Richard C. Edgley

First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric (December 27, 1995 – March 31, 2012)

Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric (October 3, 1992 – December 27, 1995)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 2012 General Conference
    •  The Rescue for Real Growth
      • “Reactivation has always been an important part of the work of the Lord. While the rescue is a responsibility of every member, holders of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood have the responsibility to lead out in this work. After all, that is what priesthood service is all about—bringing all people to the exalting covenants; bringing peace, happiness, and self-worth.”
      • “In our family we have an ancestor who joined the Church in Europe in the early days of the Church. One son became inactive. Sister Edgley and I have attempted to track the inactive descendants of this ancestor.”
      • “It was easy for my wife and me to conclude that during the following six generations and with reasonable assumptions, there could be a loss of up to 3,000 family members. Now project two more generations. The loss could theoretically approach 20,000 to 30,000 of our Heavenly Father’s children.”
      • “This successful rescue was a rescue from physical and temporal suffering. Should we be less valiant in our efforts to rescue those who could suffer spiritual and eternal consequences? Should we make less of a commitment to the Lord?”
  • October 2010 General Conference
    • Faith—the Choice is Yours
      • “Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today’s world, I wish to suggest a single choice—a choice of peace and protection and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith. Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28) and “Knock, and it shall be [given] you” (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism.”
      • “Yes, faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. Thus, we are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours.”
      • “By moving forward into the unknown, armed only with hope and desire, we show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord.”
      • “I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But because of faith I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with hope and optimism. Because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. And because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude. Yes, I have seen mountains removed.”
  • April 2009 General Conference
    • This Is Your Phone Call
      • “Brethren, there is no organization better able to respond to the challenges of humanity than the priesthood of the Most High God. We have the organization. Stake presidents, bishops, elders quorum presidents, and high priests group leaders—we now call upon you to mobilize our priesthood quorums in response to the employment and financial challenges facing our members. Consider this your personal phone call. Now is the time to rally around, lift up, and help the families in our quorums who may be in distress.”
      • “Now, let me say a few words to those of you who are currently unemployed. The responsibility for finding employment or improving your employment rests with you. Continued guidance comes from the Lord through regular fasting and prayer. Your quorum leaders, bishops, specialists, and employment resource center staff will help in your efforts. We fear, however, that often priesthood leaders are unaware of your situation. Speak up! Let them know you are looking for work. And bishops and priesthood leaders, rise up and let the brotherhood of the priesthood engage themselves in the wonderful opportunity to truly be a quorum, a brotherhood, a brother’s keeper.”
  • October 2007 General Conference
    • Enduring Together
      • “The ward is organized to minister to the needs of those who face even the most difficult and heartbreaking trials. The bishop, often considered the “father” of the ward, is there to provide counsel and resources. But also close at hand are Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthood leaders, the Relief Society presidency, home teachers, visiting teachers, and the ward members—always the ward members. All are there to administer comfort and show compassion in times of need.”
      • “Adversity can bring us closer to God, with a renewed and enlightened appreciation for prayer and the Atonement, which covers pain and suffering in all their manifestations.”
  • October 2006 General Conference
    • Three Towels and a 25-Cent Newspaper
      • “Sadly, some of the greatest missing values in today’s world are honesty and integrity. In the past few years an increasing number of business leaders have been exposed for dishonesty and other forms of bad behavior. As a result, tens of thousands of loyal, long-term employees have lost their livelihoods and pensions. For some this has resulted in loss of homes, change of education and other life plans. We read and hear of widespread cheating in our schools, with more concern about receiving a grade or degree than learning and preparation. We hear of students who have cheated their way through medical school and are now performing complicated procedures on their patients. The elderly and others are victims of scam artists, often resulting in the loss of homes or life savings. Always this dishonesty and lack of integrity are based on greed, arrogance, and disrespect.”
      • “Honesty is the basis of a true Christian life. For Latter-day Saints, honesty is an important requirement for entering the Lord’s holy temple. Honesty is embedded in the covenants that we make in the temple. Each Sunday as we partake of the holy emblems of the Savior’s flesh and blood, we again renew our basic and sacred covenants—which encompass honesty. As Latter-day Saints we have a sacred obligation to not only teach the principles of honesty, but also to live them, perhaps with examples as simple as three towels or a 25-cent newspaper. Honesty should be among the most fundamental values that govern our everyday living.”
  • April 2005 General Conference
    • A Still, Small Voice and a Throbbing Heart
      • “It is a still, small voice and a throbbing heart that gives our young people the desire and courage to stand for purity, honesty, and principle, even at the expense of sometimes being ridiculed and rejected. It is a still, small voice and a throbbing heart that motivates one to joyfully keep God’s commandments and share the burdens of those less fortunate. Yes, there is power in a still, small voice and a throbbing heart.”
