M. Russell Ballard

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 6, 1985 – Present)

Presidency of the Seventy (February 21, 1980 – October 6, 1985)

First Quorum of the Seventy (April 3, 1976 – October 6, 1985)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 2017 General Conference
    • The Trek Continues!
      • “Sister James, like so many other Latter-day Saints, not only built Zion with blood, sweat, and tears but also sought the Lord’s blessings through living gospel principles as best she could while holding on in faith to Jesus Christ—the great healer to all who sincerely seek Him.”
      • “If we lose our ties to those who have gone before us, including our pioneer forefathers and mothers, we will lose a very precious treasure.”
      • “We must be careful where our footsteps in life take us. We must be watchful and heed the counsel of Jesus to His disciples as He answered these questions: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man [and I add woman] deceive you.””
      • “In some places, too many of our people are looking beyond the mark and seeking secret knowledge in expensive and questionable practices to provide healing and support.”
      • “Please remember there is no blessing anyone can share greater than the message of the Restoration, which, when received and lived, promises everlasting joy and peace—even eternal life. Let us use our energy, strength, and testimonies in assisting our missionaries to find, teach, and baptize God’s children so they may have the power of the gospel doctrine guiding their daily lives.”
  • April 2017 General Conference
    • Return and Receive
      • “Over the years, I have observed that those who accomplish the most in this world are those with a vision for their lives, with goals to keep them focused on their vision and tactical plans for how to achieve them. Knowing where you are going and how you expect to get there can bring meaning, purpose, and accomplishment to life.”
      • “A key to happiness lies in understanding what destinations truly matter—and then spending our time, effort, and attention on the things that constitute a sure way to arrive there.”
      • “Wise goal setting includes the understanding that short-term goals are only effective if they lead to clearly understood longer-term goals. I believe that one important key to happiness is to learn how to set our own goals and establish our own plans within the framework of our Heavenly Father’s eternal plan. If we focus on this eternal path, we will inevitably qualify to return to His presence.”
      • “To return to His presence and to receive the eternal blessings that come from making and keeping covenants are the most important goals we can set.”
      • “These voices belong to those who disregard gospel truth and who use the internet, social and print media, radio, television, and movies to present in an enticing way immorality, violence, ugly language, filth, and sleaze in a way that distracts us from our goals and the plans we have for eternity.”
      • “These voices may also include well-intentioned individuals who are blinded by the secular philosophies of men and women and who seek to destroy the faith and divert the eternal focus of those who are simply trying to return to the presence of God and receive “all that [our] Father hath.””
      • “As we increase our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ’s power to give rest unto our souls by forgiving sins, redeeming imperfect relationships, healing the spiritual wounds that stifle growth, and strengthening and enabling us to develop the attributes of Christ, we will more deeply appreciate the magnitude of the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • October 2016 General Conference
    • To Whom Shall We Go?
      • “Our precious relationships with families, friends, the Lord, and His restored Church are among the things that matter most in life. Because these relationships are so important, they should be cherished, protected, and nurtured.”
      • “For some, Christ’s invitation to believe and remain continues to be hard—or difficult to accept. Some disciples struggle to understand a specific Church policy or teaching. Others find concerns in our history or in the imperfections of some members and leaders, past and present. Still others find it difficult to live a religion that requires so much. Finally, some have become “weary in well-doing.” For these and other reasons, some Church members vacillate in their faith, wondering if perhaps they should follow those who “went back, and walked no more” with Jesus.”
      • “My heartfelt plea is that we will encourage, accept, understand, and love those who are struggling with their faith. We must never neglect any of our brothers and sisters. We are all at different places on the path, and we need to minister to one another accordingly.”
  • April 2016 General Conference
    • Family Councils
      • “The irony of being parents is that we tend to get good at it after our children are grown.”
      • “Family councils have always been needed. They are, in fact, eternal. We belonged to a family council in the premortal existence, when we lived with our heavenly parents as their spirit children.”
      • “No matter what our particular family situation is, it is critical that we understand the unique circumstances of each family member. Though we may share DNA, there may be situations and circumstances among us that may make us vastly different from each other and which may require the compassionate collaboration of the family council.”
      • “You may want to consider holding the general family council on Sunday, which is the first day of the week; families can review the past week and plan for the coming week. This may be exactly what your family needs to help make the Sabbath a delightful experience.”
      • “A family council that is patterned after the councils in heaven, filled with Christlike love, and guided by the Lord’s Spirit will help us to protect our family from distractions that can steal our precious time together and protect us from the evils of the world.”
  • October 2015 General Conference
    • God Is at the Helm
      • “Clearly, our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have outfitted the Old Ship Zion with clear and simple eternal truths that will help us stay the course through the troubled waters of mortal life.”
      • “And make no mistake about it: the Lord directs His Church through living prophets and apostles.”
      • “Looking for human weakness in others is rather easy. However, we make a serious mistake by noticing only the human nature of one another and then failing to see God’s hand working through those He has called.”
      • “Please remember that commandments and covenants are priceless truths and doctrines found in the Old Ship Zion, where God is at the helm.”
      • “Another important doctrine that we should cling to is to observe the Sabbath day. This helps us remain unspotted from the world, provides us with physical rest, and gives each of us the spiritual refreshment of worshipping the Father and the Son every Sunday.”
      • “Young children should practice sharing their testimonies in Primary and with their parents in family home evening gatherings until they understand the important meaning of a testimony.”
      • “God’s plan is in place. He is at the helm, and His great and powerful ship flows toward salvation and exaltation. Remember that we cannot get there by jumping out of the boat and trying to swim there by ourselves.”
      • “It is the Church wherein we learn the works of God and accept the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that saves us. It is within the Church that we form the commitments and covenants of eternal families that become our passport to exaltation. It is the Church that is powered by the priesthood to propel us through the unpredictable waters of mortality.”
  • April 2015 General Conference
    • The Greatest Generation of Young Adults
      • “If I may paraphrase what I said to missionaries 13 years ago, what we need now is the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the Church. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate young adults who know how to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as you make your way through the daily trials and temptations of being a young, contemporary Latter-day Saint.”
      • “If I may paraphrase what I said to missionaries 13 years ago, what we need now is the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the Church. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate young adults who know how to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as you make your way through the daily trials and temptations of being a young, contemporary Latter-day Saint.”
      • “Please use the skills you learned on your mission to bless the lives of people around you every day. Do not shift your focus from serving others to focusing exclusively on school, work, or social activities. Instead, balance your life with spiritual experiences that remind and prepare you for continued, daily ministering to others.”
      • “Through the Atonement, the Redeemer took upon Himself our troubles, pains, and sins. The Savior of the world came to understand each of us individually by experiencing our dashed hopes, challenges, and tragedies through His suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross. He died as one final act of love for us and was buried in a new tomb on that fateful night.”
      • “On Sunday morning, Jesus rose from the dead—promising new life for each of us. The risen Lord then commissioned His disciples to teach everyone to have faith in Christ, repent of sin, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. Brethren, we know that God our Father and His Beloved Son appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and restored through him the fulness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.”
  • October 2014 General Conference
    • Stay in the Boat and Hold On!
      • “Given the challenges we all face today, how do we stay on the Old Ship Zion? Here is how. We need to experience a continuing conversion by increasing our faith in Jesus Christ and our faithfulness to His gospel throughout our lives—not just once but regularly.”
      • “The important questions focus on what matters most—Heavenly Father’s plan and the Savior’s Atonement. Our search should lead us to become kind, gentle, loving, forgiving, patient, and dedicated disciples.”
  • April 2014 General Conference
    • Following Up
      • “The term Mormon can be appropriately used in some contexts to refer to members of the Church, such as Mormon pioneers, or to institutions, such as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Church members are widely known as Mormons, and in interactions with those not of our faith, we may fittingly refer to ourselves as Mormons, provided we couple this with the full name of the Church.”
      • “I’m a great believer in the principle of follow-up. As it says in the missionary guide Preach My Gospel, “extending an invitation without following up is like beginning a journey without finishing it or buying a ticket to a concert without going into the theater. Without the completed action, the commitment is hollow.””
      • “In the spirit of Peter’s example, may I suggest that we can all be more consistently involved in missionary work by replacing our fear with real faith, inviting someone at least once a quarter—or four times every year—to be taught by the full-time missionaries. They are prepared to teach by the Spirit, with sincere and heartfelt inspiration from the Lord. Together we can follow up on our invitations, take others by the hand, lift them up, and walk with them on their spiritual journey.”
  • October 2013 General Conference
    • Put Your Trust in the Lord
      • “It is good, brothers and sisters, to reflect on the teachings of the prophets from the time of Joseph Smith to today. They have encouraged and called upon the leadership and the members of the Church to be anxiously engaged in bringing the message of the Restoration of the gospel to all of our Heavenly Father’s children in all of the world.”
      • “Many members do not even pray for opportunities to share the gospel, fearing that they might receive divine promptings to do something they think they are not capable of doing.”
      • “Now, we know that no one likes feeling guilty. Perhaps you feel you may be asked to do unrealistic things in your relationships with friends or neighbors. With the help of the Lord, let me remove any fear you or any of our full-time missionaries may have in sharing the gospel with others.”
  • April 2013 General Conference
    • This is My Work and Glory
      • “Not only is the priesthood the power by which the heavens and the earth were created, but it is also the power the Savior used in His mortal ministry to perform miracles, to bless and heal the sick, to bring the dead to life, and, as our Father’s Only Begotten Son, to endure the unbearable pain of Gethsemane and Calvary—thus fulfilling the laws of justice with mercy and providing an infinite Atonement and overcoming physical death through the Resurrection.”
      • “In our Heavenly Father’s great priesthood-endowed plan, men have the unique responsibility to administer the priesthood, but they are not the priesthood. Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a woman. In other words, in the eternal perspective, both the procreative power and the priesthood power are shared by husband and wife. And as husband and wife, a man and a woman should strive to follow our Heavenly Father. The Christian virtues of love, humility, and patience should be their focus as they seek the blessings of the priesthood in their lives and for their family.”
      • “If any one of you feels your faith or your testimony of Heavenly Father’s plan is less than you know it should be, then turn more fully to the Savior.”
  • October 2012 General Conference
    • Be Anxiously Engaged
      • “All of this symbolism attests to one fact: great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (D&C 58:27). Imagine what the millions of Latter-day Saints could accomplish in the world if we functioned like a beehive in our focused, concentrated commitment to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
      • “Imagine what good we can do in the world if we all join together, united as followers of Christ, anxiously and busily responding to the needs of others and serving those around us—our families, our friends, our neighbors, our fellow citizens.”
      • “When our hearts are no longer set upon the things of this world, we will no longer aspire to the honors of men or seek only to gratify our pride.”
      • “This integrity simplifies our lives and amplifies our sensitivities to the Spirit and to the needs of others. It brings joy into our lives and peace to our souls—the kind of joy and peace that comes to us as we repent of our sins and follow the Savior by keeping His commandments.”
