Richard G. Scott

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 1, 1988 – September 22, 2015)

Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy (October 1, 1983 – October 1, 1988)

First Quorum of the Seventy (April 2, 1977 – October 1, 1983)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 2014 General Conference
    • Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority
      • “We are blessed with agency, which is our ability to make decisions and to become accountable for those decisions. The Fall made possible in our lives feelings of both happiness and sadness. We are able to understand peace because we feel turmoil.”
      • “Despite all of the negative challenges we have in life, we must take time to actively exercise our faith. Such exercise invites the positive, faith-filled power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ into our lives.”
      • “Choose to converse with your Father in Heaven often. Make time every day to share your thoughts and feelings with Him. Tell Him everything that concerns you. He is interested in the most important as well as the most mundane facets of your life. Share with Him your full range of feelings and experiences.”
      • “Family prayer should be a nonnegotiable priority in your daily life.”
      • “Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!”
      • “The structure of your evening is not as important as the time invested. The gospel should be taught both formally and informally. Make it a meaningful experience for each member of the family. Family home evening is a precious time to bear testimony in a safe environment; to learn teaching, planning, and organizational skills; to strengthen family bonds; to develop family traditions; to talk to each other; and more important, to have a marvelous time together!”
  • April 2014 General Conference
    • “I Have Given You an Example”
      • “How can each of us become such a significant influence? We must be sure to sincerely love those we want to help in righteousness so they can begin to develop confidence in God’s love. For so many in the world, the first challenge in accepting the gospel is to develop faith in a Father in Heaven, who loves them perfectly. It is easier to develop that faith when they have friends or family members who love them in a similar way.”
      • “God’s purpose is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” That is fundamental to all we do. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in things that we find fascinating or become so consumed by mundane responsibilities that we lose sight of God’s objectives. As you consistently focus your life on the most basic principles, you will gain an understanding of what you are to do, and you will produce more fruit for the Lord and more happiness for yourself.”
      • “We best serve our Father in Heaven by righteously influencing others and serving them.”
  • October 2013 General Conference
    • Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ
      • “It is a fundamental truth that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be cleansed. We can become virtuous and pure. However, sometimes our poor choices leave us with long-term consequences. One of the vital steps to complete repentance is to bear the short- and long-term consequences of our past sins.”
      • “Satan will try to use our memory of any previous guilt to lure us back into his influence. We must be ever vigilant to avoid his enticements.”
      • “So how do we build these eternal fortifications? The first step must be sincere, thorough, and complete repentance. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, each of us can become clean and the burden of our rebellion will be lifted. Remember, repentance is not punishment. It is the hope-filled path to a more glorious future.”
  • April 2013 General Conference
    •  For Peace at Home
      • “Be certain that every decision you make, whether temporal or spiritual, is conditioned on what the Savior would have you do.”
      • “It is important for parents to teach children to recognize how their actions affect each individual who lives in the home. Children who are made to feel accountable for their actions, whether righteous or otherwise, grow to become trustworthy citizens in the kingdom of God.”
      • “Seemingly insignificant indiscretions or neglect can lead to big problems.”
      • “When we obey the commandments of the Lord and serve His children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God—power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord. His power is a fundamental component to establishing a home filled with peace.”
      • “One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds.”
      • “Recognize the good in others, not their stains. At times a stain needs appropriate attention to be cleansed, but always build on his or her virtues.”
  • October 2012 General Conference
    • The Joy of Redeeming the Dead
      • “Vicarious baptism can mercifully provide this essential ordinance for all worthy deceased who did not receive it in mortality.”
      • “Father in Heaven wants each of us to receive both parts of the blessing of this vital vicarious work. He has led others to show us how to qualify. It is up to you and me to claim those blessings.”
      • “Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors, prepare their names for the sacred vicarious ordinances available in the temple, and then go to the temple to stand as proxy for them to receive the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. As you grow older, you will be able to participate in receiving the other ordinances as well. I can think of no greater protection from the influence of the adversary in your life.”
      • “In the past, motivated by a deep conviction of the sanctity of the work, individuals have valiantly faced a challenge that seemed like single-handedly endeavoring to harvest all the grain in Nebraska. Now, many mighty combines are at work. Together we can and will accomplish the required work.”
  • 2012 April Conference
    • How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life
      • “The Holy Ghost communicates important information that we need to guide us in our mortal journey. When it is crisp and clear and essential, it warrants the title of revelation. When it is a series of promptings we often have to guide us step by step to a worthy objective, for the purpose of this message, it is inspiration.”
      • “When I am faced with a very difficult matter, this is how I try to understand what to do. I fast. I pray to find and understand scriptures that will be helpful. That process is cyclical. I start reading a passage of scripture; I ponder what the verse means and pray for inspiration. I then ponder and pray to know if I have captured all the Lord wants me to do. Often more impressions come with increased understanding of doctrine. I have found that pattern to be a good way to learn from the scriptures.”
      • “When it is for the Lord’s purposes, He can bring anything to our remembrance. That should not weaken our determination to record impressions of the Spirit. Inspiration carefully recorded shows God that His communications are sacred to us. Recording will also enhance our ability to recall revelation. Such recording of direction of the Spirit should be protected from loss or intrusion by others.”
      • “Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail but to succeed gloriously. It may seem paradoxical, but that is why recognizing answers to prayer can sometimes be very difficult. Sometimes we unwisely try to face life by depending on our own experience and capacity. It is much wiser for us to seek through prayer and divine inspiration to know what to do. Our obedience assures that when required, we can qualify for divine power to accomplish an inspired objective.”
      • “Should choices be wrong, they can be rectified through repentance. When its conditions are fully met, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Savior, provides a release from the demands of justice for the errors made. It is wondrously simple and so incomparably beautiful. As you continue to live righteously, you will always be prompted to know what to do. Sometimes the discovery of what action to take may require significant effort and trust on your part. Yet you will be prompted to know what to do as you meet the conditions for such divine guidance in your life, namely, obedience to the commandments of the Lord, trust in His divine plan of happiness, and the avoidance of anything that is contrary to it.”
  • October 2011 General Conference
    • The Power of Scripture
      • “The scriptures provide the strength of authority to our declarations when they are cited correctly. They can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar. They are always available when needed. Their use provides a foundation of truth that can be awakened by the Holy Ghost. Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.”
      • “Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.”
      • “A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time.”
  • April 2011 General Conference
    • The Eternal Blessings of Marriage
      • “If you are married, are you faithful to your spouse mentally as well as physically? Are you loyal to your marriage covenants by never engaging in conversation with another person that you wouldn’t want your spouse to overhear? Are you kind and supportive of your spouse and children?”
      • “Brethren, do you lead out in family activities such as scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening, or does your wife fill in the gap your lack of attention leaves in the home? Do you tell your wife often how very much you love her? It will bring her great happiness. I’ve heard men tell me when I say that, “Oh, she knows.” You need to tell her. A woman grows and is greatly blessed by that reassurance. Express gratitude for what your spouse does for you. Express that love and gratitude often. That will make life far richer and more pleasant and purposeful. Don’t withhold those natural expressions of love. And it works a lot better if you are holding her close while you tell her.”
      • “I feel sorry for any man who hasn’t yet made the choice to seek an eternal companion, and my heart weeps for the sisters who haven’t had the opportunity to marry. Some of you may feel lonely and unappreciated and cannot see how it will be possible for you to have the blessings of marriage and children or your own family. All things are possible to the Lord, and He keeps the promises He inspires His prophets to declare. Eternity is a long time. Have faith in those promises and live to be worthy of them so that in His time the Lord can make them come true in your life. With certainty, you will receive every promised blessing for which you are worthy.”
  • October 2010 General Conference
    • The Transforming Power of Faith and Character
      • “Faith and character are intimately related. Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is intended to be used. Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character; fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith. As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith. You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another. Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine, and obedience.”
      • “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day. Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming. Righteous character is more valuable than any material object you own, any knowledge you have gained through study, or any goals you have attained no matter how well lauded by mankind. In the next life your righteous character will be evaluated to assess how well you used the privilege of mortality.”
      • “Neither Satan nor any other power can destroy or undermine your growing character. Only you could do that through disobedience. A sterling character is converted into worthless ashes when eroded by deceit or transgression.”
      • “A consistent, righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression.”
      • “You cannot be passive in life, or in time the natural man will undermine your efforts to live worthily. You become what you do and what you think about. Lack of character leads one under pressure to satisfy appetite or seek personal gain. You cannot successfully bolster a weak character with the cloak of pretense.”
      • “As your testimony is fortified, Satan will try harder to tempt you. Resist his efforts. You will become stronger and his influence on you weaker.”
