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Full text of "Conference reports of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"

Official Report of the 
One Hundred Fifty-ninth 
Semiannual General 

CONFERENCE 

of The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints 

held in the Tabernacle 
Salt Lake City, Utah 



September 30 and October 1, 1989 



Official Report 
of the 

One Hundred Fifty-ninth 
Semiannual General Conference 



of 

The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints 



held in the Tabernacle 
Salt Lake City, Utah 
September 30 and October 1, 1989 



Published by 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
Salt Lake City, Utah 



Copyright © 1 990 Corporation of the President 

of 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

All Rights Reserved 
Printed in tine United States of America 



THE ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-NINTH 
SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE 
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST 
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS 



The 159th Semiannual General Con- 
ference of The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints convened in the Taber- 
nacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake 
City, Utah, on Saturday, September 30, 
1989, at 10:00 a.m. 

The general sessions of the confer- 
ence were held at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. 
on Saturday and Sunday, September 30 
and October 1, 1989. The general priest- 
hood session was held in the Tabernacle 
on Saturday, September 30, 1989, at 
6:00 P.M. 

President Ezra Taft Benson presided 
at all sessions of the conference. Presi- 
dent Gordon B. Hinckley, First Coun- 
selor in the First Presidency, conducted 
the Saturday morning, general priest- 
hood, and Sunday afternoon sessions. 
President Thomas S. Monson, Second 
Counselor in the First Presidency, con- 
ducted the Saturday afternoon and Sun- 
day morning sessions. 

Television and radio stations carried 
portions or all of some of the conference 
sessions to large audiences throughout the 
world. In addition, the general sessions 
and priesthood session were carried via 
satellite transmission to more than one 
thousand stake centers. The general 
priesthood session was also carried by 
closed-circuit transmission to approxi- 
mately nine hundred locations in many 
countries. 

General Authorities present 

The following General Authorities 
of the Church attended one or more of the 
general sessions: 

The First Presidency: Ezra Taft 
Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and 
Thomas S. Monson 

The Council of the Twelve: Howard 
W. Hunter, Boyd K. Packer, Marvin J. 
Ashton, L. Tom Perry, David B. Haight, 
James E. Faust, Neal A. Maxwell, 
Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, 
M. Russell Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin, 
and Richard G. Scott 



The Presidency of the Seventy: 
Dean L. Larsen, Marion D. Hanks, 
Robert L. Backman, James M. Paramore, 
J. Richard Clarke, Rex D. Pinegar, and 
Carlos E. Asay 

The First Quorum of the Seventy: 
Angel Abrea, William R. Bradford, Ted 
E. Brewerton, F. Enzio Busche, John K. 
Carmack, Joe J. Christensen, Gene R. 
Cook, Derek A. Cuthbert, Jacob de 
Jager, Charles Didier, Loren C. Dunn, 
Vaughn J. Featherstone, Jack H. 
Goaslind, John H. Groberg, W. Eugene 
Hansen, Jeffrey R. Holland, F. Burton 
Howard, Marlin K. Jensen, Yoshihiko 
Kikuchi, Adney Y. Komatsu, H. Burke 
Peterson, Hugh W. Pinnock, Ronald E. 
Poelman, Hartman Rector, Jr., Hans B. 
Ringger, and Robert E. Wells 

The Second Quorum of the Seventy: 
Carlos H. Amado, H. Verlan Andersen, 
Benjamin B. Banks, Monte J. Brough, 
Waldo P. Call, Helio da Rocha Camargo, 
George I. Cannon, Albert Choules, Jr., 
Spencer J. Condie, Lloyd P. George, 
Francis M. Gibbons, F. Melvin Ham- 
mond, George R. Hill 111, Malcolm S. 
Jeppsen, L. Lionel Kendrick, John R. 
Lasater, Richard P. Lindsay, Merlin 
R. Lybbert, Douglas J. Martin, Gerald 
E. Melchin, Alexander B. Morrison, 
L. Aldin Porter, Glen L. Rudd, Gardner 
H. Russell, Robert E. Sackley, Doug- 
las H. Smith, Lynn A. Sorensen, and 
Horacio A. Tenorio 

The Presiding Bishopric: Robert D. 
Hales, Henry B. Eyring, and Glenn L. 
Pace 

General Authorities Emeritus: 
Eldred G. Smith, Joseph Anderson, Wm. 
Grant Bangerter, Bernard P. Brockbank, 
Victor L. Brown, Theodore M. Burton, 
Royden G. Derrick, J. Thomas Fyans, 
Rex C. Reeve, Sr., Sterling W. Sill, and 
Robert L. Simpson' 



'Elders Paul H. Dunn and John H. 
Vandenberg were excused due to illness. 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



2 

Saturday, September 30 

Other authorities present 

Other Church authorities in atten- 
dance included Regional Representatives, 
presidents of stakes and their counselors, 
presidents of temples, bishops of wards. 



Firs! Day 

and presidencies and members of the 
Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood 
quorums. 

Many general, stake, and ward 
auxiliary officers also attended. 



FIRST DAY 
MORNING SESSION 



The first general session of the 159th 
Semiannual General Conference con- 
vened in the Tabernacle on Temple 
Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Satur- 
day, September 30, 1989, at 10:00 a.m. 
President Ezra Taft Benson presided, and 
President Gordon B. Hinckley, First 
Counselor in the First Presidency, con- 
ducted this session. 

The music for the opening session 
was provided by the Mormon Youth Cho- 
rus with Robert C. Bowden conducting 
and Clay Christiansen at the organ. 

To begin the meeting, the Mormon 
Youth Chorus sang "The Lord Is My 
Light" without announcement. 

President Hinckley then made the 
following remarks: 

President Gordon B. Hinckley 

We welcome you this morning from 
the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt 
Lake City in this, the first general session 
of the 159th semiannual conference of 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints. Our beloved prophet. President 
Ezra Taft Benson, who presides at this 
conference, has asked me to conduct this 
session. 

We welcome all who are participat- 
ing in the large audience assembled in the 
Tabernacle and the overflow gathering in 
the nearby Assembly Hall, where Elders 
L. Tom Perry and Wm. Grant Bangerter 
with Bishop Robert D. Hales are seated 
on the stand. We welcome also the many 
others who are receiving these conference 



proceedings by satellite transmission, 
radio, cable, and television. 

We acknowledge the General Au- 
thorities of the Church, all of whom are in 
attendance this morning except the fol- 
lowing, who are excused: Elder Paul H. 
Dunn, who is at home on the advice of his 
physician following recent surgery, and 
Elder John H. Vandenberg, who has not 
been well. We also acknowledge the Re- 
lief Society, Young Women, and Primary 
general presidencies, who are seated on 
the stand. We extend a special welcome 
to government, education, and civic lead- 
ers who are present with us. 

The Mormon Youth Chorus, under 
the direction of Brother Robert C. 
Bowden, with Brother Clay Christiansen 
at the organ, opened this session by sing- 
ing "The Lord Is My Light." The chorus 
will now favor us with "Jesus, the Very 
Thought of Thee." 

Following the singing, the invoca- 
tion will be offered by Elder Theodore M. 
Burton of the Seventy. 



The chorus sang "Jesus, the Very 
Thought of Thee." 

Elder Theodore M. Burton offered 
the invocation. 



President Hinckley 

At the request of President Benson, 
our beloved prophet and President of the 
Church, Thomas S. Monson, Second 
Counselor in the First Presidency, will 
read President Benson's message. 



PRESIDENT EZRA TAFT BENSON 



3 



President Ezra Taft Benson 



(Read by President Thomas S. 
Monson, Second Counselor in the First 
Presidency) 

My beloved brethren and sisters, it is 
a joy to be able to meet with you again in 
another glorious general conference of the 
Church — to feel of your spirit and sup- 
port and to know of your love of the Lord. 

I look forward to hearing the inspir- 
ing messages of the General Authorities 
of the Church. I am so grateful for their 
sustaining power and in particular for the 
great help of my noble Counselors and the 
Quorum of the Twelve. 

May 1 express to them and to all of 
you my deep appreciation for your kind 
remembrances to me on my recent nine- 
tieth birthday. 

To the elderly in the Church 

In the past I have directed my re- 
marks to the children of the Church, to 
the young men and young women, to the 
single adult brethren and sisters, and to 
the mothers and fathers in Israel. This 
morning I would like to speak to the el- 
derly in the Church and to their families 
and to those who minister to their needs. 

I hold special feelings for the 
elderly — for this marvelous group of men 
and women. I feel that in some measure I 
understand them, for 1 am one of them. 

The Lord knows and loves the el- 
derly among His people. It has always 
been so, and upon them He has bestowed 
many of His greatest responsibilities. In 
various dispensations He has guided His 
people through prophets who were in 
their advancing years. He has needed the 
wisdom and experience of age, the in- 
spired direction from those with long 
years of proven faithfulness to His 
gospel. 

The Lord blessed Sarah, in her old 
age, to bear Abraham a child. Perhaps 
King Benjamin's greatest sermon was 
given when he was very elderly and nigh 
unto death. He was truly an instrument in 



the hands of the Lord as he was able to 
lead and establish peace among his 
people. 

Many other men and women through- 
out the ages have accomplished great 
things as they went forth to serve the Lord 
and His children, even in their elderly 
years. 

In our dispensation, of the thirteen 
prophets who have been called of the 
Lord, many were called when they were 
in their seventies or eighties, or even 
older. How the Lord knows and loves His 
children who have given so much through 
their years of experience! 

We love you who are the elderly in 
the Church. You are the fastest-growing 
segment of our population in the world 
today, as well as within the Church. 

Our desires are that your golden 
years will be wonderful and rewarding. 
We pray that you will feel the joy of a life 
well spent and one filled with fond 
memories and even greater expectations 
through Christ's atonement. We hope you 
will feel of the peace the Lord promised 
those who continue to strive to keep His 
commandments and follow His example. 
We hope your days are filled with things 
to do and ways in which you can render 
service to others who are not as fortunate 
as you. Older almost always means bet- 
ter, for your wealth of wisdom and ex- 
perience can continue to expand and 
increase as you reach out to others. 

May we suggest eight areas in which 
we can make the most of our senior years: 

Temple work 

1 . Work in the temple and attend of- 
ten. We who are older should use our en- 
ergies not only to bless our predecessors, 
but to ensure that, insofar as possible, all 
of our posterity might receive the ordi- 
nances of exaltation in the temple. Work 
with your families; counsel with and pray 
for those who may yet be unwilling to 
prepare themselves. 



4 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

We urge all who can to attend the 
temple frequently and accept calls to 
serve in the temple when health and 
strength and distance will permit. We rely 
on you to help in temple service. With the 
increasing number of temples, we need 
more of our members to prepare them- 
selves for this sweet service. Sister 
Benson and I are grateful that almost 
every week we can attend the temple 
together. What a blessing this has been 
in our lives! 

Family histories 

2. Collect and write family histories. 
We call on you to pursue vigorously the 
gathering and writing of personal and 
family histories. In so many instances, 
you alone have within you the history, the 
memory of loved ones, the dates and 
events. In some situations you are the 
family history. In few ways will your 
heritage be better preserved than by your 
collecting and writing your histories. 

Missionary service 

3. Become involved in missionary 
service. We need increasing numbers of 
senior missionaries in missionary service. 
Where health and means make it possible, 
we call upon hundreds more of our 
couples to set their lives and affairs in 
order and to go on missions. How we 
need you in the mission field! You are able 
to perform missionary service in ways 
that our younger missionaries eaimot. 

I'm grateful that two of my own 
widowed sisters were able to serve as 
missionary companions together in Eng- 
land. They were sixty-eight and seventy- 
three years of age when they were called, 
and they both had a marvelous experi- 
ence. 

What an example and a blessing it is 
to a family's posterity when grandparents 
serve missions. Most senior couples who 
go are strengthened and revitalized by 
missionary service. Through this holy 
avenue of service, many are sanctified 
and feel the joy of bringing others to the 
knowledge of the fulness of the gospel of 
Jesus Christ. 



First Day 

Also, through the Family-to-Family 
Book of Mormon Program, send copies 
of the Book of Mormon on missions with 
your testimonies enclosed. 

Family togetherness 

4. Provide leadership by building 
family togetherness. We urge all senior 
members, when possible, to call their 
families together. Organize them into co- 
hesive units. Give leadership to family 
gatherings. Establish family reunions 
where fellowship and family heritage can 
be felt and learned. Some of the sweetest 
memories I have are of our own family 
reunions and gatherings. Foster wonder- 
ful family traditions which will bind you 
together eternally. In doing so, we can 
create a bit of heaven right here on earth 
within individual families. After all, eter- 
nity will be but an extension of righteous 
family life. 

Church callings 

5. Accept and fulfill Church call- 
ings. We trust that all senior members 
who possibly can will accept callings in 
the Church and fulfill them with dignity. 
I am grateful to personally know brethren 
who are in their seventies and eighties 
who are serving as bishops and branch 
presidents. How we need the counsel and 
influence of you who have walked the 
pathway of life! We all need to hear of 
your successes and how you have risen 
above heartache, pain, or disappoint- 
ment, having become stronger for experi- 
encing them. 

There are rich opportunities for you 
to serve in most of the organizations of 
the Church. You have the time and solid 
gospel foundation which enable you to 
render a great work. In so many ways 
you lead out in faithful service in the 
Church. We thank you for all that you 
have done and pray that the Lord will 
strengthen you to do more. 

Finances 

6. Plan for your financial future. As 
you move through life toward retirement 



PRESIDENT EZRA TAFT BENSON 



5 



and the decades which follow, we invite 
all of our senior members to plan frugally 
for the years following full-time employ- 
ment. Let us avoid unnecessary debt. We 
also advise caution in cosigning financial 
notes, even with family members, when 
retirement income might be jeopardized. 

Be even more cautious in advancing 
years about "get-rich" schemes, mortgag- 
ing homes, or investing in uncertain ven- 
tures. Proceed cautiously so that the 
planning of a lifetime is not disrupted by 
one or a series of poor financial decisions. 
Plan your financial future early, then fol- 
low the plan. 

Christlike service 

7. Render Christlike service. Christ- 
like service exalts. Knowing this, we call 
on all senior members who are able to 
thrust in their sickles in service to others. 

This can be part of the sanctifying pro- 
cess. The Lord has promised that those 
who lose their lives serving others will 
find themselves. The Prophet Joseph 
Smith told us that we should "wear out 
our lives" in bringing to pass the Lord's 
purposes (D&C 123:13). 

Peace and joy and blessings will fol- 
low those who render service to others. 
Yes, we commend Christlike service to 
all, but it is especially sweet in the lives 
of the elderly. 

Physical fitness 

8. Stay physically fit, healthy, and 
active. We are thrilled with the efforts 
being made by so many of the elderly to 
ensure good health in advancing years. 
We see many walking in the early morn- 
ings. We hear of others who use exercise 
equipment in their own homes. Some 
even enter marathons and do remarkably 
well. Still others have swimming pro- 
grams to keep them fit. Until recently our 
own beloved General Authority emeritus, 
Joseph Anderson, now in his one hun- 
dredth year, would swim a mile every 
day. I am not quite up to that, but I do 
enjoy a vigorous walk each day, which 
refreshes me. 



How we love to see our elderly re- 
main vigorous and active! Through keep- 
ing active, both the mind and the body 
function better. One stake president 
reported that one of his members went 
waterskiing on his eightieth birthday. 

Overcome aloneness by serving others 

To those who have lost your spou- 
ses, we should also like to express our 
love. Sometimes there is for some of you 
a feeling of uselessness and aloneness 
which can be almost overwhelming. In so 
many instances, this need not be so. In 
addition to the eight suggestions just men- 
tioned, here is a sampling of activities 
that have proved helpful to others. 

Some who are alone keep busy by 
quilting blankets for each new grandchild 
to be married or each new baby born into 
the family. Others write letters on birth- 
days or attend school and athletic events 
of grandchildren when they can. Some 
compile albums of pictures of each grand- 
child to give on birthdays. We know of 
one widowed great-grandmother who 
teaches piano to nearly thirty students. 
She has spoken to nearly five thousand 
youth in the last three years. One of them 
asked her, "Did you cross the plains with 
the pioneers?" 

We see numerous others of our wid- 
ows who volunteer as "pink ladies" at the 
hospitals or render other kinds of commu- 
nity service. So many find fulfillment 
helping in these ways. 

The key to overcoming aloneness 
and a feeling of uselessness for one who 
is physically able is to step outside your- 
self by helping others who are truly 
needy. We promise those who will render 
this kind of service that, in some mea- 
sure, you will be healed of the loss of 
loved ones or the dread of being alone. 
The way to feel better about your own 
situation is to improve someone else's 
circumstances. 

Remain strong through illness 

To those who are ill and suffering 
pain and the vicissitudes of this life, we 



6 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

extend particular love and concern. Our 
hearts and prayers go out to you. Remem- 
ber what father Lehi said in blessing his 
son Jacob, who had suffered at the hands 
of his older brothers Laman and Lemuel. 
He said, "Thou knowest the greatness of 
God; and he shall consecrate thine afflic- 
tions for thy gain" (2 Nephi 2:2). And so 
he will for you. 

We pray that you will continue to 
strive to remain strong in attitude and 
spirit. We know it is not always easy. We 
pray that those who now do for you tasks 
that you no longer are able to do for your- 
self will do so in love, in gentleness, and 
with a caring spirit. 

We hope that you will continue to 
generate good thoughts and feelings in 
your heart and mind and quickly dismiss 
those which are harmful and destructive 
to you. We trust your prayers are being 
offered daily and even hourly, if needed. 
As the Book of Mormon teaches, "Live in 
thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies 
and blessings which [God] doth bestow 
upon you" (Alma 34:38). 

You will find that the daily reading 
of the Book of Mormon will lift your 
spirit, draw you nearer to your Savior, 
and help you to be a student of the gospel 
who can share great truths with others. 

To the families of the elderly 

Now for a few minutes may I speak 
to the families of the elderly. We repeat a 
scripture from Psalms: "Cast me not off in 
the time of old age; forsake me not when 
my strength faileth" (Psalm 71:9). 

We encourage families to give their 
elderly parents and grandparents the love, 
care, and attention they deserve. Let us 
remember the scriptural command that 
we must care for those of our own house 
lest we be found "worse than an infidel" 
(1 Timothy 5:8). I am so grateful for my 
own dear family and for the loving care 
they have given their parents over so 
many years. 

Remember that parents and grand- 
parents are our responsibility, and we are 
to care for them to the very best of our 
ability. When the elderly have no families 



First Day 

to care for them, priesthood and Relief 
Society leaders should make every effort 

to meet their needs in the same loving 
way. We submit a few suggestions to 
families of the elderly. 

"Honour thy father and thy mother" 

Ever since the Lord etched the Ten 
Commandments into the tablets of stone. 
His words from Sinai have echoed down 
through the centuries to "honour thy fa- 
ther and thy mother" (Exodus 20:12). 

To honor and respect our parents 
means that we have a high regard for 
them. We love and appreciate them and 
are concerned about their happiness and 
well-being. We treat them with courtesy 
and thoughtful consideration. We seek to 
understand their point of view. Certainly 
obedience to parents' righteous desires 
and wishes is a part of honoring. 

Be grateful and forgiving 

Furthermore, our parents deserve 
our honor and respect for giving us life 
itself. Beyond this they almost always 
made countless sacrifices as they cared 
for and nurtured us through our infancy 
and childhood, provided us with the ne- 
cessities of life, and nursed us through 
physical illnesses and the emotional 
stresses of growing up. In many in- 
stances, they provided us with the oppor- 
tunity to receive an education, and, in a 
measure, they educated us. Much of what 
we know and do we learned from their 
example. May we ever be grateful to 
them and show that gratitude. 

Let us also learn to be forgiving of 
our parents, who, perhaps having made 
mistakes as they reared us, almost always 
did the best they knew how. May we ever 
forgive them as we would likewise wish 
to be forgiven by our own children for 
mistakes we make. 

Allow freedom of choice 

Even when parents become elderly, 

we ought to honor them by allowing them 
freedom of choice and the opportunity for 



PRESIDENT EZRA TAFT BENSON 



7 



independence as long as possible. Let us 
not take away from them choices which 
they can still make. Some parents are able 
to live and care for themselves well into 
their advancing years and would prefer to 
do so. When they can, let them. 

If they become less able to live inde- 
pendently, then family. Church, and 
community resources may be needed to 
help them. When the elderly become un- 
able to care for themselves, even with 
supplemental aid, care can be provided in 
the home of a family member when pos- 
sible. Church and community resources 
may also be needed in this situation. 

Support care-givers and include the 
elderly 

The role of the care-giver is vital. 
There is great need for support and help to 
be given to such a person. Usually this is 
an elderly spouse or a middle-aged daugh- 
ter with children of her own to care for as 
well as caring for the elderly parent. 

We also hope that you would include 
the elderly in family activities when pos- 
sible. What a joy it is for us to see lively, 
sweet grandchildren with a loving grand- 
parent in the midst of them. Children love 
such occasions. They love to have their 
grandparents visit them and to have them 
over for dinner, for family home eve- 
nings, and for other special events. This 
provides opportunities for teaching ways 
to honor, love, respect, and care for those 
who are in their later years. 

Opportunities for grandparents 

Grandparents can have a profound 
influence on their grandchildren. Their 
time is generally not as encumbered and 
busy as the parents', so books can be 
opened and read, stories can be told, and 
application of gospel principles can be 
taught. Children then obtain a perspective 
of life which not only is rewarding but 
can bring them security, peace, and 
strength. It is possible to send letters, 
tapes, and pictures, particularly where 
distances are great and it is not possible to 
see one another often. Those who are 
blessed with a closeness to grandparents 



and other elderly people have a rich com- 
panionship and association. There might 
be times when they can attend gradu- 
ations, weddings, temple excursions, 
missionary farewells and homecomings, 
and other special events with family 
members. 

We enjoy watching our children and 
grandchildren grow and achieve in special 
ways as we share in many of their joys 
and rejoice in their victories. Happiness 
blesses our lives as our children strive and 
achieve in their own lives. In 3 John 1:4 
we read, "I have no greater joy than to 
hear that my children walk in truth." And 
knowing this can bring a renewal of love 
and courage to continue in our own 
struggles. 

To the priesthood leaders of the elderly 

Finally, we would urge priesthood 
leaders of the elderly to be sensitive to the 
Spirit of our Father in Heaven in assess- 
ing and meeting the spiritual, physical, 
emotional, and financial needs of the el- 
derly. We trust you will utilize your coun- 
selors, Melchizedek Priesthood quorum 
leaders, and Relief Society leaders, home 
teachers, and visiting teachers in this 
great responsibility, for we must fulfill 
these duties without reluctance or hesi- 
tation. 

Give church callings 

We hope that priesthood and auxil- 
iary leaders will continue to give the el- 
derly callings in which they can use their 
reservoirs of wisdom and counsel. We 
hope, where possible, that each can be a 
home teacher or visiting teacher. Even 
those who are somewhat confined to their 
beds and homes can sometimes assist in 
this watch-care through telephone calls, 
writing notes, or other special assign- 
ments. 

A priesthood leader can do much to 
assist and encourage individuals and 
couples as they prepare to serve missions. 
The temple extraction and welfare pro- 
grams are blessed greatly by those who 
are in their senior years and have opportu- 
nities to serve in these areas. 



8 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

Assign home teachers and visiting 
teachers 

We hope each of the elderly indi- 
viduals and couples has sensitive and car- 
ing home teachers and visiting teachers 
assigned to them. Great comfort and 
peace can come to those who know they 
have someone to whom they can turn in 
time of emergency or need. It is important 
that tact, diplomacy, and sincerity be 
evident in assessing and addressing such 
needs. 

We hope you will involve the inde- 
pendent elderly in compassionate service 
assignments. Include them also in stake 
and ward social activities, especially 
single members and those with dependent 
spouses. So many times they are forgot- 
ten. Especially at the time of the death of 
a spouse, loving care can be given. This 
is a very tender time for most. 

Help those who care for the elderly 

At times temporary relief is very 
much needed and appreciated by family 
members who provide constant physical 
and emotional care to those with special 
needs. It is important to help the family 
maintain its functions as a family with 
periodic freedom from the heavy respon- 
sibilities that long-term or terminal illness 
can impose. All need loving support and 
relief from the overwhelming duties of 
serious illness or problems. 

Transportation is often a great con- 
cern to the elderly. We can assist by pro- 
viding a way for them to attend their 
Sunday meetings, visit loved ones, shop, 
and go to the doctor or clinic. 

Again, we should prayerfully seek 
inspiration and direction in caring for the 
elderly. There is always a great diversity 
of individuals and individual needs. 



First Day 

Prophetic testimony and blessing 

God bless the elderly in the Church. 
I love you with all my heart. I am one of 
you. 

You have so much to live for. May 
these golden years be your very best years 
as you fully live and love and serve. And 

God bless those who minister to your 
needs — your family, your friends, and 
your fellow Church members and leaders. 

I leave you my testimony of the joy 
of living — of the joys of full gospel 
living and of going through the Refiner's 
fire and the sanctification process that 
takes place. As the Apostle Paul so well 
said, "We know that all things work to- 
gether for good to them that love God" 
(Romans 8:28). 

1 leave my blessing upon you. The 
Savior lives. This is His church. The 
work is true, and in the words of our Lord 
and Savior, "Look unto me, and endure to 
the end, and ye shall live; for unto him 
that endureth to the end will 1 give eternal 
life" (3 Nephi 15:9), to which 1 testify in 
the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 



The chorus sang "I Believe in 
Christ" without announcement. 



President Hinckley 

It has been our privilege to listen to 
President Benson's opening message as 
read by his Second Counselor, President 
Thomas S. Monson, following which the 
Mormon Youth Chorus sang "I Believe in 
Christ." 

Elder James E. Faust of the Council 
of the Twelve Apostles will now speak to 
us. 



Elder James E. Faust 

I wish to speak today of a special through the process known as divine rev- 
dimension of the gospel: the necessity elation. This principle is basic to our be- 
for constant communication with God lief. President Wilford Woodruff declared. 



ELDER JAMES E. FAUST 



9 



"Whenever the Lord had a people on the 
earth that He acknowledged as such, that 
people were led by revelation" (in Jour- 
nal of Discourses, 24:240). I affirm at the 
beginning that the inspiration of God is 
available to all who worthily seek the 
guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is par- 
ticularly true of those who have received 
the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

I wish to speak today, however, of 
God's communications to all of his chil- 
dren through prophets, as distinguished 
from personal revelation received by indi- 
vidual members of the Church and others. 
The prophets, seers, and revelators have 
had and still have the responsibility and 
privilege of receiving and declaring the 
word of God for the world. Individual 
members, parents, and leaders have the 
right to receive revelation for their own 
responsibility but have no duty nor right 
to declare the word of God beyond the 
limits of their own responsibility. 

1 use as my text the ninth article of 
faith: "We believe all that God has re- 
vealed, all that He does now reveal, and 
we believe that He will yet reveal many 
great and important things pertaining to 
the Kingdom of God." 

Past revelation 

The first part states, "We believe all 
that God has revealed." Through the 
ages, God's messages to his children 
generally have been revealed through 
prophets. Amos tells us, "Surely the Lord 
God will do nothing, but he revealeth his 
secret unto his servants the prophets" 
(Amos 3:7). These are the prophetic ora- 
cles who have tuned in over the centuries 
to the "celestial transmitting station," 
with a responsibility to relay the Lord's 
word to others. The principal qualifica- 
tions of a prophet in any age are not 
wealth, title, position, physical stature, 
scholarship, or intellectual attainment. 
The two qualifications are that a prophet 
must be called as such by God, by open 
prophecy, and ordained by one known to 
have legal and spiritual authority, and he 
must receive and declare revelation from 
God (see D&C 42:11). No man knows the 
ways of God except they be revealed unto 
him (see Jacob 4:8). 



Over the centuries revelation from 
prophets has come incrementally. The 
Lord stated, "For he will give unto the 
faithful line upon line, precept upon pre- 
cept; and I will try you and prove you 
herewith" (D&C 98:12). 

Revelations have come by different 
means. Among other ways, they have 
come by the guidance of the Holy Ghost 
(which is perhaps most common), by the 
spoken word, and by visits from holy 
messengers. 

Present revelation 

The ninth article of faith continues, 
"We believe ... all that [God] does now 
reveal." For some strange reason it seems 
easier for many to believe the words of 
dead prophets rather than those of living 
prophets. The greatest revelator in our 
time has been Joseph Smith. In the diffi- 
cult period between 1823 and 1843, just 
twenty years, 134 revelations were re- 
ceived, printed, and made public. 

Each of the eighty-nine Apostles 
called since then has been sustained as 
a prophet, seer, and revelator. But the 
prophets, seers, and revelators succeed- 
ing Joseph as Presidents of the Church 
have been those Apostles in whom all of 
the keys of Christ's earthly kingdom have 
been active and functioning. 

We now move forward nobly and 
boldly, with courage and conviction, led 
by our venerable prophet, Ezra Taft 
Benson. He is in every respect entitled to 
our sustaining action. For forty-six years 
he has been sustained as an Apostle of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. He is now the senior 
Apostle on the earth. He has been or- 
dained and set apart as the prophet, seer, 
and revelator to the world. He has been 
sustained as the President of the Church. 
He has been given two inspired Counsel- 
ors to help him. He is the presiding high 
priest over all the priesthood on the earth. 
He alone holds and exercises all of the 
keys of the kingdom under the Lord Jesus 
Christ, who is the head of this church and 
is the chief cornerstone. In his presi- 
dency, assisted by his two great Counsel- 
ors and sustained by the Quorum of the 
Twelve, he is leading this work forward. 



10 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

I do not believe members of this 
cliurch can be in full harmony with the 
Savior without sustaining his living 
prophet on the earth, the President of 
the Church. If we do not sustain the living 
prophet, whoever he may be, we die 
spiritually. Ironically, some have died 
spiritually by exclusively following 
prophets who have long been dead. 
Others equivocate in their support of liv- 
ing prophets, trying to lift themselves 
up by putting down the living prophets, 
however subtly. 

In our lifetime we have been favored 
with ongoing communication from the 
heavens, which have been open to the 
prophets of our time. Major divine pro- 
nouncements have included what we now 
know as section 138 of the Doctrine and 
Covenants, given in 1918. Surely one of 
the greatest divine disclosures came in 
1978 when the blessings of the priesthood 
and temple became available to all worthy 
male members. Line upon line and pre- 
cept upon precept, new knowledge and 
direction have been given to the Church. 

Thus, by revelation in our day the 
Seventies have been given an expanded 
role as members of Area Presidencies and 
in general Church administration, helping 
the First Presidency and the Twelve "in 
building up the church and regulating all 
the affairs of the same in all nations" 
(D&C 107:34). Many other divine in- 
structions have also been received. Much 
revelation received, in this time as well as 
anciently, has been doctrinal. Some of it 
has been operational and tactical. Much 
of it is not spectacular. President John 
Taylor reminds us: "Adam's revelation 
did not instruct Noah to build his ark; nor 
did Noah's revelation tell Lot to forsake 
Sodom; nor did either of these speak of 
the departure of the children of Israel 
from Egypt. These all had revelations 
for themselves" {Millennial Star, 1 Nov. 
1847, p. 323). 

In our time God has revealed how to 
administer the Church with a membership 
of over six million differently than when 
there were just six members of the 
Church. These differences include the use 
of modern technology such as films, com- 
puters, and satellite broadcasts to teach 



First Day 

and communicate new ways to conduct 
missionary work in various nations; the 
location and building of temples; and 
many others. 

This process of continuous revela- 
tion comes to the Church very frequently. 
President Wilford Woodruff stated, "This 
power is in the bosom of Almighty God, 
and he imparts it to his servants the 
prophets as they stand in need of it day 
by day to build up Zion" (in Journal of 
Discourses, 14:33). This is necessary for 
the Church to fulfill its mission. Without 
it, we would fail. 

Future revelation 

A very encouraging portion of the 
ninth article of faith we have been consid- 
ering is its conclusion: "We believe that 
He will yet reveal many great and impor- 
tant things pertaining to the Kingdom 
of God." Elder Boyd K. Packer stated: 
"Revelation is a continuous principle in 
the Church. In one sense the Church is 
still being organized. As light and knowl- 
edge are given, as prophecies are fulfilled 
and more intelligence is received, another 
step forward can be taken" {The Holy 
Temple [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 
1980], p. 137). 

This church constantly needs the 
guidance of its head, the Lord and Savior, 
Jesus Christ. This was well taught by 
President George Q. Cannon: 

"We have the Bible, the Book of 
Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and 
Covenants; but all these books, without 
the living oracles and a constant stream of 
revelation from the Lord, would not lead 
any people into the Celestial Kingdom. 
. . . This may seem a strange declaration 
to make, but strange as it may sound, it 
is nevertheless true. 

"Of course, these records are all of 
infinite value. They cannot be too highly 
prized, nor can they be too closely stud- 
ied. But in and of themselves, with all 
the light that they give, they are insuf- 
ficient to guide the children of men and to 
lead them into the presence of God. To be 
thus led requires a living Priesthood and 
constant revelation from God to the 
people according to the circumstances in 



ELDER JAMES E. FAUST 



11 



which they may be placed" {Gospel 
Truth, comp. Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols. 
[Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 
1957], 1:252). 

When will this promised revelation 
come? Only God knows when. It will 
come as needed. To whom will it come? 
To obtain the answer to this, we must 
go back to the words of Amos: "Surely 
the Lord God will do nothing, but he re- 
vealeth his secret unto his servants the 
prophets" (Amos 3:7). This continuous 
revelation will not and cannot be forced 
by outside pressure from people and 
events. It is not the so-called "revelation 
of social progress." It does not originate 
with the prophets; it comes from God. 
The Church is governed by the prophet 
under the guidance and direction of God. 
Parley P. Pratt disclosed: 

"The legislative, judicial, and execu- 
tive power is vested in Him [the Lord]. 
He reveals the laws, and he elects, 
chooses, or appoints the officers; and 
holds the right to reprove, to correct, or 
even to remove them at pleasure. Hence 
the necessity of a constant intercourse 
by direct revelation between him and his 
church" {Millennial Star, Mar. 1845, 
p. 150). 

We have been promised that the 
President of the Church will receive guid- 
ance for all of us as the revelator for the 
Church. Our safety lies in heeding that 
which he says and following his counsel. 

The doctrine of this church was 
stated by Elder Stephen L. Richards: 

"They [the Presidency] are the su- 
preme court here on earth in the interpre- 
tation of God's law. 

"In the exercise of their functions 
and delegated powers they are controlled 
by a constitution, a part of which is writ- 
ten and a part of which is not. The written 
part consists in authenticated scripture, 
ancient and modern, and in the recorded 
utterances of our latter-day prophets. The 
unwritten part is the spirit of revelation 
and divine inspiration which appertain to 
their calling. 

"In formulating their interpretations 
and decisions they always confer with the 
Council of the Twelve Apostles who by 
revelation are appointed to assist and act 



with them in the government of the 
Church. When, therefore, a judgment is 
reached and proclaimed by these officers 
it becomes binding upon all members of 
the Church, individual views to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. God's Kingdom is 
a kingdom of law and order" (in Confer- 
ence Report, Oct. 1938, pp. 115-16). 

How can we be so sure that, as 
promised, the prophets, seers, and revela- 
tors will never lead this people astray? 
(see Joseph Fielding Smith, in Confer- 
ence Report, Apr. 1972, p. 99; or Ensign, 
July 1972, p. 88). One answer is con- 
tained in the grand principle found in the 
107th section of the Doctrine and Cov- 
enants: "And every decision made by 
either of these quorums must be by the 
unanimous voice of the same" (107:27). 
This requirement of unanimity provides a 
check on bias and personal idiosyncra- 
sies. It ensures that God rules through the 
Spirit, not man through majority or com- 
promise. It ensures that the best wisdom 
and experience is focused on an issue be- 
fore the deep, unassailable impressions of 
revealed direction are received. It guards 
against the foibles of man. 

The responsibility for determining 
the divine validity of what one of the ora- 
cles of God states does not rest solely 
upon him. President J. Reuben Clark 
stated, "We can tell when the speakers are 
'moved upon by the Holy Ghost' only 
when we, ourselves, are 'moved upon by 
the Holy Ghost'" {J. Reuben Clark: Se- 
lected Papers on Religion, Education, and 
Youth, ed. David H. Yarn, Jr. [Provo: 
Brigham Young University Press, 1984], 
pp. 95-96). 

This is in harmony with the counsel 
of Brigham Young: "I am more afraid that 
this people have so much confidence in 
their leaders that they will not inquire for 
themselves of God whether they are led 
by Him. I am fearful they settle down in 
a state of blind self-security, trusting their 
eternal destiny in the hands of their lead- 
ers with a reckless confidence that in it- 
self would thwart the purposes of God in 
their salvation, and weaken that influence 
they could give to their leaders, did they 
know for themselves, by the revelations 
of Jesus, that they are led in the right 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



12 

Saturday, September 30 

way. Let every man and woman know, by 
the whispering of the Spirit of God to 
themselves, whether their leaders are 
walking in the path the Lord dictates, or 
not" {in Journal of Discourses, 9:150). 

Revelation was required to establish 
this church. Revelation has brought it 
from its humble beginnings to its present 
course. Revelation has come like flow- 
ing, living water. Continuing revelation 
will lead it forward to the windup scene. 
But as President Clark told us, we do not 
need more or different prophets. We need 
more people with "a listening ear" (in 
Conference Report, Oct. 1948, p. 82). 

We make no claim of infallibility or 
perfection in the prophets, seers, and 
revelators. Yet I humbly state that I have 
sat in the company of these men, and 1 
believe their greatest desire is to know 
and do the will of our Heavenly Father. 
Those who sit in the highest councils of 
this church and have participated as inspi- 
ration has come and decisions have been 
reached know that this light and truth is 
beyond human intelligence and reason- 
ing. These deep, divine impressions have 
come as the dews from heaven and settled 



First Day 

upon them individually and collectively. 
So inspired, we can go forward in com- 
plete unity and accord. 

I witness humbly that 1 know the 
Lord still guides his church through his 
servants, regardless of any individual im- 
perfections. 1 pray that we may be respon- 
sive to his Spirit and be found listening to 
the oracles he has appointed. I so pray 
because 1 know that we mortals, without 
the aid of revelation, cannot know the 
purposes of God. In the name of Jesus 
Christ, amen. 

President Hinckley 

Elder James E. Faust of the Council 
of the Twelve Apostles has just spoken to 
us. 

The choir and congregation will now 
join in singing "Put Your Shoulder to the 
Wheel," following which Bishop Henry 

B. Eyring, First Counselor in the Presid- 
ing Bishopric, will address us. 



The chorus and congregation sang 
"Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel." 



Bishop Henry B. Eyring 



Being grateful and generous 

Many of you have had the same ex- 
perience I have had. And if you haven't, 
you will: you will go to a hospital or to a 

house to comfort someone, and instead 
they will comfort you. Or you will try to 
encourage someone who seems to you to 
have so little, and they will express grati- 
tude for things you take for granted. 

To find gratitude and generosity 
when you could reasonably find hurt and 
resentment will surprise you. It will be so 
surprising because you will see so much 
of the opposite: people who have much 
more than others yet who react with anger 
when one advantage is lost or with resent- 
ment when an added gift is denied. 

A poem describes that contrast; it is 
called "How Different." 



Some murmur when the sky is clear 
And wholly bright to view. 
If one small speck of dark appear 
In their great heaven of blue: 
And some with thankful love are 
filled. 

If but one streak of light. 
One ray of God's good mercy, gild 
The darkness of their night. 
(Richard Chenevix Trench, in 
Sourcebook of Poetry [Grand Rapids, 
Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 
1968], p. 396.) 

You and I would like to know how to 
control our wants and increase our grati- 
tude and generosity. We are going to need 
that change. Someday, in our families 
and as a people, we will live as one, seek- 
ing each other's good. 



BISHOP HENRY B. EYRING 



13 



Living as one in Orderville 

You know from stud3ang Church 
history that we have tried to live as one in 

a variety of settings. A story from one of 
those tries, in Orderville, Utah, gives us a 
clue as to why it is so hard. 

Orderville was founded in 1870 and 
1871 by people who wanted to live the 
united order; in 1875 they began the 
order. They built housing units in a 
square, with a common dining hall. They 
built a storehouse, shoe shop, bakery, 
blacksmith shop, tannery, schoolhouse, 
sheep shed, and woolen factory. They 
grew and made nearly everything they 
needed, from soap to trousers. They had 
carpenters, midwives, teachers, artists, 
and musicians. They produced enough 
surplus that they could sell it in neigh- 
boring towns for cash: with that they built 
up a capital fund to buy more land and 
equipment. 

The population rose to seven hun- 
dred people. One hundred and fifty of 
them gave Orderville a special advantage: 
they had come to Orderville from the mis- 
sion on the Muddy River, where they 
had nearly starved. When those who had 
been called to the Muddy were released, 
they were in near destitution. Twenty- 
four of those families went to Long Val- 
ley, founded Orderville, and pledged all 
they had to the Lord. They didn't have 
much, but their poverty may have been 
their greatest contribution. Their having 
almost nothing provided a basis for future 
comparison that might have guaranteed 
gratitude: any food or clothing or housing 
that came to them in Orderville would be 
treasure compared to their privation on 
the Muddy mission. 

But time passed, the railroad came, 
and a mining boom put cash in the hands 
of people in the neighboring towns. They 
could buy imported clothes, and they did. 
The people in Orderville were living bet- 
ter than they had in years, but the memory 
of poverty on the Muddy had faded. They 
now focused on what was in the next 
town. And so they felt old-fashioned and 
deprived. 



One ingenious boy acted on the dis- 
content he felt when he was denied a new 

pair of pants from the Orderville factory 
because his were not worn out yet. He 
secretly gathered the docked lambs' tails 
from tiie spring crop. He sheared the wool 
from them and stored it in sacks. Then, 
when he was sent with a load of wool to 
sell in Nephi, he took his sacks along and 
exchanged them for a pair of store pants. 
He created a sensation when he wore the 
new-style pants to the next dance. 

The president of the order asked him 
what he had done. The boy gave an hon- 
est answer. So they called him into a 
meeting and told him to bring the pants. 
They commended him for his initiative, 
pointed out that the pants really belonged 
to the order, and took them. But they 
told him this: the pants would be taken 
apart, used as a pattern, and henceforth 
Orderville pants would have the new 
store -bought style. And he would get the 
first pair. 

That did not quite end the pants 
rebellion. Orders for new pants soon 
swamped the tailoring department. When 
the orders were denied because pants 
weren't yet worn out, boys began slip- 
ping into the shed where the grinding 
wheel was housed. Soon, pants began to 
wear out quickly. The elders gave in, sent 
a load of wool out to trade for cloth, and 
the new-style pants were produced for 
everyone. 

You know that isn't a happy ending. 
There were many challenges Orderville 
faced in the ten years they lived the order 
there. One of them they never really con- 
quered. It was the problem of not remem- 
bering. That is a problem we must solve, 
too. 

Just as they forgot poverty on the 
Muddy, we so easily forget that we came 
into life with nothing. Whatever we get 
soon seems our natural right, not a gift. 
And we forget the giver. Then our gaze 
shifts from what we have been given to 
what we don't have yet. 



14 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday^ September 30 

Affliction lielps us remember 

God has used one method over and 
over to help with that problem of remem- 
bering. A group of people in the Book of 
Mormon record lost their flocks, their 
herds, and their fields of grain. Some lost 
their lives. And then the survivors re- 
membered. In Alma it says, "And so 
great were their afflictions that every soul 
had cause to mourn; and they believed 
that it was the judgments of God sent 
upon them because of their wickedness 
and their abominations; therefore they 
were awakened to a remembrance of their 
duty" (Alma 4:3). 

Tlie miracle of gratitude 

Confronting death and difficulty 
does return memory and therefore grati- 
tude to righteous people as well as the 
wicked. But there must be another way to 
remember, one we can choose. 

There is. A servant of God named 
King Benjamin taught it to his people and 
to us. 

He taught them that none of us is 
above another because we are all dust, to 
which God has given life and then sus- 
tained it. He described a fact which is true 
for every human being: unforgiven sin 
will bring us unending torment. And he 
described the gift we all have been of- 
fered: those whose faith in Jesus Christ 
leads them to repentance and forgiveness 
will live in never-ending happiness. 

King Benjamin's teaching had a mi- 
raculous effect. Gratitude for what they 
had led to faith unto repentance. That led 
to forgiveness. That produced new grati- 
tude. And then King Benjamin taught 
that, if we can remember and so remain 
grateful, we will retain a remission of our 
sins through all the losses and the gains of 
life. He taught it this way: 

"And again 1 say unto you as I have 
said before, that as ye have come to the 
knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye 
have known of his goodness and have 
tasted of his love, and have received a 
remission of your sins, which causeth 
such exceedingly great joy in your souls, 
even so I would that ye should remember, 
and always retain in remembrance, the 



First Day 

greatness of God, and your own nothing- 
ness, and his goodness and long-suffering 
towards you, unworthy creatures, and 
humble yourselves even in the depths of 
humility, calling on the name of the Lord 
daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith 
of that which is to come, which was spo- 
ken by the mouth of the angel. 

"And behold, I say unto you that if 
ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be 
filled with the love of God, and always 
retain a remission of your sins; and ye 
shall grow in the knowledge of the glory 
of him that created you, or in the knowl- 
edge of that which is just and true" 
(Mosiah 4:11-12). 

The Holy Ghost can help us remember 

How can you and I remember, al- 
ways, the goodness of God, that we can 
retain a remission of our sins? The 
Apostle John recorded what the Savior 
taught us of a gift of remembrance which 
comes through the gift of the Holy Ghost: 
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy 
Ghost, whom the Father will send in 
my name, he shall teach you all things, 
and bring all things to your remembrance, 
whatsoever 1 have said unto you" (John 
14:26). 

The Holy Ghost brings back memo- 
ries of what God has taught us. And one 
of the ways God teaches us is with his 
blessings; and so, if we choose to exercise 
faith, the Holy Ghost will bring God's 
kindnesses to our remembrance. 

Prayer can help us remember 

You could test that in prayer today. 
You could follow the command, "Thou 
shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things" 
(D&C 59:7). President Benson suggested 
prayer as a time to do that. He said: 

"The Prophet Joseph said at one time 
that one of the greatest sins of which the 
Latter-day Saints would be guilty is the 
sin of ingratitude. I presume most of us 
have not thought of that as a great sin. 
There is a great tendency for us in our 
prayers and in our pleadings with the 
Lord to ask for additional blessings. But 
sometimes I feel we need to devote more 



BISHOP HENRY B. EYRING 



15 



of our prayers to expressions of gratitude 
and thanksgiving for blessings already re- 
ceived. We enjoy so much" {God, Fam- 
ily, Country [Salt Lake City: Deseret 
Book Co., 1974], p. 199). 

You could have an experience with 
the gift of the Holy Ghost today. You 
could begin a private prayer with thanks. 
You could start to count your blessings, 
and then pause for a moment. If you exer- 
cise faith, and with the gift of the Holy 
Ghost, you will find that memories of 
other blessings will flood into your mind. 
If you begin to express gratitude for each 
of them, your prayer may take a little lon- 
ger than usual. Remembrance will come. 
And so will gratitude. 

Writing can help us remember 

You could try the same thing as you 
write an entry in your book of re- 
membrance. The Holy Ghost has helped 
with that since the beginning of time. You 
remember in the record of Moses it says, 
"And a book of remembrance was kept, 
in the which was recorded, in the lan- 
guage of Adam, for it was given unto as 
many as called upon God to write by the 
spirit of inspiration" (Moses 6:5). 

President Spencer W. Kimball de- 
scribed that process of inspired writing: 
"Those who keep a book of remembrance 
are more likely to keep the Lord in re- 
membrance in their daily lives. Journals 
are a way of counting our blessings and of 
leaving an inventory of these blessings for 
our posterity" {The Teachings of Spencer 
W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [Salt 
Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], p. 349). 

As you start to write, you could ask 
yourself. How did God bless me today? If 
you do that long enough and with faith, 
you will find yourself remembering bless- 
ings. And sometimes, you will have gifts 
brought to your mind which you failed to 
notice during the day, but which you will 
then know were a touch of God's hand in 
your life. 

Remembering Jesus Christ 

You can choose to remember the 
greatest gift of all. Next week, you can go 



to a meeting where the sacrament is ad- 
ministered. You will hear the words "al- 
ways remember him" (D&C 20:77, 79). 
You can pledge to do that, and the Holy 
Ghost will help you. President Marion G. 
Romney talked about the gift we will be 
helped to remember. He said: 

"We should be thankful and express 
appreciation for all favors received — 
and surely we receive many. The chief 
objects of our gratitude, however, should 
be, and are, God, our Heavenly Father, 
and his son Jesus Christ, our Lord and 
Redeemer. . . . 

"To the Lord Jesus we owe an un- 
dying debt of gratitude, for he bought us 
with a great price. It is impossible for us, 
weak mortals as we are, to fully compre- 
hend and appreciate the sufferings he en- 
dured on the cross that he might gain for 
us the victory over death" ("'Thou Shalt 
Thank the Lord Thy God in All Things,'" 
Ensign, June 1974, p. 3). 

I bear you my testimony that Jesus is 
the Christ, that he atoned for our sins, and 
that the keys which unlock the doors of 
eternal life were restored to the Prophet 
Joseph Smith and are on the earth today. 
I bear testimony that President Ezra Taft 
Benson now holds those keys. 

Not long ago a man asked me, "Does 
your church still believe that when Christ 
comes you will be living as one, the way 
they did in the city of Enoch?" He put a 
spin on the word still, as if we might not 
believe such a thing anymore. I said, 
"Yes, we do." And then he said, "You are 
the people who could do it." 

I do not know why he thought that, 
but I know why he was right. He was 
right because this is the kingdom of God. 
Your baptism for the remission of sins, 
your receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost 
were offered by priesthood servants rec- 
ognized by God. 

The seed of gratitude 

And so the remembrance King 

Benjamin urged upon us can be ours. 
Remembrance is the seed of gratitude, 
which is the seed of generosity. Gratitude 
for the remission of sins is the seed of 
charity, the pure love of Christ. And so 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



16 

Saturday, September 30 

God has made possible for you and me 
this blessing, a change in our very 
natures: "And the remission of sins 
bringeth meekness, and lowliness of 
heart; and because of meekness and low- 
liness of heart cometh the visitation of 
the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth 
with hope and perfect love, which love 
endureth by diligence unto prayer, until 
the end shall come, when all the saints 
shall dwell with God" (Moroni 8:26). 

1 pray that we may make the simple 
choices which will lead us there to dwell 
with Him. And I pray that we will re- 
member and be grateful for the gift of the 
Atonement and the gift of the Holy 



First Day 

Ghost, which make that journey possible. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 



The chorus sang "Joy in the Morn- 
ing" without announcement. 



President Hinckley 

Bishop Henry B. Eyring addressed 
us, after which the Mormon Youth Cho- 
rus sang "Joy in the Morning." 

It will now be our pleasure to listen 
to Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Council of 
the Twelve. 



Elder Boyd K. Packer 



Personal revelation 

Following baptism, one is confirmed 
a member of The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints in a brief ordinance 
during which there is conferred the gift 
of the Holy Ghost. Thereafter, all through 
life, men, women, and even little children 
receive the right to inspired direction 
to guide them in their lives — personal 
revelation! (see Alma 32:23). 

The Holy Ghost communicates with 
the spirit through the mind more than 
through the physical senses. This guid- 
ance comes as thoughts, as feelings, 
through impressions and promptings. It is 
not always easy to describe inspiration. 
The scriptures teach us that we may "feel" 
the words of spiritual communication 
more than hear them, and see with spiri- 
tual rather than with mortal eyes (see 
1 Nephi 17:45). 

The patterns of revelation are not 
dramatic. The voice of inspiration is a 
still voice, a small voice. There need be 
no trance, no sanctimonious declaration. 
It is quieter and simpler than that. 

The Book of Mormon teaches that 
"angels speak by the power of the Holy 
Ghost" (2 Nephi 32:3) and records that 
even though an angel spoke to some, they 
"were past feeling, that [they] could not 
feel his words" (1 Nephi 17:45; italics 
added). 



If you have experienced inspiration, 
you understand. 

Revelation and the Word of Wisdom 

Our physical body is the instrument 
of our spirit. In that marvelous revelation 
the Word of Wisdom, we are told how to 
keep our bodies free from impurities 
which might dull, even destroy, those 
delicate physical senses which have to do 
with spiritual communication. 

The Word of Wisdom is a key to 
individual revelation. It was given as 
"a principle with promise, adapted to the 
capacity of the weak and the weakest of 
all saints" (D&C 89:3). 

The promise is that those who obey 
will receive "great treasures of knowl- 
edge, even hidden treasures" (D&C 
89:19). If we abuse our body with habit- 
forming substances or misuse prescription 
drugs, we draw curtains which close off 
the light of spiritual communication. 

Narcotic addiction serves the design 
of the prince of darkness, for it disrupts 
the channel to the Holy Spirit of Truth. 
At present the adversary has an unfair 
advantage. Addiction has the capacity to 
disconnect the human will and nullify 
moral agency. It can rob one of the power 
to decide. Agency is too fundamental a 
doctrine to be left in such jeopardy. 



ELDER BOYD K. PACKER 



17 



It is my conviction, and my constant 
prayer, that there will come through re- 
search, through inspiration to scientists if 
need be, the power to conquer narcotic 
addiction through the same means which 
cause it. 

I plead with all of you to pray 
earnestly that somewhere, somehow, the 
way will be discovered to erase addiction 
in the human body. 

It is not just human suffering, even 
human life, which is at risk; it is all of the 
personal and social and political and spiri- 
tual freedoms for which humanity has 
struggled for ages. At risk is all that was 
purchased by the blood of martyrs. Moral 
agency itself is in jeopardy! If we all pray 
fervently, the Lord will surely help us. 
And with those prayers, teach your chil- 
dren to obey the Word of Wisdom. It is 
their armor and will protect them from 
habits which obstruct the channels of 
personal revelation. 

Spiritual things are like leavening 

Things of the Spirit need not — in- 
deed, should not — require our uninter- 
rupted time and attention. Ordinary 
work-a-day things occupy most of our at- 
tention. And that is as it should be. We 
are mortal beings living in this physical 
world. 

Spiritual things are like leavening. 
By measure they may be very small, but 
by influence they affect all that we do. 
Continuing revelation is fundamental to 
the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

And I assure you that revelation 
attends our prophet President and those 
ordained as Apostles, as prophets, seers, 
and revelators. But revelation is not lim- 
ited to them. The Lord desires that "every 
man might speak in the name of God the 
Lord, even the Savior of the world" 
(D&C 1:20). 

Promptings from evil sources 

Not all inspiration comes from God 
(see D&C 46:7). The evil one has the 
power to tap into those channels of rev- 
elation and send conflicting signals which 
can mislead and confuse us. There are 



promptings from evil sources which are 
so carefully counterfeited as to deceive 
even the very elect (see Matthew 24:24). 

Nevertheless, we can learn to dis- 
cern these spirits. Even with every mem- 
ber having the right to revelation, the 
Church can be maintained as a house of 
order. 

Revelation and order 

Revelation comes in an orderly way 
in the Church. We are entitled to personal 
revelation. However, unless we are set 
apart to some presiding office, we will 
not receive revelations concerning what 
others should do. 

Revelation in the Church comes to 
those who have been properly called, sus- 
tained, ordained, or set apart. A bishop, 
for instance, will not receive any revela- 
tion concerning a neighboring ward, be- 
cause that is out of his jurisdiction. 

Occasionally someone will claim to 
have received authority to teach and bless 
without having been called and set apart. 
Less than a year after the Church was 
organized (February 1831), a revelation 
was received which the Prophet specified 
"embrac[ed] the law of the church." It 
includes this verse: 

"It shall not be given to any one to 
go forth to preach my gospel, or to build 
up my church, except he be ordained by 
some one who has authority, and it is 
known to the church that he has authority 
and has been regularly ordained by the 
heads of the church" (D&C 42:11; italics 
added). 

That is why the process of sustaining 
those called to office is so carefully pro- 
tected in the Church — that all might 
know who has authority to teach and to 
bless. 

An unusual spiritual experience 
should not be regarded as a personal call 
to direct others. It is my conviction that 
experiences of a special, sacred nature are 
individual and should be kept to oneself. 

Few things disturb the channels of 
revelation quite so effectively as those 
people who are misled and think them- 
selves to be chosen to instruct others 
when they are not chosen. 



18 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

Others, fearing they also might go 
astray, then hold back and do not seek the 
source of divine revelation. Obedience 
to constituted priesthood authority will 
protect us from going astray. 

Revelation and change 

There are those within the Church 
who are disturbed when changes are 
made with which they disagree or when 
changes they propose are not made. They 
point to these as evidence that the leaders 
are not inspired. 

They write and speak to convince 
others that the doctrines and decisions 
of the Brethren are not given through 
inspiration. 

Two things characterize them: they 
are always irritated by the word obedi- 
ence, and always they question revela- 
tion. It has always been so. Helaman 
described those who "began to disbelieve 
in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit 
of revelation; and the judgments of God 
did stare them in the face" (Helaman 
4:23). "They were left in their own 
strength" (4:13), and "the Spirit of the 
Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it 
had withdrawn from them" (4:24). 

Changes in organization or proce- 
dures are a testimony that revelation is 
ongoing. While doctrines remain fixed, 
the methods or procedures do not. 

Changes in the scriptures 

For instance, when the most recent 
editions of the scriptures were published, 
many corrections were made on the basis 
of original or printer's manuscripts, some 
of which had not previously been avail- 
able. For instance, in Alma chapter 16, 
verse 5, the word whether had appeared. 
The original manuscript for that verse 
does not exist. However, when we found 
the printer's copy, we saw that the 
Prophet Joseph Smith had changed the 
word to whither. Whether means "if"; 
whither means "where." The next verse 
verifies whither to be correct. 

Another example: in Alma chapter 
32, verse 30, the words "sprouteth and 



First Day 

beginneth to grow" occurred three times. 
An obvious typesetting error left one of 
them out. In the 1981 edition, thirty-five 
words were restored. It now conforms to 
the original text. 

There were many such changes. 
None altered the doctrine. Each change, 
however small in detail, was carefully 
and prayerfully considered and approved 
by the Council of the First Presidency and 
the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a 
meeting in the temple. 

Guidance through authorized servants 

All such matters are determined that 
way. The Lord established that process 
when He gave revelations relating to 
temple ordinances. 

In 1841 the Saints were commanded 
to build a temple in Nauvoo in which to 
perform baptisms for the dead, and they 
were given time to do it. They would be 
rejected if they failed. The Lord said: 

"I command you, all ye my saints, 
to build a house unto me; . . . 

"And if you do not these things at the 
end of the appointment ye shall be re- 
jected as a church, with your dead, saith 
the Lord your God" (D&C 124:31-32). 

The Saints did not fail. However 
impossible it may have seemed to them, 
given the terrible opposition they faced, 
the Lord promised to guide them through 
His appointed servants: 

"If my people will hearken unto my 
voice, and unto the voice of my servants 
whom I have appointed to lead my 
people, behold, verily I say unto you, 
they shall not be moved out of their place. 

"But if they will not hearken to my 
voice, nor unto the voice of these men 
whom I have appointed, they shall not be 
blest" (D&C 124:45-46; italics added). 

Later, speaking on the same subject 
of temple ordinances, the Lord affirmed 
again that He will reveal His will to His 
authorized servants: 

"For him to whom these keys are 
given there is no difficulty in obtaining 
a knowledge of facts in relation to the 
salvation of the children of men" (D&C 
128:11). 



ELDER BOYD K. PACKER 



19 



Changes come through revelation 

That principle of revelation has been 
with the Church ever since. Those who 
hold the keys have obtained icnowledge of 
what to do. When changes have come, 
they have come through that process. The 
Lord does as He said He would do: 

"I, the Lord, command and revolce, 
as it seemeth me good" (D&C 56:4). 

"1 command and men obey not; 1 
revoke and they receive not the blessing" 
(D&C 58:32). 

He told the Saints that when enemies 
prevented them from keeping a com- 
mandment. He would no longer require 
them to do so. And He said, "The iniquity 
and transgression of my holy laws and 
commandments I will visit upon the heads 
of those who hindered my work, unto the 
third and fourth generation, so long as 
they repent not" (D&C 124:50). 

The gospel plan was revealed line 
upon line, precept upon precept, here a 
little, and there a little. And it goes on: 
"We believe that He will yet reveal many 
great and important things pertaining 
to the Kingdom of God" (Articles of 
Faith 1:9). 

There will be changes made in the 
future as in the past. Whether the Breth- 
ren make changes or resist them depends 
entirely upon the instructions they receive 
through the channels of revelation which 
were established in the beginning. 

The doctrines will remain fixed, 
eternal; the organization, programs, and 
procedures will be altered as directed by 
Him whose church this is. 

Revelation continues today 

We who have been called to lead the 
Church are ordinary men and women with 
ordinary capacities struggling to adminis- 
ter a church which grows at such a pace 
as to astound even those who watch it 
closely. Some are disposed to find fault 
with us; surely that is easy for them to do. 
But they do not examine us more search- 



ingly than we examine ourselves. A call 
to lead is not an exemption from the chal- 
lenges of life. We seek for inspiration in 
the same way that you do, and we must 
obey the same laws which apply to every 
member of the Church. 

We are sorry for our inadequacies, 
sorry we are not better than we are. We 
can feel, as you can see, the effect of the 
aging process as it imposes limitations 
upon His leaders before your very eyes. 

But this we know. There are coun- 
cils and counselors and quorums to 
counter-balance the foibles and frailties of 
man. The Lord organized His church to 
provide for mortal men to work as mortal 
men, and yet He assured that the spirit of 
revelation would guide in all that we do in 
His name. 

And in the end, what is given comes 
because the Lord has spoken it, "whether 
by [His] own voice or by the voice of 
[His] servants, it is the same" (D&C 
1:38). We know His voice when He 
speaks. 

Revelation continues with us today. 
The promptings of the Spirit, the dreams, 
the visions and the visitations, and the 
ministering of angels all are with us now. 
And the still, small voice of the Holy 
Ghost "is a lamp unto [our] feet, and a 
light unto [our] path" (Psalm 119:105). 
Of that 1 bear witness, in the name of 
Jesus Christ, amen. 



The chorus sang "True to the Faith" 
without announcement. 



President Hinckley 

Elder Boyd K. Packer has addressed 
us, and the Mormon Youth Chorus has 
sung "True to the Faith." 

It will now be our pleasure to hsten 
to President Howard W. Hunter, Presi- 
dent of the Council of the Twelve 
Apostles, who will be our concluding 
speaker for this session. 



20 

Saturday, September 30 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



First Day 



President Howard W. Hunter 



I am honored to greet a vast audience 
of members of The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints, many of whom are 
gathered here on Temple Square in Salt 
Lake City. However, I am aware that by 
means of modern television technology 
and the courtesy of a number of television 
stations, I am privileged also to speak to 
many who are not members of our church 
and who may not be familiar with all of 
its doctrines and beliefs. 

The divine right to choose 

Today, I would like to address both 
groups, members of our church as well as 
others, about one of the most important 
tenets of our faith and one of the most 
precious of God's gifts to mankind. It is 
our freedom, our agency, our inalienable 
and divine right to choose what we will 
believe and what we will not believe, and 
to choose what we want to be and what 
we want to do. I wish to speak of our 
responsibility and our opportunity to 
choose God, and the good, and eternal 
life, or to select evil, and the destructive, 
and that which leads to painful misery 
and despair. 

Abraham Lincoln once asked, "What 
constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty 
and independence?" He then answered, 
"It is not our frowning battlements, our 
bristling sea coasts, our army and our 
navy. . . . Our reliance is in the love of 
liberty which God has planted in us" 
(in John Bartlett, ed., Familiar Quota- 
tions [Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 
1968], p. 636). 

There are, of course, those who, in 
bitterness and disbelief, have rejected 
the idea of an independent spirit in man 
that is capable of free will and choice and 
true liberty. 

We declare a bright and glorious 
view of God and man to all who will hear, 
a view revealed in and illuminated by the 
restored light of the gospel of Jesus 
Christ. We testify of God's loving good- 
ness and of his eternal respect for each of 



us, for us as individual children of God 
and for what each of us may become. 

As our prophet leader. President 
Ezra Taft Benson has declared: 

"The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints proclaims that life is 
eternal, that it has purpose. . . . [God has 
a] plan ... for the benefit and blessing of 
us. His children. . . . 

"Basic to [that] all-important plan is 
our free agency. . . . 

"The right of choice . . . runs like a 
golden thread throughout the gospel . . . 
for the blessing of His children" {The 
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake 
City: Bookcraft, 1988], pp. 80-81). 

Our premortal existence 

Part of our reassurance about the 
free, noble, and progressing spirit of man 
comes from the glorious realization that 
we all existed and had our identities, and 
our agency, long before we came to this 
world. To some that will be a new thought, 
but the Bible teaches clearly just such an 
eternal view of life, a life stretching back 
before this world was and stretching for- 
ward into the eternities ahead. 

God said to Jeremiah, "Before 1 
formed thee in the belly 1 knew thee; and 
before thou camest forth out of the womb 
I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a 
prophet unto the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5). 
At another time God reminded Job that 
"all the sons of God shouted for joy" be- 
fore there was yet any man or woman on 
the earth God was creating (Job 38:7). 
The Apostle Paul taught that God the 
Father chose us "before the foundation of 
the world" (Ephesians 1:4). 

Where and when did all of this hap- 
pen? Well, it happened long before man's 
mortal birth. It happened in a great pre- 
mortal existence where we developed our 
identities and increased our spiritual capa- 
bilities by exercising our agency and 
making important choices. We developed 
our intelligence and learned to love the 
truth, and we prepared to come to earth to 
continue our progress. 



PRESIDENT HOWARD W. HUNTER 



21 



The battle for freedom of choice 

Our Father in Heaven wanted our 
growth to continue in mortality and to be 
enhanced by our freedom to choose and 
learn. He also wanted us to exercise our 
faith and our will, especially with a new 
physical body to master and control. But 
we know from both ancient and modern 
revelation that Satan wished to deny us 
our independence and agency in that now- 
forgotten moment long ago, even as he 
wishes to deny them this very hour. In- 
deed, Satan violently opposed the free- 
dom of choice offered by the Father, so 
violently that John in the Revelation de- 
scribed "war in heaven" (Revelation 12:7) 
over the matter. Satan would have co- 
erced us, and he would have robbed us 
of that most precious of gifts if he could: 
our freedom to choose a divine future and 
the exaltation we all hope to obtain. 

Through Christ and his valiant de- 
fense of our Father's plan, the course 
of agency and eternal aspirations pre- 
vailed. In that crucial, premortal setting, 
a major milestone was passed, a monu- 
mental victory was won. As a result, we 
would be allowed to continue to pursue 
what President David O. McKay once 
described as the "eternal principle of 
progress." Later Christ himself would 
come to earth. President McKay noted, 
"to perfect society by perfecting the indi- 
vidual, and only by the exercising of Free 
Agency can the individual even approach 
perfection" (in Conference Report, Apr. 
1940, p. 118). 

So we came to our mortality, like 
Jeremiah, known by God as his literal 
spirit children, having the privilege to 
choose our personal path on matters of 
belief and religious conviction. With 
Christ's triumph in heaven in overcoming 
Lucifer, and later his triumph on earth 
in overcoming the effects of Adam's fall 
and the death of all mankind, "the chil- 
dren of men" continue "free forever, 
knowing good from evil; to act for them- 
selves and not be acted upon. . . . 

"Wherefore, men are free ... to 
choose liberty and eternal life, through 
[Christ] the great Mediator of all men, 
or to choose captivity and death, accord- 
ing to the captivity and power of the 



devil; for he seeketh that all men might be 
miserable like unto himself (2 Nephi 
2:26-27). 

God will not violate our agency 

To fully understand this gift of 
agency and its inestimable worth, it is 
imperative that we understand that God's 

chief way of acting is by persuasion and 
patience and long-suffering, not by coer- 
cion and stark confrontation. He acts by 
gentle solicitation and by sweet entice- 
ment. He always acts with unfailing re- 
spect for the freedom and independence 
that we possess. He wants to help us and 
pleads for the chance to assist us, but he 
will not do so in violation of our agency. 
He loves us too much to do that, and 
doing so would run counter to his divine 
character. 

Brigham Young once said: "The vo- 
lition of [man] is free; this is a law of their 
existence, and the Lord cannot violate his 
own law; were he to do that, he would 
cease to be God. . . . This is a law which 
has always existed from all eternity, and 
will continue to exist throughout all the 
eternities to come. Every intelligent being 
must have the power of choice" (in Jour- 
nal of Discourses, 1 1 :272) . 

To countermand and ultimately for- 
bid our choices was Satan's way, not 
God's, and the Father of us all simply 
never will do that. He will, however, 
stand by us forever to help us see the right 
path, find the right choice, respond to the 
true voice, and feel the influence of his 
undeniable Spirit. His gentle, peaceful, 
powerful persuasion to do right and find 
joy will be with us "so long as time shall 
last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall 
be one man upon the face thereof to be 
saved" (Moroni 7:36). 

Repent of wrong choices 

Given the freedom to choose, we 
may, in fact, make wrong choices, bad 
choices, hurtful choices. And sometimes 
we do just that, but that is where the mis- 
sion and mercy of Jesus Christ comes into 
full force and glory. He has taken upon 
himself the burden of all the world's risk. 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



22 

Saturday, September 30 

He has provided a mediating atonement 
for the wrong choices we make. He is our 
advocate with the Father and has paid, in 
advance, for the faults and foolishness we 
often see in the exercise of our freedom. 
We must accept his gift, repent of those 
mistakes, and follow his commandments 
in order to take full advantage of this re- 
demption. The offer is always there; the 
way is always open. We can always, even 
in our darkest hour and most disastrous 
errors, look to the Son of God and live. 

Choose God's blessings 

When the children of Israel returned 
from Egypt and stood on the threshold of 
the promised land, they faced the clear 
choice of what was before them. Of the 
future that was about to be theirs, the 
Lord said to them: 

"Behold, 1 set before you this day a 
blessing and a curse; 

"A blessing, if ye obey the com- 
mandments of the Lord your God, which 
I command you this day: 

"And a curse, if ye will not obey the 
commandments of the Lord your God" 
(Deuteronomy 11:26-28). 

That is the choice the Lord puts be- 
fore us as we face our own promised 
lands and our own bright futures. We are 
given the knowledge, the help, the entice- 
ment, and the freedom to choose the 



First Day 

path of eternal safety and salvation. The 
choice to do so is ours. By divine decree 
before this world was, the actual choice is 
and always has been our own. 

Let us be conscious of the fact that 
our future is being fashioned by the deci- 
sions we make. May we exercise our faith 
and our agency in choosing the blessings 
God has set before us in the great gospel 
plan of our Savior, 1 pray in the name of 
Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Hinckley 

President Howard W. Hunter of the 
Council of the Twelve Apostles has just 
addressed us. 

We express appreciation to the many 
who have offered facilities as a public 
service to bring the proceedings of this 
conference to a very large audience in 
many areas of the world. 

The Mormon Youth Chorus will 
now sing "How Great Thou Art," follow- 
ing which the benediction will be pro- 
nounced by Elder Jack H. Goaslind of the 
Seventy, and we will be adjourned until 
two o'clock this afternoon. 



The chorus sang "How Great Thou 
Art." 

Elder Jack H. Goaslind offered the 
benediction. 



FIRST DAY 
AFTERNOON SESSION 



The second general session of the 
159th Semiannual General Conference 
convened in the Tabernacle on Temple 
Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Satur- 
day, September 30, 1989, at 2:00 p.m. 
President Ezra Taft Benson presided, and 
President Thomas S. Monson, Second 
Counselor in the First Presidency, con- 
ducted this session. 

Music for this session was provided 
by a Polynesian choir from the Salt Lake 
Valley. Kuinise V. Matagi conducted, 
and Clay Christiansen was at the organ. 



At the beginning of the meeting. 
President Monson made the following 
remarks: 

President Thomas S. Monson 

My beloved brethren and sisters. 
President Ezra Taft Benson has asked that 
1 conduct this second general session of 
the 159th Semiannual General Confer- 
ence of The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints. 



THE SUSTAINING OF CHURCH AUTHORITIES AND OFFICERS 



23 



We welcome all who are in atten- 
dance or who are participating by means 
of television, cable, or radio, and many 
who are watching in stake centers 
throughout the various parts of the world 
where the conference is being carried by 
satellite transmission. We express appre- 
ciation to the owners and operators of 
many radio and television stations and 
cable and satellite systems for their co- 
operation in making these proceedings 
available to members and friends of the 
Church in many countries. 

We acknowledge the General Au- 
thorities of the Church, all of whom are in 
attendance except the following, who 
are excused: Elders Paul H. Dunn (who is 
at home on the advice of his physician 
following recent surgery). Sterling W. 
Sill, Joseph Anderson, and John H. 
Vandenberg. 

We note that Elders Neal A. 
Maxwell, H. Verlan Andersen, and 
L. Lionel Kendrick are seated on the 
stand in the Assembly Hall. 

The music for this session will be 
provided by a Polynesian choir from the 



Salt Lake Valley, under the direction of 
Brother Kuinise V. Matagi, with Brother 
Clay Christiansen at the organ. 

The choir will open this session by 
singing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer." 
The invocation will then be offered by 
Elder Jacob de Jager of the Seventy. 



The choir sang "Joseph Smith's First 
Prayer." 

Elder Jacob de Jager offered the 
invocation. 



President Monson 

The choir will now sing "The Morn- 
ing Breaks." President Gordon B. 
Hinckley will then present the General 
Authorities and general officers of the 
Church for your sustaining vote. 



The choir sang "The Morning 
Breaks." 



The Sustaining of Church Authorities and Officers 



President Gordon B. Hinckley 

My brothers and sisters, as requested 
by President Benson, I shall now present 
to you the General Authorities and gen- 
eral officers of the Church for your sus- 
taining vote. 

It is proposed that we sustain Presi- 
dent Ezra Taft Benson as prophet, seer, 
and revelator and President of The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints; Gordon B. Hinckley as First 
Counselor in the First Presidency; and 
Thomas S. Monson as Second Counselor 
in the First Presidency. Those in favor 
may manifest it. Those opposed may 
manifest it. 

