The Future of the Church
“The best lies ahead. I believe that with all my heart. If you will stay on the straight and narrow, the best lies ahead. It is a wonderful time to be alive. It’s a great time to be a member of this church when you can hold your head up without embarrassment and with some pride in this great latter-day work” (West High School seminary graduation, Salt Lake City, Utah, 14 May 1995).
“I feel so optimistic about this church, so very, very optimistic. … What tremendous things we are doing because of the faithfulness of the people: the building of these chapels across the earth, the building of temples, the tremendous work that is going forward, and the effect that it is having upon individuals as it increases in numbers. It’s true. Be happy about it. Be affirmative about it. Don’t look for its weaknesses. Magnify its strengths and build on those” (Vacaville/Santa Rosa, California, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 20 May 1995).
“God will open the way. When there is no way, He will open the way. I am satisfied of that. I don’t worry about the future of this church. It’s going to roll on with majesty and power. This is the stone which was cut out of the mountain [and] rolled forth to fill the whole earth as was seen in Daniel’s vision. This is the work of the true and living God, whose power exceeds all other power in the universe” (Vacaville/Santa Rosa, California, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 20 May 1995).
Our Relationships with Others
“We want to be good neighbors. We want to be good friends. We feel we can differ theologically with people without being disagreeable in any sense. We hope they feel that same way toward us. We have many friends and many associations with people who are not of our faith, with whom we deal constantly and we have a wonderful relationship. It disturbs me when I hear of any antagonisms. … I don’t think they are necessary. I hope that we can overcome them.
“Be respectful of the opinions and feelings of other people. Recognize their virtues; don’t look for their faults. Look for their strengths and their virtues, and you will find strength and virtues which will be helpful in your own life.
“We ought to live together as sons and daughters of God. We have a common Father. That means that we are brothers and sisters and we ought to live together in that way. The deplorable conditions that we see of civil war and conflict and all of the problems of hunger and strife and poverty across the world; yes, and right at home the disintegration of the family that we see so broadly across this nation—these are all matters of very serious and deep concern. … I do not like to see people suffer. In so many cases it would be avoidable if they would live the simple law of the Golden Rule—doing unto others as they would be done by. This would so change this troubled world. This is our message, a message of peace and of mutual respect of one to another” (interview with Phil Riesen, Channel 2 News, Salt Lake City, Utah, 12 May 1995).
Counsel to Youth
“You are great young people. I have said again and again, we have the finest generation of young people ever in the history of this church. I believe it. You know the gospel better. You come to seminary and you learn about the things of the Lord here. You know more about the gospel than those of my generation at your age did without any question. I am satisfied of that. …
“You can determine the kind of life you will have in your thirties or forties by what you do in your teens” (fireside at Skyline High School seminary, Salt Lake City, Utah, 30 Apr. 1995).
“I am grateful for the seminary system in the Church and for the institute program of the Church. I want to urge every high school student here to take advantage of the seminary program. Your lives will be blessed the greater if you do. Every college and university student should take advantage of the institute program. It is the best place in the world to find your eternal mate, and you will be grateful all your lives if you do” (Vacaville/Santa Rosa, California, regional conference, 21 May 1995).
“When you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Selfishness is the great destroyer of happy family life. If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on throughout eternity” (Brigham Young University commencement exercises, Provo, Utah, 27 Apr. 1995).
“In this age when more and more women are turning to daily work, how tremendous it is, once in a while, to stop and recognize that the greatest service that any woman will ever perform will be in nurturing, teaching, lifting, encouraging, and rearing her children in righteousness and truth. There is no other thing that will compare with that regardless of what she does.
“I hope that the women of the Church will not slight their greatest responsibility in favor of a lesser responsibility. To the mothers of this church, every mother who is here this day, I want to say that, as the years pass, you will become increasingly grateful for that which you did in molding the lives of your children in the direction of righteousness and goodness and integrity and faith.
“I think I can share this with you. As I sat in the Tabernacle at the last conference and was sustained by the people of this church, there came before me in my mind’s eye, the picture of my mother when I was a little boy. And I’m sure she must have thought then that I wouldn’t amount to much because I was not an easy little boy to deal with. I am grateful that I have the opportunity in my old age to bring honor to her name. …
“It’s been the mothers who have been the great carriers and purveyors of faith throughout the history of this church. I believe that with all my heart” (Heber City/Springville, Utah, regional conference, 14 May 1995).
Worthiness and Righteousness
“One of my concerns is that not enough of our people are making the efforts to get a temple recommend, which becomes a symbol of their worthiness and the righteousness of their desires.
“The Sabbath is a great opportunity to teach your family to stay dressed up a little. It is also very important to read the scriptures. …
“Stay away from pornography! Avoid it as you would a terrible disease. It is a consuming disease. It is addictive. It gets hold of men and grasps them until they can scarcely let go. … These magazines, these videotapes, these late-night programs—you don’t need them. They will just hurt you; they won’t help you. They will destroy you if you persist in looking at them” (Heber City/Springville, Utah, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 13 May 1995).
Callings in the Church
“There is no small or inconsequential task, calling, or responsibility in this church. …
“Bring into the lives of our young people something more of spirituality. There is more to the Aaronic Priesthood than the Boy Scout program, good as that is. There is more to the Aaronic Priesthood than sociality, essential as that is. Cultivate in the heart of every boy a sense of his relationship to the Lord as he becomes acquainted with the Savior of the world by knowing some elements of the atonement of the Redeemer through which eternal life is made possible for each of us” (Heber City/Springville, Utah, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 13 May 1995).
The Greatest Miracle of All
“I have seen miracles in my time, my brothers and sisters. The greatest miracle of all, I believe, is the transformation that comes into the life of a man or a woman who accepts the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and tries to live it in his or her life. How thankful I am for the wonders of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It is indeed a marvelous work and a wonder which has been brought to pass by the power of the Almighty in behalf of His sons and daughters” (Vacaville/Santa Rosa, California, regional conference, 21 May 1995).