Boyd K. Packer

President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (February 3, 2008 – July 3, 2015)
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 9, 1970 – July 3, 2015)
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (September 30, 1961 – April 9, 1970)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 2015 General Conference
    • The Plan of Happiness
      • “The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth has never been rescinded. It is essential to the plan of redemption and is the source of human happiness. Through the righteous exercise of this power, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fulness of joy, even godhood. The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan; it is the plan of happiness; it is the key to happiness.”
      • “Pure love presupposes that only after a pledge of eternal fidelity, a legal and lawful ceremony, and ideally after the sealing ordinance in the temple are those procreative powers released in God’s eye for the full expression of love. It is to be shared solely and only with that one who is your companion forever.”
      • “But romantic love is incomplete; it is a prelude. Love is nourished by the coming of children, who spring from that fountain of life entrusted to couples in marriage.”
      • “The only legitimate, authorized expression of the powers of procreation is between husband and wife, a man and a woman, who have been legally and lawfully married. Anything other than this violates the commandments of God.”
  • October 2014 General Conference
    • The Reason for Our Hope
      • “We may not live perfect lives, and there are penalties for our mistakes, but before we came to earth, we agreed to be subject to His laws and to accept the punishment for violating those laws.”
      • “The mercy and grace of Jesus Christ are not limited to those who commit sins either of commission or omission, but they encompass the promise of everlasting peace to all who will accept and follow Him and His teachings. His mercy is the mighty healer, even to the wounded innocent.”
      • “If we are not aware of what the Savior’s sacrifice can do for us, we may go through life carrying regrets that we have done something that was not right or offended someone. The guilt that accompanies mistakes can be washed away. If we seek to understand His Atonement, we will come to a deep reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ, His earthly ministry, and His divine mission as our Savior.”
  • April 2014 General Conference
    • The Witness
      • “Like most things of great worth, knowledge which is of eternal value comes only through personal prayer and pondering. These, joined with fasting and scripture study, will invite impressions and revelations and the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. This provides us with instruction from on high as we learn precept upon precept.”
      • “Parenthood is a sacred privilege, and depending upon faithfulness, it can be an eternal blessing. The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children can be happy at home.”
      • “Another truth I have come to know is that the Holy Ghost is real. He is the third member of the Godhead. His mission is to testify of truth and righteousness. He manifests Himself in many ways, including feelings of peace and reassurance. He can also bring comfort, guidance, and correction when needed. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is maintained throughout our lives by righteous living.”
      • “In all of this, let us remember that there is an adversary who personally seeks to disrupt the work of the Lord. We must choose whom to follow. Our protection is as simple as deciding individually to follow the Savior, making certain that we faithfully will remain on His side.”
  • October 2013 General Conference
    • The Key to Spiritual Protection
      • “Parents today wonder if there is a safe place to raise children. There is a safe place. It is in a gospel-centered home. We focus on the family in the Church, and we counsel parents everywhere to raise their children in righteousness.”
      • “The scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection. They contain the doctrine and laws and ordinances that will bring each child of God to a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer.”
      • “Children taught an understanding of the scriptures early in life will come to know the path they should walk and will be more inclined to remain on that path. Those who stray will have the ability to return and, with help, can find their way back.”
      • “The gospel teaches us to be happy, to have faith rather than fear, to find hope and overcome despair, to leave darkness and turn toward the light of the everlasting gospel.”
  • April 2013 General Conference
    • These Things I Know
      • “There came into my mind the warnings spoken by the prophets. We will not always be safe from the adversary’s influence, even within our own homes. We need to protect our nestlings.”
      • “The family, the fundamental organization in time and eternity, is under attack from forces seen and unseen. The adversary is about. His objective is to cause injury. If he can weaken and destroy the family, he will have succeeded.”
      • “The consummate power of the priesthood has been given to protect the home and its inhabitants. The father has the authority and responsibility to teach his children and to bless and to provide for them the ordinances of the gospel and every other priesthood protection necessary. He is to demonstrate love and fidelity and honor to the mother so that their children can see that love.”
      • “We are free to choose what we will and to pick and choose our acts, but we are not free to choose the consequences.”
      • “Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues, when exaggerated, it transforms itself into a vice. We need to be careful of the “tolerance trap” so that we are not swallowed up in it. The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate legalized acts of immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result of the violation of God’s law of chastity.”
  • October 2012 General Conference
    •  The Atonement
      • “Throughout your life there may be times when you have gone places you never should have gone and done things you never should have done. If you will turn away from sin, you will be able one day to know the peace that comes from following the pathway of complete repentance.”
      • “That is the promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Atonement: to take anyone who comes, anyone who will join, and put them through an experience so that at the end of their life, they can go through the veil having repented of their sins and having been washed clean through the blood of Christ.”
      • “That is what Latter-day Saints do around the world. That is the Light we offer to those who are in darkness and have lost their way. Wherever our members and missionaries may go, our message is one of faith and hope in the Savior Jesus Christ.”
  • April 2012 General Conference
    •  And a Little Child Shall Lead Them
      • “At night, when I pull the covers over me, I offer a prayer for those who have no warm bed to go to.”
      • “The creation of life is a great responsibility for a married couple. It is the challenge of mortality to be a worthy and responsible parent. Neither man nor woman can bear children alone. It was meant that children have two parents—both a father and a mother. No other pattern or process can replace this one.”
      • “Another young couple tearfully told me they had just come from a doctor where they were told they would be unable to have children of their own. They were brokenhearted with the news. They were surprised when I told them that they were actually quite fortunate. They wondered why I would say such a thing. I told them their state was infinitely better than that of other couples who were capable of being parents but who rejected and selfishly avoided that responsibility.”
      • “One of the great discoveries of parenthood is that we learn far more about what really matters from our children than we ever did from our parents.”
      • “There are many things about living the gospel of Jesus Christ that cannot be measured by that which is counted or charted in records of attendance. We busy ourselves with buildings and budgets and programs and procedures. In so doing, it is possible to overlook the very spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
  • October 2011 General Conference
    •  Counsel to Youth
      • “Today there are “wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth [is] in commotion.” You, our youth, may feel uncertainty and insecurity in your lives. I want to counsel you and teach you and give you a warning about some things to do and some things not to do.”
      • “The gospel plan is “the great plan of happiness.” The family is the center of that plan. The family depends on the worthy use of those life-giving powers that are in your body.”
      • “The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.” So every living soul who has a physical body ultimately has power over the adversary. You suffer temptations because of your physical nature, but you also have power over him and his angels.”
      • “It is not expected that you go through life without making mistakes, but you will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Spirit. This promise applies to all members of the Church.”
      • “If the adversary should take you prisoner due to misconduct, I remind you that you hold the key that will unlock the prison door from the inside. You can be washed clean through the atoning sacrifice of the Savior Jesus Christ.”
      • “I say again that youth today are being raised in enemy territory with a declining standard of morality. But as a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary if you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit.”
  • April 2011 General Conference
    • Guided by the Holy Spirit
      • “Obedient to revelation, we call ourselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rather than the Mormon Church. It is one thing for others to refer to the Church as the Mormon Church or to us as Mormons; it is quite another for us to do so.”
      • “The world will refer to us as they will, but in our speech, always remember that we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ.”
      • “Everyone is tested. One might think it is unfair to be singled out and subjected to a particular temptation, but this is the purpose of mortal life—to be tested. And the answer is the same for everyone: we must, and we can, resist temptations of any kind.”