It is proposed that we sustain Presi- 
dent Howard W. Hunter as President of 
the Council of the Twelve Apostles and 
the following as members of that council: 
Howard W. Hunter, Boyd K. Packer, 
Marvin J. Ashton, L. Tom Perry, David 



B. Haight, James E. Faust, Neal A. 
Maxwell, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. 
Oaks, M. Russell Ballard, Joseph B. 
Wirthlin, and Richard G. Scott. Those in 
favor, please manifest it. Any opposed 
may so manifest it. 

It is proposed that we sustain the 
Counselors in the First Presidency and the 
Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and 
revelators. All in favor, please manifest 
it. Contrary, if there be any, by the same 
sign. 

It is proposed that we release Elders 
Wm. Grant Bangerter and Hugh W. 
Pinnock as members of the Presidency of 
the Quorums of Seventy. Those who wish 
to extend a vole of appreciation to these 
Brethren for their faithful service may do 
so by the uplifted hand. 

It is proposed that we sustain as 
Presidents of the Quorums of the Seventy 
Elders Dean L. Larsen, Marion D. 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



24 

Saturday, September 30 

Hanks, Robert L. Backman, James M. 
Paramore, J. Richard Clarke, Rex D. 
Pinegar, and Carlos E. Asay. All in favor 
may manifest it. Any opposed. 

At the October 1978 general confer- 
ence, several of the General Authorities 
were given emeritus status. At that time 
the announcement was also made that 
additional members of the General Au- 
thorities would be so designated from 
time to time. 

Today, in consideration of factors 
of age and health, it is proposed that we 
sustain the following as emeritus mem- 
bers of the First Quorum of the Seventy 
with a vote of thanks for their faithful and 
effective service: Elders Theodore M. 
Burton, Robert L. Simpson, Victor L. 
Brown, Paul H. Dunn, J. Thomas Fyans, 
Wm. Grant Bangerter, Royden G. 
Derrick, and Rex C. Reeve. Those in 
favor, please manifest it. 

When the Second Quorum of the 
Seventy was established in April 1989, 
the initial membership of the Second 
Quorum of the Seventy was composed 
of General Authorities currently serving 
under a five-year call. It is accordingly 
proposed that we release with sincere 
appreciation for their devoted service 
the following members of the Second 
Quorum of the Seventy: Elders Russell C. 
Taylor, Robert B. Harbertson, Devere 
Harris, Spencer H. Osborn, Philip T. 
Sonntag, John Sonnenberg, F. Arthur 
Kay, and Keith W. Wilcox. Those in 
favor of an expression of gratitude to 
these Brethren, please indicate by the 
uplifted hand. 

It is proposed that we release with a 
vote of thanks Elders Robert L. Simpson, 



First Day 

Devere Harris, and Derek A. Cuthbert as 
the Sunday School General Presidency. 

Those in favor, with an expression of 
appreciation, may indicate. 

It is proposed that we sustain Elders 
Hugh W. Pinnock, Derek A. Cuthbert, 
and Ted E. Brewerton as the Sunday 
School General Presidency. Those in 
favor, please manifest it. Any opposed, 
by the same sign. 

It is proposed that we release with a 
vote of thanks Elder Rex D. Pinegar as 
First Counselor and Elder Robert B. 
Harbertson as Second Counselor in the 
Young Men General Presidency. Those 
who wish to voice their appreciation may 
so indicate it. 

It is proposed that we sustain Elder 
Jeffrey R. Holland as First Counselor and 
Elder Monte J. Brough as Second Coun- 
selor in the Young Men General Presi- 
dency. All in favor may manifest it. Any 
opposed. 

It is proposed that we sustain the 
other General Authorities and general 
officers of the Church as presently con- 
stituted. All in favor, please manifest it. 
Any opposed may manifest it. 

President Benson, it appears that 
the voting has been unanimous in the 
affirmative. 

President Monson 

Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member 
of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, 
will be our first speaker at this session. 
He will be followed by Elder W. Eugene 
Hansen of the Seventy. 



Elder Russell M. Nelson 



Words are inadequate to express the 
gratitude we feel for these brethren who 
have just been released from active as- 
signment as General Authorities of the 
Church. We appreciate their marvelous 
ministry and powerful influence for good 
in the world. 

Our privilege of sustaining leaders is 
granted by the Lord (see D&C 20:63-66; 



26:2; 28:13; 38:34; 93:51; 104:21; 
124:144). Sustaining makes known to the 
Church who has authority (see D&C 
42:11) and enables each of us to show 
support. We honor all our leaders, both 
men and women, and are grateful for 
brothers and sisters so united in this king- 
dom of God on earth. 



ELDER RUSSELL M. NELSON 



25 



Woman — of infinite worth 

At a recent news conference in an 
Eastern European country, I was asked 
about the potential for women in The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints. 1 replied that perhaps the Church 
does more to enlighten understanding 
about and to lift the cause of women than 
any other institution on earth. It provides 
the path to her eternal destiny. 

A worthy woman personifies the 
truly noble and worthwhile attributes of 
life. A faithful woman can become a de- 
voted daughter of God — more concerned 
with being righteous than with being self- 
ish, more anxious to exercise compassion 
than to exercise dominion, more commit- 
ted to integrity than to notoriety. And she 
knows of her own infinite worth. 

Each faithful young woman in the 
Church proclaims that individual worth 
is one of her most cherished values. She 
declares, "I am of infinite worth with my 
own divine mission which I will strive 
to fulfill" {Personal Progress [Salt Lake 
City: The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints, 1989], p. 7). Each 
daughter of God is of infinite worth be- 
cause of her divine mission. 

Important lessons about her divine 
mission may be learned from women of 
the scriptures. Mother Eve was a great 
example. She labored beside her husband 
as a partner. They both knew the plan of 
salvation. They both heeded command- 
ments of obedience to God. Likewise, she 
prayed for divine guidance. She bore chil- 
dren. She taught the gospel to them (see 
Moses 5:1-12; D&C 138:38-39). 

Sarah, in becoming the mother of 
Isaac in her advanced years, verified 
that nothing is "too hard for the Lord" 
(Genesis 18:14). 

Mary, mother of our Redeemer, was 
the perfect example of complete sub- 
mission to the will of God fsee Luke 
1:38). She kept confidences (see Luke 
2:19). In faith, she endured grief (see 
John 19:26-27). 

The stories of these and other scrip- 
tural heroines show that women are 



essential in God's plan for His children. 
Likewise, men have important but 
different assignments. We learn from the 
scriptures that men are to hold priesthood 
responsibilities and, as husbands and 
fathers, provide for and protect their 
families (see Romans 12:17; 1 Timothy 
5:8; D&C 75:28; 83:2, 4; 134:6, 11). 
From the beginning, the priesthood has 
been conferred only upon men, coming 
through the "lineage of the fathers" 
(see D&C 84:6-16; 86:8; 107:40-41; 
Abraham 1:3-4). 

Equal blessings and opportunities 

Blessings of the priesthood are 
shared by men and women. All may 
qualify for baptism and the gift of the 
Holy Ghost. All may take upon them- 
selves the name of the Lord and partake 
of the sacrament. All may pray and re- 
ceive answers to their prayers. Gifts of 
the Spirit and testimonies of the truth are 
bestowed regardless of gender. Men and 
women receive the highest ordinance in 
the house of the Lord together and 
equally, or not at all (see D&C 131:1-3). 

Opportunities for development of 
spiritual and intellectual potential are 
equal. Masculinity has no monopoly on 
the mind, and femininity has no exclusive 
dominion over the heart. The highest tides 
of human achievement — teacher, edu- 
cated professional, loyal employee, faith- 
ful friend, student of the scriptures, child 
of God, disciple of Christ, trusted com- 
panion, loving parent — are earned under 
a uniform requirement of worthiness. 

The great role of mother 

Loving parent. What a noble title! 
There are no greater roles in life for a man 
than those of husband and father. Like- 
wise, there are no greater roles for a 
woman than those of wife and mother. 

As I have watched my beloved com- 
panion and our dear daughters stretch to 
meet the challenging demands of these 
sacred roles, I have truly been inspired. 



26 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

I have marveled at Mother's forecast 
that a child would break out with measles 
or chicken pox well before my trained 
medical eye would have so predicted. 
I have watched the incredible calm of 
Mother when her child experienced a 
convulsive seizure. 

So much is expected of a mother. 
Often she is a detective; she must search 
for lost articles and solve on a daily basis 
baffling "who done it" mysteries. 

Frequently, her eager audience re- 
quests her talent as a musician by calling 
on her to sing — any time, any place. She 
is an artist, using crayons and coloring 
books, needles and thread, or other means 
to create works of art by her own hands 
(see Psalm 90:17; D&C 42:40). 

During the early life of most chil- 
dren, a woman is the principal disci- 
plinarian. She treads the tightrope of 
judgment between being too strict or too 
permissive. 

Mother is "secretary of labor" for her 
home. She teaches the work ethic with its 
responsibilities and rewards. Father, too, 
shares that duty. I remember a hot Satur- 
day afternoon years ago when one of our 
little daughters heard the chimes of an 
approaching ice-cream wagon. She asked 
me for some money. A bit heartlessly, I 
replied, "Sweetheart, why don't you earn 
your money like everyone else does?" I'll 
never forget her reply. 

"But, Daddy," she said, "I don't like 
to work!" (Things are different now with 
four children of her own.) 

A woman is a master communicator. 
And she communicates best in humble 
prayer. How many of us first learned to 
pray beside the bended knees of our 
mothers? Surely she knows that her chil- 
dren can walk alone only when they have 
found their pathway to Father in Heaven 
through prayer. 

Certainly, a woman is a teacher. 
Someone said, "When you teach a boy, 
you teach an individual, but when you 
teach a girl, you teach a whole genera- 
tion." 

J. Edgar Hoover said that "the cure 
of crime is not the electric chair but the 



First Day 

high chair" (in Emerson Roy West, 
comp.. Vital Quotations [Salt Lake City: 
Bookcraft, 1968], p. 78). 

Honor for women who are not 
mothers 

I honor women who are not mothers. 
They know that motherhood is but one of 

the realms of womankind. The virtue and 
intelligence of women are uniquely appli- 
cable to other realms as well, such as 
compassionate service and teaching. 

I am indebted to so many wonderful 
men and women who were my teachers. 
From grade school I remember Miss 
Crow, Miss McLean, Miss Starr, and 
others. Later, Miss Bradford, Miss 
Cunningham, and Miss Snow were 
among my favorites. They were modest, 
gracious, and moral examples. They 
were not concerned with what I was to 
acquire, but with what 1 was to become. 
These marvelous unmarried teachers ex- 
erted an influence distinct from that of 
my angel mother. Their gleaming hopes, 
vicarious ambitions, and exacting de- 
mands were vitally important to my 
preparation for life. 

Wise and righteous women 

A wise woman renews herself. In 
proper season, she develops her talents 
and continues her education. She musters 
the discipline to reach her goals. She dis- 
pels darkness and opens windows of truth 
to light her way. 

A woman teaches priorities by pre- 
cept and example. Recently 1 watched a 
television program in which a female law- 
yer was being interviewed. She was at 
home with her child on a full-time basis. 
When asked of her decision, she replied, 
"Oh, I may go back to the law sometime, 
but not now. For me, the issue is simple. 
Any lawyer could take care of my clients, 
but only I should be the mother of this 
child." 

Such a decision is made not in terms 
of rights but in terms of obligations and 
responsibilities. She knows that as she 



ELDER RUSSELL M. NELSON 



27 



rises to meet responsibilities, rights will 
take care of themselves. 

The Prophet Joseph Smith was 
taught this lesson while unjustly incar- 
cerated in Liberty Jail — scene of so few 
rights, so little freedom, and so much 
abusive authority. As the Master tutored 
His Prophet regarding rights, those in- 
structions were surrounded by schooling 
about obligations and responsibilities (see 
D&C 121). 

A righteous woman is a student of 
the scriptures. Many apply uniquely to 
her life (see Genesis 27:46; Psalm 113:9; 
Proverbs 31:10-31; Ephesians 5:22-33; 
Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:3-5; Jacob 3:7; 
D&C 25). In the scriptures she finds 
"great treasures of knowledge, even hid- 
den treasures" (D&C 89:19). 

She need not have majored in phys- 
ics to know divine truths, as "there is no 
such thing as immaterial matter" (D&C 
131:7). She need not have graduated in 
astronomy to learn lessons taught by God 
to Abraham — the relation of the earth 
to the sun, the sun to the planets, the 
planets to the center of the universe, and 
more (see Abraham 3). When she sings 
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I won- 
der what you are," she knows scriptural 
answers. 

Well do I remember attending an 
important international symposium. The 
speaker was one of the world's leading 
scholars, addressing a learned society 
with faculty representatives from major 
universities near and far. He said, in ef- 
fect, that libraries of the world are being 
filled with case histories and anecdotal 
research. He pled for a significant change 
in direction. "What we need," he said, 
"is research in things that really matter. 
We need to learn more about why we are 
here, where we have come from, and 
where we are going!" 

That unforgettable address comes to 
mind each time I hear teachers at Primary 
and mothers at home enlighten children 
with revealed answers to these same ques- 
tions. While so doing, they bear firm tes- 
timonies of the divinity of the Lord Jesus 
Christ. 



Feeling a sense of infinite worth 

Of course, there are times when a 
woman's ability to endure is taxed to the 
limit. A teacher may have had enough of 
childish pranks, or a mother might be 
heard to say she's "ready to resign." She 
could become discouraged, especially if 
comparing herself unrealistically to others 
or focusing on what she is to do instead of 
on what she is to be. 

Her self-esteem cannot be based on 
physical features, possession or lack of a 
particular talent, or comparative quanti- 
ties of anything. Her self-esteem is earned 
by individual righteousness and a close 
relationship with God. Her outward glow 
is generated by goodness within. And her 
patience is much more apparent than any 
imperfection (see D&C 67:13). 

Sweet serenity is found in fervent 
prayer. Then, we forget ourselves and re- 
member the reaching hands of the Savior, 
who said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour 
and are heavy laden, and 1 will give you 
rest" (Matthew 1 1:28). As our burdens are 
shared with Him, they do become lighter. 

Feelings of worth come when a 
woman follows the example of the Mas- 
ter. Her sense of infinite worth comes 
from her own Christlike yearning to reach 
out with love, as He does. 

When her husband, children, grand- 
children, nieces, or nephews return from 
a day marred by the world's rude reali- 
ties, a loving woman can say, "Come 
unto me. 1 will give you rest." Wherever 
she is can become a sanctified place, safe 
from the storms of life. Refuge is there 
because of her ability to nurture and to 
love unconditionally. 

Sometimes this true love necessarily 
takes the tone of tough love. Her lessons 
of obedience and accountability must re- 
semble those of her Master, who said, "If 
ye love me, keep my commandments" 
(John 14:15; see also Exodus 20:6; Deu- 
teronomy 5:10; Mosiah 13:14; D&C 46:9; 
124:87). 

In partnership with God 

The Good Shepherd said, "Feed my 
lambs" (John 21:15). So a woman feeds 



28 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

her loved ones, providing succor and sus- 
tenance just as the Savior would do. Her 
divine gift is to nurture, to help the 
young, to care for the poor, to lift the 
brokenhearted. 

The Lord said, "My work and my 
glory [is] to bring to pass the immortality 
and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). So 
His devoted daughter-disciple may truly 
say, "My work and my glory is to help 
my loved ones reach that heavenly goal." 

To help another human being reach 
one's celestial potential is part of the 
divine mission of woman. As mother, 
teacher, or nurturing saint, she molds liv- 
ing clay to the shape of her hopes. In 
partnership with God, her divine mission 
is to help spirits live and souls be lifted. 
This is the measure of her creation. It is 
ennobling, edifying, and exalting. 

Satan's efforts to demean women 

Her saintly calling is opposed by 
Satan. He would shatter the family unit 
and demean the worth of woman. He 
would triumph if one man would offend 
or fail to honor her, or if one woman 
would deny her infinite worth and behave 
beneath her dignity. The vulgar portrayal 
of her beauty as an object of lust, the 
vile invasion of her private purity, should 
provoke righteous indignation from all 
caring people. 

The gospel has been restored in these 
latter days so that the light of the Lord can 



First Day 

prevail over efforts of the adversary. This 
day has long been prophesied. The Lord 
has promised worthy Saints of our time, 
"Upon the servants and upon the hand- 
maids in those days will I pour out my 
spirit" (Joel 2:29). 

Women's divine potential 

A woman's richest rewards will 
come as she rises to fulfill her destiny 

as a devoted daughter of God. To all 
faithful Saints He has promised thrones, 
kingdoms, principalities, glory, immor- 
tality, and eternal lives (see Romans 2:7; 
D&C 75:5; 128:12, 23; 132:19). That is 
the potential for women in The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is 
exalting, everlasting, and divine. 

God bless us to honor each woman 
in her divine mission as a woman of infi- 
nite worth, I pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ, amen. 

President M onsen 

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the 
Council of the Twelve has just spoken to 
us. 

Elder W. Eugene Hansen, who was 
sustained last conference as a member of 
the Seventy, will now address us. He will 
be followed by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, 
also sustained last conference as a mem- 
ber of the Seventy. 



Elder W. Eugene Hansen 



My beloved brothers and sisters, 
since this is my first opportunity to ad- 
dress you since the call to this new assign- 
ment, I want you to know how grateful I 
am for the privilege of serving the Lord 
and dedicating my life to the building of 
the kingdom. 

The Savior's mission of love 

There is no single word that better 
characterizes the life and mission of the 
Savior than the word love. 



The Savior's mission was begun out 
of love which the Father had for His chil- 
dren. In John we read, "For God so loved 
the world, that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in him 
should not perish, but have everlasting 
life" (John 3:16). 

Thus, the greatest mission in the his- 
tory of the world was ordained and begun 
because of the love of our kind and caring 
Eternal Father. 



ELDER W. EUGENE HANSEN 



29 



The need for love in the world 

You will recall that the Pharisees, in 
their effort to ensnare the Master, had the 
lawyer put the question to him, "Master, 
which is the great commandment in the 
law?" (I wish it had been someone other 
than a lawyer who had asked that ques- 
tion, but there is some comfort in the fact 
that the Pharisees put him up to it.) 
You will remember the response: 
"Jesus said unto him. Thou shall 
love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and with all thy soul, and with all thy 
mind. 

"This is the first and great command- 
ment. 

"And the second is like unto it. Thou 
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

"On these two commandments hang 
all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 
22:36-40). 

Elder James E. Talmage has com- 
mented that these two commandments 
"are so closely related as to be virtually 
one: . . . 'Thou shalt love.' He who 
abideth one of the two will abide both; for 
without love for our fellows, it is impos- 
sible to please God" {The Articles of 
Faith, 12th ed. [Salt Lake City: The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints, 1968], p. 431). 

As we approach what seem like in- 
surmountable problems facing mankind 
today, there has never been a greater need 
for love in the world — not only of God, 
but love of all mankind. 

Showing love through Church service 

As a church, we are fortunate to be 
able to show love and render service in an 
organized way. 

Our missionary program is an ex- 
pression of love for our neighbors as 
we share the message of the gospel. It is 
out of love and concern for others that 
our missionaries spend up to two years, 
largely at their own expense, living in all 
parts of the world. Many experience hard- 
ship, deprivations, and danger as they 
share the blessings of the gospel. 

Our tithes and offerings, when given 
with the right spirit, are an expression of 
love and concern that we have for the 



Lord's work and for those in need of 
material assistance. 

The brotherhood and warmth of our 
priesthood quorums, Relief Society, and 
youth organizations are available to all 
who will "come unto Christ, and be per- 
fected in him" (Moroni 10:32). 

Countless thousands of hours are 
spent in meaningful Christian service by 
bishops, stake presidents. Relief Society 
presidents, home teachers, nursery lead- 
ers, and all who have accepted callings to 
do their part. They render this service not 
just out of a sense of duty, but out of 
genuine love for those they serve. 

Showing love in personal relationships 

But for all of the good that is being 
accomplished, much remains to be done. 
Perhaps the greatest opportunity for im- 
provement is in our individual relation- 
ships with one another. 

As the Savior was closing His minis- 
try in preparation for the sacrifice that 
was to be the greatest of all gifts of 
love, He gave the powerful admonition, 
"Love one another; as 1 have loved you" 
(John 13:34). 

May 1 offer four suggestions to help 
focus on principles that will make us 
kinder, gentler, more harmonious, and 
loving persons. 

First, be considerate. Be sensitive to 
the thoughts and feelings of others, al- 
ways careful not to demean or belittle by 
either word or act. Be encouraging, up- 
lifting, careful not to break down a per- 
son's confidence. It was my experience 
even in the legal profession — combative 
as it can sometimes be — that there was 
still much room to show consideration 
and respect. 

Second, be complimentary. Look for 
attributes and acts others that you can 
be genuinely complimentary of. Every- 
one is lifted by sincere and deserved com- 
mendation. 

Third, be charitable. The prophet 
Moroni counsels us with respect to the 
need for charity: "For if he have not char- 
ity he is nothing" (Moroni 7:44). In his 
epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle 
Paul sums up the importance of charity in 



30 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

that familiar verse: "Though I speak with 
the tongues of men and of angels, and 
have not charity, I am become as sound- 
ing brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (1 Corin- 
thians 13:1). 

What does it mean to be charitable? 
Charity is the opposite of selfishness. It 
means being generous and giving of both 
one's means and one's time in the service 
of others. 

We should have an element of sacri- 
fice in our offerings and in the consecra- 
tion of our time. We should strive to lift 
those within our reach who are forlorn or 
who despair. We should take a special 
interest in the youth around us. 

"Charity is the pure love of Christ" 
(Moroni 7:47). 

Fourth, be grateful. If we would 
show our love to our Heavenly Father, we 
would be grateful. We would show our 
gratitude by the way we live, not just by 
what we say or profess. 

It has been said that the sin of in- 
gratitude is more serious than the sin of 
revenge. With revenge, we return evil for 
evil, but with ingratitude, we return evil 
for good. 

An example of love 

Years ago, when it was the practice 
to hold baccalaureate services at gradu- 
ation time, President Harold B. Lee 
related a story to a group of college 
graduates that has always stayed with me. 

He told of a woman who was wid- 
owed early in life and left with several 
children to support and care for. Money 
was scarce. The children had to work 
hard to supplement the meager amounts 
that the mother was able to earn doing 
laundry and cleaning houses. 

But as the children took top aca- 
demic honors and went on to notable 
achievements in the community and busi- 
ness world, the family attracted the at- 
tention of the local newspaper. A reporter 
was sent to the home to interview this 
remarkable mother who, by then, was 
somewhat stooped and gray. 



First Day 

Several questions were asked by the 
reporter in an attempt to leam the secret 
of her success. She had accomplished so 
much with so little. 

The reporter asked his final question: 
"With such a wonderful family of chil- 
dren, which one did you love the most?" 
With a tear softly moistening her eye she 
replied: 

"1 loved most the one who was sick 
until she was better. 

"I loved most the one who was away 
until he returned. 

"1 loved most the one who was fail- 
ing until he succeeded. 

"1 loved most the one who was sad 
until she was happy." 

Emulate Christlike love 

In closing, may I quote from 
Solomon Bennett Freehof: 

"Years ago I preferred clever people. 
There was a joy in beholding ... a mind 
. . . bearing thoughts quickly translated 
into words, or ideas expressed in a new 
way. 1 find now my taste has changed. 
Verbal fireworks often bore me. They 
seem motivated by self-assertion and 
self-display. I now prefer another type of 
person; one who is considerate, under- 
standing of others, careful not to break 
down another person's self-respect. . . . 
My preferred person today is one who 
is always aware of the needs of others, 
or their pain and [their] fear and [their] 
unhappiness, and their search for self- 
respect. ... I once liked clever people. 
Now 1 like good people" (in Richard L. 
Evans, comp., Richard Evans' Quote 
Book [Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 
1971], p. 166). 

May we all strive more diligently to 
show our love of the Lord by the way we 
emulate Christlike love in our relation- 
ships with others, that we may lay claim 
to the "crown of life" referred to by 
James, "which the Lord hath promised to 
them that love him" (James 1:12), I pray, 
in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 



ELDER JEFFREY K HOLLAND 



31 



Elder Jeffrey R. Holland 



Expressions of gratitude 

I join with Elder Hansen and all of 
my Brethren newly called to the quorums 
of the Seventy in expressing gratitude to 
the Lord for the privilege of this holy call- 
ing and opportunity to serve. There is no 
sufficient way to express either the sense 
of responsibility or feelings of inadequacy 
one has in being called to such a ministry. 
In these many weeks of self-examination, 
I have repeatedly felt, as Paul once wrote, 
"pressed out of measure, [and stretched] 
above strength" (2 Corinthians 1:8). 

I also wish to express appreciation to 
my family, who have loved me, prayed 
for me, comforted and sustained me all of 
my life — as only a family can. They 
alone know how deeply I love them. I 
alone know how much they will mean to 
me forever. 

This afternoon I wish to thank you, 
the faithful members of the Church, for 
your sustaining vote last April and again 
this day. It is no small thing to "sustain" 
another person. The word literally means 
to "uphold" or, if you prefer, to "hold 
up." When we sustain life, we nourish it, 
we keep it going. When we sustain a 
friend or a neighbor or a stranger in the 
street, we give support, we share 
strength, we provide help. We hold each 
other up under the weight of present cir- 
cumstance. We bear one another's bur- 
dens under the heavy personal pressures 
of life. 

Jesus provides sustenance 

As with all else in our experience, 
the Lord Jesus Christ is our exemplar and 
ideal in this very important matter of pro- 
viding sustenance. His is the ultimate arm 
of strength and his the endurance which 
endures all things. At no time did he dem- 
onstrate that unfailing devotion more 
clearly than during the final moments of 
his earthly life, hours when he might well 
have wished that others could have been 
sustaining him. 

As the sacred supper of that ultimate 
Passover was being prepared, Jesus was 



under the strain of deep and profound 
emotion. Only he knew what lay immedi- 
ately ahead, but perhaps even he did not 
fully anticipate the depth of pain to which 
he must go before it could be said, "The 
Son of Man hath descended below them 
all" (D&C 122:8). 

In the midst of this meal and such 
thoughts, Christ quietly arose, girded 
himself as a slave or servant would, and 
knelt to wash the Apostles' feet (see John 
13:3-17). This small circle of believers 
in this scarcely founded kingdom were 
about to pass through their severest trial, 
so he would set aside his own increasing 
anguish in order that he might yet once 
more serve and strengthen them. It does 
not matter that no one washed his feet. In 
transcendent humility he would continue 
to teach and to cleanse them. He would to 
the final hour — and beyond — be their 
sustaining servant. As John wrote, who 
was there and watched the wonder of it 
all, "Having loved his own which were in 
the world, he loved them unto the end" 
(John 13:1). 

So it had been, and so it was to be — 
through the night, and through the pain, 
and forever. He would always be their 
strength, and no anguish in his own soul 
would ever keep him from that sustaining 
role. 

In the moonlit silence of that Near 
Eastern night, every acute pain, every 
heartfelt grief, every crushing wrong 
and human hurt experienced by every 
man, woman, and child in the human 
family was to be heaped upon his weary 
shoulders. But in such a moment, when 
someone might have said it to him, he 
rather says to us, "Let not your heart 
be troubled, neither let it be afraid" 
(John 14:27). 

"Ye shall be sorrowful," he said — 
sad, lonely, frightened, and sometimes 
even persecuted, "but your sorrow shall 
be turned into joy .... Be of good cheer; 
I have overcome the world" (John 16:20, 
33; italics added). 

How can he speak that way? Of good 
cheer and joy? On a night like this? With 
the pain he knew was just ahead? But 



32 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

those are the blessings he always brought, 
and that is how he always spoke — to the 
very end. 

Jesus endured and triumphed 

We cannot know to what extent his 
disciples fully understood the approach- 
ing events, but we do know that Christ 
faced his final moments alone. In one of 
the truly candid comments he would 
make to his brethren, he said, "My soul is 
exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" 
(Matthew 26:38). And he left them to do 
what only he could do. The Light of the 
World stepped away from human com- 
pany and entered the garden grove to 
wrestle with the prince of darkness alone. 
Moving forward, kneeling, falling for- 
ward on his face, he cried with an anguish 
you and I will never know, "0 my Father, 
if it be possible, let this cup pass from 
me" (Matthew 26:39). But he knew, for 
our sakes, that it could not pass and that 
he must drink that bitter cup to the dregs! 

His disciples, understandably, were 
weary and soon fell asleep. What of 
Christ's sleep? What of his fatigue? What 
rest or slumber will sustain him through 
such an agonizing ordeal? That is simply 
not his concern here, nor does it ever 
seem to be. He will endure. He will 
triumph. He will not falter nor fail us. 

Even in crucifixion he would reign 
with the benevolence and bearing of a 
King. Of those who rend his flesh and 
spill his blood he says, "Father, forgive 
them; for they know not what they do" 
(Luke 23:34). And to the penitent thief at 
his side he gently promises paradise. To 
his beloved mother he is unable to make 
any caring gesture with his hands. So he 
simply looks at her and says, "Woman, 
behold thy son!" Then commending to 
John her future care, he declares, "Behold 
thy mother!" (John 19:26-27). He would 
be concerned for others — but especially 
for her — to the very end. 

Because he must ultimately tread 
this winepress of redemption unaided, 
can he endure the darkest moment of 
them all, the shock of the greatest pain? 
This comes not with thorns and with 
nails, but with the terror of feeling utterly 



First Day 

alone: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? . . . 
My God, my God, why hast thou for- 
saken me?" (Mark 15:34). Can he bear all 
of our sins and our fear and loneliness 
too? He did and he does and he will. 

We do not know how such great 
sorrow can be borne, but it is no wonder 
the sun hid its face in shame. No wonder 
the veil of the temple was rent. No won- 
der the very earth convulsed at the 
plight of this perfect child. And at least 
one Roman centurion who saw all of this 
sensed something of what it had meant. In 
awe, he uttered the declaration for all 
eternity, "Truly this was the Son of God" 
(Matthew 27:54). 

Pure love of Christ never faileth 

Life has its share of some fear and 
some failure. Sometimes things fall short, 
don't quite measure up. Sometimes in 
both personal and public life, we are seem- 
ingly left without strength to go on. 
Sometimes people fail us, or economies 
and circumstance fail us, and life with 
its hardship and heartache can leave us 
feeling very alone. 

But when such difficult moments 
come to us, I testify that there is one thing 
which will never, ever fail us. One thing 
alone will stand the test of all time, of all 
tribulation, all trouble, and all transgres- 
sion. One thing only never faileth — and 
that is the pure love of Christ. 

"1 remember," Moroni cries to the 
Savior of the world, "that thou hast said 
that thou hast loved the world, even 
unto the laying down of thy life for the 
world. . . . 

"Now I know," he writes, "that this 
love which thou hast had for the children 
of men is charity" (Ether 12:33-34). 

Having watched a dispensation die 
and an entire civilization destroy itself, 
Moroni quotes his father for any who will 
listen in some later ("latter") day, "If ye 
have not charity, ye are nothing" (Moroni 
7:46). Only the pure love of Christ will 
see us through. It is Christ's love which 
suffereth long, and is kind. It is Christ's 
love which is not puffed up nor easily 
provoked. Only his pure love enables 
him — and us — to bear all things, believe 



ELDER MARLIN K JENSEN 



33 



all things, hope all things, and endure all 
things (see Moroni 7:45). 

Oh, love effulgent, love divine! 
What debt of gratitude is mine. 
That in his off ring I have part 
And hold a place within his heart. 
("God Loved Us, So He Sent His 
Son," Hymns, no. 187.) 

I testify that having loved us who are 
in the world, Christ loves us to the end. 
His pure love never fails us. Not now. 
Not ever. Not ever. 

Of that divine sustaining vote for all 
of us I testify in this, his true and living 



Church, in the name of Jesus Christ, 
amen. 

President Monson 

Elders W. Eugene Hansen and 
Jeffrey R. Holland of the Seventy have 
just spoken to us. 

The choir and congregation will now 
join in singing "We Thank Thee, O God, 
for a Prophet." Elders Marlin K. Jensen 
and Carlos Amado, sustained at April 
conference as members of the Seventy, 
will then speak to us. 



The choir and congregation sang 
"We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet." 



Elder Marlin K. Jensen 



Expressions of gratitude 

Brothers and sisters, I am grateful 
for the opportunity to greet all of you 
and to tell you how thankful I am to have 
been called as a member of the First 
Quorum of the Seventy. My wife, Kathy, 
says she always knew I would receive a 
life sentence of some type, but neither of 
us dreamed it would be something so 
rewarding! 

No one can stand at this pulpit for 
the first time —where so many truly great 
men and women have stood over the 
years — without experiencing a strong 
sense of personal inadequacy and an over- 
whelming desire to express appreciation. 
I feel both today. 

1 want to express appreciation to my 
friends and neighbors in the little moun- 
tain valley where I was born and where I 
have chosen to live my life thus far — 
also, to my noble ancestors and my living 
extended family. I am constantly aware of 
their goodness and their interest in me. I 
sincerely thank my parents, who continue 
to work on a project that began at my 
birth forty-seven years ago. 1 am espe- 
cially indebted to my companion. Her 
support, love, and cheerful disposition 
make my life very enjoyable. She would 



want you to know of her own strong con- 
viction of the truthfulness of the restored 
gospel. Together we have been blessed 
with eight delightful children, whose de- 
velopment and happiness are our primary 
concerns. I love each one of them very 
much. 

1 am also very grateful for the bless- 
ing of daily association with the General 
Authorities of the Church. 1 pledge to 
these dedicated men my loyalty, my love, 
and my untiring efforts in building up 
God's kingdom. I promise them also that 
I will always heed the Lord's admonition 
in the Doctrine and Covenants: "There- 
fore, strengthen your brethren in all your 
conversation, in all your prayers, in all 
your exhortations, and in all your doings" 
(D&C 108:7). 

Finally, I am very grateful for each 
of you, my brothers and sisters all over 
the world, who have come to a knowl- 
edge of the Redeemer and are part of His 
Church. I appreciate your goodness and 
devotion and look forward to meeting you 
and serving at your side in the years 
ahead. With you, in the words of the 
Apostle Paul, 1 am humbled to know that 
"neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor 
principalities, nor powers, nor things 
present, nor things to come, nor height. 



34 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

nor depth, nor any other creature, shall 
be able to separate us from the love of 
God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" 
(Romans 8:38-39). For this knowledge I 
am most grateful of ail. 

An eye single to God's glory 

As I have searched the scriptures in 

recent months for guidance in my new 
calling, I have become aware of the 
importance to our eternal welfare of our 
motives, our desires, and our attitudes. 
I speak of one of these today: the neces- 
sity of performing our earthly labors with 
"an eye single to the glory of God" 
(D&C 4:5). 

The temptation to seek personal rec- 
ognition and reward from our service to 
others is ever-present. The pattern was es- 
tablished in the pre-earth life by Satan 
himself. There, when the Father ex- 
plained His plan of salvation for the in- 
habitants of this earth and the need for a 
redeemer, Satan responded by saying, 
"Behold, here am I, send me, 1 will be thy 
son, and I will redeem all mankind, that 
one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will 
do it; wherefore give me thine honor" 
(Moses 4:1). In contrast, Christ showed 
us for all time that God's work is to be 
done with an attitude of Thine, not mine. 
Said He, "Father, thy will be done, and 
the glory be thine forever" (4:2). 

Those who seek honor and gain for 
themselves in doing the Lord's work are 
guilty of what the scriptures call priest- 
crafts. Of this sin, Nephi stated, "Priest- 
crafts are that men preach and set 
themselves up for a light unto the world, 
that they may get gain and praise of the 
world; but they seek not the welfare of 
Zion" (2 Nephi 26:29). 

Blessings of giving glory to God 

Latter-day Saints whose eyes are 
single to God's glory see life from a 
vastly different perspective than those 
whose attention is directed elsewhere. 
Such members, for instance, care little 
about receiving credit or recognition for 
their good deeds. They are more inter- 
ested in feeding the Lord's sheep than in 



Fir^t Day 

counting them. In fact, they frequently 
find their greatest happiness in serving 
anonymously, thereby leaving the benefi- 
ciaries of their kindness with no one to 
thank or praise except the Lord. In this 
regard, we can perhaps learn a lesson 
from our Christian brothers and sisters in 
the Amish communities of Pennsylvania. 
It is reported that their writers frequently 
compose and publish poetry and religious 
literature anonymously, so as to deflect 
attention from themselves and ensure that 
only God receives the glory. 

There is something particularly 
noble about the good works of those who 
act without restraint or compulsion and 
with no expectation of reward or recogni- 
tion. Their goodness has its source in the 
"desires of their hearts" (Alma 41:3) and 
is the result of pure motives. 

Our second-youngest daughter illus- 
trated this principle in a simple way a year 
or so ago when she was three. Without 
special occasion, except the joy of doing 
something nice for someone, she hid a 
tasty bedtime treat under my pillow. 
When I thanked her and asked her the 
next morning why she had done such a 
good deed, she said, "Just because I love 
you. Daddy— just because I love you." 