      • “Humility is the precious fertile soil of righteous character. In it the seeds of personal growth germinate.”
  • April 2010 General Conference
    • He Lives! All Glory to His Name!
      • “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can understand more fully the breadth and depth of healing provided by His Atonement because we have the fulness of His doctrine. We realize that what He has willingly done with immense suffering and sacrifice will affect us not only in this life but throughout all eternity.”
      • “There is an imperative need for each of us to strengthen our understanding of the significance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ so that it will become an unshakable foundation upon which to build our lives. As the world becomes more devoid of foundational standards and as honor, virtue, and purity are increasingly cast aside in the pursuit of appetite, our understanding of and faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ will provide strength and capacity needed for a successful life. It will also bring confidence in times of trial and peace in moments of turmoil.”
      • “The best way to make a permanent change for good is to make Jesus Christ your model and His teachings your guide for life.”
      • “Should you have been disobedient to His commandments and feel unworthy, recognize that this is why the Lord, Jesus the Christ, laid down His life. Through His Atonement He has opened forever the opportunity to overcome such mistakes, to repent of improper choices, and to conquer the negative effects of a life contrary to His teachings.”
  • October 2009 General Conference
    • To Acquire Spiritual Guidance
      • “I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit. Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit.”
      • “Spirituality yields two fruits. The first is inspiration to know what to do. The second is power, or the capacity to do it.”
      • “As each impression came, I carefully wrote it down. In the process, I was given precious truths that I greatly needed in order to be a more effective servant of the Lord. The details of the communication are sacred and, like a patriarchal blessing, were for my individual benefit. I was given specific directions, instructions, and conditioned promises that have beneficially altered the course of my life.”
      • “After each powerful impression was recorded, I pondered the feelings I had received to determine if I had accurately expressed them in writing. As a result, I made a few minor changes to what had been written. Then I studied their meaning and application in my own life.”
      • “Subsequently I prayed, reviewing with the Lord what I thought I had been taught by the Spirit. When a feeling of peace came, I thanked Him for the guidance given. I was then impressed to ask, “Was there yet more to be given?” I received further impressions, and the process of writing down the impressions, pondering, and praying for confirmation was repeated. Again I was prompted to ask, “Is there more I should know?” And there was. When that last, most sacred experience was concluded, I had received some of the most precious, specific, personal direction one could hope to obtain in this life. Had I not responded to the first impressions and recorded them, I would not have received the last, most precious guidance.”
      • “The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit.”
      • “If you are ensnarled in pornography, make a total commitment to overcome it now. Find a quiet place; pray urgently for help and support. Be patient and obedient. Don’t give up.”
      • “Have patience as you are perfecting your ability to be led by the Spirit. By careful practice, through the application of correct principles, and by being sensitive to the feelings that come, you will gain spiritual guidance. I bear witness that the Lord, through the Holy Ghost, can speak to your mind and heart. Sometimes the impressions are just general feelings. Sometimes the direction comes so clearly and so unmistakably that it can be written down like spiritual dictation.”
  • April 2009 General Conference
    • Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need
      • “When a temple is conveniently nearby, small things may interrupt your plans to go to the temple. Set specific goals, considering your circumstances, of when you can and will participate in temple ordinances. Then do not allow anything to interfere with that plan. This pattern will guarantee that those who live in the shadow of a temple will be as blessed as are those who plan far ahead and make a long trip to the temple.”
      • “That trial has not been a problem for either of us because, when we live righteously and have received the ordinances of the temple, everything else is in the hands of the Lord. We can do the best we can, but the final outcome is up to Him. We should never complain, when we are living worthily, about what happens in our lives.”
      • “What I am trying to teach is that when we keep the temple covenants we have made and when we live righteously in order to maintain the blessings promised by those ordinances, then come what may, we have no reason to worry or to feel despondent.”
  • October 2008 General Conference
    • Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well
      • “The priesthood is the authority to act in the name of God. That authority is essential to the fulfillment of His work on earth. The priesthood we hold is a delegated portion of the eternal authority of God. As we are true and faithful, our ordination to the priesthood will be eternal.”
      • “However, the conferring of authority alone does not of itself bestow the power of the office. The extent to which we can exercise the power of the priesthood depends upon personal worthiness, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and obedience to His commandments. When supported by a secure foundation of gospel knowledge, our capacity to worthily use the priesthood is greatly enhanced.”
      • “If you are married, are you faithful to your wife mentally as well as physically? Are you loyal to your marriage covenants by never engaging in conversation with another woman that you wouldn’t want your wife to overhear? Are you kind and supportive of your own wife and children? Do you assist your wife by doing some of the household chores? Do you lead out in family activities such as scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening, or does your wife fill in the gap your lack of attention leaves in the home? Do you tell her you love her?”
      • “Many husbands practice equal partnership with their companion to the benefit of both and the blessing of their children. However, many do not. I encourage any man who is reluctant to develop an equal partnership with his wife to obey the counsel inspired by the Lord and do it. Equal partnership yields its greatest benefit when both husband and wife seek the will of the Lord in making important decisions for themselves and for their family.”
      • “As a bishop, when you counsel with a husband and wife who are in marital difficulty, do you give the same credence to the statements of the woman that you do to the man? As I travel throughout the world, I find that some women are shortchanged in that a priesthood leader is more persuaded by a son rather than a daughter of Father in Heaven. That imbalance simply must never occur.”
      • “Therefore, as a husband or son, express gratitude for what your wife and mother do for you. Express your love and gratitude often. That will make life far richer, more pleasant and purposeful for many of the daughters of Father in Heaven who seldom hear a complimentary comment and are not thanked for the multitude of things they do. As a husband, when you sense that your wife needs lifting, hold her in your arms and tell her how much you love her. May each of us ever be tender and appreciative of the special women who enrich our lives.”
      • “God will hold us accountable for how we treat His precious daughters. Therefore, let us treat them as He would wish to have them treated.”
  • April 2008 General Conference
    • To Heal the Shattering Consequences of Abuse
      • “The rising tide of this vicious, abominable sin may not have touched your life personally. Yet it is pervasive enough in the world that it may have touched someone you love. It frequently causes such profound suffering— that can be overcome—that I want to speak of how healing can be attained. It will be done reverently, for my objective is to help heal and not aggravate painful memories.”
      • “Recognize that it is very unlikely that a perpetrator will confess his depraved acts. Seek the guidance of the Spirit when you feel that something may be amiss. Enlist the help of ward and stake leaders to avoid potential dangers.”
  • October 2007 General Conference
    • Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions
      • “The best way of finding truth is simply to go to the origin of all truth and ask or respond to inspiration. For success, two ingredients are essential: first, unwavering faith in the source of all truth; second, a willingness to keep God’s commandments to keep open spiritual communication with Him.”
      • “Limited as it is, our understanding of our Father’s creations indicates that it is mostly vacant space. Even those things we consider as solid, firm, tangible, when viewed at enormous magnification in the heavens or in minute matter, are mostly vacant space that God, our Father, perfectly controls and uses for His exalted purposes.”
      • “A knowledge of truth is of little value unless we apply it in making correct decisions. Consider for a moment a man, heavily overweight, approaching a bakery display. In his mind are these thoughts: The doctor told you not to eat any more of that. It’s not good for you. It just gives you momentary gratification of appetite. You’ll feel uncomfortable the rest of the day after it. You’ve decided not to have any more. But then he hears himself say, “I’ll have two of those almond twists and a couple of those chocolate doughnuts. One more time won’t hurt. I’ll do it just once more, and this will be the last time.””
      • “With the enormity of what we can in just the smallest way begin to understand and certainly in no way fully comprehend, how grateful we must be that this God of unfathomable capacities is our Father. He is a loving, understanding, compassionate, patient Father. He created us as His children. He treats us as a beloved son or daughter. He makes us feel loved, appreciated, valuable, and dear to Him. He has given us His plan of mercy and equipped us, when we are obedient, to make correct decisions. He has provided through His holy Son a means for us to live, to grow, to develop, and to place ourselves squarely on the path to be eternally under His guidance and influence.”
  • April 2007 General Conference
    • Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer
      • “It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help. He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer.”
      • “I wonder if we can ever really fathom the immense power of prayer until we encounter an overpowering, urgent problem and realize that we are powerless to resolve it. Then we will turn to our Father in humble recognition of our total dependence on Him. It helps to find a secluded place where our feelings can be vocally expressed as long and as intensely as necessary.”
