Eldred G. Smith

Patriarch to the Church (April 10, 1947 – October 6, 1979

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1978 General Conference
  • April 1976 General Conference
  • October 1975 General Conference
  • October 1974 General Conference
  • April 1974 General Conference
  • October 1973 General Conference
  • October 1972 General Conference
  • April 1972 General Conference
  • October 1971 General Conference
  • April 1971 General Conference
  • October 1970 General Conference
    • The Law of Obedience
      • “No wonder the law of obedience is called the first law of heaven. In 1 Samuel 15:22, we read, obedience is better than sacrifice. All the blessings and benefits of sacrifice come as a result of obedience.”
      • “We are too often afraid of what is called blind obedience, but obedience to God is always right—blind or otherwise.”
      • “I have heard many converts tell how they learned to live the Word of Wisdom to join the Church. Good health is not a requirement to join the Church. Obedience is. Each one has said if that’s what the Lord wanted, he would do it.”
  • April 1970 General Conference
    • Choose Ye This Day
      • “The only power I know of that will bind Satan, or render him powerless, is righteous living.”
      • “Then step by step, you may bind Satan now; you don’t have to wait for the millennial reign. This has to start first on an individual basis, each person individually; then a group, then several groups, and so on until the whole earth is full of righteousness.”
      • “If he were to come today, would you be counted among the 50 percent of the members of his kingdom who will be prepared, or among the 50 percent of his kingdom who will only be partly prepared, or will you not he counted in his kingdom at all, waiting for a time when Satan will be bound for you instead of binding him yourself?”
  • October 1969 General Conference
    • Temples Are Essential
      • “Temples are more than just a gathering place for the Saints, or who might call themselves Saints. They are holy edifices where the Lord God can talk to his people through the leaders, the prophets of God, and make his will known concerning them. Also, temples are holy edifices wherein sacred saving ordinances may be performed in such manner, and by proper authority, as to be acceptable to God our Father in heaven.”
      • “Many men spend large sums of money, even buy a special home or a car, just to make their wives happy; but the greatest happiness that could come to either or both of them would be to so live as to be worthy to be sealed together as husband and wife for all eternity.”
      • “There is no exaltation without the celestial sealing of marriage. This must be done in the temple of God, either while living or vicariously after death. The home is the only eternal organization. These are the saving ordinances that can be performed only in a temple, built and dedicated unto the Lord. Thus it is absolutely essential to build temples.”
  • April 1969 General Conference
    •  Service: The Heart of the Gospel
      • “With the assurance of this great promise, obedience to eternal law should be a joy, not a burden, and give each the incentive to not just be passive members of the Church but to be diligent in trying to further advance his kingdom on the earth.”
      • “This means, then, that mere membership alone is not enough—no, not even if you have a testimony of the divinity of the gospel—if you are not producing or bearing fruit.”
  • October 1968 General Conference
    • The World Needs Healing
      • “There should be no doubt in the minds of any of us that the world is not well. It is not dying yet, but it is sick. It does not have an incurable disease, for we have a good physician. The world just needs healing.”
      • “The promise here is only to those who repent and do his will—yes, the promise of eternal life. This means exaltation. He will save the world in that all will be resurrected, but only those who come unto him and do his will shall receive eternal life.”
  • April 1968 General Conference
    • Jesus, The Son of God
      • “All he did was for others— a life of service. There was not one selfish act.”
      • “He took upon himself the sins of all who shall repent, and gave his life that all might live. He brought about the resurrection for all.”
      • “Do you so think of him when partaking of the sacrament, and covenant to keep his commandments? To know him is to keep his commandments. Do you know him who is called Jesus?”
  • October 1967 General Conference
    • Ask, Seek and Knock
      • “It seems quite simple, but to “ask,” “seek,” or “knock” involves effort on our part.”
      • “I think the Lord gave him this experience purposely, to show him by his own experience that the adversary would exert every effort to get the plates and would stop at nothing to hinder the work of the Lord; also, to teach him that he would be given help as may be needed if he would exert his own efforts first. The Lord must have given him extra strength beyond his own physical abilities to carry the plates, knock down three men, and run three miles.”
      • “Not even with the Urim and Thummim does it come without effort. Joseph had to exert all his effort, physically and mentally. He had to put forth his full effort. So it is with us today. We must put forth our full effort, give our full Church-service time.”
      • “The promise is also to us: we will be given the help that we need to fulfill the Lord’s work if we will put forth our effort first.”
  • April 1955 General Conference
    • Humilty Builds Faith

