HENRY B. EYRING

First Counselor in the First Presidency (February 3, 2008 – present)

Second Counselor in the First Presidency (October 6, 2007 – January 27, 2008)

Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 1, 1995 – October 6, 2007)

First Quorum of the Seventy (October 3, 1992 – April 1, 1995)

First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric (April 1, 1985 – October 3, 1992)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 2017 General Conference
    • The Lord Leads His Church
      • “First, Jesus Christ is the head of the Church in all the earth. Second, He leads His Church today by speaking to men called as prophets, and He does it through revelation. Third, He gave revelation to His prophets long ago, still does, and will continue to do so. Fourth, He gives confirming revelation to those who serve under the leadership of His prophets.”
      • “It takes faith to believe that the resurrected Lord is watching over the daily details of His kingdom. It takes faith to believe that He calls imperfect people into positions of trust. It takes faith to believe that He knows the people He calls perfectly, both their capacities and their potential, and so makes no mistakes in His calls.”
      • “Let’s start with what faith means for a teachers or a deacons quorum president. It is important for him to have faith that the Lord called Him personally, knowing that teacher’s weaknesses and strengths. He has to have faith that the man who issued the call received revelation by the Spirit of God. His counselors and members of his quorum need the same faith to follow him with fearless confidence.”
      • “These members have to know the call to serve as a bishop came from the Lord, by revelation. Without their faith, the bishop, who was called of God, will find it harder to get the revelation he needs to help them. He will not succeed without the faith of the members to sustain him.”
      • “For a leader to succeed in the Lord’s work, the people’s trust that he is called of God must override their view of his infirmities and mortal weaknesses.”
      • “Your leader in the Lord’s Church may seem to you weak and human or may appear to you strong and inspired. The fact is that every leader is a mixture of those traits and more. What helps servants of the Lord who are called to lead us is when we can see them as the Lord did when He called them.”
      • “It takes faith and humility to serve in the place to which we are called, to trust that the Lord called us and those who preside over us, and to sustain them with full faith.”
    • Fear Not to Do Good
      • “With that testimony, I have read the Book of Mormon every day for more than 50 years. So perhaps I could have reasonably thought that President Monson’s words were for someone else. Yet, like many of you, I felt the prophet’s encouragement and his promise invite me to make a greater effort. Many of you have done what I did: prayed with increased intent, pondered scripture more intently, and tried harder to serve the Lord and others for Him.”
      • “The Lord told His leaders of the Restoration, and He tells us, that when we stand with faith upon His rock, doubt and fear are diminished; the desire to do good increases.”
      • “We see such love in the lives of Latter-day Saints everywhere. Each time there is a tragic event anywhere in the world, Latter-day Saints donate and volunteer to the Church’s humanitarian efforts. An appeal is seldom needed. In fact, on some occasions, we have had to ask would-be volunteers to wait to travel to the recovery site until those directing the work are prepared to receive them.”
      • “The desire to bless is the fruit of people gaining a testimony of Jesus Christ.”
      • “Our hearts, however, remain changed only as long as we continue to follow the prophet’s counsel. If we stop trying after one burst of effort, the change will fade.”
      • “The way to optimism as we go forward was given by the Lord: “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36). President Monson told us how to do that. We are to ponder and apply the Book of Mormon and the words of prophets. Pray always. Be believing. Serve the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. We are to pray with all the energy of our hearts for the gift of charity, the pure love of Christ. And above all, we are to be consistent and persistent in following prophetic counsel.”
      • “I testify that the Lord goes before your face whenever you are on His errand. Sometimes you will be the angel the Lord sends to bear others up. Sometimes you will be the one surrounded by angels who bear you up. But always you will have His Spirit to be in your heart, as you have been promised in every sacrament service. You have only to keep His commandments.”
  • April 2017 General Conference
    • “My Peace I Leave with You”
      • “Those who do not see their weaknesses do not progress. Your awareness of your weakness is a blessing as it helps you remain humble and keeps you turning to the Savior. The Spirit not only comforts you, but He is also the agent by which the Atonement works a change in your very nature. Then weak things become strong.”
      • “That Spirit can inspire the words, the deeds, and the patience necessary for you to invite a lamb back to the flock.”
      • “Now he has become the great man the Holy Ghost let me see 40 years ago. I am eternally grateful that the Lord rescued me from my unkind feelings by sending the Holy Ghost to let me see a child of God as He saw him.”
      • “The unity we seek in our families and in the Church will come as we allow the Holy Ghost to affect what we see when we look at one another—and even when we think of each other. The Spirit sees with the pure love of Christ.”
    • Gathering the Family of God
      • “The names “brother” and “sister” are not just friendly greetings or terms of endearment for us. They are an expression of an eternal truth: God is the literal Father of all mankind; we are each part of His eternal family.”
      • “Each of us was given a portion of God’s light, called the “Light of Christ,” to help us distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong. This is why even those who live with little or no knowledge of the Father’s plan can still sense, in their hearts, that certain actions are just and moral while others are not.”
      • “Our Heavenly Father is anxious to gather and bless all of His family. While He knows that not all of them will choose to be gathered, His plan gives each of His children the opportunity to accept or reject His invitation. And families are at the heart of this plan.”
      • “I have learned in the many years since that even the best technology can never be a substitute for revelation from heaven.”
      • “We do not know what marvels God will inspire people to create to help in His work of gathering His family. But whatever marvelous inventions may come, their use will require the Spirit working in people like you and me. This should not surprise us. After all, these are beloved sons and daughters of God. He will send whatever inspiration is needed to give them the opportunity to return to Him.”
    • “Walk with Me”
      • “Even so, it’s natural to feel some inadequacy when we consider what the Lord has called us to do. In fact, if you told me that you feel perfectly capable of fulfilling your priesthood duties, I might worry that you do not understand them. On the other hand, if you told me that you feel like giving up because the task is too far beyond your abilities, then I would want to help you understand how the Lord magnifies and strengthens the holders of His priesthood to do things they never could have done alone.”
      • “So if you feel a little overwhelmed, take that as a good sign. It indicates that you can sense the magnitude of the trust God has placed in you. It means that you have some small understanding of what the priesthood really is.”
      • “I hope it also brings you a feeling that you want to do more—a longing to participate more fully in the Lord’s miraculous work. Such feelings are the first step toward becoming the kind of men that priesthood service is meant to produce.”
      • “And what does it mean to walk with the Lord? It means to do what He does, to serve the way He serves. He sacrificed His own comforts to bless those in need, so that’s what we try to do. He seemed to take particular notice of people who were overlooked and even shunned by society, so we should try to do that too. He testified boldly yet lovingly of the true doctrine He received from His Father, even if it was unpopular, and so must we.”
      • “As soon as we accept the Lord’s invitation “Walk with me,” the nature of our priesthood service changes. It becomes all at once higher and nobler but also more achievable, because we know that we are not alone.”
      • “The Lord’s work is not just to solve problems; it is to build people.”
      • “Remember that God’s work and glory is not simply to run an effective organization; it is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). This is, after all, why He gives His priesthood authority to flawed mortals like you and me and invites us to participate in His work. Our progress is His work!”
      • “If you walk with the Savior long enough, you will learn to see everyone as a child of God with limitless potential, regardless of what his or her past may have been. And if you continue walking with the Savior, you will develop another gift He has—the ability to help people see that potential in themselves and so repent.”
      • “We may lack a full understanding of what the priesthood is or how to exercise it as He does. But if we pay close attention to those moments when our hearts “burn within us” (Luke 24:32), our eyes can be opened and we will see His hand in our lives and in our service. I testify that we come to know Him best by working with Him and serving Him in the great work of bringing salvation to God’s children.””
  • October 2016 General Conference
    • That He May Become Strong Also
      • “The Lord grants His power to those in all priesthood offices who worthily serve in their priesthood duties.”
      • “The connection is a simple one. The Aaronic Priesthood prepares young men for an even more sacred trust.”
      • “Those priesthood keys are fully exercised by only one man at a time, the President and presiding high priest of the Lord’s Church. Then, by the President’s delegation, every man who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood can be endowed with authority and the privilege of speaking and acting in the name of the Almighty. There is infinity to that power. It is concerned with life and death, with family and the Church, with the great nature of God Himself and His eternal work.”
      • “Many things may help strengthen our younger brothers to rise up in the priesthood, but nothing will be more powerful than our helping them develop the faith and confidence that they can draw on the power of God in their priesthood service.”
      • “That faith and confidence won’t stay with them from a single experience of being lifted by even the most gifted Melchizedek Priesthood holder. The ability to draw on those powers must be cultivated by many expressions of confidence from those who are more experienced in the priesthood.”
      • “We understand the power of the faith of a loving mother.”
      • “You priesthood leaders and fathers of Aaronic Priesthood holders can work miracles. You can help the Lord fill the ranks of faithful elders with young men who accept the call to preach the gospel and do it with confidence. You will see many you have lifted and encouraged stay faithful, marry worthily in the temple, and in turn, lift and prepare others.”
    • Gratitude on the Sabbath Day
      • “We feel grateful for many things: a kindness from a stranger, a meal when we are hungry, a dry roof over our heads when storms arise, a broken bone that heals, and the hearty cry of a newborn baby. Many of us will remember feeling gratitude at such moments.”
      • “One blessing for which we can be grateful is that we are there in that sacrament meeting at all, gathered with more than one or two of His disciples in His name.”
      • “Because of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restored gospel, another blessing we can count is that we have the opportunity to take the sacrament each week—prepared, blessed, and passed by authorized servants of God.”
      • “Of all the blessings we can count, the greatest by far is the feeling of forgiveness that comes as we partake of the sacrament.”
      • “The times we will pass through will have in them hard trials, as they did for the people of Alma under the cruel Amulon.”
  • April 2016 General Conference
    • Trust in That Spirit Which Leadeth to Do Good
      • “Our desire to serve others is magnified by our gratitude for what the Savior has done for us.”
      • “When our faith in Jesus Christ leads us to qualify for the joy of His forgiveness, we feel a desire to serve others for Him.”
      • “You will also find that the Lord puts helpers by your side—on your right, on your left, and all around you. You do not go alone to serve others for Him.”
      • “My prayer for the sisters in the kingdom, wherever they may be or in whatever circumstances, is that their faith in the Savior and gratitude for His Atonement will lead them to do all they can for those God asks them to serve. As they do, I promise that they will move up the path to become holy women whom the Savior and our Heavenly Father will welcome warmly and reward openly.”
    • Where Two or Three Are Gathered
      • “Even more important than our gathering together is in whose name we do so.”
      • “Now numbering more than one or two, a multitude of His disciples are gathered in this conference, and as promised, the Lord is in our midst. Because He is a resurrected and glorified being, He is not physically everyplace where Saints gather. But, by the power of the Spirit, we can feel that He is here with us today.”
      • “All of us have much in common with the wonderful people who wrote to me for help and reassurance. We all have had seeds, or the word of God, planted in our hearts at one time. For some, it was in childhood when our parents invited us to be baptized and confirmed by those in authority. Others of us were taught by called servants of God. Each felt that the seed was good, even felt the swelling in our hearts, and experienced joy as our hearts and minds seemed to expand.”
      • “All of us have had our faith tested by precious blessings delayed, vicious attacks of those who wanted to destroy our faith, temptations to sin, and selfish interests that reduced our efforts to cultivate and soften the spiritual depths of our hearts.”
      • “Those who are saddened by the loss of the joy they once had are the blessed ones. Some do not see the withering of faith within themselves. Satan is clever. He tells those he wishes to be miserable that the joy they once felt was childish self-delusion.”
      • “True testimony will be given to the speakers. Their words may be few, but they will be carried into the heart of the humble listener who has come to the conference hungry for the good word of God.”