      • “Around us we see members of the Church who have become offended. Some take offense at incidents in the history of the Church or its leaders and suffer their whole lives, unable to get past the mistakes of others. They do not leave it alone. They fall into inactivity.”
      • “That attitude is somewhat like a man being hit by a club. Offended, he takes up a club and beats himself over the head with it all the days of his life. How foolish! How sad! That kind of revenge is self-inflicting. If you have been offended, forgive, forget it, and leave it alone.”
  • October 2010 General Conference
    • Cleansing the Inner Vessel
      • “The old saying “The Lord is voting for me, and Lucifer is voting against me, but it is my vote that counts” describes a doctrinal certainty that our agency is more powerful than the adversary’s will. Agency is precious. We can foolishly, blindly give it away, but it cannot be forcibly taken from us.”
      • “There is also an age-old excuse: “The devil made me do it.” Not so! He can deceive you and mislead you, but he does not have the power to force you or anyone else to transgress or to keep you in transgression.”
      • “Pornography will always repel the Spirit of Christ and will interrupt the communications between our Heavenly Father and His children and disrupt the tender relationship between husband and wife.”
      • “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.”
      • “History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot. To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.”
      • “For those who truly desire it, there is a way back. Repentance is like unto a detergent. Even ground-in stains of sin will come out.”
      • “Strangely enough, it may be that the simplest and most powerful prevention and cure for pornography, or any unclean act, is to ignore and avoid it. Delete from the mind any unworthy thought that tries to take root. Once you have decided to remain clean, you are asserting your God-given agency. And then, as President Smith counseled, “Don’t look back.””
  • April 2010 General Conference
    • The Power of the Priesthood
      • “It has never been easy to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was not easy when He lived, and it was not easy in the early days of the Church. The early Saints were subjected to unspeakable suffering and opposition.”
      • “We can and in due time certainly will influence all of humanity. It will be known who we are and why we are. It might seem hopeless; it is monumentally difficult; but it is not only possible but certain that we will win the battle against Satan.”
      • “It sometimes happens that the elders are called in to administer to the members of a family. Among these elders there may be presidents of stakes, apostles, or even members of the first presidency of the Church. It is not proper under these circumstances for the father to stand back and expect the elders to direct the administration of this important ordinance. The father is there. It is his right and it is his duty to preside. He should select the one who is to administer the oil, and the one who is to be mouth in prayer, and he should not feel that because there are present presiding authorities in the Church that he is therefore divested of his rights to direct the administration of that blessing of the gospel in his home.”
      • “Think how much more was accomplished than if another had ordained him, even an Apostle.”
      • “Homes without the priesthood are to be watched over and ministered to by the quorums of the priesthood. In this manner no blessings will be found wanting in any dwelling within the Church.”
      • “The authority of the priesthood is with us. After all that we have correlated and organized, it is now our responsibility to activate the power of the priesthood in the Church. Authority in the priesthood comes by way of ordination; power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness.”
  • October 2009 General Conference
    • Prayer and Promptings
      • “These experiences of prompting and prayer are not uncommon in the Church. They are part of the revelation our Heavenly Father has provided for us.”
      • “One of the adversary’s sharpest tools is to convince us that we are no longer worthy to pray. No matter who you are or what you may have done, you can always pray.”
      • “When temptation comes, you can invent a delete key in your mind—perhaps the words from a favorite hymn. Your mind is in charge; your body is the instrument of your mind. When some unworthy thought pushes into your mind, replace it with your delete key. Worthy music is powerful and can help you control your thoughts.”
      • “Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees. Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil.”
  • April 2009 General Conference
    • Counsel to Young Men
      • “Young men speak of the future because they have no past, and old men speak of the past because they have no future. I am an old man, but I will speak to the young men of the Aaronic Priesthood about your future.”
      • “You have been ordained to an office in the priesthood of God and given divine authority that is not and cannot be held by the kings and magistrates and great men of this earth unless they humble themselves and enter through the gate that leads to life eternal.”
      • “Everywhere present is the influence of Lucifer and his legion of angels. They tempt you to do those things and say those things and think those things that would destroy. Resist every impulse that will trouble your spirit.”
      • “If you have been guilty of sin or mischief, you must learn about the power of the Atonement, how it works. And with deeply sincere repentance, you can unleash that power. It can rinse out all the small things, and with deep soaking and scrubbing, it will wash away serious transgression. There is nothing from which you cannot be made clean.”
      • “You young men should not complain about schooling. Do not immerse yourself so much in the technical that you fail to learn things that are practical. Everything you can learn that is practical—in the house, in the kitchen cooking, in the yard—will be of benefit to you. Never complain about schooling. Study well, and attend always.”
      • “The reality of life is now part of your priesthood responsibilities. It will not hurt you to want something and not have it. There is a maturing and disciplining that will be good for you. It will ensure that you can have a happy life and raise a happy family. These trials come with responsibility in the priesthood.”
      • “However, fear is the opposite of faith. Do not be afraid! I do not fear.”
  • October 2008 General Conference
    • The Test
      • “It may seem puzzling, incredible almost beyond belief, that for the theme of this first celebration they chose patriotism and loyalty to that same government which had rejected and failed to assist them. What could they have been thinking of? If you can understand why, you will understand the power of the teachings of Christ.”
      • “If you can understand a people so long-suffering, so tolerant, so forgiving, so Christian after what they had suffered, you will have unlocked the key to what a Latter-day Saint is. Rather than being consumed with revenge, they were anchored to revelation. Their course was set by the teachings still found today in the Old and the New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.”
      • “The senior leaders of the Church will virtually always be seasoned by decades of preparation.”
  • April 2008 General Conference
    • The Twelve
      • “We know little of their travels and only where and how a few of them died. James was killed in Jerusalem by Herod. Peter and Paul died in Rome. Tradition holds that Philip went to the East. Much more than this we do not know.”
      • “They scattered; they taught, testified, and established the Church. And they died for their beliefs, and with their deaths came the dark centuries of apostasy.”
      • “The most precious thing lost in the Apostasy was the authority held by the Twelve—the priesthood keys. For the Church to be His Church, there must be a Quorum of the Twelve who hold the keys and confer them on others.”
      • “In Peter’s hand, depicted in marble, is a set of heavy keys. President Kimball pointed to those keys and explained what they symbolized. Then, in an act I shall never forget, he turned to President Benthin and with unaccustomed firmness pointed his finger at him and said, “I want you to tell everyone in Denmark that I hold the keys! We hold the real keys, and we use them every day.””
      • “I will never forget that declaration, that testimony from the prophet. The influence was spiritually powerful; the impression was physical in its impact.”
      • “It is not possible in words to describe the contribution, the service, the sacrifice given by the wives of priesthood leaders all across the world.”
      • “There are many qualifications that I lack. There is so much in my effort to serve that is wanting. There is only one single thing, one qualification that can explain it. Like Peter and all of those who have since been ordained, I have that witness.”
  • October 2007 General Conference
    • The Weak and the Simple of the Church
      • “Everything that is done in the Church—the leading, the teaching, the calling, the ordaining, the praying, the singing, the preparation of the sacrament, the counseling, and everything else—is done by ordinary members, the “weak things of the world.””
      • “We see in the Christian churches their struggle to fill the need for clergy. We do not have that problem. Once the gospel is preached and the Church is organized, there is an inexhaustible supply of faithful brothers and sisters who have that testimony and are willing to answer the call to serve. They commit themselves to the work of the Lord and live the standards required of them.”