The least shall be great 

Considerations of church position 
and title are also of little consequence to 
Latter-day Saints whose eyes are directed 
toward God's glory. Their concern is fo- 
cused on the opportunities for service that 
church callings present, rather than on 
gaining personal notoriety. Such mem- 
bers, who serve competently and quietly, 
regardless of whether they are the "high- 
est" or the "least" in the kingdom, are 
probably those that the Apostle Paul had 
in mind when he wrote, "And those mem- 
bers of the body [meaning the Church], 
which we think to be less honourable, 
upon these we bestow more abundant 
honour" (1 Corinthians 12:23). 

The merit of rendering faithful ser- 
vice, regardless of one's position in the 
Church, was tenderly brought to my at- 
tention several years ago during the fu- 
neral service of a man who had done 



ELDER MARLIN K. JENSEN 



35 



much good in his life without ever being 
recognized with a high church office. I 
was touched as I heard the deceased's 
brother-in-law describe him as a man who 

had never served as an elders quorum 
president, as a bishop, or as a stake presi- 
dent, but who "had made a lot of them 
look awfully good." 

All of us who have observed a loving 
Primary nursery leader ministering pa- 
tiently to her flock of two-year-olds or 
who have felt the gentle spirit of those 
wonderful white-haired men and women 
who faithfully serve in the temples of 
the Lord will understand perfectly the 
Savior's comment, "For he that is least 
among you all, the same shall be great" 
(Luke 9:48). 

Sacrificing our vain ambitions 

When our eyes are fixed on God's 
glory, we feel the majesty of His cre- 
ations and the grand scope of His work on 
this earth. We feel humble to be partici- 
pants in His latter-day kingdom. If we 
pause and quietly reflect on our role in all 
of this, we will come to know that placing 
our egos and our vain ambitions on the 
sacrificial altar is one of the most impor- 
tant offerings we can ever make. Well 
might we acknowledge, as did Moses 
after beholding in vision God's glory, 
"Now, for this cause 1 know that man is 
nothing, which thing 1 never had sup- 
posed" (Moses 1:10). 

Paul demonstrated a similar attitude 
and recognition in his first letter to the 
Corinthians, in which he asked rhetori- 
cally: 

"Who then is Paul, and who is Apol- 
los, but ministers by whom ye believed, 
even as the Lord gave to every man? 

"I have planted, Apollos watered; 
but God gave the increase. 



"So then neither is he that planteth 
any thing, neither he that watereth; but 
God that giveth the increase" (1 Corin- 
thians 3:5-7). 

Brothers and sisters, I testify that 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints is God's kingdom on the earth to- 
day. This kingdom will roll forward with 
or without us as individuals. Men and 
women who even momentarily take their 
eyes off of God's glory and seek to exalt 
themselves, or who become entangled in 
the vain things of this world, will find that 
the kingdom quickly moves on without 
them. Unfortunately, none of us is im- 
mune from this all-too-human tendency. 
In the final dramatic hours of the Savior's 
life, even His Apostles — those stalwart 
men who certainly should have known 
better — argued with one another about 
who should be accounted the greatest 
(see Luke 22:24). 

The Lord's promise 

To those faithful Latter-day Saints 
whose view of their own importance in 
God's plan is in perspective, the Lord has 
promised: 

"And if your eye be single to my 
glory, your whole bodies shall be filled 
with light, and there shall be no darkness 
in you; and that body which is filled with 
light comprehendeth all things. 

"Therefore, sanctify yourselves that 
your minds become single to God, and 
the days will come that you shall see him; 
for he will unveil his face unto you, and it 
shall be in his own time, and in his own 
way, and according to his own will" 
(D&C 88:67-68). 

Of these truths I testify, adding my 
own humble witness of the reality and 
goodness of God and His Son. In the 
name of Jesus Christ, amen. 



36 

Satia-day, September 30 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



First Day 



Elder Carlos H. Amado 



Seeking God's comfort in adversity 

The day I arrived in Mexico City as 
a General Authority with my family, I 
received a telephone call from a former 
missionary companion who wanted to 
talk to me that night. His oldest son, who 
was just starting his first semester of col- 
lege, had died in a tragic accident. He 
was only seventeen years old and full of 
enthusiasm for life. He was faithful in the 
Church and a seminary graduate. Just two 
weeks before, he had talked to his parents 
about desires and goals in life. Now he 
was gone. They understand the plan of 
salvation well and are sealed for eternity, 
but the physical separation affects them. 

Those who have gone through this 
kind of trial recognize that there are 
tragedies that are so difficult we cannot 
understand them. We do not have an an- 
swer in this life for every adversity. When 
trials come, it is time to turn our souls to 
God, who is the author of life and the 
only source of comfort. "Peace I leave 
with you, my peace I give unto you: not 
as the world giveth, give I unto you" 
(John 14:27). 

Changing tragedy into a blessing 

Some months ago 1 heard that the 
wife of a friend was again threatening 
miscarriage. I hurried, along with others 
who were concerned about the baby, to 
make sure that things would be well. 
While arrangements were still being 
made, we were told that it was too late. 
This was the third time she had gone 
through this painful experience. 1 asked 
myself. What can 1 say to comfort them? 
How will the Lord help them overcome 
this new blow? 

The day she left the hospital she 
heard about another sister from her stake 
who was going through the same experi- 
ence. Full of trust in the Lord, she went to 
visit the sister and give her support. She 
changed her own tragedy into a blessing 
of comfort for others. 

Thinking about her attitude, 1 re- 
membered a lesson I learned many years 



ago when my father died. He died sud- 
denly, leaving my mother a widow with 
fifteen children, ten of whom were depen- 
dent on her. This was a great tragedy in 
her life. Of course, the gospel, the fellow- 
ship of the Church, and our own testi- 
monies gave us a solid base which 
comforted us and helped us to accept this 
loss with dignity. In spite of the fact that 
we never left her alone, it affected her 
deeply. Although she accepted the will of 
God, her soul did not find iimer peace. 

One morning as we were traveling 
downtown on a bus, she began to feel her 
loneliness. I noticed it, but also knew that 
I couldn't give her the comfort she 
needed. She cried in silence, but with dig- 
nity. A lady passenger came up and said, 
"You seem to be very sad." My mother 
answered, "I have just lost my husband." 
Then the lady asked, "Do you have chil- 
dren?" and my mother answered, "I have 
fifteen children, and each one of them has 
some trait that reminds me of their father. 
So I am constantly reminded of him." 

When she heard this, the woman 
said, "You are truly blessed because you 
lost only your husband. 1 lost my hus- 
band, too, and my two daughters in an 
automobile accident, and 1 am living 
alone. So I do understand your pain and 
sorrow." Then she added, "Only God can 
help us overcome trials like this." 

Those who suffer great adversity and 
sorrow and go on to serve their fellowmen 
develop a great capacity to understand 
others. Like the prophets, they have ac- 
quired a higher understanding of the mind 
and will of Christ. To me, this woman 
was like an angel. She gave comfort and 
raised my mother's thoughts toward God 
in a time of great trial. From that day on, 
each time my mother felt lonely or aban- 
doned, she would say to me, "Son, pity 
the woman who lost all. I am grateful that 
the Lord has blessed me with fifteen chil- 
dren to be my companions in life." 

Christ understands our suffering 

This personal experience has helped 
me understand the importance of what 



ELDER CARLOS H. AMADO 



37 



God revealed to Joseph Smith in the 
Doctrine and Covenants: 

"Which suffering caused myself, 
even God, the greatest of all, to tremble 
because of pain, and to bleed at every 
pore, and to suffer both body and spirit — 
and would that I might not drink the bitter 
cup, and shrink — 

"Nevertheless, glory be to the 
Father, and I partook and finished my 
preparations unto the children of men" 
(D&C 19:18-19). 

Christ has suffered more than any of 
us, and He knows the intensity of our af- 
flictions. There is no suffering we have 
that He did not undergo in Gethsemane 
and on Calvary. That is why He under- 
stands and can help us. 

Christ stated, "1 am the resurrection, 
and the life: he that believeth in me, 
though he were dead, yet shall he live" 
(John 11:25). The greatest tragedy that 
can happen to a person is not the loss of 
his possessions, or his intellect, or his 
mortal life, but rather to lose eternal life, 
which is the free gift of God. 

The true trial of our faith 

The scriptures are a witness of the 
various prophets — ordinary people, with 
extraordinary callings — who faced great 
tribulation and opposition. Father Lehi 
was commanded to abandon his gold, his 
silver, and his country. The sons of 
Mosiah had to renounce the throne. Job 
lost his lands, his catde, and even his 
children, while Abinadi, Stephen, and 
Christ's Apostles were killed in His 
service. 

For some, the true trial of our faith is 
to remain faithful, without murmuring 
against the Lord, when we lose earthly 
position, family members, or even when 
we are required to give our very lives. 

There is evidence in the scriptures 
that these great men trusted fully in the 
Savior, even without a full understanding 
of His purposes. The Prophet Joseph 
Smith learned, as he established the king- 
dom of God in this last dispensation, that 
the more he struggled to bless the lives of 



others, the greater was his opposition. He 
went to the Lord seeking justice. Christ 
did understand Joseph and suggested to 
him that he might have to suffer more. 
The Lord told him: "The Son of Man 
hath descended below them all. Art thou 
greater than he?" (D&C 122:8). 

Later, Joseph, with more under- 
standing of the will and purposes of his 
Savior, accepted his glorious destiny by 
offering his life. It is not important to 
know the trials we may be required to go 
through in this mortal life. What is essen- 
tial is our attitude in facing these trials 
and the lessons and experiences that 
we learn from them. These will help to 
refine our understanding and increase our 
spirituality. 

The eternal perspective 

Basically, we limit our vision to the 

events that happen in this life with the 
greatest emphasis placed on the present. 
Only when we fix our gaze on the heav- 
enly things do we begin to understand the 
eternities. Only with the help of Christ 
can we fully overcome tragedy. It is nec- 
essary to develop our faith in Him as the 
Redeemer of the world. He taught us, "In 
the world ye shall have tribulation: but 
be of good cheer; I have overcome the 
world" (John 16:33). It is my prayer that 
when we have afflictions we will follow 
the pattern that He taught during His bit- 
ter experience in Gethsemane. He said, 
"If thou be willing, remove this cup from 
me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, 
be done" (Luke 22:42). This I testify in 
the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Monson 

We have just heard the remarks of 
Elders Marlin K. Jensen and Carlos 
Amado of the Seventy. 

Elder Richard G. Scott, a member of 
the Council of the Twelve Apostles, will 
be our next speaker. He will be followed 
by Elder M. Russell Ballard, also of the 
Council of the Twelve Apostles. 



38 

Saturday, September 30 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



First Day 



Elder Richard G. Scott 



Recognizing answers to prayer 

Across from me a woman sat sob- 
bing. With tear-filled eyes, she told me, 
"I don't know what I believe anymore." 
She spoke of having struggled and prayed 
many days to know how to make a vitally 
important decision in her life, without 
success. She anguished, "I don't know 
what to do. If you'll tell me what to do, 
I'll do it." With her hand on the scrip- 
tures, she said, "God told us He would 
help us. He answers everybody else's 
prayers. Why won't He answer mine?" 

When one is caught in a whirlpool of 
emotion, it is difficult to find a way out 
alone. My prayer is to help you who have 
similar feelings. 

When answers to urgent prayer don't 
seem to come, it may be that we don't 
understand some truths about prayer, 
or because we don't recognize answers 
when they come. 

Our Heavenly Father did not put us 
on earth to fail but to succeed gloriously. 
It may seem paradoxical, but that is why 
recognizing answers to prayer can some- 
times be very difficult. Some face life 
with only their own experience and ca- 
pacity to help them. Others seek, through 
prayer, divine inspiration to know what to 
do. When it is required, they qualify for 
power beyond their own capacity to do it. 

Communication with our Father in 
Heaven is not a trivial matter. It is a sa- 
cred privilege. It is based on unchanging 
principles. When we receive help from 
our Father in Heaven, it is in response to 
faith, obedience, and the proper use of 
agency. 

It is a mistake to assume that every 
prayer we offer will be answered imme- 
diately. Some prayers require consider- 
able effort on our part. True, sometimes 
impressions come when we have not 
specifically sought them. They generally 
concern something we need to know and 
are not otherwise able to find out. 

Apply truths that God has revealed 

We are here on earth to gain experi- 
ence we can obtain in no other way. We 



are given the opportunity to grow, to 
develop, and to gain spiritual maturity. 
To do that, we must learn to apply truth. 
How we face challenges and resolve diffi- 
cult problems is crucially important to our 
happiness. 

To better understand prayer, I have 
listened to the counsel of others, pon- 
dered the scriptures, and studied the lives 
of prophets and others. Yet what seems 
most helpful is seeing in my mind a child 
approaching trustingly a loving, kind, 
wise, understanding Father, who wants us 
to succeed. 

Don't worry about your clumsily ex- 
pressed feelings. Just talk to your Father. 
He hears every prayer and answers it in 
His way. 

When we explain a problem and a 
proposed solution, sometimes He an- 
swers yes, sometimes no. Often He with- 
holds an answer, not for lack of concern, 
but because He loves us — perfectly. He 
wants us to apply truths He has given us. 
For us to grow, we need to trust our abil- 
ity to make correct decisions. We need to 
do what we feel is right. In time. He will 
answer. He will not fail us. 

I have described the absolute reality 
of our relationship with our Father. There 
is nothing about us He does not know. He 
is conscious of our every need and could 
provide all of the answers. Yet, because 
His purpose is our eternal happiness. 
He encourages us to make the correct 
choices. 

Sometimes, like a child, we mis- 
behave, act unwisely, and feel we cannot 
approach our Father with a problem. 
When communication is strained, how 
wonderful it is to have a Mediator who 
works things out when we obey His coun- 
sel and repent. Such is our Elder Brother, 
the Savior. 

Ask in faith with an honest heart 

Perhaps Oliver Cowdery's experi- 
ences were recorded for us to understand 
how to pray and how to recognize answer 
to prayer. Oliver was told: 



ELDER RICHARD G. SCOTT 



39 



"Assuredly as the Lord liveth, . . . 
even so surely shall you receive a knowl- 
edge of whatsoever things you shall ask in 
faith, with an honest heart, believing that 
you shall receive .... 

"I will tell you in your mind and in 
your heart, by the Holy Ghost" (D&C 
8:1-2; italics added). 

When we receive an impression in 
our heart, we can use our mind either to 
rationalize it away or to accomplish it. Be 
careful what you do with an impression 
from the Lord. 

Oliver was further taught: "Remem- 
ber that without faith you can do nothing; 
therefore ask in faith. Trifle not with 
these things; do not ask for that which you 
ought not. . . . 

"According to your faith shall it be 
done unto you" (D&C 8:10-11; italics 
added). 

"Ask in faith" means ask with confi- 
dence in our holy Father. Like many of 
us, Oliver did not recognize the evidence 
of answers to prayers already given by 
the Lord. To open his eyes and ours, this 
revelation was given through Joseph 
Smith: 

"Blessed art thou for what thou hast 
done; for thou hast inquired of me, and 
behold, as often as thou hast inquired 
thou hast received instruction of my 
Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst 
not have come to the place where thou art 
at this time. 

"Behold, thou knowest that thou hast 
inquired of me and I did enlighten thy 
mind; and now I tell thee these things 
that thou mayest know that thou hast 
been enlightened by the Spirit of truth" 
(D&C 6:14-15; italics added). 

If you feel that God has not an- 
swered your prayers, ponder these 
scriptures — then carefully look for evi- 
dence in your own life of His having 
already answered you. 

Answers reach the heart and mind 

To help each of us recognize an- 
swers given, the Lord said: 

"If you desire a further witness, cast 
your mind upon the night that you cried 



unto me in your heart, that you might 
know concerning the truth of these things. 

"Z)(c/ / not speak peace to your mind 
concerning the matter?" (D&C 6:22-23; 
italics added). 

The Lord provides further insight by 
counseling us to study a problem out in 
our mind and then to ask if it be right: 

"If it is right I will cause that your 
bosom shall burn within you; therefore, 
you shall feel that it is right. 

"But if it be not right you shall have 
no such feelings, but you shall have a 
stupor of thought" (D&C 9:8-9; italics 
added). 

When the Lord withholds an answer 

It is vitally important to recognize 
that the Lord also responds a third way to 
prayer by withholding an answer when 
the prayer is offered. Why would He do 
that? 

He is our perfect Father. He loves us 
beyond our capacity to understand. He 
knows what is best for us. He sees the end 
from the beginning. He wants us to act to 
gain needed experience. 

When He answers ye^, it is to give us 
confidence. 

When He answers no, it is to prevent 
error. 

When He withholds an answer, it is 
to have us grow through faith in Him, 
obedience to His commandments, and a 
willingness to act on truth. We are ex- 
pected to assume accountability by acting 
on a decision that is consistent with His 
teachings without prior confirmation. We 
are not to sit passively waiting or to mur- 
mur because the Lord has not spoken. We 
are to act. 

Be spiritually sensitive 

Most often what we have chosen to 
do is right. He will confirm the correct- 
ness of our choices His way. That confir- 
mation generally comes through packets 
of help found along the way. We discover 
them by being spiritually sensitive. They 
are like notes from a loving Father as evi- 
dence of His approval. If, in trust, we 



40 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

begin something which is not right, He 
will let us know before we have gone too 
far. We sense that help by recognizing 
troubled or uneasy feelings. 

Nephi followed the spiritual law 

Nephi's efforts to obtain the plates of 
brass show how the principles work. 

When the older brethren were asked to 
go, they murmured and received no help. 
Nephi was assured, "Thou shalt be fa- 
vored of the Lord, because thou hast not 
murmured" (1 Nephi 3:6). Nephi's words 
"I will go and do" reveal a positive com- 
mitment to act and to succeed by using 
spiritual law (1 Nephi 3:7). 

After two unsuccessful attempts, 
Nephi remained confident. He crept into 
the city toward the house of Laban with- 
out all the answers. He observed, "1 
was led by the Spirit, not knowing before- 
hand the things which I should do," signi- 
ficantly adding, "Nevertheless I went 
forth" (1 Nephi 4:6-7; italics added). 

Nephi was willing to try time and 
again, using his best efforts. He ex- 
pressed faith that he would be helped. 
He refused to be discouraged. But be- 
cause he acted, had confidence in the 
Lord, was obedient, and properly used his 
agency, he received guidance. He was 
inspired step after step to success, and 
in his mother's words was "given . . . 
power [to] accomplish the thing which 
the Lord hath commanded" (1 Nephi 5:8; 
italics added). 

Nephi knew he was required to con- 
fide in God, to exercise faith, and to act 
so that he could receive help, step by 
step. He did not murmur nor ask for a full 
explanation. But, observe particularly, he 
did not wait passively for help. He acted! 
By following spiritual law, he was in- 
spired and given power to act. 

Seek God's will 

Sometimes answers to prayer are not 
recognized because we are too intent on 
wanting confirmation of our own desires. 
We fail to see that the Lord would have 



First Day 

US do something else. Be careful to seek 
His will. 

I confess I don't know how to make 
a correct decision except where there is 
righteousness and trust in a Heavenly 
Father. The principles simply will not 
work when agency is intentionally used at 
variance with the will of God. If there is 
unrepented sin, we are left to our own 
devices to flounder and struggle on our 
own. We can be rescued through our own 
repentance. 

Answers may come gradually 

When we seek inspiration to help 

make decisions, the Lord gives gentle 
promptings. These require us to think, to 
exercise faith, to work, to struggle at 
times, and to act. Seldom does the whole 
answer to a decisively important matter or 
complex problem come all at once. More 
often, it comes a piece at a time, without 
the end in sight. 

Express gratitude in prayer 

1 have saved the most important 
part about prayer until the end. It is grati- 
tude! Our sincere efforts to thank our be- 
loved Father generate wondrous feelings 
of peace, self-worth, and love. No matter 
how challenging our circumstances, hon- 
est appreciation fills our mind to over- 
flowing with gratitude. 

Why is it that the most impoverished 
seem to know best how to thank the 
Lord? In the highlands of Guatemala, 
members barely subsist. Going to the 
temple requires great sacrifice. A visit 
takes a year of preparation. There is hard 
work, sacrifice to save money and food, 
the spinning, dyeing, and weaving of new 
clothing. There is the long, barefoot walk 
out of the mountains, the crossing of Lake 
Isabel, the bus rides with little food. Tired 
and worn, they arrive at the temple. They 
scrub until they shine, dress in their new 
clothing, and enter the house of the Lord. 

Reclothed in white, they are taught 
by the Spirit, receive ordinances, and 
make covenants. One highland woman 
was greatly touched by the spirit and 



ELDER M. RUSSELL BALLARD 



41 



meaning of the endowment. Entering the 
celestial room, she saw others seated, 
with heads reverently bowed. Innocently, 
she knelt at the entrance to the room, 
oblivious to others. She bowed her head, 
sobbed, and for twenty minutes poured 
out her heart to her Father in Heaven. 
Finally, with her dress soaked with 
tears, she raised her head. The sensitive 
temple matron asked, "May I help?" She 
responded, "Oh, would you? This is my 
problem: I've tried to tell Father in 
Heaven of my gratitude for all of my 
blessings, but 1 don't feel that I've com- 
municated. Will you help me tell Him 
how grateful I am?" 

Trust God and be clean 

The counsel about prayer is true. I 
have tested it thoroughly in the laboratory 



of my own personal life. I have discov- 
ered that what sometimes seems an im- 
penetrable barrier to communication is a 
giant step to be taken in trust. 

If you seek His help, be sure your 
life is clean, your motives are worthy, 
and you're willing to do what He asks — 
for He will answer your prayers. He is 
your loving Father; you are His beloved 
child. He loves you perfectly and wants to 
help you. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Monson 

We have just heard from Elder 
Richard G. Scott of the Council of the 
Twelve Aposdes. 

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the 
Council of the Twelve Apostles will be 
our concluding speaker for this session. 



Elder M. Russell Ballard 



Sorrow for deaths of missionaries 

My brothers and sisters, since 
April's general conference, some of our 
missionaries have found themselves in in- 
creasingly more difficult circumstances. 
As the adviser to the South America 
North Area Presidency, I was saddened, 
as I know you were, at the news that two 
faithful missionaries. Elder Todd Ray 
Wilson and Elder Jeffrey Brent Ball, lost 
their lives in Bolivia. The deaths of these 
two righteous young men while they were 
in the service of the Lord caused the 
entire Church membership to mourn. We 
grieve also for other missionaries who 
have died from illness or accident since 
the first of the year. 

Our sorrow at the loss of any faithful 
missionary can be tempered by this decla- 
ration from the Lord himself: "And 
whoso layeth down his life in my cause, 
for my name's sake, shall find it again, 
even life eternal" (D&C 98:13). To all 
parents, family members, and friends of 
missionaries who have lost their lives 
while in the service of the Master, we 



extend to you our love, gratitude, and 
prayers for comfort and peace. 

President Stephen Wright's dream 

With the permission of President 
Steven B. Wright of the Bolivia La Paz 
Mission, I share this special experience 
that came to him in a dream: "I saw these 
two elders dressed in white, standing at 
the doors of a beautiful building. They 
were greeting numerous people, who also 
were dressed in white as they entered the 
building. It was obvious from their dress 
that those who entered were Bolivians. I 
envisioned the temple that will someday 
be built in Bolivia. Elders Wilson and 
Ball were ushering those they had pre- 
pared to receive the gospel in the spirit 
world into the temple to witness the vi- 
carious ordinances being performed in 
their behalf. This dream has been a great 
comfort to me and has helped me to un- 
derstand and accept their deaths." 

This glimpse by President Wright of 
the work of redemption beyond mortality 
is consistent with the heavenly vision 



42 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday^ September 30 

given to President Joseph F. Smith more 
than seven decades ago. He declared, "I 
beheld that the faithful elders of this dis- 
pensation, when they depart from mortal 
life, continue their labors in the preaching 
of the gospel ... in the great world of the 
spirits" (D&C 138:57). 

"By Him shall we remain" 

Trials and tribulations have con- 
fronted the Church ever since the begin- 
ning. The Prophet Joseph Smith said: 
"Hell may pour forth its rage like the 
burning lava of Mount Vesuvius, or of 
Etna, or of the most terrible of the burn- 
ing mountains; and yet shall 'Mor- 
monism' stand. Water, fire, truth and 
God are all realities. Truth is 'Mor- 
monism.' God is the author of it. He is 
our shield. It is by Him we received our 
birth. It was by His voice that we were 
called to a dispensation of His Gospel in 
the beginning of the fullness of times. It 
was by Him we received the Book of 
Mormon; and it is by Him that we remain 
unto this day; and by Him we shall re- 
main, if it shall be for our glory; and in 
His Almighty name we are determined 
to endure tribulation as good soldiers 
unto the end" [Teachings of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith 
[Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 
1938], p. 139). 

So far this year, more than thirty- 
seven thousand faithful missionaries have 
been instrumental in bringing tens of 
thousands of people to a knowledge of the 
restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
These new members have experienced a 
mighty change in their hearts and have 
"humbled themselves and put their trust 
in the true and living God" (Alma 5:13). 

Risks of missionary service 

Our missionaries have not partici- 
pated in this great work without serious 
challenges, tribulations, and difficulties. 
Parents of missionaries have always 
known the risk of losing a loved one serv- 
ing in the mission field due to accident or 
illness. Now, we must add to the risk of 
missionary service the possibility of acts 



Fu^t Day 

of terrorism. Terrorism is centuries old 
but perhaps has never before been so open 
and blatant nor had such extensive news 
coverage. 

Terrorism has many victims. They 
include the innocent and law-abiding 
people who are residing in a troubled 
region and are striving to provide for their 
families and to do what is right. Mission- 
aries live among the peoples of the world; 
and even with the protection of the mem- 
bers, they also can become innocent vic- 
tims of acts of violence. We must not 
judge the people of any nation or region 
because of the irresponsible, cowardly 
acts of terrorism perpetrated by a few. 

Sometimes terrorists attack Church 
members or Church property because 
they believe, mistakenly, that the Church 
represents the interests of a country. 
Contrary to such misguided beliefs. The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints has no past or present affiliation 
with any government agency of any coun- 
try, including the United States of Amer- 
ica. In genuine Christian kindness and 
loving concern, missionaries and other 
Church members offer to all sincere and 
law-abiding peoples nothing more or less 
than the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Sad experience has taught us that not all 
people accept these assurances of fact. 
Therefore, leaders and members must be 
prepared for any event that may occur in 
the future. 

Low death rate among missionaries 

The increased visibility of the 
Church in the world brings a variety of 
new challenges. However, you parents 
and prospective missionaries have no rea- 
son to be fearful and to feel that serving a 
mission is unusually dangerous or rislq^. 
Our records since 1981 reveal that the to- 
tal number of missionaries who have lost 
their lives through accident, illness, or 
other causes is very small. The life-style 
of Latter-day Saint missionaries before 
and during their missions contributes to 
their health and safety. For example, the 
death rate of young male missionaries 
from the United States serving worldwide 
is one-fifth the rate of young males of 



ELDER M. RUSSELL BALLARD 



43 



comparable age living in Utah. It is one- 
seventh the rate of young males of com- 
parable age in the general population of 
the United States. I do not imply that mis- 
sionary service is a guarantee of increased 
longevity, but missionaries obviously 
have a much lower risk of death than 
others of comparable age. 

Efforts to ensure safety 

The Church is making great efforts 
to safeguard the health and safety of mis- 
sionaries by decreasing the likelihood of 
illness and accident. In the past year, a 
highly qualified team of LDS doctors 
visited many of the missions in developing 
nations and made important recommenda- 
tions that have been adopted to improve 
missionary health. We are doing and will 
continue to do all within our power to reduce 
any risks that could harm the mission- 
aries. However, in a world of free agency, 
the Church cannot eliminate all risk nor 
guarantee absolutely that a missionary 
never will be ill, injured, or harmed. 

The Missionary Department em- 
ploys six former mission presidents who 
are on 24-hour-a-day call to serve mission 
presidents and their missionaries. They 
respond immediately with the resources 
of the Church to ensure the well-being of 
missionaries and their families. 

When a problem occurs, such as 
the recent unrest in Colombia, the First 
Presidency and the Council of the 
Twelve, through the able leadership of 
the General Authority Area Presidencies, 
monitor conditions daily and even hourly, 
if necessary. 

Be assured that the safety and pro- 
tection of missionaries always is a para- 
mount concern. At the same time, 
however, the Church cannot retreat from 
areas of the world that are in turmoil un- 
less absolutely necessary. Brothers and 
sisters, the charge from the Lord to "go ye 
therefore, and teach all nations" is a diffi- 
cult one to fulfill (Matthew 28:19). 

Battle fought with faith and love 

The battle to bring souls unto Christ 
began in the premortal world with the war 



in heaven (see Revelation 12:7). That 
same battle continues today in the conflict 
between right and wrong and between the 
gospel and false principles. The members 
of the Church hold a front-line position in 
the contest for the souls of men. The mis- 
sionaries are on the battlefield fighting 
with the sword of truth to carry the glori- 
ous message of the restoration of the gos- 
pel of Jesus Christ to the peoples of the 
earth. No war has ever been free of risk. 
The prophecies of the last days lead me to 
believe that the intensity of the battle for 
the souls of men will increase and the 
risks will become greater as we draw 
closer to the second coming of the Lord. 

Preparing ourselves and our families 
for the challenges of the coming years 
will require us to replace fear with faith. 
We must be able to overcome the fear of 
enemies who oppose and threaten us. The 
Lord has said, "Fear not, little flock; do 
good; let earth and hell combine against 
you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they 
cannot prevail" (D&C 6:34). 

When I visited the missionaries in 
Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador immediately 
after the tragedy, 1 was extremely im- 
pressed with the deep love our mission- 
aries feel for the people they are called 
to teach. Their intense desire to continue 
serving the precious people of their mis- 
sion is beyond description. Sometimes 
parents and family members understand- 
ably voice worry, anxiety, or even feel 
alarm about the safety of their missionary 
sons or daughters, but rarely, if ever, do 
we hear the missionaries express such 
concerns. They love and care deeply 
about the people they are serving, and 
generally they want to continue in the 
service of the Lord. These dedicated 
missionaries illustrate so powerfully for 
the rest of us that "there is no fear in 
love; but perfect love casteth out fear" 
(1 John 4:18). 

In many ways, brothers and sisters, 
the past sixty years in the Church have 
been relatively calm, compared to the be- 
ginnings of the Restoration. Persecutions 
and tribulations have been minimal. Per- 
haps some of these recent events are a 



44 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

toughening process to help us learn how 
to shoulder and not shrink from our re- 
sponsibilities to preach the gospel to all 
the peoples of the earth. 

We parents need to begin early to 
prepare our children to have a strong, fer- 
vent testimony of the gospel. We must 
possess the faith, the courage, and the 
commitment that our pioneer forefathers 
had if we are to continue building up the 
kingdom of God on the earth. 

Remember also that membership in 
the Church requires an understanding of 
the principle of sacrifice in the service of 
the Lord. The Prophet Joseph Smith put it 
this way: "When a man has offered in 
sacrifice all that he has for the truth's 
sake, not even withholding his life, and 
believing before God that he has been 
called to make this sacrifice because he 
seeks to do his will, ... he can obtain the 
faith necessary for him to lay hold on 
eternal life" (Lectures on Faith, comp. 
N. B. Lundwall [Salt Lake City: N. B. 
Lundwall, n.d.], 6:7). 

We must continue moving forward 

You remember what the Prophet 
Joseph wrote to Mr. John Wentworth, the 
editor of the Chicago Democrat news- 
paper: "The Standard of Truth has been 
erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the 
work from progressing; persecutions may 
rage, mobs may combine, armies may 
assemble, calumny may defame, but the 
truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, 
and independent, till it has penetrated 
every continent, visited every clime, 
swept every country, and sounded in 
every ear, till the purposes of God shall 
be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah 
shall say the work is done" (History of the 
Church, 4:540). 

The Lord has not yet said the work is 
done, so we must continue moving 
forward. It is good to know that during 
the four years that President Ezra Taft 
Benson has presided over the Church, 
more than eighty thousand missionaries 



First Day 

have been set apart to proclaim the glad 
tidings of the Restoration. 

The work will continue to grow and 
prosper throughout the world. In recent 
years the Lord's servants have unlocked 
the door and opened the work in the 
German Democratic Republic, Poland, 
Hungary, and Yugoslavia. They have 
opened many nations of Africa, including 
Nigeria, Ghana, Zaire, Liberia, Sierra 
Leone, Swaziland, Ivory Coast, and 
Namibia; they have also opened Papua 
New Guinea. Thirteen nations and terri- 
tories have been opened for missionary 
work in just the past four years. Many 
others will be opened to the preaching of 
the gospel. Truly, no unhallowed hand 
can stop the sacred work of proclaiming 
life and salvation to all nations and 
peoples, but this work will not continue 
without challenges and risks. 

The work of sharing the gospel of 
Jesus Christ in all the world will require 
knowledge, faith, sacrifice, and the best 
efforts of every member of the Church. 
As the Prophet Joseph Smith said to the 
Saints in Nauvoo in 1842, "Shall we not 
go on in so great a cause? . . . Courage, 
. . . and on, on to the victory!" (D&C 
128:22). Today the leaders of the Church 
echo these words of the Prophet Joseph. 

Brothers and sisters, the missionar- 
ies need our faith and prayers. Pray fer- 
vently every day for their safety and 
protection, for this is one very important 
way we all can support them in accom- 
plishing their essential assignment of pro- 
claiming the gospel to all the world. I 
bear testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son 
of God. We are engaged in his work. I 
testify that through the faith and prayers 
of all members of the Church, we will 
continue moving this great work forward 
to the final victory. In the name of Jesus 
Christ, amen. 

President Monson 

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the 
Council of the Twelve has just spoken to 
us. 



GENERAL PRIESTHOOD SESSION 



45 



We remind the brethren of the gen- 
eral priesthood meeting that will convene 

in the Tabernacle this evening at 6:00 P.M. 
mountain daylight time. 

The nationwide CBS Tabernacle 
Choir broadcast tomorrow morning will 
be from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. Those desiring 
to attend this broadcast and the Sunday 
morning session, which immediately 
follows, must be in their seats no later 
than 9:15 a.m. 

We express gratitude to this Polyne- 
sian choir from the Salt Lake Valley for 



the beautiful music we have heard this 
afternoon. This wonderful choir com- 
posed of sons and daughters of Father 
Lehi will now sing in closing, "Come, 
Thou King of Kings." Following the sing- 
ing, the benediction will be offered by 
Elder Helio R. Camargo of the Seventy. 



The choir sang "Come, O Thou King 
of Kings." 

Elder Helio R. Camargo offered the 
benediction. 



GENERAL PRIESTHOOD SESSION 



The general priesthood session, the 
third session of the 159th Semiannual 
General Conference, convened in the Tab- 
ernacle at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Septem- 
ber 30, 1989. President Ezra Taft Benson 
presided, and President Gordon B. 
Hinckley, First Counselor in the First 
Presidency, conducted. 

The music for this session was pro- 
vided by a combined men's choir from 
the Tabernacle Choir and Mormon Youth 
Chorus. The choir was directed by Robert 
Bowden and Donald Ripplinger, and John 
Longhurst was at the organ. 

President Hinckley opened the meet- 
ing with the following remarks: 

President Gordon B. Hinckley 

Brethren, President Ezra Taft 
Benson, who presides at this conference, 
has asked that 1 conduct this general 
priesthood session. We extend our love 
and best wishes to all of the brethren who 
are participating. 

These services are being relayed by 
closed-circuit and satellite transmission 
to holders of the priesthood gathered in 
the Assembly Hall, the BYU Marriott 
Center, and locations in many countries 
around the world. We note that Elders 
Boyd K. Packer, Robert E. Sackley, and 
Richard P. Lindsay are seated on the 
stand in the Assembly Hall, and Elders 
George I. Cannon and Albert Choules, Jr., 



are seated on the stand in the BYU 
Marriott Center. 

For the information of the brethren 
in outlying areas, we announce that at 
the session this afternoon the following 
members of the First Quorum of the 
Seventy were given emeritus status: 
Elders Theodore M. Burton, Robert L. 
Simpson, Victor L. Brown, Paul H. 
Dunn, J. Thomas Fyans, Wm. Grant 
Bangerter, Royden G. Derrick, and Rex 
C. Reeve. 

Elders Wm. Grant Bangerter and 
Hugh W. Pinnock were released as mem- 
bers of the Presidency of the Quorums of 
the Seventy. Elders Rex D. Pinegar and 
Carlos E. Asay were sustained as Presi- 
dents of the Quorums of the Seventy. 

The following members of the 
Second Quorum of the Seventy, who 
have served for five years, were honor- 
ably released: Russell C. Taylor, Robert 
B. Harbertson, Devere Harris, Spencer 
H. Osborn, Philip T. Sonntag, John 
Soimenberg, F. Arthur Kay, and Keith 
W. Wilcox. 

Elders Hugh W. Pinnock, Derek A. 
Cuthbert, and Ted E. Brewerton were 
sustained as the Sunday School General 
Presidency, and Elders Jeffrey R. Hol- 
land and Monte J. Brough were called as 
Counselors in the Young Men General 
Presidency. 

The singing during this session will 
be furnished by a combined men's choir 



46 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 



First Day 



from the Tabernacle Choir and Mormon 
Youth Chorus, under the direction of 
Brothers Robert Bowden and Donald 
Ripplinger, with John Longhurst at the 
organ. 