      • “That simple practice is: In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children. Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faith and love, looking for someone to help. Stay focused, just like the honeybees focus on the flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. If you do this, your spiritual sensitivities will be enlarged and you will discover opportunities to serve that you never before realized were possible.”
  • April 2012 General Conference
    • That the Lost May Be Found
      • “So the bad news is that family breakdown is causing a host of societal and economic ills. But the good news is that, like any cause and effect, those ills can be reversed if what is causing them is changed. Inequities are resolved by living correct principles and values. Brothers and sisters, the most important cause of our lifetime is our families. If we will devote ourselves to this cause, we will improve every other aspect of our lives and will become, as a people and as a church, an example and a beacon for all peoples of the earth.”
      • “The spiritual divide gets even wider as evil becomes ever more deceptive and subtle and pulls people toward it like a dark magnet—even as the gospel of truth and light attracts the honest in heart and the honorable of the earth, who seek what is moral and good.”
      • “So what can we do to not become lost? First, may I suggest that we prioritize. Put everything you do outside the home in subjection to and in support of what happens inside your home.”
      • “Second, we need to do things in the right order! Marriage first and then family. Too many in the world have forgotten this natural order of things and think they can change it or even reverse it. Remove any of your fear with faith. Trust the power of God to guide you.”
      • “Third, husbands and wives, you should be equal partners in your marriage. Read often and understand the proclamation on the family and follow it. Avoid unrighteous dominion in any form. No one owns a spouse or children; God is the Father of us all and has extended to us the privilege of our own family, which was previously only His, to help us become more like Him. As His children we should learn at home to love God and to know that we can ask Him for the help we need. Everyone, married or single, can be happy and supportive within whatever family you may have.”
  • October 2011 General Conference
    • The Importance of a Name
      • “We take the name of Christ upon us in the waters of baptism. We renew the effect of that baptism each week as we partake of the sacrament, signifying our willingness to take His name upon us and promising always to remember Him (see D&C 20:77, 79).”
      • “I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church. It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid, and straightforward.
  • April 2011 General Conference
    • Finding Joy through Loving Service
      • “It is only when we love God and Christ with all of our hearts, souls, and minds that we are able to share this love with our neighbors through acts of kindness and service—the way that the Savior would love and serve all of us if He were among us today.”
      • “When this pure love of Christ—or charity—envelops us, we think, feel, and act more like Heavenly Father and Jesus would think, feel, and act. Our motivation and heartfelt desire are like unto that of the Savior.”
      • “The love the Savior described is an active love. It is not manifested through large and heroic deeds but rather through simple acts of kindness and service.”
      • “In all of our service, we need to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. The still, small voice will let us know who needs our help and what we can do to help them.”
      • “Great things are wrought through simple and small things. Like the small flecks of gold that accumulate over time into a large treasure, our small and simple acts of kindness and service will accumulate into a life filled with love for Heavenly Father, devotion to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a sense of peace and joy each time we reach out to one another.”
  • October 2010 General Conference
    • O That Cunning Plan of the Evil One
      • “Like the fly fisherman who knows that trout are driven by hunger, Lucifer knows our “hunger,” or weaknesses, and tempts us with counterfeit lures which, if taken, can cause us to be yanked from the stream of life into his unmerciful influence. And unlike a fly fisherman who catches and releases the fish unharmed back into the water, Lucifer will not voluntarily let go. His goal is to make his victims as miserable as he is.”
      • “Satan knows how to exploit and ensnare us with artificial substances and behaviors of temporary pleasure. I have observed the impact when one struggles to win back control, to become free from destructive abuse and addiction, and to regain self-esteem and independence.”
      • “Brothers and sisters, stay away from any kind of substance that may trap you. Even one sniff of something or one pill or one drink of alcohol can lead to addiction. A recovering alcoholic told me that just one drink is the difference between addiction and sobriety. Satan knows this. Do not let him hook you with his artificial lures that can quickly turn into addiction.”
      • “If anyone who is addicted has a desire to overcome, then there is a way to spiritual freedom—a way to escape from bondage—a way that is proven. It begins with prayer—sincere, fervent, and constant communication with the Creator of our spirits and bodies, our Heavenly Father. It is the same principle in breaking a bad habit or repenting from sin of any kind. The formula for having our heart, our body, our mind, and our spirit transformed is found in the scriptures.”
  • April 2010 General Conference
    • Mothers and Daughters
      • “Sisters, we, your brethren, cannot do what you were divinely designated to do from before the foundation of the world. We may try, but we cannot ever hope to replicate your unique gifts. There is nothing in this world as personal, as nurturing, or as life changing as the influence of a righteous woman.”
      • “Throughout the history of the world, women have always been teachers of moral values. That instruction begins in the cradle and continues throughout the lives of their children. Today our society is bombarded with messages about womanhood and motherhood that are dangerously and wickedly wrong. Following these messages can put your daughters on the path to sin and self-destruction. Your daughters may not understand that unless you tell them or, better, unless you show them how to make good choices. As mothers in Israel, you are your daughters’ first line of defense against the wiles of the world.”
      • “For example, they need to understand that when they wear clothing that is too tight, too short, or too low cut, they not only can send the wrong message to young men with whom they associate, but they also perpetuate in their own minds the fallacy that a woman’s value is dependent solely upon her sensual appeal. This never has been nor will it ever be within the righteous definition of a faithful daughter of God. They need to hear this—clearly and repeatedly—from your lips, and they need to see it modeled correctly and consistently in your own personal standards of dress, grooming, and modest living.”
      • “The Church will help wherever we can. We are there to support and sustain you as parents and as children. But the home is the most important place to prepare the youth of today to lead the families and the Church of tomorrow. It rests upon each one of us as mothers and fathers to do all we can to prepare our youth to be faithful, righteous men and women. It is in the home where we must teach the gospel by precept and by example.”
  • October 2009 General Conference
    • Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship
      • “It is always a joy to be united with men and young men of the priesthood, but there is something special about seeing fathers and sons here together. It is a visual reminder of two of the most powerful elements of our theology: priesthood and family. The priesthood is the divine power through which families are sealed together forever. Everything in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, including the ordinances of the holy temple, is focused on the possibilities of families becoming part of the eternal family of God.”
      • “Young men, you are your father’s pride and joy. In you they see a promising future and their hope for a better, improved version of themselves. Your accomplishments are a joy to them. Your worries and problems are their worries and problems.”
      • “Fathers, you are the primary model of manhood for your sons. You are their most meaningful mentor, and believe it or not, you are their hero in countless ways. Your words and your example are a great influence on them.”
      • “First, trust your father. He is not perfect, but he loves you and would never do anything he didn’t think was in your best interest.”
      • “Second, take an interest in your father’s life.”
      • “And third, ask your father for advice. Let’s be honest: he is probably going to give you his advice whether you ask for it or not, but it just works so much better when you ask!”
      • “First, fathers, listen to your sons—really listen to them. Ask the right kind of questions, and listen to what your sons have to say each time you have a few minutes together.”
      • “Second, pray with and for your sons. Give them priesthood blessings.”
      • “Third, dare to have the “big talks” with your sons. You know what I mean: talks about drugs and drinking, about the dangers of today’s media—the Internet, cyber technologies, and pornography—and about priesthood worthiness, respect for girls, and moral cleanliness.”
  • April 2009 General Conference
    • Learning the Lessons of the Past
      • “When you are willing to listen and learn, some of life’s most meaningful teachings come from those who have gone before you. They have walked where you are walking and have experienced many of the things you are experiencing. If you listen and respond to their counsel, they can help guide you toward choices that will be for your benefit and blessing and steer you away from decisions that can destroy you. As you look to your parents and others who have gone before you, you will find examples of faith, commitment, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that you should strive to duplicate.”
      • “It is my message and testimony to you today, my young friends, that for the most important questions of your eternal lives, there are answers in the scriptures and in the words and testimonies of apostles and prophets. The fact that these words come largely from older men, past and present, doesn’t make them any less relevant. In fact, it makes their words even more valuable to you because they come from those who have learned much through years of devout living.”
      • “The voice of the Lord is clear and unmistakable. He knows you. He loves you. He wants you to be eternally happy. But according to your God-given agency, the choice is yours. Each one of you has to decide for yourself if you are going to ignore the past and suffer the painful mistakes and tragic pitfalls that have befallen previous generations, experiencing for yourself the devastating consequences of bad choices. How much better your life will be if you will follow the noble example of the faithful followers of Christ such as the sons of Helaman, Moroni, Joseph Smith, and the stalwart pioneers—and choose, as they did, to remain faithful to your Heavenly Father’s commandments.”
  • October 2008 General Conference
    • The Truth of God Shall Go Forth
      • “The faith of the Saints was tested in every footstep as Brigham Young led them to build temples and establish more than 350 colonies in the West. By the time Brigham Young died in 1877, worldwide Church membership had grown to more than 115,000. Despite all of the persecution, the truth of God was indeed going forth boldly and nobly.”
      • “This is God’s work, and God’s work will not be frustrated. But there is still much to be done before the Great Jehovah can announce that the work is done. While we praise and honor those faithful Saints who have brought us to this point of public prominence, we cannot afford, my brothers and sisters, to be comfortable or content.”
      • “This is not to suggest that our challenges today are more severe than the challenges faced by those who have gone before us. They are just different. The Lord isn’t asking us to load up a handcart; He’s asking us to fortify our faith. He isn’t asking us to walk across a continent; He’s asking us to walk across the street to visit our neighbor. He isn’t asking us to give all of our worldly possessions to build a temple; He’s asking us to give of our means and our time despite the pressures of modern living to continue to build temples and then to attend regularly the temples already built. He isn’t asking us to die a martyr’s death; He’s asking us to live a disciple’s life.”
  • April 2008 General Conference
    • Daughters of God
      • “There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family.”
      • “What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.”
      • “As a Church, we have enormous respect and gratitude to you mothers of young children. We want you to be happy and successful in your families and to have the validation and support you need and deserve.”
      • “Second, don’t overschedule yourselves or your children. We live in a world that is filled with options. If we are not careful, we will find every minute jammed with social events, classes, exercise time, book clubs, scrapbooking, Church callings, music, sports, the Internet, and our favorite TV shows.”
  • October 2007 General Conference
    • Faith, Family, Facts, and Fruits
      • “The Public Affairs Committee, on which I serve, has learned that there is a great need for clear, simple statements that present those who are curious with the basics about the Church as it is today. Let me share with you some of the things we have found to be helpful. You may want to prepare your own list of talking points that will assist you in explaining what we believe to your friends and acquaintances of other faiths. It may be helpful for you, as it is for me, to have on one page a few facts about the Church as it is today to give to them along with a copy of the Articles of Faith.”
      • “Brothers and sisters, in today’s busy world, I have found that most people will not read or focus on more than just a few important facts at one time. Whatever you choose to use to inform your friends and acquaintances about the Church, write it down, check it for accuracy, and keep it simple and short.”
      • “We should also remember that sometimes the best way to answer people’s interest can be by how we live, how we radiate the joy of the gospel in our lives, how we treat others, and how sincerely we follow the teachings of Christ.”
  • April 2007 General Conference
    • The Miracle of the Holy Bible
      • “The Holy Bible is well named. It is holy because it teaches truth, holy because it warms us with its spirit, holy because it teaches us to know God and understand His dealings with men, and holy because it testifies throughout its pages of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
      • “The Dark Ages were dark because the light of the gospel was hidden from the people. They did not have the apostles or prophets, nor did they have access to the Bible. The clergy kept the scriptures secret and unavailable to the people. We owe much to the many brave martyrs and reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Huss who demanded freedom to worship and common access to the holy books.”
      • “How grateful we should be for the Holy Bible. In it we learn not only of the life and teachings and doctrines of Christ, we learn of His Church and of His priesthood and of the organization which He established and named the Church of Jesus Christ in those former days. We believe in that Church, and we believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that same Church, restored to earth, complete, with the same organization and the same priesthood.”
      • “Without the Bible, we would not know of His Church then, nor would we have the fulness of His gospel now.”
      • “Those who join this Church do not give up their faith in the Bible—they strengthen it. The Book of Mormon does not dilute nor diminish nor de-emphasize the Bible. On the contrary, it expands, extends, and exalts it. The Book of Mormon testifies of the Bible, and both testify of Christ.”
  • October 2006 General Conference
    • O Be Wise
      • “Those of you who are parents and grandparents have a sense of what Jacob must have been feeling at the time. He loved his people, partly because they were also his family. He had taught them as clearly as he could and with all the energy of his soul. He warned them in no uncertain terms what would happen if they chose not to “enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow” (Jacob 6:11). He couldn’t think of anything else to say to warn, to urge, to inspire, to motivate. And so he, simply and profoundly, said, “O be wise; what can I say more?””
      • “Occasionally we find some who become so energetic in their Church service that their lives become unbalanced. They start believing that the programs they administer are more important than the people they serve. They complicate their service with needless frills and embellishments that occupy too much time, cost too much money, and sap too much energy. They refuse to delegate or to allow others to grow in their respective responsibilities.”
      • “One of the most important things we do through the gospel of Jesus Christ is to build people.”
      • “There is a difference between being responsible for getting the work done and doing the work yourself.”
      • “Assignments should be made, responsibilities should be delegated, and members should be allowed to fulfill their stewardship as best they can. Counsel, advise, persuade, motivate—but don’t do the work for them. Allow others to progress and grow, even if it means sometimes getting less-than-perfect results on the reports.”
      • “Still there are those who experience some feelings of guilt as a consequence of their service in the Church. These feelings can come when our time and attention are being torn between competing demands and priorities. As mortals, we simply cannot do everything at once. Therefore we must do all things “in wisdom and order” (Mosiah 4:27). Often that will mean temporarily postponing attention to one priority in order to take care of another. Sometimes family demands will require your full attention. Other times professional responsibilities will come first. And there will be times when Church callings will come first. Good balance comes in doing things in a timely way and in not procrastinating our preparation or waiting to fulfill our responsibilities until the last minute.”
      • “The key, it seems to me, is to know and understand your own capabilities and limitations and then to pace yourself, allocating and prioritizing your time, your attention, and your resources to wisely help others, including your family, in their quest for eternal life.”
  • April 2006 General Conference
    • Creating a Gospel-Sharing Home
      • “Without the Restoration we would likely be under the assumption that the entirety of God’s word is found in the Bible. As precious and wonderful as that book of scripture is, we would not know of the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scriptures that teach eternal truths which help us draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and the Savior.”
      • “Without the Restoration we would not have the blessings of priesthood ordinances that are valid in time and eternity. We would not know the conditions of repentance, nor would we understand the reality of the resurrection. We would not have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.”
      • “Today I invite you to relax and set aside your concerns and focus instead on your love for the Lord, your testimony of His eternal reality, and your gratitude for all He has done for you. If you are truly motivated by love and testimony and gratitude, you will quite naturally do all that you can to assist the Lord in “[bringing] to pass the immortality and eternal life” (Moses 1:39) of our Father’s children. In fact, it would be impossible to keep you from doing it.”
      • “A gospel-sharing home is not a program. It is a way of life. Creating a gospel-sharing home means inviting our friends and neighbors into the ongoing flow of family and Church activities. As we invite our friends to join us for these activities, they will also feel the Spirit.”
      • “Creating a gospel-sharing home does not mean that we are going to have to dedicate large amounts of time to meeting and cultivating friends with whom to share the gospel. These friends will come naturally into our lives, and if we are open about our membership in the Church from the very beginning, we can easily bring gospel discussions into the relationship with very little risk of being misunderstood. Friends and acquaintances will accept that this is part of who we are, and they will feel free to ask questions.”
      • “Of course, all of us support the ward leaders and assist in making the ward mission plan effective. Whatever our Church calling may be, we help priesthood and auxiliary leaders assist missionaries, welcome and involve visitors, and fellowship new members. You can ask the missionaries to show you their daily planners so you can see how you can best help them accomplish their goals. As we work together, the spirit of our gospel-sharing homes will overflow in our chapels, our classrooms, and our cultural halls.”
  • October 2005 General Conference
    • What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest
      • “I believe the mission statement for mortality might be “to build an eternal family.” Here on this earth we strive to become part of extended families with the ability to create and form our own part of those families. That is one of the reasons our Heavenly Father sent us here. Not everyone will find a companion and have a family in mortality, but everyone, regardless of individual circumstances, is a precious member of God’s family.”
      • “The proclamation is a prophetic document, not only because it was issued by prophets but because it was ahead of its time. It warns against many of the very things that have threatened and undermined families during the last decade and calls for the priority and the emphasis families need if they are to survive in an environment that seems ever more toxic to traditional marriage and to parent-child relationships.”
      • “The world needs to know what the proclamation teaches, because the family is the basic unit of society, of the economy, of our culture, and of our government. And as Latter-day Saints know, the family will also be the basic unit in the celestial kingdom.”
      • “In today’s world, where Satan’s aggression against the family is so prevalent, parents must do all they can to fortify and defend their families. But their efforts may not be enough. Our most basic institution of family desperately needs help and support from the extended family and the public institutions that surround us. Brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins can make a powerful difference in the lives of children. Remember that the expression of love and encouragement from an extended family member will often provide the right influence and help a child at a critical time.”
  • April 2005 General Conference
    • One More
      • “When our youth understand the significance of the Restoration of the gospel and know for themselves that God is our Heavenly Father and He loves all of His children, that Jesus is the Christ, and that together They personally visited Joseph Smith to open this, the final dispensation of time, they will want to help carry this message to the world.”
      • “We need more hardworking, testimony-enriched missionaries in order to reach more of our Heavenly Father’s children who are now at a place where we can reach them. These are our brothers and sisters, and we have the responsibility to teach them the message of the Restoration.”
      • “There seems to be something inside each of us that resists being told or pushed or pulled. But if someone puts an arm around a young man and walks alongside him, he is likely to follow along with a desire to serve. Please remember this as you strengthen the testimony of one more who can serve.”
  • October 2004 General Conference
    • Pure Testimony
      • “Personal testimony is the foundation of our faith. It is the binding power that makes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unique in the lives of its members, as compared with all other religious denominations of the world. The doctrine of the Restoration is glorious in and of itself, but the thing that makes it powerful and imbues it with great meaning is the personal testimonies of Church members worldwide who accept the Restoration of the gospel and strive to live its teachings every day of their lives.”
      • “Simply stated, testimony—real testimony, born of the Spirit and confirmed by the Holy Ghost—changes lives. It changes how you think and what you do. It changes what you say. It affects every priority you set and every choice you make. To have a real and abiding testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be “spiritually … born of God,” to “[receive] his image in your countenances,” and to experience a “mighty change in your hearts” (Alma 5:14).”
      • “The lesson, I believe, is clear: having a testimony alone is not enough. In fact, when we are truly converted, we cannot be restrained from testifying. And as it was with Apostles and faithful members of old, so is it also our privilege, our duty, and our solemn obligation to “declare the things which [we] know to be true” (D&C 80:4).”
      • “Again, please keep in mind that we are talking about sharing real testimony, not just speaking generally about the things we are thankful for. While it is always good to express love and gratitude, such expressions do not constitute the kind of testimony that will ignite a fire of belief in the lives of others. To bear testimony is “to bear witness by the power of the Holy Ghost; to make a solemn declaration of truth based on personal knowledge or belief” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Testify,” 241). Clear declaration of truth makes a difference in people’s lives. That is what changes hearts. That is what the Holy Ghost can confirm in the hearts of God’s children.”
  • April 2004 General Conference
    • The Atonement and the Value of One Soul
      • “There is no greater expression of love than the heroic Atonement performed by the Son of God. Were it not for the plan of our Heavenly Father, established before the world began, in a very real sense, all mankind—past, present, and future—would have been left without the hope of eternal progression. As a result of Adam’s transgression, mortals were separated from God (see Rom. 6:23) and would be forever unless a way was found to break the bands of death. This would not be easy, for it required the vicarious sacrifice of one who was sinless and who could therefore take upon Himself the sins of all mankind.”
      • “The Atonement of Jesus Christ was an indispensable part of our Heavenly Father’s plan for His Son’s earthly mission and for our salvation. How grateful we should be that our Heavenly Father did not intercede but rather withheld His fatherly instinct to rescue His Beloved Son. Because of His eternal love for you and for me, He allowed Jesus to complete His foreordained mission to become our Redeemer. The gift of resurrection and immortality is given freely through the loving grace of Jesus Christ to all people of all ages, regardless of their good or evil acts. And to those who choose to love the Lord and who show their love and faith in Him by keeping His commandments and qualifying for the full blessings of the Atonement, He offers the additional promise of exaltation and eternal life, which is the blessing of living in the presence of God and His Beloved Son forever.”
      • “Enoch saw the conditions of these latter days. He and other early prophets knew that only as we accept the Atonement in our lives and strive to live the gospel can we meet the challenges of life and find peace, joy, and happiness. Coming to understand this great gift is an individual pursuit for each child of God.”
      • “Surely, if the Atonement of Christ was foremost in the minds of ward and branch leaders, no new or reactivated member would ever be neglected. Because every soul is so precious, leaders will counsel together to see that each one is taught the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
      • “The irony of the Atonement is that it is infinite and eternal, yet it is applied individually, one person at a time.”
  • October 2003 General Conference
    • Let Our Voices Be Heard
      • “Father and mother are callings from which we will never be released, and there is no more important stewardship than the responsibility we have for God’s spirit children who come into our families.”
      • “The choices we make in media can be symbolic of the choices we make in life. Choosing the trendy, the titillating, the tawdry in the TV programs or movies we watch can cause us to end up, if we’re not careful, choosing the same things in the lives we live.”