      • “Study that prayer, and you will find that there are no vain repetitions, no posturing to impress others, as sometimes occurs. He combines simple words eloquently. He prays as a humble, trusting son who knows well his beloved Father in Heaven. He confides in the certainty that His answer will come when most needed. Each prayer is tailored to its purpose, with a clear statement of what needs resolution, as well as ample expression of gratitude for specific, recognized blessings. His spontaneous prayers are like crafted gems, a silent witness to the fundamental place prayer has occupied in his life for many, many years.”
      • “Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. Your character will grow; your faith will increase. There is a relationship between those two: the greater your faith, the stronger your character; and increased character enhances your ability to exercise even greater faith.”
      • “It is so hard when sincere prayer about something you desire very much is not answered the way you want. It is difficult to understand why your exercise of deep and sincere faith from an obedient life does not grant the desired result. The Savior taught, “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you.” At times it is difficult to recognize what is best or expedient for you over time. Your life will be easier when you accept that what God does in your life is for your eternal good.”
      • “What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited a reasonable time for a response, and still do not feel an answer? You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of His trust. When you are living worthily and your choice is consistent with the Savior’s teachings and you need to act, proceed with trust. As you are sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, one of two things will certainly occur at the appropriate time: either the stupor of thought will come, indicating an improper choice, or the peace or the burning in the bosom will be felt, confirming that your choice was correct. When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision.”
  • October 2006 General Conference
    • The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness
      • “In real life, the anchors are the laws of God that provide protection under all of the challenges that you will face. The rope and carabiners that secure the rope to the anchors represent obedience to those commandments. When you learn those commandments, continue to practice them, and have a plan to avoid danger, you will have a secure means of obtaining protection against Satan’s temptations. You will develop strength of character that will fortify you against transgression. Should you make a wrong move, there need be no enduring problem because of the belaying or help that is available through your repentance.”
      • “True, enduring happiness, with the accompanying strength, courage, and capacity to overcome the greatest difficulties, will come as you center your life in Jesus Christ. Obedience to His teachings provides a secure ascent in the journey of life. That takes effort. While there is no guarantee of overnight results, there is the assurance that, in the Lord’s time, solutions will come, peace will prevail, and happiness will be yours.”
      • “Peace and happiness are the precious fruits of a righteous life. They are only possible because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
      • “Pondering the grandeur of the Atonement evokes the most profound feelings of awe, immense gratitude, and deep humility. Those impressions can provide you powerful motivation to keep His commandments and consistently repent of errors for greater peace and happiness.”
  • April 2006 General Conference
    • Now Is the Time to Serve a Mission!
      • “Bishops and branch presidents, you can have that powerful impact in the lives of the missionaries you encourage and prepare as well as in lives of their posterity. Use your Aaronic Priesthood quorum leaders and the advisers, as well as the high priests, elders, and women leaders to help you prepare to call as many worthy missionaries as you can. From the use of the new missionary resources, many more missionaries you recommend arrive in the field better prepared and highly motivated to serve. While most potential candidates can with little effort be ready, a few need substantial adjustments in their life to qualify. With the support of parents, help them meet the standards.”
      • “Pray about which couples can be encouraged to submit papers for a call to full-time missionary service. There is an urgent need for them.”
      • “Now may I speak from my heart of what an honorable full-time mission has meant to me personally. I grew up in a home with very good parents, but my father was not a member and my mother was less active. After my mission that changed. They became strong members and served devotedly in the temple—he a sealer, she an ordinance worker. But as a young man, like many of you today, I had no way to judge personally the importance of a mission. I fell in love with an exceptional young woman. At a critical point in our courtship, she made it very clear that she would only be married in the temple to a returned missionary. Duly motivated, I served a mission in Uruguay.”
      • “It was not easy. The Lord gave me many challenges that became stepping-stones to personal growth. There I gained my testimony that God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, did in fact visit Joseph Smith to begin a restoration of truth, priesthood authority, and the true Church on earth. I gained a witness that Joseph Smith is a singular prophet. I learned essential doctrines. I discovered what it meant to be led by the Spirit. Many a night I got up as my companion slept to pour my heart out to the Lord for guidance and direction. I pled for the ability to express effectively in Spanish my testimony and the truth I was learning to a people I had come to love. Those prayers were abundantly answered. At the same time, my future eternal companion, Jeanene, was being molded to become an exceptional wife and mother by her own mission.”
  • October 2005 General Conference
    • Truth Restored
      • “Prophets such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses renewed the truth for their dispensation, but in time their efforts were rejected by most. In the meridian of time Jesus Christ, the Beloved Son of God, was born on earth. He restored the truth and ministered with love and compassion. He established His Church again on earth with apostles and prophets. Through intense suffering He fulfilled His Holy Father’s divine commission to become our Savior and Redeemer. He allowed Himself to be crucified. He was resurrected and overcame physical death. His infinite atoning sacrifice is a supernal gift that allows the repentant to be forgiven of sins and qualify for eternal life. But even so the Son of God was rejected by all but a few. His Apostles and Church members were persecuted and many killed. The earth sank into a long and dreadful period of intense spiritual darkness.”
      • “Knowing that it would be difficult for many to believe that such a glorious Restoration did occur, the Savior provided a tangible witness to establish the truth of it, namely the Book of Mormon. The way to confirm the reality of the Restoration is described in its pages. Also, He provided additional illuminating scripture needed for our time in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price through Joseph Smith. No wonder so much of Joseph Smith’s ministry is focused on the Savior, His Atonement and doctrine.”
      • “While this precious, vital message has been proclaimed across the world, Satan has been most effective in causing people to ignore it or to look in the wrong places for it. The vast majority of Father’s children have not only forgotten their Father in Heaven and the purpose of mortal life, but they rarely even think of Him nor ponder for what purpose they are here in mortality. They have been led to be absorbed by mundane things that distract them from the essential ones. Don’t you make that mistake.”
  • April 2005 General Conference
    • The Power of Preach My Gospel
      • “Preach My Gospel contains chapters that give extremely valuable information on how to recognize and understand the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There are scriptures on how to effectively study and how to refine personal teaching skills. One chapter explains why the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, how it can answer profound questions of the soul, how it can build faith and help others draw closer to God. Additional instruction shows how the Book of Mormon is a tangible resource that an individual can use to confirm the truthfulness of our message. A missionary is taught how to seek Christlike attributes such as hope, charity, and love, for love is the foundation of all meaningful missionary service.”
      • “Much good has been accomplished in the brief seven months since Preach My Gospel was introduced, but the best is yet to come as we all become more proficient in the use of this extraordinary missionary tool.”
  • October 2004 General Conference
    • Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind
      • “God wants each of His children to enjoy the transcendent blessing of peace of conscience. A tranquil conscience invites freedom from anguish, sorrow, guilt, shame, and self-condemnation. It provides a foundation for happiness. It is a condition of immense worth, yet there are few on earth that enjoy it. Why? Most often because the principles upon which peace of conscience is founded are either not understood or not adequately followed. My life has been so richly endowed from peace of conscience that I would share insights on how it can be obtained.”
      • “Without peace of conscience, you can have no real peace of mind.”
      • “Peace of mind is restored by resolving the external forces that disturb it. Not so with a troubled conscience, for it is unrelenting, ever present, a constant reminder of the need to correct your past mistakes, to resolve an offense to another, or to repent of transgression. Oh, a disturbed conscience can be temporarily masked by physical stimulation of the mind and body where one yields to the temptations of alcohol, drugs, pornography, and worse. All this at the cost of an increased appetite for false efforts to calm an aching conscience with the risk of incurring unrelenting addictions. There is a better way to restore peace of conscience.”
      • “In summary, you can regain peace of conscience by repenting of personal transgressions that cause you internal turmoil. Then peace of mind can be secured by resolving the external pressures that cause you temporary anxiety, worry, and distress. Yet try as you might, you will not find enduring happiness until, through repentance, you satisfy personally broken law to restore peace to a troubled conscience.”
      • “In addition to fulfilling those requirements, the return of your peace of conscience will be hastened by careful attention to another step that is sometimes not recognized. The Savior has made it clear that to receive forgiveness you must forgive others their offenses against you.”
      • “The Lord’s mill of justice grinds slowly, but it grinds exceedingly well.”
      • “From this scripture you can see that suffering does not bring forgiveness. That comes through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His teachings so that His gift of redemption can work its miracle.”
      • “To continue to suffer when there has been proper repentance is not prompted by the Savior but the master of deceit, whose goal is to bind and enslave you. Satan will press you to continue to relive the details of past mistakes, knowing that such thoughts make forgiveness seem unattainable. In this way Satan attempts to tie strings to the mind and body so that he can manipulate you like a puppet.”