We shall begin by the choir singing 
"Saints, Behold How Great Jehovah." 
Following the singing. Elder Robert E. 
Wells of the Seventy will offer the invo- 
cation. 



The choir sang "Saints, Behold How 
Great Jehovah." 



Elder Robert E. Wells offered the 
invocation. 



President Hinckley 

The choir will now favor us with 
"Secret Prayer." Following the choir 
number. Elder Marvin J. /Shton of the 
Council of the Twelve will speak to us. 

The choir sang "Secret Prayer." 



Elder Marvin J. Ashton 



Finishing the job 



Many years ago I had the opportu- 
nity of witnessing a state championship 
high school track meet at Brigham Young 
University. The lesson I learned as 1 
watched the mile run was most impres- 
sive. I know I shall never forget it. About 
a dozen young men had qualified to repre- 
sent their schools. The starting gun was 
fired, and these young men who had 
trained so long and so hard took off. Four 
fellows, closely bunched together, took 
the early lead. Suddenly the runner in sec- 
ond place spiked the first runner's foot 
with his shoe. As the leader was about to 
make the next stride forward, he found 
that he was without a shoe. 

As I noticed this, I wondered what 
the leader would do because of what his 
competitor had unintentionally done to 
him. It seemed to me he had a number of 
choices. He could take a few extra quick 
sprints and catch up to the fellow who had 
put him out of first position, double up his 
fist, and hit him to get even. He could run 
over to the coach and say, "This is what 
you get — I have trained all my life 
for this big day, and now look what's 
happened!" He could run off into the 
stands and say to his mother, father, or 
girlfriend, "Isn't this horrible?" Or he 
could sit down on the track and cry. But 



to my pleasure, he did none of these 
things. He just kept running. 

This was halfway around the first 
lap, and I thought to myself, "Good for 
him; he'll finish this first lap of the four 
and retire gracefully." But after he had 
completed the first lap, he just kept run- 
ning. He completed the second lap, then 
the third lap — and every time he took a 
stride, cinders were coming up through 
his stocking, hurting his foot. They ran on 
cinder tracks in those days. But he didn't 
quit. He just kept running. 

I thought, "What an outstanding dis- 
play of courage and self-discipline! What 
parents! What a coach! What leaders who 
have affected his life enough so that in a 
situation like this he would not stop run- 
ning!" He finished the job he had to do. 
He did not place first, but he was a real 
winner. When I walked over to him at the 
completion of the race and congratulated 
him on his courageous performance, he 
was composed and in complete control. 
He was able to carry on when it would 
have been much easier to quit. 

Carry on 

Just before our esteemed, honored 
Apostle and special friend of Aaronic 
Priesthood and their leaders worldwide. 



ELDER MARVIN J. ASHTON 



47 



Elder Bruce R. McConkie, passed away 
nearly iVi years ago, with his sweetheart 
and eternal companion, Amelia, at his 
bedside, some very significant words 
were shared. As Sister McConkie held his 
hand during his final earthly minutes, she 
asked, "Bruce, do you have a message for 
me?" Though weak and expiring, he re- 
sponded in a firm voice his last words, 
"Carry on." 

Here was one of God's choicest ser- 
vants, who had studied, pondered, and 
written as extensively on the life and mis- 
sion of Jesus Christ as anyone else in his 
time, using these two powerful words for 
direction and encouragement. Sister 
McConkie has since shared with me the 
great importance and strength of "carry 
on" as time has passed. Elder McConkie 
knew as a speciaJ witness the importance 
of, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which 
believed on him. If ye continue in my 
word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 
and ye shall know the truth, and the truth 
shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). 
Salvation and exaltation are here empha- 
sized as being based primarily upon com- 
mitment and enduring. 

To endure joyfully 

Enduring, or carrying on, is not just 
a matter of tolerating circumstances and 
hanging in there, but of pressing forward. 
I know that's what most of us find 
difficult — to endure joyfully. 

One weekend I had the opportunity 
of attending a stake quarterly conference 
in Idaho. As a group of Primary children 
stood before the congregation and sang "I 
Am a Child of God," I noticed three 
young Primary members on the front row 
singing but saying nothing vocally. They 
were deaf; they sang with their hands. No 
one heard them audibly, but we received 
their message. They touched my spirit 
deeply, and it was my privilege to tell 
them in front of the members of that stake 
that our Heavenly Father heard them. 
Even though vocally they had said noth- 
ing, they transmitted a memorable mes- 
sage. In moving silence they taught of the 
spirit, they taught of the mind, and they 



taught of the heart. They had not given up 
singing just because they had no voice. 
They had been taught to carry on. 

Let me now share with you the text 
of the song "Carry On." 

Firm as the mountains around us. 

Stalwart and brave we stand 

On the rock our fathers planted 

For us in this goodly land — 

The rock of honor and virtue. 

Of faith in the living God. 

They raised his banner triumphant — 

Over the desert sod. 

And we hear the desert singing: 

Carry on, carry on, carry on! 

Hills and vales and mountains 

ringing: 
Carry on, carry on, carry on! 
Holding aloft our colors, 
We march in the glorious dawn. 
O youth of the noble birthright. 
Carry on, carry on, carry on! 

We'll build on the rock they planted 

A palace to the King. 

Into its shining corridors. 

Our songs of praise we'll bring. 

For the heritage they left us. 

Not of gold or of worldly wealth. 

But a blessing everlasting 

Of love and joy and health. 

And we hear the desert singing: 

Carry on, carry on, carry on! 

Hills and vales and mountains 

ringing: 
Carry on, carry on, carry on! 
Holding aloft our colors. 
We march in the glorious dawn. 
youth of the noble birthright. 
Carry on, carry on, carry on! 
{Hymns, no. 255.) 

Fifty-nine years ago, when this 
beautiful number, "Carry On," was first 
shared with the Church in general, to say 
that it was timely is an understatement. 
Today it should be a way of life, our top 
priority and clarion call for young and 
old. Young people, boys and girls, and 
leaders worldwide, 1 encourage you to 
carry on. Do not give up, falter, or be- 
come weary. Do not yield to the ways of 
the world that can bring only unhappiness 
and discouragement. I love and respect 



48 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

young people who stand firm when out- 
side influences would make it easy for 
them to fail or fall. 

Youth of the Church are pioneers 

I thank God continually for the 
young men and young women of this gen- 
eration. I firmly believe that the finest 

young people that have ever lived in the 
history of the entire Church are with us 
today. The great majority are pioneers on 
the move in righteousness and truth. Most 
of our youth are true to the faith despite 
conditions of the day and are avoiding the 
temptations and subtleties of misconduct 
that tempt them on every hand. What a 
joy it is to reflect upon the fact that we 
have more young men and young women 
than ever before serving in the mission 
field today — young people who have 
great commitment and are enjoying un- 
usual success. 

As we have experienced harassment, 
destruction, vandalism, and even the loss 
of lives, the attitude of our missionaries is 
not one of being afraid but of marching 
forward in a spirit of "carry on." Few, if 
any, have asked for releases or transfers 
as the winds of fire, destruction, and dan- 
ger have blown in their paths. It is a joy 
to see them stand firm as the mountains 
around us. God will continue to help 
them carry on, and their work will not 
be thwarted but will be enhanced and 
fruitful. 

Be true to your foreordained mission 

I share with you a statement that 
President Benson made to a gathering 
of youth in Southern California after he 
became President of the Church: 

"For nearly six thousand years, God 
has held you in reserve to make your 
appearance in the final days before the 
Second Coming. Every previous gospel 
dispensation has drifted into apostasy, but 
ours will not. . . . God has saved for the 
final inning some of his strongest chil- 
dren, who will help bear off the kingdom 
triumphantly. And that is where you 
come in, for you are the generation that 



First Day 

must be prepared to meet your God. . . . 
Make no mistake about it — you are a 
marked generation. There has never been 
more expected of the faithful in such a 
short period of time as there is of us. . . . 
Each day we personally make many deci- 
sions that show where our support will 
go. The final outcome is certain — the 
forces of righteousness will finally win. 
What remains to be seen is where each of 
us personally, now and in the future, will 
stand in this fight — and how tall we will 
stand. Will we be true to our last-days, 
foreordained mission?" 

Winning the victory 

A number of years ago Peter Snell of 
New Zealand was the best in the world in 
the one-mile race and the 880-yard race. I 
had the opportunity of meeting him in 
Wellington, New Zealand. Later on in the 
week someone said to me, "Would you 
like to see where Peter Snell does his 
training and his running?" 1 answered 
yes. I was shocked when I was taken 
down to the beach — not to a track, but to 
the beach. I asked, "Where does he run?" 
My friends said, "He runs out close to the 
water where the sand comes up over his 
feet. There it is difficult to pull his feet 
out of the sand after each stride." 1 had an 
idea why, but 1 said to my friends, "Why 
does he run there?" They answered, 
"When he gets on a track in competition, 
he feels like he's floating because he 
doesn't have to pull his feet up out of the 
wet sand." 

In my mind I could see him running 
on that difficult track. I learned from 
him. A little later my friends took me to 
another place where Peter Snell trained, 
up in the mountains. When 1 looked for 
a track again, they said, "No, he runs up 
the steep hills. Then, when he is on the 
level at track meets, it is pretty easy to 
run." That is why he breaks records, and 
that is why I remember his example. They 
told me he ran every day regardless of the 
weather conditions or how tired he was. 

I've always been very impressed 
with some of the statements Winston 
Churchill made as he served as prime 



ELDER ROBERT L. BACKMAN 



49 



minister during England's darkest days 
of war. Among other things, he said the 
following: 

"It is no use saying, 'We are doing 
our best.' You have got to succeed in 
doing what is necessary" (in Reader's 
Digest, July 1964, p. 247). 

Also, "We have before us an ordeal 
of the most grievous kind. . . . 

"You ask, what is our policy? I will 
say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and 
air, with all our might and with all our 
strength that God can give us. . . . That is 
our policy. 

"You ask. What is our aim? I can 
answer in one word: It is victory, victory 
at all costs, victory in spite of all the ter- 
ror; victory, however long and hard the 
road may be" (quoted by Louis L. 
Snyder, The War: A Concise History, 
1939-1945 [New York: Julian Messner, 
Inc., 1961], p. 89). 

Young people, bearers of the priest- 
hood, God wants us to be victorious. He 
wants you to triumph over all of your 
foes. Stalwart and brave we must stand. 
God is at the helm. There is no reason for 
defeat. 

Stand strong in all circumstances 

It should be inspiring to all of us to 
constantly review and reread the message 
of the Prophet Joseph Smith given in 
Doctrine and Covenants, section 121, 
verses 7 and 8: 

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; 
thine adversity and thine afflictions shall 
be but a small moment; 

"And then, if thou endure it well, 
God shall exalt thee on high; thou shall 
triumph over all thy foes." 

Here was God conveying to the 
noble prophet the importance of carrying 



on under all circumstances and situations. 

"Thy God shall stand by thee" 

We promise the youth of today with 
the same conviction the Lord shared with 
the Prophet Joseph in Doctrine and Cov- 
enants, section 122, verse 4, "Thy God 
shall stand by thee forever and ever." As 
we carry on today, this promise is in force 
and is everlasting. 

I am proud that we have a President, 
even Ezra Taft Benson, who loves and 
encourages the youth of the noble birth- 
right to work, carry on, and live close to 
God. The youth programs of the Church 
today are stronger because of his influ- 
ence presently and over the past years. 

Jesus is the Christ. He is our Re- 
deemer, our Lord and Savior and friend. 
We constantly give thanks through deeds 
and prayer for his unmatched example of 
carrying on under circumstances that 
caused him to bleed from every pore and 
anguish in the misunderstanding and mis- 
conduct of his associates. Joy and happi- 
ness come through determination and the 
practice of carrying on under all condi- 
tions. May God help us to so do and reap 
the rewards in this present day, I pray in 
the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Hincldey 

We have heard Elder Marvin J. 
Ashton of the Council of the Twelve 
Apostles. 

Elder Robert L. Backman of the 
Presidency of the Quorums of the Seventy 
will now speak to us. He will be followed 
by Elder Benjamin B, Banks, who was 
sustained as a member of the Seventy at 
April conference. 



Elder Robert L. Backman 

Chastity is not outdated sorrow, anguish, and remorse. I wanted 

to cry with him. Pressured by his so- 
One day 1 sat with a handsome, called friends, he found himself at a party 
young, prospective missionary as he where liquor was served. Against every- 
poured out his sad story through sobs of 



50 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

thing he knew to be right, he succumbed 
to the taunts and jeers of all those present, 
became drunk, and before the evening 
was over lost his virtue. 

Unable to resist the peer pressure he 
faced, his resolution to stay chaste being 
dissipated by the circumstances he found 
himself in, he had seen his lifelong 
dream of a mission and a temple marriage 
change to a nightmare — and now he felt 
ashamed, unclean, unworthy. 

"Have I forfeited my opportunity for 
a mission, for marriage in the temple?" he 
asked. "How can my Father in Heaven 
forgive me for what 1 have done? 1 wish 
the earth would open up and swallow 
me!" My heart ached for him. 

Almost overriding my sympathy for 
him was the anger I felt toward those who 
had led him down that "primrose path," 
seemingly oblivious to the pain they had 
caused, listening to Satan s siren song 
that chastity is outdated. 

"Thou shalt not commit adultery," 
Jehovah commanded, "and he that com- 
mitteth adultery, and repenteth not, shall 
be cast out" (D&C 42:24). 

My beloved young brethren, despite 
what the world would have us believe, 
God has never changed that law. 

Immorality brings punishments 

The First Presidency of the Church, 
in another time of moral crisis, declared: 

"To the youth of the Church we . . . 
plead with you to live clean, for the 
unclean life leads only to suffering, mis- 
ery, and woe physically, — and spiritually 
it is the path to destruction. How glorious 
and near to the angels is youth that is 
clean. . . . Sexual purity is youth's most 
precious possession; it is the foundation 
of all righteousness. . . . 

"Times approach when we shall 
need all the health, strength, and spiritual 
power we can get to bear the afflictions 
that will come upon us" (in James R. 
Clark, comp.. Messages of the First 
Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. [Salt Lake 
City: Bookcraft, 1965-75], 6:150). 



First Day 

"You youths of Zion, you cannot as- 
sociate in non-marital, illicit sex relation- 
ships, which is fornication, and escape 
the punishments and the judgments which 
the Lord has declared against this sin. The 
day of reckoning will come just as cer- 
tainly as night follows day" (in Messages 
of the First Presidency, 6:176). 

The full force of his actions was 
obvious to my tearful friend, who under- 
stood, at last, the reality of Alma's 
words, "Wickedness never was happi- 
ness" (Alma 41:10). 

Cleanliness leads to eternal life 

As 1 shared those sad moments with 
that sorrowing young man, 1 could not 
help contrasting his feelings with those of 
another whose sealing I had performed in 
the house of the Lord. 

There, in the presence of their fami- 
lies, the happy couple expressed their joy 
at the solemn covenants they had made 
with God and with each other as they 
knelt at that sacred altar, looking into 
each other's souls with complete trust and 
confidence, approaching their marriage 
clean and worthy of the celestial blessings 
pronounced on their heads. 

Their happiness was unrestrained. 

My beloved Aaronic Priesthood 
brethren, with all you are learning as you 
progress toward virile manhood, 1 pray 
that you will get understanding of the vi- 
tal truth that chastity is the ultimate and 
perfect standard underlying all spiritual 
progression. 

Righteousness is happiness. 

The Lord has declared, "And no 
unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; 
therefore nothing entereth into his rest 
save it be those who have washed their 
garments in my blood, because of their 
faith, and the repentance of all their 
sins, and their faithfulness unto the end" 
(3 Nephi 27:19). 

I challenge you to be clean, be wor- 
thy, be strong, be happy! How? What 
can you do to withstand "the fiery darts 
of the wicked [one]" (D&C 27:17), to 
resist temptation and walk uprightly 
before the Lord? 



ELDER ROBERT L. BACKMAN 



51 



Be patient 

First, be patient. Don't be too anx- 
ious to grow up. Bask in the pleasure of 
anticipating what it will be like to be an 
adult. Remember, you are only young 
once, and you are going to be old for a 
long time. 

Our impatience often causes us to 
flirt with the forbidden, forgetting the 
consequences of our foolish experiment- 
ing. President Harold B. Lee painted a 
vivid picture of the pain suffered through 
flirting, then succumbing to temptation: 

"I've seen beautiful young human 
butterflies playing with the tempting fires 
of sin. . . . 

"Many of these beautiful human but- 
terflies winged for heavenly flight have 
fallen with wings singed and badly seared 
because of their curiosity about the for- 
bidden. The more I see of life, the more I 
am convinced that we must impress you 
young people with the awfulness of sin 
rather than to content ourselves with 
merely teaching the way of repentance. 1 
wish that someone could warn you of the 
night of hell that follows the committing 
of a moral sin . . . , as one who has sinned 
has described it in these words: 'No one 
knew anything about it. You told no one, 
and no one found out, no one condemned. 
But your face flushed, your heart beat 
against your ribs. Perspiration broke out 
upon your brow. You went to bed that 
night, you tied a bandage around the eyes 
of your soul, you built a little shelter in 
which to hide, you tried to sleep, but no 
sleep came. You said to yourself, "Other 
people do it," or "I had to do it," or "No 
one else can ever find it out." But there 
were hands from the unseen world that 
came through the darkness and tore the 
bandage from the eyes of the soul, and 
smashed down the little shelter you had 
made for your cowering spirit' " (Youth 
and the Church [Salt Lake City: Deseret 
Book Co., 1970], pp. 87-88). 

My young friends, please be patient. 

Focus on your eternal destiny 

Second, focus on your eternal des- 
tiny. The Lord has promised the faithful, 
"All that my Father hath shall be given 



unto him" (D&C 84:38). Think what that 
means to you as a son of God. 

Brethren, set limits to your 
actions — bounds you will not pass — far 
from the line which separates good from 
evil. Be prepared for the experiences that 
lie ahead. Plan in advance how you will 
face temptations — weigh the conse- 
quences, now and forever. Be sure you 
understand the situation confronting you. 
If someone, perhaps a friend, asks you 
to do something you are not sure about, 
restate what he has said, "You want me to 
do what?" 

Next, ask yourself, "Will doing what 
my friend says break my rules, or the law, 
or hurt someone 1 respect or love, or 
make someone distrust me?" Then look at 
both sides of the question. What good 
things will happen if you do this, and 
what bad things will happen? Now that 
you have assessed all the results, you are 
prepared to make a decision. If every- 
thing is positive, you will probably want 
to go along with your friend; if not, you 
have the responsibility to say No. 
(Adapted from John W. Larsen, Youth's 
Frontier, Making Ethical Decisions 
[Irving, Texas: Boy Scouts of America, 
1985] p. 14.) 

Get tough with yourself. President 
Spencer W. Kimball gave us a powerful 
example in a talk to the youth of Stock- 
holm, Sweden. Describing his own boy- 
hood, he said: 

"As 1 was out alone, milking the 
cows, or putting up the hay, 1 had time to 
think. 1 mulled it over in my mind and 
made this decision: '1, Spencer Kimball, 
will never taste any form of liquor. 
I, Spencer Kimball, will never touch 
tobacco. I will never drink coffee, nor 
will 1 ever touch tea — not because I can 
explain why 1 shouldn't, except that the 
Lord said not to.' He said those things 
were an abomination. There are many 
other things that are, too, that are not in 
the Word of Wisdom. But 1 made up my 
mind. 

"That's the point I am trying to 
make. I made up my mind then, as a little 
boy: 'I will never touch those things.' 
And so, having made up my mind, it was 
easy to follow it, and I did not yield. 



52 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

There were many temptations that came 
along, but I did not even analyze it; I did 
not stop and measure it and say, 'Well, 
shall 1 or shall 1 not?' I always said to 
myself: 'But I made up my mind I would 
not. Therefore, I do not.' 

"I'm a little older than any of you 
here tonight, and I want to just say that I 
will soon go into another year and that I 
have never tasted tea, nor coffee, nor to- 
bacco, nor liquor of any kind, nor drugs. 
Now that may sound very presumptuous 
and boasting to you, but I am only trying 
to make this point: that if every boy and 
girl — as he or she begins to grow a little 
more mature and becomes a little more 
independent of his friends and his family 
and all — if every boy and girl would 
make up his or her mind, 'I will not 
yield,' then no matter what the temptation 
is: 'I made up my mind. That's settled' " 
(in Conference Report, Stockholm Swe- 
den Area Conference 1975, pp. 86-87). 

Stand by your convictions 

Third, stand by your convictions. 
Take control of your life. It is your 
body — the clothing of your spirit — you 
are dealing with. Don't become a slave to 
your appetites or passions. Be mature 
enough to have your spirit control your 
body. Self-control is vital when you are 
resisting what you know is wrong, espe- 
cially when a friend insists. This self- 
control comes with practice, so it's 
important to build your inner strength. 
Constantly remind yourself that you are a 
son of God with great things to do. 

Winston Churchill, that courageous 
World War II statesman, gave sound ad- 
vice to all of us. He thundered his convic- 
tion: "Never give in, never give in, never, 
never, never, never — in nothing, great 
or small, large or petty — never give in 
except to convictions of honor and good 
sense" (in John Bartlett, comp.. Familiar 
Quotations, 15th ed. [Boston: Little, 
Brown and Co., 1980], p. 745). 

Repent of your mistakes 

Fourth, repent. Some of us are held 
back in our development by mistakes 



First Day 

we have made, sins we have committed, 
regrets that we let weigh on our con- 
sciences until they burden us down to the 
breaking point. 

In the comic strip Peanuts, Charlie 
Brown told Lucy about his New Year's 
resolutions. He said, "You're going to be 
proud of me, Lucy. . . .I've decided that 
this next year is going to be my year of 
decision! This is a list of things in my life 
that I'm going to correct. . . . I'm going 
to be a better person!" 

Lucy's reply was, "Not me. . . . I'm 
going to spend this whole year regretting 
the past. . . . It's the only way, Charlie 
Brown. . . . I'm going to cry over spilt 
milk, and sigh over lost loves. ... It's a 
lot easier. . . . It's too hard to improve. 
... I tried it once. ... It drove me crazy. 
. . . 'Forget the future' is my motto. . . . 
Regret the past! Oh, how 1 regret the past! 
Why did I do this? Why did 1 do that? 
Why? I regret it all! Oh, what regrets! 
What remorse! What anguish! What ..." 
Charlie Brown sighs and throws away his 
resolutions. (Ellipses in the original.) 

Our loving Father in Heaven is only 
interested in what you are going to do 
with your future, conditioned on your 
repentance from your past sins. Coming 
back to the questions posed by my dis- 
traught young friend and to those of you 
who may have transgressed as he did, I 
assure you that you are still dearly loved 
by your Father in Heaven and by the 
Lord's church. The second principle of 
the gospel is repentance, that beautiful 
saving principle without which all of us 
imperfect people would be lost. The Lord 
has made the promise, "Though your sins 
be as scarlet, they shall be as white as 
snow; though they be red like crimson, 
they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18). 

Isn't that a glorious promise? And it 
is conditioned only on your repentance. 
Though the roadway may be long and dif- 
ficult, though the pain and sorrow may 
be acute, though the Church may have 
to take loving action to balance justice 
and mercy, the repentance process can 
cleanse your soul, and you can walk in 
the light of the Holy Spirit again — the 
transgression forgiven, the soul purified 
and sanctified. 



ELDER BENJAMIN B. BANKS 



53 



You know the steps! Don't delay. 
Forget the past — except to use it to build 
a better life. Begin now to be worthy of 
the eternal blessings God has promised 
the faithful and the true. 

My precious young brothers, may 
you understand that chastity is the source 



of virile manhood, the crown of beautiful 
womanhood, the foundation of a happy 
home, and the ultimate and perfect stan- 
dard underlying all spiritual progression. 
May we who have been called be worthy 
to be chosen, I pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ, our Savior, amen. 



Elder Benjamin B. Banks 



To prospective missionaries 

I would like to address my remarks 
this evening to you young men of the 
Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods 
who are planning on or contemplating 
serving a mission, and to those young 
men of the Aaronic or Melchizedek 
priesthoods who perhaps might be strug- 
gling as to whether or not they want to 
serve a mission. 

Preparing for a bicycle trip 

I would like to share with you the 
following story. Nine years ago this 
spring, my son Ben came to me and said, 
"Dad, we are going to hold our family 
reunion this summer at Flaming Gorge 
recreation area" (a distance of 220 miles 
east of Salt Lake City). "Why don't you, 
myself, and any of the boys in our family 
that would like to leave a few days early, 
ride our bikes to Flaming Gorge, and 
meet the rest of the family there?" 

I said, "That sounds great, but we 
have only one motorcycle!" 

Ben said, "No, Dad, you misunder- 
stand. I mean pedal bicycles." I thought 
he was kidding. He said, "I will outline 
and prepare a training schedule for us. 
We'll get up early Saturday mornings and 
for three hours we'll go out and ride over 
the courses 1 will outline, so that when the 
time comes we will be prepared to go." 

I said, "Okay," not really knowing 
what I was in for. I didn't own a bicycle 
and knew I would have to use my daugh- 
ter's old, heavy, ten-speed bicycle with 
what seemed like bent wheels and a seat 
that was terribly hard. I also knew that 



getting up early on Saturday mornings 
was not one of my favorite things. But 
knowing that some of my sons wanted me 
to go with them, I said, "Okay." 

As the time for training and prepara- 
tion came, I found all kinds of excuses 
not to go on the training rides. However, 
one Saturday I rode with them to the top 
of Parleys Canyon and back. It was hard, 
but 1 thought I would be okay. Little did 
I know! 

The time for the trip came. I joined 
my boys the second day of the trip, as I 
had meetings the first day. The journey 
that second day took us from Heber City 
to Roosevelt (approximately one hundred 
miles). 

As we checked into the motel that 
evening, 1 called my wife at home and 
told her 1 had never hurt so badly in my 
life. Every muscle, bone, and fiber in my 
body hurt from my head to my feet. I 
implored her, "When you come tomorrow 
with the rest of the family, please bring 
all the ointment and lotion you can find." 

She said, "Honey, you sound ter- 
rible." 

I told her, "I look and feel worse 
than I sound." 

The next day I hated to see the dawn 
come, knowing what it would be like to 
sit on that hard seat and pedal all day once 
again to reach our destination — espe- 
cially the stretch from Vernal to Flaming 
Gorge, which would include approxi- 
mately thirty-six-plus miles with grades 
up to 9 percent and ninety-degree-plus 
temperatures. Needless to say, for me the 
whole trip was a very trying and arduous 
task. But for my sons, who spent a lot of 



54 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

time waiting at the top of the hills for their 
slow, unprepared dad, it was exciting, 
fun, and rewarding. 

That evening as we arrived at our 
destination, I came to an easy, yet pro- 
found recognition of how poorly prepared 
I was for what should have been a great 
experience with my sons, but was not 
because I did not take the time to prepare 
properly. I resolved that night that 1 
would never again be that unprepared. 
I went home and bought bicycles for 
myself and my two youngest sons, and 
started training and preparing so that by 
the time the next summer came, my sons 
and I could ride our bikes to Lake Powell, 
a distance of three hundred miles, which 
we did. The next year we cycled to 
St. George, and every year thereafter we 
rode our bikes to Lake Powell until our 
mission call to Scotland two years ago. 

Preparing for a mission 

If it is important to prepare for a bike 
ride, my young friends, it is much more 
important for you in this life to prepare 
to serve as missionaries. Why? Because 
of the eternal significance of a mission 
in your life and in the lives of others. 
We learn of the responsibility we have 
to preach the gospel when Jesus said: 
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, 
baptizing them in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" 
(Matthew 28:19). Paul to the Corinthians 
counseled, "For though I preach the 
gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for 
necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is 
unto me, if 1 preach not the gospel!" 
(1 Corinthians 9:16). 

1 plead with you, my young friends, 
to never be "ashamed of the gospel of 
Christ" (Romans 1:16). Prepare your- 
selves and make yourselves worthy to 
receive a mission call. Live clean, pure 
lives. Study the scriptures — not just read, 
but study the scriptures — especially the 
Book of Mormon, as President Benson 
has counseled us to do. Be strong enough 
to live the Word of Wisdom and follow 
the counsel of your parents and priest- 
hood leaders. 



First Day 

Blessings of missionary service 

I know you young men are growing 
up in a challenging world with all kinds of 
peer pressure. You may even be strug- 
gling with the decision of going on a mis- 
sion because of your educational and 
vocational desires, or because of a bud- 
ding musical or athletic career, or a seri- 
ous girlfriend you may find hard to leave. 
I understand, because I have seven sons, 
as well as a son-in-law, who have had to 
make similar decisions. Yet each has 
made that decision to serve. 

If you wonder or struggle as to what 
will be of most worth to you, listen to the 
direction given by the Lord: 

"For many times you have desired of 
me to know that which would be of the 
most worth unto you. . . . 

"And now, behold, I say unto you, 
that the thing which will be of the most 
worth unto you will be to declare repen- 
tance unto this people, that you may 
bring souls unto me, that you may rest 
with them in the kingdom of my Father" 
(D&C 15:4, 6). 

I promise you young men that if you 
will commit and prepare to serve a mis- 
sion, it will be the most rewarding and 
exciting experience of your lives. Yes, 
there will be many and varied experi- 
ences—yes, even humorous experiences, 
like the elder who shared with me how he 
and his companion got on the bus, and as 
they sat down, in the seat in front of them 
was a grandfather with a young grandson 
who was having a temper tantrum. Mis- 
sionaries being as ingenious as they are, 
these two elders decided they would see 
what they could do to quiet the little boy 
down and help the grandfather. 

The boy had a baseball cap on. The 
elders proceeded to take the cap off his 
head and made a gesture like they threw 
it out of the window, but instead they 
quickly hid it under their seat. They then 
told the boy, as he felt his head, that if 
he wished hard enough he could wish it 
back on his head. The boy looked at his 
grandpa, wondering what was going on, 
and as he did the elders quickly put the 
cap back on his head. The boy immedi- 
ately felt the cap on his head, took it off. 



ELDER BENJAMIN B. BANKS 



55 



looked at it again, and then he proceeded 
to throw it out the window, saying, "Do it 
again. Grandpa!" I think the elders got off 
at the next stop. 

Blessing others with the gospel 

Yes, you may have many humorous 
experiences on your mission, but those 
experiences which will be the most joyful 
and rewarding to you, and which will be 
with you throughout eternity, will be the 
times when the Spirit will work through 
you to touch the lives of others, such as 
Sister Ciardo from Sardinia, Italy, who 
joined the Church and came to Scotland 
on a mission. As Sister Ciardo left for her 
mission, her mother would hardly speak 
to her and her father said she would never 
be welcome back home again. But the 
faith of this young lady brought forth a 
miracle. 

Approximately a year after Sister 
Ciardo had been on her mission, she came 

to see me one day with tears running 
down her face. She had a letter in hand 
from her mother. 1, too, had tears come to 
my eyes as I read the letter telling her 
daughter she had been baptized and that 
her father was attending church and was 
going to listen to the discussions. 

I think of a Tony Ridden and a Tracy 
McFall from Scotland who were baptized 
a couple of years ago, coming from back- 
grounds that you would never have 
thought this possible. Yet both stood and 
spoke just a few months ago at their own 
missionary farewells with tears in their 
eyes, expressing love and gratitude for 
the elders who brought the gospel into 
their lives. 

"The worth of souls is great" 

Just how important is a Sister Ciardo, 
a Tony Ridden, a Tracy McFall, and 
many others just like them? The Lord 
gives us the answer to that question: 

"Remember the worth of souls is 
great in the sight of God; 

"For, behold, the Lord your Re- 
deemer suffered death in the flesh; where- 



fore he suffered the pain of all men, 
that all men might repent and come unto 
him. . . . 

"Wherefore, you are called to cry 
repentance unto this people. 

"And if it so be that you should labor 
all your days in crying repentance unto 
this people, and bring, save it be one soul 
unto me, how great shall be your joy 
with him in the kingdom of my Father!" 
(D&C 18:10-11, 14-15). 

The angels will rejoice over you 

youth of noble birthright, 1 bear 
witness to you this night that if you will 
commit, prepare, and with a willing heart 
go forth to serve Jesus Christ and preach 
his gospel, great will be your blessings 
and reward. Listen to the words of our 
Savior: 

"Ye are blessed, for the testimony 
which ye have borne is recorded in 
heaven for the angels to look upon; and 
they rejoice over you, and your sins are 
forgiven you" (D&C 62:3). 

"Ye are a chosen generation, a royal 
priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9). 

Stay on the Lord's side and you will 
find eternal joy and fulfillment. 1 bear my 
witness to you that Jesus is the Christ, the 
Son of God. This is His church. President 
Ezra Taft Benson is our living prophet, in 
the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Hinckley 

We have appreciated listening to 
Elders Robert L. Backman and Benjamin 
B. Banks of the Seventy. 

The choir and congregation will now 
join in singing "Israel, Israel, God Is 
Calling." Following that. Elder Joe J. 
Christensen, sustained at the April con- 
ference as a member of the Seventy, will 
speak to us. 



The choir and congregation sang 
"Israel, Israel, God Is Calling." 



56 

Saturday, September 30 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



First Day 



Elder Joe J. Christensen 



Good memories are real blessings 

Brethren, it's a marvelous privilege 
to be with you this evening. I've appreci- 
ated so much the messages that we have 
heard. 

Someone who was a little more po- 
etic than theological said, "Memory is the 
one Garden of Eden out of which one 

need never be cast." Good memories are 
real blessings. Tonight 1 would like to 
share a few memories that have made a 
real difference in my life. 

Memory of a general priesthood 
session 

When I was a young man about the 

age of some of you deacons here, my dad 
was bishop of the ward in our little farm- 
ing town of Banida in southeastern Idaho. 
1 remember the first time he brought me 
with him to Salt Lake City to attend a 
general priesthood meeting. In those 
years. Dad always seemed to me to be 
really old. As I recognize now, he must 
have been around thirty-eight years of 
age. I was happy to be with him. 

I remember we sat in the balcony — 
there on the north side. Before the meet- 
ing started, Dad pointed out which one of 
the Brethren on the stand was President 
Heber J. Grant and which were his Coun- 
selors. 1 saw the Twelve Apostles and the 
other Brethren. And that night, a warm 
feeling of love and respect for the leaders 
of the Church came over me and has 
continued to grow to this day. 

That night, I decided 1 wanted to do 
everything 1 could to support my dad as 
bishop. 1 didn't want to do anything that 
would embarrass or disappoint him. To 
this day, 1 am grateful for those feelings 
that came to me that night. 

Memory of a good friend 

None of us knows how long we are 
going to live. In the Book of Mormon, 
Alma asked the question, "Can ye look up 
to God at that day with a pure heart and 
clean hands?" (Alma 5:19). I remember 



when the need to have "clean hands, and 
a pure heart" (Psalm 24:4) became very 
meaningful to me. 

It was just after my friend David 
Carlson and I had graduated from Preston 
High School. We were happy with the 
fact that it was the same school that Presi- 
dents Ezra Taft Benson and Harold B. 
Lee had attended when they were grow- 
ing up. Even though they had changed the 
name from the Oneida Stake Academy to 
Preston High School, we still had some of 
our classes in the same building. 

We thought that 1946 was the 
"golden year" of athletics at Preston 
High. That year our teams won the dis- 
trict championship in every sport, and in 
basketball our team won the state 
championship — and that was in the days 
when the small high schools played 
against the big ones. 

David was a good friend to me and, 
I think, to everybody in the school. He 
was a fine student. He worked hard and 
received excellent grades. He achieved in 
Scouting and seminary and was a well- 
coordinated athlete. David was a member 
of the basketball team, and his playing 
was one of the reasons our team won the 
state championship. 

Soon after high school graduation, 
David went to the hospital for what every- 
one thought was a routine operation, but 
there were some complications. Infection 
set in, and the next thing we heard was 
that he had died. We could not believe it. 
At age eighteen, David had died. What a 
shock! 1 still remember how painful it was 
to lose a good friend. 

His funeral was held in the stake 
center. Everyone seemed to come. It was 
like a crowded stake conference with 
standing room only. 

Bishop Eberhard included a state- 
ment in his remarks that made a powerful 
impression on me. He pointed over to the 
sacrament table and said, "When David 
knelt to bless the sacrament, I knew that 
he knelt there with 'clean hands and a 
pure heart.' I never had to worry about 
what he had been doing the Saturday 
night before." 



ELDER JOE J. CHRISTENSEN 



57 



I thought that was one of the finest 
compliments he could have paid to my 
friend, and I wanted to live in such a way 
that my bishop would not have to worry 
about what 1 had been doing the night 
before. I'm sure that all of us could bene- 
fit from making a similar decision. 

Memory of a determined missionary 

Another memory taught me more 
about the value and importance of fulfill- 
ing a mission. 

A few years ago, while serving as 
president of the Missionary Training Cen- 
ter in Provo, Utah, I had a delightfiil visit 
with one of the missionaries who came 
into my office. He was obviously older 
than the average young elder. He was 
about twenty-five years of age. He told 
me of his conversion. 

When he was sixteen, he was bap- 
tized into the Church in Europe along 
with his mother. His father did not object 
to his wife's and son's joining the 
Church, even though he was not inter- 
ested. He was a banker and wanted his 
son to prepare himself for a profession in 
the same area. 

