98901_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.
“If there is any question in anyone’s mind about the divinity of this work, let him ponder the importance of the universality of the richest fruits of the Atonement. Resurrection, yes, through the grace of God to all men, but beyond that the magnificent concept of exaltation and eternal life through acceptance and living the principles of the gospel. How thankful I feel about this matter” (fireside, Nottingham, England, 30 Aug. 1995).
Love the Gospel
“I encourage you to go forward and live the gospel and love the gospel. Make it a part of your lives, this great and glorious thing which has come to us through the providence of the Almighty, to be a part of His great Church and kingdom, which is growing and moving over the earth. Live the gospel. Love the gospel. Read the scriptures. You will not get a testimony of the Book of Mormon unless you read the Book of Mormon. You will not get a testimony of the Doctrine and Covenants unless you read the Doctrine and Covenants. Faith comes of drinking at the fountain of eternal truth” (Salt Lake Sugar House Stake conference, 5 Jan. 1997).
“I want to say to every one of you, to every man, woman, and child who has been baptized, that you have taken upon yourself a very serious responsibility in being baptized, an obligation to live the gospel all the days of your life, to be the kind of man or woman that you ought to be. I just have such tremendous respect for you. Be faithful. Be true. Love the Lord. Love the gospel. Say your prayers night and morning; get on your knees and pray to your Father in Heaven and ask Him for His precious blessings” (fireside, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, 21 Jan. 1997).
Be a Leader in Honorable Causes
“I urge you with all the capacity that I have to reach out in a duty that stands beyond the requirements of our everyday lives; that is, to stand strong, even to become a leader in speaking up in behalf of those causes which make our civilization shine and which give comfort and peace to our lives. You can be a leader. You must be a leader, as a member of this Church, in those causes for which this Church stands. Do not let fear overcome your efforts, for as Paul wrote to Timothy: ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’ (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear comes not from God but from the evil one. The adversary of all truth would put into your heart a reluctance to make an effort. Cast that fear aside and be valiant in the cause of truth and righteousness and faith. If you now decide that this will become the pattern of your life, you will not have to make that decision again. You will put on the ‘armour of God’ and raise your voice in defense of truth, whatever the circumstances now and in all the years that lie ahead (see Eph. 6:11)” (Brigham Young University devotional, Marriott Center, 17 Sept. 1996).
Be Good for Something
“You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others. …
“In this world so filled with problems, so constantly threatened by dark and evil challenges, you can and must rise above mediocrity, above indifference. You can become involved and speak with a strong voice for that which is right” (Brigham Young University devotional, Marriott Center, 17 Sept. 1996).
Family Home Evening
“We are trying to preserve the traditional family—father, mother, and children—working together in love toward a common goal. In large measure we are succeeding against great odds. We advocate a family home evening, for instance, one night a week reserved for family activity together. Lessons from the scriptures are taught. Family business is discussed. Vacations are planned. We sing together. We pray together. It works!” (media luncheon, Washington, D.C., 2 Dec. 1996).
Rear Children in Righteousness
“Fathers, mothers, you have nothing more precious than the little children to whom you have given life. Take care of them. Teach them. Love them. Rear them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. God will hold those accountable who do not do so” (fireside, San Salvador, El Salvador, 23 Jan. 1997).
“You cannot tamper with illegal drugs. We cannot afford to tamper with those things. Our bodies are the temples of our spirits. They are sacred. These are the creation of the Almighty. Man was formed in the image of God. As His son, as His daughter, we ought to take care of our bodies. Let us work with our children, teach our people, to not become shackled and enslaved by drugs which take possession until the individual no longer has power over himself and cannot control his own destiny. They are wrong; they are not good” (Charlotte, North Carolina, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 24 Feb. 1996).
Loyalty to Others and the Church
“My brethren and sisters, we must be loyal. We cannot be found on the sidelines carping and criticizing and finding fault with one another. We must help one another with each other’s burdens. We must share the sorrows of one another. We must rejoice with one another in our victories. We must be loyal to the Church against all its enemies” (Church Educational System fireside, Brigham Young University, 2 Feb. 1997).
Help the Convert
“Every one of us has an obligation to fellowship those [converts], to put our arms around them, to bring them into the Church in full activity. It is not enough just to go to church on Sundays; we must reach out each day. I wish with all my heart that in Costa Rica every man, woman, and child who was baptized would remain faithful and active. And that can happen if all of you make up your minds to reach out and help the new convert. There is no point in the missionaries baptizing people, only to have them come into the Church for a little while and then drift off. You have remained faithful, and I thank you for that but again urge that you make an extra effort to reach out to those who have recently been baptized. They cannot do it alone. They are not strong enough yet. They need your help. God bless you to fellowship the new convert. That is so very, very important. That is a principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only as we reach out to help others are we truly Latter-day Saints” (fireside, San José, Costa Rica, 20 Jan. 1997).
“I have been looking at these little boys along the front row and thinking of when they will be missionaries. It will not take very many years before they are out preaching the gospel, and that will be wonderful. Boys, be good! Do what is right at all times. Do not let anything at any time get in the way of your going on a mission. You will bless your own life, you will bless the home from which you go, and you will bless all who listen to your message as missionaries. So be good. Choose the right at all times, and the Lord will bless you and magnify you and use you to accomplish His purposes” (fireside, Recife, Brazil, 15 Nov. 1996).
Dealing with Death
“All of us have to deal with death at one time or another, but to have in one’s heart a solid conviction concerning the reality of eternal life is to bring a sense of peace in an hour of tragedy that can come from no other source under the heavens” (Plano, Texas, regional conference, 17 Mar. 1996).
“I think that vicarious work for the dead more nearly approaches the vicarious sacrifice of the Savior Himself than any other work of which I know. It is given with love, without hope of compensation, or repayment or anything of the kind. What a glorious principle” (fireside in Birmingham, England, 29 Aug. 1995).
“Everyone has a bishop. I tell you it is a marvelous system, and I cannot say enough in tribute to the great bishops of this Church, who serve without any compensation except the compensation that comes of the love of the people and the good commendation of the Lord whom they serve. Thank you ever so much, and may you be blessed with inspiration and faith and health and strength and vitality and energy and wisdom beyond your own to do that which the Lord would have you do” (Eugene, Oregon, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 14 Sept. 1996).
Our Responsibility As Children of God
“Brothers and sisters, tremendous is our responsibility and great and marvelous is our opportunity as sons and daughters of God. Every one of us is a child of God. We know that. Let us never forget that we are children of God at all times and in all circumstances and in all conditions and in all environments in which we might find ourselves and that there is never a time or a season or a circumstance when we can let down on our standards” (Smithfield-Logan, Utah, regional conference, 21 Apr. 1996).