Ronald E. Poelman

First Quorum of the Seventy (April 1, 1978 – October 3, 1998)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1998 General Conference
    • Tithing: A Privilege
      • “Each morning we knelt together as a family, and each one in turn led our prayer. One memorable morning it was Mother’s turn. She described some of our immediate needs, and then she thanked our Heavenly Father for the privilege of living the law of tithing. I immediately experienced a feeling of comfort and assurance. Living the law of the tithe was a privilege and would bring blessings. I did not doubt it because my mother knew it. Those feelings have remained and intensified throughout my life.”
      • “You and I are now among those generations given the privilege to know and to live the law of the tithe. The blessings that flow from obedience to that law are both temporal and spiritual, as many among us can testify.”
      • “Even though we live the law of the tithe, we surely will experience the trials and tribulations of mortality. However, if we are right with the Lord, then, as we face adversity, we can be assured that we will be blessed with faith, strength, wisdom, and help from others—with all that is necessary not only to overcome but to learn and to grow from these experiences.”
  • October 1993 General Conference
    • Divine Forgiveness
      • “One who assumes that he can or must pay the price for his sins and thereby earn divine forgiveness will not feel free to continue progress toward realizing his divine potential, that is, eternal life.”
      • “The fact is we cannot save ourselves.”
      • “We resolve to forsake disobedience, even carelessness, and strive better to know and love our Father in Heaven and to obey his laws and commandments. Throughout, we pray for our Father’s forgiveness, for strength to resist temptation, and for inspiration to fill our lives with that which is good and pleasing to the Lord. We seek the forgiveness of individuals whom we may have wronged and attempt restitution to the extent possible.”
      • “Essential to receiving divine forgiveness are personal, individual recognition and acceptance of our Father’s mercy, made available to us by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and a renewed covenant to obey the principles of the gospel.”
      • “The central core of the gospel is the vicarious sacrifice of the Savior, which satisfies divine justice and makes operative God’s mercy, resulting in a universal, unconditional resurrection and the possibility of eternal life for each one who accepts Jesus Christ as Redeemer and obeys the principles, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel.”
  • April 1989 General Conference
    • Adversity and the Divine Purpose of Mortality
      • “The plan of salvation presented to and accepted by us in our premortal state includes a probationary period on earth, during which we experience opposites, make choices, learn the consequences thereof, and prepare to return to the presence of God. Experiencing adversity is an essential part of the process. Knowing this, we elected to come into mortality.”
      • “Next, our prayers should be accompanied with daily scripture study. The eternal perspective attained thereby reminds us of who we are, what the true purpose of this mortal experience is, and who placed us here. The availability of divine help is repeatedly reconfirmed. Daily scripture study also makes us continuously conscious of covenants we have made with the Lord and of his promised blessings.”
      • “Repeated assurances have been given regarding the benefits and blessings of positive responses to adversity, however undeserved. The witness of the Spirit and the manifestation of greater things often follow the trial of one’s faith. (See Ether 12:6; 3 Ne. 26:7–9.) Spiritual refinement may be realized in the furnace of affliction. (1 Ne. 20:10.) Thereby we may be prepared to experience personal and direct contact with God.”
  • October 1984 General Conference
    • The Gospel and the Church
      • “Both the gospel of Jesus Christ and the church of Jesus Christ are true and divine, and there is an essential relationship between them that is significant and very important. Understanding the proper relationship between the gospel and the Church will prevent confusion, misplaced priorities, and failed expectations and will lead to the realization of gospel goals through happy, fulfilling participation in the Church. Such understanding will avoid possible disaffection and will result in great personal blessings.”
      • “The gospel of Jesus Christ is a divine and perfect plan. It is composed of eternal, unchanging principles, laws, and ordinances which are universally applicable to every individual regardless of time, place, or circumstance. Gospel principles never change.”
      • “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth, administered by the priesthood of God. The Church has authority to teach correctly the principles and doctrines of the gospel and to administer its essential ordinances.”
      • “The eternal principles of the gospel implemented through the divinely inspired Church apply to a wide variety of individuals in diverse cultures. Therefore, as we live the gospel and participate in the Church, the conformity we require of ourselves and of others should be according to God’s standards. The orthodoxy upon which we insist must be founded in fundamental principles, eternal law, and direction given by those authorized in the Church.”
      • “The Church aids us in our effort to use our free agency creatively, not to invent our own values, principles, and interpretations, but to learn and live the eternal truths of the gospel.”
  • April 1982 General Conference
    • God’s Love for Us Transcends Our Transgressions
      • “Transgression causes us to feel estranged from our Father in Heaven, and we feel unworthy of his love and fearful of his disapproval. Yet, having transgressed his laws or disobeyed his commandments, we need the strengthening influence of our Father to help us overcome our weakness, to repent and become reconciled with him. Unrepented sin tends to become habitual and is frequently accompanied by a deepening sense of guilt which may make repentance increasingly difficult. This feeling of estrangement from the Lord becomes, itself, an impediment to repentance and reconciliation with him.”
      • “Though we disregard his counsel, break his commandments, and reject him, when we recognize our mistakes and desire to repent, he wants us to seek him out and he will accept us.”
      • “Too often we make repentance more difficult for each other by our failure to forgive one another.”
  • April 1980 General Conference
    • Priesthood Councils:Key to Meeting Temporal and Spiritual Needs
      • “Personal experience suggests that the principal, immediate benefit from a renewed emphasis on Church councils is the opportunity to coordinate the efforts of temporal and ecclesiastical officers. Through councils, Church leaders can better work together to teach the doctrines, principles, and practices of welfare services and to plan for a great upsurge in accomplishments. The enduring personal friendships which develop during this effort evoke our noblest sentiments.”
      • “Spiritual preparation is not complete, however, until we have done all that we can to prepare temporally. Then what is lacking will be supplied by the Lord.”
  • April 1978 General Conference
    • I Did Not Reach This Place By Myself
      • “I accept this calling with faith and hope. Like the little turtle who found himself on the top of a fence post, I know that I did not reach this place by myself.”
      • “Nearly thirty years ago, in response to my earnest study and fervent prayer, the Holy Spirit confirmed to me the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of each individual soul. From that conviction, and by that same Spirit, has followed the knowledge that his gospel is eternally true, that it has been restored to the earth, that the scriptures—which I love—including the Book of Mormon, are divine records, that Joseph Smith and his successors, including Spencer W. Kimball, are prophets of God, and that our Heavenly Father loves us individually. For this knowledge I give thanks and leave you my personal witness that these things are true.”

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