The young man loved studying the 
scriptures, but occasionally had some dif- 
ficulty when his father would interrupt 
him when he was studying his seminary 
course and say, "Don't waste your time 
studying those things. Study your regular 
school courses so that you can be ac- 
cepted at the university." 

The elder said, "One night later on, 
when I was about eighteen, I had a 
dream. I dreamed that I had been called 
on a mission to Japan. 1 felt so good about 
it. I really wanted to go. The next day, 
when I told my parents about my dream, 
my dad strongly objected. He said, "Oh, 
no! Don't waste two years of your life on 
a mission. You need to get on with your 
university studies." 

Since he was too young to leave for 
a mission at that time anyway, he did go 
on with his university studies. He chose 
to come to Brigham Young University. 
He majored in finance and banking for 
his undergraduate degree and stayed to 



complete a master's degree in business 
administration. 

He was hired by an international 
banking firm in Germany and was doing 
very well as a promising junior executive, 
but the idea of filling a mission would not 
leave his mind, and so he went to visit 
with his bishop and stake president. 
When he told his stake president of the 
vivid dream he had years before about 
going on a mission to Japan, his stake 
president chuckled and said, "Well, I 
don't think you will be going to Japan. 
Missionaries from here generally are 
called to some other country on the conti- 
nent, and a few go over to the British 
Isles." 

When he received his call and his 
father heard of it, he came and tried to 
change his son's mind because he thought 

that a two-year interruption would be a 
disaster for his son's professional career. 
One of the bank executives came down 
from Frankfurt and tried to discourage 
him from leaving, saying something like, 
"My boy, do you know how much this 
will cost you in salary and opportunity 
loss? You ought to sit down and figure it 
out." 

The elder said that he did that, and 
he had determined that the mission would 
cost him a very large amount of money — 
more than 150,000 dollars. Then tears 
came to his eyes, and he said, "But Presi- 
dent, if it were to cost several times that 
amount, 1 would still be here, because I 
know that serving a mission is what the 
Lord wants me to do." 

That elder was one of the few I re- 
member who left the Missionary Training 
Center speaking what Japanese he had 
learned with a German accent. He was 
called to Japan. He served a successful 
mission, and I am confident that when he 
finished he found many international 
businesses that would like to hire a junior 
executive who can speak English, Ger- 
man, and Japanese — the major languages 
of the economic free world. Even if he 
didn't earn an extra cent, he still knew 
that he had done what the Lord wanted 
him to do. 



58 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
the Lord revealed the scripture which we 
have already heard from Elder Banks this 
evening — "that the thing which will be of 
the most worth unto you will be to declare 
repentance unto this people, that you may 
bring souls unto me" (D&C 15:6; 16:6). 

Over the years we have been so im- 
pressed by the thousands of missionaries 
we have seen at the Missionary Training 
Center, at Ricks College, and elsewhere, 
who have demonstrated their willingness 
to serve their missions — and some of 
them, at great personal sacrifice. 

Make more good memories 

Brethren, may it be that in our lives 
generally, and in our priesthood responsi- 
bilities specifically, we, like David, my 
good friend, will set the kind of example 
so that our bishops will not have to won- 
der or worry about what we have been 
doing the Saturday night before. 

I am grateful for sons who still come 
with me to general priesthood sessions. 
You young brethren who are not with 
your fathers tonight, for whatever reason, 
can decide right now that when you are 
blessed with sons of your own, you will 
bring them to the general priesthood ses- 
sions wherever they may be broadcast. 



First Day 

As I look up into the balcony to- 
night, I see some of you young men 
who are seated with your fathers, and I 
remember — I remember that first time so 
long ago. Dad passed away four years 
ago, and especially at general priesthood 
session time I am reminded more force- 
fully of how much we miss him. May we 
strive never to do anything that would 
embarrass or disappoint our Father in 
Heaven or our parents, and it will help 
make more of our memories to be good 
ones, because good memories constitute 
the "one Garden of Eden out of which we 
need never be cast." 

Young brethren, we respect you. We 
have confidence that you will rise to the 
best that is in you, and we love you. 

Our Heavenly Father lives. He also 
loves you and even knows you by name. 
Jesus is the Christ, and this is His church, 
led by the living prophets who are presid- 
ing at this general priesthood session. I 
share this testimony in the holy name of 
Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Hinckley 

Elder Joe J. Christensen of the Sev- 
enty has just spoken to us. 

We shall now be pleased to hear 
President Thomas S. Monson, Second 
Counselor in the First Presidency. 



President Thomas S. Monson 



Tlie service tliat counts 

While driving to the office one 
morning, I passed a dry-cleaning estab- 
lishment which had a sign by the side of 
the front door. It read, "It's the Service 
That Counts." I suppose in a highly com- 
petitive field such as the dry-cleaning 
business and many others, the factor 
which distinguishes one store from an- 
other is, in actual fact, service. 

The message from the small sign 
simply would not leave my mind. Sud- 
denly I realized why. In actual fact it is the 
service that counts — the Lord's service. 



All of us admire and respect that 
noble king of Book of Mormon fame — 

even King Benjamin. How respected he 
must have been for the people to gather in 
such great numbers to hear his words and 
receive his counsel. I think it most inter- 
esting that the multitude "pitched their 
tents round about the temple, every man 
having his tent with the door thereof to- 
wards the temple, that thereby they might 
remain in their tents and hear the words 
which king Benjamin should speak unto 
them" (Mosiah 2:6). Even a high tower 
had to be erected that the people might 
hear his words. 



PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON 



59 



In the true humility of an inspired 
leader, King Benjamin recounted his de- 
sire to serve his people and lead them in 
paths of righteousness. He then declared 
to them: 

"Because 1 said unto you that 1 had 
spent my days in your service, I do not 
desire to boast, for I have only been in the 
service of God. 

"And behold, I tell you these things 
that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may 
learn that when ye are in the service of 
your fellow beings ye are only in the ser- 
vice of your God" (Mosiah 2:16-17). 

This is the service that counts, 
brethren — the service to which all of us 
have been called, the service of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

As He enlists us to His cause, He 
invites us to draw close to Him. He 
speaks to you and to me: 

"Come unto me, all ye that labour 
and are heavy laden, and I will give you 
rest. 

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn 
of me; for 1 am meek and lowly in heart: 
and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 

"For my yoke is easy, and my bur- 
den is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). 

To all who go forth in His service. 
He provides this assurance: "I will go 
before your face. I will be on your right 
hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall 
be in your hearts, and mine angels round 
about you, to bear you up" (D&C 84:88). 

Remember the worth of souls 

Many assembled tonight have re- 
sponsibility to provide leadership to those 
holding the Aaronic Priesthood. To you I 

say. The finest teaching you can provide 
is that of a good example. Youth need 
fewer critics and more models to follow. 
All of us who are engaged in the Lord's 
work have the responsibility to reach out 
to those who are less active and bring 
them to the service of the Lord. Their 
souls are ever so precious. 

In a revelation to Joseph Smith 
the Prophet, Oliver Cowdery, and David 
Whitmer, the Lord taught: 

"Remember the worth of souls is 
great in the sight of God; 



"For, behold, the Lord your Re- 
deemer suffered death in the flesh; where- 
fore he suffered the pain of all men, 
that all men might repent and come unto 
him. . . . 

"And how great is his joy in the soul 
that repenteth! 

"Wherefore, you are called to cry 
repentance unto this people. 

"And if it so be that you should labor 
all your days in crying repentance unto 
this people, and bring, save it be one soul 
unto me, how great shall be your joy with 
him in the kingdom of my Father! 

"And now, if your joy will be great 
with one soul that you have brought unto 
me into the kingdom of my Father, how 
great will be your joy if you should bring 
many souls unto me!" (D&C 18:10-11, 
13-16). 

Some years ago while I was attend- 
ing a priesthood leadership session of the 
Monument Park West Stake conference, 
this scripture became the theme for the 
visitor from the Welfare Committee, my 
former stake president, Paul C. Child. In 
his accustomed style. Brother Child left 
the stand and began to walk down the 
aisle among the assembled priesthood 
brethren. He quoted the verse, "Remem- 
ber the worth of souls is great in the sight 
of God" (D&C 18:10). Then he asked the 
question, "Who can tell me the worth of a 
human soul?" 

Every man in attendance began to 
think of an answer in the event Brother 
Child were to call on him. 1 had grown 
up under his leadership, and I knew he 
would never call on a high councilor or a 
member of a bishopric; rather, he would 
select one who would least expect to be 
called. Sure enough, he called from a list 
he carried the name of an elders quorum 
president. Thunderstruck, the brother 
stammered as he asked, "Would you re- 
peat the question, please?" The question 
was repeated, followed by an even longer 
pause. Suddenly the response came forth, 
"The worth of a human soul is its capacity 
to become as God." 

Brother Child closed his scripture, 
walked back to the pulpit, and while pass- 
ing me whispered, "A profound reply; a 
profound reply." 



60 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

With this perspective firmly in our 
minds, we are prepared to serve in the 
great mission of bringing souls unto Him. 

Learn the joy of service 

Many of you hold the Aaronic 
Priesthood. You are preparing to serve as 
missionaries. Begin now to learn in your 
youth the joy of service in the cause of the 
Master. 

Following Thanksgiving time a year 
or so ago, 1 received a letter from a 
widow whom I had known in the stake 
where 1 served in the presidency. She had 
just returned from a dinner sponsored by 
her bishopric. Her words reflect the peace 
she felt and the gratitude which filled her 
heart: 

"Dear President Monson, 
"I am living in Bountiful now. I miss 
the people of our old stake, but let me tell 

you of a wonderful experience 1 have had. 
In early November all the widows and 
older people received an invitation to 
come to a lovely dinner. We were told not 
to worry about transportation since this 
would be provided by the older youth in 
the ward. 

"At the appointed hour a very nice 
young man rang the bell and took me and 
another sister to the stake center. He 
stopped the car, and two other young men 
walked with us to the chapel where the 
young ladies took us to where we re- 
moved our wraps — then into the cultural 
hall, where we sat and visited for a few 
minutes. Then they took us to the tables, 
where we were seated on each side by 
either a young woman or a young man. 
Then we were served a lovely Thanks- 
giving dinner and afterward provided a 
choice program. 

"After the program we were given 
our dessert — either apple or pumpkin 
pie. Then we left, and on the way out we 
were given a plastic bag with sliced tur- 
key and two rolls. Then the young men 
took us home. It was such a nice, lovely 
evening. Most of us shed a tear or two for 
the love and respect we were shown. 

"President Monson, when you see 
young people treat others like these young 



First Day 

people did, I feel the Church is in good 
hands." 

1 reflected on my association with 
this lovely widow, now grown old but 
ever serving the Lord. There came to 
mind the words from the Epistle of James: 
"Pure religion and undefiled before God 
and the Father is this. To visit the father- 
less and widows in their affliction, and to 
keep himself unspotted from the world" 
(James 1:27). 

1 add my own commendation: God 
bless the leaders, the young men, and the 
young women who so unselfishly brought 
such joy to the lonely and such peace to 
their souls. Through their experience they 
learned the meaning of service and felt 
the nearness of the Lord. 

Joseph Millett's experience 

One of the great missionaries of pio- 
neer times was Joseph Millett, who 
served a mission to the Maritime Prov- 
inces of Canada when but eighteen years 
of age. His mission was marked by dis- 
couragement, yet punctuated by faith- 
promoting experiences — even miraculous 
intervention by the Lord. This lifelong 
servant of the Lord, who learned on his 
mission, and never forgot, what it is like 
to be in need and how to give, leaves us 
with this final picture of himself, taken 
from his personal journal and using his 
own words: 

"One of my children came in, said 
that Brother Newton Hall's folks were out 
of bread. Had none that day. 1 put . . . our 
flour in sack to send up to Brother Hall's. 
Just then Brother Hall came in. Says I, 
'Brother Hall, how are you out for flour.' 

" 'Brother Millett, we have none.' 

" 'Well, Brother Hall, there is some 
in that sack. 1 have divided and was going 
to send it to you. Your children told mine 
that you were out.' 

"Brother Hall began to cry. Said he 
had tried others. Could not get any. Went 
to the cedars and prayed to the Lord and 
the Lord told him to go to Joseph Millett. 

" 'Well, Brother Hall, you needn't 
bring this back if the Lord sent you for it. 
You don't owe me for it.' " 



PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON 



61 



His journal continued, "You can't 
tell how good it made me feel to know 
that the Lord knew that there was such a 
person as Joseph Millett" (in Eugene 
England, "Without Purse or Scrip: A 
19-year-old Missionary in 1853," New 
Era, July 1975, p. 28). 

The Lord knows and remembers us 

Brethren, the Lord knows each of 
us. Do you think for a moment that He 
who notes the sparrow's fall would not be 
mindful of our needs and our service? We 
simply cannot afford to attribute to the 
Son of God the same frailties which we 
find in ourselves. 

A while back, my good friend G. 
Marion Hinckley from Utah County, my 
fellow trail rider, came to the office with 
two grandsons who were brothers, one 
having served an honorable mission in 
Japan and the other in Scotland. Brother 
Hinckley said, "Let me share with you a 
wonderful experience which came to 
these grandsons of mine." His buttons 
were almost bursting with pride. 

In faraway Japan a commercial street 
photographer stopped one of the brothers, 
having taken a picture of him holding a 
small child. He offered the print for sale 
to the missionary and his companion. 
They explained that they were on a tight 
budget, that they were missionaries, and 
they directed the photographer's attention 
to their nameplates. They didn't purchase 
the picture. 

Some months later, the brother serv- 
ing in Scotland was asking two missionar- 
ies why they had arrived late for a zone 
meeting, when they told this story: A 
most persistent street photographer had 
attempted to sell them a picture of a mis- 
sionary in Japan holding a small child. 
They had no interest in the picture, but to 
avoid arriving even later at their zone 
meeting, they purchased it. 

"A likely story," responded Elder 
Lamb, whereupon they handed him the 
picture. He could not believe his eyes. It 
was a photograph of his own brother in 
faraway Japan. 

That day in my office they presented 
to my view the two pictures, and with 



their grandfather beaming his approval 
they declared, "The Lord surely is mind- 
ful of his servants the missionaries." 

As they departed my office, 1 
thought. Yes, the Lord is mindful of his 
missionaries — and their fathers, their 
mothers, their grandparents, and all who 
sacrifice for their support that precious 
souls may be taught and provided His 
gospel. 

Now, many are not on the front line 
of missionary service in the Church call- 
ings they fill. Does God remember them 
also? Is He mindful of their needs and the 
yearnings of their hearts? What about 
those who have been in the limelight but 
have grown old with faithful service, 
have been released and have slipped into 
the anonymity of the vast congregation of 
Church members? To all such individuals 
I testify that He does remember and He 
does bless. 

Clifton Rocker's service 

Many years ago 1 was assigned to 
divide the Modesto California Stake. The 
Saturday meetings had been held, the new 
stake presidencies selected, and prepara- 
tions concluded for the announcements to 
be made the following morning in the 
Sunday session of conference. 

As the Sunday session was about to 
begin, there went through my mind the 
thought that I had been in Modesto be- 
fore. But when? 1 let my mind search 
back through the years for a confirmation 
of the thought 1 was thinking. Suddenly I 
remembered. Modesto, years before, had 
been a part of the San Joaquin Stake. The 
stake president was Clifton Rooker. I had 
stayed in his home during that confer- 
ence. But that was many years earlier. 
Could my thoughts be playing tricks on 
my mind? 1 said to the stake presidency as 
they sat on the stand, "Is this the same 
stake over which Clifton Rooker once 
presided?" 

The brethren answered, "Yes, it is. 
He was our former president." 

"It's been many years since I was 
last here," I said. "Is Brother Rooker with 
us today?" 



62 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

They responded, "Oh, yes. We saw 
him early this morning as he came to 
conference." 

I asked, "Where is he seated on this 
day when the stake will be divided?" 

"We don't know exactly," they re- 
plied. The response was a good one, for 
the building was filled to capacity. 

1 stepped to the pulpit and asked, "Is 
Clifton Rooker in the audience?" There 
he was— way back in the recreation 
hall, hardly in view of the pulpit. I felt 
the inspiration to say to him publicly, 
"Brother Rooker, we have a place for you 
on the stand. Would you please come 
forward?" 

With every eye watching him, Clif- 
ton Rooker made that long walk from the 
rear of the building right up to the front 
and sat by my side. It became my oppor- 
tunity to call upon him, one of the pio- 
neers of that stake, to bear his testimony 
and to tell the people whom he loved that 
he was the actual beneficiary of the ser- 
vice he had rendered his Heavenly Father 
and which he had provided the stake 
members. 

After the session was concluded, 1 
said, "Brother Rooker, how would you 
like to step with me into the high council 
room and help me set apart the two new 
presidencies of these steJces?" 

He replied, "That would be a high- 
light for me." 

We proceeded to the high council 
room. There, with his hands joining my 
hands and the hands of the outgoing stake 
presidency, we set apart to their callings 
the two new stake presidencies. Brother 
Rooker and 1 embraced as he said good- 
bye and went to his home. 

Early the next morning, after I had 
returned to my home, 1 had a telephone 
call from the son of Clifton Rooker. 
"Brother Monson," he said, "I'd like to 
tell you about my dad. He passed away 
this morning; but before he did so, he said 
that yesterday was the happiest day of his 
entire life." 

As I heard that message from 
Brother Rooker's son, I paused to thank 
God for the inspiration which came to me 
to invite this good man, while he was yet 
alive, to come forward and receive the 



First Day 

plaudits of the stake members whom he 
had served. 

"Ye have done it unto me" 

To all those who serve the Lord by 
serving their fellowmen, and to those who 
are the recipients of this selfless service, 
the Redeemer seems to be speaking to 
you when He declared: 

"When the Son of man shall come in 
his glory, and all the holy angels with 
him, then shall he sit upon the throne of 
his glory: 

"And before him shall be gathered 
all nations: and he shall separate them one 
from another, as a shepherd divideth his 
sheep from the goats: 

"And he shall set the sheep on his 
right hand, but the goats on the left. 

"Then shall the King say unto them 
on his right hand. Come, ye blessed of 
my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared 
for you from the foundation of the world: 

"For 1 was an hungred, and ye gave 
me meat: 1 was thirsty, and ye gave me 
drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 

"Naked, and ye clothed me: I was 
sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, 
and ye came unto me. 

"Then shall the righteous answer 
him, saying. Lord, when saw we thee an 
hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and 
gave thee drink? 

"When saw we thee a stranger, and 
took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 

"Or when saw we thee sick, or in 
prison, and came unto thee? 

"And the King shall answer and say 
unto them, Verily 1 say unto you. Inas- 
much as ye have done it unto one of the 
least of these my brethren, ye have done it 
unto me" (Matthew 25:31-40). 

That each of us may qualify for this 
blessing from our Lord is my prayer, in 
the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Hinckley 

President Thomas S. Monson, Sec- 
ond Counselor in the First Presidency, 
has just spoken to us. 

President Benson has felt that he 
would not speak tonight, but we convey 



PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY 



63 



his love and blessing to brethren of the 
priesthood wherever they might be as- 
sembled this evening. 

Before giving the closing remarks, 
I remind you that the CBS Tabernacle 
Choir broadcast will be from 9:30 to 
10:00 tomorrow morning. Those desiring 
to attend this broadcast and the Sunday 
morning session, which follows, must be 
in their seats before 9:15 a.m. 

As you leave this meeting tonight, 
we ask you to obey traffic rules, to use 



caution, and to be courteous in driving. 

We express our gratitude to the 
brethren of the Tabernacle Choir and 
Mormon Youth Chorus for the wonderful 
music they have given and will give us. 
They will conclude after I have spoken by 
singing "The Pilgrim's Chorus." The 
benediction will then be offered by Elder 
Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy. 



President Gordon B. Hinckley 



The released and emeritus brethren of 
the Seventy 

Brethren, this has been a wonderful 
meeting, in which we have been stirred 
and uplifted and motivated, and I pray for 
a continuation of the Spirit of the Lord. 

This great semiannual gathering of 
tens and tens of thousands of boys and 
men is a religious conference unique and 
wonderful. 1 desire to treat two matters 
this evening. 

The first is an expression of appre- 
ciation to my brethren of the Seventy who 
were honorably released from active ser- 
vice this afternoon. Others eventually will 
be called to take their places. No one 
here needs to be told that the Church is 
growing. It is spreading over the world in 
a remarkable way. Involved in this are 
many problems of administration. The 
pace is heavy, and the demands are many. 
Coincident with this growth, there is an 
increasing number of men of faith and 
ability who can serve full-time for a 
season. As announced some years ago, 
a program of rotation will be followed 
among the Brethren of the Seventy. Like- 
wise, age and conditions of health will 
become factors in the length of service the 
Brethren are asked to give. 

To those who are released or who 
receive emeritus status, may I express ap- 
preciation in behalf of the entire Church. 
Without exception, you have done a mag- 
nificent work. When you were called, 
you consecrated yourselves to this work. 
You have gone wherever you have been 
asked to go and never complained. You 



have put in long and wearisome days. 
You have dealt with very serious prob- 
lems. You have been absolutely loyal to 
the Church and its membership. You have 
served at times at the peril of your own 
health. You have gone when human wis- 
dom would have dictated that you stay 
home. You have sacrificed private means 
in giving your full time to the work. 

You have exercised apostolic power 
in carrying the gospel to the nations of the 
earth. You have exercised the divine seal- 
ing power in the temples of the Lord. You 
have spoken from scores and scores of 
pulpits with power and conviction, with 
great persuasiveness to your listeners, and 
with deep sincerity welling up from the 
strong and sure testimonies which you 
carry in your hearts. Your wives have 
been a part of all of this. They, too, have 
made sacrifices. In many instances, they 
have remained at home while their hus- 
bands have been off traveling in the 
ministry. They have known much of lone- 
liness and even anxiety. To them we 
express our deep and sincere gratitude. 
We sincerely thank each of you. 

While these brethren are being 
released from Churchwide service, they 
still have much to offer. They are men 
of demonstrated judgment and wisdom. 
They know the gospel. They know how to 
speak about it. They know how to teach 
it. They know how to live it. They are not 
ready to lie down and die. They have 
so much of value in them that they 
can still make tremendous contributions. 
While some have physical limitations 



64 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

which would make it inadvisable to call 
them to certain duties, others are not so 
limited except by factors of age, which 
eventually slow us all. You presidents of 
stakes and bishops of wards should speak 
with them and find out their desires and 
be guided thereby. 

They have served as General Au- 
thorities of the Church, with worldwide 
jurisdiction. There is due them much of 
gratitude, much of respect, and much of 
understanding. Be sensitive to their con- 
ditions and circumstances. 

They leave the ranks of the active 
General Authorities with our commenda- 
tion for work well done, with our love 
because of the wonderful association we 
have had with them and their compan- 
ions, with our respect for the goodness 
and strength of their lives, with our good 
wishes for health and strength and a mea- 
sure of relaxation from the very hectic 
schedule under which they have been 
living, and with our prayers that the Lord 
will bless them and their companions 
and make sweet their days through the 
years that lie ahead. It is not easy to retire 
from any duty to which one has wholly 
dedicated himself over a long period. 
The very nature of their work, out among 
the people who have come to know 
them and love them, makes even more 
difficult a sudden cessation from strenu- 
ous activity. 

God bless you, our dear brethren. 
Your testimony of the truth of this work is 
strong and vibrant. We have heard your 
expressions. Your love for the Lord is 
real and personal. We know that. Your 
desire to serve is sincere and commend- 
able. We know because we have worked 
beside you. Please know that you will 
continue to be in our prayers and that we 
shall never forget you, having served with 
you on the front lines of this great and 
vital work. 

The scourge of illicit drugs 

Now, I should like to say a few 
words on another subject. It is a matter 
much in the public press these days. It 
is the widespread use of illegal drugs 



First Day 

with all of the ramifications associated 
therewith. 

I received a letter the other day from 
a government official who for years has 
been involved in the fight against illegal 
drugs. He says: "I know from firsthand 
knowledge what a scourge illicit narcotics 
are to this country and others. The drain 
on the human and monetary resources of 
the world being caused by this dilemma is 
inestimable and threatens the very foun- 
dations of freedom. 1 have watched as 
families dissolved, morals collapsed, and 
lives were lost, both directly and in- 
directly due to the effect of drugs." 

I am confident this man knows 
whereof he speaks. He pleads for help, 
for public support, for Church support 
against this terrible scourge that is de- 
stroying so many. The Wall Street Jour- 
nal a few days ago carried the results of a 
national poll which indicated that "three 
out of four Americans have been touched 
personally by drugs. Half have personally 
used drugs or have a family member who 
has. A remarkable 43% say that drugs are 
the nation's single most important issue." 

The article goes on to say: "A sur- 
prisingly high 70% of the voters surveyed 
believe at least half of the crimes com- 
mitted in their neighborhoods are drug 
related. Also, 70% of those with children 
between the ages of 13 and 17 say that 
drugs are sold in their children's schools." 

As most of you are aware, the presi- 
dent of the United States has described 
the drug problem as the gravest domestic 
threat facing our nation. He has launched 
a battle against illicit drugs, with some 
eight billion dollars to be spent on 
strengthening police forces, building 
more prisons, and implementing other 
measures. Notwithstanding this, "those 
responding to the poll were deeply skepti- 
cal that the battle can be won: Only a third 
believe a federal program would do a 
'great deal' or 'quite a bit' to correct the 
drug problem." 

A woman respondent said, "No 
amount of money is going to stop it. It has 
to be a change within the hearts and 
minds of people. Young people have to 
think: 'I have just one body, and I'm 



PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY 



65 



going to need it all my life' " (Michael 
McQueen and David Shribman, "Battle 
against Drugs Is Chief Issue Facing Na- 
tion, Americans Say," Wall Street Jour- 
nal, 22 Sept. 1989, sec. A, pp. 1, 12). 

I am inclined to agree with this 
woman. Stiffer enforcement measures 
may be necessary. But I believe that, only 
when far greater numbers of people con- 
clude within their hearts and minds that 
the fruits of drug-taking are only sorrow 
and trouble, remorse, and even death, 
then will things change to any significant 
degree. 

I wish I could say that all of our 

people, and particularly our young men, 
are free from this scourge. They are not, 
although 1 am pleased to note that drug 
use has declined among young people in 
some areas, including Utah. 

Many of you young men to whom I 
am speaking are high school students. We 
may not be able to change the nation or 
the world. But we can change the prob- 
lem in our own lives as individuals and, 
in that process, move others in the same 
direction. 

Some have even used as an alibi the 
fact that drugs are not mentioned in the 
Word of Wisdom. What a miserable ex- 
cuse. There is likewise no mention of 
the hazards of diving into an empty swim- 
ming pool or of jumping from an over- 
pass onto the freeway. But who doubts 
the deadly consequences of such? Com- 
mon sense would dictate against such 
behavior. 

Use of ill^al drugs is an affront to God 

Regardless of the Word of Wisdom, 
there is a divinely given reason for avoid- 
ing these illegal substances. 

I am convinced that their use is an 
affront to God. He is our Creator. We are 
made in His image. These remarkable and 
wonderful bodies are His handiwork. 
Does anyone think that he can deliber- 
ately injure and impair his body without 
affronting its Creator? We are told again 
and again that the body is the tabernacle 
of the spirit. We are told that it is a 
temple, holy to the Lord. In a time of 
terrible conflict between the Nephites 



and the Lamanites, we are told that the 
Nephites, who had been strong, became 
"weak, like unto their brethren, the La- 
manites, and that the Spirit of the Lord 
did no more preserve them; yea, it had 
withdrawn from them because the Spirit 
of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy 
temples" (Helaman 4:24). 

Alma taught the people of Zara- 
hemla. The Lord "doth not dwell in un- 
holy temples; neither can filthiness or 
anything which is unclean be received 
into the kingdom of God" (Alma 7:21). 

Can anyone doubt that the taking of 
these mind- and body-destroying drugs is 
an act of unholiness? Does anyone think 
that the Spirit of God can dwell in the 
temple of the body when that body is 
defiled by these destructive elements? If 
there be a young man anywhere who is 
listening tonight, who is tampering with 
these things, let him resolve forthwith, 
and with the strongest determination of 
which he is capable, that he will never 
touch them again. 

You hold the priesthood of almighty 
God, and the revelation is clear that this 
priesthood cannot be exercised in any 
degree of unrighteousness. In holding the 
Aaronic Priesthood, you partake of the 
keys of "the gospel of repentance." Begin 
immediately to implement that repentance 
in your own lives. It may not be easy to 
stand up to your friends. It may be most 
difficult to resist the demands of your 
body for more of this illicit material. Pray 
for strength. Seek help. God will bless 
you if you make the effort. And 1 promise 
you that you will be grateful for the re- 
mainder of yoiu: lives for the decision you 
have made. 

I know it is difficult to resist follow- 
ing when your peers are pulling you along 
with others down into the swamp of nar- 
cotics. It takes a man with something of a 
bit of steel in his spine to say no and then 
keep his resolution. 

Blood on the hands of drug users 

We recently deemed it prudent, for 
reasons of personal safety, to move our 
American missionaries out of one of the 
nations of South America. It was not an 



66 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Saturday, September 30 

easy decision. We have many wonderful 
and faithful Latter-day Saints there. The 

people in that area are receptive to the 
gospel. For the most part, they are good 
people, law-abiding, and desirous of do- 
ing what is right. But the very life of that 
nation is threatened by powerful men of 
the drug cartel. There would be no such 
problem if the people of the United States 
and other nations refused to become a 
market for these narcotics. It is a supply- 
and-demand situation. There is great de- 
mand with a ready supply to meet that 
demand. Everyone who partakes of these 
illicit drugs has on his hands some of the 
blood of those who have been killed or 
wounded in the fight to stop the culti- 
vation and exportation of these destruc- 
tive products. 

Drugs destroy self-worth 

You cannot afford to tamper with 
them in the least. Certainly you must be 
grateful for your bodies and your minds, 
the very substance of your mortal lives. 
Certainly you must know that health is the 
most precious of assets. Certainly you 
recognize that, for the years that lie 
ahead, you will need health of body and 
clarity of mind if you are to live produc- 
tively and with the respect of your associ- 
ates. You would not knowingly break an 
arm or a leg just for the fun of it. Broken 
bones will mend and will function again 
in a normal way. But a mind warped by 
drugs or a body weakened or distorted by 
these evil things will not be easily re- 
paired. The drug-induced destruction of 
self-worth and self-confidence is almost 
impossible to restore. 

Drugs jeopardize posterity 

To you who may be partaking, I re- 
peat, stop immediately. To you who at 
any time in the future may be tempted, 1 
urge you to stand your ground. Reflect on 
the fact that you are a son of God our 
Eternal Father, blessed with His holy 
priesthood and endowed with those facul- 
ties of body and mind which will help you 
to take a place that is significant in the 
world in which you will live. Do not 



First Day 

throw away your future. Do not jeop- 
ardize the well-being of your posterity. 

1 watched on television the other 
evening a documentary on what are called 
cocaine babies. I have seen few things 
more pitiable. These children, born of 
addicted mothers, come into the world 
under a terrible handicap. Their future 
prospects are hopeless. Many of them 
doubUess throughout their lives will be 
cared for at public expense. You will bear 
this burden as taxpayers. That, of course, 
is serious. But more serious is the manner 
in which the gift of life has been so wick- 
edly abused by parents who had not the 
will to resist the drugs that have all but 
destroyed their children. 

A clear defense against tlie plague 

In earlier centuries there were 
plagues that swept across England and 
the nations of Europe. They struck like 
lightning, carrying tens of thousands to 
their death. 

This modern drug scourge has be- 
come as a plague on the world. But in 
most cases, the death it brings is not 
swift, but rather, it follows a long period 
spent m misery and pain and regret. Un- 
like the plagues of old, from which there 
was no known defense, the defense is 
clear and relatively easy in the case of 
illicit drugs. It lies in simply refraining 
from touching them. 

Stand free from personal holocaust 

As I look at you young men in the 
Tabernacle tonight, I recognize that, in as 
brief a period as ten years from now, 
the youngest of you will be twenty-two. 
Hopefully you will have completed hon- 
orable missions. You priests who are here 
tonight will for the most part have com- 
pleted your educational programs and will 
be employed in the vocations of your 
choice. Ten years pass so quickly. They 
are almost as sunrise and sunset. Do not 
blight your future. Do not impair your 
capacity. Do not offend God, in whose 
image you were created. 

Although I recognize that drugs are 
not mentioned specifically in the Word of 



PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON 



67 



Wisdom, I am confident that the promise 
attached to that revelation will apply also 
to those who refrain from these evil and 
vicious destroyers. I repeat, therefore, 
these marvelous words of the Lord: 

"And all saints who remember to 
keep and do these sayings, walking in 
obedience to the commandments, shall 
receive health in their navel and marrow 
to their bones; 

"And shall find wisdom and great 
treasures of knowledge, even hidden 
treasures; 

"And shall run and not be weary, 
and shall walk and not faint. 

"And I, the Lx)rd, give unto them a 
promise, that the destroying angel shall 



pass by them, as the children of Israel, 
and not slay them" (D&C 89:18-21). 

Let no member of this church, be he 
man or boy, girl or woman, fall prey to 
this frightful scourge. Some things are 
right; some are wrong. You know this as 
well as do I. God grant you the strength 
to stand free from this enslavement and 
from the personal holocaust of destruction 
which inevitably follows. 

God bless you to this end I humbly 
pray, as one who loves you, in the name 
of Jesus Christ, amen. 



The choir sang "The Pilgrim's 
Chorus." 

Elder Spencer J. Condie offered the 
benediction. 



SECOND DAY 
MORNING SESSION 



The fourth session of the 159th 
Semiannual General Conference com- 
menced at 10:00 A.M. on Sunday, October 
1, 1989. President Ezra Taft Benson pre- 
sided, and President Thomas S. Monson, 
Second Counselor in the First Presidency, 
conducted this session. 

The Tabernacle Choir provided the 
music, with Jerold Ottley conducting and 
Robert Cundick at the organ. 

Before the session, the choir sang 
"Jehovah, Lord of Heaven and Earth" 
without announcement. 

President Monson opened the meet- 
ing with the following remarks: 

President Thomas S. Monson 

We welcome you this Sabbath morn- 
ing from the Tabernacle in Salt Lake 
City, Utah, to the fourth general session 
of the 159th Semiannual Conference of 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints. Our beloved prophet. President 
Ezra Taft Benson, who presides at this 
and all sessions of the conference, has 



asked that I, Brother Monson, conduct 
this meeting. 

We acknowledge the large audience 
assembled in the Tabernacle and in the 
overflow gathering in the nearby Assem- 
bly Hall, where Elders Marvin J. Ashton, 
Loren C. Dunn, and Merlin R. Lybbert 
are seated on the stand. We extend our 
greetings to those of you participating 
by radio, television, cable, or satellite 
transmission. We are grateful to the own- 
ers and operators of the stations that are 
broadcasting this conference. 

We acknowledge the presence this 
morning of government, education, and 
civic leaders, and officers and members 
of the Church from many lands who 
have assembled to worship and to counsel 
together. 

The Tabernacle Choir, under the 
direction of Brother Jerold D. Ottley, 
with Brother Robert Cundick at the or- 
gan, opened these services by singing 
"Jehovah, Lord of Heaven and Earth." 
The choir will now sing "Lord, I Would 
Follow Thee," following which Elder 
Derek A. Cuthbert of the Seventy will 
offer the invocation. 



68 GENERAL CONFERENCE 

Sunday, October 1 Second Day 

President M onson 

The choir sang "Lord, I Would 
Follow Thee." President Gordon B. Hinckley, First 

Elder Derek A. Cuthbert offered the Counselor in the First Presidency, will be 
invocation. our first speaker this morning. 



President Gordon B. Hinckley 



"An ensign to the nations" 

My brothers and sisters, I very much 
appreciate Brother Cuthbert's prayer. It is 
always an awesome responsibility to 
speak in this historic Tabernacle. I seek 
the direction of the Holy Spirit. 

For a moment, may I take you back 
142 years when there was, of course, no 
tabernacle here, nor temple, nor Temple 
Square. On July 24, 1847, the pioneer 
company of our people came into this val- 
ley. An advance group had arrived a day 
or two earlier. Brigham Young arrived on 
Saturday. The next day. Sabbath services 
were held both in the morning and in the 
afternoon. There was no hall of any kind 
in which to meet. I suppose that in the 
blistering heat of that July Sunday they 
sat on the tongues of their wagons and 
leaned against the wheels while the Breth- 
ren spoke. The season was late, and they 
were faced with a gargantuan and imme- 
diate task if they were to grow seed for 
the next season. But President Young 
pleaded with them not to violate the Sab- 
bath then or in the future. 

The next morning they divided into 
groups to explore their surroundings. 
Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and 
a handful of their associates hiked from 
their campground a little to the south of 
us, on past the ground where we are, and 
up the hill to the north of us. They 
climbed a dome-shaped peak. President 
Young having difficulty because of his 
recent illness. 

When the Brethren stood on the 
summit, they looked over this valley to 
the south of them. It was largely barren, 
except for the willows and rushes that 
grew along the streams that carried water 



from the mountains to the lake. There was 
no building of any kind, but Brigham 
Young had said the previous Saturday, 
"This is the place." 