  • April 2004 General Conference
    • How to Live Well amid Increasing Evil
      • “You have a choice. You can wring your hands and be consumed with concern for the future or choose to use the counsel the Lord has given to live with peace and happiness in a world awash with evil. If you choose to concentrate on the dark side, this is what you will see. Much of the world is being engulfed in a rising river of degenerate filth, with the abandonment of virtue, righteousness, personal integrity, traditional marriage, and family life. Sodom and Gomorrah was the epitome of unholy life in the Old Testament. It was isolated then; now that condition is spread over the world.”
      • “Have you noticed how Satan works to capture the mind and emotions with flashing images, blaring music, and the stimulation of every physical sense to excess? He diligently strives to fill life with action, entertainment, and stimulation so that one cannot ponder the consequences of his tempting invitations. Think of it. Some are tempted to violate the most basic commandments of God because of seductive actions portrayed as acceptable. They are made to seem attractive, even desirable. There seems to be no serious consequence, rather apparent lasting joy and happiness. But recognize that those performances are controlled by scripts and actors. The outcome of decisions made is likewise manipulated to be whatever the producer wants.”
      • “Avoid worldly wickedness. Know that God is in control. In time, Satan will completely fail and be punished for his perverse evil. God has a specific plan for your life. He will reveal parts of that plan to you as you look for it with faith and consistent obedience. His Son has made you free—not from the consequences of your acts, but free to make choices. God’s eternal purpose is for you to be successful in this mortal life. No matter how wicked the world becomes, you can earn that blessing. Seek and be attentive to the personal guidance given to you through the Holy Spirit. Continue to be worthy to receive it. Reach out to others who stumble and are perplexed, not certain of what path to follow.”
  • October 2003 General Conference
    • Realize Your Full Potential
      • “With all my capacity I encourage you to discover who you really are. I invite you to look beyond the daily routine of life. I urge you to discern through the Spirit your divinely given capacities. I exhort you to prayerfully make worthy choices that will lead you to realize your full potential.”
      • “You are of a singular generation with exceptional potential. No wonder Satan wants to cripple that potential by tempting you to violate the laws of God. He knows that he has no power over a righteous individual. Yet he is a master at making sin appealing to the undecided.”
      • “Remain worthy. When you really understand who you are, it is not difficult to resist Satan’s temptations. Then he can’t thwart the development of your true potential.”
      • “As I have spoken of missionary service, you may have thought, “That’s not for me.” I plead with you to prayerfully reconsider. All that I treasure most in life began to mature in the mission field. You can also earn such blessings.”
  • April 2003 General Conference
    • The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing
      • “God has given us the capacity to exercise faith, that we may find peace, joy, and purpose in life. However, to employ its power, faith must be founded on something. There is no more solid foundation than faith in the love Heavenly Father has for you, faith in His plan of happiness, and faith in the capacity and willingness of Jesus Christ to fulfill all of His promises.”
      • “Thus, every time you try your faith, that is, act in worthiness on an impression, you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit. Those feelings will fortify your faith. As you repeat that pattern, your faith will become stronger. The Lord knows your needs. When you ask with honesty and real intent, He will prompt you to do that which will increase your ability to act in faith. With consistent practice, faith will become a vibrant, powerful, uplifting, inspiring force in your life. As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise. I testify that I know that is true.”
      • “Faith will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is used. Character is woven patiently from threads of principle, doctrine, and obedience.”
      • “Our Father’s plan is marvelous. Your exercise of faith builds character. Fortified character expands your capacity to exercise faith. Thus, your confidence in conquering the trials of life is enhanced. And the strengthening cycle continues. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to exercise the power of faith.”
  • October 2002 General Conference
    • To Be Free of Heavy Burdens
      • “Many of you suffer needlessly from carrying heavy burdens because you do not open your hearts to the healing power of the Lord.”
      • “He will not see the tools needed for a new life in his current environment. His tragic, confining world has been created by the violation of eternal law, motivated by desire for a quick response.”
      • “The painful consequences of sin were purposely put in His plan of happiness by a compassionate Father in Heaven so that you need not follow that tragic path in life. A sinner will not only suffer in this life, but sins that have not been forgiven through true repentance will cause anguish beyond the veil.”
      • “The Savior will take upon Himself the consequences of your sins as you repent now. If that is not done, in time you will have to suffer for them yourself.”
      • “Another vital aspect of repentance is to recognize the role of the Savior through His Atonement. Indeed, it is that very Atonement that makes repentance even possible. As you pray and ponder the role of Jesus Christ as your Savior and Redeemer, you will acquire great motivation and encouragement to help you repent.”
      • “Don’t carry the burden of offense any longer. Genuinely ask forgiveness of one that has offended you, even when you consider you have done no wrong. That effort will assuredly bring you peace and will likely begin the healing of serious misunderstandings.”
  • April 2002 General Conference
    • Full Conversion Brings Happiness
      • “Sometimes the word converted is used to describe when a sincere individual decides to be baptized. However, when properly used, conversion means far more than that, for the new convert as well as the long-term member.”
      • “Your happiness now and forever is conditioned on your degree of conversion and the transformation that it brings to your life.”
      • “Stated simply, true conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience.”
      • “True conversion yields the fruit of enduring happiness that can be enjoyed even when the world is in turmoil and most are anything but happy.”
  • October 2001 General Conference
    • The Power of a Strong Testimony
      • “Whether one does or does not accept these truths does not alter their reality. They are the fundamental building blocks of a living testimony. A strong testimony is the unshakable foundation of a secure, meaningful life where peace, confidence, happiness, and love can flourish. It is anchored in a conviction that an all-knowing God is in command of His work. He will not fail. He will keep His promises.”
      • “A testimony is not emotion. It is the very essence of character woven from threads born of countless correct decisions. These choices are made with trusting faith in things that are believed and, at least initially, are not seen. 1  A strong testimony gives peace, comfort, and assurance. It generates the conviction that as the teachings of the Savior are consistently obeyed, life will be beautiful, the future secure, and there will be capacity to overcome the challenges that cross our path. A testimony grows from understanding truth, distilled from prayer and the pondering of scriptural doctrine. It is nurtured by living those truths in faith and the secure confidence that the promised results will be obtained.”
      • “Your testimony will be fortified as you exercise faith in Jesus Christ, in His teachings, and in His limitless power to accomplish what He has promised. The key words are “exercise faith.” True faith has enormous power, but there are principles that must be followed to unleash that power.”
      • “A powerful testimony distills from quiet moments of prayer and pondering as you recognize the impressions that will accompany such effort. Humble, trusting prayer brings consolation, solace, comfort, direction, and peace the unworthy can never know.”
      • “Your testimony will be made strong through willing obedience to the law of tithing and by fast offerings, and the Lord will bless you richly for it. As your testimony is fortified, Satan will try harder to tempt you. Resist his efforts. You will become stronger and his influence on you weaker.”
      • “A strong testimony cannot be built upon a weak foundation. Therefore, don’t pretend you believe something when you are not sure of it. Seek to receive a ratifying witness. Wrestle in mighty prayer, living righteously, and ask for a spiritual confirmation. The beauty of the teachings of the Lord is that they are true and that you can confirm them for yourself. Hone your spiritual susceptibility by being constantly alert to the guidance that will come through the still, small voice of the Spirit. Let your Father in Heaven know of your feelings, your needs, your concerns, your hopes and aspirations. Speak to Him with total confidence, knowing that He will hear and respond. Then patiently go forth in your life doing those things you know are correct, walking with confidence born of faith and righteousness, patiently waiting for the response that will come in the manner and at the time the Lord considers most appropriate.”
  • April 2001 General Conference
    • First Things First
      • “Throughout your life on earth, seek diligently to fulfill the fundamental purposes of this life through the ideal family. While you may not have yet reached that ideal, do all you can through obedience and faith in the Lord to consistently draw as close to it as you are able. Let nothing dissuade you from that objective. If it requires fundamental changes in your personal life, make them.”
      • “Satan has a powerful tool to use against good people. It is distraction. He would have good people fill life with “good things” so there is no room for the essential ones. Have you unconsciously been caught in that trap?”
      • “Why has your moral agency been given to you? Only to live a pleasurable life and to make choices to do the things you want to do? Or is there a more fundamental reason—to be able to make the choices that will lead you to fully implement your purpose for being here on earth and to establish priorities in your life that will assure the development and happiness the Lord wants you to receive.”
      • “While wholesome pleasure results from much we do that is good, it is not our prime purpose for being on earth. Seek to know and do the will of the Lord, not just what is convenient or what makes life easy. You have His plan of happiness. You know what to do, or can find out through study and prayer. Do it willingly.”
