97909_000_029Following are selected excerpts from public expressions and addresses given by President Gordon B. Hinckley during recent months, printed here for the benefit of Church members.
This Work Will Go Forward
“This work came through divine revelation of God the Eternal Father and the Risen Lord. It has prospered and grown and never taken a backward step since it was organized. It has blessed the lives of people across the earth and will continue to do so in ever-increasing numbers. I am as sure of that as I am sure that the sun will rise over Laie tomorrow morning” (Oahu, Hawaii, regional conference, 18 Feb. 1996).
Blessings of a Mission
“You are making a sacrifice, but it is not a sacrifice because you will get more than you give up, you will gain more than you give, and it will prove to be an investment with tremendous returns. It will prove to be a blessing instead of a sacrifice. No one who ever served in this work as a missionary, who gave his or her best efforts, need worry about making a sacrifice, because there will come blessings into the life of that individual for as long as he or she lives. I have not the slightest doubt about that” (Hawaii Honolulu Mission meeting, 17 Feb. 1996).
Pray for Those Less Active
“You elders quorum presidents, you have a lot of men you’re responsible for who are unordained and who are totally indifferent to the Church—lots of them. I know that. They are everywhere. It’s good to work with them. It’s good to learn about them. It’s good to pray for them. It’s good to ask the Lord about them and to plead with the Lord for help and direction in moving them in the right way. Prayer is a marvelous and miraculous resource—the most marvelous and miraculous resource we have available to us” (Smithfield-Logan, Utah, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 20 Apr. 1996).
Purpose of Our Work
“I hope that we will never lose sight of the fact that the purpose of all of our work is to help the sons and daughters of God find their way along the road that leads to immortality and eternal life; to have come into their hearts a love for God our Eternal Father, whose children we are; to have come into their hearts a solid, certain conviction concerning the place of each of us in the plan of the Almighty, that we are children of God, partakers of a divine birthright, spiritual children, who have come with a touch of divinity within us. All of the administrative things in the Church are important. I want to confirm and endorse and emphasize that. But when all is said and done, our greatest responsibility as leaders in this Church is to increase the knowledge of our people concerning their place as sons and daughters of God, their divine inheritance and their divine, eternal destiny” (Berlin, Germany, regional conference, 15 June 1996).
“Who can deny the truth of the Book of Mormon? It is here to handle. The evidence for its truth lies in its reading, its prayerful reading. Anybody, according to Moroni, can gain a knowledge of the truth, and millions have done so, through the reading of this book. You can handle it, you can lift it, you can open it, you can search its words. There have been scores of explanations trying to find some other origin of the book. Every one has failed, while the Book of Mormon goes on and on and on” (missionary meeting, Rochester, New York, 12 July 1996).
Blessings of the Temple
“I hope you are using [the temple] constantly, because you will gain blessings there that you cannot gain anywhere else on the face of the whole earth. The temple stands as a monument for all to see. It stands as a statement that we as a people believe in the immortality of the human soul. Everything that occurs in that temple is of an uplifting and ennobling kind, and it speaks of life here and life beyond the grave. It speaks of the importance of the individual as a child of God. It speaks of the importance of the family as a creation of the Almighty. It speaks of the eternity of the marriage relationship. It speaks of going on to greater glory. It is a place of light, a place of peace, a place of love where we deal with the things of eternity. If there is any man here tonight who is not worthy to go into that holy house, I urge you to put your life in order so that you may go there and partake of the unique and wonderful blessings that we have there” (fireside, Taipei, Taiwan, 23 May 1996).
Gospel Incomplete without Ordinances
“The gospel is … only partly here without the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and in order to complete our acceptance of the Church it is necessary that we have this holy house. Let every man and woman, let every boy and girl over 12 years of age resolve that you will come to the house of the Lord—the boys and girls to do baptisms for the dead, and the men and women to receive their endowment, to be sealed in the Lord’s holy house, and then to come back again and again and again” (Recife Brazil Temple groundbreaking ceremony, 15 Nov. 1996).
Education for Youth
“Education is the key that unlocks opportunity. I hope, my dear young friends, that you will not cut short your education for some frivolous reason. It is so very, very important to you, and it is important to the Church because you will make a contribution to society in terms of your capacity and ability to do so. The Church will be honored and respected the more because of the way in which you deport yourselves, having educated your minds and your hands and qualified yourselves for the work of the world” (youth meeting, Kansas City, Missouri, 14 July 1996).
Secularizing of Public Attitudes
“I believe that one of the root causes of the terrible social illnesses that are running rampant among us is the almost total secularizing of our public attitudes. People who carry in their hearts a strong conviction concerning the living reality of the Almighty and of accountability to Him for what we do with our lives and our society are far less likely to become enmeshed in those problems which inevitably weaken our society” (Provo City community centennial service, 4 Aug. 1996).
Effect of the Righteous
“I think we stand in this dispensation like the righteous in the days of the cities of the plains when perhaps the Lord might spare the wicked, some of them, because of the righteous. That places upon us a great and significant burden. That’s why we are here, to make of ourselves more effective instruments, truer warriors under the direction of the Almighty to save His sons and daughters from those things which will destroy them in time and for eternity unless they turn their lives around” (Eugene, Oregon, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 14 Sept. 1996).
“Tithing is not a matter of money so much as it is a matter of faith. We take the Lord at His word, and it is my testimony that He keeps His word. It is He who made the promise. That is not my promise. It is His promise that He will open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings upon you which you will not have room enough to receive” (fireside, Bogotá, Colombia, 8 Nov. 1996).
“We put great emphasis on education. We have an interesting phenomenon in the Church. A recent study showed that the more highly educated our people are, the more active they are in the Church. Now, that’s a significant thing. A lot of people think that religion becomes a place for those who are unlearned and have no stability in their lives, but this study demonstrates that the higher the level of education, the more active they are in the Church, generally speaking. To me, that’s a tremendous thing. It says something of significance” (interview with Lawrence Spicer, London News Service, 28 Aug. 1995).
“If there be any among you who are not having family prayer, let that practice start now, to get on your knees together, if you can possibly do it, every morning and every evening and speak to the Lord and express your thanks, invoke His blessings upon the needy of the earth, and speak to Him concerning your own well-being. I believe that God, our Eternal Father, will hear our prayers, and I urge you to have family prayers. Great blessings will come to your children if you will pray together, calling upon the Lord, expressing your thanks, and presenting before Him the desire of your hearts” (fireside, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 12 Nov. 1996).
Seek Spiritual Roots
“There is much of beauty about [the people of the world], but without the root that finds itself in faith and conviction concerning God and the risen Lord, there isn’t much of real substance when it comes to a crisis or a showdown of some kind. Seek for the real things, not the artificial. Seek for the everlasting truths, not the passing whim. Seek for the eternal things of God, not for that which is here today and gone tomorrow. ‘Look to God and live’ [Alma 37:47], as the scripture enjoins us” (Plano, Texas, regional conference, 17 March 1996).