Delbert L. Stapley

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 5, 1950 – August 19, 1978))

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1975 General Conference
    • Using Our Free Agency
      • “The divine plan provided that they be freeborn in the flesh and become heirs to the inalienable birthright of liberty to choose and act for themselves in mortality. It was essential for their eternal progression that they be subjected to the influences of both good and evil.”
      • “As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have this gift of free agency to use in our mortal lives. We must be tried, tested, and proved to see if we will choose the right and do all things whatsoever the Lord our God shall command us. As spirit children of God, we have built-in powers of conscience sufficient to develop our free agency in right choices and to acquire qualities of goodness, humility, and integrity of purpose.”
      • “We cannot use our free agency as a justification to do evil. Man is free to choose the good or the evil in life, and to obey or disobey the Lord’s commands as he may elect. He can choose to act without compulsion or restraint.”
      • “Too many people have the wrong attitude about free agency. They use it as a negative force in their lives rather than as a positive one. Perhaps you have heard this statement: “I can smoke and drink if I want to. I have my free agency.” But why not think in terms of eternal values and say, “I can smoke and drink if I want to. I have my free agency, but I choose to use my agency in bettering my life—in choosing the right and not the wrong.” This can apply to any vice in one’s life. Have the right attitude and a vice can turn to a virtue, and virtue has its own reward. To use our agency for good, we must set aside the defensive, arrogant, and haughty attitude of a transgressor.”
      • “While Satan would like us under his control, God does not control the actions of men.”
      • “Be aware and warned of the subtle workings of Satan, for he never stops trying to lead us astray. He is an expert on making things seem appealing and right, when actually they can bring about our moral destruction. He does not believe in free agency, and would like to control our minds, thoughts, and acts.”
      • “Be suspicious of those who would put you in a compromising position. Never compromise the right, for compromise can lead to sin, sin to regret, and regret can hurt so very much.”
      • “No man is free who is not master of himself. True freedom of agency exists with the observance of God’s laws. Keep in mind that good and evil can never be amalgamated into one. They are at opposite ends. They do not abide in harmony within a person.”
  • October 1951 General Conference
    • Fasting and Prayer
      • “I have been impressed by its great spiritual significance. It seems to me it is a source of strength, a source of power, a source of blessing that perhaps as a people we are not using enough; that it does have tremendous spiritual value to those who observe the law, and who apply it faithfully. It also seems to me that fasting and prayer can be employed to bless others, and if we would faithfully observe the law, the blessings of our Heavenly Father would collectively be given to the people of the Church.”
      • “By observing fasting and prayer in its true spirit, the Latter-day Saints cannot be overpowered by Satan tempting them to evil.”
      • “It seems to me, my brethren and sisters, particularly my brethren holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, that when we are called to administer to the sick who are sorely afflicted, if we would humble our souls through fasting and prayer, we would be close to our Heavenly Father and have claim upon him for the blessings to those we love and seek to help.”
      • “Surely in these conditions of uncertainty, these conditions of wickedness and vice we need the sustaining and guiding power of Almighty God, which we can obtain from our Heavenly Father through the exercise of this great principle of fasting and prayer.”
  • April 1951 General Conference
    • Zion Must Arise
      • “We know the Church passed through many trials and many tribulations, that brethren along the way deserted the Prophet, and the Saints suffered mobbings and all types of hardships and privations, but there were in the Church men of strength and character men who believed in this great latter-day work; and the power of the Lord rested with them. They were undaunted in the face of these difficulties.”
      • “We have been counseled to warn our neighbors, not to hide our light under a bushel, but to place it where it can be seen of men, that they may have the opportunities and the blessings this Church affords and that you and I enjoy.”
  • October 1950 General Conference
    • Love for the Work
      • “Most of my life I have been actively engaged in the Church. I love the Church; I love to work in the Church. I delight in working with people. I am sure this calling gives me that opportunity.”

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