  • October 2000 General Conference
    • The Path to Peace and Joy
      • “Repentance is not optional.”
      • “Why have our Father and His Son commanded us to repent? Because they love us. They know all of us will violate eternal laws. Whether they be small or large, justice requires that every broken law be satisfied to retain the promise of joy in this life and the privilege of returning to Father in Heaven. If not satisfied, in the Day of Judgment justice will cause that we be cast out of the presence of God to be under the control of Satan.”
      • “When memory of past mistakes encroaches upon your mind, turn your thoughts to the Redeemer and to the miracle of forgiveness with the renewal that comes through Him. Your depression and suffering will be replaced by peace, joy, and gratitude for His love.”
  • April 2000 General Conference
    • The Sanctity of Womanhood
      • “So many of our sisters are disheartened, even discouraged, and disillusioned. Others are in serious trouble because of the choices they make. Satan has unleashed a seductive campaign to undermine the sanctity of womanhood, to deceive the daughters of God and divert them from their divine destiny. He well knows women are the compassionate, self-sacrificing, loving power that binds together the human family. He would focus their interests solely on their physical attributes and rob them of their exalting roles as wives and mothers. He has convinced many of the lie that they are third-class citizens in the kingdom of God. That falsehood has led some to trade their divinely given femininity for male coarseness.”
      • “So many of our own young women sacrifice their God-given endowment of femininity, deep spirituality, and a caring interest in others on the altar of popular, worldly opinion. Young men, let such young women know that you will not seek an eternal companion from those that are overcome by worldly trends. Many dress and act immodestly because they are told that is what you want. In sensitive ways, communicate how distasteful revealing attire is to you, a worthy young man, and how it stimulates unwanted emotions from what you see against your will.”
      • “To each of you as an Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizedek Priesthood bearer, I solemnly declare as a servant of Jesus Christ that despite what is taught in the world, the violation of the law of chastity is a very grievous sin. For your own well-being and for the blessing of His daughters, be ye clean. If there is even the slightest tendency to participate in immorality, eliminate it from your life. Where there has been any violation, talk to a bishop or stake president and clean up your life. Make it pure and righteous. You bear the priesthood of God. I testify that the Redeemer will help you. If you seek it, He will lead you to that help so that through full repentance, the Lord can forgive you.”
  • October 1999 General Conference
    • He Lives
      • “With the gift of the Holy Ghost comes the ability to develop a powerfully sensitive capacity to make the right choices. Cultivate that gift. As the Lord has said, that is accomplished by consistent, righteous living. As you enhance your capacity to sense the direction of that infallible influence, you will avoid disappointment, discouragement, and even tragedy.”
      • “Do not be overcome by concentrating solely on today, its challenges, difficulties, and opportunities. Such preoccupations must not totally capture your attention so as to consume your life.”
      • “As you continue to live righteously, you will always know what to do. Sometimes the discovery of that may require significant effort and trust on your part.”
  • April 1999 General Conference
    • Receive the Temple Blessings
      • “Decide now to receive the ordinances of the temple at the appropriate time. Don’t let anything overcome that resolve.”
      • “That interview is not a test to be passed but an important step to confirm that you have the maturity and spirituality to receive the supernal ordinances and make and keep the edifying covenants offered in the house of the Lord. Personal worthiness is an essential requirement to enjoy the blessings of the temple. Anyone foolish enough to enter the temple unworthily will receive condemnation.”
      • “An essential priority of a prospective wife is the desire to be a wife and mother. She should be developing the sacred qualities that God has given His daughters to excel as a wife and mother: patience, kindliness, a love of children, and a desire to care for them rather than seeking professional pursuits. She should be acquiring a good education to prepare for the demands of motherhood. A prospective husband should also honor his priesthood and use it in service to others. Seek a man who accepts his role as provider of the necessities of life, has the capacity to do it, and is making concerted efforts to prepare himself to fulfill those responsibilities.”
      • “When you are sealed forever in the house of the Lord, a new family unit is created. Parents, who have had direct responsibility for you since your birth, now move into an advisory role. Their counsel is precious now, but you and your eternal companion now make the decisions together. As a husband and worthy priesthood bearer, you will want to emulate the example of the Savior, whose priesthood you hold. You will make giving of self to wife and children a primary focus of your life. Occasionally a man attempts to control the destiny of each family member. He makes all the decisions. His wife is subjected to his personal whims. Whether that is the custom or not is immaterial. It is not the way of the Lord. It is not the way a Latter-day Saint husband treats his wife and family.”
      • “If you are single and haven’t identified a solid prospect for celestial marriage, live for it. Pray for it. Expect it in the timetable of the Lord. Do not compromise your standards in any way that would rule out that blessing on this or the other side of the veil. The Lord knows the intent of your heart.”
  • October 1998 General Conference
    • The Power of Righteousness
      • “Since making the correct decisions is essential to attain your goals in life, consider how they should be made. There are two patterns for making decisions: the first I will call decisions based upon circumstance; the second, decisions based upon eternal truth.”
      • “In time, one who makes decisions based upon circumstance is virtually assured to commit serious transgressions. There is no iron rod of truth to keep that person in the right way. He will continually be faced with many subtle temptations to make deviations from the commandments. Those choices are justified by arguing that they are not that bad, that they are more socially acceptable and provide a broader base of friends. A clever individual without foundation principles can at times acquire, temporarily, impressive accomplishments. Yet that attainment is like a sand castle. When the test of character comes, it crumbles, often taking others with it.”
      • “Choosing to do what the Lord has defined as right will, in the long run, always lead to the best outcomes. However, that pattern may require you to set aside something you very much desire now for a greater future good.”
      • “By making choices consistent with eternal truth, you will develop righteous character and increasing strength to resist temptation. You are assured of the help of God in fulfilling your worthy decisions.”
      • “Now to each of you: at times you may feel lonely and misunderstood—I have—because you don’t fit in with the crowd. Be grateful that your righteous life molds you so that you don’t fit where you don’t belong. This is a temporary period of personal testing and growth. It will be replaced in time with true friends and greater happiness.”
  • April 1998 General Conference
    • Removing Barriers to Happiness
      • “Appreciation for ethnic, cultural, or national heritage can be very wholesome and beneficial, but it can also perpetuate patterns of life that should be set aside by a devoted Latter-day Saint.”
      • “No one who truly understands the significance of Church membership has any hesitancy in making these adjustments to receive the blessings of worthy fellowship in His kingdom. Also there are other things, perhaps less clearly evident, that also need to be set aside in order to enjoy the fullest measure of happiness from membership in His kingdom.”
      • “Your Heavenly Father assigned you to be born into a specific lineage from which you received your inheritance of race, culture, and traditions. That lineage can provide a rich heritage and great reasons to rejoice. Yet you have the responsibility to determine if there is any part of that heritage that must be discarded because it works against the Lord’s plan of happiness.”
      • “Satan promotes the concept that life is to be filled with constant personal entertainment even if that pursuit interferes with another’s well-being. Father in Heaven gives us the plan of happiness, which engenders the abandonment of selfish interests and provides happiness through service to others.”
  • October 1997 General Conference
    • Why Every Member a Missionary?
      • “There are few things in life that bring as much joy as the joy that comes from assisting another improve his or her life. That joy is increased when those efforts help someone understand the teachings of the Savior and that person decides to obey them, is converted, and joins His Church.”
      • “How seriously have you personally taken the Lord’s charge to share His gospel? It is a lifelong responsibility. It is to be addressed differently according to the various seasons of your life. Not everyone can be a full-time missionary. If you can, do it. If not, seek other ways to serve that meet your present circumstances.”
      • “Don’t wait to be asked. I invite each of you to come forth to participate some way in the glorious and varied opportunities for missionary service and in strengthening and sustaining those who embrace the gospel as new members.”
  • April 1997 General Conference
    • Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer
      • “Jesus Christ possessed merits that no other child of Heavenly Father could possibly have. He was a God, Jehovah, before His birth in Bethlehem. His Father not only gave Him His spirit body, but Jesus was His Only Begotten Son in the flesh. Our Master lived a perfect, sinless life and therefore was free from the demands of justice. He was and is perfect in every attribute, including love, compassion, patience, obedience, forgiveness, and humility. His mercy pays our debt to justice when we repent and obey Him. Even with our best efforts to obey His teachings we will still fall short, yet because of His grace we will be saved after all we can do.”
      • “In quiet moments when you think about it, you recognize what is critically important in life and what isn’t. Be wise and don’t let good things crowd out those that are essential.”