      • “Some years ago, I was with President Marion G. Romney, meeting with mission presidents and their wives in Geneva, Switzerland. He told them that 50 years before, as a missionary boy in Australia, late one afternoon he had gone to a library to study. When he walked out, it was night. He looked up into the starry sky, and it happened. The Spirit touched him, and a certain witness was born in his soul.”
      • “He told those mission presidents that he did not know any more surely then as a member of the First Presidency that God the Father lives; that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father; and that the fulness of the gospel had been restored than he did as a missionary boy 50 years before in Australia. He said that his testimony had changed in that it was much easier to get an answer from the Lord. The Lord’s presence was nearer, and he knew the Lord much better than he had 50 years before.”
      • “As General Authorities of the Church, we are just the same as you are, and you are just the same as we are. You have the same access to the powers of revelation for your families and for your work and for your callings as we do.”
      • “It is also true that there is an order to things in the Church. When you are called to an office, you then receive revelation that belongs to that office that would not be given to others.”
  • April 2007 General Conference
    • The Spirit of the Tabernacle
      • “In that defining moment, I understood that the still, small voice is felt more than heard. If I hearkened to it, I would be all right in my ministry.”
      • “The Church and individual members of it have always been, are now, and ever will be under siege from the adversary. He will cover, even erase the still, small voice through loud and dissonant music awash with lyrics that cannot be understood—or worse, by lyrics that can be understood. He will carefully lead us astray with every other temptation he could devise.”
      • “It is not so much what is heard in the sermons but what is felt. The Holy Ghost can confirm to all who come within that influence that the messages are true, that this is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
  • October 2006 General Conference
    • A Defense and a Refuge
      • “The standard, established by revelation, is contained in the scriptures through the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The principles of the gospel life we follow are based on doctrine, and the standards accord with the principles. We are bound to the standards by covenant, as administered through the ordinances of the gospel by those who have received priesthood and the keys of authority.”
      • “Those faithful Brethren were not free, and we are not free, to alter the standards or to ignore them. We must live by them.”
      • “They knew then, as we know now, that there would be no end to opposition. The nature of it changes, but it never ends. There would be no end to the kinds of challenges that the early Saints would face. New challenges would be different than, but certainly not less than, that through which they had made their way.”
      • “Strangest of all, otherwise intelligent people claim we are not Christian. This shows that they know little or nothing about us. It is a true principle that you cannot lift yourself by putting others down.”
      • “Some suppose that our high standards will repel growth. It is just the opposite. High standards are a magnet. We are all children of God, drawn to the truth and to good.”
      • “We speak of the Church as our refuge, our defense. There is safety and protection in the Church. It centers in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Latter-day Saints learn to look within themselves to see the redeeming power of the Savior of all mankind. The principles of the gospel taught in the Church and learned from the scriptures become a guide for each of us individually and for our families.”
  • April 2006 General Conference
    • “I Will Remember Your Sins No More”
      • “It is a wicked, wicked world in which we live and in which our children must find their way. Challenges of pornography, gender confusion, immorality, child abuse, drug addiction, and all the rest are everywhere. There is no way to escape from their influence.”
      • “Some are led by curiosity into temptation, then into experimentation, and some become trapped in addiction. They lose hope. The adversary harvests his crop and binds them down.”
      • “Satan is the deceiver, the destroyer, but his is a temporary victory.”
  • October 2005 General Conference
    • On Zion’s Hill
      • “I have lived a long time and watched the standards upon which civilization must depend for survival swept aside one piece at a time.”
      • “A knowledge of the scriptures is important. From them we learn about spiritual guidance.”
      • “Most notable in the Topical Guide are the 18 pages, single-spaced, small print, under the heading “Jesus Christ,” the most comprehensive compilation of scriptural information on the name Jesus Christ that has ever been assembled in the history of the world. Follow these references, and you will open the door to whose Church this is, what it teaches and by what authority, all anchored to the sacred name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Redeemer, our Lord.”
  • April 2005 General Conference
    • The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ—Plain and Precious Things
      • “Such plain and precious insights are everywhere in the Book of Mormon. They reflect a depth of wisdom and experience that is certainly not characteristic of a 23-year-old.”
      • “Life moves all too fast. When you feel weak, discouraged, depressed, or afraid, open the Book of Mormon and read. Do not let too much time pass before reading a verse, a thought, or a chapter.”
      • “The spiritual gifts described in the Book of Mormon are present in the Church today—promptings, impressions, revelations, dreams, visions, visitations, miracles. You can be sure that the Lord can, and at times does, manifest Himself with power and great glory. Miracles can occur.”
  • October 2004 General Conference
    • The Least of These
      • “Now another generation of youth comes forward. We see a strength in them beyond what we have seen before. Drinking and drugs and moral mischief are not a part of their lives. They band together in study of the gospel, in socials, and in service.”
      • “They are not perfect. Not yet. They are doing the best they can, and they are stronger than the generations that came before.”
      • “Suddenly there came over me a powerful prompting, a revelation: There in these two ordinary young missionaries stands the priesthood of Almighty God. I leaned back, content to leave the missionary work for that entire province of Canada in their hands. It was a lesson I have never forgotten.”
  • April 2004 General Conference
    • Do Not Fear
      • “They will see many events transpire in the course of their lifetime. Some of these shall tax their courage and extend their faith. But if they seek prayerfully for help and guidance, they shall be given power over adverse things. Such trials shall not be permitted to stand in the way of their progress, but instead shall act as stepping-stones to greater knowledge.”
      • “Mothers know much more about life than fathers do, but I will do the best I can.”
      • “The best thing to do then and what we must do now is to avoid places where there is danger of physical or spiritual contagion.”
      • “Parents now are concerned about the moral and spiritual diseases. These can have terrible complications when standards and values are abandoned. We must all take protective measures.”
      • “One thing is very clear: the safest place and the best protection against the moral and spiritual diseases is a stable home and family. This has always been true; it will be true forever. We must keep that foremost in our minds.”
  • October 2003 General Conference
    • “The Standard of Truth Has Been Erected”
      • “The Church you belong to, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the restored Church. When you know what restored means, you will understand why standards of conduct are as they are.”
      • “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a remodeled version of another church. It is not an adjustment or a correction or a protest against any other church. They have their “form of godliness” and their goodness and value.”
      • “There are words we would rather not say. They describe things that we would rather not think about. But you are inescapably exposed to temptations in connection with fornication, adultery, pornography, prostitution, perversion, lust, abuse, the unnatural, and all that grows from them.”
      • “Only with difficulty can you escape the degrading profanity and wicked, joking humor that accompanies them. It is all paraded before you in unworthy entertainment—music, print, drama, film, television, and, of course, the Internet.”
      • “In the Church, one is not condemned for tendencies or temptations. One is held accountable for transgression. If you do not act on unworthy persuasions, you will neither be condemned nor be subject to Church discipline.”
      • “We do not set the standards, but we are commanded to teach them and maintain them. The standard remains abstinence before marriage and total fidelity in marriage. However out of step we may seem, however much the standards are belittled, however much others yield, we will not yield, we cannot yield. Obedience to the moral standard and observance of the Word of Wisdom will remain as requirements for ordination to the priesthood, for a mission, and for a temple recommend.”
      • “Now words can be used as weapons against you. If they throw the word diversity at you, grab hold of it and say, “I am already diverse, and I intend to stay diverse.” If the word is tolerance, grab that one, too, saying, “I expect you to be tolerant of my lifestyle—obedience, integrity, abstinence, repentance.” If the word is choice, tell them you choose good, old-fashioned morality. You choose to be a worthy husband or wife, a worthy parent.”