    • Eternal Families
      • “Before we were born, we lived in a family with our exalted and eternal Heavenly Father. He ordained a plan that enables us to advance and progress to become like Him. He did it out of love for us. The purpose of the plan was to allow us the privilege of living forever as our Heavenly Father lives. This gospel plan offered us a life of mortality in which we would be tested. A promise was given that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, if we obeyed the laws and priesthood ordinances of the gospel, we would have eternal life, the greatest of all His gifts.”
      • “Everything we do should have celestial marriage as its focus and purpose.”
      • “Every major decision should be based on the effect it will have on a family to qualify for life with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. There is nothing in our priesthood service as important as this.”
      • “There is no more important commitment in time or in eternity than marriage. You have heard wise counsel to make marriage a priority in early post-mission plans. The faithful priesthood servant will do it wisely.”
      • “Purity will be your protection and the protection of your children. You owe them that blessing.”
      • “In our home and in our priesthood service, the greatest value will be in the small acts that help us and those we love work toward eternal life. Those acts may seem small in this life, but they will bring everlasting blessings in eternity.”
  • October 2015 General Conference
    • You Are Not Alone in the Work
      • “Any calling we receive in the Lord’s kingdom requires more than our human judgment and our personal powers. Those calls require help from the Lord, which will come. Even the new deacon will learn that is true, and he will go on learning over the years.”
      • “He learned what is true for all of us—that the Lord’s servants are inspired to know the Lord’s will. And Henry Eyring had confirmed what I know as well: that the prophet, as the president of the priesthood, is inspired of God to watch over and care for the Lord’s servants and to call them.”
      • “It is my prayer that every priesthood holder will reach out in faith to rescue every soul for whom he is responsible. God will add His power to His servant’s efforts. Hearts of people will be touched to make the choices that will bring them along the gospel path toward happiness and away from sorrow.”
    • The Holy Ghost as Your Companion
      • “The companionship of the Holy Ghost makes what is good more attractive and temptation less compelling. That alone should be enough to make us determined to qualify for the Spirit to be with us always.”
      • “For those who are struggling with the high standard needed to qualify for the gift of the Spirit’s companionship, I offer this encouragement. You have had times when you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost. It may have happened for you today.”
      • “Now, one of the reasons my father asked for and received that comfort was because he had always prayed in faith since his childhood. He was used to getting answers that came to his heart to give comfort and direction. In addition to having a habit of prayer, he knew the scriptures and the words of living prophets. So he recognized the familiar whisperings of the Spirit, which you may have felt today.”
      • “When we accept that promise of having the Spirit with us always, the Savior can grant us the purification required for eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God.”
  • April 2015 General Conference
    • The Comforter
      • “My message to you tonight is that you can and must be an important part of His giving comfort to those who need comfort. You can play your part best if you know more of how He answers those prayers for help.”
      • “The burdens His faithful servants must carry in life are made lighter by His Atonement. The burden of sin can be taken away, but the trials of mortal life for good people can still be heavy burdens.”
      • “You have seen such tests in the lives of good people you love. You have felt a desire to help them. There is a reason for your feeling of compassion for them.”
      • “We lighten the loads of others best by helping the Lord strengthen them.”
      • “I can know only partially how much He feels joy each time you, as His disciple, help Him bring a moment of peace and joy to a child of our Heavenly Father.”
    • “Is Not This the Fast That I Have Chosen?”
      • “When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him.”
      • “So the Lord has given us a simple commandment with a marvelous promise. In the Church today we are offered the opportunity to fast once a month and give a generous fast offering through our bishop or branch president for the benefit of the poor and the needy. Some of what you give will be used to help those around you, perhaps someone in your own family. The Lord’s servants will pray and fast for the revelation to know whom to help and what help to give. That which is not needed to help people in your local Church unit will become available to bless other Church members across the world who are in need.”
      • “We do not know all the reasons why Jesus Christ went into the wilderness to fast and to pray. But we know at least one of the effects: the Savior completely resisted Satan’s temptations to misuse His divine power.”
      • “The brief time we fast every month and the small amount we offer for the poor may give us only a small part of the change in our natures to have no more desire to do evil.”
    • Priesthood and Personal Prayer
      • “I feel the weight of that opportunity because I know something of the trust that the Lord has placed in you. With your acceptance of the priesthood, you have received the right to speak and to act in the name of God.”
      • “All of us must speak and act in the name of God in moments when our unaided judgment will not be enough without inspiration. Those moments can come upon us when there is not time to make preparation.”
      • “As a deacon, I had not yet learned that the power to speak and act in God’s name requires revelation and that to have it when we need it requires praying and working in faith for the companionship of the Holy Ghost.”
      • “It is easier to get the proper feeling of reverence when you are kneeling or bowing your head, but it is possible to feel that you are approaching your Heavenly Father in less formal and even in silent prayer, as you will often need to do in your priesthood service. There will be noise and people around you most of your waking day. God hears your silent prayers, but you may have to learn to shut out the distractions because the moment you need the connection with God may not come in quiet times.”
      • “As a priesthood holder, you are to be part of the warning voice of the Lord. But you need to heed the warning yourself. You will not survive spiritually without the protection of the companionship of the Holy Ghost in your daily life.”
      • “You must pray for it and work to have it. Only with that guide will you be able to find your way along the strait and narrow path through the mists of evil. The Holy Ghost will be your guide as He reveals truth when you study the words of prophets.”
      • “It will not be the offices held or the time served that will be weighed in the balance with the Lord. We know this from the Lord’s parable of the laborers in the vineyard, where the pay was the same regardless of how long they served or where. They will be rewarded for how they served.”
  • October 2014 General Conference
    • The Preparatory Priesthood
      • “The Lord’s plan for His work is filled with preparation. He prepared the earth for us to experience the tests and the opportunities of mortality. While we are here, we are in what the scriptures call a “preparatory state.”
      • “All of us in the priesthood have an obligation to help the Lord prepare others. There are some things we can do that could matter most. Even more powerful than using words in our teaching the doctrine will be our examples of living the doctrine.”
      • “Paramount in our priesthood service is inviting people to come unto Christ by faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost.”
      • ““Show me” counts more than “tell me.””
      • “Our success in preparing others in the priesthood will come in proportion to how much we love them. That will be especially true when we must correct them. Think of the moment when an Aaronic Priesthood holder, perhaps at the sacrament table, makes a mistake in performing an ordinance. That is a serious matter. Sometimes the error requires public correction with a possibility of resentment, a feeling of humiliation or even of being rejected.”
    • Continuing Revelation
      • “We need revelation from God. And we will need not just one revelation in a time of stress, but we need a constantly renewed stream. We need not just one flash of light and comfort, but we need the continuing blessing of communication with God.”
      • “From that I draw counsel for us all. Don’t take lightly the feeling you get of love for the prophet of God.”
      • “I bear you my witness that is true. Heavenly Father hears your prayers. He loves you. He knows your name. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and our Redeemer. He loves you beyond your ability to comprehend.”
  • April 2014 General Conference
    • A Priceless Heritage of Hope
      • “Wherever you are on the path to inherit the gift of eternal life, you have the opportunity to show many people the way to greater happiness. When you choose whether to make or keep a covenant with God, you choose whether you will leave an inheritance of hope to those who might follow your example.”
      • “He accepted those calls because of his faith that the resurrected Christ and our Heavenly Father had appeared to Joseph Smith in a grove of trees in the state of New York. He accepted them because he had faith that the priesthood keys in the Lord’s Church had been restored with the power to seal families forever, if only they had sufficient faith to keep their covenants.”
      • “The Lord has given us all the source of hope as we struggle to help those we love accept their eternal inheritance. He has made promises to us as we keep trying to gather people to Him, even when they resist His invitation to do so. Their resistance saddens Him, but He does not quit, nor should we.”
      • “Heavenly Father and the Savior are our perfect examples of what we can and must do. They never force righteousness because righteousness must be chosen. They make righteousness discernible to us, and They let us see that its fruits are delicious.”
      • “If we choose the right, we will find happiness—in time. If we choose evil, there comes sorrow and regret—in time. Those effects are sure.”
      • “We will need the long view when those we love feel the pull of the world and the cloud of doubt seems to overwhelm their faith. We have faith, hope, and charity to guide us and to strengthen them.”
    • The Priesthood Man
      • “Each of you will be a model of a priesthood man whether you want to be or not. You became a lighted candle when you accepted the priesthood. The Lord put you on the candlestick to light the way for everyone who surrounds you. That is especially true for those in your priesthood quorum. You can be a great model, an average one, or a bad model. You may think it doesn’t matter to you, but it does to the Lord.”
      • “We all pray, but the priesthood holder you want to be prays often and with real intent. In the evening you will get on your knees and thank God for the blessings of the day. You will thank Him for parents, for teachers, and for great examples to follow. You will describe in your prayers specifically who has blessed your life and how, during that day. That will take more than a few minutes and more than a little thought. It will surprise you and change you.”
      • “As you pray for forgiveness, you will find yourself forgiving others. As you thank God for His kindness, you will think of others, by name, who need your kindness. Again, that experience will surprise you every day, and over time it will change you.”
      • “One way you will be changed by such fervent prayer is, I promise you, that you will feel truly that you are a child of God. When you know that you are a child of God, you will also know that He expects much of you. Because you are His child, He will expect you to follow His teachings and the teachings of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. He will expect you to be generous and kind to others. He will be disappointed if you are proud and self-centered. He will bless you to have the desire to put the interests of others above your own.”
      • “As you pray and serve others, your knowledge that you are a child of God and your feelings about Him will grow. You will become more aware that He is saddened if you are dishonest in any way. You will be more determined to keep your word to God and to others. You will be more aware of taking anything that does not belong to you. You will be more honest with your employers. You will be more determined to be on time and to complete every task you are given by the Lord that you have accepted to do.”
      • “Above all, remember that of all the service you give, none is greater than to help people choose to qualify for eternal life. God has given that overarching direction to us on how to use our priesthood. He is the perfect example of it.”
  • October 2013 General Conference
    • Bind Up Their Wounds
      • “To hold the priesthood of God is to be held responsible by God for the eternal lives of His children. That is real, that is wonderful, and at times that can feel overwhelming.”
      • “You and the priesthood bearers you are called to lead can have at least three assurances. First, the Lord will give you, if you ask, the feelings of compassion He feels for those in need. Second, He will provide others, like the innkeeper, to join with you in your service. And third, the Lord, like the good Samaritan, will more than recompense all who join in giving help to those in need.”
      • “The greater challenge for every priesthood holder is to give spiritual help. All of us have that charge.”
      • “There is another preparation we must make. It is a human characteristic to become hardened to the pains of others. That is one of the reasons why the Savior went to such lengths to tell of His Atonement and of His taking upon Himself the pains and sorrows of all of our Heavenly Father’s children that He might know how to succor them.”
      • “Even the best of Heavenly Father’s mortal priesthood holders do not rise to that standard of compassion easily. Our human tendency is to be impatient with the person who cannot see the truth that is so plain to us. We must be careful that our impatience is not interpreted as condemnation or rejection.”
    • To My Grandchildren
      • “Heavenly Father has made each of us unique. No two of us have exactly the same experiences. No two families are alike. So it is not surprising that advice about how to choose happiness in family life is hard to give. Yet a loving Heavenly Father has set the same path to happiness for all of His children. Whatever our personal characteristics or whatever will be our experiences, there is but one plan of happiness. That plan is to follow all the commandments of God.”
      • “That great blessing has come by encouraging people I care for to go to the Savior for relief from pain, a relief only He can give. That is why I urge those I love to accept and to magnify every calling offered them in the Church. That choice is one of the great keys to family happiness.”
      • “While serving others, we are most likely to plead for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Success in the Lord’s service always produces miracles beyond our own powers. The parent facing a child in serious rebellion knows that is true, as does the visiting teacher approached by a woman seeking comfort when her husband told her he was leaving her. Both servants are grateful they prayed that morning for the Lord to send the Holy Ghost as a companion.”