The summit where they stood was 
named Ensign Peak out of reference to 
these great prophetic words of Isaiah: 

"And he [speaking of God] will lift 
up an ensign to the nations from far, and 
will hiss unto them from the end of the 
earth: and, behold, they shall come with 
speed swiftly" (Isaiah 5:26). 

"And he shall set up an ensign for 
the nations, and shall assemble the out- 
casts of Israel, and gather together the 
dispersed of Judah from the four comers 
of the earth" (Isaiah 11:12). 

There is some evidence to indicate 
that Wilford Woodruff took from his 
pocket a bandanna handkerchief and 
waved it as an ensign or a standard to the 
nations, that from this place should go the 
word of the Lord, and to this place should 
come the people of the earth. 

I think they may also on that occa- 
sion have spoken of the building of the 
temple, which today stands a few feet east 
of here, in fulfillment of the words of 
Isaiah: 

"And it shall come to pass in the last 
days, that the mountain of the Lord's 
house shall be established in the top of the 
mountains, and shall be exalted above the 
hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 

"And many people shall go and say. 
Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain 
of the Lord, to the house of the God of 
Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, 
and we will walk in his paths: for out 
of Zion shall go forth the law, and the 
word of the Lord from Jerusalem" 
(Isaiah 2:2-3). 



PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY 



69 



A vision drawn from the scriptures 

How foolish, someone might have 
said had he beard these men that July 
morning of 1847. They did not look like 
statesmen with great dreams. They did 
not look like rulers poring over maps and 
planning an empire. They were exiles, 
driven from their fair city on the Missis- 
sippi into this desert region of the West. 
But they were possessed of a vision 
drawn from the scriptures and words of 
revelation. 

I marvel at the foresight of that little 
group. It was both audacious and bold. It 
was almost unbelievable. Here they were, 
almost a thousand miles from the nearest 
settlement to the east and almost eight 
hundred miles from the Pacific Coast. 
They were in an untried climate. The soil 
was different from that of the black loam 
of Illinois and Iowa, where they had most 
recently lived. They had never raised a 
crop here. They had never experienced a 
winter. They had not built a structure of 
any kind. These prophets, dressed in old, 
travel-worn clothes, standing in boots 
they had worn for more than a thousand 
miles from Nauvoo to this valley, spoke 
of a millennial vision. They spoke out of 
a prophetic view of the marvelous destiny 
of this cause. They came down from the 
peak that day and went to work to bring 
reality to their dream. 

Seeing the grand picture 

Sometimes in our day, as we walk 
our narrow paths and fill our little niches 
of responsibility, we lose sight of the 
grand picture. When I was a small boy, 
draft horses were common. An important 
part of the harness was the bridle. On 
the bridle were blinders, one on each 
side. They were so placed that the horse 
could see only straight ahead and not to 
either side. They were designed to keep 
him from becoming frightened or dis- 
tracted and to keep his attention on the 
road at his feet. 

Some of us do our work as if we had 
blinders on our eyes. We only see our 
own little narrow track. We catch nothing 
of the broader vision. Ours may be a 



small responsibility in the Church. It is 
good to fulfill that responsibility with dili- 
gence. And it is also good to know how 
that responsibility contributes to the great 
overall program of the growing kingdom 
of God. 

The cumulative power of small acts 

President Harold B. Lee once said 
from this pulpit, quoting an unknown 
writer, "Survey large fields and cultivate 
small ones." 

My interpretation of that statement is 
that we ought to recognize something of 
the breadth and depth and height — grand 
and wonderful, large and all-encompass- 
ing—of the program of the Lord, and 
then work with diligence to meet our 
responsibility for pur assigned portion of 
that program. 

Each of us has a small field to culti- 
vate. While so doing, we must never 
lose sight of the greater picture, the large 
composite of the divine destiny of this 
work. It was given us by God our Eternal 
Father, and each of us has a part to play 
in the weaving of its magnificent tapestry. 
Our individual contribution may be small, 
but it is not unimportant. When we were 
children we learned a nursery rhyme: 

Little drops of water. 
Little grains of sand 
Make the mighty ocean. 
And the pleasant land. 

So it is with us in our service in the 
kingdom of God. Many small efforts and 
little acts become the cumulative pattern 
of a great worldwide organization. 

On March 26, 1907, the First Presi- 
dency issued a proclamation to the world 
in response to hateful criticism charging 
the Church and its leaders with selfish 
interests and narrow bigotry. The First 
Presidency responded: "Our motives are 
not selfish; our purposes not petty and 
earth-bound; we contemplate the human 
race — past, present, and yet to corne- 
as immortal beings, for whose salvation it 
is our mission to labor; and to this work, 
broad as eternity and deep as the love 
of God, we devote ourselves, now, and 



70 

Sunday, October 1 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Second Day 



forever" {Improvement Era, May 1907, 
p. 495). 

We serve as teachers in quorums 
and auxiliary organizations; we serve as 
missionaries at home and abroad; we 
serve as researchers in family history and 
as temple workers — hopefully each with 
diligence in our little comer. And from all 
of this there emerges a remarkable and 
wonderful pattern, a phenomenon grand 
in its comprehensiveness, as broad as the 
earth and encompassing all of the genera- 
tions of men. 

If each of us does not do well that 
which is his or hers to do, then there is a 
flaw in the entire pattern. The whole tap- 
estry is injured. But if each of us does 
well his or her part, then there is strength 
and beauty. 

Progress in building the kingdom 

I need not remind you that this cause 
in which we are engaged is not an ordi- 
nary cause. It is the cause of Christ. It is 
the kingdom of God our Eternal Father. It 
is the building of Zion on the earth, the 
fulfillment of prophecy given of old and 
of a vision revealed in this dispensation. 

Under its present organization it has 
been moving forward for only a little 
more than a century and a half. It will 
continue, ever growing and spreading 
over the earth, as part of a great millen- 
nial pattern until the time comes when He 
whose right it is to reign will rule as King 
of kings and Lord of lords. 

When President Young and his 
brethren stood atop the peak to the north 
of us and spoke of an ensign to the na- 
tions, they soon put in place a program to 
implement it, and this notwithstanding 
the circumstances in which they found 
themselves. In August of 1852, only five 
years later, a special conference was held 
in the old tabernacle on this square. Presi- 
dent Heber C. Kimball opened by saying: 

"We have come together today, ac- 
cording to previous appointment, to hold 
a special conference to transact business, 
a month earlier than usual, inasmuch as 
there are elders to be selected to go to the 



missions of the earth, and they want an 
earlier start than formerly. . . . 

"The missions we will call for during 
this conference are, generally, not to be 
very long ones; probably from three to 
seven years will be as long as any man 
will be absent from his family." 

The clerk then read ninety-eight 
names of individuals who had been pro- 
posed for foreign missions. (Joseph /. 
Earl Family History, p. 1.) 

To me it is a thing of wonder that at 
a time when our people were struggling 
to gain a foothold in these mountains, 
they put the spread of the gospel ahead of 
comfort, security, the well-being of their 
families, and all other considerations. 
Across the broad prairie between the 
mountains of the West and the Missouri 
and Mississippi rivers there were two 
bodies of Latter-day Saints moving in op- 
posite directions. Missionaries traveling 
to the eastern states and Europe passed 
converts gathering from those lands to the 
Zion of the West. There was likewise a 
movement to the West Coast and across 
the Pacific, with elders going to Hawaii, 
even to Hong Kong, China, Siam, Cey- 
lon, and India. This was all part of this 
grand vision of an ensign to the nations. It 
has gone on ever since, and it goes on 
today at an accelerated pace. In a hundred 
nations missionaries of the Church are 
teaching the doctrines of salvation. 

They are building the kingdom 
across the world. They are touching for 
everlasting good the lives of all with 
whom they work, and generations who 
come after them will be affected by what 
they do today. They are fulfilling the dec- 
larations of ancient prophets who spoke 
in the name of the Lord concerning the 
"marvellous work and a wonder" that 
should come to pass in the dispensation of 
the fulness of times (Isaiah 29:14). 

The ensign of Temple Square 

I think of this beautiful Temple 

Square, where we are meeting. I think of 
the travail that lies behind its creation. 

Last year some 3'/2 million visitors 
came here. They came from all states of 



PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY 



71 



the United States and all provinces of 
Canada. They came from other nations 
around the globe. 

Their freely written comments re- 
mind us of the words of Isaiah, written of 
old, that in the latter days people from the 
nations will come to learn of the ways of 
God and to walk in His paths. Listen to a 
sampling of these comments: 

From a Protestant from New Jersey: 
"I have often heard the word Mormon 
and associated it with a fanatic religious 
group. I couldn't have been more 
wrong!" 

From a Congregationalist from Mas- 
sachusetts: "I have always felt that reli- 
gion should be a joy, and you certainly 
show it!" 

From a Christian from Maine: "This 
is beautiful; it is the first time in my life I 
have wondered if my religion is the right 
one." 

From a Catholic from Pennsylvania: 
"I envy your way of life." 

A Presbyterian from Canada: "God 
is in this place; we see him everywhere." 

A Christian from Germany: "I en- 
joyed myself very much here. I cannot 
believe such a place exists that offers so 
much and asks for no money." 

And so they go, on and on by the 
thousands. Many come with doubts and 
bias. They leave with appreciation and 
curiosity. The great work that is being 
done here is all a part of the fabric of this 
tremendous cause we describe as the 
kingdom of God in the earth. 

The breadth of temple work 

And then I think of the work that 
goes on in this temple and in the other 
temples of the Church. 

We are sometimes looked upon as 
provincial. Is there any group in all the 
world with a vision so broad and a work 
so comprehensive? I know of no other 
people so concerned with the eternal well- 
being of the sons and daughters of God 
of all generations. Surely the work that 
goes on in these sacred houses is the most 
unselfish of all work. Those who labor 
here do so, for the most part, in behalf of 
those beyond the veil of death. They do it 



because of a knowledge of the importance 
of eternal ordinances and covenants. 
They do it so that even the dead may exer- 
cise agency concerning the acceptance or 
rejection of sacred ordinances. 

It is all part of the great pattern of 
the God of Heaven, who is our Eternal 
Father, and of His Son, who is our Savior 
and our Redeemer, the author of our 
salvation, through whose sacrifice came 
universal resurrection from the dead and 
opportunity for exaltation for those who, 
whether in life or in death, will walk in 
obedience to His conomandments. 

A compelling responsibility 

My brethren and sisters, the priest- 
hood is upon the earth, the power of God 
given to men to act in His name and for 
His purposes. It carries with it "the keys 
of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the 
gathering" of the people of the Lord in the 
last days (D&C 113:6). 

My co-workers in this great cause 
and kingdom, you and I are weaving the 
grand design of that standard to the na- 
tions. It waves to all the world. It says to 
men and women everywhere, "Come, 
walk with us and learn of the ways of the 
Lord. Here is the priesthood given to men 
in these last days. Here are the great keys 
for the redemption of the dead. Here is 
the authority to carry the gospel to the 
nations of the earth." 

We do not say it selfishly. We do not 
say it with egotism. We do not say it 
boastfully. We say it as those charged 
with a great and compelling responsibil- 
ity. We say it with love in our hearts for 
the God of heaven and the risen Lord, and 
with love for the children of men every- 
where. 

Contribute to the grand vision 

To those of the Church, all within 
the sound of my voice, I give the chal- 
lenge that while you are performing the 
part to which you have been called, never 
lose sight of the whole majestic and won- 
derful picture of the purpose of this, the 
dispensation of the fulness of times. 
Weave beautifully your small thread in 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



72 

Sunday, October 1 

the grand tapestry, the pattern for which 
was laid out for us by the God of heaven. 
Hold high the standard under which we 
walk. Be diligent, be true, be virtuous, be 
faithful, that there may be no flaw in that 
banner. 

The vision of this kingdom is not a 
superficial dream in the night that fades 
with the sunrise. It is veritably the plan 
and work of God our Eternal Father. It 
has to do with all of His children. 

While grubbing the sagebrush of 
these western valleys to lay the founda- 
tions for a commonwealth, while doing 
all of the many mundane things they were 
required to do to stay alive and grow, our 
forebears ever kept before them the 
grandeur of the great cause in which they 
were engaged. It is a work which we must 
do with the same vision they held. It is a 
work which will go on after we have left 
this scene. God help us to do our very 



Second Day 

best as servants, called under His divine 
will, to carry forward and build the king- 
dom with imperfect hands, united to- 
gether to execute a perfect pattern. I so 
pray, as I bear witness of these things, in 
the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 



The choir sang "I Sing the Greatness 
of Our God" without announcement. 



President Monson 

President Gordon B. Hinckley, First 
Counselor in the First Presidency, has 
addressed us, followed by the Tabernacle 
Choir singing "I Sing the Greatness of 
Our God." 

Elder David B. Haight, a member of 
the Council of the Twelve Apostles, will 
now speak to us. 



Elder David B. Haight 



Grateful that life was spared 

I pray for your faith and prayers that 
my utterances will be received and under- 
stood "by the Spirit of truth" and that my 
expressions will be given "by the Spirit of 
truth" so that we might all be "edified and 
rejoice together" (D&C 50:21-22). 

As I stand here today — a well 
man — words of gratitude and acknowl- 
edgment of divine intervention are so 
very inadequate in expressing the feelings 
in my soul. 

Six months ago at the April general 
conference, I was excused from speaking 
as I was convalescing from a serious op- 
eration. My life has been spared, and I 
now have the pleasant opportunity of ac- 
knowledging the blessings, comfort, and 
ready aid of my Brethren in the First 
Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, 
and other wonderful associates and friends 
to whom I owe so much and who sur- 
rounded my dear wife. Ruby, and my 
family with their time, attention, and 
prayers. For the inspired doctors and 
thoughtful nurses I express my deepest 
gratitude, and for the thoughtful letters 



and messages of faith and hope received 
from many places in the world, many 
expressing, "You have been in our 
prayers" or "We have been asking our 
Heavenly Father to spare your life." Your 
prayers and mine, thankfully, have been 
answered. 

One unusual card caused me to pon- 
der upon the majesty of it all. It is an 
original painting by Arta Romney Ballif 
of the heavens at night with its myriad 
golden stars. Her caption, taken from 
Psalms, reads: 

"Praise ye the Lord: . . . 

"He healeth the broken in heart, and 
bindeth up their wounds. 

"He telleth the number of the stars; 
he calleth them all by their names. 

"... His understanding is infinite" 
(Psalm 147:1, 3-5). 

The goodness and majesty of God 

As 1 lay in the hospital bed, 1 medi- 
tated on all that had happened to me and 
studied the contemplative painting by 
President Marion G. Romney's sister and 



ELDER DAVID B. HAIGHT 



73 



the lines from Psalms: "He telleth the 
number of the stars; he calleth them all by 
their names." I was then — and continue 
to be — awed by the goodness and maj- 
esty of the Creator, who knows not onfy 
the names of the stars but knows your 
name and my name — each of us as His 
sons and daughters. 

The psalmist David wrote: 

"When I consider thy heavens, the 
work of thy fingers, the moon and the 
stars, which thou hast ordained; 

"What is man, that thou art mindful 
of him? . . . 

"For thou hast made him a little 
lower than the angels, and hast crowned 
him with glory and honour" (Psalm 
8:3-5). 

To be remembered is a wonderful 
thing. 

The crisis, the peace, and the 
testimony 

The evening of my health crisis, I 
knew something very serious had hap- 
pened to me. Events happened so 
swiftly — the pain striking with such in- 
tensity, my dear Ruby phoning the doctor 
and our family, and 1 on my knees leaning 
over the bathtub for support and some 
comfort and hoped relief from the pain. I 
was pleading to my Heavenly Father to 
spare my life a while longer to give me a 
little more time to do His work, if it was 
His will. 

While still prajdng, I began to lose 
consciousness. The siren of the para- 
medic truck was the last that I remem- 
bered before unconsciousness overtook 
me, which would last for the next several 
days. 

The terrible pain and commotion of 
people ceased. I was now in a calm, 
peaceful setting; all was serene and quiet. 
I was conscious of two persons in the dis- 
tance on a hillside, one standing on a 
higher level than the other. Detailed fea- 
tures were not discernible. The person on 
the higher level was pointing to some- 
thing I could not see. 

I heard no voices but was conscious 
of being in a holy presence and atmo- 
sphere. Diu-ing the hours and days that 



followed, there was impressed again and 
again upon my mind the eternal mission 
and exalted position of the Son of Man. 
I witness to you that He is Jesus the 
Christ, the Son of God, Savior to all. Re- 
deemer of all mankind, Bestower of infi- 
nite love, mercy, and forgiveness, the 
Light and Life of the world. I knew this 
truth before — I had never doubted nor 
wondered. But now 1 knew, because of 
the impressions of the Spirit upon my 
heart and soul, these divine truths in a 
most unusual way. 

Msions of Jesus' earthly ministry 

I was shown a panoramic view of 
His earthly ministry: His baptism. His 

teaching. His healing the sick and lame, 
the mock trial. His crucifixion. His resur- 
rection and ascension. There followed 
scenes of His earthly ministry to my mind 
in impressive detail, confirming scriptural 
eyewitness accounts. 1 was being taught, 
and the eyes of my understanding were 
opened by the Holy Spirit of God so as to 
behold many things. 

The first scene was of the Savior and 
His Apostles in the upper chamber on the 
eve of His betrayal. Following the Pass- 
over supper. He instructed and prepared 
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper for 
His dearest friends as a remembrance 
of His coming sacrifice. It was so im- 
pressively portrayed to me — the over- 
whelming love of the Savior for each. I 
witnessed His thoughtful concern for sig- 
nificant details — the washing of the dusty 
feet of each Apostle, His breaking and 
blessing of the loaf of dark bread and 
blessing of the wine, then His dreadful 
disclosure that one would betray Him. 

He explained Judas's departure and 
told the others of the events soon to take 
place. 

Then followed the Savior's solemn 
discourse when He said to the Eleven: 

"These things I have spoken unto you, 
that in me ye might have peace. In the 
world ye shall have tribulation: but be of 
good cheer; I have overcome the world" 
(John 16:33). 

Our Savior prayed to His Father and 
acknowledged the Father as the source 



74 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

of His authority and power — even to the 
extending of eternal life to all who are 
worthy. 

He prayed, "And this is life eternal, 
that they might know thee the only true 
God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast 
sent." 

Jesus then reverently added: 

"I have glorified thee on the earth: 1 
have finished the work which thou gavest 
me to do. 

"And now, Father, glorify thou 
me with thine own self with the glory 
which I had with thee before the world 
was" (John 17:3-5). 

He pled not only for the disciples 
called out from the world who had been 
true to their testimony of Him, "but for 
them also which shall believe on me 
through their word" (John 17:20). 

When they had sung a hymn, Jesus 
and the Eleven went out to the Mount of 
Olives. There, in the garden, in some 
manner beyond our comprehension, the 
Savior took upon Himself the burden of 
the sins of mankind from Adam to the 
end of the world. His agony in the 
garden, Luke tells us, was so intense 
that "his sweat was as . . . great drops 
of blood falling ... to the ground" 
(Luke 22:44). He suffered an agony and 
a burden the like of which no human 
person would be able to bear. In that hour 
of anguish our Savior overcame all the 
power of Satan. 

The glorified Lord revealed to 
Joseph Smith this admonition to all 
mankind: 

"Therefore I command you to 
repent. . . . 

"For ... I, God, . . . suffered . . . 
for all, that they might not suffer if they 
would repent; . . . 

"Which suffering caused myself, 
even God, the greatest of all, to tremble 
because of pain, and to bleed at every 
pore. . . . 

"Wherefore, 1 command you again 
to repent, lest 1 humble you with my al- 
mighty power; and that you confess your 
sins, lest you suffer these punishments" 
(D&C 19:15-16, 18, 20). 



Second Day 

Testimony of the Atonement 

During those days of uncon- 
sciousness I was given, by the gift and 
power of the Holy Ghost, a more perfect 
knowledge of His mission. I was also 
given a more complete understanding of 
what it means to exercise, in His name, 
the authority to unlock the mysteries of 
the kingdom of heaven for the salvation 
of all who are faithful. My soul was 
taught over and over again the events of 
the betrayal, the mock trial, the scourging 
of the flesh of even one of the Godhead. 
I witnessed His struggling up the hill 
in His weakened condition carrying the 
cross and His being stretched upon it as it 
lay on the ground, that the crude spikes 
could be driven with a mallet into His 
hands and wrists and feet to secure His 
body as it hung on the cross for public 
display. 

Crucifixion — the horrible and pain- 
ful death which He suffered— was 
chosen from the beginning. By that ex- 
cruciating death. He descended below all 
things, as is recorded, that through His 
resurrection He would ascend above all 
things (see D&C 88:6). 

Jesus Christ died in the literal sense 
in which we will all die. His body lay in 
the tomb. The immortal spirit of Jesus, 
chosen as the Savior of mankind, went to 
those myriads of spirits who had departed 
mortal life with varying degrees of righ- 
teousness to God's laws. He taught them 
the "glorious tidings of redemption from 
the bondage of death, and of possible sal- 
vation, . . . [which was] part of [our] 
Savior's foreappointed and unique service 
to the human family" (James E. Talmage, 
Jesus the Christ [Salt Lake City: The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints, 1916], p. 671). 

I cannot begin to convey to you the 
deep impact that these scenes have con- 
firmed upon my soul. 1 sense their eternal 
meaning and realize that "nothing in the 
entire plan of salvation compares in any 
way in importance with that most tran- 
scendent of all events, the atoning sacri- 
fice of our Lord. It is the most important 
single thing that has ever occurred in the 
entire history of created things; it is the 



ELDER DAVID B. HAIGHT 



75 



rock foundation upon which the gospel 
and all other things rest," as has been 
declared (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon 
Doctrine, 2nd ed. [Salt Lake City: Book- 
craft, 1966], p. 60). 

Father Lehi taught his son Jacob and 
us today: 

"Wherefore, redemption cometh in 
and through the Holy Messiah; for he is 
full of grace and truth. 

"Behold, he offereth himself a sacri- 
fice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, 
unto all those who have a broken heart 
and a contrite spirit; and unto none else 
can the ends of the law be answered. 

"Wherefore, how great the impor- 
tance to make these things known unto 
the inhabitants of the earth, that they may 
know that there is no flesh that can dwell 
in the presence of God, save it be through 
the merits, and mercy, and grace of the 
Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life 
according to the flesh, and taketh it again 
by the power of the Spirit, that he may 
bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, 
being the first that should rise. 

"Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto 
God, inasmuch as he shall make inter- 
cession for all the children of men; and 
they that believe in him shall be saved" 
(2 Nephi 2:6-9). 

Importance of the sacrament 

Our most valuable worship experi- 
ence in the sacrament meeting is the sa- 
cred ordinance of the sacrament, for it 
provides the opportimity to focus our 
minds and hearts upon the Savior and His 
sacrifice. 

The Apostle Paul warned the early 
Saints against eating this bread and drink- 
ing this cup of the Lord unworthily (see 
1 Corinthians 11:27-30). 

Our Savior Himself instructed the 
Nephites, "Whoso eateth and drinketh 
my flesh and blood unworthily [brings] 
damnation to his soul" (3 Nephi 18:29). 

Worthy partakers of the sacrament 
are in harmony with the Lord and put 
themselves under covenant with Him to 
always remember His sacrifice for the 
sins of the world, to take upon them the 
name of Christ and to always remember 



Him, and to keep His commandments. 
The Savior covenants that we who do so 
shall have His spirit to be with us and 
that, if faithful to the end, we may inherit 
eternal life. 

Our Lord revealed to Joseph Smith 
that "there is no gift greater than the gift 
of salvation," which plan includes the or- 
dinance of the sacrament as a continuous 
reminder of the Savior's atoning sacri- 
fice. He gave instructions that "it is 
expedient that the church meet together 
often to partake of bread and wine in 
the remembrance of the Lord Jesus" 
(D&C 6:13; 20:75). 

Immortality comes to us all as a free 
gift by the grace of God alone, without 
works of righteousness. Eternal life, how- 
ever, is the reward for obedience to the 
laws and ordinances of His gospel. 

I testify to all of you that our Heav- 
enly Father does answer our righteous 
pleadings. The added knowledge which 
has come to me has made a great impact 
upon my life. The gift of the Holy Ghost 
is a priceless possession and opens the 
door to our ongoing knowledge of God 
and eternal joy. Of this 1 bear witness, in 
the holy name of Jesus Christ, amen. 



The choir sang "Jesu, Joy of Man's 
Desiring" without announcement. 



President Monson 

We have just heard from Elder 
David B. Haight, a member of the Coun- 
cil of the Twelve Apostles and a living 
miracle himself and the beneficiary of our 
Heavenly Father's blessings, followed by 
the choir singing "Jesu, Joy of Man's 
Desiring." 

The choir and congregation will now 
join in singing "Oh Say, What Is Truth?" 
following which we shall hear from Elder 
Dean L. Larsen, a member of the Presi- 
dency of the Quorums of the Seventy. 



The choir and congregation sang 
"Oh Say, What Is Truth?" 



76 

SundcQ/, October 2 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Second Day 



Elder Dean L. Larsen 



Since the announcement yesterday 
of the change of status of some of the 
members of the Seventies quorums, I 
have been trying to think of words that 
might appropriately pay tribute to these 
good men. I've concluded that words are 
inadequate and that in reality their real 
tribute will be found in the lives of people 
throughout the earth who have been 
touched by their influence, which influ- 
ence will continue for generations to 
come. We love these men with a love that 
will not be diminished, even though our 
contact with some of them will not be as 
frequent as in the past. We acknowledge 
that they have pioneered many of the as- 
pects of the Church in many parts of the 
world. And now they are pioneering a 
new course that some of the rest of us will 
soon follow. They go with our love, our 
prayers, our deep respect and admiration, 
and our eternal gratitude. 

Our physical clocks 

On the wall of the kitchen in our 
home hangs a clock. It's a windup clock. 
That is, it is necessary every seven or 
eight days to wind up the mechanism 
with a key. If this is not done at regular 
intervals, the clock eventually begins to 
lose time; its chimes become sluggish and 
off-tone. Finally it stops until it is re- 
wound again. 

Sometimes when I am rewinding this 
clock, 1 think how good it would be if I 
could restore my physical powers to their 
youthful vigor in a manner as simple as 
this. I suppose increasing age sometimes 
brings these thoughts to all who move 
into the later years of life. 

In some ways, and to some degree, I 
can effect a partial rejuvenation through 
exercise, rest, and proper nourishment. I 
realize, however, that my physical clock 
is gradually winding down. The mecha- 
nism becomes increasingly sluggish. The 
chimes are less vibrant and sometimes a 
little out-of-pitch. One day the clock will 



stop altogether, in spite of all my desire 
and effort to keep it going. 

So it is with the physical clock in 

each one of us. It is part of the Lord's 
plan. Our time here is but one phase of an 
eternal existence. As our physical clock 
winds down, we have the assurance of 
new beginnings and even greater possi- 
bilities as other phases open to us. 

Our spiritual clocks 

As I think of these sobering realities, 
there comes to mind another figurative 
clock that operates within me. It is my 
spiritual clock. It has some similarities to 
the physical one. It, too, needs regular 
winding to stay in time and keep its true 
tone. Unlike the physical clock, however, 
the spiritual one is not necessarily des- 
tined for dissolution. In fact, with proper 
attention and regular care it grows more 
vigorous — more perfect in its operation, 
more clear and resonant in its tones. But 
this is not an automatic process. Just as 
with the clock that hangs on our kitchen 
wall, unless there is a regular winding 
up of the mechanism, a spiritual slug- 
gishness develops, the spiritual tone be- 
comes off-key, and unless something is 
done to correct the winding-down pro- 
cess, the clock can stop. 

In the world's environment today, 
spiritual clocks that do not receive regular 
attention can wind down very quickly. 

Just forty years ago, in the October 
conference of 1949, Elder Albert E. 
Bowen, a member of the Council of 
Twelve, spoke these words: 

"Men are mortal and beset by human 
frailties. They are enticed by the pres- 
sures of immediate . . . desire to depart 
from the high standards of the perfect 
law. When they are under the influence 
of an exalted occasion, they make high 
resolves. They firmly determine to avoid 
past mistakes and to do better. But gone 
out from under the spell of that influence 
and absorbed in the complicated pursuits 
of life, they find difficulty in holding fast 



ELDER DEAN L. LARSEN 



77 



to their noble purposes. ... So it is essen- 
tial that they come again, and frequently, 
under the influence which kindles anew 
the warmth of spirit in which good reso- 
lutions are begotten, that they may go 
out fortified to withstand the pressures 
of temptation which lure them into false 
ways. Happily, if they refresh themselves 
frequently enough under ennobling influ- 
ences, the spirit of repentance will be at 
work with them, and they will make con- 
quest of some temptations — rise above 
them — and advance thus far toward their 
final goal" (in Conference Report, Oct. 
1949, p. 139). 

All of us require the "ennobling 
influences" about which Elder Bowen 
spoke to "wind up" our spiritual clocks. 
Just as exercise, proper nourishment, and 
rest are essential to our physical well- 
being, so are such things as regular 
prayer, scripture study. Sabbath worship, 
partaking of the sacrament, and service to 
others necessary for our spiritual vigor. 
Without these continuing influences in 
our lives, our spiritual clocks wind down. 

Prayer 

Nephi said: "If ye would hearken 
unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to 

pray ye would know that ye must pray; 
for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to 
pray, but teacheth him that he must not 
pray. But behold, 1 say unto you that ye 
must pray always, and not faint" (2 Nephi 
32:8-9). 

Amulek understood the importance 
of prayer as a spiritually rejuvenating 
influence. "Humble yourselves," he said 
to the Zoramites, "and continue in prayer. 
... Ye must pour out your souls in your 
closets, and your secret places, and in 
your wilderness" (Alma 34:19, 26). 

Amulek counseled the people to pray 
over their flocks, their households, and 
their fields (see Alma 34:20-21). "Yea," 
he said, "and when you do not cry unto 
the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn 
out in prayer unto him continually for 
your welfare, and also for the welfare of 
those who are around you" (Alma 34:27). 

Earnest, sincere prayer is an essen- 
tial ingredient in maintaining spiritual 
tone. 



Scripture study 

No leader of the Church in this dis- 
pensation has given greater emphasis to 
the study of the scriptures than has Presi- 
dent Ezra Taft Benson. His inspired coun- 
sel to the members of the Church, and to 
all people, has led many to draw close 
to the scriptures, particularly the Book 
of Mormon. The testimonies that can be 
borne to the value of scripture study are 
numerous. There is a fecial power in 
the scriptures. Scripture study, combined 
with daily, purposeful prayer, can pro- 
vide much of the resolution that is neces- 
sary today to offset the influences so 
prevalent in the world that lead us into 
forbidden ways. 

Alma likened the word of God to a 
seed. "We will compare the word unto a 
seed," he said. "Now, if ye give place, 
that a seed may be planted in your heart, 
behold, if it be a true seed, or a good 
seed, if ye do not cast it out by your un- 
belief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the 
Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within 
your breasts; and when you feel these 
swelling motions, ye will begin to say 
within yourselves — It must needs be that 
this is a good seed, or that the word is 
good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; 
yea, it beginneth to enlighten my under- 
standing, yea, it beginneth to be delicious 
to me" (Alma 32:28). 

1 can testify that Alma's analogy is a 
valid one. One who regularly turns to the 
word of God for spiritual strength and en- 
lightenment will find it good — delicious 
to the spiritual taste. 

Alma promises that the seed that 
is planted by studying and applying the 
word of God will grow to the stature of a 
tree. But he warns those that begin to 
slacken in this effort: 

"If ye neglect the tree, and take no 
thought for its nourishment, behold it will 
not get any root. . . . 

"Now, this is not because the seed 
was not good, neither is it because the 
fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it 
is because your ground is barren, and ye 
will not nourish the tree. . . . 

"But if ye will nourish the word, 
yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



78 

Sunday, October I 

grow, ... it shall take root; and behold 
it shall be a tree springing up unto ever- 
lasting life" (Alma 32:38-39, 41). 

Sabbath worship and partaking of the 
sacrament 

One of the most effective ways to 
wind up our spiritual clocks is to worship 
on the Sabbath day and partake of the 
sacrament. 

"That thou mayest more fully keep 
thyself unspotted from the world, thou 
shalt go to the house of prayer and offer 
up thy sacraments upon my holy day" 
(D&C 59:9). These are the Lord's in- 
structions to us. He knows that our spiri- 
tual clocks wind down quickly without 
this regular experience. 

There is something essential about 
joining together with other believers to 
worship, to sing, to pray, to learn of 
God's will for us, and to acknowledge his 
goodness to us. He has commanded that 
this should be so. 

It may be well to emphasize also that 
our church buildings are not the only 
places where we can worship. Our homes 
should also be places of devotion. It 
would be well if each day we could "go 
home to church." There should be no 
other place where the Spirit of the Lord is 
more welcome and more easily accessible 
than in our own homes. 

Service 

A final comment about service to 
others and its influence in winding up 
our spiritual clocks: anyone who has 
unselfishly given of himself in service to 
another can testify of the lift that comes 



Second Day 

to the giver. We need this reinforcement 
to our spiritual well-being. When we cast 
our bread upon the water in this sense, 
it inevitably comes back to us in even 
greater abundance. 

President Spencer W. Kimball once 
said: "I have learned that it is by serving 
that we learn how to serve. When we are 
engaged in the service of our fellowmen, 
not only do our deeds assist them, but 
we put our own problems in a fresher 
perspective. When we concern ourselves 
more with others, there is less time to be 
concerned with ourselves. In the midst of 
the miracle of serving, there is the prom- 
ise of Jesus, that by losing ourselves, we 
find ourselves." President Kimball added, 
"There is great security in spirituality, 
and we cannot have spirituality without 
service!" ("Small Acts of Service," En- 
sign, Dec. 1974, pp. 2, 5). 

In this, as is true with all of the other 
virtues, the Master is the perfect example. 
He is our Lord, our Savior, and our Re- 
deemer and the perfect example in all 
things. 

I testify to you that these things are 
true. May those "ennobling influences" 
about which Elder Bowen spoke come 
regularly enough into our own lives that 
our spiritual clocks will continue to run 
strong and true is my earnest prayer. In 
the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

Presideat Monson 

Elder Dean L. Larsen, a member of 
the Presidency of the Quorums of the 
Seventy, has just spoken to us. 

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of 
the Council of the Twelve Apostles, will 
now address us. 



Elder Dallin H. Oaks 



Faithful pioneers of the last wagon 

The days of the pioneers are not past. 
There are modern pioneers whose achieve- 
ments are an inspiration to all of us. 

In a message about the pioneers who 
crossed the plains over a century ago, 



President J. Reuben Clark spoke words 
that apply to pioneers in every age. In his 
description of "Them of the Last Wagon," 
President Clark paid tribute to the rank 
and file, "those great souls, ... in name 
unknown, unremembered, unhonored in 



ELDER DALLJN H. OAKS 



79 



the pages of history, but lovingly revered 
round the hearthstones of their children 
and their children's children" (/. Reuben 
Clark: Selected Papers on Religion, Edu- 
cation, and Youth, ed. David H. Yarn, Jr. 
[Prove: Brigham Young University Press, 
1984], pp. 67-68; see also Improvement 
Era, Nov. 1947, pp. 704-5, 747-48). 

In every great cause there are leaders 
and followers. In the wagon trains, the 
leaders were "out in front where the air 
was clear and clean and where they had 
unbroken vision of the blue vault of 
heaven" {Clark, p. 69). But, as President 
Clark observed, "Back in the last wagon, 
not always could they see the brethren 
way out in front and the blue heaven was 
often shut out from their sight by heavy, 
dense clouds of the dust of the earth. Yet 
day after day, they of the last wagon 
pressed forward, worn and tired, foot- 
sore, sometimes almost disheartened, 
borne up by their faith that God loved 
them, that the Restored Gospel was true, 
and that the Lord led and directed the 
brethren out in front" {Clark, p. 69). 

The purposes of God were accom- 
plished by the unswerving loyalty and 
backbreaking work of the faithful tens of 
thousands who pushed on, as President 
Clark said, "with little praise, with not 
too much encouragement, and never with 
adulation" {Clark, pp. 69-70). 

"And thousands upon thousands of 
these . . . measured to their humble call- 
ing and to their destiny as fully as Brother 
Brigham and the others measured to 
theirs, and God will so reward them. 
They were pioneers in word and thought 
and act and faith, even as were they of 
more exalted station. . . . God keep their 

memories ever fresh among us to help 

us meet our duties even as they met 
theirs" {Clark, pp. 73 - 74). 

Modern pioneers 

President Clark's words of tribute 
also apply to the membership of The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints in our day. In every nation, in 
every worthy occupation and activity, 
members of this church face hardships, 
overcome obstacles, and follow the ser- 



vants of the Lord Jesus Christ as valiantly 
as the pioneers of any age. They pay their 
tithes and offerings. They serve as mis- 
sionaries or as Church Service volunteers, 

or they support others who do so. Like the 
noble young mothers who postpone the 
pursuit of their personal goals in order to 
provide the needs of their children, they 
sacrifice immediate pleasures to keep 
commitments that are eternal. They ac- 
cept callings and, in the service of others, 
they willingly give their time and some- 
times their lives. 

They do as the Savior taught: They 
deny themselves; they take up their 
crosses daily; they follow Him (see Luke 
9:23). These are those the Savior likened 
to the seed that fell on good ground: "in 
an honest and good heart, having heard 
the word, [they] keep it, and bring forth 
fruit with patience" (Luke 8:15). 

