Marvin J. Ashton

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (December 2, 1971 – February 25, 1994)
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 3, 1969 – December 2, 1971)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1992 General Conference
    • A Yearning for Home
      • “Not just children but all of us will want to think of home under joyous or trying circumstances. We let ourselves become homesick for love, acceptance, security, understanding, and guidance that generally are taught and shared there. Home should be the place in which a person can unburden his soul and find renewed strength to face the world, where there is comfort, joy, and understanding, where best friends live, and where we can learn to be our best selves.”
      • “There is a certain kind of yearning for home we should never want to lose. Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love. Home should be where life’s greatest lessons are taught and learned. Home and family can be the center of one’s earthly faith, where love and mutual responsibility are appropriately blended. Thinking of home with its pleasant and happy memories can make us stronger during our present and future days here upon the earth.”
      • “To know who we are is important, but to know where we are in relationship to our earthly home and heavenly home is essential if we are to receive all the blessings our Father in Heaven has for those who love him and keep his commandments. Our eternal home is our ultimate destination. A proper yearning for home can prevent our getting lost in detours or paths that lead us away.”
      • “These examples may seem preposterous—but how much more tragic it is for someone who, equipped with a testimony of the truth and a knowledge of the purpose of life, becomes more absorbed in life today than in life forever. Who’s just a little more concerned about his or her status and standing in mortality than in eternity. Whose focus is not directed to God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, with whom it is possible to have a glorious connection and bond.”
  • April 1992 General Conference
    • The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword
      • “In the world today we are victims of many who use their tongues as sharp swords. The misuse of our tongues seems to add intrigue and destruction as the media and private persons indulge in this pastime.”
      • “We need to get back to basic principles of recognizing the good and the praiseworthy within the family. Home evening needs to be reemphasized and used as a tool or foundation for wholesome communication and teaching, but never as an opportunity to bash other family members, neighbors, teachers, or Church leaders. Family loyalty will emerge when we reinforce the good and the positive and bridle our negative thoughts as we seek after those things that are of good report.”
      • “Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher repulsive.”
      • “If the adversary can influence us to pick on each other, to find fault, bash, and undermine, to judge or humiliate or taunt, half his battle is won. Why? Because though this sort of conduct may not equate with succumbing to grievous sin, it nevertheless neutralizes us spiritually. The Spirit of the Lord cannot dwell where there is bickering, judging, contention, or any kind of bashing.”
  • October 1991 General Conference
    • “Strengthen the Feeble Knees”
      • “It would seem that no one escapes some uncertainty, insecurity, doubt, and even fear. This mortal existence is invariably challenging and unpredictable. An honest person who is acquainted with the characteristics of life cannot ever be completely confident that his circumstances will not change unexpectedly.”
      • “Feeble knees are strengthened by those who lead with purpose rather than with personal interpretations.”
      • “Sometimes the freedoms and blessings of the Sabbath can be lost by attitudes that allow selfishness and lack of personal involvement in tried-and-true patterns. Sabbath days can be lost an hour at a time. Sabbath days can be lost an outing at a time.”
      • “No lasting great personal heights are ever reached by those who step on others to try to push themselves upward.”
      • “It is not surprising to learn that people who tell white lies soon become color-blind.”
  • April 1991 General Conference
    • “A Voice of Gladness”
      • “Disappointments, death, losses, or failures are real and difficult to manage but should never cause us to have barbed tongues, lasting resentment, or negative attitudes. The gospel encourages us to develop the capacity to learn from the past and present and see the opportunities that can be ours in the days to come.”
      • “In the world, where there are often voices of pessimism and negative feelings, the voice of gladness is welcome indeed. Some seem to live with doubt, fear of the future, and sorrow for the past. If it is our nature to criticize or demean, we can cause the voices of gladness to be silenced. We need those who bring gladness into our lives. We need those who give encouragement and reflect optimism.”
      • “Thank God for noble souls who can and do weather life’s storms with sincere voices of gladness which overshadow the present and make the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ real and strengthening.”
  • October 1990 General Conference
    • A Pattern in All Things
      • “The gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s pattern for righteous living and eternal life. It makes possible goal-setting and lofty priorities. Satan and his advocates will constantly try to deceive and entice us into following their patterns. If we are to achieve daily safety, exaltation, and eternal happiness, we need to live by the light and truth of our Savior’s plan. All salvation revolves around our Savior.”
      • “Satan has a way of wrapping enticing diversions with ribbons, bows, and fancy coverings. Inside are immorality, self-destruction, and substandard culture temptations. His established pattern is to deceive at all costs. His call to “live it up,” “enjoy the ‘now,’” “go for it,” “do your own thing,” and yield to peer pressures are some of his available enticements for the susceptible in the days and hours to come. He cunningly uses damaging deceit in its most dastardly form. He would have us forget the essential thing in life is not conquering, but steadfast commitment to righteous patterns.”
      • “Satan is the author of all programs that dress up evil and wrong to whet our appetites. Yielding to his temptations that promote immoral conduct will never bring happiness. When we are down and out and scrambling for relief from his clutches, he will continue to recommend patterns of conduct that allow us to destroy our self-respect.”
      • “To gain exaltation and happy daily life, we must follow a pattern of righteousness. Our self-esteem and success can best be measured by how we follow the patterns of life which prevent deceit, haughtiness, pride, or pessimism.”
      • “Solid, permanent progress can only take place in the days ahead if deception is avoided, no matter how advantageous it may seem to yield or compromise basic principles of conduct.”
  • April 1990 General Conference
    • “Neither Boast of Faith Nor of Mighty Works”
      • “Oftentimes, boastful people are starving for attention. Boastful people may not be aware of the consequences caused by their method of presentation.”