      • “Because of the Prophet Joseph Smith, I understand more fully the magnitude of Christ’s Atonement. Because of the Prophet Joseph, I better understand the significance of the Garden of Gethsemane—a place of great suffering as Christ assumed our personal suffering not only for our sins, but also for our pains, infirmities, trials, and tragedies. I understand the infinite and eternal nature of His great and last sacrifice. I better understand the love our Savior exemplified in His last redeeming act. Because of Joseph Smith, my love and gratitude for the Savior is magnified and my worship more meaningful. Among the many hymns in our hymnbook written by W. W. Phelps is the familiar song with the words “Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!” (“Praise to the Man,” Hymns, no. 27). My heart throbs as I sing that song.”
      • “Like Alma of old, each of us, members and sincere investigators alike, can know with surety that these things are true. It is our great privilege to know. It is more than a privilege; it is our responsibility to know. It is our enormous loss to not know when such a privilege is given.”
  • October 2003 General Conference
    • The Empowerment of Humility
      • “On the occasions that I am able to attend sacrament meeting in my own ward, I am often reflective as I look down in the congregation and see the same faces Sunday after Sunday. Some I have seen regularly in sacrament meeting for more than 20 years. Again, most are not in the limelight of the Church, but all consistently attend their meetings and privately meet life’s challenges.”
      • “As I have pondered these faithful members, I am struck by two qualities they all seem to have. First, regardless of social or economic status or position, their humility leads to submissiveness to the Lord’s will. And second, in spite of the difficulties and trials of life, they are able to maintain a sense of gratitude for God’s blessings and life’s goodness. Humility and gratitude are truly the twin characteristics of happiness.”
  • April 2002 General Conference
    • For Thy Good
      • “Therefore, perhaps the challenge is to have the kind of faith during the hard times that we exercised when we first chose. The kind of faith that turns questioning and even anger into acknowledging the power, blessings, and hope that can come only from Him who is the source of all power, blessings, and hope. The kind of faith that brings the knowledge and assurances that all that we experience is part of the gospel plan and that for the righteous, all that appears wrong will eventually be made right. The peace and understanding to endure with dignity and clarity of purpose can be the sweet reward. This kind of faith can help us to see the good, even when life’s path seems to be layered only with thorns, thistles, and craggy rocks.”
  • October 2000 General Conference
    • Satan’s Bag of Snipes
      • “Satan will tell us that these things are OK and that “everybody is doing it.” He will tell us that they bring popularity and acceptance. Satan’s lies can be very enticing, especially at that critical time in life when young people are craving acceptance and popularity.”
      • “We may come from humble circumstances, have limited education, and may even have what we consider unimpressive worldly accomplishments. And because of Satan’s deceit, we may at times feel unimportant, insignificant, or incapable. But let us never forget—we are the ones chosen to hold the priesthood of God, we are His called, ordained representatives, and that makes us somebody.”
  • October 1999 General Conference
    • “Behold the Man”
      • “Yes, Jesus is the man. He possesses all characteristics of the true, ideal man. His ways, not Satan’s ways, lead to manhood. Anyone who believes otherwise is already tangling himself up in the everlasting chains of Satan’s deception (see 2 Ne. 28:19).”
      • “There is no manhood in succumbing to Satan. There is no manhood in being defeated by his principles.”
      • “Yes, Ben, Satan has his man and God has His man, and Satan has his characteristics of manhood and God has His. Satan would present his characteristics as the true measurement of manhood and God’s criteria as weak and wimpy. But one must understand that Satan’s criteria will almost always be the easiest and the wimpiest. Satan’s way takes no courage, no character, no personal strength, and it proves no manhood at all.”
      • “A true man does not need Satan to lead him down the easy path with his everlasting chains of destruction. A true man is strong enough to withstand the wiles of Satan and humble enough to submit himself to the redemptive powers of the Savior.”
  • April 1998 General Conference
    • A Disciple, a Friend
      • “It is interesting how the lack of understanding by a few can innocently or purposely misguide many. Judging another’s heart and conscience is probably best left to the righteous Judge of us all.”
      • “My friend took the time to learn for himself before forming a judgment. He did not try to influence others based on lack of understanding or misconception. This seemed responsible to me—seeking understanding before judging, and certainly before trying to persuade another to one’s own misconceptions.”
      • “I have since concluded that viewpoints based on misunderstandings and fallacious teachings should not trouble me, except as I have a responsibility to attempt to clarify such misconceptions. The real issue is not how others define us but how the Savior defines us.”
      • “To those who wonder how Christ fits into our theology and our personal lives, we testify that Christ is the Redeemer of the world. He is our Lord, our Light, and our Savior. He was ordained from on high to descend below all, to suffer above all! He is the focus of all that we teach and all we do. As a Church we are individual Christians, trying to prove our discipleship to the Savior. It is not an institutional matter, it is a personal matter.”
