Joseph W. McMurrin

First Council of the Seventy (October 5, 1897 – October 24, 1932)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1906 General Conference
    • Truth Will Prevail
      • “You who may have doubt concerning the power of God in His protection of the Latter-day Saints and their wonderful preservation, or concerning His hand dealings with the early Christians, what answer can be given to the query. Why were not those early Christians destroyed? Why was not the Church planted by the Redeemer Himself uprooted in the days of its infancy? And the same question concerning the Latter-day Saints, why do we live? How is it that, long before this present day, “Mormonism” has not been destroyed from the earth root and branch? If we will study over the matter, the answer will be made clear to us, by the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, because God has organized this Church; because He is fulfilling the promises that have been made through the mouths of ancient Prophets, that a work should be established among men in the latter days that never would be overthrown, nor be given to another people.”
      • “We ought to thank God every day that in our own hearts we know, if we are living in the light, that this hatred and evil speaking against us is without a just cause.”
      • “Thank God, truth will always live and never can be destroyed.”
  • April 1906 General Conference
    • The Restoration
      • “No man, or combination of men, have the intelligence or authority to create that Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation. I thought how glorious is the foundation upon which “Mormonism” is built; and well might we sing, as we have this morning, “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent word.” No division, contention, or quarreling brought into existence the glorious principles we have espoused. Joseph Smith approached our Father in heaven for information concerning his soul’s salvation, and I have never come in contact with any person opposed to “Mormonism” who could find any fault with the statement that Joseph Smith approached our Father in heaven and pleaded with him for information concerning the Gospel of His Son. What better source could he have gone to than the source of light?”
      • “Where can we go to find peace, and comfort, and hope, if we turn from the truth? Nowhere.”
    • Modern Prophets
      • “We are the only people, practically, who believe in living Prophets, and it is evident from the words that are spoken, and from the testimonies, that are so frequently delivered, that we are very earnest believers in the necessity of prophets to receive the word of the Lord today.”
      • “I take it, that when the Redeemer of the World, in His teaching to the children of men, gave warning against false prophets, He indicated by those very words, that there ought to be among men true prophets, else He would have said, Beware of prophets.”
  • October 1905 General Conference
    • The Church Will Prevail
      • “It has been written in the Old Scriptures that where there is no vision the people perish. When the Lord does not reveal His will to the inhabitants of the earth they are in a perishing condition.”
      • “The mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his fellow laborers is a mission of peace, glad tidings of good things, the preaching of the Gospel of the Redeemer of the world. There is no spirit in connection with the preaching of this gospel that will do injury to any man that lives.”
  • April 1905 General Conference
    • The Church is in Good Hands
      • “There seems to be great anxiety among those who are not of us, lest this people are being led astray. The enthusiasm and unanimity of the thousands in attendance at this Conference does not bear out such a theory, but it proves that there never has been more confidence in the servants of God than exists now in the hearts of the people.”
      • “God has given to this people individually the testimony of the Gospel, and through that they have been led here, and are united in the truth, and know they have the truth, and are not led astray. This same spirit rests upon the people today, and it will always be the case. God has manifested to this people where His authority is, and they will never lose this testimony.”
  • April 1904 General Conference
    • Testimony
      • “We ought to be able, through the training we have received in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to know the voice of the good shepherd and to follow him, and not be carried away by strange voices or by strange doctrines, by the ideas that are presented to us, from time to time, by those who are not of us.”
      • “Every man who bears a testimony, understandingly and truthfully, of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, knows that the knowledge he is in possession of has come to him by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that it has been given by the revelations of the Father, and that he is not dependent upon man for a continuation of that knowledge. We depend, my brethren and sisters, upon the continuation of a knowledge of the Gospel, that we are in possession of, through keeping the commandments of God. Through keeping these commandments we can also depend upon the fulfilment of the promises made pertaining to the future.”
      • “We have received the message of truth, and it is our mission to bear record to the divine will of our Father in heaven and preach the Gospel, that men may be saved. Our Father revealed in the very beginning of this work, as men became anxious to know the will of God concerning themselves, that the most important thing men could do was to cry repentance to the people, to teach the doctrines of the Gospel, and that if they labored through their entire lives and saved but one soul, great should be their reward and their joy in the kingdom of our Father.”
    • Setting a Good Example
      • “I believe it is the decree of the Almighty that this condition shall continue to prevail in the midst of His people, and that there will always be found in the Church the seed of the founders, and of others who have been valiant for the testimony of Jesus—children who will properly represent their parents before the people and before the Lord; and that it is not the intention for this work to be taken from them and given to another people.”
      • “Let us take to heart the counsels that have been imparted unto us. Let us set gtoodly examples before our offspring. Let us live the religion we have espoused, and let our light shine among men. Let them see that we feel the responsibility which rests upon us in the revelation of the Gospel; that we propose, not only to send missionaries abroad to preach the Gospel, but that we propose to live our religion at home just as well as our representatives do abroad; and men and women who come into our borders, as has often been the case already, will be so impressed with our sobriety, our industry, our good example and the godly lives we lead that they will be constrained to bear record that there is a splendid people in the midst of these mountains—a people who fear God and keep His commandments.”