      • “My message then to my grandchildren, and to all of us trying to forge eternal families, is that there is joy guaranteed for the faithful. From before the world was, a loving Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son loved and worked with those who They knew would wander. God will love them forever.”
  • April 2013 General Conference
    • Come Unto Me
      • “I experienced the joy of coming closer to the Savior and of His coming closer to me most often through simple acts of obedience to the commandments.”
      • “As we give devoted service to Him, He draws closer to those we love in our families. Every time I have been called in the Lord’s service to move or to leave my family, I have come to see that the Lord was blessing my wife and my children. He prepared loving servants of His and opportunities to draw my family closer to Him.”
    • We Are One
      • “But there is one way in which we are one in our charge in the priesthood. We sanctify ourselves and fulfill our individual duties to the commandment to take the gospel to all of our Heavenly Father’s children.”
      • “We share experiences in the way in which the Lord builds His kingdom on earth. In His Church, with all the wonderful tools and organization we have been given, there is still a fundamental truth taught by prophets of how we are to fulfill our priesthood mandate of missionary work.”
      • “I pray that wherever we are and whatever duties we have in the priesthood of God, we will be united in the cause to bring the gospel to all the world and that we will encourage people we love to be cleansed from sin and to be happy with us in the kingdom of God.”
  • October 2012 General Conference
    • Help Them Aim High
      • “As a young father I prayed to know what contributions my children might make in the Lord’s kingdom. For the boys, I knew they could have priesthood opportunities.”
      • “With my own children, I prayed for revelation to know how I could help each of them individually prepare for specific opportunities to serve God. And then I tried to help them visualize, hope, and work for this future.”
      • “As a father I was blessed to see great futures in God’s kingdom for my daughters as well as my sons. When I prayerfully sought guidance, I was shown a way to help my daughters recognize the trust God had placed in them as servants who could build His kingdom.”
      • “God knows our gifts. My challenge to you and to me is to pray to know the gifts we have been given, to know how to develop them, and to recognize the opportunities to serve others that God provides us. But most of all, I pray that you will be inspired to help others discover their special gifts from God to serve.”
    • Where Is the Pavilion?
      • “They would have known where to find me, but my desires for professional success might have created a pavilion that would make it hard for me to find God and harder for me to listen to and follow His invitations.”
      • “My personal ambitions might have clouded my view of reality and made it hard for me to receive revelation.”
      • “We can’t insist on our timetable when the Lord has His own.”
      • “Submitting fully to heaven’s will, as this young mother did, is essential to removing the spiritual pavilions we sometimes put over our heads. But it does not guarantee immediate answers to our prayers.”
      • “Many of you, as I have, have felt fear in approaching someone you have offended or who has hurt you. And yet I have seen the Lord melt hearts time after time, including my own. And so I challenge you to go for the Lord to someone, despite any fear you may have, to extend love and forgiveness. I promise you that as you do, you will feel the love of the Savior for that person and His love for you, and it will not seem to come from a great distance. For you, that challenge may be in a family, it may be in a community, or it may be across a nation.”
  • April 2012 General Conference
    • Mountains to Climb
      • “Within a day or two my prayer was answered. The hardest trial of my life surprised and humbled me. It provided me a twofold lesson. First, I had clear proof that God heard and answered my prayer of faith. But second, I began a tutorial that still goes on to learn about why I felt with such confidence that night that a great blessing could come from adversity to more than compensate for any cost.”
      • “One of the keys to an enduring faith is to judge correctly the curing time required. That is why I was unwise to pray so soon in my life for higher mountains to climb and greater tests.”
      • “That curing does not come automatically through the passage of time, but it does take time. Getting older does not do it alone. It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.”
      • “Now, I wish to encourage those who are in the midst of hard trials, who feel their faith may be fading under the onslaught of troubles. Trouble itself can be your way to strengthen and finally gain unshakable faith.”
      • “It is never too late to strengthen the foundation of faith. There is always time. With faith in the Savior, you can repent and plead for forgiveness. There is someone you can forgive. There is someone you can thank. There is someone you can serve and lift. You can do it wherever you are and however alone and deserted you may feel.”
      • “If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word.”
    • Families under Covenant
      • “That father listening with us tonight knows the path to that glorious destination. It is not easy. He already knows that. It took faith in Jesus Christ, deep repentance, and a change in his heart that came with a kind bishop helping him feel the Lord’s loving forgiveness.”
      • “Melchizedek Priesthood holders who are fathers in sealed families have been taught what they must do. There is nothing that has come or will come into your family as important as the sealing blessings. There is nothing more important than honoring the marriage and family covenants you have made or will make in the temples of God.”
      • “First, gain and keep a sure witness that the keys of the priesthood are with us and held by the President of the Church. Pray for that every day. The answer will come with an increase in determination to lead your family, in your feelings of hope, and with greater happiness in your service. You will be more cheerful and optimistic, a great blessing for your wife and family.”
      • “The second imperative is to love your wife. It will take faith and humility to put her interests above your own in the struggles of life. You have the responsibility to provide for and to nurture the family with her while serving others. That can at times consume all the energy and strength you have. Age and illness may increase your wife’s needs. If you choose even then to put her happiness above your own, I promise you that your love for her will increase.”
      • “Third, enlist the entire family to love each other.”
      • “That is a high standard for us, but when we with faith control our tempers and subdue our pride, the Holy Ghost gives His approval, and sacred promises and covenants become sure.”
  • October 2011 General Conference
    • Preparation in the Priesthood: “I Need Your Help”
      • “Good choices both by the person training and the one being trained depend on some understanding of how the Lord prepares His priesthood servants.”
      • “I have come to understand what that inspired bishop meant. He saw in me a golden opportunity to prepare a priesthood holder. I am sure that he did not foresee in that untrained boy a future member of the Presiding Bishopric. But he treated me that day, and all the days I knew him over the years, as a preparation project of great promise.”
      • “Don’t worry about how inexperienced you are or think you are, but think about what, with the Lord’s help, you can become.”
      • “Great teachers have shown me how to prepare to keep the oath and covenant when time and age will make it harder. They have shown and taught me how to discipline myself to work harder than I thought I could while I still have health and strength.”
      • “My prayer is that we may keep our priesthood covenants to qualify ourselves for eternal life and those we are called to train. I promise you if you do all that you can, God will magnify your strength and your wisdom. He will season you. I promise you that those whom you train and set an example for will praise your name as I have this day the great trainers I have known.”
    • A Witness
      • “The Lord is keeping His promise to you as you keep yours. As you serve others for Him, He lets you feel His love. And in time, feelings of charity become part of your very nature. And you will receive the assurance of Mormon in your heart as you persist in serving others in life that all will be well with you.”
      • “Every missionary who is proclaiming the name and gospel of Jesus Christ will be blessed by daily feasting from the Book of Mormon. Parents who struggle to get a witness of the Savior into the heart of a child will be helped as they seek for a way to bring the words and the spirit of the Book of Mormon into the home and all the lives in their family. That has proven true for us.”
      • “Your copy of the Book of Mormon may be hidden from your view by cares and attention to all you have accumulated in your journey. I plead with you to drink deeply and often from its pages. It has in it the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only way home to God.”
  • April 2011 General Conference
    • Opportunities to Do Good
      • “He has invited His children to consecrate their time, their means, and themselves to join with Him in serving others.”
      • “My purpose today is to describe some of the opportunities He has provided for us to help others in need. I cannot speak of them all in our brief time together. My hope is to renew and strengthen your commitment to act.”
      • “Great temporal needs of the children of Heavenly Father have come again in our time as they have and as they will in all times. The principles at the foundation of the Church welfare program are not for only one time or one place. They are for all times and all places.”
      • “First, all people are happier and feel more self-respect when they can provide for themselves and their family and then reach out to take care of others. I have been grateful for those who helped me meet my needs. I have been even more grateful over the years for those who helped me become self-reliant. And then I have been most grateful for those who showed me how to use some of my surplus to help others.”
      • “A second gospel principle that has been a guide to me in welfare work is the power and blessing of unity. When we join hands to serve people in need, the Lord unites our hearts.”
      • “That leads to the third principle of action in welfare work for me: Draw your family into the work with you so that they can learn to care for each other as they care for others. Your sons and daughters who work with you to serve others in need will be more likely to help each other when they are in need.”
      • “The fourth valuable principle of Church welfare I learned as a bishop. It came from following the scriptural command to seek out the poor. It is the duty of the bishop to find and provide help to those who still need assistance after all they and their families can do. I found that the Lord sends the Holy Ghost to make it possible to “seek, and ye shall find” in caring for the poor as He does in finding truth. But I also learned to involve the Relief Society president in the search. She may get the revelation before you do.”
      • “My second suggestion is to choose as recipients of your service people within the kingdom or in the community whose needs will touch the hearts of those who will give the service.”
    • Learning in the Priesthood
      • “I realize now I had felt what the scripture means when it says that the president is to sit in council with the members of his quorum. And years later as I was a bishop with my priests quorum, both they and I were taught by what I had learned as a young priest.”
      • “The second key to increased learning is to have love for each other that comes from great faith. I am not sure which comes first, but both always seem to be there whenever there is great and rapid learning in the priesthood. Joseph Smith taught that to us by example.”
      • “The reverse is true as well. Discord or jealousy inhibits the ability of the Holy Ghost to teach us and inhibits our ability to receive light and truth. And the feelings of disappointment that invariably follow are the seeds of greater discord and faultfinding among those who expected a learning experience that did not come.”
      • “Not only should you be eager to learn your priesthood lessons in this life, but you should be optimistic about what is possible. A few of us may limit in our minds our possibilities to learn what the Lord sets before us in His service.”
      • “You may have thought at one time how much better your life would have been if only you had been admitted to study in some fine school. I pray that you will see the greatness of God’s love for you and of the opportunity He has given you to enter His priesthood school.”
      • “If you will be diligent and obedient in the priesthood, treasures of spiritual knowledge will be poured out upon you. You will grow in your power to resist evil and to proclaim the truth that leads to salvation. You will find joy in the happiness of those you lead toward exaltation. Your family will become a place of learning.”
  • October 2010 General Conference
    • Serve with the Spirit
      • “There will be a common theme in all those stories. It will be the power of the priesthood in a holder whose power to serve was magnified by the Holy Ghost.”
      • “Tonight I will make a few suggestions for the qualification of receiving the Holy Ghost as a companion in your priesthood service. Then I will give a few examples of priesthood service in which you can expect to see your powers to serve strengthened by the influence of the Spirit.”
      • “But reading, studying, and pondering are not the same. We read words and we may get ideas. We study and we may discover patterns and connections in scripture. But when we ponder, we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering, to me, is the thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying in the scriptures carefully.”
      • “Repentance, prayer, and pondering over the scriptures are essential parts of our qualifying for the gifts of the Spirit in our priesthood service. Further magnification of our power to serve will come as we respond with faith to go forward in our callings with the Holy Ghost to help us.”
      • “We need not worry about knowing the right thing to say or do when we get there. The love of God and the Holy Spirit may be enough. When I was a young man I feared that I would not know what to do or to say to people in great need.”
      • “Our priesthood service will be strengthened, people will be blessed, and the light of heaven will be there.The light of heaven will be there for us as well as for those we serve. We may be tired. Our own and our family’s troubles may loom large. But there is a blessing of encouragement for those who serve under the influence of the Spirit.”
      • “We can watch for that blessing of happiness and joy to come when we need it during the difficult times in our faithful priesthood service.”
    • Trust in God, Then Go and Do
      • “As I read that message from a servant of God, my errand for today became clear. God sends messages and authorized messengers to His children. I am to build trust in God and His servants enough that we will go out and obey His counsel. He wants that because He loves us and wants our happiness. And He knows how a lack of trust in Him brings sadness.”