      • “Humility is one of the qualities that help build faith. Would a missionary be successful if he were not humble? He has to be teachable with a receptive mind before he can teach others, and to be teachable, he must be humble. And we should all be missionaries.”
      • “All the requirements of living the gospel become easier through humility.”
  • October 1949 General Conference
    • The Need for Repentance
      • “We are only human. And certainly, to err is human. The conflicting forces of good and evil in the world, and our free agency to choose what course we will, make it very hard to do what is right all the time.”
      • “Repentance is not only sorrow for our sins, but also turning aside and exerting ourselves to the utmost to make retribution.”
      • “There are four kinds of people in the world. There is the kind that does not know when things are wrong, and the kind that knows when things are wrong but does not care. There is the kind that knows when things are wrong and does care, but does not care enough to make them right. And there is the fourth kind that knows when things are wrong and strives intelligently to make them right and to keep them right. Those are the people who know how to progress.”
      • “We must be aware of our sins and repent every day of our lives if we would strive for perfection. Repentance is not only for some big sin or for our past sins before we are baptized—it is also regretting every slip we make and honestly striving to do better.”
      • “As the time of repentance is procrastinated, the ability to repent grows weaker. Neglect of opportunity in holy things brings a forfeit of the chance.”
  • April 1949 General Conference
    • The Source of Happiness
      • “If you are fortunate enough to have a home and a family, your chances for happiness are unlimited. But it takes love—plenty of love to make a home happy. The more we give in understanding, sympathy, and service to others, the happier we are. And love is kind it is ready to overlook failures and try again. If we could only keep our hearts filled with love, this earth would be a heaven of happiness.”
      • “Happiness certainly does not come from just idle goodness.”
  • October 1948 General Conference
    • Teach Your Children
      • “Temple marriage is an ideal which should be upheld in our homes from earliest infancy. Don’t think that a child is too young to understand. You would be surprised at his comprehension. A small seven-year-old boy was being teased at school one day; his friends were saying that a certain little girl was his sweetheart. The little boy’s answer was, “Oh, she couldn’t be my sweetheart; she isn’t even a Mormon.” Truly, train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
      • “There are some Latter-day Saints who are successful in converting their companions after marriage. Don’t expect this to happen to you. In most of these cases those concerned are married before they know or understand the laws of temple marriage. Teach your children that if they do not love enough to be married for eternity, they should not be married at all. After one is given the knowledge of temple marriage, so that he knows how the Lord intended marriage to be, and then in spite of that knowledge he deliberately does contrary, it is like closing the door in the Lord’s face and saying, “I don’t need your help; I’ll get along without you.” We can’t afford to try to get along without the Lord’s help.”
  • April 1948 General Conference
    • The Priesthood
      • “This power of the priesthood is more than that. It is the power to represent Jesus Christ, and all that the men do within the authority and power of that priesthood is just the same as if Jesus Christ himself were there personally doing it; that means in all the administrations and all the ordinations and in all the other activities which they perform.”
      • “How can we strengthen that faith which we have that will help us to use that power, for we cannot use the power of the priesthood correctly without faith. Our faith and our testimony are strengthened day by day in our actions and in our deeds.”
  • October 1947 General Conference
    • The Power of Testimony
      • “There is no blessing on the earth to be more desired than a testimony that God lives, that Jesus Christ is his Son, and that this gospel is the divine plan of life and salvation. With this sure knowledge in our hearts it gives a meaning and a purpose to our lives which guide even our smallest actions and give us courage to endure all things in the hope for the future.”
  • April 1947 General Conference
    • A New Calling
      • “I think that there are probably thousands of men in the Church who, if called by the proper authority, could come and fulfill any position in the Church, and the position to which I have been called is no exception.”
      • “How much time do you waste in prayer? If we are wasting our time, we are not praying. My appeal to you as the membership of this church is that you do not waste your time, and when you pray, pray!”

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