Words of the Living Prophet

Insight and counsel from President Gordon B. Hinckley

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    Treat Wives As Greatest Asset

    “My brethren, you will never have in all of your lives a greater asset than the woman into whose eyes you looked as you joined hands over the altar in the house of the Lord. She will be your most precious possession in time or eternity. Respect her as your companion. Respect her and live with honor together, and there will be happiness in your lives.”1

    Disobedient Children

    “Now I know that once in a while, notwithstanding all the things you try to do, there is a rebellious child. But keep at it. Do not ever give up. You have never lost as long as you try. Keep at it.”2

    Learning Opportunities

    “You are all in school. Do not waste your time. This is a time of great opportunity that you will never have again as long as you live. Make the most of it right now. It is wonderfully challenging, it is hard, it is tough. But what a wonderful thing to go and learn of all the accumulated knowledge of all of the centuries of time that is at your disposal. Go on to college or whatever school, vocational school, whatever your choice is. But take advantage of every opportunity that you have, because the Lord has laid upon you a mandate through revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning not only spiritual learning but secular learning, and yours is the responsibility and you can’t afford to waste your time. There is so much to learn. Be smart. Give it the very best that you have.”3

    Power of Prayer

    “How wonderful it is that you get on your knees, you young people, and pray in earnestness night and morning. I congratulate you. Prayer unlocks the powers of heaven in our behalf. Prayer is the great gift which our Eternal Father has given us by which we may approach Him and speak with Him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be prayerful. You cannot make it alone. You cannot reach your potential alone. You need the help of the Lord.”4


    “‘Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly’ [D&C 121:45]. There is so much of filth and lust and pornography in this world. We as Latter-day Saints must rise above it and stand tall against it. You can’t afford to indulge in it. You just cannot afford to indulge in it. You have to keep it out of your heart. Like tobacco it is addictive, and it will destroy those who tamper with it. ‘Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.’”5


    “Some of you have money problems. I know that. There is never enough money in your homes. I know that. You are struggling to get along. What is the cure? The only thing I know of is payment of tithing. Now that doesn’t mean that you will have a Cadillac and a mansion. But it was God who made the promise that He would open the windows of heaven and pour down blessings upon those who walked honestly with Him in the payment of their tithes and offerings, and He has the capacity to keep His promise. It is my testimony that He does keep that promise.”6

    Our Pioneering Effort

    “We are still pioneering. We have never ceased pioneering from the time our people left Nauvoo and came here [to Iowa] and then moved from here up the Elkhorn and the Platte and the Sweetwater, over the highlands of Wyoming and down eventually into the valley of the Great Salt Lake. There was adventure in that. But the purpose of it was to find a place where they could establish themselves and worship God according to the dictates of conscience and afford that same privilege to others whom they invited into their midst. Now we are still reaching out across the world into places that scarcely seemed possible of access a few years ago. We are reaching out everywhere, and that takes pioneering.”7

    Generational Blessing of Converts

    “Every time you bring a convert into this Church you bless a life. Not one life, if he or she remains faithful, but many lives. For that which you do becomes the work of generations yet to come. All of us here are the fruits of missionary work. Our fathers, our grandfathers, our great-grandfathers accepted the testimony of missionaries and came into the Church. We are the beneficiaries. I never look at missionaries that I do not feel inclined to say, you never can foretell the consequences of that which you do in this service.”8

    The Winding-Up Period

    “I want to give you my assurance, my dear friends, the Church will not be led astray nor will its people be led astray. The Lord has said that He has set up His work for the last time. This is the great winding-up period, as it were. The Lord is guiding this Church.”9

    Photograph of President Hinckley by Jed Clark

    Detail from The Handcart Migration over South Pass, by Edward T. Grigware; courtesy of Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming; Jack Richard Collection

    Show References


    1. 1.

      BYU married students’ regional conference, Provo, Utah, 11 February 1996.

    2. 2.

      Regional conference, Oahu, Hawaii, 18 February 1996.

    3. 3.

      Youth meeting, Denver, Colorado, 14 April 1996.

    4. 4.

      Regional conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 28 April 1996.

    5. 5.

      Fireside, Dublin, Ireland, 1 September 1995.

    6. 6.

      Regional conference, Oahu, Hawaii, 18 February 1996.

    7. 7.

      Press conference, Grand Encampment Celebration, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 13 July 1996.

    8. 8.

      Mission conference, Hong Kong, 25 May 1996.

    9. 9.

      Young adult fireside, San Diego, California, 24 March 1996.