N. Eldon Tanner

First Counselor in the First Presidency (July 7, 1972 – November 27, 1982)

Second Counselor in the First Presidency (October 4, 1963 – July 2, 1972)

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 11, 1962 – November 27, 1982)

Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 8, 1960 – October 11, 1962)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1964 General Conference
    • Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
      • “And I said to those young people so they could all hear me, “Have a good time, kids, the best time you will ever have in your lives, really have a good time tonight, but have the kind of time, such a good time, that tomorrow, next week, a month from now or a year from now, ten years from now, you can look back on tonight and say, ‘I had a good time,’ and have nothing to regret or be sorry about.” And I think they went and had a good time.”
      • “You cannot do those things and enjoy the Spirit of the Lord and make progress and be the kind of person who will have joy in your future life, and the Spirit of the Lord cannot be with you, as it is if you are clean-living young people.”
    • The Heavens Are Open
      • “The God we believe in is a Living God with body, parts, and passions, in whose image we were made, who is the Father of the spirits of all mankind and under whose direction the world was created and all things therein. He is a Loving Father, who is interested in us and our welfare and who stands ready to answer our call if we will but go to him.”
      • “We believe that Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, the Only Begotten in the flesh; that he was born of mortal mother; that he dwelt among men; that he gave man the plan of life and salvation; that he was crucified, and that he had power over death and willingly gave his life and was literally resurrected so that man might be saved and resurrected from the dead and enjoy eternal life.”
  • October 1963 General Conference
    • I Will Go and Do the Things
      • “I thank my Heavenly Father for the wonderful privilege that I have had of associating with these fine men, for the influence they have had in my life and for the encouragement and strength they have given me. And I thank God for the signal privilege I have had of associating so closely with, and feeling the great spirit and influence of, our beloved President David O. McKay. All that has been written and said about him, as he has just passed his ninetieth birthday, does not and cannot portray the greatness of him who has been chosen as a prophet of God and who is now President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—the kingdom of God here upon the earth. It is impossible to appreciate or estimate the tremendous influence for good that he has exerted upon all mankind. The closer that one is to him, and the more he is permitted to associate with him, the stronger one’s testimony becomes that he is a prophet of God.”
      • “It is with sadness that I mention the absence of our beloved friend and colleague, President Henry D. Moyle, whom we all miss so much, and whose passing makes these changes necessary. His family, his friends, his Church, his community, and his country have suffered a tremendous loss. He was a loving husband and father, a true and loyal friend, a thoughtful neighbor, a devoted member and capable leader of the Church. He was always working for the good of his country and the betterment of mankind. I wish to express my love and sympathy to Sister Moyle and her family and pray that the Spirit of the Lord will accompany and strengthen them and give them courage to carry on.”
      • “At this time, I should like to welcome Brother Thomas Monson, whom I sustain with all my heart.”
    • Discipline Yourselves
      • “It is so important that you not only want to do what is right, but you have to determine what you wish to do, and make up your mind that you are going to do it, and then set about to discipline yourselves.”
      • “So, talk to yourselves and say to yourselves, “Just what do I want out of life?” Make up your mind and have the courage and the strength, the determination and the discipline to do it. Don’t let the devil, himself, get in your way. He is certainly going to try, and he will be there all the time, watching for a place to interfere with your program. But, how successful and how happy you will be, and what joy you will experience, as you follow the program that you have set out for yourself. Be man enough to say, “This is what I am going to do.””
  • April 1963 General Conference
    • The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ
      • “We believe that Jesus was a real person and that those who appraise him as being half mythical and refuse to accept him literally as the Son of God or who portray Christ as a great philosopher, as the founder of a profound code of ethics, but deny him the divine parentage and sonship of God, drag Christianity down to the level of paganism and completely wipe out the true God and his plan of redemption for his children. They are actually trying to destroy him as Jesus the Christ and, therefore, are guilty of his re-crucifixion. We believe that he actually did the work and taught the doctrines that are recorded in the Gospels, that he was, in fact, Christ the Son of God the Eternal Father and that the account of his conception, birth, life, death, and resurrection are all as factual as any in all history.”
      • “The power of God unto salvation is not just a moral code of living based on attributes of the Savior, but it is the means essential to salvation. We believe that though Christ was so brutally crucified, he willingly gave his life for you and me that we might be raised from the dead and go back into the presence of our Father in heaven and be judged according to our deeds; that he was literally resurrected; that his body and spirit were reunited.”
    • Keep Faith with Your Family
      • “It is true that nothing brings greater joy and satisfaction and comfort to a parent than to see a child really develop into an honorable, respected, righteous citizen. The youth who develops into that kind of citizen is loved, respected and admired by all.”
      • “I thought a friend of mine showed a good example of this when his son came to him and said, “Dad, I don’t want to go to Church today.” His dad replied, “My son, you have your free agency, you better hurry and get your coat or we’ll be late.” You notice, we’ll be late—not you’ll be late.”
      • “To join with the family in prayer every day, and to talk to our Father in Heaven, to seek his blessing, and express our gratitude, will have a profound influence not only on the life of the child, but on the lives of the family as a whole. A feeling of love, unity, and of being in tune will be experienced by all. Encourage them to go privately to the Lord in thanksgiving and supplication.”
      • “Great doubt is raised in the mind of a child whose parents profess one thing and do another; where they profess to be Christians and believe in God, but do nothing about it.”
      • “What a marvelous thing it would be if we and our children could learn early in life the joy and satisfaction that comes from living good, clean, honest, and upright lives all the time and that there is no joy or satisfaction in sin. It is so important that we all try to enjoy living and that our young people have a good time. However, this good time should be such that in the future, whether it be a month, a year, or ten years from now they can always look back on this as “a good time,” realizing that a man of honor does not change his code of honor with passing circumstances. The greatest joy and happiness one can get out of living is to know that he has done and is doing right, and to be in the service of the Lord.”