      • “The Father revealed to us that He lives, that Jesus Christ is His Beloved Son, and that He loved us enough to send that Son to save us, who are His children. And because I have a testimony that He called that unlettered boy as an apostle and prophet, I trust His apostles and prophets today and those they call to serve God.”
      • “You show your trust in Him when you listen with the intent to learn and repent and then you go and do whatever He asks. If you trust God enough to listen for His message in every sermon, song, and prayer in this conference, you will find it. And if you then go and do what He would have you do, your power to trust Him will grow, and in time you will be overwhelmed with gratitude to find that He has come to trust you.”
  • April 2010 General Conference
    • Help Them on Their Way Home
      • “Foreseeing the needs of His children, a loving Heavenly Father placed directions and rescuers along their way. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to make safe passage possible and visible. He called as His prophet in these times President Thomas S. Monson. Since his youth President Monson has taught not only how to stay on the path but also how to rescue those who have been led away into sorrow.”
      • “The Lord has placed a pattern of rescue and rescuers in His kingdom. In His wisdom the Lord has inspired His servants to place some of the most powerful ways to strengthen us and to put in place the best rescuers as we pass through the teenage years.”
      • “The example they most need from us is to do what they must do. We need to pray for the gifts of the Spirit. We need to ponder in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets. We need to make plans which are not only wishes but covenants. And then we need to keep our promises to the Lord. And we need to lift others by sharing with them the blessings of the Atonement which have come in our lives.”
    • Act in All Diligence
      • “We are to learn our duty from the Lord, and then we are to act in all diligence, never being lazy or slothful. The pattern is simple but not easy to follow. We are so easily distracted. Studying the daily news can appear more interesting than the priesthood lesson manual. Sitting down to rest can be more attractive than making appointments to visit those who need our priesthood service.”
      • “Whenever we remember Him, it becomes easier to resist the temptation to want a rest from our priesthood labors. We must have remembered Him today, and so we are here to learn our duties, determined to do what we are covenanted to do, in all diligence. And because of His example we will endure to the end of the tasks He gives us in this life and be committed to do the will of His Father forever, as He was and is.”
      • “I walked out into the night grateful to have witnessed the Lord’s kindness to His unfailingly diligent priesthood servants. He changes their hearts to want what He wants and to act as He would act.”
      • “I close now with this counsel to the Lord’s priesthood servants. Ponder deeply and diligently in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets. Persist in prayer for the Holy Ghost to reveal to you the nature of God the Father and His Beloved Son. Plead that the Spirit will show you what the Lord wants you to do. Plan to do it. Promise Him to obey. Act with determination until you have done what He asked. And then pray to give thanks for the opportunity to serve and to know what you might do next.”
  • October 2009 General Conference
    • Be Ready
      • “When the call came, I was ready. The preparation was far more than having consecrated oil close at hand. It must begin long before the crisis which requires priesthood power. Those who are prepared will be ready to answer.”
      • “The first is to have faith. The priesthood is the authority to act in the name of God. It is the right to call down the powers of heaven. So you must have faith that God lives and that you have won His confidence to allow you to use His power for His purposes.”
      • “That faith did not come in the moment when Nephi needed it, nor did God’s trust in Nephi. He earned that great faith and God’s confidence by courageous and sustained labor in the Lord’s service. You young men are building that faith now for the days ahead when you will need it.”
      • “Now, the second thing they will need is confidence that they can live up to the blessings and the trust which God has offered them. Most of the influences around them drag them down to doubt the existence of God, of His love for them, and of the reality of the sometimes quiet messages they receive through the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Christ. Their peers may urge them to choose sin. If young men choose sin, those messages from God will become more faint.”
      • “As we lead and influence young men, we must never do it to gratify our pride or our ambition. We must never use compulsion in any degree of unrighteousness. That is a high standard of the example we must set for our youth.”
      • “Many fathers and leaders, when they hear the words of the 121st section of the Doctrine and Covenants, will feel that they must rise higher to come up to that standard. I do. Can you remember a moment when you rebuked a child or youth with sharpness when you were moved by something other than inspiration? Can you remember a time when you told a son to do something or make a sacrifice you were not willing to do or make yourself? Those feelings of regret can spur us to repentance to become more nearly the examples we have covenanted to be.”
    • Our Perfect Example
      • “We believe that through living the gospel of Jesus Christ we can become like the Savior, who is perfect. Considering the attributes of Jesus Christ should quash the pride of the self-satisfied person who thinks he or she has no need to improve. And even the most humble person can take hope in the invitation to become like the Savior.”
      • “First, I give counsel to husbands and wives. Pray for the love which allows you to see the good in your companion. Pray for the love that makes weaknesses and mistakes seem small. Pray for the love to make your companion’s joy your own. Pray for the love to want to lessen the load and soften the sorrows of your companion.”
      • “None of us is perfect yet. But we can have frequent assurance that we are following along the way. He leads us, and He beckons for us to follow Him.”
  • April 2009 General Conference
    • Adversity
      • “The anger comes at least in part from a feeling that what is happening is unfair. The good health and the serene sense of being secure can become to seem deserved and natural. When they vanish, a feeling of injustice can come. Even a brave man I knew wept and cried out in his physical suffering to those who ministered to him: “I have always tried to be good. How could this happen?””
      • “That aching for an answer to “How could this happen?” becomes even more painful when those struggling include those we love. And it is especially hard for us to accept when those afflicted seem to us to be blameless. Then the distress can shake faith in the reality of a loving and all-powerful God. Some of us have seen such doubt come to infect a whole generation of people in times of war or famine. Such doubt can grow and spread until some may turn away from God, whom they charge with being indifferent or cruel. And if unchecked, those feelings can lead to loss of faith that there is a God at all.”
      • “It is clear that for us to have that gift and to be given that trust, we must be transformed through making righteous choices where that is hard to do. We are prepared for so great a trust by passing through trying and testing experiences in mortality. That education can come only as we are subject to trials while serving God and others for Him.”
      • “I have seen faith and courage come from a testimony that it is true that we are being prepared for eternal life. The Lord will rescue His faithful disciples. And the disciple who accepts a trial as an invitation to grow and therefore qualify for eternal life can find peace in the midst of the struggle.”
      • “That young man with whom I spoke recently was one who had done more than put away food and a little savings for the misfortune which living prophets had warned would come. He had begun to prepare his heart to be worthy of the Lord’s help which he knew he would in the near future need. When I asked his wife on the day he lost his job if she was worried, she said with cheerfulness in her voice, “No, we’ve just come from the bishop’s office. We are full-tithe payers.” Now, it is still too early to tell, but I felt assured as they seemed to be assured: “Things will work out.” Tragedy did not erode their faith; it tested it and strengthened it. And the feeling of peace the Lord has promised has already been delivered in the midst of the storm. Other miracles are sure to follow.”
    • “Man Down!”
      • “Such a feeling of responsibility for others is at the heart of faithful priesthood service. Our comrades are being wounded in the spiritual conflict around us. So are the people we are called to serve and protect from harm. Spiritual wounds are not easily visible, except with inspired eyes. But bishops, branch presidents, and mission presidents sitting before fellow disciples of the Savior can see the wounded and the wounds.”
      • “I would never put off such an impression because I had learned that the wounds of sin are often not felt at first by the one being hurt. Satan seems sometimes to inject something to deaden the spiritual pain while inflicting the wound. Unless something happens soon to begin repentance, the wound can worsen and widen.”
      • “Only an authorized judge in Israel is given the power and the responsibility to verify that there is a serious wound, to explore it, and then, under inspiration from God, to prescribe the necessary treatment for healing to begin. Yet you are under covenant to go to a spiritually wounded child of God. You are responsible to be brave enough and bold enough not to turn away.”
      • “May we have a part of the desire which Jehovah had, in the world before this one, when He asked to come down from the realms of glory to serve us and give His life for us. He asked His Father, “Send me.””
  • October 2008 General Conference
    • O Ye That Embark
      • “Most of you have discovered that your priesthood duties will stretch you to the point that you wonder if you can stretch that far.”
      • “Those of you further down the road are smiling because you know something about priesthood service. It is this: the more faithful service you give, the more the Lord asks of you. Your smile is a happy one because you know that He increases our power to carry the heavier load.”
      • “The tough part of that reality, however, is that for Him to give you that increased power you must go in service and faith to your outer limits.”
      • “The promise which President Monson remembered and quoted was fulfilled for me. Confidence replaced doubt, the Spirit came, medical helpers were inspired, my life was preserved, and I was borne up. Because of that blessing by President Monson, it will always be easy for me to remember the Savior and trust His promise that He goes before and beside us in His service.”
      • “We can expect in our service to have help sent to us at the right time who will see strength in us and lift us up. And we can look forward to being the one sent by the Lord to encourage another.”
      • “Time and again over your life, the Lord has been giving you the experiences to build strength, courage, and determination. He knew how much you would need that to serve Him.”
      • “My heart was stirred in those days then as it is now with a conviction that the promise was true for me and for us in all our priesthood service. We will find joy in going wherever the Lord would have us serve. We will be given the revelation to speak His words to invite Heavenly Father’s children to become changed by the Atonement and fit to go home and live with Him. And I felt then as I do now that our faithful service would allow Him to change our hearts to fit us for His companionship and to serve Him forever.”
    • Our Hearts Knit as One
      • “We see increased conflict between peoples in the world around us. Those divisions and differences could infect us. That is why my message of hope today is that a great day of unity is coming. The Lord Jehovah will return to live with those who have become His people and will find them united, of one heart, unified with Him and with our Heavenly Father.”
      • “The miracle of unity is being granted to us as we pray and work for it in the Lord’s way. Our hearts will be knit together in unity. God has promised that blessing to His faithful Saints whatever their differences in background and whatever conflict rages around them. He was praying for us as well as His disciples when He asked His Father that we might be one.”
      • “That is why Alma commanded the people to teach faith and repentance. That is why my children came to expect in every lesson in family night that I would find a way to encourage someone to testify of the Savior and His mission. Sometimes the parents did it. On our best nights we found a way to encourage the children to do it, either by presenting the lesson or answering questions. When testimony about the Savior was borne, the Holy Ghost verified it. On those nights we felt our hearts being knit together.”
      • “That leads to another principle of unity. It is to speak well of each other. Think of the last time you were asked what you thought about how someone else was doing in your family or in the Church. It happened to me more than once in the past week. Now, there are times we must judge others. Sometimes we are required to pronounce such judgments. But more often we can make a choice.”
      • “We must follow that same principle as the Lord gathers more and more people who are not like us. What will become more obvious to us is that the Atonement brings the same changes in all of us. We become disciples who are meek, loving, easy to be entreated, and at the same time fearless and faithful in all things. We still live in different countries, but we come into the Church through a process that changes us.”
  • April 2008 General Conference
    • The True and Living Church
      • “Now our obligation is to remain worthy of the faith necessary for us to fulfill our promise to sustain those who have been called. The Lord was well pleased with the Church at the beginning of the Restoration, as He is today. But He cautioned the members then, as He does now, that He cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. For us to sustain those who have been called today, we must examine our lives, repent as necessary, pledge to keep the Lord’s commandments, and follow His servants. The Lord warns us that if we do not do those things, the Holy Ghost will be withdrawn, we will lose the light which we have received, and we will not be able to keep the pledge we have made today to sustain the Lord’s servants in His true Church.”
      • “We know from prophecy that not only will the true and living Church not be taken from the earth again, but it will become better. Our lives will be transformed for the better as we exercise faith unto repentance, always remember the Savior, and try ever harder to keep His commandments. The scriptures contain promises that when the Lord comes again to His Church, He will find it spiritually prepared for Him. That should make us both determined and optimistic. We must do better. We can. And we will.”
      • “Most of all I am grateful for my experience of the cleansing power available through the ordinances performed by the power of priesthood. I have felt forgiveness and cleansing through baptism by those with authority. I have felt the burning in my bosom that is only possible because of words spoken by servants of God: “Receive the Holy Ghost.””