      • “In our conversations and conduct we can be much more effective if we avoid the demeaning effect of that which could be classified as boasting. We should wisely let others become aware of accomplishments by observations rather than to have us appear to flaunt them before the world. Boasting diminishes credibility and too often alienates friends, co-workers, family members, and even those who may observe us from a distance.”
      • “How easy it is for man to believe that temporal success has been achieved by his own skills and labor. Everything good comes from the Lord.”
      • “May we all be gratefully aware of the source of our blessings and strengths and refrain from taking undue credit for personal accomplishments.”
      • “No thinking Latter-day Saint will permit his comments, attitudes, or expressions to be construed as boasting in his own strength. Those who persist in boasting fail to recognize the true sources of personal achievement.”
      • “One of the most common of all sins among worldly people is relying on and then boasting in the arm of flesh. This is a most serious evil. It is a sin born of pride, a sin that creates a frame of mind which keeps men from turning to the Lord and accepting his saving grace. When a man knowingly or unknowingly engages in self-exultation because of his riches, his political power, his worldly learning, his physical prowess, his business ability, or even his works of righteousness, he is not in tune with the Spirit of the Lord.”
      • “Boasting will be erased when we seek the Lord’s help and thank him for all we have and are.”
  • October 1989 General Conference
    • “Stalwart and Brave We Stand”
      • “Enduring, or carrying on, is not just a matter of tolerating circumstances and hanging in there, but of pressing forward.”
      • “Today it should be a way of life, our top priority and clarion call for young and old. Young people, boys and girls, and leaders worldwide, I encourage you to carry on. Do not give up, falter, or become weary. Do not yield to the ways of the world that can only bring unhappiness and discouragement. I love and respect young people who stand firm when outside influences would make it easy for them to fail or fall.”
  • April 1989 General Conference
    • On Being Worthy
      • “We do not have to be hindered by self-judgment. All of us have the benefit and added wisdom of a bishop and a stake president to help us determine our worthiness and, if necessary, to assist us to begin the process of becoming worthy to accomplish whatever goal we wish to achieve. When we take it upon ourselves to pass self-judgment and simply declare, “I am not worthy,” we build a barrier to progress and erect blockades that prevent our moving forward. We are not being fair when we judge ourselves. A second and third opinion will always be helpful and proper.”
      • “Worthiness is a process, and perfection is an eternal trek. We can be worthy to enjoy certain privileges without being perfect.”
      • “Worthy and lasting changes can only be made when actions are based upon the light of truth.”
      • “There is a natural, probably a mortal, tendency to compare ourselves with others. Unfortunately, when we make these comparisons, we tend to compare our weakest attributes with someone else’s strongest.”
      • “Sometimes there is a great need for us to be chastised, disciplined, and corrected in a spirit of love, help, and hope. Guidance and suggestions should be offered in a loving way, but most of us have a tendency to rebel or be dismayed when someone suggests that our conduct is less than it should be.”
      • “When we dwell on our own weaknesses, it is easy to dwell on the feelings that we are unworthy.”
  • October 1988 General Conference
    • The Measure of Our Hearts
      • “When the Lord measures an individual, He does not take a tape measure around the person’s head to determine his mental capacity, nor his chest to determine his manliness, but He measures the heart as an indicator of the person’s capacity and potential to bless others.”
      • “The measure of our hearts is the measure of our total performance. As used by the Lord, the “heart” of a person describes his effort to better self, or others, or the conditions he confronts.”
      • “The Book of Mormon is a study of interesting contrasts between those who hardened their hearts and those whose hearts were softened by the Spirit of the Lord.”
      • “After obtaining a testimony of the gospel and the Lord’s church, we should then strive to become pure in heart. This will result in happiness and eventually the promise of a society without contention. It is the Savior’s way to peace.”
      • “We come closest to becoming Christlike when we are charitable and understanding of others.”
      • “One may have many talents and knowledge but never acquire wisdom because he does not learn to be compassionate with his fellow man.”
  • April 1988 General Conference
    • While They Are Waiting
      • “Indifference can be one of the most hurtful ways of behavior.”
      • “A warm handshake and a friendly smile can be wonderfully healing medicine.”
      • “Bitterness must be replaced with humility. Truly, bitterness injures the one who carries it. It blinds, shrivels, and cankers.”
      • “Some of us are inclined to look to the weaknesses and shortcomings of others in order to expand our own comfort zone. A worthy personal support system in cases like this must include, to be effective, family, friends, and acquaintances who are willing to help us cope with what we see and experience.”
      • “Satan would like you to believe that because you’ve made one mistake it’s all over. He wants you to quit trying. It is important that discouragement is cast out of the lives of those who are waiting. This may take a decided amount of work and energy, but it can be accomplished.”
      • “In God’s eyes, nobody is a nobody.”
  • April 1985 General Conference
    • Spencer W. Kimball: A True Disciple of Christ
      • “We as members of the Church of Jesus Christ have a prophet who has shown us by his daily living the formula for success. By sharing with you tonight some personal experiences I have had with President Kimball, I hope I can encourage all of us to look to his life for inspiration as we set our goals.”
      • “Has our prophet taught us anything through his prayers? Very often the Twelve and the First Presidency pray together. When President Kimball takes his turn to be voice, he generally includes this phrase in his prayers: “Bless our enemies. Help us to understand them, and them to understand us.” He doesn’t ask for vengeance or retaliation, just for understanding so differences can be resolved. Perhaps family differences and neighborhood problems could be resolved if we would follow our prophet’s example and pray for patience and forgiveness.”
      • “I share these personal experiences to illustrate lessons I have learned from a disciple of Christ. I only do so to encourage myself and you, particularly the Aaronic Priesthood members, to select the traits I have illustrated and incorporate them into our lives. We should list our goals and then work on them consistently, until little by little they become part of us.”

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