  • April 2003 General Conference
    • The Golden Years
      • “Like many of us, he concentrated so much on what people do that he overlooked what they are, a priceless resource of experience, wisdom, and inspiration.”
      • “Young women: Do not be so very foolish as to miss this association with the older sisters. They will bring more worth into your life than much of the activity you enjoy so much.”
      • “Leaders: Teach the girls to draw close to their mothers and grandmothers and to the older women in the Relief Society. They will then have an association similar to what the young men have in the priesthood quorums.”
      • “We live now in troubled times. In the lifetime of our youth, the troubles will never be less and will certainly be more. Old folks offer a sure knowledge that things can be endured.”
  • October 2002 General Conference
    • The Stake Patriarch
      • “The father is a patriarch to his family and can and should give father’s blessings to his children.”
      • “Except for members of the immediate family, we should not permit others to read our blessing nor should we ask others to interpret it. Neither the patriarch nor the bishop can or should interpret it.”
      • “Stake presidents must provide very careful, special watch care over the patriarch. You should have him sit on the stand and be recognized.”
      • “On regular occasions, perhaps twice a year, you should interview the patriarch and read some of his blessings. Remind him that each blessing should be individual and special to the member. The periodic reading of blessings must not be neglected by the stake president.”
      • “A patriarch may give patriarchal blessings to his own children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who come recommended by their bishop.”
  • April 2002 General Conference
    • Children
      • “There is nothing in the scriptures, there is nothing in what we publish, there is nothing in what we believe or teach that gives license to parents or anyone else to neglect or abuse or molest our own or anyone else’s children.”
      • “Children should not be ignored or neglected. They absolutely must not be abused or molested. Children must not be abandoned or estranged by divorce. Parents are responsible to provide for their children.”
      • “When it comes to understanding our relationship with our Heavenly Father, the things my wife and I have learned as parents and grandparents that are of most worth knowing, we have learned from our children.”
  • October 2001 General Conference
    • The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
      • “When I was about 10, I made my first attempt to read the Book of Mormon. The first part was easy-flowing New Testament language. Then I came to the writings of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. I could not understand them; I found them difficult to read. I laid the book aside.”
      • “I made other attempts to read the Book of Mormon. I did not read it all until I was on a troop ship with other bomber crew members, headed for the war in the Pacific. I determined that I would read the Book of Mormon and find out for myself whether it is true or not. Carefully I read and reread the book. I tested the promise that it contained. That was a life-changing event. After that, I never set the book aside.”
      • “In a world ever more dangerous than the world of little Manfred Schütze and Dieter Uchtdorf, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ has the nourishing power to heal starving spirits of the world.”
  • April 2001 General Conference
    • “The Touch of the Master’s Hand”
      • “All of us sometime, and some of us much of the time, suffer remorse of conscience from things we did wrong or things left undone. That feeling of guilt is to the spirit what pain is to the physical body.”
      • “Suppose there was no cure, no way to ease spiritual pain or to erase the agony of guilt. Suppose each mistake, each sin, was added to the others with the racking, the harrowing up, the torment going on forever. Too many of us needlessly carry burdens of guilt and shame.”
      • “For some reason, we think the Atonement of Christ applies only at the end of mortal life to redemption from the Fall, from spiritual death. It is much more than that. It is an ever-present power to call upon in everyday life.”
      • “It is contrary to the nature of God and contrary to the very nature of man to find happiness in sin.”
      • “The Atonement has practical, personal, everyday value; apply it in your life. It can be activated with so simple a beginning as prayer. You will not thereafter be free from trouble and mistakes but can erase the guilt through repentance and be at peace.”
  • October 2000 General Conference
    • “Ye Are the Temple of God”
      • “Even the severe tests of health or a handicapped or disabled body can refine a soul for the glorious day of restoration and healing which surely will come.”
      • “Your body really is the instrument of your mind and the foundation of your character.”
      • “You should be attracted to one another and to marry. Then, and only then, may you worthily respond to the strong and good and constant desire to express that love through which children will bless your lives.”
      • “If you consent, the adversary can take control of your thoughts and lead you carefully toward a habit and to an addiction, convincing you that immoral, unnatural behavior is a fixed part of your nature.”
      • “With some few, there is the temptation which seems nearly overpowering for man to be attracted to man or woman to woman. The scriptures plainly condemn those who “dishonour their own bodies between themselves … ; men with men working that which is unseemly” (Rom. 1:24, 27) or “women [who] change the natural use into that which is against nature” (Rom. 1:26).”
      • “Do not experiment; do not let anyone of either gender touch your body to awaken passions that can flame beyond control. It begins as an innocent curiosity, Satan influences your thoughts, and it becomes a pattern, a habit, which may imprison you in an addiction, to the sorrow and disappointment of those who love you (see John 8:34; 2 Pet. 2:12–14, 18–19).”
      • “You may even feel that we do not love you. That also is not true. Parents know, and one day you will know, that there are times when parents and we who lead the Church must extend tough love when failing to teach and to warn and to discipline is to destroy.”
      • “These are not unforgivable sins. However unworthy or unnatural or immoral these transgressions may be, they are not unforgivable (see D&C 42:25). When completely forsaken and fully repented of, there can open the purifying gift of forgiveness, and the burden of guilt will be erased. There is a way back—long, perhaps; hard, certainly; possible, of course! (see Acts 5:31; Eph. 1:7; Mosiah 4:2; Mosiah 26:29; D&C 1:31–32; D&C 58:42; D&C 61:2).”
  • April 2000 General Conference
    • The Cloven Tongues of Fire
      • “Think on it carefully. When facing Perdition himself, the Lord drew upon scriptures for protection.”
      • “We owe an immense debt to the protestors and the reformers who preserved the scriptures and translated them. They knew something had been lost. They kept the flame alive as best they could. Many of them were martyrs. But protesting was not enough; nor could reformers restore that which was gone.”
      • “We live in troubled times—very troubled times. We hope, we pray, for better days. But that is not to be. The prophecies tell us that. We will not as a people, as families, or as individuals be exempt from the trials to come. No one will be spared the trials common to home and family, work, disappointment, grief, health, aging, ultimately death.”
      • “We need not live in fear of the future. We have every reason to rejoice and little reason to fear. If we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we will be safe, whatever the future holds. We will be shown what to do.”
  • October 1999 General Conference
    • The Spirit of Revelation
      • “As the years passed I found that, while not easy, I could control my thoughts if I made a place for them to go. You can replace thoughts of temptation, anger, disappointment, or fear with better thoughts—with music.”
      • “When you learn to control your thoughts, you will be safe.”
      • “Now, don’t tell yourself that sin really doesn’t matter. That won’t help; repentance will.”
  • April 1999 General Conference
    • The Bishop and His Counselors
      • “The image of that team of horses standing for hours in the field symbolizes the dedication of the bishops in the Church and of the counselors who stand by their side. Every bishop and every counselor, figuratively speaking, leaves his team standing in an unfinished furrow when someone needs help.”
      • “Once ordained, he is a bishop for the rest of his life. When he is released from presiding over a ward, his ordination becomes dormant. If called again to preside over a ward, his previous ordination is reactivated. When he is released, it becomes dormant again.”