      • “Often media’s most devastating attacks on family are not direct or frontal or openly immoral. Intelligent evil is too cunning for that, knowing that most people still profess belief in family and in traditional values. Rather the attacks are subtle and amoral—issues of right and wrong don’t even come up. Immorality and sexual innuendo are everywhere, causing some to believe that because everyone is doing it, it must be all right. This pernicious evil is not out in the street somewhere; it is coming right into our homes, right into the heart of our families.”
      • “The new morality preached from the media’s pulpit is nothing more than the old immorality. It attacks religion. It undermines the family. It turns virtue into vice and vice into virtue. It assaults the senses and batters the soul with messages and images that are neither virtuous, nor lovely, nor of good report, nor praiseworthy.”
      • “Let me say again that the family is the main target of evil’s attack and must therefore be the main point of our protection and defense. As I said once before, when you stop and think about it from a diabolically tactical point of view, fighting the family makes sense to Satan. When he wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn’t poison the world’s peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church’s missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn’t send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn’t legislate against green Jell-O and casseroles. When evil wants to strike out and disrupt the essence of God’s work, it attacks the family. It does so by attempting to disregard the law of chastity, to confuse gender, to desensitize violence, to make crude and blasphemous language the norm, and to make immoral and deviant behavior seem like the rule rather than the exception.”
      • “We need to raise our voices with other concerned citizens throughout the world in opposition to current trends. We need to tell the sponsors of offensive media that we have had enough. We need to support programs and products that are positive and uplifting. Joining together with neighbors and friends who share our concerns, we can send a clear message to those responsible.”
      • “We need to spend enough quality time with our children that we are consistently the main influence in their lives, not the media or any peer group.”
  • April 2003 General Conference
    • The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work
      • “But as we raise the level of expectation for the performance of our missionaries, we must also raise the level of expectation for the performance of all of the members of the Church in fulfilling our missionary duties. We need your help, brothers and sisters, to support and assist our missionaries in finding and baptizing many more of our Heavenly Father’s children. We need you to watch over, protect, and inspire the missionaries, who are servants of the Lord. If the standard is to be raised, it is raised for all of us. We must be more faithful. We must be more spiritually in tune. We must prepare ourselves to assist the missionaries in finding those of our Heavenly Father’s children who will embrace the message of the Restoration.”
      • “With a prayer in your heart, talk to everyone you can. Don’t prejudge. Don’t withhold the good news from anyone. Talk to everyone, and trust in the promised power of the Spirit to give you the words you should say. Let them make the decision to accept or reject your invitation. Over time, the Lord will put into your path those who are seeking the truth. He is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep, and they will know His voice, spoken through you, and they will follow Him (see John 10).”
      • “We need to be watchful for one another and reach out to one another. And as we do so, we will radiate the gospel in our own lives, and it will radiate to the people the blessings the gospel has to offer.”
  • October 2002 General Conference
    • The Greatest Generation of Missionaries
      • “These are “perilous times.” We battle literally for the souls of men. The enemy is unforgiving and relentless. He is taking eternal prisoners at an alarming rate. And he shows no sign of letting up.”
      • “Listen to those words, my young brethren: valiant, courage, strength, active, true. We don’t need spiritually weak and semicommitted young men. We don’t need you to just fill a position; we need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate missionaries who know how to listen to and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. This isn’t a time for spiritual weaklings. We cannot send you on a mission to be reactivated, reformed, or to receive a testimony. We just don’t have time for that. We need you to be filled with “faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God” (D&C 4:5).”
      • “Now these are high standards. We understand that, but we do not apologize for them. They reflect the Lord’s standards for you to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, to enter the temple, to serve as missionaries, and to be righteous husbands and fathers. There’s nothing new in them, nothing you haven’t heard before. But tonight we call upon you, our young brethren of the Aaronic Priesthood, to rise up, to measure up, and to be fully prepared to serve the Lord.”
      • “If your sons understand the basic doctrines required to become a faithful father, they will surely be ready to serve as a full-time missionary. Unfortunately, far too many fathers abdicate this eternal responsibility. You may assume that the bishop and the seminary, Sunday School, and Young Men teachers and leaders are in a better position to motivate and inspire your sons than you are. That simply is not the case.”
      • “Too often our bishops have to instruct youth to talk to their parents about problems they are having. That procedure should actually flow the other direction. Parents should be so intimately aware of what is going on in their children’s lives that they know about the problems before the bishop does. They should be counseling with their children and going with them to their bishops if that becomes necessary for complete repentance. As divinely appointed judges in Israel, the bishop and the stake president determine worthiness and resolve concerns on behalf of the Church; but, fathers, you have an eternal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of your children. Please assume your rightful place as counselor, adviser, and priesthood leader in preparing your sons to bear the Melchizedek Priesthood and to serve as missionaries.”
      • “Finally, to those of you who have already served, please remember that you were released from your missions but not from the Church. You spent two years as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. We expect you to always look and act like one of His disciples. Look the part. Act the part. Don’t follow worldly trends and fashions. You are better than that. If you have slipped, then do what is necessary to regain your spiritual balance. The rules for happiness and success after your mission are pretty much the same as they were during your mission: pray hard, work hard, and be obedient. Get busy now and find your eternal companion to enjoy life with. Serve the Lord together, and raise up the next great generation.”
  • April 2002 General Conference
    • The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom
      • “In turbulent and sometimes frightening times, the Savior’s promise of infinite and eternal peace resonates with special power to us, just as His ability to calm the crashing waves must have profoundly affected those who were with Him on the Sea of Galilee that stormy night so long ago.”
      • “We sometimes fail to understand that the everlasting peace Jesus promises is an inner peace, born in faith, anchored by testimony, nurtured with love, and expressed through continual obedience and repentance. It is a peace of spirit that echoes through the heart and the soul. If one truly knows and experiences this inner peace, there is no fear from worldly disharmony or discord. One knows deep down inside that all is well as far as the things that really matter are concerned.”
      • “Peace—real peace, whole-souled to the very core of your being—comes only in and through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When that precious truth is discovered and gospel principles are understood and applied, great peace can distill in the hearts and souls of our Heavenly Father’s children.”
      • “Those are but a few of the scriptural instructions clearly indicating that God’s peace is not to be hoarded. Rather, it is to be shared liberally with our families, our friends, and our communities. It is to be shared with the Church as well as those who are not members of our Church. While those around us may not choose to taste the sweetness and peace of the fulness of the restored gospel for themselves, surely they will be blessed by seeing it in our lives and feeling the peace of the gospel in our presence. The message of peace will grow and expand through our example.”
  • October 2001 General Conference
    • Doctrine of Inclusion
      • “Perceptions and assumptions can be very dangerous and unfair. There are some of our members who may fail to reach out with friendly smiles, warm handshakes, and loving service to all of their neighbors. At the same time, there may be those who move into our neighborhoods who are not of our faith who come with negative preconceptions about the Church and its members. Surely good neighbors should put forth every effort to understand each other and to be kind to one another regardless of religion, nationality, race, or culture.”
      • “That is our doctrine—a doctrine of inclusion. That is what we believe. That is what we have been taught. Of all people on this earth, we should be the most loving, the kindest, and the most tolerant because of that doctrine.”
  • April 2001 General Conference
    • “His Word Ye Shall Receive”
      • “It is no small thing, my brothers and sisters, to have a prophet of God in our midst. Great and wonderful are the blessings that come into our lives as we listen to the word of the Lord given to us through him.”
      • “And what a humbling thing it is to contemplate how many of us might miss out on great and promised blessings because we do not listen and then do the relatively simple things our prophet is telling us to do today.”
      • “Wearing two pair of earrings may or may not have eternal consequences for this young woman, but her willingness to obey the prophet will. And if she will obey him now, on something relatively simple, how much easier it will be to follow him when greater issues are at stake.”
      • “Today I make you a promise. It’s a simple one, but it is true. If you will listen to the living prophet and the apostles and heed our counsel, you will not go astray.”
  • October 2000 General Conference
    • Now Is the Time
      • “Today we must ask ourselves: Are we ready and willing to go through thick and thin for the cause in which we are engaged? Do we reflect in our countenances the joy of living the gospel of Christ as true disciples should? If we do not understand and willingly teach others of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith, who will? We cannot place the burden of taking the gospel to all people solely on the backs of the full-time missionaries. Families will not be fortified nor will individual testimonies be strengthened, convert baptisms will not be increased, neither will the less active be welcomed back until we as members of the Church arise individually and collectively, with dedication and action, to help build the kingdom of God.”
      • “Some of you bishops feel like you must be involved in every action your council members take. This is a mistake, because if you do, you will never bring all the powerful resources God has given to you into full strength. At the general Relief Society meeting two weeks ago, Sister Sheri Dew said she believes the sisters are “the Lord’s secret weapon.” I think she is right. Our sister leaders have a spiritual sensitivity that will prompt them how to best approach and nurture those whom the missionaries are teaching. The best place to begin to fully utilize the talents and wisdom of our sisters is through the established council system of the Church. You are free to be flexible in how you use the ward council.”
      • “All of us should constantly think about the Savior giving His life for us. We must never forget that He suffered rejection, humiliation, unspeakable agony, and eventually death in order to save you and me and the whole world from sin. Can any one of us go before Him in some future day and say that we didn’t share the gospel with others and help others come to the missionaries because we were too busy or too shy, or for any other reason?”
  • April 2000 General Conference
    • “How Is It with Us?”
      • “As I read and ponder the scriptures and carefully consider the Lord’s counsel to His followers in every dispensation of time, it appears to me that the most important thing every one of us can do is to examine our own commitment and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. We must carefully guard against spiritual apathy and work to maintain the full measure of our loving loyalty to the Lord.”
      • “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, it is important that we each know for ourselves that Jesus is the Christ and that He has restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith the fulness of His everlasting gospel. As we press forward in His service, spiritual experiences will increase our faith, and we will find great joy. Our understanding of the essential doctrines and eternal truths that have been restored will become a firm foundation of our faith. And as we come to know and understand these true doctrines for ourselves, we will discover that there is also a great need for us to share our knowledge and beliefs with others while always maintaining their friendship and goodwill.”
      • “There are many people who know a little about us, who are curious and who wonder about us but who are not ready to change their lifestyle or make eternal commitments. We need to be prepared to teach them in ways that they can understand and appreciate, even if they are not prepared as yet to respond to spiritual promptings and to accept the gospel in their lives.”
      • “We need not apologize for our beliefs nor back down from that which we know to be true. But we can share it in a spirit of loving understanding—boldly and confidently, with an eye single to the glory of God—without pressuring our listeners or feeling that we have failed in our duty if they do not immediately accept what we believe.”
  • October 1999 General Conference
    • Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers
      • “Today we warn you that there are false prophets and false teachers arising; and if we are not careful, even those who are among the faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will fall victim to their deception.”