  • October 1996 General Conference
    • “We Care Enough to Send Our Very Best”
      • “The call to serve a mission seldom comes at a convenient time. Most are just a year out of high school. Many have just begun their university studies. Some have delayed or even forgone promising professions. Cars are sold, sweethearts are put on hold, college is delayed, scholarships are forfeited, careers are postponed. Behind each missionary is a private story of years of personal commitment, preparation, personal sacrifice, and examples of love for the Savior. And there are those worthy young men and young women who have in their hearts the greatest desire to serve a mission, but because of physical, health, or other limiting circumstances are honorably excused.”
      • “Our missionaries go to all nations and all people because they have a firm, unshakable testimony that God still loves the world and that He has spoken again as an indication of that love. He has restored precious truths lost over the centuries of Christian persecution, dark ages, and years of confusion—truths that are essential to our peace and happiness. These are truths so essential to our eternal salvation that our loving Father restored them in their completeness.”
      • “These missionaries go into all the world full of love and faith because they know of the fulfillment of Peter’s prophecy of a restitution of all things. They testify of a restoration that is so marvelous that only the hand of God could be its author—so miraculous that it can be believed only if one understands the powers of God and His love for all mankind—a story so divine that the truth of it can be truly accepted only through the personal manifestation of the Holy Ghost, which the Savior promised as His way of testifying of the truth to those who prayerfully seek it.”
      • “And so, we do “care enough to send our very best.” To all of you who are not of our faith, when two young men dressed in white shirts and ties, two lovely young women, or a noble couple knock at your door and introduce themselves as representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, may I invite you to let them in. Listen to their message and evaluate for yourself. May I suggest that you not just accept their message but that you inquire fervently of our Father in Heaven as to its truthfulness and its value to you and your family, for He is the author of all truth and has promised His witness to those who earnestly seek it.”
  • October 1994 General Conference
    • That Thy Confidence Wax Strong
      • “Each of us present in this great body of the priesthood has been called and ordained of God. We are His emissaries and have entered into a holy covenant with Him to honor and magnify the priesthood, and this becomes our most important and sacred assignment on earth. I repeat—our most important assignment on earth is to honor and magnify the priesthood. It is more important than hitting crucial free throws. It is more important than catching a touchdown pass or kicking goals. It is more important than being accepted by your peers. It is more important than closing on a vital business transaction.”
      • “There are no fringes of sin. Every act, good or bad, has a consequence. Every good act improves our ability to do good and more firmly stand against sin or failure. Every transgression, regardless of how minor, makes us more susceptible to Satan’s influence the next time he tempts us.”
      • “The Savior talked about teaching line upon line and precept upon precept. This is also how we prepare ourselves to magnify our callings—act upon act and deed upon deed. Each good act makes the basket larger and prepares us to further magnify our callings. When you young Aaronic Priesthood bearers administer and pass the sacrament worthily and reverently, the view of the basket becomes a little larger, as does your confidence in the Lord and your ability to act in righteousness. For those who have withstood so-called minor temptations, your ability to overcome Satan in the moments of major testing becomes easier. For those of you who have developed a relationship with your Heavenly Father and the Savior through scripture study and prayer, your basket is large and your confidence waxes strong.”
  • April 1993 General Conference
    • Keep the Faith
      • “For the faithful, the normal tests and trials of life need not be the enemy of faith. While we don’t necessarily look forward to these obstacles and challenges, we accept them, and we build our lives and faith from them. To the faithful, the very obstacles that we overcome draw us closer to our Heavenly Father by helping us develop a humble, submissive spirit and causing us to be grateful and appreciative of those blessings that flow from a loving Father. In short, these experiences can and often do increase our faith. The faithful do not pray to be spared the trials of life but pray that they may have the strength to rise above them. In so doing they come closer to Heavenly Father and to that state of perfection they are seeking.”
      • “There are the so-called learned people who have let their intellect undermine their spiritual moorings and who would also attempt to lead the faithful away from those who are appointed by the Lord to lead. There are those who feel that our leaders are out of touch with the realities of the day. They would attempt to lead members by substituting their own knowledge for the revelations from God to His prophets. And unfortunately there are those who would so follow.”
      • “Yes, like Abraham of old, our faith is going to be tested. We will suffer sickness, pain, death, and tragedy. This is inevitable. This is a major reason why we opted to participate in mortality. We can endure these trials and tribulations because we can draw upon the gifts of heaven, which will help us see them for what they are. As we conquer them, we are drawn closer to our Heavenly Father. We feel His love, gain His knowledge and truth. We are able to meet the test and endure these to the end.”

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