“My Heritage Is Choice,” Ensign, Nov. 1975, 100
Brothers and sisters, I finally realized how General Custer must have felt. …
I want you to know that it is a great honor and privilege to be in your presence today, and in the presence of our Prophet, and all those that assist him in the kingdom of God.
I am proud to declare to you today, brothers and sisters, that I am a descendant of Lehi, Nephi, and all the great Book of Mormon prophets. I am proud to be a child of the Book of Mormon people. I have found my true heritage; I have found my true identity. I am a son of God, a child of God, a child of the Book of Mormon, a child of Lehi, a rich heritage that extends all the way back to my Heavenly Father, through Moses, and Abraham, and other great prophets.
I am also proud to be a descendant of great Indian chiefs of our country. I am proud to be a descendant of Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, Chee Dodge, Chief Crazy Horse and all these great Indian chiefs that did so well as leaders of their people. I want you to know that these men were great. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are all in paradise; and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them are converted, and maybe some of them are on the fourth missionary discussion. I am proud of my rich heritage.
To you my people, the Lamanite people, on Indian reservations and in the cities of our country and through the islands of the sea, I want you to know that Jesus Christ is our Elder Brother. He is our Savior. He is our Redeemer.
We have a choice heritage. I want you to know, you Lamanite people, that Heavenly Father loves you. Jesus Christ, your Elder Brother, loves you. He has died for you. He has sacrificed his life to overcome our sins. He conquered death for each of you and every man on earth. He lives and is God of this earth.
To you in the Church throughout the world I declare that the time has come to lay aside our differences, to join hands as children of God. We have a great job to do, to bring many more choice spirits of our Heavenly Father into his kingdom, all over the world. The time has come for all of us to be 365-days-a-year Latter-day Saints, and seven-day-a-week Latter-day Saints, and not just Saints on Sunday only. The Lord has need of every Latter-day Saint to be a missionary, to bring others into his Church.
The time has come, brothers and sisters, to realize that we have no guarantee to the celestial kingdom. Just because we are members of his Church does not give us a guarantee to the celestial kingdom—only if we endure to the end and are faithful until he comes again.
To you, my brothers and sisters in the world, who are still searching for truth, who deny the existence of God, I give you two challenges. I challenge you to find another church, another organization, another way of life that has twelve apostles, that has a prophet, that is run by revelation, that baptizes by immersion and one that has priesthood. You will find there is no other church, there is no other way that is like the church we have. We have the same church that Jesus Christ organized anciently on this very soil and also in the Bible lands.
That is my first challenge to you. My second challenge to you is to look around you. What do you see? You see a beautiful creation, the handiwork of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
He has done so many wonderful things for us. How can we deny, as intelligent as we are, the existence of a God, and Jesus Christ? The greatest witness of Jesus Christ is right before your very eyes—the trees, the grass, the universe, the moon, the sun.
Can any mortal man create human beings?
Can any mortal man create the grass, the universe, the sun, the moon, the rain, the snow, the trees, the very food we eat?
Can any mortal man create such a beautiful world as we see and live in today?
How can we as scientists and learned men deny the existence of God and Jesus Christ when right before our very eyes we see existing a beautiful creation with order, precision, and exactness? No mortal man can duplicate what we see. This is enough to tell all of us that there is a divine God, a divine Christ—even Jesus Christ. He lives! He is the Creator of this world. The gospel is his plan. This is his way of life.
All of us must realize that when we die and go to paradise, if we make it there, that as Americans you will not find United States in paradise.
You might as well realize that we are all going to the same place. As an Indian I will not find an Indian reservation in paradise. As a Hopi, you will not find a Hopi reservation. As a Japanese you will not find Japan in paradise. As Chinese, you will not find China in paradise. Let’s live together as children of God. We are all brothers and sisters. We will all go to the same place if we are righteous, and if we endure to the end. There is no United States, there is no Navajo reservation, nor any way of life, except God’s, in paradise.
God lives. Jesus Christ lives, brothers and sisters. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.