      • “When we think of false prophets and false teachers, we tend to think of those who espouse an obviously false doctrine or presume to have authority to teach the true gospel of Christ according to their own interpretation. We often assume that such individuals are associated with small radical groups on the fringes of society. However, I reiterate: there are false prophets and false teachers who have or at least claim to have membership in the Church. There are those who, without authority, claim Church endorsement to their products and practices. Beware of such.”
      • “Therefore, let us beware of false prophets and false teachers, both men and women, who are self-appointed declarers of the doctrines of the Church and who seek to spread their false gospel and attract followers by sponsoring symposia, books, and journals whose contents challenge fundamental doctrines of the Church. Beware of those who speak and publish in opposition to God’s true prophets and who actively proselyte others with reckless disregard for the eternal well-being of those whom they seduce. Like Nehor and Korihor in the Book of Mormon, they rely on sophistry to deceive and entice others to their views.”
      • “False prophets and false teachers are also those who attempt to change the God-given and scripturally based doctrines that protect the sanctity of marriage, the divine nature of the family, and the essential doctrine of personal morality. They advocate a redefinition of morality to justify fornication, adultery, and homosexual relationships. Some openly champion the legalization of so-called same-gender marriages. To justify their rejection of God’s immutable laws that protect the family, these false prophets and false teachers even attack the inspired proclamation on the family issued to the world in 1995 by the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles.”
      • “However, in the Lord’s Church there is no such thing as a “loyal opposition.” One is either for the kingdom of God and stands in defense of God’s prophets and apostles, or one stands opposed.”
      • “Our discipleship is not something to be endured with long face and heavy heart. Nor is it something to be jealously clutched to our bosoms and not shared with others.”
  • April 1999 General Conference
    • Like a Flame Unquenchable
      • “But one thing is certain: the commandments have not changed. Let there be no mistake about that. Right is still right. Wrong is still wrong, no matter how cleverly cloaked in respectability or political correctness. We believe in chastity before marriage and fidelity ever after. That standard is an absolute standard of truth. It is neither subject to public opinion polls nor dependent upon situation or circumstance. There is no need to debate it or other gospel standards.”
      • “The first is gospel information. The most important, life-changing information that I know of is the knowledge that we are truly children of God our Eternal Father. This is not only doctrinally correct, it is spiritually vital.”
      • “Sometimes we are tempted to let our lives be governed more by convenience than by covenant. It is not always convenient to live gospel standards and stand up for truth and testify of the Restoration. It usually is not convenient to share the gospel with others. It isn’t always convenient to respond to a calling in the Church, especially one that stretches our abilities. Opportunities to serve others in meaningful ways, as we have covenanted to do, rarely come at convenient times. But there is no spiritual power in living by convenience. The power comes as we keep our covenants. As we look at the lives of these early Saints, we see that their covenants were the primary force in their lives. Their example and testimony were powerful enough to influence generation after generation of their children.”
      • “A word to you children: Never be disrespectful to your parents. You must also learn to listen, especially to the counsel of your mom and dad and to the promptings of the Spirit.”
      • “It is the parents’ duty to intervene when they see wrong choices being made. That doesn’t mean parents take from children the precious gift of agency. Because agency is a God-given gift, ultimately the choice of what they will do, how they will behave, and what they will believe will always be theirs. But as parents we need to make sure they understand appropriate behavior and the consequences to them if they pursue their wrongful course.”
      • “When long-established patterns of positive communication and faithful example prevail, it is much easier to counsel together about personal problems and to work through the necessary changes that will bless every family member.”
  • October 1998 General Conference
    • Are We Keeping Pace?
      • “Brothers and sisters, there is much to be done by us to complete the work assigned by the Lord to this dispensation. We must focus our work, and we must work smarter if we are to accomplish our role in preparing all Church members to receive their temple blessings. Church leaders, both men and women, can and must extend the length of their reach and broaden the power of their influence. We must be wise to protect and teach our own families first and then take full advantage of the inspired Church council system to achieve greater success in the work Heavenly Father has given us to do, within the time frame He has given us to do it.”
      • “That day is steadily moving toward us, and there is still much to be done. We must be prepared to keep pace with our leaders, stride for their every lengthened stride. Perhaps as never before we need to focus our efforts on those things that matter most and avoid spending time on those things of small concern and of little consequence.”
  • April 1998 General Conference
    • Marvelous Are the Revelations of the Lord
      • “Interestingly, it was those who knew Joseph best who were most astonished at this process. They understood more than anyone else the limitations of his formal education and natural ability. Consequently, they had the clearest view of the miraculous way God spoke through His living prophet.”
      • “What great, eternal light and knowledge comes to us from the marvelous revelations from God to His faithful prophets. How grateful we should be for the understanding that has come to us as a result of all of the revelations that have been given to us in this last great dispensation. Wherever I go in the world there are faithful members of the Church who know as I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true because it has been revealed to us by the power of the Spirit. Anyone who sincerely wants to know can also have these truths confirmed to them by the same power of the Spirit.”
  • October 1997 General Conference
    • Standing for Truth and Right
      • “As priesthood holders, we have a sacred duty to always stand for truth and right. The priesthood, by definition, is God’s authority given to man to do the things that He would do if He were here. That means we are not only His witnesses, we are His representatives.”
      • “As a Church, we recognize that the gospel of Jesus Christ, with its saving truths and teachings, provides the most effective preventative and rehabilitative assistance in overcoming criminal behavior. Parents bear the first and greatest responsibility to teach their children principles of gospel living and good citizenship. There are, however, those who have little or no support at home. We need to be aware of them and do all we can to bless their lives. They need positive role models who demonstrate integrity by honoring their covenants and keeping their promises.”
      • “Those who deliberately choose to violate God’s commandments or ignore the standards of the Church, even when promising themselves and others that someday they will be strong enough to repent, are stepping onto a dangerously slippery slope upon which many have lost their spiritual footing. While it is true that some young people have made remarkable recoveries from sin through the process of repentance, the sad reality is that others have lost their way because of the paths they have chosen to follow.”
  • April 1997 General Conference
    • “You Have Nothing to Fear from the Journey”
      • “We cannot begin to understand the journeys made by those who laid the foundation of this dispensation until we understand their spiritual underpinnings. Once we make that connection, however, we will begin to see how their journeys parallel our own. There are lessons for us in every footstep they took—lessons of love, courage, commitment, devotion, endurance, and, most of all, faith.”
      • “The faith that motivated the pioneers of 1847 as well as pioneers in other lands was a simple faith centered in the basic doctrines of the restored gospel, which they knew to be true. That’s all that mattered to them, and I believe that is all that should matter to us. Our faith needs to be focused on the fundamental truths that God lives, that we are His children, and that Jesus Christ is His Only Begotten Son and He is our Savior. We need to know that they restored the Church to the earth in its fulness through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ we learn that our Father’s plan for the happiness of His children is clear and quite simple when studied and accepted with real faith.”
      • “Life isn’t always easy. At some point in our journey we may feel much as the pioneers did as they crossed Iowa—up to our knees in mud, forced to bury some of our dreams along the way. We all face rocky ridges, with the wind in our face and winter coming on too soon.”
      • “The road we travel today is treacherous, and the scriptures tell us it will continue to be so until the very end. But our reward will be the same as that which awaits worthy pioneers of all ages who live faithfully the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, make right choices, and give their all to build the kingdom of God on earth.”
  • October 1996 General Conference
    • Faith in Every Footstep
      • “Truly the Lord encourages us to walk in faith to the edge of the light and beyond—into the unknown. After the trial of our faith, He once again shines the light ahead of us, and our journey of faith in every footstep continues. Now, it has swelled into billions and billions of footsteps throughout the world. In my 20 years as a General Authority, I have seen the worldwide expansion of the Church, and I marvel at the results of the work of our pioneers in every country where they, through their faith and sacrifice, established the Church.”
  • April 1996 General Conference
    • Feasting at the Lord’s Table
      • “Brothers and sisters, even as people in Ethiopia were starving physically because of the lack of food, far too many people in the world are starving spiritually. Sadly, most of them have no idea where to find real spiritual nourishment. They wander to and fro—another form of pathetic refugees. Those who yearn for true spiritual light and knowledge can only find it through the power of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit enlightens and gives understanding of the eternal purposes of life. By the Spirit, Church members know the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true. We should, therefore, feel compelled to share our spiritual knowledge with all of our Father’s children by inviting them to pull a chair up to the Lord’s table and feast on the words of Christ.”
      • “Once we have nourished ourselves with the good word of Christ and feasted personally at His table so that our testimony is strong and vibrant, we are obligated to join with the missionaries in a balanced effort to invite others—beginning with our families—to the spiritual banquet.”
      • “Brothers and sisters, we should teach revealed principles and inspired doctrine in our homes and in our Church meetings. Every parent and class instructor should be well prepared to teach the gospel by the power of the Spirit to ensure that testimonies are renewed and understanding of life and life eternal is fortified.”
  • October 1995 General Conference
    • Hyrum Smith: “Firm As the Pillars of Heaven”
      • “In the quiet moments of personal introspection, the Spirit can teach us much.”
      • “Clearly, Hyrum Smith was one of the firm pillars of the Restoration. But sadly, many Church members know little about him except that he was martyred with his brother in Carthage Jail. That is significant, but he did far more. Indeed, Joseph Smith himself once suggested that his followers would do well to pattern their lives after Hyrum’s.”
      • “We do not need more members who question every detail; we need members who have felt with their hearts, who live close to the Spirit, and who follow its promptings joyfully. We need seeking hearts and minds that welcome gospel truths without argument or complaint and without requiring miraculous manifestation.”
      • “As I travel throughout the Church, I see members being tried in the crucible of affliction. I see members suffering from debilitating health concerns. I see husbands, wives, and parents living in trying circumstances they cannot change regarding their spouses or their children. Every one of us is faced at times with unpleasant situations, adversity, and affliction that we cannot change. Many circumstances can only be addressed with time, tears, prayer, and faith.”
  • April 1995 General Conference
    • Answers to Life’s Questions
      • “Our Father’s plan provides for redemption from the Fall through the atonement of Jesus Christ. As the Only Begotten Son of God and the only sinless person to live on this earth, he made a perfect atonement for all mankind. It applies to everyone unconditionally as it pertains to the resurrection from temporal, or physical, death, for all shall rise from the dead with immortal bodies as a result of the Atonement. However, the Atonement is conditional as it pertains to each person’s individual sins. It touches everyone to the degree that he or she has faith in Jesus Christ, repents, and obeys the gospel. Exaltation and eternal life with God are reserved for those who keep the commandments.”
      • “Critical to our knowledge of the plan of happiness is an understanding of the great governing principle of agency. A person does not have to spend much time in the schoolroom of mortality to realize that Heavenly Father’s plan does not provide for blissful happiness at every step along our mortal journey. Life is filled with harsh realities that tug at the heart and tear away at the soul.”
      • “Often overlooked is the fact that choices have consequences; we forget also that agency offers the same privilege of choice to others. At times we will be affected adversely by the way other people choose to exercise their agency. Our Heavenly Father feels so strongly about protecting our agency that he allows his children to exercise it, either for good or for evil.”