  • October 1903 General Conference
    • Evidences of the Truth
      • “We are not only fulfilling the predictions of the prophets in relation to our location, but there is abundant evidence in the doctrines that are advocated, that were revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith, to establish the fact that we have not been organized by the wisdom of men, and we are very thankful for it. It has not been in the power of man, in any age of the world, to give the children of men an organization such as we have today. There is nothing like it recorded in history from the beginning of time down to the present day. There can never be anything like it, unless it be revealed from God; it is above and beyond the wisdom and power of men.”
      • “Every child, it matters not of what parentage, whether white or black, bond or free, Christian or pagan, through the atonement wrought by the Redeemer of men, is made innocent before our Father in heaven.”
      • “God never created His children to damn them, without giving them an opportunity to hear and understand His precious word.”
  • April 1903 General Conference
    • Living Well
      • “Our condition today, my brethren and sisters, is but a fulfilment of the promise that has been made unto us by our Father in heaven through the mouth of the Prophet Joseph; for the Prophet declared a long time ago that these very things which we witness at the present time were to come to pass, and I desire to read to you a word or two concerning this promise that our Father made in the very inception of this work in reference to the future of the work and the men who were to be called from time to time to represent Him in the preaching of the Gospel among the inhabitants of the earth.”
      • “The Gospel has done everything for me; God help me and my children after me, from generation to greneration, to be true to It; for it is the power of God unto salvation.”
  • April 1902 General Conference
    • Missionary Work
      • “I prize the testimony that the Lord has given me concerning this work above all else in the world. I pray with all my heart that God will help me to retain that testimony, and to labor in the midst of the people, whether it be at home or abroad, as I may be directed by those who preside over me, so that I may fill up the measure of my days in the way that He desires.”
    • Consecration and Religion Classes
      • “We should all be in this work with all that we possess. It is a very great mistake to become associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and be possessed of anything that is not in the work of the Lord that we do not hold in readiness to be used for the establishment of the purposes of our Father.”
      • “There should be no questioning of the wisdom of the counsel that is imparted by the servants of the Lord; but, rather, we should look back over the history of this people and endeavor to understand what has been accomplished under the direction of this authority, and when we comprehend the marvelous character of that history, we will feel in our hearts to trust the God of heaven, and in trusting our Father in heaven, we honor His Priesthood on earth, and faithfully strive to carry out the counsel of that Priesthood.”
      • “Let us educate our children in art, science and literature, but above all else in a knowledge of God.”
  • October 1901 General Conference
    • Manifestations of Divine Favor, etc.
      • “It is written in the revelations that our Father will hold us responsible for ihe education that we give to our children; and He has given us a commandment that we should not only seek wisdom from good books, but also by faith. We must have faith in the acquiring of information. But faith to a very large extent has been shut out from the public school system.”
      • “The Latter-day Saints have nothing to fear from proper education. God Almighty has commanded us to seek for wisdom by faith and by study. If we desire to honor God and keep His commandments, the more education we obtain, the greater will be the glory that we will bring to our Father in heaven. We ought to be an educated people. It is the decree of God that we shall be.”
  • October 1900 General Conference
    • The Danger of Becoming Rusty
      • “It is a glorious thing to have the feeling in our hearts that we are in accord with the authority of the Lord and to feel, inasmuch as we have put our hands to the plow and have entered into covenant with the Lord to serve Him and to keep His commandments, that the keeping of His commandments is the greatest desire that we have, and that we have no other God before the Lord, our God; that we have not set our affections upon any other thing, but that we have an eye. single to the keeping of the commandments of the Lord and a determination to sustain and uphold His Priesthood.”
      • “The rights, independence and liberty of no man can be infringed upon in the keeping of the commandments of God.”
      • “I feel when I meet a young Elder returning from abroad that the gravest period of his life stands before him when he returns, when there is fear that he may become a little careless, that he may have a disposition to seek after the rest that many have sought after, and in seeking after that rest they have found not only rest but rust. They are becoming rusty in the service of the Lord, and they are not willing to labor at home as they did abroad.”
      • “We cannot sustain the Priesthood by the mere lifting of our hands. The man who sustains the Priesthood is the man who responds to the appointments that are given him, the man who says “yes” to the Bishop, and to the president of the Stake, the man who responds in his quorum. The man who is always working willingly and dutifully, is the man who sustains the authority of God. There is no other way to sustain that authority.”
  • October 1899 General Conference
    • Young Men Should be Prepared for the Ministry
      • “The responsibility of preaching this glorious Gospel, which has been revealed by our Father in Heaven, rests upon this people, particularly upon those who bear the authority of the Holy Priesthood. When we think of the vast field that opens up before us, of the millions of people who know nothing concerning the glad news that God has sent to His children on the earth, we should be anxious to qualify ourselves for these duties and responsibilities.”

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