      • “I can see evidence of the prophesied perfecting of the Church. For example, as I travel and come to know the members of the Church, I see that there is a steady improvement in their lives. In their simple faith and obedience, the Atonement is changing and edifying the members.”
      • “There is another improvement I am confident will come. Families across the Church are searching for ways to strengthen and protect their children against the evils around them. In some cases those parents are desperately trying to bring back some in their family who have wandered. I am confident that there will be, increasingly, a reward given by God for their efforts. Those who never give up will find that God never gave up and that He will help them.”
    • Faith and the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood
      • “The Lord has made those consequences clear. Rising to the possibilities of the oath and covenant brings the greatest of all the gifts of God: eternal life. That is a purpose of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Through keeping the covenants as we receive the priesthood and renewing them in the temple ceremonies, we are promised by an oath made by our Heavenly Father, Elohim, that we will gain the fulness of His glory and live as He lives. We will have the blessing of being sealed in a family forever with the promise of eternal increase.”
      • “Whether you accept the oath and covenant and find it too difficult or if you fail to try, the penalty is the same. There is no question, therefore, that your best course and mine is to receive the holy priesthood and try with all of our hearts to keep its covenants. If we choose not to try, we would certainly lose the opportunity for eternal life. If we try and with God’s help succeed, we will gain eternal life.”
      • “First, the very fact that you have been offered the oath and covenant is evidence that God has chosen you, knowing your power and capacity. He has known you since you were with Him in the spirit world. With His foreknowledge of your strength, He has allowed you to find the true Church of Jesus Christ and to be offered the priesthood. You can feel confidence because you have evidence of His confidence in you.”
      • “Second, as you will try to keep your covenants, the Savior has promised His personal help. He has said that as you go forward in honoring the priesthood: “There I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.””
      • “In the same way, faith in the oath and covenant will lead us to develop the feelings of charity essential to an eternal family. One of the promises we make as we accept the priesthood is to care for others.”
      • “My prayer is that you will decide tonight, and then every day, to go forward in faith in keeping your covenants with God and so claim the promise He has made to you with an oath. You can do it in simple things. When you meet with your quorum, you can decide to see them as brothers in the family of God. There will be someone in your quorum or priesthood group who is in need. He may not show it. You may not be able to see it with your eyes. But God knows and invites you to be His servant in helping him.”
      • “There is another thing you can do. You can study the word of God, not for yourself alone but to be an emissary of the Lord Jesus Christ to all the world. When you increase your power to teach the gospel, you are qualifying to help Heavenly Father in gathering His children.”
  • October 2007 General Conference
    • God Helps the Faithful Priesthood Holder
      • “So to the new deacons: remember. He has always taken care of you from your childhood. To the new quorum presidents: remember. To you fathers with children who are a challenge to you: remember, and have no fear. What is impossible for you is possible with God’s help in His service. And even when you were very small and in the years since, He has with His power and His Spirit gone before your face and been on your left hand and on your right hand when you went in His service (see D&C 84:88). You can receive assurance that God will watch over you if you pray for it in faith. I know that.”
      • “But be prepared to lose track of time as you pray. You will feel love for the people you are to serve. You will feel their needs, their hopes, their hurts, and those of their families. And as you pray, the circle will grow wider than you would imagine, to perhaps people not in your quorum or your family but to those they love across the world. When you forget yourself to pray for the circle of others, your service will be extended in your heart. It will change not only your service but your heart. That is because the Father and His Beloved Son, whom you are called to serve, know and love so many people your service will touch, however limited to a few it may seem to be to you.”
      • “Now, tonight let us decide together what we are going to do. All of us, whatever our callings may be, face tasks that are beyond our own powers. I do and you do. That’s true from the simple fact that success is to get testimony down into the hearts of people. We can’t make that happen. Even God won’t force that on anyone.”
      • “But immodesty is now so common that everyday life requires discipline—a conscious choice not to linger watching whatever might create in us feelings which would repel the Spirit.”
    • O Remember, Remember
      • “My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies. You may not keep a journal. You may not share whatever record you keep with those you love and serve. But you and they will be blessed as you remember what the Lord has done.”
      • “Sadly, prosperity is not the only reason people forget God. It can also be hard to remember Him when our lives go badly. When we struggle, as so many do, in grinding poverty or when our enemies prevail against us or when sickness is not healed, the enemy of our souls can send his evil message that there is no God or that if He exists He does not care about us. Then it can be hard for the Holy Ghost to bring to our remembrance the lifetime of blessings the Lord has given us from our infancy and in the midst of our distress.”
      • “It is the Holy Ghost who testifies that Jesus Christ is the Beloved Son of a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to have eternal life with Him in families. With even the beginning of that testimony, we feel a desire to serve Him and to keep His commandments. When we persist in doing that, we receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost to give us power in our service. We come to see the hand of God more clearly, so clearly that in time we not only remember Him, but we come to love Him and, through the power of the Atonement, become more like Him.”
  • April 2007 General Conference
    • This Day
      • “Serving Him invites the Holy Ghost to be with us. And the Holy Ghost is a cleanser of sin.”
      • “On many days, doing what matters most will not be easy. It is not supposed to be.”
      • “All of us will need His help to avoid the tragedy of procrastinating what we must do here and now to have eternal life. For most of us the temptation to delay will come from one or both of two feelings. They are polar opposites: one is to be complacent about what we have already done, and the other is to feel overwhelmed by the need to do more.”
      • “It is hard to know when we have done enough for the Atonement to change our natures and so qualify us for eternal life. And we don’t know how many days we will have to give the service necessary for that mighty change to come. But we know that we will have days enough if only we don’t waste them.”
      • “For those who are discouraged by their circumstances and are therefore tempted to feel they cannot serve the Lord this day, I make you two promises. Hard as things seem today, they will be better in the next day if you choose to serve the Lord this day with your whole heart. Your circumstances may not be improved in all the ways which you desire. But you will have been given new strength to carry your burdens and new confidence that when your burdens become too heavy, the Lord, whom you have served, will carry what you cannot. He knows how. He prepared long ago. He suffered your infirmities and your sorrows when He was in the flesh so that He would know how to succor you.”
  • October 2006 General Conference
    • A Priesthood Quorum
      • “Rather, the strength of a quorum comes in large measure from how completely its members are united in righteousness. That unity in a strong quorum of the priesthood is not like anything I have experienced in an athletic team or club or any other organization in the world.”
      • “Miracles of power can come as quorums reach out to serve others. They come as well when the priesthood service is to members within the quorum.”
  • April 2006 General Conference
    • As a Child
      • “Anyone with eyes to see the signs of the times and ears to hear the words of prophets knows that the peril is great. The peril comes from the forces of wickedness. Those forces are increasing. And so it will become harder, not easier, to keep the covenants we must make to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
      • “It has never been more important than it is now to understand how to build on that sure foundation.”
      • “But King Benjamin, who understood as well as any mortal what it meant to be a man of strength and courage, makes it clear that to be like a child is not to be childish. It is to be like the Savior, who prayed to His Father for strength to be able to do His will and then did it. Our natures must be changed to become as a child to gain the strength we must have to be safe in the times of moral peril.”
      • “What we need is faith in Him and to love Him. We must know that He lives and who He is. When we do, we will love Him.”
  • October 2005 General Conference
    • Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady
      • “But there is another even more important preparation we must make for tests that are certain to come to each of us. That preparation must be started far in advance because it takes time. What we will need then can’t be bought. It can’t be borrowed. It doesn’t store well. And it has to have been used regularly and recently. What we will need in our day of testing is a spiritual preparation.”
      • “It will take unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to choose the way to eternal life. It is by using that faith we can know the will of God. It is by acting on that faith we build the strength to do the will of God. And it is by exercising that faith in Jesus Christ that we can resist temptation and gain forgiveness through the Atonement.”
      • “We will need to have developed and nurtured faith in Jesus Christ long before Satan hits us, as he will, with doubts and appeals to our carnal desires and with lying voices saying that good is bad and that there is no sin. Those spiritual storms are already raging. We can expect that they will worsen until the Savior returns.”
      • “The Savior showed us a great example of such a prayer of submission. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane as He worked out the Atonement that His Father’s will would be done. He knew that His Father’s will would be for Him to do what was so painful and so terrible that we cannot comprehend it. He prayed not simply to accept the Father’s will but to do it. He showed us the way to pray in perfect and determined submission.”
      • “Decisions now to exercise faith and be steady in obedience will in time produce great faith and assurance. That is the spiritual preparedness we all will need. And it will qualify us in the moments of crisis to receive the Lord’s promise that “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.””
  • April 2005 General Conference
    • Hearts Bound Together
      • “The Lord knew you would have those feelings when He allowed you to receive the covenants which are blessing your life. He knew you would feel a desire for your family to share the blessings you felt coming into the Church. Even more, He knew how that desire would increase when you came to know the joy of the promises He makes to us in sacred temples. There, for those who qualify, He lets us make covenants with Him. We promise to obey His commandments. And He promises us, if we are faithful, that we may live with Him in glory in families forever in the world to come.”
      • “Many of your ancestors died never having the chance to accept the gospel and to receive the blessings and promises you have received. The Lord is fair and He is loving. And so He prepared for you and me a way for us to have the desire of our hearts to offer to our ancestors all the blessings He has offered us.”
      • “Some of those words are crucial to understand. The great and dreadful day of the Lord is the end of the world. Jehovah, the Messiah, will come in glory. The wicked will all be destroyed. We live in the last days. Time could be running out for us to do what we have promised to do.”
      • “As you came into the Church, you have felt your heart being turned toward family, both those who are living and those who are in the spirit world. The Lord provided another vision to help you know what to do with those feelings.”
      • “Many of your deceased ancestors will have received a testimony that the message of the missionaries is true. When you received that testimony you could ask the missionaries for baptism. But those who are in the spirit world cannot. The ordinances you so cherish are offered only in this world. Someone in this world must go to a holy temple and accept the covenants on behalf of the person in the spirit world. That is why we are under obligation to find the names of our ancestors and ensure that they are offered by us what they cannot receive there without our help.”
      • “Your opportunities and the obligations they create are remarkable in the whole history of the world. There are more temples across the earth than there have ever been. More people in all the world have felt the Spirit of Elijah move them to record the identities and facts of their ancestors’ lives. There are more resources to search out your ancestors than there have ever been in the history of the world. The Lord has poured out knowledge about how to make that information available worldwide through technology that a few years ago would have seemed a miracle.”
  • October 2004 General Conference
    • Faith and Keys
      • “But just as in the time of Paul, the power of those priesthood keys for us requires our faith. We have to know by inspiration that the priesthood keys are held by those who lead and serve us. That requires the witness of the Spirit.”
      • “It has always been hard to recognize in fallible human beings the authorized servants of God.”
      • “The warning for us is plain. If we look for human frailty in humans, we will always find it. When we focus on finding the frailties of those who hold priesthood keys, we run risks for ourselves. When we speak or write to others of such frailties, we put them at risk.”
      • “With those continual changes comes a great opportunity. We can act to qualify for the revelation that allows us to know that the keys are being passed by God from one person to another. We can seek to have that experience again and again. And we must, in order to receive the blessings God has for us and wants us to offer to others.”
  • April 2004 General Conference
    • In the Strength of the Lord
      • “We have trials to face because our Heavenly Father loves us. His purpose is to help us qualify for the blessing of living with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, forever in glory and in families. To qualify for that gift we had to receive a mortal body. With that mortality we understood that we would be tested by temptations and by difficulties.”
      • “Knowing why we are tested and what the test is tells us how to get help. We have to go to God. He gives us the commandments. And we will need more than our own strength to keep them.”
      • “In the Master’s service, you will come to know and love Him. You will, if you persevere in prayer and faithful service, begin to sense that the Holy Ghost has become a companion. Many of us have for a period given such service and felt that companionship. If you think back on that time, you will remember that there were changes in you. The temptation to do evil seemed to lessen. The desire to do good increased.”