      • “All of our Father’s children can seek prayerfully to know who they are and can find real happiness if they obey God’s commandments and endure to the end.”
  • October 1994 General Conference
    • Restored Truth
      • “The New Testament indicates that the early Apostles worked hard to preserve the church that Jesus Christ left to their care and keeping, but they knew their efforts would ultimately be in vain.”
      • “Despite the significance of the ministries of these Saints, they did not hold the same apostolic authority Peter and the other Apostles had received through ordination under the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. When that authority was lost, men began looking to other sources for doctrinal understanding. As a result, many plain and precious truths were lost.”
      • “The beautiful simplicity of Christ’s gospel was under attack from an enemy that was even more destructive than the scourges and the crosses of early Rome: the philosophical meanderings of uninspired men.”
      • “With the simple faith of youth and motivated by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Joseph decided to go into a grove of trees near his home and put the promise in James to the test.”
      • “Brothers and sisters, we know the truth. Because we do, we are expected to share it with all of our Heavenly Father’s children. To our dear friends of the Church, please do not let pass this opportunity to receive personal revelation from God. Consider what I have said. Weigh it carefully. Measure it against the things you believe. Hold fast to all that is true, and add to that the fulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Take into account what you have felt as you have listened. You can know if these things are true by asking God. Listen for His answer; then respond to what you feel.”
  • April 1994 General Conference
    • Counseling with Our Councils
      • “Our bishops have heavy demands placed upon them. They—and they alone—hold certain keys, and only they can fulfill certain responsibilities. But they are not called to be all things, at all times, to all people. They are called to preside and to lead and to extend God’s love to His children. Our Heavenly Father does not expect them to do everything by themselves.”
      • “Eventually I asked the bishop to try again, only this time to solicit ideas and recommendations from his council members before making any assignments. I especially encouraged him to ask the sisters for their ideas. When the bishop opened the meeting to council members and invited them to counsel together, the effect was like opening the floodgates of heaven. A reservoir of insight and inspiration suddenly began to flow between council members as they planned for fellowshipping the less-active family.”
      • “When stake presidents and bishops allow the priesthood and auxiliary leaders whom the Lord has called to serve with them to become part of a problem-solving team, wonderful things begin to happen. Their participation broadens the base of experience and understanding, leading to better solutions. You bishops energize your ward leaders by giving them a chance to offer suggestions and to be heard. You prepare future leaders by allowing them to participate and learn. You can lift much of the load from your shoulders through this kind of involvement. People who feel ownership of a problem are more willing to help find a solution, greatly improving the possibility of success.”
      • “For the past eight and one-half years I have served as a member of a council of twelve men. We come from different backgrounds, and we bring to the Council of the Twelve Apostles a diverse assortment of experiences in the Church and in the world. In our meetings, we do not just sit around and wait for President Howard W. Hunter to tell us what to do. We counsel openly with each other, and we listen to each other with profound respect for the abilities and experiences our brethren bring to the council. We discuss a wide variety of issues, from Church administration to world events, and we do so frankly and openly. Sometimes we discuss issues for weeks before reaching a decision. We do not always agree during our discussions. But once a decision is made, we are always both united and determined.”
  • October 1993 General Conference
    • Strength in Counsel
      • “As a member of the Twelve, I serve on several general Church councils and committees. I meet regularly with the leaders of the auxiliaries. Together we counsel, we search the scriptures, and pray for guidance as we strive to learn how the auxiliaries can more effectively bless and strengthen the members of the Church.”
      • “In these perilous times, we need the cooperative effort of men and women officers in the Church because absolute vigilance is required on the part of all who have been entrusted to help watch over the kingdom. We each have large individual responsibilities, but just as important is the responsibility we share with others to come together in council in a united effort to solve problems and bless all of our Church members. When we act in a united effort, we create spiritual synergism which is increased effectiveness or achievement as a result of combined action or cooperation, the result of which is greater than the sum of the individual parts.”
      • “When a council leader reaches a decision, the council members should sustain it wholeheartedly.”
  • April 1993 General Conference
    • Keeping Covenants
      • “With challenges like these, you need to remember that you do not face them alone. There are people who love you and want you to be happy. We want the very best for you. Most especially, your Father in Heaven loves you and wants you to have joy and happiness. He has made marvelous promises to His faithful children who love Him, who are baptized, and who keep His commandments.”
      • “Now, my dear young friends, I encourage you to take time each week to be by yourself, away from television and the crowd. Have your scriptures with you and as you read, ponder, and pray, take an honest look at your life. Evaluate where you stand with the promises you have made with Heavenly Father. If you have a problem, talk it over with the Lord in earnest and humble prayer. Counsel with your parents; they will help you. Your bishop and your Young Men and Young Women adult leaders will help. They love you and want you to be at peace with yourself so you can partake of the sacrament worthily each week. When all is said and done, however, only you know if you are living true to your covenants made with God.”
  • October 1992 General Conference
    • The Joy of Hope Fulfilled
      • “My message to you today, my brothers and sisters, is simply this: the Lord is in control. He knows the end from the beginning. He has given us adequate instruction that, if followed, will see us safely through any crisis. His purposes will be fulfilled, and someday we will understand the eternal reasons for all of these events. Therefore, today we must be careful to not overreact, nor should we be caught up in extreme preparations; but what we must do is keep the commandments of God and never lose hope!”
      • “Hope is a precious principle by which to live. However, some among us may have lost all hope because of sin and transgression. A person can become so deeply immersed in the ways of the world that he sees no way out and loses all hope. My plea to all who have fallen into this trap of the adversary is to never give up! Regardless of how desperate things may seem or how desperate they may yet become, please believe me, you can always have hope. Always.”
      • “Working together, these three eternal principles will help give us the broad eternal perspective we need to face life’s toughest challenges, including the prophesied ordeals of the last days. Real faith fosters hope for the future; it allows us to look beyond ourselves and our present cares. Fortified by hope, we are moved to demonstrate the pure love of Christ through daily acts of obedience and Christian service.”
  • April 1992 General Conference
    • The Blessings of Sacrifice
      • “This brief episode in Great-grandmother’s life teaches me that our pioneer ancestors gave everything, even their lives, for their faith, for the building of the kingdom of God when the Church was in its infancy. It teaches also that they helped, nourished, and strengthened each other in their extremity and shared unstintingly. Their material means, such as food, clothing, and shelter, were meager, but their love for one another and their devotion to their Lord and to the gospel were boundless.”
      • “Our commitment to the kingdom should match that of our faithful ancestors even though our sacrifices are different.”
      • “The principle of sacrifice should be taught in every Latter-day Saint home and should be practiced in many simple yet important ways. We can do this by setting an example of reverence that will bring the true spirit of worship into our meetings and by guarding against murmuring and complaining about the challenges of the Sunday worship schedule.”
  • October 1991 General Conference
    • The Family of the Prophet Joseph Smith
      • “Joseph Smith, Sr., was in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. He knew that his young son spoke the truth. He not only believed the boy’s words but encouraged him in the work he had been called to do.”
      • “Joseph, Sr., endured ridicule and persecution because of his prophet son’s experiences and claims. Yet, he was unwavering in his loving support and defended his son.”
      • “These inspired statements from Hyrum and Joseph to Church members in their day are certainly appropriate for Church members today. While standing in Nauvoo at the foot of the headstone of these noble men, I had the impression that they would have me counsel all members of the Church to remain anchored to the basic and simple principles of the gospel. Study the scriptures, look to the leaders of the Church for guidance in these troubled times. Brothers and sisters, be careful of the schisms, divisions, and contentions that are among us today. Keep the commandments so the Holy Ghost will be with you in your search for truth and knowledge.”
  • April 1991 General Conference
    • Teach the Children
      • “Every human being is a spirit child of God and lived with Heavenly Father before coming to earth. He entrusts his spirit children to earthly parents who provide a mortal body for them through the miracle of physical birth and gives to parents the sacred opportunity and responsibility to love, protect, teach, and to bring them up in light and truth so they may one day, through the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, return to our Father’s presence.”
      • “To see our children grow, succeed, and take their places in society and in the Lord’s kingdom is an eternal reward worth any inconvenience or sacrifice.”
      • “We cannot and we must not allow the school, community, television, or even Church organizations to establish our children’s values. The Lord has placed this duty with mothers and fathers. It is one from which we cannot escape and one that cannot be delegated. Others may help, but parents remain accountable. Therefore, we must guard the sanctity of our homes because that is where children develop their values, attitudes, and habits for everyday living.”
      • “Priesthood leaders should select dedicated, spiritually guided Primary teachers. Teachers should teach by love and example after prayerful preparation. A loving teacher each Sunday can calm the fear of new surroundings and help children want to come to Church meetings. One five-year-old girl began to cry as the family was preparing for Sunday meetings. When asked why, she sobbed, “I don’t know who my teacher will be.” Her class had had several teachers in recent months; the frequent change had disturbed the peace of that tender little soul.”
      • “We plead with you to take time for your children and your grandchildren while they are young. Special moments may come only once. Before we are aware, they have grown older, and our best opportunity for teaching them how to live happy and fulfilling lives is past.”
  • October 1990 General Conference
    • Purity Precedes Power
      • “You do not need to be caught in the trap of being immoral—not one of you, ever.”
      • “Each one of you must look into the future to understand the consequences of your actions, both good and bad.”
      • “I know now by personal experience that, in some ways, brethren, the benches you are sitting on are much more comfortable than these on the stand.”
      • “The devil is a dirty fighter, and we must be aware of his tactics.”
      • “Now, let us consider the grand blessings the Lord has promised those who are obedient to the commandment to be morally clean. You never need to repent of a sin you have not committed. That seems obvious, but I want to emphasize it. Repentance is a great blessing, but you should never make yourself sick just so you can try out the remedy. You are infinitely better to maintain your spiritual health by staying morally clean. If you feel confident in the presence of your parents, peers, and priesthood leaders, you can sense how you will feel when you have the confidence and acceptance of the Savior.”
      • “Remember, young men, that purity precedes power.”
  • April 1990 General Conference
    • Small and Simple Things
      • “The Lord has graciously provided the means for conversion even in the most simple and humble of circumstances. Unfortunately, some of us look beyond the mark and depend too much on buildings, budgets, programs, and activities for conversion rather than on the small and simple things that are central to the gospel. We need not look beyond our own hearts to experience the sweet spiritual feelings promised to those who obey God.”
  • October 1989 General Conference
    • Duties, Rewards, and Risks
      • “Be assured that the safety and protection of missionaries always is a paramount concern. At the same time, however, the Church cannot retreat from areas of the world that are in turmoil unless absolutely necessary.”
      • “The battle to bring souls unto Christ began in the premortal world with the war in heaven. (See Rev. 12:7.) That same battle continues today in the conflict between right and wrong and between the gospel and false principles. The members of the Church hold a frontline position in the contest for the souls of men. The missionaries are on the battlefield fighting with the sword of truth to carry the glorious message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the peoples of the earth. No war has ever been free of risk. The prophecies of the last days lead me to believe that the intensity of the battle for the souls of men will increase and the risks will become greater as we draw closer to the second coming of the Lord.”