      • “Do not doubt that an ordinary soul called from the ranks to be bishop can give inspired counsel and correction. Unfortunately, some who could be helped so much are reluctant to seek counsel from the bishop, while others endlessly seem to need counseling and comfort and feel neglected if they are not constantly tended.”
      • “Actually the Church is no bigger than a ward. Each bishop has counselors. He wears a special mantle and is designated as the presiding high priest in the ward. There are other high priests, and there is a presidency of elders. There are auxiliary leaders and teachers sufficient for the need. When we serve obediently, ever willingly, our pay, like the bishop’s, comes in blessings.”
  • October 1998 General Conference
    • Parents in Zion
      • “These titles—father, grandfather, mother, grandmother—carry responsibility and an authority which comes in part from experience. Experience is a compelling teacher.”
      • “Parenthood stands among the most important activities to which Latter-day Saints may devote themselves. Many members face conflicts as they struggle to balance their responsibility as parents together with faithful activity in the Church.”
      • “There are things vital to the well-being of a family which can be found only by going to Church. There is the priesthood, which empowers a man to lead and bless his wife and children, and covenants which bind them together forever.”
      • “In providing out-of-home activities for the family, we must use care; otherwise, we could be like a father determined to provide everything for his family. He devotes every energy to that end and succeeds; only then does he discover that what they needed most, to be together as a family, has been neglected. And he reaps sorrow in place of contentment.”
      • “Faithful attendance at Church, together with careful attention to the needs of the family, is a near-perfect combination. In Church we are taught the Great Plan of Happiness. At home we apply what we have learned. Every call, every service in the Church brings experience and valuable insights which carry over into family life.”
      • “Remember, when you schedule a youngster, you schedule a family—particularly the mother.”
      • “The ward council is the perfect place to establish the balance between home and Church. Here the brethren of the priesthood, themselves fathers, and sisters of the auxiliaries, themselves mothers, can, with inspired insight, coordinate the work of the organizations, each of which serves different members of the family.”
      • “I have studied much in the scriptures and have taught from them. I have read much from what the prophets and apostles have spoken. They have had a profound influence upon me as a man and as a father.”
  • April 1998 General Conference
    • The Relief Society
      • “The tender hand of the sister gives a gentle touch of healing and encouragement which the hand of a man, however well intentioned, can never quite duplicate.”
      • “The Relief Society works under the direction of the Melchizedek Priesthood, for “all other authorities or offices in the church are appendages to this priesthood.” It was organized “after the pattern of the priesthood.””
      • “If you follow that pattern, you will not be preoccupied with the so-called needs of women. As you give first priority to your family and serve your organization, every need shall be fulfilled, every neglect will be erased, every abuse will be corrected, now or in the eternities.”
      • “In the home and in the Church sisters should be esteemed for their very nature. Be careful lest you unknowingly foster influences and activities which tend to erase the masculine and feminine differences nature has established. A man, a father, can do much of what is usually assumed to be a woman’s work. In turn, a wife and a mother can do much—and in time of need, most things—usually considered the responsibility of the man, without jeopardizing their distinct roles. Even so, leaders, and especially parents, should recognize that there is a distinct masculine nature and a distinct feminine nature essential to the foundation of the home and the family. Whatever disturbs or weakens or tends to erase that difference erodes the family and reduces the probability of happiness for all concerned.”
      • “In the Church there is a distinct line of authority. We serve where called by those who preside over us.”
      • “In the home it is a partnership with husband and wife equally yoked together, sharing in decisions, always working together. While the husband, the father, has responsibility to provide worthy and inspired leadership, his wife is neither behind him nor ahead of him but at his side.”
  • October 1997 General Conference
    • Called to Serve
      • “The willingness of Latter-day Saints to respond to calls to serve is a representation of their desire to do the will of the Lord. That arises from the individual witness that the gospel of Jesus Christ, restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and contained in the Book of Mormon, is true.”
      • “No service in the Church or in the community transcends that given in the home. Leaders should be very sure that a call to serve in the Church will not weaken the family.”
      • “It is not in the proper spirit for us to decide where we will serve or where we will not. We serve where we are called. It does not matter what the calling may be.”
      • “So that it will be known to the Church who is called to serve, names are presented in an appropriate meeting for a sustaining vote. That vote is not just to approve; it is a commitment to support.”
      • “While we do not ask to be released from a calling, if our circumstances change it is quite in order for us to counsel with those who have issued the call and then let the decision rest with them. Nor should we feel rejected when we are released by the same authority and with the same inspiration by which we were called.”
      • “She often spoke of being tested in her calling. Perhaps the greatest test came when, as a young woman, she learned to respect the power and authority inherent in the priesthood and that an ordinary man serving as bishop can receive direction from the Lord in calling members to serve.”
  • April 1997 General Conference
    • Washed Clean
      • “You should learn while you are young that while the Atonement of Christ applies to humanity in general, the influence of it is individual, very personal, and very useful. Even to you beginners, an understanding of the Atonement is of immediate and very practical value in everyday life.”
      • “I reasoned that to be spiritually unclean would bring shame and humiliation immeasurably more intense than I felt then.”
      • “Doctrine can change behavior quicker than talking about behavior will.”
      • “Generally we understand that, conditioned upon repentance, the ordinance of baptism washes our sins away. Some wonder if they were baptized too soon. If only they could be baptized now and have a clean start. But that is not necessary! Through the ordinance of the sacrament, you renew the covenants made at baptism. When you meet all of the conditions of repentance, however difficult, you may be forgiven and your transgressions will trouble your mind no more.”
  • October 1996 General Conference
    • The Twelve Apostles
      • “President Harold B. Lee told me once of a conversation he had with Elder Charles A. Callis of the Quorum of the Twelve. Brother Callis had remarked that the gift of discernment was an awesome burden to carry. To see clearly what is ahead and yet find members slow to respond or resistant to counsel or even rejecting the witness of the apostles and prophets brings deep sorrow.”
      • “I certify to you that the 14 men with whom I share the ordination are indeed Apostles. In declaring this, I say no more than the Lord has taught, no more than may be revealed to anyone who seeks with a sincere heart and real intent for an individual witness of the Spirit.”
      • “These men are true servants of the Lord; give heed to their counsel. So, too, with the Seventy, who as especial witnesses carry an apostolic responsibility, and the Bishopric, worthy men of God. So, too, with the brethren and sisters across the world who are called to lead, who have earned that knowledge precious above all else.”
  • April 1996 General Conference
    • The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises
      • “The Word of Wisdom put restrictions on members of the Church. To this day those regulations apply to every member and to everyone who seeks to join the Church. They are so compelling that no one is to be baptized into the Church without first agreeing to live by them. No one will be called to teach or to lead unless they accept them. When you want to go to the temple, you will be asked if you keep the Word of Wisdom. If you do not, you cannot go to the house of the Lord until you are fully worthy.”
      • “A resistance to anything that limits one’s conduct has almost taken over society. Our whole social order could self-destruct over the obsession with freedom disconnected from responsibility, where choice is imagined to be somehow independent of consequences.”
      • “Young people, learn to use moderation and common sense in matters of health and nutrition, and particularly in medication. Avoid being extreme or fanatical or becoming a faddist.”
      • “Keep the Word of Wisdom. Seek worthy companions. Attend church faithfully. Never fail daily to seek for help through prayer. And I promise you that the way will be easier and you shall have a composure of mind and a confident attitude toward life and the future. You shall be warned of dangers and shall be guided through the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.”
  • October 1995 General Conference
    • The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness
      • “The gospel teaches us that relief from torment and guilt can be earned through repentance. Save for those few who defect to perdition after having known a fulness, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness.”
