“We recognize the good in all people. We recognize the good in all churches, in their efforts to improve mankind and to teach principles that lead to good, stable, productive living. To people everywhere we simply say, ‘You bring with you all the good that you have, and let us add to it. That is the principle on which we work’” (interview with Philippines Television, 30 April 1996).
The Church and Politics
“The Church does not endorse any political party or any political candidate, nor does it permit the use of Church buildings and facilities for political purposes. We believe that the Church should remain out of politics unless there is a moral question at issue. And in the case of a moral issue we would expect to speak out on our view. But, in the matter of everyday political considerations, we try to remain aloof from those as a Church, while at the same time urging our members, as citizens, to exercise their political franchise as individuals. And we believe, likewise, that it is in the interest of good government to permit freedom of worship, freedom of religion. Our official statement says, ‘We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may’ [A of F 1:11]” (press conference, Tokyo, Japan, 18 May 1996).
Our Accountability to God
“I thank the Lord for the root of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is where we draw our strength. That is the source of our faith. That is the source of our understanding of things divine. That is the thing which brings purpose to our lives. …
“We are sons and daughters of God, our Eternal Father. Did you ever stop to think of what that means, that each of us has something of divinity within ourselves? It does not matter the color of our skin or the color of our hair. Each of us comes into this world with a divine birthright as sons and daughters of God. And as certainly as we are sons and daughters of God, someday we will have to account to Him for the way we lived our lives. Will we be just a beautiful rose for a day or two, or will we be planted in the eternal truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ? My brothers and sisters, how thankful I am for the gospel of Jesus Christ into which we can sink our roots and partake of the strength that comes therefrom. Life is purposeful under those circumstances. Life becomes a mission more than a career. We have more to do than to earn a living. We must live to serve” (fireside, Fukuoka, Japan, 19 May 1996).
Blessing of the Priesthood
“What a marvelous blessing that every man who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood can lay his hands upon the heads of his wife and his children when they need a blessing. And to the women who are here, I wish to say this: Great is your blessing in the priesthood which your husbands hold. Every man who lives and honors the priesthood will be a better husband, will be a better father, will be a better man. How wonderful that in the restoration of the work of the Lord one of the great purposes was that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world” (fireside, Pusan, Korea, 21 May 1996).
Our Sacred Responsibility
“What a responsibility we have! The whole fate of the world depends on us, according to the revelations of the Almighty. We cannot waste time. We cannot be unrighteous in our living. We cannot let our thoughts dwell on immoral things. We have to be the very best that we can be, you and I, because the very relationship of God our Eternal Father to His children on the earth depends on their accepting what we have come to teach according to His magnificent word” (conference, Taiwan Taipei Mission, 24 May 1996).
Marry within the Faith
“You young men, fall in love with Latter-day Saint girls. And you young women, fall in love with Latter-day Saint boys. You will be happier if you do so. You will be happier because you will understand one another and appreciate one another’s values, and you will be grateful all of your days if you will do that” (fireside, Cebu City, Philippines, 31 May 1996).
Solution for Poverty
“I have wept as I have seen the poverty and the suffering of the people in this part of the earth. My heart reaches out to them. I do not know what the solution is, except the gospel of Jesus Christ. I think it is the only thing that will help them and bless their lives. If they, even living in poverty and misery, can look to God with hope and faith it will sustain them in their hours of sorrow. Furthermore, I believe with all my heart that if they will accept the gospel and live it, pay their tithes and offerings, even though those be meager, the Lord will keep His ancient promise in their behalf, and they will have rice in their bowls and clothing on their backs and shelter over their heads, I do not see any other solution. They need a power greater than any earthly power to lift them and help them” (missionary meeting, Philippines Cebu Mission, 1 June 1996).