Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: Set upon a Hill


Gordon B. Hinckley
From “A City Set upon a Hill,” Tambuli, Nov. 1990, 2–8; Ensign, July 1990, 2–5.

Set upon a Hill

President Hinckley teaches us that we can be an example to the world if we live the standards of the Church.

I shall always remember the great experiences I had at the open house prior to the dedication of the Washington D.C. Temple. For part of a week, I stood in the entrance to the temple as a host to special guests. Those guests included the wife of the president of the United States, justices of the Supreme Court, senators and congressmen, ambassadors from various nations, clergymen, educators, and business leaders.

Almost without exception, those who came were appreciative and respectful. Many were deeply touched in their hearts. Upon leaving the temple, the wife of the president of the United States commented: “This is a truly great experience for me. … It’s an inspiration to all.”

One day while riding in the traffic in Washington, D.C., I looked with wonder at the gleaming spires of the Lord’s house rising heavenward from a hill in the woods. Words of scripture came into my mind, words spoken by the Lord as He taught the people. Said He:

“A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14–16; emphasis added).

This entire people has become as a city upon a hill which cannot be hid. The world expects something better of us. It is not always easy to live in the world and not be a part of it. We have a responsibility to take our places in the world. We can be gracious. We can be inoffensive. We can avoid any spirit or attitude of self-righteousness. But we can maintain our standards.

As we observe standards taught by the Church, many in the world will respect us and find strength to follow that which they too know is right.

Illustrated by Steve Kropp