      • “You may tell yourself that your transgressions are not spiritually illegal. That will not work; neither will rebellion, nor anger, nor joking about them. You cannot do that. And you don’t have to do it.”
      • “We are punished by our sins, if not for them.”
      • “Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal, fixing that which you broke and you cannot fix is the very purpose of the atonement of Christ.”
      • “How all can be repaired, we do not know. It may not all be accomplished in this life. We know from visions and visitations that the servants of the Lord continue the work of redemption beyond the veil.”
      • “We cannot, as a church, approve unworthy conduct or accept into full fellowship individuals who live or who teach standards that are grossly in violation of that which the Lord requires of Latter-day Saints.”
      • “If we, out of sympathy, should approve unworthy conduct, it might give present comfort to someone but would not ultimately contribute to that person’s happiness.”
  • April 1995 General Conference
    • “The Shield of Faith”
      • “Some suppose that the keys of presidency pass from one man to another much like a baton in a relay. Some believe that the Prophet Joseph Smith secretly or privately conferred the keys of presidency upon a successor. But that is not the order of things. President Ezra Taft Benson did not ordain Howard W. Hunter as President of the Church, nor did President Howard W. Hunter ordain Gordon B. Hinckley as President of the Church. The Twelve bridge the line of authority from one administration to another and keep the line unbroken.”
      • “The wicked who now oppose the work of the Lord, while different from, are no less terrible than the plundering Amalekites. The sustaining of the prophet is still an essential ongoing part of the safety of this people. Should age and infirmity cause his hands to grow heavy, they are held up by his counselors at his side. Both are prophets, seers, and revelators, as is each member of the Quorum of the Twelve.”
      • “The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father.”
      • “The plan designed by the Father contemplates that man and woman, husband and wife, working together, fit each child individually with a shield of faith made to buckle on so firmly that it can neither be pulled off nor penetrated by those fiery darts.”
      • “It takes the steady strength of a father to hammer out the metal of it and the tender hands of a mother to polish and fit it on. Sometimes one parent is left to do it alone. It is difficult, but it can be done.”
      • “In the Church we can teach about the materials from which a shield of faith is made: reverence, courage, chastity, repentance, forgiveness, compassion. In church we can learn how to assemble and fit them together. But the actual making of and fitting on of the shield of faith belongs in the family circle. Otherwise it may loosen and come off in a crisis.”
      • “This shield of faith is not manufactured on an assembly line, only handmade in a cottage industry. Therefore our leaders press members to understand that what is most worth doing must be done at home. Some still do not see that too many out-of-home activities, however well intended, leave too little time to make and fit on the shield of faith at home.”
  • October 1994 General Conference
    • Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise
      • “Physically you can see with eyes and hear with ears and touch and feel and learn. Through your intellect, you learn most of what you know about the world in which we live.”
      • “But if you learn by reason only, you will never understand the Spirit and how it works—regardless of how much you learn about other things.”
      • “You have your agency, and inspiration does not—perhaps cannot—flow unless you ask for it, or someone asks for you.”
      • “No message in scripture is repeated more often than the invitation, even the command, to pray—to ask.”
      • “Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil.”
      • “Revelation comes as words we feel more than hear.”
      • “This voice of the Spirit speaks gently, prompting you what to do or what to say, or it may caution or warn you. Ignore or disobey these promptings, and the Spirit will leave you. It is your choice—your agency.”
      • “The habit-forming substances prohibited by that revelation—tea, coffee, liquor, tobacco—interfere with the delicate feelings of spiritual communication, just as other addictive drugs will do.”
      • “Now a warning! Some music is spiritually very destructive. You young people know what kind that is. The tempo, the sounds, and the lifestyle of those who perform it repel the Spirit. It is far more dangerous than you may suppose, for it can smother your spiritual senses.”
      • “There can be counterfeit revelations, promptings from the devil, temptations! As long as you live, in one way or another the adversary will try to lead you astray.”
      • “You may receive revelation individually, as a parent for your family, or for those for whom you are responsible as a leader or teacher, having been properly called and set apart.”
      • “If one becomes critical and harbors negative feelings, the Spirit will withdraw. Only when they repent will the Spirit return. My experience is that the channels of inspiration always follow that order. You are safe following your leaders.”
      • “Now do not suppose that you will be spared from sorrow, disappointment, failure, fear. These come to all. They are essential to our testing.”
      • “You may not yet have a certain witness that Jesus is the Christ. Exercise your faith and trust in those who do.”
      • “I have that certain witness. It came to me in my youth. During those early periods of doubt, I leaned on the testimony of a seminary teacher. Although I did not know, somehow I knew that he knew.”
  • April 1994 General Conference
    • The Father and the Family
      • “The ultimate purpose of every teaching, every activity in the Church is that parents and their children are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, and linked to their generations.”
      • “This crisis of the family is no surprise to the Church. We have certainly known what was coming. I know of no better testimony that we are led by prophets than our preparation for this present emergency.”
      • “When we speak plainly of divorce, abuse, gender identity, contraception, abortion, parental neglect, we are thought by some to be way out of touch or to be uncaring. Some ask if we know how many we hurt when we speak plainly. Do we know of marriages in trouble, of the many who remain single, of single-parent families, of couples unable to have children, of parents with wayward children, or of those confused about gender? Do we know? Do we care?”
      • “Those who ask have no idea how much we care; you know little of the sleepless nights, of the endless hours of work, of prayer, of study, of travel—all for the happiness and redemption of mankind.”
      • “Your responsibility as a father and a husband transcends any other interest in life. It is unthinkable that a Latter-day Saint man would cheat on his wife or abandon the children he has fathered, or neglect or abuse them.”
  • October 1993 General Conference
    • For Time and All Eternity
      • “The single purpose of Lucifer is to oppose the great plan of happiness, to corrupt the purest, most beautiful and appealing experiences of life: romance, love, marriage, and parenthood.”
      • “No other man would do. Neither alone nor with other men could Adam progress. Nor could Eve with another woman. It was so then. It is so today.”
      • “A man who holds the priesthood does not have an advantage over a woman in qualifying for exaltation. The woman, by her very nature, is also co-creator with God and the primary nurturer of the children. Virtues and attributes upon which perfection and exaltation depend come naturally to a woman and are refined through marriage and motherhood.”
      • “While the different roles of man and woman are set forth in exalted celestial declarations, they are best demonstrated in the most practical, ordinary, down-to-earth experiences of family life.”
      • “Some things cannot be changed. Doctrine cannot be changed.”
  • April 1993 General Conference
    • The Temple, the Priesthood
      • “There have been many visitations to the temple. President Lorenzo Snow saw the Savior there. Most of these sacred experiences remain unpublished.”
      • “Some members of the Church are now teaching that priesthood is some kind of a free-floating authority which can be assumed by anyone who has had the endowment. They claim this automatically gives one authority to perform priesthood ordinances. They take verses of scripture out of context and misinterpret statements of early leaders—for instance, the Prophet Joseph Smith—to sustain their claims.”
      • “The priesthood is conferred through ordination, not simply through making a covenant or receiving a blessing. It has been so since the beginning. Regardless of what they may assume or imply or infer from anything which has been said or written, past or present, specific ordination to an office in the priesthood is the way, and the only way, it has been or is now conferred.”
      • “Temple. One other word is equal in importance to a Latter-day Saint. Home. Put the words holy temple and home together, and you have described the house of the Lord!”
