Antoine R. Ivins

First Council of the Seventy (October 4, 1931 – October 18, 1967)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1939 General Conference
    • A New Witness
      • “I have been more than pleased with the spirit of this conference, for I feel that every April Conference that we have should be a testimony to our Lord Jesus Christ. We are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our lives and our words should both be testimonies unto the world of the divinity of this organization, of the divinity of the Man, if you will permit me to call him a man, who caused it to come into existence.”
      • “Now, in order that the Book of Mormon shall be a new witness for God, I think we must first believe in the Book of Mormon. In order to believe in the Book of Mormon we have to believe in the Prophet Joseph Smith, to accept his testimony that he saw God and Jesus Christ, and that he was commissioned by divine interposition to restore to the world the Book of Mormon.”
      • “I find that by reading it through and studying it from that point of view, rather than one of history, I do have a feeling and a testimony when I get through with the book that it is divine. There is a spirit in it, there is a whispering to your soul, that an honest man cannot deny.”
      • “We are blessed as much, if not more, by the acceptance of certain things on faith than to accept them on reason.”
      • “Faith is greater than knowledge, time and time again. The devil knows the truth; he has not a spark of faith, or he would live according to it. Faith would impel him to change his life.”
      • “I believe it is the greatest lesson, or one of them, that we can possibly have for the conversion of the world. Some of our stake missionaries report their greatest success through study classes where the Book of Mormon is the subject matter. To me that is the great witness for God. It came to us unadulterated; it came to us through divine interposition, translated by the power of God, and when you read it your testimony comes not from the fact that you can put two and three together and get five, that you can reason from a premise to a conclusion and determine that there is no question as to its origin, but the testimony comes to us as a gift given of God.”
  • October 1938 General Conference
    • Love of Neighbor
      • “Now the atonement of Christ has done a wonderful thing for us because it has opened the door to salvation. Through that atonement a certain debt and obligation was paid and the door was opened, Christ himself being the first man to go through, and giving us all the privilege of following. Now, the door is not a widely opened door, in a certain sense, and in another sense it is wide open, because every man and woman of us should be able to pass through that door, and then if we do certain things and live in a certain way we shall be able to go on far past that door to an exaltation in the presence of God.”
      • “Then, brethren and sisters, am I not justified in assuming that the atonement of Christ for its efficacy depends somewhat at least upon us here, and that we are able through good deeds to make that full and complete, or through bad deeds to make it fail in its ultimate purpose. I believe it, and that is the testimony that I would like to leave with you this afternoon, that what we realize out of the Gospel of Jesus Christ depends upon us very largely, and that if we insist on saying that we do not gain salvation for ourselves we must grant that our exaltation does depend very largely upon our acts. We cannot expect to attain the highest glory if we go through this life in petty bickerings, in jealousy, and selfish acts. Love is the genius of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and love and jealousy are hardly bedfellows. We must, before we can love our neighbors, take them into our confidence, eradicate from our souls the jealousy that we may feel towards them. If we are jealous of our neighbor and of his success, how can we fully love him, and vice versa? If we love our neighbor as we should how can we be jealous of his success, and if we love him we will not be too jealous of our own prerogatives, and our own relationship with him. We will be willing to grant to that friend and that neighbor a part of the privilege that is ours, if by doing so we can benefit him and bless him and carry him on to a more perfect state of service.”
  • April 1938 General Conference
    • The World Needs the Gospel
      • “This is a troublous time and the world is sick. If we can read the newspapers and rely upon what they tell us, the world is sick and needs a physician. Men are wondering what is wrong, arid how we can correct it. I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has within it the power which, if it were applied to the world at large, would solve all those problems.”
      • “That is the faith that exists in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe verily that when the Prophet Joseph Smith told the world that he had seen God, that God and Jesus Christ were similar beings, and that we are fashioned in their image, he told the truth. Jesus Christ told his followers he would build his church upon the revelation to them of that truth that Jesus was the Son of God. So long as we can keep uppermost in our hearts that testimony, can actually believe in God, our Heavenly Father, and sincerely believe as we do that we have been commissioned to serve his purposes in connection with mankind, we will serve him in righteousness, to the best of our ability.”
  • October 1937 General Conference
    • Being Consistent With the Gospel
      • “I believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has in it every element that is essential and necessary for the conduct of all the affairs of human activity. In other words, I believe that there is nothing that men do in honor before God, and essential to their development and well-being, in which that fundamental principle of love should not enter.”
      • “If we will clean house and put our hearts in attune with the Spirit of God, go daily about our business, under the influence of that Spirit, God will bless us with contentment and a peace and a freedom from worry that we can get no other way.”
