Words of the Living Prophet

Insight and counsel from President Gordon B. Hinckley

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    Strengthen One Another as Youth

    “Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your efforts in hanging together, as it were, of going to institute, going to seminary, partaking of the blessings that are to be had there, not only in the teaching of the gospel but in the society in which you can mingle. I want to say to you, look for your friends among members of the Church. Band together and strengthen one another. And when the time of temptation comes you will have someone to lean on to bless you and give you strength when you need it. That is what this Church is for—so that we can help one another in our times of weakness to stand on our feet tall and straight and true and good.”1

    Love the Gospel

    “I encourage you to go forward and live the gospel and love the gospel. Make it a part of your lives, this great and glorious thing which has come to us through the providence of the Almighty, to be a part of His great Church and kingdom, which is growing and moving over the earth. Live the gospel. Love the gospel. Read the scriptures. You will not get a testimony of the Book of Mormon unless you read the Book of Mormon. You will not get a testimony of the Doctrine and Covenants unless you read the Doctrine and Covenants. Faith comes of drinking at the fountain of eternal truth.”2

    Family Home Evening

    “We are trying to preserve the traditional family—father, mother, and children—working together in love toward a common goal. In large measure we are succeeding against great odds. We advocate a family home evening, for instance, one night a week reserved for family activity together. Lessons from the scriptures are taught. Family business is discussed. Vacations are planned. We sing together. We pray together. It works!”3

    Serving Missions

    “Boys, be good! Do what is right at all times. Do not let anything at anytime get in the way of your going on a mission. You will bless your own life, you will bless the home from which you go, and you will bless all who listen to your message as missionaries. So be good. Choose the right at all times, and the Lord will bless you and magnify you and use you to accomplish His purposes.”4

    Dealing with Death

    “All of us have to deal with death at one time or another, but to have in one’s heart a solid conviction concerning the reality of eternal life is to bring a sense of peace in an hour of tragedy that can come from no other source under the heavens.”5

    Vicarious Work

    “I think that vicarious work for the dead more nearly approaches the vicarious sacrifice of the Savior Himself than any other work of which I know. It is given with love, without hope of compensation or repayment or anything of the kind. What a glorious principle.”6


    “Everyone has a bishop. I tell you it is a marvelous system, and I cannot say enough in tribute to the great bishops of this Church, who serve without any compensation except the compensation that comes of the love of the people and the good commendation of the Lord whom they serve. Thank you ever so much, and may you be blessed with inspiration and faith and health and strength and vitality and energy and wisdom beyond your own to do that which the Lord would have you do.”7

    Our Responsibility as Children of God

    “Brothers and sisters, tremendous is our responsibility and great and marvelous is our opportunity as sons and daughters of God. Every one of us is a child of God. We know that. Let us never forget that we are children of God at all times and in all circumstances and in all conditions and in all environments in which we might find ourselves and that there is never a time or a season or a circumstance when we can let down on our standards.”8

    Photograph by Jed Clark

    Photograph by Craig Dimond

    Show References


    1. 1.

      Regional conference, Eugene, Oregon, 15 September 1996.

    2. 2.

      Salt Lake Sugar House Stake conference, 5 January 1997.

    3. 3.

      Media luncheon, Washington, D.C., 2 December 1996.

    4. 4.

      Fireside, Recife, Brazil, 15 November 1996.

    5. 5.

      Regional conference, Plano, Texas, 17 March 1996.

    6. 6.

      Fireside, Birmingham, England, 29 August 1995.

    7. 7.

      Regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, Eugene, Oregon, 14 September 1996.

    8. 8.

      Regional conference, Smithfield-Logan, Utah, 21 April 1996.