“Remember Who You Are”

N. Eldon Tanner


I am very happy to be with you this afternoon. I have felt that this is one of the finest conferences I have ever attended. Probably we needed the Spirit of the Lord here in our President’s absence, and it has certainly been here. I want to congratulate the speakers, and express my appreciation to this lovely choir.

As we have attended sessions in this conference, we have been informed, we have been advised, we have been counseled in what we should do as members of the Church. When I was with President David O. McKay and he was not able to attend conference, he said, “President Tanner, you remind those people who they are and to act accordingly.” This “acting accordingly” is very important to me.

When I remind people who they are, I express some of our articles of faith. First, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” (A of F 1:1) Now, we believe that. But I wonder how we would act if we realized every day that we are spirit children of God and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. Would we do some of the things we do? Would we do them more emphatically, or would we not do them at all? We have had that Spirit with us today. And I would like to say that the thing that appeals to me and seems more necessary than anything else in the gospel is that we live every day the teachings of the Lord. I ask you to remind people who they are and ask them to act accordingly. If we act accordingly, we will be keeping the commandments of God.

We say, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father.” Do we really believe that he is the Father of our spirit, and act accordingly? We say, “We believe in … His Son, Jesus Christ.” Do we really believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and act accordingly? Would we live the way we do if we were conscious of that all the time?

We say, “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.” (A of F 1:13) Are we honest every day? True, chaste, benevolent, and virtuous? Are we, brethren and sisters of this Church, living that in our homes, with our children, with our neighbors, in our businesses? What a tremendous thing it would be if we were doing that and being conscious of it at all times!

I would just like to give you an example of what I’m thinking of. (It may not be as good as some that I have used before.) I was invited when I was with the Alberta, Canadian government to go down to Dallas, Texas, to speak to a large group of oilmen. I was introduced by the governor of Texas. As he introduced me, he said I had been a bishop in the Mormon church and I was now president of the Edmonton, Canada Branch. He said, “I’d like to tell you men that anybody who is worthy to be a bishop in that church needs no other introduction as far as I am concerned.” He wasn’t complimenting me, but those whom he knew who were members of the Church and holding office there and were dependable. I thought, “What a wonderful thing it would be if each returned missionary could say, ‘I am a returned missionary in good standing,’ and it could be said of him, ‘You need no other introduction.’”

How wonderful it would be for every holder of the priesthood if he knew that the Lord knew he could count on him because of the way he lived. I’d like to say today that it is a tremendous responsibility for members of this church to so live that others, seeing their good works, can be led to glorify the Lord’s name. We must do so every day! If this church, this four million people plus—everyone who is living the gospel or the gospel principles—were honest, honorable, and upright in their dealings and could be depended on in every way, that is all the introduction we should need.

I pray as we leave this conference that each one of us who has had a feeling that he would like to do better from now on will turn that feeling into action; that each of us will be honest and be a full tithe-payer; that we will prepare ourselves to go to the temple where we can be married for time and all eternity and have our families sealed to us.

My appeal to you today, brothers and sisters, is that all of us who desire to be better will go home with that determination and do it the rest of our lives, that we might be an example of good, an influence for good, and a great strength to the Church. That is my prayer for us, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.