      • “God stands ready to serve us through the instrumentality of this organization that we have. We stand as your servants, ready to serve you. We love you. If you will serve the Gospel that has been given to us, in that spirit, you will learn to love that Gospel just the same way. If you will give it your time and your talent, you will love it in proportion to the service that you give unto it.”
  • October 1936 General Conference
    • Winter Quarters
      • “It brought into my mind a picture with two sides. I saw on the one side men and women of sterling character, firm in their purpose, true in their faith and courageous in sustaining their officers, willing to do as those people did who lie buried in that cemetery—to lay down their lives at any time should it be required. I am sure that my grandfather and grandmother stood ready to do that, along with yours. A faithful people they were, a struggling people, trying to find the truth, or to live according to the truth they had found, and do their full duty.”
      • “On the other side of that picture, I saw a smaller number perhaps of people who had come into the Church with different motives, whose faith was not of the same high and pure and holy character, who were avaricious, ambitious, and designing men who came in and availed themselves of the counsels of the Prophet and the leaders of the Church only to misapply them and turn against them. I believe that the persecutions that came upon the people were largely due to the activity of such men. So the Evil One came in, as he always does, and opposed the truth. I believe that to be an actual fact.”
      • “I believe also this to be true: that there is a way to bind the Devil—the way of faith. If we want to bind him up and bind him strong, we will unite ourselves together in a solid band, with a single purpose, to sustain our leaders, to live the Gospel, and to honor God. If our people at that time had been a unit in that purpose, had there been no opposition and no treason within the Church, I wonder if the sacrifices of Winter Quarters would have been necessary. I believe they would not.”
      • “That does not mean in any sense that we tolerate the things which we deem sin. which some people indulge in and which we try to eliminate from our midst—not by any means. But it does mean that we can be charitable towards them, that we can lend them the hand of fellowship and assistance where it is possible.”
  • April 1936 General Conference
    • Faith
      • “We have a faith in God our Father and in Jesus Christ his Son. That faith to me is very fundamental. If I could not have it I would feel at a loss as to what to do and how to work. With that faith there is an anchor, a stone firmly set that seems to support and sustain me in all the things I have to encounter. God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son are to me realities. I believe that they are, as we teach them to be, real personages, personages who have interest in us and in our welfare. That faith carries me on through all the trials I have to undergo.”
      • “Whenever I see winter come I am glad because I know there will be a spring. Whenever I lie down at night I am glad of the opportunity because I know there will be sunshine on the morrow. There is a faith and hope in every winter and in every night.”
      • “Intelligence to me is not merely the cramming of my mind full of learning that I get from books. Schools are not the only media of acquiring knowledge, intelligence does not, perhaps, necessarily come from scholastic education. To me intelligence is the power to meet conditions and circumstances and overrule them for our mutual benefit and blessing.”
  • October 1935 General Conference
    • The Resurrection
      • “The resurrection, being an accomplished fact and a possibility with us, opens up to us wonderful opportunities. Perhaps there is no more sublime thought in all our teachings and all our doctrines than the possibility of eternal and perpetual progress that the human soul is capable of. Remove from our philosophy the thought and possibility of a resurrection and we lose that wonderful thought of eternal progression. With it goes the thought of our mutual association in family relationships we so much cherish as a people. They to me are crucial and fundamental beliefs. If we cannot accept them it becomes a sad day for us, but we do accept them wholeheartedly as they are perhaps the most wonderful thoughts in all of our philosophy.”
  • October 1934 General Conference
    • Common Consent
      • “There is a principle existent in the Church that the right to govern is derived from the common consent of those governed. That extends to all the offices of the Church. The bishop is appointed and approved by his ward; the stake president is appointed and approved by his stake; an apostle is appointed and approved by the Church; and the President of the Church is appointed and approved by the Church. And when he is so approved as a prophet, seer and revelator, he has the right to stand at the head of the Church and determine its policies and practices.”
      • “We have before us the scriptures, to which reference has been made this afternoon; I am thinking especially of the Doctrine and Covenants. When the revelations in that wonderful book were given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, they were not all at once compiled and bound into their present form. The time came when that was done, and to make them effective and binding upon the body of the Church they were approved and accepted as the revelations of the Lord to the Church, and from then on we have deemed them as binding upon us.”
  • April 1934 General Conference
    • Gospel Truth
      • “However, we go and we come ; when the President of the Church says go, we go ; when he says come, we come, with equal good will. I trust that in the new labors that I have to undertake I will have the Spirit of the Lord to guide and direct me, that it may be just as pleasant to me as’ the work that I am now leaving behind.”