  • October 2003 General Conference
    • An Enduring Testimony of the Mission of the Prophet Joseph
      • “Those you love can have more than the physical evidence given those witnesses by what they saw and heard. Those three witnesses had something more, something we all need. The Holy Ghost bore witness to their minds and hearts that what they saw and heard was true. The Spirit told them that the angel was from God and that the voice was that of the Lord Jesus Christ. That witness of the Spirit was given to them and many who were not there. It is a witness that can, if we qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, be ours and stay with us forever.”
      • “Now, we teach things of the Spirit best with both example and testimony. I don’t remember much of what my parents said about the Holy Ghost, but I remember what I felt when I saw them do the things which brought the Holy Ghost into our home. Here are some things you can teach those you love with your example and testimony, with confidence that the Lord will send the Spirit to confirm truth to their minds and to their hearts.”
      • “You and those you love will receive the word of God by obeying it. That will allow them to feel His love. That is one of the great blessings of the gift of the Holy Ghost. When we feel that love we can know that our course in life is approved of God. That is the feast of the delicious fruit described in the Book of Mormon.”
      • “Some may not feel that blessing in their Church service. But that is because they have focused on the mechanics and not the glorious opportunity of publishing “peace, yea, tidings of great joy” to God’s children in His kingdom. When that is how we see our service, we will not only be lifted up at the last day but refreshed and encouraged along the way. And the Spirit will testify that this is the Lord’s kingdom restored in the latter days.”
  • April 2003 General Conference
    • A Child and a Disciple
      • “I’ve studied carefully and prayerfully some who are remarkably faithful and effective witnesses of the Savior and His Church. Their stories are inspiring. One humble man was called as the president of a tiny branch. There were so few members he could not see how the branch could function. He walked into a grove of trees to pray. He asked God what he should do. An answer came. He and the few members began inviting friends to join with them. In a year, hundreds had come into the waters of baptism and become fellow citizens in the Lord’s Church.”
      • “There is no single pattern in what they do. There is no common technique. Some always carry a Book of Mormon to give away. Others set a date to find someone for the missionaries to teach. Another has found questions which draw out feelings about what matters most in life to a person. Each has prayed to know what to do. They each seem to get a different answer, suited especially to them and to the people they meet.”
      • “Those who speak easily and often of the restored gospel prize what it has meant to them. They think of that great blessing often. It is the memory of the gift they have received which makes them eager for others to receive it. They have felt the love of the Savior.”
      • “You won’t need to build up your courage for one great moment to speak to someone and then retreat. The fact that most people are not interested in the restored gospel will have little bearing on what you do and say. Speaking what you believe will be part of what you are.”
      • “Whatever tumults occur, we can know that God will set bounds to fulfill His promises. He, not just men, has the ultimate control of nations and of events to allow His purposes to be fulfilled. Among every people and every nation there will be raised up those who serve with absolute assurance that they are children of God and who have become purified disciples of the resurrected Christ in His Church.”
      • “To be part of that miracle, you must not wait until you feel closer to Heavenly Father or until you are sure that you have been purified through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Pray for the chance to encounter people who sense there could be something better in their lives. Pray to know what you should do to help them. Your prayers will be answered. You will meet people prepared by the Lord. You will find yourself feeling and saying things beyond your past experience. And then in time you will feel yourself drawing closer to your Heavenly Father, and you will feel the cleansing and the forgiveness the Savior promises His faithful witnesses. And you will feel His approval, knowing you have done what He asked of you, because He loves you and trusts you.”
  • October 2002 General Conference
    • Rise to Your Call
      • “You see, even the newest member of the Church can sense that a call to service should be primarily a matter of the heart. It is by giving our whole hearts to the Master and keeping His commandments that we come to know Him. In time, through the power of the Atonement, our hearts are changed, and we can become like Him. So there is a better way to help those who are called than descriptions of what they are to do.”
      • “You see, there are no small callings to represent the Lord. Your call carries grave responsibility. But you need not fear, because with your call come great promises.”
      • “When you are released from your calling, you will learn what I learned then. God magnifies those He calls, even in what may seem to you a small or inconspicuous service. You will have the gift of seeing your service magnified. Give thanks while that gift is yours. You will appreciate its worth more than you can imagine when it is gone.”
      • “If I only think of my own performance, my sadness deepens. But when I remember that the Lord promised that His power would go with me, I begin to look for evidence of what He has done in the lives of the people I am to serve. I pray to see with spiritual eyes the effects of His power.”
      • “You can have the utmost assurance that your power will be multiplied many times by the Lord. All He asks is that you give your best effort and your whole heart. Do it cheerfully and with the prayer of faith. The Father and His Beloved Son will send the Holy Ghost as your companion to guide you. Your efforts will be magnified in the lives of the people you serve. And when you look back on what may now seem trying times of service and sacrifice, the sacrifice will have become a blessing, and you will know that you have seen the arm of God lifting those you served for Him, and lifting you.”
  • April 2002 General Conference
    • True Friends
      • “I think of that each time I visit with new members of the Church. I get that opportunity often, across the world. I see their trusting faces, and often they tell me about some trial of their faith, and then, with urgency in their voices, they whisper, “Please pray for me.” At those moments, I feel again the weight of the charge to each of us from the Lord’s living prophet. It is to keep the promise we made in the waters of baptism “to bear one another’s burdens.” It is to be a friend.”
      • “The Holy Ghost is a comforter and a guide. But it is also a cleansing agent. That is why service in the kingdom is so crucial to enduring. When we are called to serve, we can pray for the Holy Ghost to be our companion with assurance it will come. When we ask in faith, a change can come in our natures both for the welfare of our souls and to strengthen us for the tests we all must face.”
      • “There are limits on what friends can do to help the ones who must endure. It is the new members who must pray. It is they who must rely on the strength they will receive in answers to their prayers. They must choose for themselves in faith to be baptized, trusting in their perfect friend, the Savior. They must choose in faith in Him to repent, to be humble and contrite.”
      • “All of us will be tested. And all of us need true friends to love us, to listen to us, to show us the way, and to testify of truth to us so that we may retain the companionship of the Holy Ghost. You must be such a true friend.”
  • October 2001 General Conference
    • Prayer
      • “While God implores us to pray, the enemy of our souls belittles and then derides it.”
      • “That desire to make our own choices is part of the upward pull toward eternal life. But it can, if we see life only through our mortal eyes, make dependence on God difficult or even impossible when we feel such a powerful desire to be independent.”
      • “Joseph Smith’s mission was unique, yet his humble prayer can be a helpful model for us. He began, as we must, with faith in a loving God who can and wants to communicate with us and help us. That faith was rooted in impressions which came to him as he pondered the words of God’s servants in the scriptures. We can and must go often and carefully to the word of God. If we become casual in our study of the scriptures, we will become casual in our prayers.”
  • April 2001 General Conference
    • “Watch with Me”
      • “I pray that I might explain our sacred trust so that even the newest deacon and the convert most recently ordained will see his opportunity. In many places in the scriptures, the Lord has described Himself and those He calls to the priesthood as shepherds. A shepherd watches over sheep. In the scriptural stories, the sheep are in danger; they need protection and nourishment. The Savior warns us that we must watch the sheep as He does. He gave His life for them. They are His. We cannot approach His standard if, like a hired servant, we watch only when it is convenient and only for a reward.”
      • “It is painful to imagine a shepherd feeding himself and letting the sheep go hungry. Yet I have seen many shepherds who feed their flocks.”
      • “The wolf who would kill the sheep will surely tear at the shepherd. So we must watch over ourselves as well as others. As a shepherd, we will be tempted to go near the edges of sin. But sin in any form offends the Holy Ghost. You must not do anything or go anywhere that offends the Spirit. You cannot afford that risk. Should sin cause you to fail, you would not only be responsible for your own sins but for the sorrow you might have prevented in the lives of others had you been worthy to hear and obey the whisperings of the Spirit. The shepherd must be able to hear the voice of the Spirit and bring down the powers of heaven or he will fail.”
      • “It is love that must motivate the shepherds of Israel. That may seem difficult at the start, because we may not even know the Lord well. But if we begin with even a little grain of faith in Him, our service to the sheep will increase our love for Him and for them. It comes from simple things that every shepherd must do. We pray for the sheep, every one for whom we are responsible.”
  • October 2000 General Conference
    • “Write upon My Heart”
      • “I knew that we never profane His sacred name—never. Can you imagine how the prayers of a child are harmed by hearing a parent profane the name of God? There will be terrible consequences for such an offense to the little ones.”
      • “I had learned that we must always pray in the name of Jesus Christ. But something I had seen and heard had taught me those words were more than a formality. There was a picture of the Savior on the bedroom wall where my mother was bedridden in the years before she died. She had put it there because of something her cousin Samuel O. Bennion had told her. He had traveled with an Apostle who described seeing the Savior in a vision. Elder Bennion gave her that print, saying that it was the best portrayal he had ever seen of the Master’s strength of character. So she framed it and placed it on the wall where she could see it from her bed.”
      • “Years after my mother and father are gone, the words “in the name of Jesus Christ” are not casual for me, either when I say them or when I hear others say them. We must serve Him to know the Master’s heart. But we also must pray that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers in our hearts as well as in our minds.”
      • “I have had prayers answered. Those answers were most clear when what I wanted was silenced by an overpowering need to know what God wanted. It is then that the answer from a loving Heavenly Father can be spoken to the mind by the still, small voice and can be written on the heart.”
      • “When we teach those we love that we are spirit children temporarily away from a loving Heavenly Father, we open the door of prayer to them.”
  • April 2000 General Conference
    • Watch Over and Strengthen
      • “First, to the newly called: Confidence depends on your seeing the call for what it is. Your call to serve is not from human beings. It is a trust from God. And the service is not simply to perform a task. Whatever name it has, every call is an opportunity and an obligation to watch over and strengthen the children of our Heavenly Father. The Savior’s work is to bring to pass their immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39). He called us to serve others so that we could strengthen our own faith as well as theirs. He knows that by serving Him we will come to know Him.”
      • “The strengthening we are to give those we watch over comes from the Savior. We and they must forgive to be forgiven by Him (see Matt. 6:14). We and they can only hope to remain clean with His protection and with the change in our hearts that His Atonement makes possible. We need that change to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Such a gift might seem too lofty and too distant for us and for those we serve.”
      • “Finally, a word to those of us who are served by those who are newly called. Our opportunity and our obligation is the same as theirs. We are to watch and strengthen. And each of us has almost endless chances to do it. Every meeting you attend, every class, every activity will have someone doing something that to them is at the limit of their capacities, or maybe a little beyond. Most of us carry into those situations the attitudes we learn in the world, where we may be quick to notice inferior service. It is too easy to think, In the Lord’s true Church, our standard of performance should be higher than that.”
  • October 1999 General Conference
    • Do Not Delay
      • “The temptation to delay repentance comes not only at the end of the world as suggested by those scriptures. That temptation seems to have been nearly constant since the beginning of time and goes on throughout our lives.”
      • “And so Satan tempts with procrastination throughout our days of probation. Any choice to delay repentance gives him the chance to steal happiness from one of the spirit children of our Heavenly Father.”
      • “A second truth about our accountability is to know that we are not the helpless victims of our circumstances. The world tries to tell us that the opposite is true: imperfections in our parents or our faulty genetic inheritance are presented to us as absolving us of personal responsibility. But difficult as circumstances may be, they do not relieve us of accountability for our actions or our inactions. Nephi was right. God gives no commandments to the children of men save He prepares a way for them to obey. However difficult our circumstances, we can repent.”
      • “That becomes especially difficult when others hurt us and we feel justified in our anger. It is a lie that our anger justifies our impulse to hurt or ignore our antagonists. We are to forgive to be forgiven. To wait for them to repent before we forgive and repent is to allow them to choose for us a delay which could cost us happiness here and hereafter.”