      • “There is no responsibility greater than that of teaching and training a child to be an honest, honorable, and righteous citizen; and there is no stronger, more effective way of doing it than for the parent to be what he would like his son to be. What a great day it will be for the world and the Church when every father and son will do and be what he would like the other to think he is.”
      • “We should never be surprised if our children grow up to be like us.”
  • October 1962 General Conference
    • Gratitude for a Call
      • “I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and as your humble servant, the weakest of all, I beseech you to exercise your faith and prayers unitedly in my behalf, that I might serve in a way that will be acceptable to our Heavenly Father.”
      • “I want to bear you my testimony, my brethren and sisters, that if every member of this Church would accept the call of our prophet today and live the gospel and keep the commandments of our Heavenly Father and become missionaries in very deed, we could contribute more to the cause of peace than all the power that might be gathered together by all the governments and all the men in uniform.”
  • April 1962 General Conference
    • The Transforming Power of the Gospel
      • “In spite of the deep-rooted traditions and strong prejudices which exist in those old countries and which present some real problems, we find one thing which is most encouraging and that is that people from all stations in life, including professors, doctors, lawyers, and successful businessmen, are showing an interest in and are becoming members of the Church today.”
      • “I could give you many experiences, personal and otherwise, but I should like to relate briefly the experience of a very talented and educated young Oxford graduate who is an Egyptian by birth. He studied and practised law in Cairo; he has taught law in the law schools of Luxembourg, he speaks six different languages including Arabic, Hebraic, Italian, French, German, and English, and teaches now in the London University. When he first read the Book of Mormon, he was greatly impressed by the style in which it was written. He noted that it, like the Semitic language, so often had sentences begin with the conjunction “behold” and with the phrase “and it came to pass.” He was also impressed by the fact that names used throughout the book were names which occur so often in the Semitic language. He knew that an uneducated youth could not have translated or written this book. He noted, too, that Joseph Smith took no credit for its authorship but claimed that it was translated by the power of God. He accepted Joseph Smith’s claim without doubt as he knew that this was the only way the book could have been written.”
  • October 1961 General Conference
    • By the Word of Their Testimony
      • “Now, regarding that wonderful corps of missionaries who are serving in these different missions, I am happy indeed to be able to report that they are really doing a marvelous work and a wonder in the mission field. It is most encouraging and inspiring to go from one mission to another and hear those devoted missionaries bear their testimonies to one another and give their reports and experiences which they have had in teaching the gospel to the world. They are certainly to be congratulated on their enthusiasm, dedication, and their success as they go forward in their proselyting efforts.”
      • “I should like to deal briefly with three or four of the fundamentals in the testimony of a Latter-day Saint. These testimonies include essential points of the message now being taken by the missionaries to the world. First, that the Godhead is composed of God the Eternal Father and his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, and it is their testimony that God the Eternal Father and his Son Jesus Christ are Living Beings of flesh and bones and spirit, in whose image we are made, and that “. . . God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world who gave his life that all mankind may be saved and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel work out their own salvation and exaltation; that God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ both appeared in person and spoke to and instructed Joseph Smith; that Joseph Smith was chosen as a Prophet of God and that the priesthood was restored by John the Baptist and by Peter, James, and John upon the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery; that this priesthood is the power of God delegated to man to act in his name, and that it is now in the Church and is the authority by which all ordinances are performed in the name of Jesus Christ; that the gospel has been restored, and that the true Church of Jesus Christ is established; that this Church is an organization similar in all essentials to the primitive Church set up by Christ among the Jews with apostles and prophets, pastors and teachers, evangelists, etc.; and that we have a prophet at the head of our Church today through whom the Lord speaks and directs his people.”
      • “The struggle in the world today and the threat of nuclear war would be averted tomorrow and peace would reign upon the earth if the people in the world would accept this message. The conflict in the world which threatens the free agency and life of every individual is a continuation of the war in heaven, where Satan was determined to take away our free agency, God’s greatest gift to man.”
      • “Satan is at work, my brethren and sisters. Our freedom is at stake. It is the responsibility of everyone who calls himself a Christian, and particularly for every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more particularly for every holder of the priesthood of God, to take a firm stand and a determined stand against evil. It is my testimony to you, my brothers and sisters, wherever you may be, that God has given us the solution to our problems, the plan by which we can enjoy peace in the world and peace in our lives.”
  • April 1961 General Conference
    • The Great Missionary Service
      • “During the 124 years since Brother Heber C. Kimball was called to preside over the British Mission, thousands and thousands of British people have been brought into the Church. Approximately 60,000 of these devoted members have emigrated to make their homes in America, thousands of whom crossed the plains to be with the Saints, and many of whom willingly gave their lives in the struggle. Thousands of others in the Church are proud to trace their ancestry to other countries in Europe from which many of our leaders have come, while thousands of loyal, faithful members who remained in their native lands have carried on under many trials and tribulations, contributing much to the building up of the kingdom of God at home.”
      • “In conclusion I should like to join with those who have spoken in this conference and with those devoted missionaries, both full-time, stake, and district missionaries, in bearing my testimony to all who are listening. I should like to do this by telling an experience of Joseph Smith right here on the American continent in the year 1820, which to me is one of the most important and thrilling happenings since the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, and one with which all members of the Church are very familiar, and which is being told by the missionaries throughout the world.”
  • October 1960 General Conference
    • Answer to the Call
      • “I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God here upon the earth, and I know that I shall need your faith and prayers, and I ask that I may have them, that I may carry on in a way that will become one in this responsible position, that I may represent the Church wherever I go in a way that will be pleasing to our Heavenly Father.”

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