  • October 1992 General Conference
    • “To Be Learned Is Good If …”
      • “The Lord does not, and the Church cannot, admit to favoritism toward those who are able to obtain professional degrees as compared to those who seek training in a practical field or those who have little or no schooling at all.”
      • “Unless you have the vision of the ever-growing millions of members all over the world, you may not understand why the Brethren make the decisions we make concerning Church schools.”
      • “For those privileged to attend a Church school, there is a tuition other than money which we must require of you—a tuition of conduct and performance. Students who enroll in Church schools do so after an interview with their bishop and, beginning this year, with their stake president. They must commit to a standard of conduct consistent with faithful Church membership.”
      • “Our purpose is to produce students who have that rare and precious combination of a superb secular education, complemented by faith in the Lord, a knowledge of the doctrines He has revealed, and a testimony that they are true.”
      • “Those deceivers say that the Brethren do not know what is going on in the world or that the Brethren approve of their teaching but do not wish to speak of it over the pulpit. Neither is true. The Brethren, by virtue of traveling constantly everywhere on earth, certainly know what is going on, and by virtue of prophetic insight are able to read the signs of the times.”
      • “Do not be deceived by them—those deceivers. If there is to be any gathering, it will be announced by those who have been regularly ordained and who are known to the Church to have authority.”
  • April 1992 General Conference
    • Our Moral Environment
      • “Civilizations, like Sodom and Gomorrah, destroyed themselves by disobedience to the laws of morality.”
      • “God grant that we will come to our senses and protect our moral environment from this mist of darkness which deepens day by day. The fate of all humanity hangs precariously in the balance.”
      • “We cannot overemphasize the value of temple marriage, the binding ties of the sealing ordinance, and the standards of worthiness required of them. When parents keep the covenants they have made at the altar of the temple, their children will be forever bound to them.”
      • “Regardless of how lofty and moral the “pro-choice” argument sounds, it is badly flawed. With that same logic one could argue that all traffic signs and barriers which keep the careless from danger should be pulled down on the theory that each individual must be free to choose how close to the edge he will go.”
      • “While we pass laws to reduce pollution of the earth, any proposal to protect the moral and spiritual environment is shouted down and marched against as infringing upon liberty, agency, freedom, the right to choose.”
      • “Interesting how one virtue, when given exaggerated or fanatical emphasis, can be used to batter down another, with freedom, a virtue, invoked to protect vice. Those determined to transgress see any regulation of their life-style as interfering with their agency and seek to have their actions condoned by making them legal.”
      • “Today I speak to members of the Church as an environmentalist. My message is not on the physical but on the moral and spiritual environment in which we must raise our families. As we test the moral environment, we find the pollution index is spiraling upward.”
  • October 1991 General Conference
    • Reverence Invites Revelation
      • “Recently the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles issued a statement alerting members of the Church to the dangers of participating in circles which concentrate on doctrine and ordinances and measure them by the intellect alone. If doctrines and behavior are measured by the intellect alone, the essential spiritual ingredient is missing, and we will be misled.”
      • “There is safety in learning doctrine in gatherings which are sponsored by proper authority. Some members, even some who have made covenants in the temple, are associating with groups of one kind or another which have an element of secrecy about them and which pretend to have some higher source of inspiration concerning the fulfillment of prophecies than do ward or stake leaders or the General Authorities of the Church. Know this: There are counterfeit revelations which, we are warned, “if possible … shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.””
      • “For the past several years we have watched patterns of reverence and irreverence in the Church. While many are to be highly commended, we are drifting. We have reason to be deeply concerned.”
      • “The world grows increasingly noisy. Clothing and grooming and conduct are looser and sloppier and more disheveled. Raucous music, with obscene lyrics blasted through amplifiers while lights flash psychedelic colors, characterizes the drug culture. Variations of these things are gaining wide acceptance and influence over our youth.”
      • “When we return for Sunday meetings, the music, dress, and conduct should be appropriate for worship. Foyers are built into our chapels to allow for the greeting and chatter that are typical of people who love one another. However, when we step into the chapel, we must!—each of us must—watch ourselves lest we be guilty of intruding when someone is struggling to feel delicate spiritual communications.”
      • “While we may not see an immediate, miraculous transformation, as surely as the Lord lives, a quiet one will take place. The spiritual power in the lives of each member and in the Church will increase. The Lord will pour out his Spirit upon us more abundantly. We will be less troubled, less confused. We will find revealed answers to personal and family problems without all the counseling which we seem now to need.”
  • April 1991 General Conference
    • The Moving of the Water
      • “I must first, and with emphasis, clarify this point: It is natural for parents with handicapped children to ask themselves, “What did we do wrong?” The idea that all suffering is somehow the direct result of sin has been taught since ancient times. It is false doctrine. That notion was even accepted by some of the early disciples until the Lord corrected them.”
      • “There is little room for feelings of guilt in connection with handicaps. Some handicaps may result from carelessness or abuse, and some through addiction of parents. But most of them do not. Afflictions come to the innocent.”
      • “Mortal life is temporary and, measured against eternity, infinitesimally brief. If a microscopic droplet of water should represent the length of mortal life, by comparison all the oceans on earth put together would not even begin to represent everlasting life.”
      • “Now, in all of this there must be balance, for the handicapped have responsibility to work out their own salvation. The nearer the normal patterns of conduct and discipline apply to the handicapped, the happier they will be.”
      • “Unless we die prematurely, every one of us may end up both physically and mentally handicapped. We would do well to make advance payments of service and compassion on which we may draw when that time comes.”
  • October 1990 General Conference
    • Covenants
      • “My message is to you who are tempted either to promote, to enter, or to remain in a life-style which violates your covenants and will one day bring sorrow to you and to those who love you.”
      • “Growing numbers of people now campaign to make spiritually dangerous life-styles legal and socially acceptable. Among them are abortion, the gay-lesbian movement, and drug addiction. They are debated in forums and seminars, in classes, in conversations, in conventions, and in courts all over the world. The social and political aspects of them are in the press every day.”
      • “Always when these destructive life-styles are debated, “individual right of choice” is invoked as though it were the one sovereign virtue. That could be true only if there were but one of us. The rights of any individual bump up against the rights of another. And the simple truth is that we cannot be happy, nor saved, nor exalted, without one another.”
      • “The word tolerance is also invoked as though it overrules everything else. Tolerance may be a virtue, but it is not the commanding one. There is a difference between what one is and what one does. What one is may deserve unlimited tolerance; what one does, only a measured amount. A virtue when pressed to the extreme may turn into a vice. Unreasonable devotion to an ideal, without considering the practical application of it, ruins the ideal itself.”
      • “The legitimate union of the sexes is a law of God. The sacred covenants made by husband and wife with God protect the worthy expression of those feelings and impulses which are vital to the continuation of the race and essential to a happy family life. Illicit or perverted conduct leads without exception to disappointment, suffering, to tragedy.”
      • “Nobody is free from temptations of one kind or another. That is the test of life.”
      • “The suffering you endure from resisting or from leaving a life-style of addiction or perversion is not a hundredth part of that suffered by your parents, your spouse or your children, if you give up. Theirs is an innocent suffering because they love you. To keep resisting or to withdraw from such a life-style is an act of genuine unselfishness, a sacrifice you place on the altar of obedience. It will bring enormous spiritual rewards.”
  • April 1990 General Conference
    • The Library of the Lord
      • “We tend to measure our progress by visible things we can count: convert baptisms, missionaries, wards and stakes, chapels. These are symbolic perhaps of the body of the Church.”
