Marion D. Hanks

Presidency of the Seventy (October 1, 1976 – April 5, 1980; October 6, 1984 – August 15, 1992)
First Quorum of the Seventy (October 1, 1976 – October 3, 1992)
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (April 6, 1968 – October 1, 1976)
First Counsel of the Seventy (October 4, 1953 – April 6, 1968)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1992 General Conference
    • A Loving, Communicating God
      • “Thus two great principles on which the gospel is centered, love and agency, are plainly taught. Each of us is here to learn to love and give and hearken to the Spirit and choose to do the will of the Father. God wants his offspring and heirs to become all that we can be, to qualify for our inheritance. But we must choose; we are the decision makers, and he will not relieve that responsibility.”
      • “God does not deny us the experience we came here to have. He does not insulate us from tribulation or guarantee immunity from trouble.”
      • “Much of the pain we suffer and inevitably impose upon others is self-induced through our own bad judgment, through poor choices.”
  • April 1992 General Conference
    • The Royal Law
      • “Nothing would seem more clear than the high premium the Savior put upon selfless service to others as an indispensable element of Christian conduct and of salvation. Helping, giving, sacrificing are, or should be, as natural as growing and breathing.”
  • October 1990 General Conference
    • Changing Channels
      • “We are here on this earth to learn, after the example of the Father and the Son, to love enough to give—to use our agency unselfishly. We are here to learn to do the will of the Father.”
  • October 1988 General Conference
    • The Royal Law of Love
      • “This morning I would like to speak of my deep conviction concerning one of the most sacred and significant principles in our Heavenly Father’s plan for his children, and to express appreciation and admiration for so many who so willingly and unselfishly manifest this principle in the way they live.”
      • “It would be difficult to find anyone offering resistance in principle to the virtue of giving service to others, yet there may be some who do not understand the place of vital importance in the fundamentals of our faith that Jesus gave it.”
      • “Religion is not a thing apart from life. It is not principles and ordinances or missionary work or leadership as an end in themselves. It is manifested by the kind of people we are, by our relationship with our Heavenly Father and his Son and all of the commandments, by the measure in which we qualify for the approval of our own Spirit-guided conscience, and by the way we treat other people.”
      • “Adversity is all about us and among us. It is an inevitable element of mortality, and all of us have some share in it ultimately. But our religion, centering in the life and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, helps us comprehend that.”
      • “The royal law of love is of sacred significance in the Lord’s program for his people—an element as vital as any other in the gospel. It is inseparable from them and the spirit of them.”
  • October 1958 General Conference
    • For Man Is Spirit
      • “Recently I have been thinking about three great areas of problems which actually encompass the whole of human experience, the whole of an individual’s life, thinking about them in terms of the Church program and the principles of the gospel. We have a lot of youth problems and we know it, difficulties in many fields of youth behavior and experience. Then there is in our communities, and the nation, a great problem with unhappy adults—broken homes, marriages, and lives; increasing incidence of moral decadence, of alcoholism; increasing prison incarcerations and so forth. There is a third problem that I am not sure we have thought much about (perhaps in the Church we do not know as much about it as a problem as some do), and that is the field of geriatrics, the subdivision of medicine dealing with the elderly and the aging, many of whom lose status in the family, community, and business with advancing age.”
      • “While I could not choose nor govern the condition of the body into which I came, I have the responsibility to give it the best care I can, and if I do not I am acting in derogation of a great gift of God.”
      • “He has given particular emphasis to spiritual truth, but in addition to charging the early brethren to teach one another the doctrines of the kingdom, he also instructed them to prepare themselves in a wide field of knowledge, including languages, history, and law. In the Church there are the principles and program which can lead us to the possession of minds that are clean and honest, educated, trained, controlled, creative, productive, and useful.”
      • “Though we could not choose or direct in our earliest days the home we grew up in or the parents who bore us, yet we can do something about the sort of parents we are or will be, and about the home our children will grow up in.”
  • April 1958 General Conference
    • Be Honest with Yourselves
      • “Believing that the young can be taught, and desiring to surround them with virtuous and uplifting and ennobling ideals, the Church has endeavored to provide experiences and influences and opportunities in the lives of the young which will bring into their beings, their minds, their very souls, the high and noble and decent things which will motivate them to contributing, participating citizenship in the world and in God’s kingdom.”
  • April 1957 General Conference
    • Questions for the Iconoclast
      • “Do you know that some of our wonderful young people of great potential intelligence and capacity and contribution are abandoning their faith and their way of life in the gospel, with all the strength and beauty of it, because they have come to questions for which they have not learned satisfactory answers?”
      • “To abandon the marvelous demonstrable truths of the gospel because there are some questions one cannot satisfactorily resolve would be foolishness in the extreme. As President Clark said the other evening, “A foolish man can ask questions that the wisest cannot answer.” It is no reproach to our religion or to us not to be able to answer definitively, categorically, finally, every question that can be asked. I plead with you, and I talk not theoretically but with some of your faces in my mind, not to abandon all that is good in your religion because there are some things you do not understand.”
      • “Yet there come times when we reach the end of our capacity to reason and to understand. We must learn to walk by faith. There has been given us enough light to walk the paths we are here to tread. As the Lord in his wisdom desires that we have more light, we have the assurance that it will be given. I bear my witness that from the beginning of the history of the Church the lights have come on when the need arose. It has always been so; it is so now; it will always be.”