  • April 1989 General Conference
    • The Effects of Television
      • “Perhaps the proper response to outrageous behavior is outrage, or, more to the point, the proper response to outrageous television is outrage. I express my own and this Church’s disappointment, disagreement, and even outrage with television that turns our attention and sometimes our inclinations toward violence, self-serving greed, profanity, disrespect for traditional values, sexual promiscuity, and deviance.”
      • “Perhaps we should state the couplet previously mentioned as two separate admonitions. First, “Be in the world.” Be involved; be informed. Try to be understanding and tolerant and to appreciate diversity. Make meaningful contributions to society through service and involvement. Second, “Be not of the world.” Do not follow wrong paths or bend to accommodate or accept what is not right.”
      • “Members of the Church need to influence more than we are influenced. We should work to stem the tide of sin and evil instead of passively being swept along by it. We each need to help solve the problem rather than avoid or ignore it.”
  • October 1988 General Conference
    • The Hand of Fellowship
      • “I believe we members do not have the option to extend the hand of fellowship only to relatives, close friends, certain Church members, and those selected nonmembers who express an interest in the Church. Limiting or withholding our fellowship seems to me to be contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
      • “Brothers and sisters, we must ever keep in mind that missionary work throughout the world requires great sacrifice, and all of this sacrifice, effort, and exhaustive preparation of missionaries may be in vain if those who accept the gospel do not receive a loving and warm welcome by the members of the Church.”
      • “Brothers and sisters, my message is urgent because we need to retain in full fellowship many more of the new converts and return to activity many more of the less active. I urge you to increase the spirit of friendship and pure Christian fellowship in your neighborhoods. A new convert or recently activated member should feel the warmth of being wanted and being welcomed into full fellowship of the Church. Members and leaders of the Church should nurture and love them as Jesus would.”
      • “As disciples of Christ, we need to feel genuine charity for one another. As we do, new light will come into our own lives. This charity is essential in missionary work, but we must never allow ourselves to treat our neighbors only as potential converts. We have had the sad experience of seeing members of the Church who attempted to convert their neighbors and friends and, when they did not respond, withdrew their friendship and neighborliness. We must not be so anxious to share the gospel that we become insensitive to the feelings of others.”
  • April 1988 General Conference
    • God’s Love for His Children
      • “I felt a deep reverence for both the creation and the Creator. Reverence may be defined as a profound respect mingled with love and awe. Other words that add to our understanding of reverence include gratitude, honor, veneration, and admiration. The root word revere also implies an element of fear. Thus, reverence might be understood to mean an attitude of profound respect and love with a desire to honor and show gratitude, with a fear of breaking faith or offending.”
      • “Likewise in our lives, he who knows most about us, our potential, and our eternal possibilities has given us divine counsel and commandments in his instruction manuals—the holy scriptures. When we understand and follow these instructions, our lives have purpose and meaning. We learn that our Maker loves us and desires our happiness. In an incomparable manifestation of this divine love for us, he sent his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.”
  • October 1987 General Conference
    • Sacrifice and Self-Sufficiency
      • “In seeking to become more self-sufficient, the people have incorporated the principle of sacrifice into their lives and have increased their faith.”
      • “Something special happens to an individual or to a Church unit when the people become more independent and self-reliant. They feel more confident, positive, and assured, and they reflect these feelings in their actions.”
      • “Every member can give his time and talents freely to the building up of the kingdom of God upon the earth. No member of the Church should miss this opportunity to exercise his faith and feel the spirit that comes from humble sacrifice.”
  • April 1987 General Conference
    • Keeping Life’s Demands in Balance
      • “Brothers and sisters, we all face these kinds of struggles from time to time. They are common human experiences. Many people have heavy demands upon them stemming from parental, family, employment, church, and civic responsibilities. Keeping everything in balance can be a real problem.”
      • “First, think about your life and set your priorities. Find some quiet time regularly to think deeply about where you are going and what you will need to do to get there.”
      • “Second, set short-term goals that you can reach. Set goals that are well balanced—not too many nor too few, and not too high nor too low.”
      • “Third, everyone faces financial challenges in life. Through wise budgeting, control your real needs and measure them carefully against your many wants in life.”
      • “Do not trust your money to others without a thorough evaluation of any proposed investment. Our people have lost far too much money by trusting their assets to others. In my judgment, we never will have balance in our lives unless our finances are securely under control.”
      • “Fourth, stay close to your spouse, children, relatives, and friends. They will help you keep a balance in your life.”
      • “Fifth, study the scriptures. They offer one of the best sources we have to keep in touch with the Spirit of the Lord.”
      • “Sixth, many people, including me, have difficulty finding the time for sufficient rest, exercise, and relaxation.”
      • “Often the lack of clear direction and goals can waste away our time and energy and contribute to imbalance in our lives. A life that gets out of balance is much like a car tire that is out of balance. It will make the operation of the car rough and unsafe. Tires in perfect balance can give a smooth and comfortable ride. So it is with life. The ride through mortality can be smoother for us when we strive to stay in balance.”
  • October 1986 General Conference
    • We Proclaim the Gospel
      • “The First Presidency has said that one of the threefold missions of the Church is to proclaim the gospel. If we accept this mission, we should be willing to center our efforts on bringing souls unto the Lord on condition of repentance.”
      • “Sharing our feelings about God and religion should be easy since most Latter-day Saints are loving, sharing, and trusting people. With a relationship of trust established and with help from the Lord, we generally can feel comfortable moving beyond the realm of friendship and can invite our friends to learn more about the Church.”
      • “In talking of faith and saving souls, you should understand that when the Spirit is present, people are not offended when you share your feelings about the gospel.”
  • April 1986 General Conference
    • The Kingdom Rolls Forth in South America
      • “The gospel of Jesus Christ radiates in the faces of the Saints. They express faith and commitment and love for the Lord. They are seeking to be worthy of the full blessings of the gospel. Several Aaronic Priesthood boys dressed in their Scout uniforms greeted me in Bogota. Without hesitation they all told me they will serve as missionaries as soon as they are old enough. With such a spirit, the future of the Church in South America will be in good hands.”
      • “In my judgment, the greatest motivator that we have in the Church is to have Church members understand the plan of salvation. Stake presidents and bishops, you are the key to having your members come to this understanding.”
      • “We are living in a most exciting time. What a joy it is to know that the power of the holy priesthood is operating throughout the Church to bless the lives of the Saints. It is wonderful to know that the priesthood vested in the latter-day Apostles has, in this dispensation, opened many nations to the preaching of the gospel. Surely in the future we will see other nations opened in the same remarkable way.”
  • October 1985 General Conference
    • In Response to the Call
      • “I understand the source of the call. I have learned during the past nine and a half years that this is our Heavenly Father’s church. The errands that I have been sent on to act in the name of the Lord enable me to witness to you today that I know, as I know that I stand before you, that Jesus is the Christ, that he lives. He is very close to this work and very close to all of us who are asked to perform the work throughout the earth in his name.”
      • “I would like also to bear witness that in my particular case the veil between here and the hereafter is rather thin. I acknowledge that it has been a great blessing in my life to be born of goodly parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents who have given everything they have been asked to give to the building of the kingdom of God upon the earth.”
  • April 1985 General Conference
    • Prepare to Serve
      • “We were grateful to our Heavenly Father because the rain was a special witness to us that he was aware that his sons, bearing his holy priesthood, were about his business in that part of the world.”
      • “I am convinced, boys, that the Lord has no better place to get acquainted with you than when you serve him in the mission field. When you are serving your mission, he will send you on errands to act in his name. He will give you experience with the power of the Holy Ghost. He will authorize you to teach, to convert, and then to perform the sacred ordinances of salvation in his name. He will come to know you. He will come to know that he can trust you and can rely on you. He will help you learn the lessons that will qualify you for the great work that you must perform as you do your part in carrying the message of the Restoration to everyone in the world.”
      • “We were instructed to call every worthy boy to serve a mission. I encourage each of you bishops in the Church to review carefully the roster of boys who are old enough to serve missions so you can extend a call to every one. Don’t miss one!”
      • “May we ask all priesthood leaders, especially you fathers, to help prepare your sons. Prepare them both spiritually and temporally, to look and to act as servants of the Lord.”
  • October 1984 General Conference
    • Write Down a Date
      • “I am aware that most members of the Church understand that they should take an active part in proclaiming the gospel. Some have been quite successful, but others have not yet tried. I believe that far too many Church members do not understand the underlying doctrine that governs our Heavenly Father’s work.”
      • “Just think of it, brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ suffered the pain of all men that you and I might have the promise of eternal life. Surely He can expect us to do His work that He has entrusted to us. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son have not left us alone in this great work. They have promised to guide us if we will but ask them for help.”
  • April 1983 General Conference
    • Teaching—No Greater Call
      • “Teachers would be well advised to study carefully the scriptures and their manuals before reaching out for supplemental materials. Far too many teachers seem to stray from the approved curriculum materials without fully reviewing them. If teachers feel a need to use some good supplemental resources beyond the scriptures and manuals in presenting a lesson, they should first consider the use of the Church magazines.”
      • “In each teaching setting, whether it is a family home evening, a class, a sacrament meeting, or a general or stake conference, the teacher should strive to create a heartfelt desire in his students to live worthy of eternal life with our Heavenly Father.”
      • “May we ask you priesthood leaders who call your members to become teachers to be prayerful and concerned when selecting those who will teach in your stakes, wards, or quorums. Be sure to provide ongoing in-service teacher training. Visit the classrooms on occasion, and express genuine interest in the great cause of teaching. Please do not leave this most important work unattended.”
      • “My plea to the teachers of the Church is to study, ponder, and pray for guidance in your preparation. Use the scriptures and the approved curriculum materials, teaching with the objective to bless and inspire the lives of those assigned to you. Let us also remember that some of the most effective activation work in the Church is accomplished by those teachers who reach out to the inactive, loving and teaching them until they are once again in full fellowship with the Saints.”
  • April 1981 General Conference
    • Providing for Our Needs
      • “These results demonstrate that today we as leaders need to teach our people that they must become efficient managers of their time and resources.”
      • “Too many people in our country today are developing the attitude that government is obligated to care and provide for them. In many ways, government has fostered this attitude, but the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know better.”
      • “The love for work needs to be re-enthroned in our lives. Every family should have a plan for work that touches the lives of each family member so that this eternal principle will be ingrained in their lives.”
  • October 1980 General Conference
    • The Savior’s Touch
      • “Can the Master touch others’ lives through you and me? Oh yes, he can, and he will if we will just do our part.”
      • “We somehow need to realize the vital importance of feeling the blessings of the gospel and the peace of the Lord in our lives individually. That is much more significant than how well the mechanics of a program may be working in our wards and stakes. Oh, that every parent, teacher, and Church leader would know that we can bless each other when we administer the Savior’s touch to the benefit of our fellowmen.”
