Words of the Living Prophet

Insight and counsel from President Gordon B. Hinckley

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    What the Church Expects of Its Members

    “Now the Lord expects wonderful things of you. The Church expects wonderful things of you. [One,] we expect that every member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will have a testimony that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. If you do not have such a testimony, you can get one. Two, [the Church] expects each of you to be loyal to the priesthood. No officer of this Church through the First Presidency, to the Quorum of the Twelve, to the Seventy, aspired to that office. Three, we are expected to live the Word of Wisdom, to refrain from alcoholic drinks, to refrain from the use of tobacco, to refrain from the use of tea and coffee. Four, the Church expects us to pay our tithing. Marvelous are the promises of God to those who live this law. Five, every man ought to regard his wife as a daughter of God, a daughter who is his equal, with whom he walks side by side. Marvelous is that concept that does not place a woman in an inferior position. One great man said a father can do nothing better for his children than to let them see that he loves their mother. Brethren, treat your wives with love and respect and kindness. And wives, you treat your husbands with love and respect and kindness. Six, the Church expects you to attend your sacrament meetings, there to make your contribution to the spirit of the meeting, there to partake of the sacrament, and there to renew your covenants with the Lord.”1

    Secularization of Society

    “My great concern, my great interest, is that we preserve for the generations to come those wondrous elements of our society and manner of living that will bequeath to them the strengths and the goodness of which we have been the beneficiaries. But I worry as I see some of the signs of sickness of which I have spoken. I believe that a significant factor in the decay we observe about us comes of a forsaking of the God whom our fathers knew, loved, worshiped, and looked to for strength. There is a plainly discernible secularization that is occurring. Its consequences are a deterioration of family life, a weakening of self-discipline, a scoffing at the thought of accountability unto the Almighty, and an unbecoming arrogance for any people who have been so richly blessed through the goodness of a generous Providence as we have been.”2

    Parental Duties

    “Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. Now, love them, take care of them. Fathers, control your tempers, now and in all the years to come. Mothers, control your voices; keep them down. Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried. Never forget that.”3

    Mission Service

    “I hope that every young man has a mission on his list of goals. I hope that you will not let anything get in the way of that. The Lord needs you. He needs your help. He needs your strength. He needs your voice. We are all the Lord has to do His work, and we must work at it and work together to accomplish His divine purposes.”4

    The Work Is Moving Forward

    “The work of the Lord is moving on. It is moving because of the faith of the people. The Savior gave us a mandate to teach the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. We are now established in over 150 nations, and wherever we go there are great and good leaders who hold the priesthood, women of great faith and capacity, young people who sing like angels in choirs, people who pray, people who live the Word of Wisdom, people who pay their tithing, people who have in their hearts a testimony of the divinity of this work.”5

    Photograph by Jed Clark

    Photograph by Steve Bunderson

    Show References


    1. 1.

      Fireside, São Paulo, Brazil, 14 November 1996.

    2. 2.

      Community centennial service, Provo, Utah, 4 August 1996.

    3. 3.

      Salt Lake University Third Stake conference, 3 November 1996.

    4. 4.

      Youth meeting, Kansas City, Missouri, 14 July 1996.

    5. 5.

      Regional conference, Osaka, Japan, 19 May 1996.