Latter-day Counsel: Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley

Gordon B. Hinckley

President of the Church


Gordon B. Hinckley

Devotion

“I see … faith and … devotion among the Latter-day Saints wherever we go—men and women who try to do the right thing … ; men and women who love the Lord; men and women who can bear testimony of His reality and of the reality of His Son, the Redeemer; men and women who know that Joseph Smith had a vision in which he saw God the Eternal Father and the risen Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; men and women who have taken upon themselves in solemn covenant the name of the Lord and who try to live up to that covenant; men and women who pay their tithes and offerings that the work might be moved forward across the world; men and women who live the Word of Wisdom; men and women who go to the temple and do their own work and also ordinances in behalf of the dead. You are great people, my brothers and sisters, you are great people who get on your knees and pray, and that is a very significant thing. The Lord bless you” (meeting, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 8 Aug. 1998).

Testimony of the Godhead

“Do we have a testimony of the God of heaven? You do. I do. God our Eternal Father lives, and what a marvelous thing to know that He lives. He who rules the universe is our individual Father to whom we may speak as a son speaks to his father. Jesus is the Christ, the great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the promised Messiah of the New Testament, our King, our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer who gave His life for each of us. And the Holy Ghost bears testimony in our hearts concerning the Father and the Son” (meeting, Accra, Ghana, 16 Feb. 1998).

“All Are Alike unto God”

“It isn’t who we are or where we live. It is our attitude, our love, our testimonies, our faith, our conviction, that make a difference. In 2 Nephi it says, ‘He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile’ (2 Ne. 26:33).

“We are all sons and daughters of God. He is our Eternal Father. He loves us. He wants to do for us that which we earn, as a matter of fact. He wants to help us, if we will bend our will to His and do what He will have us do” (meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, 17 Feb. 1998).

Family

“We place very strong emphasis on the family. We feel there is no substitute for a family consisting of father and mother and children, with children growing up in a home where there is a loving father and a loving mother to teach them and lead them on their way. We strongly emphasize the sanctity of the family. We have a program under which we spend one evening a week in what we call a family home evening, wherein parents teach their children. We believe great good comes from that. No nation is stronger than its families. If you want to improve the nation, you improve the family. The family is the basic unit of society, and we so regard it” (media interview, Praia, Cape Verde Islands, 21 Feb. 1998).

Worthy of the Priesthood

“In this Church, every man who lives a worthy life may be ordained to the holy priesthood. And with that ordination comes a tremendous responsibility. You men who hold the priesthood of God, are you living worthy of it? Are you living in such a way that the power of the Almighty may be expressed through you? Are you the kind of husband that you ought to be to your wife? Do you speak to her with kindness, respect, and love? The greatest thing you will ever have in this life is the companionship of your beloved wife. Never abuse her. Never speak down to her. Always lift her up and sustain her. Let every woman be able to say, ‘I am so grateful for my husband, whom I love and who I know loves me.’ Are you worthy as one who holds the priesthood to lay hands on the heads of the sick, to anoint them with consecrated oil, to give them a blessing for the restoration of their health? Are you living in such a way? Are you keeping sin out of your lives to be worthy of this marvelous power? Are you worthy, as those who hold the priesthood, to participate in the governance of the Church, to serve in whatever capacity you may be called to serve, and to give it your very best effort?

“You young men who are here, you have received the Aaronic Priesthood. Are you living worthy of that priesthood, keeping your lives clean and doing the right things, ‘that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world’? (D&C 1:20)” (meeting, Vava’u, Tonga, 15 Oct. 1997).

Learn by Study and by Faith

“I hope you [young people] will get all the education that you can get. I hope that if it involves sacrifice, you will get all the education you can get. The Lord has laid a mandate upon the people of this Church that they should learn by study and by faith (see D&C 88:118), that they should seek not only after spiritual knowledge, which is most important, but that they should seek after secular knowledge. You will bring honor to this Church if you will educate your minds and your hands, if you will remain true and faithful as you go into the world. The people of the world will honor you and respect you for your qualifications, and you will bring honor to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 6 Aug. 1998).

Youth, Be Worthy of Temple Marriage

“Now, don’t you ever do anything, you boys and girls, don’t you ever do anything which would take from you the opportunity of going to the house of the Lord, there at some time to be joined in marriage to a worthy companion. That is a most precious thing that cannot be had by any other people, except they repent and be baptized and become members of this Church. God bless you to grow in faith and to avoid the filthy, terrible sleaze that is all around you, to turn away from it and live above it, to stay away from beer and anything of that kind which is made so tempting for you. You are a generation of sons and daughters of God. Never forget it. Never forget it, my dear young friends. Never forget it” (Salt Lake Holladay regional conference, 8 Feb. 1998).

Worldly Influences

“There is pollution in our society. It is all about us. It is sweeping across the world like a flood destroying people. My beloved brothers and sisters, stay away from it. Stay away from this sleazy pollution. Stay away from anything which tears you down and makes you less than what you ought to be” (meeting, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 5 Aug. 1998).

Member Retention

“Every convert to this Church needs and deserves someone to put an arm around him or her and make a friend. Every convert who comes into this Church needs work to do. Time and effort offer people growth. Every convert in this Church needs someone to answer his or her questions. … Face up to it! Let us reach out to these people! Let us befriend them! Let us be kind to them! Let us encourage them! Let us add to their faith and their knowledge of this, the work of the Lord” (meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 4 Aug. 1998).

Tithing

“The Lord has said that to those who pay their tithes and offerings, He will open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings that there shall not be room enough to receive them (see Mal. 3:10). What a wonderful thing it is really, when all is said and done, to be living honestly with the Lord in our payment of tithes and offerings. You wouldn’t cheat one another. You shouldn’t cheat the Lord. It does not work. I didn’t make the promise concerning it. He made it, and it is my testimony to you that He keeps His promise” (meeting, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, 5 Aug. 1998).

Gratitude

“I feel so profoundly grateful in my heart for the blessings of our Heavenly Father. How good and kind and generous and wonderful He has been to us, as His sons and daughters. How thankful we ought to be every day of our lives for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that the God of Heaven and His Beloved Son parted the curtains and opened the work in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times, and brought about a restoration of all previous dispensations. All of the great doctrine, all of the great practices of earlier dispensations in this, the greatest of all dispensations. How thankful we ought to be that somehow the Lord in His kindness and goodness and mercy to us has made it possible for us to enjoy these blessings” (meeting, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, 5 Aug. 1998).