Orson F. Whitney

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 9, 1906 – May 16, 1931)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1908 General Conference
    • The Gospel of Salvation
      • “There is something in the human heart that prefers the affirmative to the negative in the presentation of the Gospel message.”
      • “When the end comes, and Christ’s mission is consummated, it will be found that He has exhausted every means for the salvation of man; and those who stand condemned after the Gospel has done its work, will be found to have condemned themselves. God is bent upon saving, not damning, the human race; and He will use every possible means to that end.”
      • “These powers will be put forth for salvation—not for damnation. Condemnation follows, as the night the day, the rejection of the means of salvation; it is the alternative, the inevitable consequence of a refusal to accept and make use of the redemption that God has provided.”
      • “Two great thoughts are borne in upon the mind when reading this wonderful passage of modern Scripture: one is, that the past belongs to Mormonism, and the other is, that the future belongs to it also. Mormonism is no mere nineteenth century religion; it is not merely a religion of time. It is the religion of the eternities, and has come down from the presence of Jehovah, as the preordained plan for the salvation of the children of men. It has been upon the earth many times in a series of dispensations, and this great and crowning Gospel dispensation has been introduced for the purpose of binding together all the dispensations, welding the present and the past, and preparing the world for still greater things in the future.”
      • “Adam’s fall was a step downward, but it was also a step forward—a step in the eternal march of human progress; and it is by means of this everlasting Gospel, and our own individual efforts in making use of the powers that God has given us, that we lay hold upon eternal life, and go on to perfection.”
      • “The Gospel designs to save all men, but it will save them upon the principles of eternal justice, every man according to his works.”
  • October 1907 General Conference
    • Enemies of the Church
      • “Our religion is against everything in the nature of treason, disloyalty, anarchy or rebellion.”
      • “It is not true that the teachings of our missionaries are against public morality, or private morality. It is a falsehood, and it had its origin here in Salt Lake City, in the utterances of such men as the Episcopal bishop whom I have quoted, and in the Culminations of a political and partisan press, bent on the accomplishment of certain selfish ends.”
  • April 1907 General Conference
    • Sustaining our Leaders
      • “The Holy Ghost is the great teacher, and all that God’s servants can do, all that they are expected to do, is to put themselves in a position and keep themselves in such a state of heart and mind that they can be acted upon by that divine Spirit which makes manifest the things of God.”
      • “The men who have been chosen to preside over the Church, over the Stakes of Zion, over the various Wards, and the men and women who are officers in the auxiliary organizations-are only a portion of the people. They have the same faults and weaknesses, and the same virtues, as their fathers and mothers, and are no better and no worse than the average of the people from whom they came.”
      • “Because they are prominent, because they have been placed on high, their weak points are more manifest than they would be if they had remained where they were. They are not one whit more perfect for having been lifted into prominence, although they are expected to set an example to the people.”
      • “These men who hold authoritative positions in the Church have been chosen for those positions, not only by God Himself, but also by the people of God. That is the difference. Joseph F. Smith is God’s prophet, because God wants him to be; and he is our President because we want him to be. And he could not be the one nor the other a moment past the time when he would cease to be acceptable to God and to His people. Neither could any man, nor any woman, in this Church, perpetuate their power and authority beyond the time that God and the people were willing to sustain them.”
      • “God chose him to be His Prophet, and the people sustained him as their President. Yes, this man who had looked upon the face of the Father and the Son, who had communed with angels, who had had revealed to him the “sacred record” long “concealed,” concerning which we have been singing, who had received the imposition of hands by holy angels, conferring upon him the priesthood—the Aaronic priesthood, which empowered him to preach faith and repentance and to baptize for the remission of sins, and the Melchisedek priesthood, which empowered him to bestow the Holy Ghost upon those who had been baptized, after all these wonderful exhibitions of the power of God, this man and his associate, Oliver Cowdery, were required to submit their names to a little congregation on the 6th day of April, 1830, when this Church was organized, that it might be seen whether or not those assembled—a little over thirty in number—would sustain them as their leaders. They were sustained, and thus became the first and second elders of the Church. But the query arises, Suppose they had not been sustained? Suppose that little flock had voted against, instead of for, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, what would have been the consequence? Would it have taken from those two elders the priesthood which God had conferred upon them? Would it have taken away the gifts which He had given them? Would it have blotted out the fact that the dispensation of the fulness of times had been opened by the personal appearing of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith? Would it have reconsigned that sacred record to the Hill Cumorah? Would the work have gone backward from that hour? Not at all. It would have had this effect, and this only that little congregation would have been without the gifts and powers that God had conferred upon those men. It could not have been the Church of God. It would have been a body without a head. The priesthood would have been separated from the people.”
      • “God and His people constitute this Church, and these men who have been chosen to be the teachers, the counselors, the leaders are the Lord’s servants, His representatives, the instruments and agents through whom He acts, to guide and bless His people.”
      • “There is little danger to this work from the outside. The worst perils that threaten us are always from within. God has pledged His word that this kingdom shall never be thrown down nor given to another people. But if there ever was a time when this work was really in danger, it was because there was something wrong within, and not because the powers of earth and hell were arrayed against it.”
  • October 1906 General Conference
    • The Gospel is Eternal
      • “It is Lucifer, on the other hand who seeks the overthrow of free institutions, free churches, free government, and who saps wherever he can the foundation of the rights of man. That same fallen being, once called the Morning Star, presented himself before the Father, at the beginning, and offered himself as a candidate for the saviorship of this world. He declared—had the audacity to declare—that his purpose was to save man in his sins. “Not one soul shall be lost.” He proposed to compel all to be saved, and sought to destroy the free agency of man. But his plan was rejected, and he and all who followed him were cast out of heaven, because they were the enemies of freedom and sought the overthrow of that freest of institutions, the Gospel of salvation.”

Other Talks

Articles in Church Publications

Other Publications and Resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *