“The Church will ask you to do many things. It will ask you to serve in various capacities. We do not have a professional ministry. You become the ministry of this Church, and whenever you are called upon to serve, may I urge you to respond, and as you do so, your faith will strengthen and increase. Faith is like the muscle of my arm. If I use it, if I nurture it, it grows strong; it will do many things. But if I put it in a sling and do nothing with it, it will grow weak and useless, and so will it be with you. If you accept every opportunity, if you accept every calling, the Lord will make it possible for you to perform it. The Church will not ask you to do anything which you cannot do with the help of the Lord. God bless you to do everything that you are called upon to do.” 1
Family Home Evening
“Hold your family home evenings. Family home evening was begun by a prophet of the Lord, President Joseph F. Smith, way back in 1915. I can remember when it was begun. I was a little boy five years old, and my father said, ‘President Smith has asked us to hold family home evenings.’ And we did it. It was not easy to do at first. We were more prone to laugh and giggle than we were to be well-behaved. But we did it. I see the fruits of it in my own family and in the families of my grandchildren and in the families of my great-grandchildren. The principle of family solidarity carries with it a conviction of its truth.” 2
Foundation of the Church
“As I see it, there are four great foundation stones on which this Church stands, irremovable. The first, the great First Vision, the visit of the Father and the Son to the boy Joseph Smith, the opening of the heavens in this the dispensation of the fulness of times, the great bringing together of all of the work of God in all the past dispensations throughout the history of the world. The curtain was parted with that First Vision, and it stands as an absolute fundamental in the Church and its history and its well-being.
“The second is the Book of Mormon, a new witness for Jesus Christ, a living testimony of the Redeemer of the world. Five thousand copies were printed in that first edition. This year, I think we will print and distribute about four or five million copies. It goes on and on and on. It grows and grows and grows. Its voice is translated into more and more languages. It stands as something which can be held and read and savored and prayed about and pondered over as the word of the Lord for this dispensation, by people everywhere who will listen to it, read it, pray about it.
“The third is the restoration of the priesthood—this remarkable and wonderful gift of authority in these great latter days, given under the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John, and the keys of that priesthood which came from them and from other visitations, given by the Lord to His people in this dispensation. Without it, we have nothing. It is the power of governance in the Church. It is the authority to speak in the name of God. It is the greatest gift that any man can hold. It will bless his life and the life of his family and the lives of many others, if he will live it and magnify it.
“And the fourth, the sealing ordinances in the house of the Lord, by which we as individuals gain our blessings and then have the privilege of extending them to others, the great work for the dead. No other church in all the world has it, and no other church pretends to have it. And great and tremendous is the mandate which is laid upon us as a people in the exercise of it.” 3
Essence of Missionary Service
“Let me say that we appreciate the truth in all churches and the good which they do. We say to the people, in effect, you bring with you all the good that you have, and then let us see if we can add to it. That is the spirit of this work. That is the essence of our missionary service.” 4
“We can make great strides in the direction of perfection in our personal behavior. We can be perfect in our prayers to our Father in Heaven. There are some things in which it is very difficult to be perfect, but I hope that everyone here, every man and woman and boy and girl, will get on his or her knees night and morning and thank the Lord for His blessings, thank the Lord for His kindness, thank the Lord for every gift that He has given, and pray for strength to do the right thing and remember before the Lord all who are in need and distress. We can be perfect in our prayers, my brothers and sisters.” 5
Recognizing the Spirit
“How do we know the things of the Spirit? How do we know that it is from God? By the fruits of it. If it leads to growth and development, if it leads to faith and testimony, if it leads to a better way of doing things, if it leads to godliness, then it is of God. If it tears us down, if it brings us into darkness, if it confuses us and worries us, if it leads to faithlessness, then it is of the devil.” 6
Meeting, Praia, Cape Verde, 22 February 1998.
Regional conference, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, 15 March 1998.
Salt Lake Bonneville Stake conference, 23 November 1997.
Meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, 17 February 1998.
Regional conference, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 15 February 1998.
Regional conference, Jordan, Utah, 2 March 1997.