Joseph Smith (1805–44) First President of the Church
“Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race” (History of the Church, 4:227).
Wilford Woodruff (1807–98) Fourth President of the Church
“The community whose hearts are open to the cries of distress, who are ready to administer of the substance which the Lord gives them to relieve their fellow creatures, may always depend upon the favor of the Lord, for He loves those who are kind to their fellow-men, and who administer to their necessities, whose hearts are tender, and who readily respond to applications of this character which are made upon them, or who anticipate them by giving freely to the destitute” (in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [1965-75], 3:141).
Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901) Fifth President of the Church
“We should renew our covenants before God and the holy angels, that we will, God being our helper, serve him more faithfully during the ensuing year than we have in the past, that our public and private life, our actions and the spirit and influence we wield may be in keeping with the motto, ‘The Kingdom of God or nothing’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1880, 81).
David O. McKay (1873–1970) Ninth President of the Church
“A single, struggling individual may be stalled with his heavy load even as he begins to climb the hill before him. To reach the top unaided is an impossibility. With a little help from fellow travelers he makes the grade and goes on his way in gratitude and rejoicing” (Pathways to Happiness, comp. Llewelyn R. McKay , 131).
Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) Eleventh President of the Church
“If you want to love God, you have to learn to love and serve the people. That is the way you show your love for God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1973, 180).
Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) Twelfth President of the Church
“My life is like my shoes—to be worn out in service” (as quoted in Gordon B. Hinckley, “He Is at Peace,” Ensign, Dec. 1985, 41).
“None of us should become so busy in our formal Church assignments that there is no room left for quiet Christian service to our neighbors” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 256).
Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–) Fifteenth President of the Church
“No man can be a true Latter-day Saint who is unneighborly, who does not reach out to assist and help others. It is inherent in the very nature of the gospel that we do so. My brothers and sisters, we cannot live unto ourselves” (meeting, Columbus, Ohio, Apr. 25, 1998).
“Carry on! We’ve got a lot of work to do, a tremendous responsibility. We’ve barely scratched the surface, when all is said and done. … I hope we can be increasingly recognized as men and women of goodwill who want to make of the world a better place” (interview with Deseret News, Feb. 25, 2000).