Levi E. Young

First Council of the Seventy (October 6, 1909 – December 13, 1963)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 1921 General Conference
    • People Are Good
      • “I am an optimist, and know full well that every child of God has more good in him than bad, but I have come to believe that mankind is suffering for the want of spiritual light, and that old standards of morality are fading away.”
      • “The spirit of man is divine. We are of God, with the same powers in embryo likened unto a God. We believe with all our might and strength that the light within us and the divinity of our own spirits will yet cause us to be truly and greatly educated children; and we base our testimony of life on the inner light, the power and light of God within us.”
      • “We are hoping that the time will come when it may be said of us that the Latter-day Saints are not only the most intellectual people in all the world, but they are the most spiritual, and they win souls unto the true and living God by the spiritual life they express in their words, actions and thoughts.”
  • April 1921 General Conference
    • The Cultured Pioneers
      • “God never called upon cowards to do work for him, but he has given the work invariably to high types of people, high minded people, a highly spiritual people.”
      • “The power that held the people together was the religious feeling; and with this the economic interests common to all. In these social groups, the desire was to live and let live. The people were intensely practical; the physical conditions of he country made them so. They were compelled to apply their religious idealism to the immediate problems in hand.”
  • October 1920 General Conference
    • Germany
      • “No lasting peace can come to this world until a peace is based on the love of God for all peoples.”
      • “The subject of thrift and industry; of government and learning; and the divinity of the family life as well as the sanctity of the Church of Christ, all have been spoken about with great power. These are the institutions of civilization, and we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stand for them in all their meaning to life. The great central theme of this conference, however, has been to know God and to keep his commandments. But we cannot know him without the spirit of love; for now abideth faith, hope, love—these three, but the greatest of these is love.”
  • April 1920 General Conference
    • The Fatherhood of God
      • “It was the most natural thing in the world for God to reveal himself to a child whose mind was pure and who had not learned the theories of philosophy of that day. I look upon Joseph Smith as the greatest prophet of all history, for his was the work of the greatest age of man’s development since the fall of Adam.”
      • “May we all seek in our hearts and minds the Divine Guidance, that we may learn the path of larger service and wider usefulness. May we serve the Master by serving his children.”
  • October 1919 General Conference
    • Missionary Work
      • “The fact that ever since the days of Abraham the Lord has called a portion of his family to bear witness of his great truths is an inspiring truth. This place in the mountains had been preserved for the people of God. It will always be a Stake of Zion. May we as Latter-day Saints, from this day on have our testimonies renewed that the Government of the United States was instituted by the power of God, and the way prepared for the coming of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
      • “There can be no solution of our industrial, social and political problems until the world shall know for a fact that Jesus is the Christ and that we are living in a new day of the world’s history.”
  • June 1919 General Conference
    • Thoughts on Joseph F. Smith
      • “Man to him is free, but free to do right, not free to do wrong. I remember a statement that he once made concerning the meaning of liberty which I shall never forget. Said he: “Liberty is obedience to just law.” That to me is one of the most wonderful ideas concerning liberty and Americanism that I have ever heard. Obedience to law is liberty. What kind of law? Law that is founded on truth. Law that is an expression of God’s will to his people. Therefore, he was very democratic.”
  • October 1918 General Conference
    • War and Peace
      • “It will be the conflict between intellience and ignorance, between morality and immorality, between the Spirit of God and the spirit of darkness. In the wake of all wars come ignorance and immorality. In fact, the history of the world proves that after great struggles of might, men are in darknkess, for war precipitates the greater evils in human society on one hand as well as the better spiritual attitude toward life on the other.”
      • “I believe firmly what has been suggested in this conference, that one reason for this war is the false philosophies that have been rampant in the hearts of students of the European countries and of the world. The great message that you and I must bear must be prefaced with the divine thought that God made man in his own image, in the image of God made he him. This is a divine truth. Its divinity stamps divinity upon us. We are divine.”
  • April 1916 General Conference
    • Peace
      • “But the Latter-day Saints have done more than establish American institutions in the Far West. They have established not only economic institutions that are wonderful in history, but “Mormonism” calls every man, woman and child into the field of constructive social activity. I believe we have the key to the social reformation of the world, through the priesthood and the different organizations of the priesthood of God.”
      • “May Zion be built upon this continent, may we cleanse our hearts and do the great work and make the great contribution of bringing about the unfurling of the flag of peace, of helping to bring about the federation of the- world in a league of peace, that there may be no more war, that peace may come and that all people shall look up to Zion and know that God is God and that He has spoken to His people. May we so direct our lives that this message may be given to the world.”
      • “So here, in this State, we have every opportunity of establishing a peace society that will be effective. A part of Zion at least will be here, and Zion means the place where the pure in heart are living.”
  • April 1914 General Conference
    • Philosophy
      • “Philosophy of man will never satisfy the longing that is natural to the human being, will never satisfiy that longing for God, and for a knowledge of man’s relationship to his Creator. I believe, my brethren and sisters, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most magnificent example—I mean the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we understand it, and as we know it to be true—is the most magnificent example of what modern sociologists in their philosophy declare to be high-minded and critical intellectual type of philosophy.”
