Hartman Rector Jr.

First Quorum of the Seventy (April 6, 1968 – October 1, 1994)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1994 General Conference
    • Endure to the End in Charity
      • “As most of you are aware, I am a convert to the Church, having been baptized in Tokyo, Japan, back in 1952 while serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict. I was born and reared in Missouri, where much of the early history of this church took place. But I had never heard anything about the Mormon church. I was looking for the truth, and although I had read the Bible and believed that Jesus Christ had lived on the earth and had been resurrected, yet I had so many unanswered questions—questions such as: Why doesn’t God speak to man today as he did anciently when the Bible was being written? How can Jesus be his own father and the Holy Ghost too? Why did Jesus have to be baptized when he had no sin? Where was I before I was born, and where do I go when I die? How can just believing in Christ save me when I haven’t kept God’s Ten Commandments?”
      • “You see, there is a difference between stopping sinning and repentance. In the first instance we are still guilty; in the second we are free of the sin and guilt. People stop sinning all the time because they are afraid they will get AIDS or die of lung cancer or some other reason, but they do not get rid of their sins. That can happen only when a nonmember follows Jesus Christ down into the waters of baptism, then comes forth and receives the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by priesthood authority. That’s how we get clean before the Lord.”
      • “We must be nice. If we’re not nice, I don’t think we’re going to make it. In other words, we must have charity, which is really love plus sacrifice.”
  • October 1990 General Conference
    • The Resurrection
      • “It seems, then, there is good news and bad news about the resurrection. The good news is that everyone will be resurrected. All will live again! And all who have been righteous (have repented) will still be righteous. The bad news is that he that is filthy (which means the devil and those who have chosen to associate with him) shall be filthy still. Others will receive a lesser glory than the celestial because they have not repented while in the flesh. Therefore, in the resurrection men will be judged. Judgment tells how well we have kept the commandments in the flesh.”
      • “So the question of questions is: What makes people repent? As near as I have been able to determine, once a person has sufficient faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that he believes Christ has paid for his sins, then he will repent. And it seems that very few, if any, will repent until they believe this truth. Therefore, it is vital to teach the truth about Jesus Christ as the literal son of God and our Lord and Savior and Redeemer in order to bring souls to repentance. Faith in Jesus Christ unto repentance is the saving power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
      • “The nicest gift a father can give to his children is to love their mother and be true to her. Conversely, the nicest gift that a mother can give her children is to love their father and be true to him. Why is this such a nice gift? Well, basically, it assures the children that they will never have to choose between their parents.”
      • “If you are not keeping the Sabbath day holy, repent and start doing it. If you are not truthful, repent and start telling the truth. If you are not honoring your parents, repent and start honoring your parents. If you are worshipping false gods—such as football, baseball, golf, tennis, or money or technology or automobiles or houses or gold or silver—and you can tell what a man worships by what he does on Sunday—repent and start worshipping the true and living God, the maker of heaven and earth and all things that in them are.”
  • October 1970 General Conference
    • Repentance Makes Us Free
      • “The word life means that the spirit is at home in the physical body. Death, on the other hand, means that the spirit has departed the physical body. When death occurs or when the spirit leaves the physical body, the physical body decays and returns to the dust whence it came. However, the spirit continues to exist in another realm called “the spirit world” and still maintains its form and shape and identity.”
      • “Sometimes we make excuses for ourselves, when we do what we should not do or fall short of what we should have done. We use such expressions as, “Oh! the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” With such rationalizations we insinuate that it is completely our physical body’s fault that we sin. In my opinion, this is not true. I believe the physical body is a very strong part of us and is of great benefit to us. Among other reasons, it was given to us to help us overcome our addictions, bad habits, and evil desires. The body is very obedient; generally speaking, it will do exactly what the spirit tells it to do. So it is not the physical body that we are struggling with; it is the spirit we must bring into subjection.”
      • “Our Heavenly Father wants us to be free; he doesn’t want us to be in bondage to our appetites and passions. Therefore, he has given us commandments that are only calculated to make us free. And he tells us that all of his commandments are spiritual. Never at any time has he given a commandment that is not spiritual. Even the Word of Wisdom is a spiritual commandment in that it primarily affects our spirits, and certainly it does.”
      • “Oh yes, it is possible to repent in the spirit world, although we are given to understand that it is much more difficult to repent there because we will not have our physical bodies to help us. Also an integral part of repentance is that we must make restitution. This means that if you have stolen five dollars, you have to return five dollars to the person whom you have robbed. This may be very difficult to do in the spirit world. You can also understand then why murder and adultery or fornication are such grievous sins; how can you make restitution? Virtue once gone cannot be replaced. Neither can a life be restored.”
      • “If the Lord cannot save a man in his sins, neither can he force a man to repent.”

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