John Smith

Patriarch to the Church (February 18, 1855 – November 6, 1911)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1910 General Conference
    • Faith and Prayers are Effective
      • “I know that there is a God in Israel. I know that He will hear and answer the prayers of the honest. I know that He has heard prayers in my behalf, and through these blessings I am here with you today. I trust that I may continue faithful and firm in the discharge of my duty. I ask the prayers and faith of the saints that I may so continue; that I may live long to fulfill the mission which Father has called me to perform, that I may be a blessing to the people.”
  • October 1909 General Conference
    • A Brief Testimony
      • “I bear testimony that I have listened attentively to all that has been said during the conference thus far, and I can endorse every word that has been uttered. I ask God our Father to let His blessings rest upon us, His people; that we may profit by what we have learned during this conference; that when we return to our homes we shall go in peace, remembering the instructions and striving diligently to carry out the same; that we may live according to the laws of our heavenly Father and keep His commandments, that we may be worthy of his blessings.”
      • “All Latter-day Saints have certain duties to perform; and, in so doing, if they will follow the promptings of that still small voice, they will never err in their judgments, but will be able to fulfill their missions in that way and manner that shall be pleasing to our heavenly Father.”
  • April 1909 General Conference
    • Enjoining the Saints to be True
      • “We as a people shouH endeavor to be true Latter-day Saints; If we are not, we certainly should be. We should realize our duty and privileges and strive diligently to live in a way and manner that our Father in heaven will approve so that He may be pleased to let His Spirit rest upon us, that those who address us may speak by that Spirit, by that intelligence, that we who listen may obtain wisdom and knowledge, and that we may remember and profit by what we have heard.”
      • “I have said many times, every latter-day Saint has a monitor within him. If we will stop to reflect upon our duties and privileges this monitor will direct us in the true path. I believe there is no person who does a wrong but what that monitor within him will say that is wrong, and that he should not have done it. If we happen to get under an influence which is not proper and right, and permit that influence to guide us, we will often err in judgment and do things that we ought not to do; but if we will listen to the promptings of that monitor, and take a straightforward course, asking our Father to assist and guide us in our labors, we will not so often make mistakes.”
  • October 1908 General Conference
    • Do Your Duties
      • “Although I am not, probably, living in the full sense of the word up to the revealed law in all respects, I have striven to do my duty; I have tried to do that which the Father has called me to do. At a rule, there are many people more guilty of sin of omission than sins of commission, and I trust that this has been my lot. I admonish the people to try to understand their duties, to try to live in obedience to the laws of God, and to keep His commandments. If we as a people will listen to the whisperings of the still small voice we will not often err in judgment; and if we call upon the Father, in humility, in a proper way, He will hear our petitions and answer them. I often admonish the people when they get their blessings under my hands, and say to them they must first learn to listen to the whisperings of the still small voice; and if they will seek for the gift of discernment, they will be guided by the Spirit of Truth.”
  • April 1906 General Conference
    • Follow the Good
      • “A great many of our missionaries are not entirely ignorant of the principles of the Gospel, but they do not give them proper thought. They do not study the different questions and the proper answers, in order that they may be pepared to meet the opposition of the world and speak intelligently to those whom they are called upon to address. It has been my practice for years to advise young men to study, to inform their minds, and be prepared for the ministry when the call comes.”
      • “I contend that every Latter-day Saint has a Monitor within him, and if he conducts himself in such a manner that he himself is truly satisfied with his labors, then he may feel assured the Lord is apt to be satisfied. We can never do wrong unless we are admonished that it is wrong. Before we take a wrong step or do something that we should not do, that Monitor will chide us and will give us a chance to reflect if we will accept the opportunity. There is, therefore, no reason why the Latter-day Saints should do wrong, if they will only be guided by the whisperings of God and the Spirit.”
  • October 1905 General Conference
    • Testimony
      • “Speaking of the principle of forgiveness, we find that it is not so much among us as it ought to be. We should strive to live according to the old adage, “Do unto others as you would they should do unto you.” If we will be guided by the True Spirit, and follow its promptings, it will be better for us.”
  • October 1903 General Conference
    • Encouragement
      • “I want to encourage the Saints to faithfulness, and diligence in the performance of duty. Realizing that our time in this probation is short, we should strive to perform the labors and duties enjoined upon us in that way and manner that shall meet the approval of our Father in heaven. I often hear people speak of a hobby. If I have one, it is to exhort my young brethren especially to faithfulness, to diligence in duty, to listen to and be guided by the whisperings of the Spirit, and to acquire learning and information that will prepare them for the duties of the future.”
  • April 1902 General Conference
    • A Hobby
      • “I feel to exhort my brethren and sisters to faithfulness and to diligence; for we understand that every Latter-day Saint has certain known duties to perform. We realize that it is our duty to remember our prayers, to pay our tithes and offerings, and to do unto others as we would wish them to do unto us under like circumstances. But if I have a hobby, it is what I have said in times past: I feel to exhort my young brethren to faithfulness, to diligence of duty, to prepare themselves by study and by attending the Mutual improvement associations, and striving to inform their minds at home, that when they are called to labor in the ministry they may go forward enabled to perform that duty unto which they may be called; for I realize, from many circumstances I have seen, that oftentimes our boys, although they are honest and willing to do their duty, have neglected to prepare themselves for the ministry, so much so that when they get into the field they are at a loss, and it takes them sometime before they can commence to do that amount of good that they would do from the start if they informed their minds before they left home.”

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