      • “Do you know that when one who has influence with youth, be he teacher, leader, or parent, seriously weakens the foundations upon which a young person has built, by faith-destroying challenges the youngster is not yet equipped to meet, he fashions a disciple who has been effectively cut loose from fundamentals at a time when he needs most to rely on them? The challenger may himself be a moral, educated, well-meaning person of integrity, doing what he does in the name of honesty and truth. His own character may have been formed in an atmosphere of faith and conviction which through his influence he may now help to destroy in his young follower. “Disenchanted” himself in his mature years, he turns his powers on an immature mind and leaves it ready prey for nostrums and superstitions and behavior he himself would disdain.”
  • October 1956 General Conference
    • Steadfastness in Christ
      • “There is one other thought companion to these. Testifying that fundamental to everything we believe and hope for and have faith in is the great sacrifice of the Son of the Living God, knowing that he requires of us that we accept his great gift, there is something else necessary if we are to enjoy the high spiritual possibilities which it is within our capacity to achieve.”
      • “We accept with all our souls the absolute efficacy and essentiality of the atonement of Christ. We attest to the words of Peter and of other prophets ancient and modern that it is necessary for us to accept our Heavenly Father’s gift by obedience to what we know as the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. We know also that if we are to enjoy the high possibilities for which we are created and which we might desire as children of God, we must build upon our faith and obedience with right thinking and well-doing.”
  • April 1956 General Conference
    • A Faith Based on Truth
      • “I suppose it is the most fundamental and axiomatic thing we might say of religious faith that to be fruitful and productive of good it has to be based in truth. The fact that there is widespread interest in religion in this nation and the world does not warrant the supposition that all those who have religious interest and religious faith will enjoy the peace and the sense of purpose and the abundant life promised the Lord to those who would find and follow his way, for it is not enough simply, to be “religious” or to be “sincere” in one’s convictions. It is not enough to be sincerely convinced of something that is false. We must have faith in true principles and live them courageously if our religion is to help us accomplish God’s purposes for us.”
      • “Man has within him, in an embryonic sense, those basic attributes which are characteristic of our Father in heaven and which are in him in their fulness. Man is capable of love, mercy, and justice, attributes which have their fullest development in him. We have assurance through the restored gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are literal children of God, that we can become like him, that the ultimate of our possibility is that someday under his guidance we may even participate with him in his great creative work.”
      • “It is revealed anew in our day that not only must a man believe, but also that he must believe that which is true, and he must do that which God has commanded.”
  • October 1955 General Conference
    • Having the Spirit
      • “May I say to you that there is nothing in this world worth having which you need to give up to be a good Latter-day Saint. If wealth or education, social preference or political prominence, power in your profession—if these are what you want, my testimony, and I get it traveling through the Church among the wonderful people of this faith, is that you may be anything you want to be worth being, and a believing, faithful Latter-day Saint.”
      • “If ever you need the Spirit of God, if ever you need faith and loyalty to his way, it is while you are educated (and the Church encourages you to become so) ; it is while you have wealth (which may come to you if you seek it honestly and use it wisely); it is while you are politically prominent or socially accepted; it is while, in your school activities and achievements, you find occasions for leadership.”
  • April 1955 General Conference
    • Message of the Restoration
      • “Vital religion cannot be maintained and preserved on the theory that God dealt with our human race only in the far past ages, and that the Bible is the only evidence we have that our God is a living, revealing, communicating God. If God ever spoke, he is still is the great I Am, not the great He Was.”
  • October 1954 General Conference
    • Therefore Ye Are Free Indeed
      • “This freedom of which Jesus spoke does not company with unrighteousness nor is it the product of the evil act. This freedom, this freedom which he taught as being most important to mankind, comes to those who in righteousness have faith in God, learn his law, and seek to understand it, and who, obedient to it, and with responsibility, seek to do his will.”
      • “Is that husband free, for instance, who with disloyalty to his wife and family and with lust in heart, entangles himself in alliances outside his own home? Is that father free who, neglecting his children, turns them away and does not love them and teach them? Is that man free who hates his neighbor, and who will not forgive the trespasses his neighbor has committed against him?”
      • “Is that wife and mother free who will not perform the duties of her home with joy in her heart, realizing this to be her great calling? Is that woman free who gives her time to selfish social pursuits of doubtful worth instead of to her neighbor, her community, her Church, her God, in honest service, when there is so much to do?”
      • “Is that boy free who trifles with good habits, who cheats a little in school, who will not accept sound counsel and loving parental advice, but who, making his own stubborn way (for he is of the age when he thinks he knows better than they) chooses companions who are on the wrong path, goes about his activities with them, perhaps even stealing from some others the most precious things they enjoy? Is the young girl free who thinks so little of herself that she allows herself to be handled as if she were worth nothing, or who talks with evil tongue about her friends or acquaintances; who will not be counseled, who will not be helpful or humble in the home?”
      • “My humble testimony is that real freedom is not irresponsibility or license, but that real freedom accompanies faith in God, the understanding of his word, and obedience to it.”
  • April 1954 General Conference
    • Monumental Gifts of the Church
      • “Well, it has been a great blessing these years to be able to tell such good people, and many thousands like them, that the people who did the work which we enjoy here today and each day, were not ignorant. They were people of courage and faith and dignity and initiative and integrity, who were always willing to give up conveniences and comforts but never their convictions; they were not ignorant people.”
      • “God help us to appreciate the monuments around us. God bless us that we may have sense enough, faith enough, courage enough, to understand that there are marvelous truths that we might really possess, but which we must individually earn anew, if we would have them.”
  • October 1953 General Conference
    • Tributes
      • “The principle I should like to suggest is one so basic and so simple that each of you knows it, and yet so important that scarcely anything we might say would supersede it, and that is that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a personal thing, a very personal thing.”
      • “I should like, too, as I leave this pulpit, to say to you that I do not come to this position faultless. I have been at times a little critical of some people in some instances. I do not feel critical today. I have been impatient. I do not feel impatient today.”

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