      • “Now the science that is erected upon an hypothesis is no truer than that hypothesis. If that be true, the science may be true. If that be false, the science is questionable. Before we replace the fundamental truths that we have inherited from our ancestors, religious truths that have been of so much comfort and help to those who have gone before, let us be certain that the things we put in their place are true.”
      • “We maintain that the Gospel embraces all truth. That may not mean that any living man may know all truth. It may not mean that the body of the Church can properly interpret all truth, but it does mean that whenever a truth is established we should accept it as part of the Gospel. But let us scrutinize those things carefully before we turn down the beliefs of the past and accept a new thing which may be founded upon a false hypothesis.”
      • “I welcome criticism if it is made in the proper light and spirit. Unfriendly criticism, inimical criticism perhaps is not to be desired because it is always prejudiced in advance and never sees a question fairly.”
  • October 1933 General Conference
    • Missionary Work
      • “You are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The officers who sit here upon the stand are not the Church. They, of course, are a part of it; they are the guiding element in it, under the direction of the Spirit of God, but they are not the Church. They are only people who have been selected from the great body of the Church, to be your servants, to do the things that God desires done for your benefit and for the benefit of mankind. Perhaps none of them occupies his position through his own solicitations, and certain it is that none of them pretends to any superhuman or unnatural ability in the guidance of these affairs. They rely upon the Spirit of the Lord, just as any member of the great body of the Church would have to do, when called as men are from time to time to these positions ; and it is my testimony that they do enjoy the Spirit of the Lord.”
      • “Every man comes into the world with his free agency, and every man exercises it: sometimes to his advancement, sometimes to his disadvantage.”
      • “If there is anything about our religion that we should appreciate it is its tangibility, it is the fact that it is a philosophy which man has reached, and puerile as he is, can understand. It is that, perhaps, that makes it so popular with the people, that gives them the great and satisfying enthusiasm for it.”
  • April 1933 General Conference
    • Word of Wisdom
      • “I can bear the same testimony that has been borne here already two or three times, that the observance of the Word of Wisdom is no detriment in the world. I have spent ten years of my life laboring with people who are not of our faith, almost all of whom are non-observers of the Word of Wisdom, but I found, without exception, that they expected me to observe the Word of Wisdom. They almost demanded it of me, and I was mighty glad to think that it was a habit with me.”
  • October 1932 General Conference
    • Bearing Testimony
      • “Of course it is our obligation to safeguard their growth and development that they may have this faith that is so necessary, that when they go into the world they may go in faith; that their lives may have been pure, so that they may be exemplary and be a light to the world.”
      • “It matters not so much what their learning may be. God will give them words when the time comes, if they are faithful, so that they may answer questions and preach sermons that will touch the hearts of the people with whom they come in contact. Not all people are touched by the same thing. Not all people can be approached by the same missionary. So that it takes them all to make a world; it takes them all to make successful campaigns in the mission field.”
      • “If we knew God we would serve him, and serving him we would gain eternal life. It is just as sure and certain as that dawn follows darkness.”
      • “That, to me, is the most important testimony that we have to give to the world, that Christ and God are real, actual personalities, who have an interest in us and in our well-being?. If we will adhere to that testimony and preach it boldly to the world—we do not have to do it in a manner that will offend, of course, but we must not fear to give that testimony when we go out—I am sure that in the end our purposes will be accomplished, that this work will prevail, that the great and glorious things that have been predicted of it will come to pass.”
  • April 1932 General Conference
    • The Mexican Mission
      • “We had also the privilege of visiting the ruins of Mexico at San Juan, Teotihuacan, and the pyramid which is called the Snake pyramid. They are full of possibilities, from an archaeological standpoint. However, in using them to substantiate the Book of Mormon we have to be extremely careful, because while they apparently give evidence of certain things, archaeologists are not all agreed as to their value. They are, however, extremely interesting.”
      • “I support and sustain and uphold the President of this Church and those who are in authority under him. It has been my privilege to know him and his first counselor, at least, all my life, and I can bear testimony that I have never received, in all those years, which are past fifty now, a single word of counsel that t could not pass on in public to this congregation.”
  • October 1931 General Conference
    • The Mexican Mission
      • “I pray that with the aid of your faith and prayers, with the power of God to back me up, I may have humility and faith sufficient to carry on the work that he so well and faithfully performed; that the work may not falter, but that it may go forward.”
      • “I pray that the Lord will bless us, that he will give us power to endure, for the power to endure is the genius of this Gospel. If we cannot endure, the Lord pity us. These times are trying, but if we will round up our shoulders I am sure that the Lord will come to our rescue, that we will be able to carry on, and that we will not be the losers because of these trying times. The times of thrift and prosperity are the ones that we should be afraid of, not the times of adversity.”

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