  • April 1980 General Conference
    • You Can Be the Voice
      • “Every priesthood bearer sitting in this priesthood meeting tonight has a great work to do. Each one of us has the power to demonstrate to our Heavenly Father that we really love him and desire to serve him with all of our hearts.”
      • “Life’s flight pattern can be changed. The instruments we use in saving souls are love and sharing our testimonies of the divine mission of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Thousands of our lost brethren, both men and boys, can be led to a safe landing if we will keep the commitments that we have made tonight. The power of the priesthood that is within each one of us is a greater power than any radar, radio, or any other communication system. Nothing is more important to the Lord than saving souls.”
  • October 1978 General Conference
    • Spiritual Development
      • “I stand in awe when I consider the great confidence Heavenly Father has placed in you and me when he allows us the privilege of being the mortal fathers and mothers to his eternal spirit offspring. We must never forget that he has a vested interest in every one of us, and we must realize how important each human soul is in God’s eternal plan. When we understand the importance of each soul, we can go before him confidently in prayer to seek his guidance and direction in our sacred assignment as parents.”
      • “Some parents become so expert at filling every physical desire for their children that they begin to suppose that all is well in this life and that their eternal stewardship is progressing right on schedule. I have noticed that some children living in too much luxury can lose their sense of spiritual values and misplace their eternal priorities. I believe that we must pause and take a careful inventory to determine how well our families are doing spiritually.”
      • “We must carefully and conscientiously provide solid spiritual training for the eternal growth of our children. Thoughtful planning will be required because providing spiritual development for them is not quite as simple as meeting their physical needs.”
  • October 1976 General Conference
    • The Making of a Missionary
      • “May I suggest to all of the youth of the Church that I believe you can come into the mission field loaded with knowledge about the eternal truths of the gospel—knowing for yourself that Jesus is the Christ, and that His church has been restored to the earth through a living prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.”
      • “Fathers, you are the first-line priesthood leader, and almost without exception my missionaries expressed their love and respect for you. There is no one in the world that can prepare and train the future missionaries of the Church like you can.”
      • “Our great potential is to prepare the world for eternal living in the presence of our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ, and to do this we must teach the gospel to all the people of the earth.”
  • April 1976 General Conference
    • Learn Obedience and Service
      • “As I contemplated the possibility of bearing my testimony tonight to you, my mind went back to many years ago when I was in the Aaronic Priesthood, and somehow I and one of my companions found ourselves over here by the stairs where we didn’t belong, just prior to the beginning of the priesthood meeting. President George Albert Smith, in his kindly way, saw our plight, saw that we really had nowhere to go, and invited us to sit on these stairs by the pulpit. I sat there with my friend and watched the proceedings of that great priesthood session, never believing that I would ever again get that close to this pulpit.”
      • “I remember that I said to my friend when we left the conference, “It sure would be nice to be a General Authority; then you would have one of those big red chairs to sit in.””
      • “I would like to say, my brethren, that I have been sitting in a big red chair for just a few minutes, and the greatest desire of my heart is that I will learn through my obedience and my service to become comfortable in that big red chair. I pray that the Lord will bless me that I might properly represent President Kimball, his counselors, the Council of the Twelve, and all my brethren of the General Authorities; that as they send me forth on whatever errand it might be, I might do the will and the bidding of the Lord.”

Other Talks

  • BYU Women’s Conference, May 1, 2015
    • “Women of Dedication, Faith, Determination, and Action”
      • “You have been divinely endowed with a unique kind of discernment and strength that differs in some ways from the gifts our Heavenly Father gave His sons. These differences are intentional and eternal. They don’t make you better than a man, nor do they make you inferior to him. They just make you different—wonderfully, deliberately, everlastingly so.”
      • “I realize that women often deal with a kind of ambiguity not necessarily faced by men, as there is an endless array of choices as well as uncertainties in front of you. This can be particularly challenging today because the world offers women an increasing number of opportunities— many more than were available to women a generation ago. In fact, in my lifetime we have seen numerous women appointed and elected to public offices, fill positions as CEOs of major corporations and organizations, and admitted in increasing numbers to prestigious business, law, and medical schools.”
      • “Balancing everything among all of the available options can be a challenge. In the end, most of us have to choose among competing options to determine what is best for us.”
      • “Of course, it isn’t always easy to refrain from questioning. That is especially true when our sisters and brothers make choices that seem to us to be wrong. For example, during the April general conference this year, a handful of men and women voiced their opposition to the sustaining of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. While it was inappropriate in that setting to actually vocalize their opposition, it was certainly within their respective rights to oppose. If that were not so, why would we ask for a dissenting response each and every time we sustain Church leaders?”
      • “Please don’t misunderstand, sisters. I am not saying that we should never search the Internet for information about the Church’s history, its teachings and doctrine. What I am saying is that we need to be prudent and careful about seeking answers to spiritually important questions online. We’ve all heard people make jokes and sarcastic comments about how you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet. There’s a good reason for that. It’s no wonder that many people emerge from their online search for religious truth feeling surrounded by the same kind of “darkness and confusion” that Joseph Smith felt after talking to the various religious teachers of his time.”
      • “I invite you devoted sisters today to make sure that no schism or division exists within your families or your Church congregations, even with regards to such potentially divisive subjects as the current conversation regarding women and the priesthood. Church leaders have clarified this doctrine, so let us deal patiently with one another and treat each other with Christian kindness and respect despite our strong feelings and deep differences that may exist. Our focus should seek a perspective that embraces all of eternity, not just the here and now.”
      • “Although the Church plays a pivotal role in proclaiming, announcing, and administering the necessary ordinances of salvation and exaltation, all of that, as important as it is, is really just the scaffolding being used in an infinite and eternal construction project to build, support, and strengthen the family. And just as scaffolding is eventually taken down and put away to reveal the final completed building, so too will the mortal, administrative functions of the Church eventually fade as the eternal family comes fully into view. In that context, it’s important to remember that our Church assignments are only temporary, and that at some point we will all be released either by our leaders or by death. But we will never be released from our eternal callings within the family.”
      • “Life is filled with distractions that have potential to lead us away from the core teachings of the Church—especially the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have observed that many of those who start to lose the Spirit have forgotten the very reasons they embraced the gospel in the first place. For the vast majority of us, the prime reason we accept baptism and the other ordinances and participate in this work with all our hearts, minds, and strength, has little to do with policy or programs. We did not join the Church because of its position on social issues or because of past practices. We joined the Church because of the gospel’s core and eternal message. We joined the Church because the Spirit bore witness that the Prophet Joseph really did kneel in a grove of trees and did see the Father and the Son, and that the Savior’s Church in its fulness has been restored.”
      • “Sisters, please do whatever is necessary to stay focused on the simple and central message of the Restoration. Accept it. Understand it. Embrace it. Love it. Share it. Defend it.”
      • “The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles want proper preparation and thoughtful partaking of the sacrament on a regular basis to help keep our members anchored to the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel.”
      • “I am not talking about merely attending sacrament meeting. I am talking about worshiping Heavenly Father and the Savior in sacrament meeting. We worship Them in sacrament meeting by singing, praying, meditating, listening carefully to the sacramental prayers, and partaking of the sacrament, which prepares us spiritually for the coming week. We must prepare ourselves and our families a long time before the meeting begins, to have a spiritual experience that binds our hearts to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
  • September 1993 General Relief Society Meeting
    • Equality through Diversity
      • “Our Father in Heaven loves all of His children equally, perfectly, and infinitely. His love is no different for His daughters than for His sons. Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, also loves men and women equally. His atonement and His gospel are for all of God’s children. During His earthly ministry Jesus served men and women alike: He healed both men and women and He taught both men and women.”
      • “Even though men and women are equal before God in their eternal opportunities, they have different, but equally significant, duties in His eternal plan. We must understand that God views all of His children with infinite wisdom and perfect fairness. Consequently, He can acknowledge and even encourage our differences while providing equal opportunity for growth and development.”
      • “Most of what men and women must do to qualify for an exalted family life together is based on shared responsibilities and objectives. Many of the requirements are exactly the same for men and women. For example, obedience to the laws of God should be the same for men and women. Men and women should pray in the same way. They both have the same privilege of receiving answers to their prayers and thereby obtaining personal revelation for their own spiritual development.”
      • “In these latter days, we see people, increasing in number, who urge others to feel and voice dissent when frustration and hardship enter their lives. They would have us believe that the Church or its leaders are unfair to women, or that women are denied opportunities to realize their full potential within the gospel framework. Sisters, we know that the Church is made up of mortals, that priesthood leaders are fallible, and some may not always handle their stewardships with suitable sensitivity. However, I want you to understand this plain truth: the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the only way for women or men to achieve their full potential as children of God. Only the gospel can free us from the terrible effects of sin. Only by following God’s plan for us, with faith and determination to live ultimately in eternal families, can we qualify for eternal life in His presence. Ideally, the Church and the family do not inhibit our progress. They expedite it by putting our feet firmly on the gospel path that leads us back to God. We each have the privilege to carefully and prayerfully seek the Lord’s will for us regarding our individual challenges and dilemmas. Personal revelation is personal, indeed. It is not based on gender or position but on worthiness. It comes in response to sincere inquiry. However, revelation for the Church comes only through the Lord’s prophets, seers, and revelators.”
      • “With so much depth and substance in the simple truths of the gospel, you never need to wade in the shallow waters of speculative theology.”
      • “The doctrines and principles of the Church are established only through revelation, not legislation. This is God’s plan; we do not have the prerogative to alter or tamper with it.”
  • October 1991 General Womens Meeting
    • Be an Example of the Believers
      • “Remember, sisters, we all have our own challenges to work out while passing the tests of mortality, and we probably often think ours are the most difficult. Recognize limitations; no one can do everything. When you have done the best you can, be satisfied and don’t look back and second-guess, wondering how you could have done more. Be at peace within yourselves. Rather than berate yourself for what you didn’t do, congratulate yourself for what you did.”
      • “To each and every one of you, please know how much your leaders love you and pray for you. Also know that we understand your challenges, and be assured that regardless of your circumstances at the moment, each one of you is precious to your Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
      • “With the marvelous gift of moral agency, you can study the scriptures and the teachings of the leaders of the Church and, through the promptings of the Spirit, make correct choices that will bring peace and eternal joy to your souls.”
      • “In my judgment, this is an inspired statement, and if understood and followed by all of our Father’s children, this would be a much better world. If you live by these truths, you will not be carried along with the stream of women who do not seem to know who they are, their reason for being, or their prominent role in the plan of salvation.”
      • “Transgression of any kind is always accompanied by a loss of self-esteem. You young women have a responsibility to live exemplary lives so the young men will respect your values and treat you as daughters of God deserve to be treated. Righteous daughters of God, our Eternal Father, are absolutely essential if the Church is to fulfill its destiny in preparing the earth for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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