      • “There are other measures which symbolize more than the spirit of the Church—things not so easy to see or count. Let me report some of them.”
      • “In all, 1,268 pages of helps were added to the standard works. The scriptures—comprised of 86 books, 138 sections, 2 declarations, 2,540 pages, over 42,000 verses—are the library of the Lord.”
      • “When completed, these translations will extend the number of possible readers of the scriptures in their native tongue by an additional 2,254,000,000 people—half the world population. And other translations will follow.”
      • “Concurrent with these projects, the entire curriculum of the Church was restructured. All courses of study were revised to center on the scriptures, on Jesus Christ. Again, a veritable army of volunteers worked for more than twenty years to complete it.”
      • “Now the scriptures are the text, and, with excellent study guides, the gospel may better be taught in priesthood quorums, in the auxiliaries, in Sunday School, and preached in sacrament meetings and conferences.”
      • “Far more important than counting things we can see are those spiritual things we can feel.”
  • October 1989 General Conference
    • Revelation in a Changing World
      • “The patterns of revelation are not dramatic. The voice of inspiration is a still voice, a small voice. There need be no trance, no sanctimonious declaration. It is quieter and simpler than that.”
      • “Our physical body is the instrument of our spirit. In that marvelous revelation, the Word of Wisdom, we are told how to keep our bodies free from impurities which might dull, even destroy, those delicate physical senses which have to do with spiritual communication. The Word of Wisdom is a key to individual revelation.”
      • “It is not just human suffering, even human life, which is at risk; it is all of the personal and social and political and spiritual freedoms for which humanity has struggled for ages. At risk is all that was purchased by the blood of martyrs. Moral agency itself is in jeopardy! If we all pray fervently, the Lord will surely help us. And with those prayers, teach your children to obey the Word of Wisdom. It is their armor and will protect them from habits which obstruct the channels of personal revelation.”
      • “All inspiration does not come from God. (See D&C 46:7.) The evil one has the power to tap into those channels of revelation and send conflicting signals which can mislead and confuse us. There are promptings from evil sources which are so carefully counterfeited as to deceive even the very elect.”
      • “There are those within the Church who are disturbed when changes are made with which they disagree or when changes they propose are not made. They point to these as evidence that the leaders are not inspired.”
      • “They write and speak to convince others that the doctrines and decisions of the Brethren are not given through inspiration.”
      • “Two things characterize them: they are always irritated by the word obedience, and always they question revelation. It has always been so.”
      • “There were many such changes. None altered the doctrine. Each change, however small in detail, was carefully and prayerfully considered and approved by the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a meeting in the temple.”
      • “All such matters are determined that way. The Lord established that process when He gave revelations relating to temple ordinances.”
      • “The doctrines will remain fixed, eternal; the organization, programs, and procedures will be altered as directed by Him whose church this is.”
      • “We who have been called to lead the Church are ordinary men and women with ordinary capacities struggling to administer a church which grows at such a pace as to astound even those who watch it closely. Some are disposed to find fault with us; surely that is easy for them to do. But they do not examine us more searchingly than we examine ourselves. A call to lead is not an exemption from the challenges of life. We seek for inspiration in the same way that you do, and we must obey the same laws which apply to every member of the Church.”
      • “We are sorry for our inadequacies, sorry we are not better than we are. We can feel, as you can see, the effect of the aging process as it imposes limitations upon His leaders before your very eyes.”
      • “But this we know. There are councils and counselors and quorums to counterbalance the foibles and frailties of man. The Lord organized His church to provide for mortal men to work as mortal men, and yet He assured that the spirit of revelation would guide in all that we do in His name.”
  • April 1989 General Conference
    • To Young Women and Men
      • “Sometimes you wonder why you can’t trade your parents for some better ones. No need to apologize; they sometimes wish they could trade you for someone easier to live with.”
      • “But parents and grandparents make allowances for those feelings. After all, we are just teenagers who have evened out a few of our frustrations so that they don’t show as much as they did when we were your age. And someday, soon enough, you are going to be us!”
      • “You are a dual being, a spirit clothed in a mortal body. Your body is the instrument of your mind and the foundation of your character. Take nothing into your body which may harm it or disturb the functions of your mind and spirit. Anything that is addictive is dangerous.”
  • October 1988 General Conference
    • Funerals—A Time for Reverence
      • “What comfort the truth brings at times of sorrow! Since death is ever present with us, a knowledge of how essential it is to the plan of salvation is of immense, practical value. Every one of us should know how and why it came to be in the beginning.”
      • “One of the most solemn and sacred meetings of the Church is the funeral for a departed member. It is a time of caring and support when families gather in a spirit of tender regard for one another. It is a time to soberly contemplate doctrines of the gospel and the purposes for the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
      • “A comforting, spiritual funeral is of great importance. It helps console the bereaved and establishes a transition from mourning to the reality that we must move forward with life. Whether death is expected or a sudden shock, an inspirational funeral where the doctrines of resurrection, the mediation of Christ, and certainty of life after death are taught strengthens those who must now move on with life.”
      • “Occasionally a mortician, out of a desire to be of help and not understanding the doctrines and procedures of the Church, will alter a funeral service. Bishops should remember that when funerals are held under priesthood auspices the service should conform to the instructions given by the Church. We should regard the bishop rather than the family or the mortician as the presiding authority in these matters.”
      • “Sometimes family members tell things that would be appropriate at a family reunion or at some other family gathering but not on an occasion that should be sacred and solemn. While quiet humor is not out of order in a funeral, it should be wisely introduced. It should be ever kept in mind that the funeral should be characterized by spirituality and reverence.”
      • “Alma did not say that setting mortal death aside would merely delay or disturb the plan of happiness; he said it would destroy it.”

Other Meetings

  • April 1990 Member Finances Fireside
    • Teach Them Correct Principles
      • “Most of the deciding must be left to you, the members of the Church, acting in harmony with the principles announced in the guidelines. The change will require some considerable adjustment in our thinking. It will not be possible to do all of the things we have been doing in the same way we have been doing them. It will bring an inevitable reduction in programs. That was intended. There will need to be some “pick and choose.” Nothing essential will be lost; rather, essential things will be rediscovered, be found!”
      • “Some of you have asked why this change should come just when the forces of temptation are surrounding our youth as never before. You ask, “Do we not need more impressive activities and more meetings, rather than fewer?””
      • “Sometimes more can be less, and sometimes less is more. Even with all we expend and all we do, we are not doing as well as we should and have little evidence that the expensive activities really secure our youth.”
      • “Meetings and activities can multiply until they take “strength unto themselves” at the expense of the gospel—of true worship.”
      • “This change in budgeting will have the effect of returning much of the responsibility for teaching and counseling and activity to the family where it belongs. While there will still be many activities, they will be scaled down in cost of both time and money. There will be fewer intrusions into family schedules and in the family purses.”
      • “For those who can and are willing, there comes the opportunity to make generous offerings. In leaving decisions to you, do you not see the fundamental doctrine of moral agency asserting itself? Do you not see the change from assessment to offering something of the testing which is fundamental to our mortal probation?”
      • “I have thought much lately of the other prophet Joseph, who interpreted the dream of the pharaoh. I have thought of the seven years of plenty and a time to prepare before the years of famine.”
      • “I have thought of a pharaoh humble enough to heed the counsel of a prophet and of a people who were saved because of it. I have thought of a family that was united—the family of Israel.”

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