      • “The essential things must be accomplished during your testing period on earth. They must have first priority. They must not be sacrificed for lesser things, even though they are good and worthwhile accomplishments.”
      • “Whether you intend to or not, when you live as though the Savior and His teachings are only one of many other important priorities in your life, you are clearly on the road to disappointment and likely on the path to tragedy. Is it really wise to forfeit eternal happiness by fulfilling only part of the requirements? I pray that you’ll be moved to make needed changes now.”
  • October 1996 General Conference
    • The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness
      • “Of course, as a woman you can do exceptionally well in the workplace, but is that the best use of your divinely appointed talents and feminine traits? As a husband, don’t encourage your wife to go to work to help in your divinely appointed responsibility of providing resources for the family, if you can possibly avoid it. As the prophets have counseled, to the extent possible with the help of the Lord, as parents, work together to keep Mother in the home.”
      • “I humbly thank our Father in Heaven for His daughters, you who were willing to come to earth to live under such uncertain circumstances. Most men could not handle the uncertainties you are asked to live with. Social customs require that you wait to be asked for marriage. You are expected to go with your husband wherever his employment or call takes him. Your environment and neighborhood are determined by his ability to provide, meager or not. You place your life in the Lord’s hands each time you bear a child. He makes no such sacrifice. The blessing of nurturing children and caring for a husband often is intermingled with many routine tasks. But you do all of these things willingly because you are a woman. “
  • April 1996 General Conference
    • Finding Joy in Life
      • “A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth. Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness.”
      • “Your agency, the right to make choices, is not given so that you can get what you want. This divine gift is provided so that you will choose what your Father in Heaven wants for you. That way He can lead you to become all that He intends you to be. That path leads to glorious joy and happiness.”
      • “Find the compensatory blessings in your life when, in the wisdom of the Lord, He deprives you of something you very much want. To the sightless or hearing impaired, He sharpens the other senses. To the ill, He gives patience, understanding, and increased appreciation for others’ kindness. With the loss of a dear one, He deepens the bonds of love, enriches memories, and kindles hope in a future reunion. You will discover compensatory blessings when you willingly accept the will of the Lord and exercise faith in Him.”
      • “As a witness of the Savior, I exhort you to forgive any you feel may have offended you. If there is transgression, repent of it, that the Master may heal you.”
  • October 1995 General Conference
    • Trust in the Lord
      • “No one wants adversity. Trials, disappointments, sadness, and heartache come to us from two basically different sources. Those who transgress the laws of God will always have those challenges. The other reason for adversity is to accomplish the Lord’s own purposes in our life that we may receive the refinement that comes from testing. It is vitally important for each of us to identify from which of these two sources come our trials and challenges, for the corrective action is very different.”
      • “To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it.”
      • “Your willingness to accept the will of the Father will not change what in His wisdom He has chosen to do. However, it will certainly change the effect of those decisions on you personally.”
      • “His invitation, “Ask, and ye shall receive” (3 Ne. 27:29) does not assure that you will get what you want. It does guarantee that, if worthy, you will get what you need, as judged by a Father that loves you perfectly, who wants your eternal happiness even more than do you.”
      • “The Lord’s plan is to exalt you to live with Him and be greatly blessed. The rate at which you qualify is generally set by your capacity to mature, to grow, to love, and to give of yourself. He is preparing you to be a god. You cannot understand fully what that means, yet, He knows. As you trust Him, seek and follow His will, you will receive blessings that your finite mind cannot understand here on earth. Your Father in Heaven and His Holy Son know better than you what brings happiness. They have given you the plan of happiness. As you understand and follow it, happiness will be your blessing. As you willingly obey, receive, and honor the ordinances and covenants of that holy plan, you can have the greatest measure of satisfaction in this life. Yes, even times of overpowering happiness. You will prepare yourself for an eternity of glorious life with your loved ones who qualify for that kingdom.”
  • April 1995 General Conference
    • Finding Forgiveness
      • “Every incorrect choice we make, every sin we commit is a violation of eternal law. That violation brings negative results we generally soon recognize. There are also other consequences of our acts of which we may not be conscious. They are nonetheless real. They can have a tremendous effect on the quality of our life here and most certainly will powerfully affect it hereafter. We can do nothing of ourselves to satisfy the demands of justice for a broken eternal law. Yet, unless the demands of justice are paid, each of us will suffer endless negative consequences.”
      • “Full repentance is absolutely essential for the Atonement to work its complete miracle in your life. By understanding the Atonement, you will see that God is not a jealous being who delights in persecuting those who misstep. He is an absolutely perfect, compassionate, understanding, patient, and forgiving Father. He is willing to entreat, counsel, strengthen, lift, and fortify. He so loves each of us that He was willing to have His perfect, sinless, absolutely obedient, totally righteous Son experience indescribable agony and pain and give Himself in sacrifice for all.”
      • “Adultery, fornication, committing homosexual acts, and other deviations approaching these in gravity are not acceptable alternate lifestyles. They are serious sins.”
  • October 1994 General Conference
    • Making the Right Choices
      • “You can’t please God without upsetting Satan, so you will get pressure from those he tempts to do wrong. Individuals who do wrong want you to join them because they feel more comfortable in what they are doing when others do it also. They may also want to take advantage of you.”
      • “Fundamental to the great plan of happiness and central to the teachings of the Savior is the family. A new family begins when a man and woman make sacred marriage vows and are legally bound together to become husband and wife, father and mother. The perfect beginning is through sealing in the temple. With marriage they commit the best of themselves to be absolutely loyal to each other and to invite children to be nurtured and taught. The father assumes his role as provider and protector, the mother her role as the heart of the home, with her tender, loving, nurturing influence. Together they strive to instill in themselves and their children principles such as prayer, obedience, love, giving of oneself, and the quest for knowledge.”
      • “In time that creates an unquenchable appetite that drives the offender to ever more serious sin. It engenders selfishness and can produce aggressive acts such as brutality, abortion, sexual abuse, and violent crime. Such stimulation can lead to acts of homosexuality, and they are evil and absolutely wrong.”
  • April 1994 General Conference
    • To Be Healed
      • “It is important to understand that His healing can mean being cured, or having your burdens eased, or even coming to realize that it is worth it to endure to the end patiently, for God needs brave sons and daughters who are willing to be polished when in His wisdom that is His will.”
      • “Don’t look for a life virtually free from discomfort, pain, pressure, challenge, or grief, for those are the tools a loving Father uses to stimulate our personal growth and understanding. As the scriptures repeatedly affirm, you will be helped as you exercise faith in Jesus Christ.”
      • “Love is a potent healer. Realizing that, Satan would separate you from the power of the love of God, kindred, and friends, who want to help. He would lead you to feel that the walls are pressing in around you and there is no escape or relief. He wants you to believe you lack the capacity to help yourself and that no one else is really interested. If he succeeds, you will be driven to further despair and heartache. His strategy is to have you think you are not appreciated, loved, or wanted so that you in despair will turn to self-criticism, and in the extreme even to despising yourself and feeling evil when you are not.”
  • October 1993 General Conference
    • Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge
      • “As you seek spiritual knowledge, search for principles. Carefully separate them from the detail used to explain them. Principles are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances. A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and compelling circumstances. It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle.”
      • “Since it requires much personal effort to gain and use worthwhile knowledge, you cannot endlessly sample from every fascinating arena of life.”
      • “To keep the commandments, you must know them. The best single source for learning them is the scriptures.”
      • “Profound spiritual truth cannot simply be poured from one mind and heart to another. It takes faith and diligent effort. Precious truth comes a small piece at a time through faith, with great exertion, and at times wrenching struggles. The Lord intends it be that way so that we can mature and progress.”
      • “The privilege of learning absolute truth is sacred to me. I stand in awe that our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son are willing, even anxious for us to learn from them. Please use what I have shared with sensitivity for the wondrous privilege given each of us, willing to obey, to be taught eternal truth.”
  • April 1993 General Conference
    • The Power of Correct Principles
      • “All of the self-inflicted tragedy that occurs today from violation of the Lord’s commandments could be avoided by careful, consistent observance of revealed truth. The productive power of correct principles can make your life a joyous, satisfying experience.”
      • “Parents, don’t make the mistake of purposefully intervening to soften or eliminate the natural consequences of your child’s deliberate decisions to violate the commandments. Such acts reinforce false principles, open the door for more serious sin, and lessen the likelihood of repentance.”
      • “Your consistent adherence to principle overcomes the alluring yet false life-styles that surround you. Your faithful compliance to correct principles will generate criticism and ridicule from others, yet the results are so eternally worthwhile that they warrant your every sacrifice.”