      • “When men learn that their institutions—their economic, civic, political, social and ethical institutions—must be in accord with some divine belief in man’s power and his relationship to God, then men will have a truer religion, a better outlook on life, and men will begin to grow into their greater power of intellectual and ethical development.”
      • “I say this here because I do not wish the Prophet Joseph Smith misunderstood, though he had no formal schooling. That is why I believe he rose to be such a magnificent character before the world. His mind was never injured by some little or petty pedagogical principle that would have warped his being.”
      • “The Gospel of Jesus Christ stands for truth in its reality; it stands for truth in its ideality.”
  • October 1913 General Conference
    • Civic Life in Utah
      • “I want to say here that in Utah was developed a democracy even greater than the democracy in New England, because in our town mettings, in our civic centers, not only were the men permitted to take part and to vote on the great questions of life, but the women were given that privilege as well, which is an announcement to the world that we absolutely believe in equality and the right of the woman to take her part in the great civic life of humanity. Our history, my brethren and sisters, is not a chronological history ; it is a history of great expressions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
      • “Equality will come when we abide by the laws of righteousness and truth.”
      • “I wish that in every home in Zion the name of the Savior would be used sacredly every day, and that if you and I were asked who it is that we hold up as greater than anyone else our reply would be Jesus the Christ, whom we love, whom we worship and whom we obey. The world needs Christ more than ever. If ever in the past it has needed Him, very well and good; but certainly Christ and Him crucified is needed today more than ever.”
  • April 1913 General Conference
    • We Ought to Have Ideals
      • “If there is anything needed today in the world, it is a knowledge of Jesus, the Christ. I believe that after all the only salvation for the social, political, economic and religious conditions of the world today is through the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
      • “It is the fact that there is a difference between priestcraft and priesthood. Priestcraft is the hierarchy of a man-made government; it is a result of man’s force and energy. Priesthood is the expression of the power of Almighty God in the soul, the very being of men who bear that divine calling. Historically, socially, religiously, there is a difference between priestcraft and priesthood.”
      • “Truth has, it is quite true, but one enemy, and that is untruth. Untruth has two enemies, truth and itself.”
      • “God bless you in your work, and may we be united as a people, for in unity there is strength. Let us learn. Let us learn to look up. Let us learn that God made the stars and the sun and the moon for us. Life is too big, too noble, too true for us to stoop to low things. We have not time to talk about our neighbor. We have not time to speak unkind thoughts. We should be so active that every moment counts for the better life, and our dreams and our hopes and our ambitions should be lodged in the light of God, and our very activities should be making for His Kingdom. This applies to us all.”
  • October 1912 General Conference
    • First Principles
      • “I only wish that we here in the center stake of Zion, may retain in our hearts the same honesty and sincerity of purpose, and truthloving character that seems to be so characteristic of you people who come from the remote parts of these states in the west.”
      • “We can’t get too much faith in our hearts. Faith, after all, is the moving force in the history of the world, and is today, and always will be.”
      • “People can only become great as they have great ideals to which they work.”
      • “Whatever we do, and think, there is always that truth within us that God is God, and that Jesus is the Christ, now and forever. We must, therefore, learn true charity, true love. We must learn to work and to pray, and not give up our simplicity of life. The other day I was asked what our institutions, human society, need more than anything else. My reply was that we need more of the faith, honesty, and sincerity of our fathers and mothers, more than we need anything else.”
      • “I hope the day may come when in every schoolroom throughout this land, at least whenever we come into that schoolroom, there shall be placed in gold letters first, “I believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ,” on the right the Ten Commandments, the greatest moral law of the human race; and on the left the Preamble of the greatest document ever given to the world, for the government of nations, the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States.”
  • October 1910 General Conference
    • Living Up To The Law
      • “It is one trait of Mormonism, that has always been to me a leading ethical thought, that the more we live up to law in our daily lives, the more we live up to our higher selves, the freer we become, the more intelligent we are, and the better interpreters of life are we before the world. And I believe that the Mormon people, the Latter-day Saints, have already become the best interpreters of the meaning of life, of any people who have been on the face of the globe.”
      • “He is a God of love and though we have been taught that we are the people of God, we are only the people of God as we live God’s laws, and as we live our best selves. As we live well and in truth we become the people of love, people of honor, people of integrity and honesty, who, when we give our word as individuals, will abide by that word. When we arise in the morning we will dedicate our lives to God, because it is from communion with our Father that we derive the power that enables us to live that true life, that high life, that honest life for which every Latter-day Saint should contend, yea, every Christian of the world.”
      • “Though all might drift from the Church, the gospel of Christ remains true. But it is the individual members who compose it, who bring to it their best selves, their manhood and their womanhood, and their sacred honors, that give to it the refining influence that goes out to teach the world. And so the question, I think, for us to answer in our own hearts is, are we living this gospel as best we know how?”
      • “Let us remember that this is the gospel of the deed, the gospel of the act, the gospel of thought.”

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