  • April 1999 General Conference
    • The Power of Teaching Doctrine
      • “The need to open eyes and hearts tells us how we must teach doctrine. Doctrine gains its power as the Holy Ghost confirms that it is true. We prepare those we teach, as best we can, to receive the quiet promptings of the still, small voice. That takes at least some faith in Jesus Christ. It takes at least some humility, some willingness to surrender to the Savior’s will for us. The person you would help may have little of either, but you can urge that they desire to believe. More than that, you can take confidence from another of the powers of doctrine. Truth can prepare its own way. Simply hearing the words of doctrine can plant the seed of faith in the heart. And even a tiny seed of faith in Jesus Christ invites the Spirit.”
      • “Because we need the Holy Ghost, we must be cautious and careful not to go beyond teaching true doctrine. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Truth. His confirmation is invited by our avoiding speculation or personal interpretation. That can be hard to do. You love the person you are trying to influence. He or she may have ignored the doctrine they have been taught. It is tempting to try something new or sensational. But we invite the Holy Ghost as our companion when we are careful to teach only true doctrine.”
  • October 1998 General Conference
    • A Voice of Warning
      • “Our ability to touch others with our warning voice matters to all who are covenant disciples of Jesus Christ. Here is the charge given to each of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor” (D&C 88:81).”
      • “The missionaries will help and encourage us, but whether such moments at the baptismal font and in the temple come more often will depend largely on how we see our charge and what we choose to do about it. The Lord would not use the word warn if there is no danger. Yet not many people we know sense it. They have learned to ignore the increasing evidence that society is unraveling and that their lives and family lack the peace they once thought was possible. That willingness to ignore the signs of danger can make it easy for you to think: Why should I speak to anyone about the gospel who seems content? What danger is there to them or to me if I do or say nothing?”
      • “When I think of him, and when I think of that widow I baptized and her family who will now be sealed to her and to each other, I want to do better. I want to increase my power to invite people to be taught. With that desire and with faith that God will help us, we will do better. It isn’t hard to see how.”
      • “The people I met at those meetings could not yet recognize the truth in the doctrine, but they had already seen its fruit in your lives, and so they were ready to listen. They were ready to listen to the truths of the Restoration—that families can be sealed forever and that the gospel can change our very natures. They were ready because of your examples.”
  • April 1998 General Conference
    • That We May Be One
      • “Our Heavenly Father wants our hearts to be knit together. That union in love is not simply an ideal. It is a necessity.”
      • “As long as we love the things of the world first, there will be no peace in us.”
      • “At the same time, we must stand against those who speak contemptuously of sacred things, because the certain effect of that offense is to offend the Spirit and so create contention and confusion.”
      • “The other warning is to beware of pride. A unity which comes to a family or to a people softened by the Spirit will bring great power. With that power will come recognition from the world. Whether that recognition brings praise or envy, it could lead us to pride. That would offend the Spirit. There is a protection against pride, that sure source of disunity. It is to see the bounties which God pours upon us not only as a mark of His favor but an opportunity to join with those around us in greater service. A man and his wife learn to be one by using their similarities to understand each other and their differences to complement each other in serving one another and those around them. In the same way, we can unite with those who do not accept our doctrine but share our desire to bless the children of our Heavenly Father.”
  • October 1997 General Conference
    • “Feed My Lambs”
      • “All of us have tried at some time to nourish another person’s faith. Most of us have felt the concern of others for our own faith, and with it we have felt their love. More than a few of us have had a child look up to us and say, “Would you like to go to church with me?” or “Would you pray with me?” And we have had our disappointments. Someone we love may not have accepted our attempts to nourish their faith. We know from painful experience that God respects the choice of His children not to be nourished. Yet this is a time to feel renewed optimism and hope that our power to nourish will be increased.”
      • “It is wise to fear that our own skills are inadequate to meet the charge we have to nourish the faith of others. Our own abilities, however great, will not be enough. But that realistic view of our limitations creates a humility which can lead to dependence on the Spirit and thus to power.”
      • “Every word we speak can strengthen or weaken faith. We need help from the Spirit to speak the words which will nourish and which will strengthen.”
      • “There are two great keys to inviting the Spirit to guide what words we speak as we feed others. They are the daily study of the scriptures and the prayer of faith.”
      • “And that is why we can be so optimistic in our charge to nourish the new members of the Church. However much or little they knew of the doctrine, they have just submitted humbly to the ordinance of baptism and received the right to the companionship of the Holy Ghost. And so the very tenderness of their faith, which leads the Savior to refer to them as lambs, comes at a time when they have proven themselves willing to do what the Savior asks of them.”
  • April 1997 General Conference
    • Finding Safety in Counsel
      • “In our own time, we have been warned with counsel of where to find safety from sin and from sorrow. One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated. For instance, more than once in these general conferences, you have heard our prophet say that he would quote a preceding prophet and would therefore be a second witness and sometimes even a third. Each of us who has listened has heard President Kimball give counsel on the importance of a mother in the home and then heard President Benson quote him, and we have heard President Hinckley quote them both.”
      • “When we reject the counsel which comes from God, we do not choose to be independent of outside influence. We choose another influence. We reject the protection of a perfectly loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Father in Heaven, whose whole purpose, as that of His Beloved Son, is to give us eternal life, to give us all that He has, and to bring us home again in families to the arms of His love. In rejecting His counsel, we choose the influence of another power, whose purpose is to make us miserable and whose motive is hatred. We have moral agency as a gift of God. Rather than the right to choose to be free of influence, it is the inalienable right to submit ourselves to whichever of those powers we choose.”
      • “But the choice not to take prophetic counsel changes the very ground upon which we stand. It becomes more dangerous. The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future.”
      • “Having listening ears requires humility.”
  • October 1996 General Conference
    • Witnesses for God
      • “Those home teachers and visiting teachers understood and believed that the covenant to be a witness and to love were intertwined and that they reinforced each other. There is no other way to explain what had happened. My new friend recognized that the visitors had genuine concern for him and for his wife. And he knew their caring sprang from a belief that impelled them to come back. He seemed, at least to me, to understand that those visitors were driven from within by a covenant they would not break. As we parted I think he knew why he could expect that there would be more visits, more evidence of caring, and more patient waiting for the opportunity to bear testimony of the restored gospel. As we parted, I realized that I had learned something too. I will never again see home teaching or visiting teaching as only programs of the Church. Those faithful teachers saw what they were doing for what it really was. Such work is an opportunity, not a burden. Every member has made the covenant in the waters of baptism to be a witness for God. Every member has made a covenant to do works of kindness as the Savior would do. So any call to bear witness and to care for others is not a request for extra service; it is a blessing designed by a loving Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. They have provided such calls as well as other settings, sometimes without a formal call, all for the same purpose. Each is a chance to prove what blessings flow from being a covenant people, and each is an opportunity for which you agreed to be accountable. Each is a sacred responsibility for others accepted in the waters of baptism but too often not met because it may not be recognized for what it is.”
      • “There is a caution I would give and a promise I would offer about such choices of how to use family time. For a person not yet a member of the Church, to fail to provide such moments of love and faith is simply a lost opportunity. But for those under covenant, it is much more. There are few places where the covenant to love and to bear witness is more easily kept than in the home. And there are few places where it can matter more for those for whom we are accountable. For members of the Church, my caution is that to neglect those opportunities is a choice not to keep sacred covenants.”
      • “I can make two promises to those who offer the gospel to others. The first is that even those who reject it will someday thank us. More than once I have asked missionaries to visit friends far from where I lived, learned that the missionaries had been rejected, and then received a letter from my friend with words like this: “I was honored that you would offer to me something that I knew meant so much to you.” If not in this life, such messages will be sent to us in the world to come when those we approached will know the truth and how much we cared for them. My second promise is that as you offer the gospel to others, it will go down more deeply into your own heart. It becomes the well of water springing up into eternal life for us as we offer it to others.”
      • “A testimony is a simple expression of what we feel. The member who has fasted both for the blessing of the poor and for the companionship of the Spirit will be feeling gratitude for the love of God and the certainty of eternal truth. Even a child can feel such things, which may be why sometimes the testimony of a child so moves us and why our preparation of fasting and prayer produces in us childlike feelings.”
  • April 1996 General Conference
    • A Legacy of Testimony
      • “Our families can be given a gift to know what God would have them do and to learn it in a way that will encourage them to do it. God has provided such a guide. It is the Holy Ghost. We cannot give that to our family members as a companion, but they can earn it.”
      • “First, plan for our weekly family night to be a setting for the bearing of testimony.”
      • “Second, read the scriptures aloud together as a family. It may take unusual determination and inspiration to find a time and a setting. But reading and hearing the words of life from the scriptures will invite the Holy Ghost to confirm their truth. The Savior said it this way: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).”
      • “Fourth, fast and allow your children to fast once a month before the meeting in which they will partake of the Lord’s Supper, hear others bear testimony, and perhaps themselves feel prompted to testify. The spiritual blessing will be even greater for them if they know that their choice to overcome their physical desires for food is making possible the caring for the poor. That can’t happen unless we pay a generous fast offering with a joyful heart. It can if we do. And the likelihood will be greatly increased that they will feel the Spirit confirm that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ if we have first taught and testified that the Savior always organizes his disciples to care for the poor and the needy among them.”
      • “For instance, the warmth and confidence with which we receive home teachers can allow our children to feel confirmation that they come as God’s servants. The giving of priesthood blessings as children start a school year or leave home invites the Spirit at a time when hearts are humble and thus receptive to the whisperings of the Spirit.”
      • “How we react when we are surprised will tell our families whether what we have taught and testified lies deep in our hearts.”
      • “When tragedy strikes or even when it looms, our families will have the opportunity to look into our hearts to see whether we know what we said we knew. Our children will watch, feel the Spirit confirm that we lived as we preached, remember that confirmation, and pass the story across the generations.”
      • “That is why we must not despair. As we offer the legacy of testimony to our families, some may not receive it. It may even seem to skip over generations. But God will reach out to offer the legacy again and again. More than we can imagine, our faithful effort to offer to our family the testimony we have of the truth will be multiplied in power and extended in time.”
  • October 1995 General Conference
    • To Touch a Life with Faith
      • “Your opportunities won’t come only at times of great tragedy or overwhelming need. Life has in it moments of challenge that will bring even the people most hardened to spiritual things to say to themselves, “Isn’t there more than this?” If you have been a constant friend, if you have proved your love by service and so become trusted, they may turn to you with that question. When they do, you can say, knowing that their hearts are prepared, “Yes, there is, and I can tell you where it is and what you can do to find it.””
      • “But even people with faith developed by obedience and with sins washed away will need your help to refresh and strengthen their faith. There are reasons for that. Blessings when they are no longer seen as coming from our Heavenly Father can lead to pride. The peace of forgiveness can lead to overconfidence, forgetting to pray always lest we be overcome. Even some who have exercised faith enough to have great spiritual experiences have later been deceived into apostasy or overcome with the trials of life. All of them need your help in nurturing faith, in learning to put all their trust in God.”
      • “You may not have seen that mighty change in yourself yet. But it will come as you continue to follow him. You can trust that he will qualify you as his servant, to assist him in touching lives with faith to bring to pass the eternal life of man. And you will find satisfaction in that service beyond your fondest dreams.”
  • April 1995 General Conference
    • “Always Remember Him”
      • “I will keep my covenant to take his name upon me and always remember him. And I will go wherever I am sent to teach of him and offer the ordinances by which we take his name upon us and promise that we will always remember him and keep his commandments.”
  • April 1991 General Conference
    • To Draw Closer to God
      • “In that scripture, and in others, it is clear how often we should speak to God: regularly in words, continually in feelings. When the Savior appeared among the people on this continent, after his resurrection, he taught them how to pray. He used the words, “Pray always.” That doesn’t mean now and then. It doesn’t mean to pray only when you feel like it.”
