consist of a glut of luxury. It does not make itself content with commercially produced pleasure, mistaking it for joy and happiness.”
      • “To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellowmen. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy.”

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