President Gordon B. Hinckley gives many talks each year to Saints all around the world. Below are parts of six of those talks. In them, President Hinckley testifies of Christ’s Atonement, the Resurrection, priesthood power, life after death, and the role of temples. He explains how you can help give everyone who ever lived a chance to receive all the blessings of the gospel.
The miracle of [the Savior’s] life is beyond description. He gave that life for each of us on Calvary’s hill in an act of Atonement greater than we can ever really understand. He alone shed His blood for the sins of which we are guilty, that we might have the opportunity of repenting and expecting forgiveness.
This life is part of eternity. This is one stage of our eternal lives. When we die, we will go on to purposeful, active, challenging living. The life on the other side of the veil will be somewhat like the life here. If we have been clean and decent and good here, we will go on in that same spirit. If we have been rascals, we will go in that same spirit. … I believe in the eternity of life … , that this is not the end, that there will be another life, that we will be accountable to God our Father and to our Lord Jesus Christ, that we will have work to do, and that sometime we will all participate in the resurrection. That is my hope, my faith, my testimony.
When you are twelve years of age, you may go to the Lord’s house and there stand as a living proxy (a person with authority to act for another) in behalf of someone who is dead. What a marvelous thing that is that you, an ordinary boy or girl, can stand in the place of some great man or woman who at one time lived upon the earth but who is now powerless to move forward without the blessing that you can give to him or her. … There is no greater blessing that you can have than to stand as a proxy in a great service to those who have gone beyond. And it will be your privilege and your opportunity and your responsibility to live worthy to go to the temple of the Lord and there be baptized in behalf of someone else.
The Lord in His great mercy, the Lord in His love for us, has made it possible for us to be brought together under the authority of the holy priesthood in a relationship which will last beyond death, and over which death will have no control. No great man or woman of government, no military leader, no great businessman, no great educator, no great professional man can make that kind of promise. He may [gain] the highest honors of men, but he will have no control over the destiny of men and women when they pass the threshold of death.
Every temple that this Church has built has … stood as a monument to our belief in the immortality of the human soul, that this … mortal life through which we pass is part of a continuous upward climb, so to speak, and that as certain as there is life here, there will be life there. That is our firm belief. It comes through the Atonement of the Savior, and the temple becomes … the bridge from this life to the next. The temple is concerned with things of immortality. We wouldn’t have to build a temple for marriages if we didn’t believe in the eternity of the family. We build it so family may be eternal. All of the ordinances which take place in the house of the Lord become expressions of our belief in that … basic doctrine. The temple therefore becomes the ultimate in our system of worship.
Live worthy to hold a temple recommend. There is nothing more precious than a temple recommend. … Whether you can go [often] or not, qualify for a temple recommend and keep a recommend in your pocket. It will be a reminder to you of what is expected of you as a Latter-day Saint.
(Ensign, April 2002, pages 2–6.)