      • “Now, I testify it is a small voice. It whispers, not shouts. And so you must be very quiet inside. That is why you may wisely fast when you want to listen. And that is why you will listen best when you feel, “Father, thy will, not mine, be done.” You will have a feeling of “I want what you want.” Then, the still small voice will seem as if it pierces you. It may make your bones to quake. More often it will make your heart burn within you, again softly, but with a burning which will lift and reassure.”
      • “Now, you will still be startled, as President Benson said you would be, to realize how familiar the face of our Heavenly Father is. But when you see him, you will know his voice, because you will have prayed, listened, obeyed, and come to share the thoughts and intents of his heart. You will have drawn nearer to him.”
  • October 1989 General Conference
    • Remembrance and Gratitude
      • “We so easily forget that we came into life with nothing. Whatever we get soon seems our natural right, not a gift. And we forget the giver. Then our gaze shifts from what we have been given to what we don’t have yet.”
      • “You could have an experience with the gift of the Holy Ghost today. You could begin a private prayer with thanks. You could start to count your blessings, and then pause for a moment. If you exercise faith, and with the gift of the Holy Ghost, you will find that memories of other blessings will flood into your mind. If you begin to express gratitude for each of them, your prayer may take a little longer than usual. Remembrance will come. And so will gratitude.
  • April 1988 General Conference
    • Because of Your Steadiness
      • “I knew in my heart that effort “now and then” wasn’t enough, that “going out home teaching” or even “giving a good lesson” wouldn’t do it. God called us to watch over and help people in all their struggles for physical and spiritual well-being. He called us to help by the Spirit. He called us to teach by the Spirit. He called us to live what we teach. He called us to bear testimony. He called us to love them.”
      • “I guess when the Lord tells us to watch over the Church, that means watching over ourselves too.”
      • “By the power of the Holy Ghost and with the eye of faith, we have glimpsed and we can look forward to the fruit of the gospel. That is the desire of our hearts. And wanting it will give us the power to keep going, with great diligence and patience.”
  • October 1986 General Conference
    • The Spark of Faith
      • “Even as I feel that gratitude, I think of those whose hearts ache over promises yet unfulfilled. Tonight, or tomorrow, many of us will pray with real intent, and perhaps with tears, over someone whose happiness would bring us happiness, who has been promised all the blessings of peace that come with baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and yet who counts the promises worthless. None of us is immune, because all of us have circles of love large enough to include such people.”
      • “President Clark understood that a person in whom faith is an ember won’t receive even great teaching unless his heart is softened. And so he said that we must touch the person with the spirit of righteousness, with love, and with tenderness. Now, you and I might rightly feel that what he asks is nearly superhuman. In our efforts to invite others back, we have felt rejection and even ridicule. We may feel fatigue, frustration, and sometimes guilt.”
      • “President Clark reminded us, at the end of his suggestions, that there is, and always will be, free agency. The spark won’t glow brighter until the person tries living the gospel. That is why we hope so much that those we love will be called and will fulfill some assignment, however small. After their choice to serve others, to sacrifice, to try the commandments with promise, the spark of faith ignites. Even after we have done all we can do, that choice—whether to act on what faith they have—must be theirs.”
  • April 1985 General Conference
    • Ears to Hear
      • “You can have that same confidence, not of yourself, but from God. He lives, and he communicates with his children. This is the Church of Jesus Christ, and he leads it. No assignment in it need ever overwhelm you if you know that and listen for the Master’s voice.”
      • “If you and I will study the scriptures and pray and tune our hearts and ears, we will hear the voice of God in the voice of the people that he has sent to teach and guide us and direct us. I heard it yesterday as I listened to Bishop Hales, and I heard it last evening in the priesthood session as I listened to the recorded voice of President Kimball, a prophet of God. You and I can take confidence in that assurance for the Church itself. However large the kingdom will grow (and it will fill the earth), you will not ever feel lost or forgotten, and you need never feel overwhelmed. God will call people to care about you and to teach you. And if you will listen and hear the voice of God, the kingdom will roll forth to its appointed place, ready for the coming of the Master.”
      • “None of us can see now all the wonders of technology and organization and buildings that God may give us; but you, just you, hearing the voice of God through your teacher and leader, will always be at its heart.”

Other Talks

  • Inauguration of Kevin J. Worthen, September 9, 2014
    • A Leader of Learners
      • “Their confidence that they can and must improve springs from their faith that they are children of God—who knows all truth and will prosper their efforts to find it. And it comes from a faith that by the Spirit of Christ they can recognize what is good and true.”
  • March 2014 General Women’s Meeting
    • Daughters in the Covenant
      • “I will speak tonight about the path—which in such beautiful ways has been described today—that we must take on our journey back to our Heavenly Father. That path is marked by sacred covenants with God. I will talk with you about the joy of making and keeping those covenants and helping others keep them.”
      • “Heavenly Father smiles on you as well whenever He sees you help a daughter of His move along the covenant path toward eternal life. And He is pleased every time you try to choose the right. He sees not only what you are but also what you may become.”
      • “What I didn’t know when I was young was that my Heavenly Father, your Heavenly Father, sees greater potential in His children than we or even our earthly mothers see in us. And whenever you move upward on that path toward your potential, it brings Him happiness. And you can feel His approval.”
  • September 2012 General Relief Society Meeting
    • The Caregiver
      • “Bishops and Relief Society presidents always invite family members to help each other when there is a need. There are many reasons for that principle. Foremost is to provide to more people the blessing of increased love that comes from serving each other.”
      • “That counsel can be hard to apply when the choice seems to be balancing a desire to do all you can to help others with the wisdom to be prudent in meeting your own needs to retain your power to serve. You may have seen others struggle with such hard choices.”
      • “The Holy Ghost is sent to you and to those you care for. You will be strengthened and yet inspired to know the limits and extent of your ability to serve. The Spirit will comfort you when you may wonder, “Did I do enough?”
  • March 2011 General Young Women’s Meeting
    • A Living Testimony
      • “The best description for me of how to gain and keep this living testimony has already been referred to. It is in the 32nd chapter of Alma in the Book of Mormon. You may have read it many times. I find new light in it every time I read it. Let’s review the lesson it teaches once again tonight.”
      • “He has also taught us that, in addition to choosing to be obedient, we must ask in prayer for testimony of truth. The Lord taught that to us in His command to pray about the Book of Mormon.”
      • “I do not depend on what has happened in the past. To keep my living testimony of the Book of Mormon secure, I receive the promise of Moroni often. I don’t take that blessing of a testimony for granted as a perpetual entitlement.”
      • “There is danger in neglecting prayer. There is danger to our testimony in only casual study and reading of the scriptures. They are necessary nutrients for our testimony.”
      • “You will come to feel light growing in your life. It will not come without effort. But it will come as your testimony grows and you choose to nurture it.”
  • September 2009 General Relief Society Meeting
    • The Enduring Legacy of Relief Society
      • “This society is composed of women whose feelings of charity spring from hearts changed by qualifying for and by keeping covenants offered only in the Lord’s true Church. Their feelings of charity come from Him through His Atonement. Their acts of charity are guided by His example—and come out of gratitude for His infinite gift of mercy—and by the Holy Spirit, which He sends to accompany His servants on their missions of mercy. Because of that, they have done and are able to do uncommon things for others and to find joy even when their own unmet needs are great.”
      • “In the years that followed, the Relief Society grew in numbers and in power to serve those in need. Under the leadership of women of great vision and capacity, the Relief Society took the lead in starting charitable services which did not exist on the frontier for those in need. They created a small hospital. They supported women in going to the East to get medical training to staff it. That was the beginning of one of the great hospital systems in the United States.”
      • “He set a pattern in place. Two Relief Society sisters accept their assignment to visit another as a call from the Lord. That was true from the start. Relief Society officers organized members who they knew had faith to give compassionate service when it was beyond the power of two assigned visiting teachers. It was always close to home, among acquaintances. Members teach the gospel in local meetings and bear testimony of the Savior and of the Restoration. Daughters watch over mothers. Mothers listen to, teach, and care for daughters.”
      • “You pass the heritage along as you help others receive the gift of charity in their hearts. They will then be able to pass it to others. The history of Relief Society is recorded in words and numbers, but the heritage is passed heart to heart. That is why families are such beneficiaries of Relief Society.”
  • March 2008 General Young Women’s Meeting
    • Walk in the Light
      • “When you were confirmed a member of the Church, you were given the right to have the Holy Ghost as your companion. The Holy Ghost is a powerful source of light to recognize truth, to follow and love the Lord Jesus Christ, and to find your way back to God after this life.”
      • “But the spirit who led the rebellion in the world before still opposes the plan and wants you to be miserable. He wants you never to find your way home again. That enemy of your soul knows you and your goodness. He knows that if he can turn you away from walking in the light, he can both capture you and stop you from helping others along the journey. He knows how good you are and your power to teach and influence hundreds of Heavenly Father’s children in this life—and thousands over the generations that will follow your path. If he can get you to wander away from the light on your journey, he can do harm and bring misery to many.”
      • “It is by faith that you can lay hold upon every good thing. I pray with all my heart that your faith will be increased that you are a daughter of a loving God. I testify to you that you have been one of the valiant ones to reach the point where you now are in this journey of life. Just as you are marked as a target by the enemy of righteousness, you have been protected and watched over by your Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. They know you. They know all of the forces and individuals around you. They know what is ahead of you. And so They know which of the choices you make, which of the desires you decide to satisfy, and which of the circumstances around you will make the most difference in keeping you walking in the light. I testify that by the Spirit of Christ and by the Holy Ghost, you may walk confidently in whatever difficulties will come. Because you are so valuable, some of your trials may be severe. You need never be discouraged or afraid. The way through difficulties has always been prepared for you, and you will find it if you exercise faith.”
      • “You must have faith to pray. You must have faith to ponder the word of God. You must have faith to do those things and go to those places which invite the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost.”
  • BYU Devotional, January 15, 2008
    • The Power of Deliverance
      • “We are unique. No two of us are in exactly the same circumstances. We have not had identical experiences in the past, nor do we have a single vision of what happiness in the future would be for us. There will be people from every part of the United States and many countries of the world listening. Because of that variety, I have prayed to know what help God wants to offer to us all. An answer finally came.”
      • “Every person living is in the midst of a test. We have been granted by God the precious gift of life in a world created as a proving ground and a preparatory school. The tests we will face, their severity, their timing, and their duration will be unique for each of us. But two things will be the same for all of us. They are part of the design for mortal life.”
      • “Good people around you will try to understand your grief at the passing of a loved one. They may feel grief themselves. The Savior not only understands and feels grief but also feels your personal grief that only you feel. And He knows you perfectly. He knows your heart. So He can know which of the many things you can do that will be best for you as you invite the Holy Ghost to comfort and bless you. He will know where it is best for you to start.”
      • “Humility is one constant in those who are delivered from grief. The other, which Job had, is abiding faith in the power of the Savior’s Resurrection. We all will be resurrected.”
      • “Beyond the challenges of the body that come from within, we face the opposition of enemies from without. There is anger and hatred in the world around us, and some of it will at times be directed at us.”
      • “The Lord always wants to lead us to deliverance through our becoming more righteous. That requires repentance. And that takes humility. So the way to deliverance always requires humility in order for the Lord to be able to lead us by the hand where He wants to take us through our troubles and on to sanctification.”
      • “We might make the mistake of assuming that illness, persecution, and poverty will be humbling enough. They don’t always produce by themselves the kind and degree of humility we will need to be rescued. Trials can produce resentment or discouragement. The humility you and I need to get the Lord to lead us by the hand comes from faith. It comes from faith that God really lives, that He loves us, and that what He wants—hard as it may be—will always be best for us.”
      • “Rise up and go, but get His help as early as you can, not waiting for the crisis to ask for deliverance.”

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