ElRay L. Christiansen

Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 6, 1951 – December 2, 1975)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1962 General Conference
    • Keep The Sabbath Day
      • “In modern revelation he has commanded the Saints to observe his holy day by attending their meetings, offering their oblations before the Lord, and as they partake of the Sacrament to make covenant with him that they will take upon them his name and keep his commandments.”
      • “There was a time in my day when it seemed to me that almost all people, at least those with whom I was acquainted, considered the Sabbath day as a holy day, a day entirely different from the other days. But too often now it seems that we consider it just a part of the weekend, and thus many people do not look upon it as a holy day.”
      • “We must not permit ourselves to think of the Sabbath day as a day on which to transact business of any kind. We must not think of the Sabbath day as a day on which to catch up with our work. We must not permit ourselves to use the Sabbath for amusements or for outings or for participating in or attending sporting events as such.”
      • “The devil is not satisfied with just a little wrongdoing.”
      • “On a number of occasions when I have been returning from conferences, I have met on the highway a great number of automobiles. In many of these were families apparently returning to their homes on the early Sunday evening. Attached to a good number of these cars were beautiful boats. Now, ordinarily, we do not take boats to church, so one must conclude that these fine people had not been to church, nor were they on their way to church. I wonder if it is wise—well, I can say positively—it is not wise for parents to take their children away from their appointed places of worship on the Sabbath day where they may learn the gospel and where they may become fortified to face life through increased faith, trust, and confidence in the Lord, and require their children to go with them on the Sabbath day to spend the day on the reservoir or at some other place of amusement. Such practices may seriously impair  and affect the lives of these children and perhaps the lives of their children. In fairness to our children and to ourselves, we must go to the “house of prayer” on his holy day as the commandment requires.”
      • “An acquaintance of mine had purchased a lovely boat and had just finished varnishing it and painting it. When I stopped by, he was admiring it. I surmised that he was getting it ready to take it, with his family, to the reservoir the next Sunday. He said, “It is complete and in readiness except for one thing.” Then he asked me, “Could you suggest an appropriate name “for the boat?” I knew him very well. I thought for a moment, and then I said, “Well, perhaps you should name it The Sabbath-Breaker.” He looked at me, and he understood.”
      • “What regret there will be for those of us who knowingly ignore this beneficent law of the sacred Sabbath. Some of us may live to realize the fact that the Sabbath profaned, whatever be gained, is a sure forerunner of sorrow.”
  • April 1953 General Conference
    • Let Us Walk Humbly Before the Lord
      • “My brothers and sisters, we are all dependent upon the Lord. The riches of the earth are his and are provided us through his mercy only. Pride and self-sufficiency would lead us to believe otherwise. They are destroyers of the best that is in men, but on the other hand, humility, submissiveness, willingness to abide by the teachings of the Lord bring out the best that is in men because they become teachable and can be molded into agents usable to him. One must constantly remind himself and guard against pride or he will find himself taking to himself part of the glory that the Lord has said is his.”
      • “Now, humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit. It seems to me that it is rather a right and proper estimate of what one is in the sight of God.”
      • “True humility, in my opinion, implies acknowledgment, thanksgiving, prayerfulness, all those virtues which become a Latter-day Saint. It is becoming to an individual no matter what his status in life, to acknowledge the Lord for his goodness and for his mercy, to be humble and prayerful and submissive to his will. True humility is uplifting, ennobling.”
      • “The person with true humility will not seek to aggrandize himself. He will serve for the sake of service. He will give his gifts in secret and let it be found out by accident. He will realize that all knowledge comes from God—for he knows all. He will not be contentious, unruly, or critical. He will not profane the name of Deity. As a literal child of God, he will feel it a privilege to do his will and keep his commandments.”
  • October 1952 General Conference
    • Be Ye Doers of the Word
      • “No matter how tall your grandfather was, you have to do your own growing. So it is in this great Church—we all must realize that salvation is an individual matter, that none of us can be taken into the celestial kingdom on the backs of others. We must earn our own position, both here and hereafter. It is not merely an acknowledgment that God lives and that this is the Church of Jesus Christ that will save us, but the application of that knowledge in good works.”
  • April 1952 General Conference
    • A Sure Foundation
      • “Now, if we can go from here heeding that general thought, this conference will have produced much. I have often wondered why Latter-day Saints should need to be constantly admonished when we can declare in testimony and in truth that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith was an instrument in his hands in restoring the gospel. I have very often thought that that should be sufficient for any of us and like Adam, as President Clark mentioned this morning, to know what our Father desires should be sufficient.”
      • “We need not and should not be “high-minded” nor self-sufficient, but as true Latter-day Saints we should walk humbly before the Lord and remember that he is our God.”
  • October 1951 General Conference
    • Acceptance of a Call
      • “Never once have I thought that such a great assignment would ever be given to me, but I can assure you that inasmuch as it has come through the proper authority, I shall do my utmost to do honor to the position and to the work that I am assigned, and to this great Church, and to serve the Lord and you people with all my heart and strength.”
      • “I have a testimony of this gospel. Were it not so, I would not accept these assignments. I know that God lives; that Jesus is the Christ, and that Joseph Smith was the instrument in his hands to restore to the earth the gospel, the power of the priesthood in the last days for the last time. There is no doubt about this in my mind, and I testify to you that it is so.”

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