  • October 1992 General Conference
    • Healing Your Damaged Life
      • “Even though you publicly defend strongly your actions, privately in moments of sober contemplation you may have recognized that you are in trouble. While outwardly you may blame others for your problems, inside you may have already discovered that indulgence in violation of trust and denial of truth leads to ever-diminishing options. One backs himself ever farther into a corner. Finally there seems to be no way out, and a sense of hopelessness sets in.”
      • “Please understand that no one can change truth. Rationalization, overpowering self-interest, all of the arguments of men, anger, or self-will cannot change truth. Satan knows that, so he tries to create an atmosphere where one unwittingly begins to feel that he can not only choose what to do, but can determine what is right to do. Satan strives to persuade us to live outside truth by rationalizing our actions as the right of choice.”
      • “Our Heavenly Father gave us truth, some as statements of cause and effect. We call them commandments. They guide our life to happiness.”
      • “It is the only way to permanently cure damage to mind and spirit caused by unrighteous acts. It also provides healing, within the bounds of eternal law, to a body devastated by the effects of transgression.”
      • “Read and learn about the Savior until you know Him, then trust Him.”
      • “A true friend is not one that always encourages you to do what you want to do, but one who helps you do what you know you ought to do.”
      • “You can fool others who want to believe you, but you cannot deceive the Lord.”
  • April 1992 General Conference
    • Healing the Tragic Scars of Abuse
      • “To be helped, you must understand some things about eternal law. Your abuse results from another’s unrighteous attack on your freedom. Since all of Father in Heaven’s children enjoy agency, there can be some who choose willfully to violate the commandments and harm you. Such acts temporarily restrict your freedom. In justice, and to compensate, the Lord has provided a way for you to overcome the destructive results of others’ acts against your will. That relief comes by applying eternal truths with priesthood assistance.”
      • “I solemnly testify that when another’s acts of violence, perversion, or incest hurt you terribly, against your will, you are not responsible and you must not feel guilty. You may be left scarred by abuse, but those scars need not be permanent. In the eternal plan, in the Lord’s timetable, those injuries can be made right as you do your part.”
      • “As a victim, do not waste effort in revenge or retribution against your aggressor. Focus on your responsibility to do what is in your power to correct.”
      • “You cannot erase what has been done, but you can forgive. (see D&C 64:10.) Forgiveness heals terrible, tragic wounds, for it allows the love of God to purge your heart and mind of the poison of hate. It cleanses your consciousness of the desire for revenge. It makes place for the purifying, healing, restoring love of the Lord.”
      • “I caution you not to participate in two improper therapeutic practices that may cause you more harm than good. They are: Excessive probing into every minute detail of your past experiences, particularly when this involves penetrating dialogue in group discussion; and blaming the abuser for every difficulty in your life.”
  • October 1991 General Conference
    • Obtaining Help From the Lord
      • “It is evident that He intends that we do our part. But what, specifically, are we to do? No one would expect to receive a result from physical law without obeying it. Spiritual law is the same. As much as we want help, we must expect to follow the spiritual law that controls that help. Spiritual law is not mysterious. It is something that we can understand. The scriptures define it in significant detail.”
      • “These teachings of Jesus Christ emphasize that it matters very much what we ask for and how we ask for it. I testify that when we seek His will and do it, we will obtain the greatest blessings in life.”
      • “Not all our prayers will be answered as we wish. It is not always easy to know the will of the Lord, yet there are some things we can be certain of. He will never ask us to do anything that is not completely in harmony with His teachings. We cannot count on help if we are immoral or otherwise deliberately disobedient unless we sincerely repent. One who prays to know if another is to be the eternal companion while violating in any degree the law of chastity has little hope of receiving confirmation without repentance.”
      • “Our earnest prayers are answered when they conform to the will of the Lord. Since we cannot perfectly understand His will, we must walk with faith. He is all-knowing, and His decisions are perfect. The fact that our finite capacity does not let us understand all of His dealings with man does not limit Him from blessing us. His will is our best choice in life, whether or not we fully understand it. When we act using our moral agency wisely, the Lord will act according to His will.”
      • “To gain unshakable faith in Jesus Christ is to flood your life with brilliant light.”
  • April 1991 General Conference
    • Making the Right Decisions
      • “Place the Savior, His teachings, and His church at the center of your life. Make sure that all decisions comply with this standard.”
      • “Recognize that enduring happiness comes from what you are, not from what you have.”
      • “Test your daily thoughts and acts against the principles we have reviewed. Are you making progress toward them, or have you begun to wander down destructive paths? Life is a workshop where you can test the correctness of the principles you have chosen to guide your life.”
      • “In closing, I return to my automatic watch. It is powered by a solar cell and to function must be exposed to light. We are like that. We operate on light and need a constant renewal of that light. If we drift into a path where there is darkness, it can be extraordinarily difficult to come back. You will not have that challenge because you will live in the light of truth.”
  • October 1990 General Conference
    • Redemption: The Harvest of Love
      • “This glorious doctrine is another witness of the all-encompassing nature of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He has made salvation available to every repentant soul. His was a vicarious atonement that conquered death. He permits the worthy deceased to receive all ordinances of salvation vicariously.”
      • “But for me, the most thrilling resource will eliminate the delay in clearing names for temple work. Beginning next fall, you will be able to clear ancestors’ names for temple ordinances in your own meetinghouse yourself, without the need to request headquarters approval. When you verify that no previous ordinance has been performed, you can go immediately to the temple to perform these ordinances.”
      • “I have tasted enough of the fruits of this sublime work to know that the keys Elijah restored to Joseph Smith permit our hearts to be bound and each of us linked to those of our ancestors who are waiting for our help. Through our efforts in holy temples here on earth using the authority delegated by the Savior, our progenitors receive the saving ordinances that allow them to enjoy eternal happiness.”
      • “Have you prayed about your own ancestors’ work? Set aside those things that don’t really matter in your life. Decide to do something that will have eternal consequences. Perhaps you have been prompted to look for ancestors but feel that you are not a genealogist. Can you see that you don’t have to be anymore? It all begins with love and a sincere desire to help those who can’t help themselves.”
  • April 1990 General Conference
    • Finding the Way Back
      • “Please understand that the way back is not as hard as it seems to you now. Satan wants you to think that it is impossible. That is not true.”
      • “When you are honest with yourself, you may feel afraid. To change will require you to take an unfamiliar path, and it is uphill and narrow. The other is so inviting, but it leads to heartache. None of your partners in error will help you onto the upward path. They think only of themselves.”
      • “Why the giving of self? Because selfishness is at the root of your problem. Where selfishness and transgression flourish, the Spirit of the Lord can’t enter your life to bless you. To succeed, you must conquer your selfishness. When your beacon is focused on self, it does little more than blind your vision. When turned outward through acts of kindness and love, it will light your path to happiness and peace.”
      • “The same pattern is followed to overcome your entrenched habit. Decide to stop what you are doing that is wrong. Then search out everything in your life that feeds the habit, such as negative thoughts, unwholesome environment, and your companions in mischief. Systematically eliminate or overcome everything that contributes to that negative part of your life. Then stop the negative things permanently.”
      • “There is simply nothing good about cheating yourself by being disobedient to trust; there is no positive element of reinforcement that would otherwise come from obedience.”
      • “If loved ones seem to ignore you, it is because they don’t know what to do. Their past attempts to help have been rejected; you have not wanted help. Reach out to them trustingly. Ask for support in your sincere efforts to change. Give them reason to know that this time is different because you will do it the Lord’s way.”
  • October 1989 General Conference
    • Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer
      • “When answers to urgent prayer don’t seem to come, it can be that we don’t understand some truths about prayer, or because we don’t recognize answers when they come.”
      • “To better understand prayer, I have listened to the counsel of others, pondered the scriptures, and studied the lives of prophets and others. Yet what seems most helpful is seeing in my mind a child approaching trustingly a loving, kind, wise, understanding Father, who wants us to succeed.”
      • “When we receive an impression in our heart, we can use our mind either to rationalize it away or to accomplish it. Be careful what you do with an impression from the Lord.”
      • “If you feel that God has not answered your prayers, ponder these scriptures—then carefully look for evidence in your own life of His having already answered you.”
      • “Most often what we have chosen to do is right. He will confirm the correctness of our choices His way. That confirmation generally comes through packets of help found along the way. We discover them by being spiritually sensitive. They are like notes from a loving Father as evidence of His approval. If, in trust, we begin something which is not right, He will let us know before we have gone too far. We sense that help by recognizing troubled or uneasy feelings.”
