H. Burke Peterson

First Quorum of the Seventy (April 6, 1985 – October 2, 1993)
First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric (April 6, 1972 – April 6, 1985)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1993 General Conference
    • “Touch Not the Evil Gift, nor the Unclean Thing”
      • “My thoughts will center on our sometimes innocent involvement in one of the terrible, unclean things referred to by this ancient prophet. Satan, the very devil and the father of all lies, has slyly and slowly lowered the social norms of morality to a tragic and destructive level. In magazines and books, on CDs and tapes, on our television and theater screens is portrayed more and more often a lifestyle that might even rival the excesses of those who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. The screens, music, and printed materials, etc., are filled with a profusion of sex, nudity, and vulgarity.”
      • “Part of the tragedy I speak of is that many men and boys do not recognize they are trapped or soon will be. Unfortunately, I fear even some within the sound of my voice have an addiction and do not realize it. They see this as a form of entertainment that serves as a relief from the troubles of the day. In point of fact and in reality, it is only relieving them of their spirituality and their capacity to draw on the powers of heaven in times of need.”
      • “In an application of this scripture today, it is my understanding that anytime we look at or listen to the kind of material we have been speaking of—even in its mildest form—the light inside of us grows dimmer because the darkness inside increases. The effect of this is that we cannot think as clearly on life’s challenges—be they business, church, school, family, or personal—because the channel to the source of all light for the solving of problems is cluttered with various unclean images. Our entitlement to personal revelation on any subject is severely restricted. We don’t do as well in school or at work. We are left more on our own, and as a result we make more mistakes and we are not as happy. Remember, our mind is a wonderful instrument. It will record and keep whatever we put into it, both trash and beauty. When we see or hear anything filthy or vulgar, whatever the source, our mind records it, and as it makes the filthy record, beauty and clean thoughts are pushed into the background. Hope and faith in Christ begin to fade, and more and more, turmoil and discontent become our companions.”
      • “The third step that I would counsel is: when necessary, receive the blessing that comes in the confession process. Too many are harboring the inner feeling of guilt resulting from unrepented mistakes. Part of the repentance process is confession. If you happen to be one of those who has this need, I plead with you to go see your bishop before the sun sets tomorrow.”
  • April 1990 General Conference
    • Preparing the Heart
      • “Even though we cannot force those things that matter most, there are ways we can help one another. That is, we can prepare hearts to obtain a deep and abiding testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.”
      • “Another way of preparing the heart of someone is to create an atmosphere where judging is held in reserve until anger has subsided, until the hurt has dissipated, until all sides of an issue have been explored. Criticism is a destroyer of self-worth and esteem. It is demeaning and cutting.”
      • “Can we listen openly to a shocking experience without going into a state of shock ourselves, or without an immediate verbal overreaction? We all know there is a time to talk and a time to listen. To listen with patience to a young person’s reasons for getting home late will bring you undying gratitude. Remember, you can listen to understand, not necessarily to agree. Ofttimes we do our best teaching when we listen. Husband-and-wife relationships are nourished and strengthened as we listen to each other more. Hearts are softened.”

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