      • “When we seek inspiration to help make decisions, the Lord gives gentle promptings. These require us to think, to exercise faith, to work, to struggle at times, and to act. Seldom does the whole answer to a decisively important matter or complex problem come all at once. More often, it comes a piece at a time, without the end in sight.”
      • “The counsel about prayer is true. I have tested it thoroughly in the laboratory of my own personal life. I have discovered that what sometimes seems an impenetrable barrier to communication is a giant step to be taken in trust.”
  • April 1989 General Conference
    • Trust in the Lord
      • “I know that each one of you faces overwhelming challenges. Sometimes they are so concentrated, so unrelenting, that you may feel they are beyond your capacity to control.”
      • “In many ways, the world is like a jungle, with dangers that can harm or mutilate your body, enslave or destroy your mind, or decimate your morality. It was intended that life be a challenge, not so that you would fail, but that you might succeed through overcoming. You face on every hand difficult but vitally important decisions. There is an array of temptations, destructive influences, and camouflaged dangers, the like of which no previous generation has faced. I am persuaded that today no one, no matter how gifted, strong, or intelligent, will avoid serious problems without seeking the help of the Lord. I repeat: Don’t face the world alone. Trust in the Lord.”
      • “If you have had such feelings of depression, turn around—literally turn your life around. The other end of the tunnel is filled with light. No matter where you have been or what you have done, that light is always available to you. Satan will try to convince you that you have gone too far to be saved. That is a lie. You will need some help to get started. The scriptures are a good place to begin. A father, mother, brother, sister, bishop, or friend will help. As you move nearer the light through repentance, you will feel better about yourself and more confident in your future. You will rediscover how wonderful life really is.”
      • “Be honest. Righteous character is based on integrity.”
      • “You know what is right and wrong. Be the leader in doing right. At first, you may not be understood. You may not have the friends you want right away, but in time, they will respect you, then admire you. Many will come privately to receive strength from your spiritual flame. You can do it. I know you can do it.”
  • October 1988 General Conference
    • True Friends That Lift
      • “The influence of these two friends, President Benson and the Book of Mormon, has comforted and sustained me in times of intense need. I would share them with you in your hour of need.”
      • “When Jesus prayed to his father in humility, faith, and obedience for others, his Father answered. When he prayed for strength and comfort in his hour of greatest need and took upon himself the sins of the world and gave his atoning sacrifice, that upon repentance we could enjoy the miracle of forgiveness, his Father answered.”
  • April 1988 General Conference
    • To Help a Loved One in Need
      • “First—Love without limitations.”
      • “Second—Do not condone the transgressions, but extend every hope and support to the transgressor.”
      • “Third—Teach truth.”
      • “Fourth—Honestly forgive as often as is required.”
      • “Fifth—Pray trustingly.”
      • “Sixth—Keep perspective.”
      • “One last suggestion—Never give up on a loved one, never! I know we have a loving Father in Heaven. He asks us to worship him that we may feel his love. He entreats us to love his Son that we may be comforted and strengthened. Sometimes, we foolishly recite facts about the Father and the Son, mechanically, and—forgive us—preach to them, preen before them, and display our ignorance and pride. Yet they continue to love us perfectly, each one of us, individually. Yes, they are all-powerful and all-knowing; their works extend eternally, yet their love for each of us is personal, knowing, uncompromising, endless, perfect.”
  • April 1986 General Conference
    • We Love You—Please Come Back
      • “You have learned that fair-weather friends are always available at the bottom of the path that leads to worldliness and unrighteousness, and that their companionship always comes with many strings attached. You have seen how each seeks only to satisfy selfish interests. In quiet moments of reflection, you realize that such companionship is hollow and valueless and leads to weakened resolve, compromised ideals, and eventual yielding to serious sin.”
      • “You know well the process of repentance and the vital role of a judge in Israel, yet you may have difficulty taking that first step to return. With all the love of my heart, may I offer you a way back. You can begin alone and proceed at your own pace.”
      • “From this scripture you can see that suffering does not bring forgiveness. It comes through faith in Christ and obedience to His teachings, so that His gift of redemption can apply.”
      • “As you ponder such teachings, your own forgiveness will seem more attainable. As you pray from the depth of humility, with total honesty, our Father will hear you and the easing of the burden will begin.”
      • “Can’t you see that to continue to suffer for sins, when there has been proper repentance and forgiveness of the Lord, is not prompted by the Savior but by the master of deceit, whose goal has always been to bind and enslave the children of our Father in Heaven? Satan would encourage you to continue to relive the details of past mistakes, knowing that such thoughts make progress, growth, and service difficult to attain. It is as though Satan ties strings to the mind and body so that he can manipulate one like a puppet, discouraging personal achievement.”
      • “If you, through poor judgment, were to cover your shoes with mud, would you leave them that way? Of course not. You would cleanse and restore them. Would you then gather the residue of mud and place it in an envelope to show others the mistake that you made? No. Neither should you continue to relive forgiven sin.”
  • October 1983 General Conference
    • The Power to Make a Difference
      • “Free agency is a divine gift, and God will not override it. Because of free agency, we must take the first step. Our initial acts of kindness or service to others provide us with channels of inspiration and power. In contrast, darkness and despair close in when the light of love and service dims or goes out within us. Feelings of bitterness and dissatisfaction feed upon themselves and give place to thoughts and acts of unkindness, criticism, and eventually even hatred.”
      • “He had honestly tried to show love and affection and had done much to help her, but in every case these righteous gestures were destroyed by simultaneously expressed feelings of concern for self. In his own words, “I do not want her to take advantage of me.” She restrained the honest feelings of gratitude in her heart for his help with the children and home and said nothing. They had not the courage, nor the vision, to build one another.”
      • “If you would be loved, love another. If you would be understood, show understanding to another. If you would find peace, harmony, and happiness, lift another. Yet, if we build another for selfish reasons, our acts cannot produce desirable fruits.”
  • October 1981 General Conference
    • The Plan for Happiness and Exaltation
      • “Our proving grounds vary. Some of us are born with physical limitations; others are lonely or do not enjoy good health. Some are challenged by economic conditions, the lack of good parental example, or a myriad of other things that test our mettle. While much of the pain and sorrow we endure is the result of our own stubborn acts of disobedience, many of the things that appear to be obstacles in our path are used by a loving Creator for our own personal growth.”
      • “Life never was intended to be easy. Rather, it is a period of proving and growth. It is interwoven with difficulties, challenges, and burdens. We are immersed in a sea of persistent, worldly pressures that could destroy our happiness. Yet these very forces, if squarely faced, provide opportunity for tremendous personal growth and development. The conquering of adversity produces strength of character, forges self-confidence, engenders self-respect, and assures success in righteous endeavor.”
      • “One who exercises free agency by faith grows from challenges, is purified by sorrow, and lives at peace. In contrast, one who frantically seeks to satisfy appetite and worldly desire is driven in a downward spiral to tragic depths. Temptation is the motivating influence in his exercise of free agency.”
      • “Our happiness on earth, as well as our eternal salvation, requires many correct decisions, no one of which is difficult to make. Together they forge a character resistant to the eroding influences that surround us. Noble character is like a treasured porcelain made of select raw materials, formed with faith, carefully crafted by consistent righteous acts, and fired in the furnace of uplifting experience. It is an object of great beauty and priceless worth. Yet it can be broken in a moment through transgression. When protected by self-control, righteous character will endure for eternity.”
      • “We must cultivate true humility, not the ability to appear humble, but the sacred gift of true humility.”
  • October 1979 General Conference
    • Happiness Now and Forever
      • “I will illustrate that way by a simple example. Let this box represent the world. I have hidden two magnets in it, one to represent the truth, the other error. There is a powerful influence radiating from the magnets, but you cannot see it nor can you feel it, any more than we can see with our eyes or feel with our hands the difference between truth and error. If I use another magnet as a detecting instrument, I can identify unerringly the magnet representing truth. The magnet is drawn to it. Likewise, I can find the magnet representing error, for it is repelled from it.”
      • “God did not put us on earth to be victimized by circumstances. He gave us a plan for assured success—his gospel—the perfect plan for happiness.”
      • “Happiness is created. Love is its center. Its principal ingredients are sincere faith, true repentance, full obedience, and selfless service.”
  • April 1977 General Conference
    • Gratitude
      • “I know the reality of the promptings of the Holy Ghost. In times of urgent need, after meditation and prayer to receive confirmation of a selected course of action, those promptings have given the comforted feeling that it was right. Other times, without beckoning, counsel and instruction and assurance have come through the power of the Holy Ghost; and then, at times, there have flooded into my mind and heart warnings of impending danger that would have otherwise overtaken me.”

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