The fruits of the gospel issue from 
every honest and good heart, without re- 
gard to past origins or current positions in 
the Church. As President Clark declared, 
"There is no aristocracy of birth in this 
Church; it belongs equally to the highest 
and the lowliest" {Clark, p. 73). 

1 will give some illustrations of mod- 
ern pioneers. My examples are not neces- 
sarily the most notable, but I believe they 
are typical of the rank-and-file Latter-day 
Saints who are the heart and the hands of 
this great latter-day work. 

Elderly missionary couples 

Our older couple missionaries, now 
numbering over 2,600 throughout the 
world, provide an unequaled example of 
Christian service. Who could calculate 
the contribution these couples are making 
in furthering the mission of the Church? 
They preach the gospel, strengthen lead- 
ers and members in struggling branches, 
serve in temples and visitors' centers, and 
in countless other ways accomplish the 
essential work of the kingdom, both the 
important and the routine. 

In a missionary meeting in a remote 
corner of the world. Sister Oaks and I 
listened as a devoted brother said, 
"I never thought I could teach the gospel. 
I only thought I could fish. But now that 



80 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

I am here, I get so wrapped up in telling 
people about the gospel!" 

A few minutes later, another devoted 
missionary, his wife, said, "I feel so sorry 
for those who have nothing to worry 
about and occupy them except how many 
steps to the swimming pool or the golf 
course!" 

Time after time, the pioneers Presi- 
dent Clark praised left their homes, 
loaded their wagons, and moved to new 
hardships at the direction of their prophet. 
In our day, many couples go on mission 
after mission. One dear veteran described 
her family's reaction: "Our children say, 
'We hope you'll come by and at least 
have dinner with us before you go on 
another mission.' " 

Every day other thousands set aside 
personal preferences and give devoted 
service as teachers and leaders, as temple 
workers, in name extraction, and in so 
many other ways. 

"Rejoicing in hope; patient in 
tribulation" 

The Apostle Paul described the fol- 
lowers of Christ as "rejoicing in hope; pa- 
tient in tribulation" (Romans 12:12). We 
are tested for those qualities in different 
ways at different times. 

A few weeks ago, some members 
of my family visited the Winter Quarters 
cemetery at Florence, Nebraska. There 
they saw Avard T. Fairbanks's marvelous 
statue of the pioneer parents looking down 
at the body of their baby, soon to be left 
in its grave at the side of the trail. Those 
pioneers received some of their toughest 
tests at graveside. Some modern pioneers 
receive their tests at bedside. One sister 
wrote: 

"My mother cared for her mother un- 
til [Grandma] was ninety-eight. My dad 
now has Alzheimer's disease, and my 
mother patiently cares for him. . . . The 
amazing part of this is the attitude of my 
mother. She always thought she would 
travel after she retired. She has always 
kept a beautiful home, loving to entertain 
others. She maintains her home as best 



Second Day 

she can, but has had to put aside many 
things that bring her joy. The amazing 
part is the joy my mother radiates. Her 
attitude is so beautiful. She finds real 
joy in the simple things of life. She is 
the pillar of strength to the whole family 
as she uplifts us all with her positive 
attitude." 

God notices all service 

There are hidden heroines and he- 
roes among the Latter-day Saints —"those 
of the last wagon" whose fidelity to duty 
and devotion to righteousness go un- 
noticed by anyone except the One whose 
notice really matters. 

Others, including those who have 
been called to prominent positions, are 
more noticeable, but surely no more 
noble. I am one of these. At a public 
occasion a mother introduced me to her 
teenage son. "Do you know who this is?" 
she asked him. 

"Sure," the boy replied. "He's one 
of those guys who hangs on the wall at 
seminary." 

Prominent position — "hanging on 
the wall at seminary" — does not put any- 
one on a fast-track to exaltation. The cri- 
terion for that ultimate goal is the same 
for every person — leader or follower, 
prominent or obscure: Have we received 
the ordinances of salvation and kept our 
covenants? A member of the Church in 
Great Britain said it best. He had served 
as stake president. As that period of 
prominence came to an end, he told Elder 
Boyd K. Packer why it did not bother him 
to be released: "I served because I am 
under covenant. And I can keep my cov- 
enants quite as well as a home teacher 
as 1 can serving as stake president" (in 
Conference Report, Apr. 1987, p. 26; 
or Ensign, May 1987, p. 24). 

Numberless officers, teachers, ad- 
visers, and clerks keep their covenants in 
that same way. Their service is almost 
invisible, except to Him who sees all 
things and promises all who do good that 
they shall "in nowise lose their reward" 
(D&C 58:28; see also Matthew 10:42). 



ELDER DALLIN H. OAKS 



81 



Walk the trail blazed by leaders 

The pioneers who crossed the plains 
took their directions from the trails blazed 
by their leaders. For safety, those pio- 
neers traveled in groups. Then, as now, a 
pioneer who got separated from the com- 
pany and off the marked trail walked a 
lonely and dangerous path until he could 
rejoin the group. So it is today. A letter 
said it this way: 

"One and a half years ago I was 
excommunicated. I was guilty of great 
hypocrisy and deception before God in 
matters of infidelity. This Saturday I am 
going to be baptized and receive the 
gift of the Holy Ghost. As the day ap- 
proaches, my gratitude deepens for the 
Lord's mercy extended to me, allowing 
me to repent and experience the mighty 
change in my heart. It grieves me to know 
of the great contribution 1 made to the 
Lord's suffering in Gethsemane, but I 
glory in the proposition that I, as a result 
of that suffering, might turn my life and 
make His purposes my purposes." 

This writer expressed gratitude for 
"the Lord's repentance process," which 
would now "allow me to become the 
father, son, and priesthood-bearer that I 
always appeared to be. The feeling of 
finally being an honest, truly honest, man 
is indescribable." 

One of the best qualities in any of the 
sons and daughters of God, whatever 
their circumstance, is a determination to 
become better. Since we all have a need 
to improve, we should always be willing 
to recognize goodness and encourage 
improvement in everyone. 

The importance of forgiveness 

One of the most Godlike expressions 
of the human soul is the act of forgive- 
ness. Everyone is wronged at some point 
by someone, and many suffer serious 
wrongs. Christians everywhere stand in 
awe of those pioneers who have climbed 
that steep slope to the spiritual summit 
attained by those who have heeded the 
Savior's command to forgive all men (see 
Matthew 6:14-15; D&C 64:9-10). For- 



giveness is mortality's mirror image of 
the mercy of God. 

A sister wrote me about her feelings 
toward a relative who had abused her as a 
child, leaving her with a painful physical 
condition. In her words, "I have to live 
with the pain and try to function around 
it." She wrote, "At times I [felt] angry 
and wonder[ed] why I had to suffer the 
abuse in the first place and why must I 
continue to pay a price now." 

One day, as she listened to a talk in 
church, her heart was touched. The Spirit 
bore witness that she should forgive the 
man who had wronged her and that she 
could do so with the help of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. Her letter explained: "The 
price for that sin has already been paid by 
Him in Gethsemane. I have no right to 
hold on to it and demand justice, so I 
gladly hand it back to Him and rejoice in 
His love and mercy." 

Her letter described the result of her 
decision: "My heart is so full of joy, 
peace, and gratitude and love! Isn't His 
work glorious? How I do love Him! 
Words cannot express my feelings." 

Like this sister who forgave, many 
modern saints do their pioneering on the 
frontiers of their own attitudes and emo- 
tions. The proverb says, "He that ruleth 
his spirit [is better] than he that taketh a 
city" (Proverbs 16:32). Modern saints 
know that one who subdues his own spirit 
is just as much a pioneer as one who 
conquers a continent. 

Burdens carried by modern pioneers 

The path of modern pioneers is not 
easy. Burdens carried in the heart can be 
just as heavy as those pulled in a hand- 
cart. And just as some early pioneers 
struggled for the benefit of others, so 
some modern pioneers carry burdens im- 
posed by the transgressions or thought- 
lessness of others. 

Another letter came from a woman 
who had been divorced. Although she said 
that the ten years that followed her divorce 
were a time of trial, heartache, struggle, 
and loneliness, she described that ex- 
perience as "a blessing" — "a refining 



82 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

process." She expressed gratitude "for 
what I now have. It has brought me so 
close to my Heavenly Father and particu- 
larly to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a feel- 
ing that I'm not sure can be expressed in 
words. I literally came before the Lord 
with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. 
No physical pain I have ever experienced 
has been as painful as the emotional pain 
I have felt. But each time 1 feel it, it 
draws me so close to the Lord because I 
think of all He suffered, and it makes me 
so grateful. I love Him with all my heart 
and soul for His sacrifice and for all He 
represents." 

Many of our members are struggling 
valiantly to try to do it all. They support 
themselves and provide for their families. 
They strive to carry out the responsibili- 
ties of their church callings. They spend 
many hours transporting their children to 
numberless church and school activities. 
They try to be generous with money and 
time for worthy causes in the community. 
They strive to improve themselves. They 
hope, after all of this, to have some little 
time left for togetherness and recreation. 

One sister wrote, "We are having 
great difficulty [just] trying to cope." 
Many could say the same. Yet they do 
cope. They carry on without complaint, 
even when they have just cause for com- 
plaint. And even when they fall short, 
the Lord blesses them for their righteous 
desires (see Mosiah 4:24 - 25), for, as 
King Benjamin taught, "it is not requisite 
that a man should run faster than he has 
strength" (Mosiah 4:27). 

Gratefiil for faithftil members 

How grateful we are for the service 
and example of these faithful members! 
Like all my Brethren among the General 
Authorities, 1 look to the rank-and-file 
members of this church for my models of 
faithfulness and nobility. When I visit a 
conference and mingle with the Saints, 1 
always receive more than 1 give. 1 agree 
with the sentiment voiced by President 
Gordon B. Hinckley. After describing the 
faithful Saints he had met at a conference, 
he added, "We have the responsibility of 
leading them, when, in fact, we can learn 
so much from them." 



Second Day 

Our faith and resolve are strength- 
ened by the spiritual achievements and 
service of ordinary Latter-day Saints. 
There are thousands of such inspirational 

examples, but they are rarely published 
except on the pages of the Church News 
and the Church magazines — the Ensign, 
New Era, and Friend. I encourage every- 
one to have these unique publications in 
their home. 

Home teachers and visiting teachers 

Some of the unsung heroes and her- 
oines of our day are the faithful home 
teachers and visiting teachers who feed 
the Master's sheep. When the Apostle 
Paul likened the Church to a body, he 
referred to such less-visible members as 
the hands and the feet, saying that upon 
these we should "bestow more abundant 
honour" (1 Corinthians 12:23). 

An LDS girl whose two parents took 
no part in Church activities later wrote 
this recollection to an elder who had been 
her home teacher: 

"You were the bright hope in my 
often difficult life. There is no greater 
call than a home teacher. You loved and 
showed respect for my parents. You hon- 
ored them and at the same time supported 
me. You were there! ... As I look back 
now, I realize you and the truth you of- 
fered were my life-support. 

"Behind the doors were years of 
pain, tears, and fear. You were able to 
come into our home and chase them 
away, if only for a short time. No one else 
could do that." 

All things shall work for your good 

In our day, as in the days of earlier 
pioneers, those in the lead wagons set the 
direction and signal onward, but it is the 
faithful men and women in the wagons 
which follow that provide the momentum 
and motive power for this great work. 

As modern pioneers press forward, 
they suffer hardships and make sacrifices. 
But they are sustained by an assurance 
given by the Lord Himself. These words, 
first spoken to the struggling Saints in 
Ohio, apply also to the faithful of our day: 



PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON 



83 



"Verily I say unto you my friends, 
fear not, let your hearts be comforted; 
yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything 
give thanks; 

"Waiting patiently on the Lord, for 
your prayers have entered into the ears of 
the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded 
with this seal and testament — the Lord 
hath sworn and decreed that they shall be 
granted. 

"Therefore, he giveth this promise 
unto you, with an immutable covenant 
that they shall be fulfilled; and all things 
wherewith you have been afflicted shall 
work together for your good, and to my 
name's glory, saith the Lord" (D&C 
98:1-3). 



This is His work. We are His chil- 
dren. He loves us — one and all. Of this I 
testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 



The choir sang "The Lord's Prayer" 
without announcement. 



President Monson 

What a beautiful number, brothers 
and sisters, "The Lord's Prayer" as ren- 
dered by the Tabernacle Choir. President 
Benson has suggested that I serve as the 
next speaker. 



President Thomas S. Monson 



This is an awesome responsibility 
for me as I approach this task. Before 
doing so, however, I too would like to 
echo the sentiment expressed by others in 
expressing appreciation and love to our 
General Authorities of the Church who 
yesterday were given a change of status or 
an honorable release from their strenuous 
duties. May 1 add my personal apprecia- 
tion for their outstanding service over 
the years and extend to them and their 
devoted companions my love and my 
blessings. They have traveled far and 
wide in the Lord's service and merit His 
approbation "Well done." 

Windows 

On one such journey while I was 
waiting my turn at an airline office in 
London, England, I reached forward from 
my chair and selected an advertising bro- 
chure from the small table which con- 
tained reading material. The publication 
bore the title Windows to the World. Each 
page contained a framed picture of a well- 
known and beautifiil site, accompanied 
by a well-written description which made 
one desire to visit all of the locations 
shown. The Matterhorn in Switzerland, 



the Alps of New Zealand, even the Taj 
Mahal of India — all seemed to suggest to 
the reader the desirability of an immediate 
visit. 

Windows are wonderful. They serve 
as a frame on which we might focus our 
attention. They provide a glimpse of 
God's creations. The azure blue sky, the 
billowy, white clouds, the verdant green 
forest all are as framed pictures in the 
memory of the mind. Windows also re- 
veal the approach of a friend, a gathering 
storm, a magnificent sunset — even the 
passing parade of life. 

Windows welcome light to our lives 
and bring joy to our souls. The absence of 
windows, such as in dark prison cells, 
shuts out the world. When we are de- 
prived of light, the depression of darkness 
encompasses us. 

President Hugh B. Brovm's window 

Windows teach lessons never to be 
forgotten. Ever shall I remember a visit to 
the home of President Hugh B. Brown. It 
was graduation day at Brigham Young 
University. He was to conduct the exer- 
cises, and I was to deliver the commence- 
ment address. I drove to President 
Brown's home and escorted him to my 



84 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

car. Before we could drive away, how- 
ever, he said to me, "Wait just a few min- 
utes. My wife, Zina, will come to the 
front window." 

I glanced at the window, noted that 
the curtain had parted, and saw Zina 
Brown sitting in her wheelchair, affec- 
tionately waving a small, white hand- 
kerchief toward the gaze of her smiling 
husband. President Brown reached into 
his jacket pocket, retrieved a white hand- 
kerchief, and began to wave it gently, 
much to the delight of his wife. We then 
inched away from the curb and com- 
menced the journey to Provo. 

"What is the significance of the 
white-handkerchief waving?" I asked. 

He replied, "Zina and I have fol- 
lowed that custom since we were first 
married. It is somewhat a sjmibol be- 
tween us that all will be well throughout 
the day until we are again together at 
eventide." 

That day 1 witnessed a window to the 
heart. 

Windows sealed by pain and neglect 

Some windows are sealed shut by 
sorrow, by pain, by neglect. The forgot- 
ten birthday, the unremembered visit, the 

overlooked promise — all can sow seeds 
of sorrow and bring to the human heart 
that unwelcome visitor, despair. 

A national columnist one day titled 
her story, "What a Forgotten Birthday 
Can Mean," and then quoted from a letter 
she had received: 

"I have never written to you before, 
but I believe the following might interest 
you and your readers. I found it in 
an old magazine. No author's name 
was mentioned— just 'A Heavy-Hearted 
Observer.' 

" 'Yesterday was a man's birthday. 
He was ninety-one. He awakened earlier 
than usual, bathed, shaved, and put on 
his best clothes. Surely they would come 
today, he thought. 

" 'He didn't take his daily walk to 
the gas station to visit with the old-timers 
of the community because he wanted to 
be right there when they came. 

" 'He sat on the front porch with a 
clear view of the road so he could see 



Second Day 

them coming. Surely they would come 
today. 

" 'He decided to skip his noon nap 
because he wanted to be up when they 
came. He had six children. Two of his 
daughters and their married children lived 
within four miles. They hadn't been to 
see him for such a long time. But today 
was his birthday. Surely they would come 
today. 

" 'At supper time he refused to cut 

the cake and asked that the ice cream be 
left in the freezer. He wanted to wait and 
have dessert with them when they came. 

" 'About 9 o'clock he went to his 
room and got ready for bed. His last 
words before turning out the lights 
were, "Promise to wake me up when they 
come." 

" 'It was his birthday, and he was 
ninety-one.' " 

The window of faith 

When 1 read that touching account, 
tears came easily. I reflected on an expe- 
rience in my life, one that had a happier 
ending. 

E&ch time I would visit an older 
widow whom I had known for many years 
and whose bishop I had been, my heart 
grieved at her utter loneliness. A favorite 
son of hers lived many miles away, and 
for years he had not visited Mother. Mat- 
tie spent long hours in a lonely vigil at her 
front window. Behind a frayed and fre- 
quently opened curtain, the disappointed 
mother would say to herself, "Dick will 
come; Dick will come." 

But Dick didn't come. The years 
passed by one after another. Then, like a 
ray of sunshine. Church activity came 
into the life of Dick. He journeyed to Salt 
Lake to visit with me. He telephoned 
upon his arrival and, with excitement, re- 
ported the change in his life. He asked if 
I had time to see him if he were to come 
directly to my office. My response was 
one of gladness. However, I said, "Dick, 
visit your mother first, and then come 
to see me." He gladly complied with my 
request. 

Before he could get to my office, 
there came a phone call from Mattie, his 



PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON 



85 



mother. From a joyful heart came words 
punctuated by tears: "Tom, I knew Dick 
would come. I told you he would. I saw 
him through the window." 

Years later at Mattie's funeral, Dick 
and I spoke tenderly of that experience. 
We had witnessed a glimpse of God's 
healing power through the window of a 
mother's faith in her son. 

The window of example 

The holy scriptures are replete with 
sacred accounts of our Master's love for 
the downtrodden and the poor of this 
world. Though many are forgotten by 
men, they are remembered by God and 
are ofttimes seen through the window of 
personal example. 

Who among us can forget the time- 
less lesson taught by the Lord when, "in 
the audience of all the people he said unto 
his disciples, 

"Beware of the scribes, which desire 
to walk in long robes, and love greetings 
in the markets, and the highest seats in the 
synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; 

"Which devour widows' houses, and 
for a shew make long prayers" (Luke 
20:45-47). 

"And he looked up, and saw the rich 
men casting their gifts into the treasury. 

"And he saw also a certain poor 
widow casting in thither two mites. 

"And he said. Of a truth I say unto 
you, that this poor widow hath cast in 
more than they all: 

"For all these have of their abun- 
dance cast in unto the offerings of God: 
but she of her penury hath cast in all the 
living that she had" (Luke 21:1-4). What 
a beautiful lesson, as taught through the 
window of example. 

The window of priesthood power 

At a city called Nain, the Lord 

opened to his disciples and to many 
people who followed him a window 
through which they might view true com- 
passion: 

"Now when he came nigh to the gate 
of the city, behold, there was a dead man 
carried out, the only son of his mother. 



and she was a widow: and much people 
of the city was with her. 

"And when the Lord saw her, he had 
compassion on her, and said unto her. 
Weep not. 

"And he came and touched the bier: 
and they that bare him stood still. And he 
said. Young man, I say unto thee. Arise. 

"And he that was dead sat up, and 
began to speak. And he delivered him to 
his mother" (Luke 7:12-15). 

The disciples of the Lord witnessed 
through the windows Jesus opened the 
power of God and were made partakers of 
this same power when, in righteousness, 
they ministered to the children of the 
Almighty. 

A beautiful account, recorded in the 
book of Acts, tells of a disciple named 
Tabitha who lived at Joppa. She was de- 
scribed as being a woman "full of good 
works and almsdeeds." 

"It came to pass in those days, that 
she was sick, and died: whom when they 
had washed, they laid her in an upper 
chamber. 

"And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh 
to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that 
Peter was there, they sent unto him two 
men, desiring him that he would not delay 
to come to them. 

"Then Peter arose and went with 
them. When he was come, they brought 
him into the upper chamber: and all the 
widows stood by him weeping, and shew- 
ing the coats and garments which [Tabi- 
tha] made, while she was with them" 
(Could we not say this was a window 
through which Peter glimpsed the indus- 
try of Tabitha's life?) "Peter put them all 
forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and 
turning him to the body said, Tabitha, 
arise. And she opened her eyes: and when 
she saw Peter, she sat up. 

"And he gave her his hand, and 
lifted her up, and when he had called the 
saints and widows, presented her alive. 

"And it was known throughout all 
Joppa; and many believed in the Lord" 
(Acts 9:36-42). 

Would it not be ever so sad if such a 
window to priesthood power, to faith, to 
healing, were to be restricted to Joppa 
alone? Are these sacred and moving 



86 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

counts recorded only for our uplift and 
enlightenment? Can we not apply such 
mighty lessons to our daily lives? 

The window of loving service 

When we catch the vision regarding 
the worth of human souls, when we real- 
ize the truth of the adage, "God's sweet- 
est blessings always flow through hands 
that serve Him here below," then we have 
quickened within our souls the desire to 
do good, the willingness to serve, and 
the yearning to lift to a higher plane the 
children of God. 

Such was the experience of William 
Norris, formerly the chairman of a large 
computer manufacturing firm and a friend 
of many years. Mr. Norris determined 
to build a plant in an area of extreme 
poverty. The neighborhood was pre- 
dominantly composed of a minority race 
of unmarried women with children — 
women who were uneducated, uncared- 
for, but needing help. These women 
became the work force in the production 
of high-tech computers. 

I had the privilege to be hosted by 
Mr. Norris and to be given a tour of his 
new facility. I was impressed with the 
employment provided — but more im- 
pressed with the company nursery, which 
occupied a wing of the building. Here, 
while their mothers worked, children re- 
ceived schooling, including proficiency 
with computers. Since most of the chil- 
dren did not have fathers and grandfathers 
who cared, retired grandfathers in the 
community were invited to have lunch 
with them. The children were benefited, 
and the grandfathers had a special bless- 
ing brought into their lives. 

As a result of Mr. Norris's dream, 
the chain of poverty was broken. Children 
learned to earn. It was as though William 
Norris had personally blessed the life 
of each worker. Through the window 
provided by Mr. Norris — even love in 
action — I saw demonstrated the philo- 
sophical and practical truth: The bottom 
line of living is giving. 



Second Day 

Following the Savior's example 

As we go about our daily lives, we 
discover countless opportunities to follow 
the example of the Savior. When our 
hearts are in tune with His teachings, we 
discover the uimiistakable nearness of His 
divine help. It is almost as though we are 
on the Lord's errand; and we then dis- 
cover that, when we are on the Lord's 
errand, we are entitled to the Lord's help. 

Through the years, the offices 1 have 
occupied have been decorated with lovely 
paintings of peaceful and pastoral scenes. 
However, there is one picture that always 
hangs on the wall which I face when 
seated behind my desk. It is a constant 
reminder of Him whom 1 serve, for it is a 
picture of our Lord and Savior, Jesus 
Christ. When confronted with a vexing 
problem or difficult decision, I always 
gaze at that picture of the Master and 
silently ask myself the question, "What 
would He have me do?" No longer does 
doubt linger, nor does indecision prevail. 
The way to go is clear, and the pathway 
before me beckons. 

A window to the soul 

Some months back 1 sat in my office 
chair reading the daily mail. 1 opened a 
letter from Martha Sharp of Wellsville, 
Utah, and read her entreaty seeking a 
blessing for her grown son, Steven, who 
was a patient at University Hospital in 
Salt Lake City. She described Steven's 
spiritual and physical needs and the like- 
lihood that he would suffer the amputa- 
tion of his foot. Her tears were felt in each 
word, and her feelings of love marked 
every sentence. Hers was a request which 
the Spirit simply did not allow me to 
delegate. 

When I entered Steven's hospital 
room that night, I saw a man who just 
seemed built to ride a horse. Sensing this, 
I began to chat with him about a Western 
adventure film I had seen recently. I de- 
scribed the beautiful horses ridden by the 
principal characters. A warm smile came 
over Steven's face. Not until that moment 
did I note on his nightstand a book he 



PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON 



87 



had been reading. It was the book from 
which the film we had been discussing 
was made. Our conversation was warm 
and free from that point forward. 

In describing his condition, Steven 
commented, "I hope they leave enough 
of my foot so that 1 can get it into a stir- 
rup." I assured him we would remember 
his name when the First Presidency and 
Council of the Twelve met in the holy 
temple and that my wife and I would per- 
sonally remember him in our prayers. I 
told him that he had a wonderful mother, 
who loved him and remembered him in 
his need, and a Heavenly Father who also 
loved and remembered him. Steven began 
to weep. A special spirit filled the room. 
A blessing was given, a heart cleansed, a 
memory of home and family rekindled, 
and a mother comforted. 

As I departed the hospital, situated 
high on the east bench of Salt Lake 
City, I gazed at the panoramic view of the 
valley before me. The miles collapsed; 
the stars drew near. I could almost see 
through the window of mortality the ex- 
panse of eternity. One star shone espe- 
cially bright. It seemed to light the way 
and mark the path to Wellsville. 1 remem- 
bered the poem from Primary days: 

Star light, star bright. 
The first star 1 see tonight, 
I wish I may, I wish I might. 
Have the wish I wish tonight. 



What was my wish? That Martha 
Sharp might receive the welcome 
message, "Your son loves you." 

From sacred soil far away, and from 
a timeless truth taught long ago, came 
the message, "With God all things are 
possible" (Matthew 19:26). 

Once more a gentle but unseen hand 
had opened a window to the soul, that 
precious lives might receive blessings 
heaven-sent. 

He beckons to each of us and 
extends the warm invitation not only to 
gaze at the beauty seen through the 
windows He opens, but also to pass 
through them to the priceless oppor- 
tunities He provides to bless the lives of 
others. 

That each may experience this 
privilege is my humble prayer, in the 
name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

The Tabernacle Choir will now sing 
"Children of Our Heavenly Father," and 
the benediction will be offered by Elder 
F. Melvin Hammond of the Seventy. The 
conference will then be adjourned until 
two o'clock this afternoon. 



The choir sang "Children of Our 
Heavenly Father." 

Elder F. Melvin Hammond offered 
the benediction. 



SECOND DAY 
AFTERNOON SESSION 



The fifth session of the 159th Semi- 
annual General Conference commenced 
at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 1, 1989. 
President Ezra Taft Benson presided, 
and President Gordon B. Hinckley, 
First Counselor in the First Presidency, 
conducted this session. 

The Tabernacle Choir provided the 
music, with Donald Ripplinger conduct- 
ing and John Longhurst at the organ. 



President Hinckley made the follow- 
ing remarks as the meeting began: 

President Gordon B. Hinckley 

President Ezra Taft Benson, who has 
presided at all sessions of this conference, 
has asked that I conduct this fifth and con- 
cluding session of the 159th Semiannual 
General Conference of The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 

Second Day 



88 

Sunday, October 1 

We extend a sincere welcome to all 
assembled in the Tabernacle and to those 
seated in the Assembly Hall, where El- 
ders James E. Faust, J. TTiomas Fyans, 
and Horacio A. Tenorio are seated on the 
stand. We also send our greetings and 
blessings to members of the Church and 
many friends everywhere who are partici- 
pating in these proceedings by radio, tele- 
vision, cable, or satellite transmission. 

The Tabernacle Choir, directed by 
Donald Ripplinger and accompanied by 
John Longhurst, will begin this service by 
singing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." 
The invocation will then be offered by 
Elder Rex C. Reeve, an emeritus member 
of the First Quorum of the Seventy. 



The choir sang "A Mighty Fortress 
Is Our God." 

Elder Rex C. Reeve offered the in- 
vocation. 



President Hinckley 

The choir will now sing "Each Life 
That Touches Ours for Good." Following 
the singing. Elder L. Tom Perry of the 
Council of the Twelve Apostles will 
address us. 



The choir sang "Each Life That 
Touches Ours for Good." 



Elder L. Tom Perry 



Thomas Kane's visit to Nauvoo 

Colonel Thomas L. Kane, a non- 
member of the Church, spoke to the 
Historical Society of Philadelphia, as 
recorded in the memoirs of John R. 
Young. He told them that during his trav- 
els a few years before, he had passed 
through a very unusual city named Nau- 
voo, a community established on the 
banks of the Mississippi. He explained 
that after traveling up the river for some 
time, he left the steamer and began to 
travel on land because of the rapids in 
the river. 

While on the road, he had seen only 
unimproved country where idlers and out- 
laws had settled. Then he saw Nauvoo. 
Quoting him: 

"I was descending the last hillside 
upon my journey, when a landscape in 
delightful contrast broke upon my view. 
Half encircled by a bend of the river, a 
beautiful city lay glittering in the fresh 
morning sun. Its bright new dwellings 
[were] set in cool green gardens ranging 
up around a stately dome-shaped hill, 
which was crowned by a noble marble 
edifice, whose high tapering spire was 
radiant with white and gold. The city ap- 
peared to cover several miles, and beyond 



it, in the backgrounds, there rolled off a 
fair country chequered by the careful lines 
of fruitful husbandry. The unmistakable 
marks of industry, enterprise and educa- 
ted wealth everywhere, made the scene 
one of singular and most striking beauty. 
... No one met me there. I looked and 
saw no one. I could hear no one move, 
though the quiet everywhere was such 
that I heard the flies buzz and the water 
ripples break against the shallow beach. I 
walked through the solitary streets. The 
town lay as in a dream, under some dead- 
ening spell of loneliness, from which I 
almost feared to wake it, for plainly it had 
not slept long. There was no grass grow- 
ing up in the paved ways, rains had not 
entirely washed away the prints of dusty 
footsteps, yet I went about unchecked. I 
went into empty workshops, rope walks 
and smithies. The spinner's wheel was 
idle, the carpenter had gone from his 
work bench and shavings, his unfinished 
sash and casings, fresh bark was in the 
tanner's vat, and fresh chopped light 
wood stood piled against the baker's 
oven. The blacksmith's shop was cold; 
but his coal heap and ladling pool and 
crooked water horn were all there, as if he 
had just gone for a holiday. . . . 



ELDER L. TOM PERRY 



89 



"... Fields upon fields of heavy 
headed yellow grain lay rotting. ... No 
one was at hand to take in their rich 
harvest" (in Memoirs of John R. Young, 
Utah Pioneer 1847 [Salt Lake City: 
Deseret News, 1920], pp. 31-33). 

Colonel Kane could not understand 
why such a beautiful city had been aban- 
doned. He was unaware that the Saints 
had been driven from their city by the 
mobs. His curiosity caused him to search 
for the people who had left the city. When 
he found them, he observed that even 
though they were suffering and dying 
from hunger and exposure, they were 
peaceful and wholesome. Why had such a 
harmless people been so persecuted? 

Persecution of missionaries 

In many ways the situation has not 
changed a great deal today. The Church 
still faces some situations which, in many 
ways, are similar to the Nauvoo period. 
There is not, of course, the same degree 
of antagonism manifest against us as in 
our early history. But we still must won- 
der, as Colonel Kane did, why it is some- 
times directed, as it so recently has been, 
against our great missionary force. I can 
only guess that it is because of the wide- 
spread misunderstanding of the essential 
purposes for which our missionaries are 
called to serve. 

The missionary purpose has not 
changed with time. We recall the account 
of Ammon in the Book of Mormon. His 
missionary call was to the land of the La- 
manites — a dangerous assignment. The 
fate of a Nephite entering the land of the 
Lamanites was left entirely in the hands 
of their king, who could slay him, cast 
him into prison, or force him to leave. 

"And thus Ammon was carried be- 
fore the king who was over the land of 
Ishmael; and his name was Lamoni; and 
he was a descendant of Ishmael. 

"And the king inquired of Ammon 
if it were his desire to dwell in the land 
among the Lamanites, or among his 
people. 

"And Ammon said unto him: Yea, 1 
desire to dwell among this people for a 



time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die. 

"And it came to pass that king La- 
moni was much pleased with Ammon, 
and caused that his bands should be 
loosed; and he would that Ammon should 
take one of his daughters to wife. 

"But Ammon said unto him: Nay, 
but I will be thy servant. Therefore 
Ammon became a servant to king La- 
moni. And it came to pass that he was set 
among other servants to watch the flocks 
of Lamoni, according to the custom of the 
Lamanites" (Alma 17:21-25). 

As with Ammon, the only desire of 
our army of modern missionaries is to 
serve their fellowmen. 

Missionaries have pure intent 

It has been over 160 years since 
Samuel Smith left his home with a knap- 
sack on his back filled with a few copies 

of the newly printed Book of Mormon. 
He left to declare his witness of the truths 
contained in this book and to extend an 
invitation to anyone interested to read 
its contents and discover for themselves 
whether it be true. Since Samuel Smith's 
time, thousands of our missionaries have 
given their time and their means and left 
their homes for a season to declare a mes- 
sage they believe to be true. 

Today we have a multinational force 
coming from many nations and spreading 
themselves among a great number of 
other nations of the world. Missionaries 
go forward with the purest of intent, with 
no hidden agenda, and at great personal 
sacrifice. They are not out to destroy any- 
one's faith or to exert unrighteous pres- 
sure. They are teachers who invite those 
interested in their message to listen and 
determine for themselves if the message 
is true. They go forward not representing 
any government or political philosophy. 
Furthermore, they will not be active nor 
participate in, encourage, or even express 
an opinion on the politics of the country 
in which they are called to labor. 

Missionaries return home with a love 
for the people they have served and 
taught. They are true ambassadors spread- 
ing goodwill for the peoples in whose 



90 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

countries they have lived and worked. 
They are not concerned with income lev- 
els and have no racial bias. They are not 
out to build any worldly kingdoms. They 
are, in the words of Mormon, "the peace- 
able followers of Christ" (Moroni 7:3). 
The only kingdom which interests them 
is the kingdom of our Lord and Savior 
which He will establish at His return. 
Their only hope is to prepare us for that 
great day. Until then, our missionaries, 
as well as all members of the Church, 
will be "subject to kings, presidents, 
rulers, and magistrates" and will be found 
"obeying, honoring, and sustaining the 
law" (Articles of Faith 1:12). 

Choose how best you can serve 

Now I would like to change subjects 
and conclude my remarks with some 
counsel to the membership of the Church. 
We have been taught about the mission 
of our Lord and Savior and that by fol- 
lowing Him we receive the greatest joy 
and happiness to be found here on earth. 
We have experienced the joy of service in 
our Heavenly Father's kingdom and know 
the soul-satisfying fulfillment it brings to 
our lives. I often think of the challenge 
which Alma faced when he could see the 
urgent need of the people to be taught the 
importance of having an understanding of 
the gospel of our Lord and Savior. At that 
time he served in two positions, that of 
chief judge and high priest over all the 
Church. He had to make a choice between 
the two in order to maximize his effec- 
tiveness in serving the people. The book 
of Alma records: 

"And he selected a wise man who 
was among the elders of the church, and 
gave him power according to the voice 
of the people, that he might have power 
to enact laws according to the laws which 
had been given, and to put them in force 
according to the wickedness and the 
crimes of the people. . . . 

"Now Alma did not grant unto him 
the office of being high priest over the 
church, but he retained the office of high 
priest unto himself; but he delivered the 
judgment-seat unto Nephihah. 



Second Day 

"And this he did that he himself 
might go forth among his people, or 
among the people of Nephi, that he might 
preach the word of God unto them, to stir 
them up in remembrance of their duty, 
and that he might pull down, by the word 
of God, all the pride and craftiness and 
all the contentions which were among 
his people, seeing no way that he might 
reclaim them save it were in bearing 
down in pure testimony against them" 
(Alma 4:16, 18-19). 

He selected for himself the position 
which would allow him to do the most 
good for his people. 

Show which kingdom you seek 

Sometimes, however, in our enthusi- 
asm for the gospel, we cast our pearls 
indiscriminately, and we might even be 
tempted to enhance the luster of our pearl 
of great price by placing it in a much too 
attractive setting. This may only detract 
from the true value of our pearl. Our pearl 
will stand on its own, with all its beauty 
and simplicity. We do not need to en- 
hance it with bright and flashy things that 
will only bring antagonism and conflict to 
the Church. We need to speak less about 
our accomplishments and, by our actions, 
show which kingdom we seek. 

Could I offer this little suggestion to 
you? In the elevators in the Church Office 
Building we place scriptures and sayings 
of the prophets to make the time that 
people spend in the elevators productive 
as they ride up and down. This is an idea 
we could carry into our homes. We have 
an appliance we use all too frequently 
in our homes — the refrigerator. We need 
to place a sign on our refrigerators to 
elevate our thoughts. And by so doing, 
we could remind ourselves of the scrip- 
tures as we go about our daily duties — of 
who we are and what we represent. Could 
I suggest just a few scriptures to you 
for starters? The first is in the book of 
Matthew 5:43-44: 

"Ye have heard that it hath been 
said. Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and 
hate thine enemy. 



ELDER JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN 



91 



"But I say unto you, Love your ene- 
mies, bless them that curse you, do good 
to them that hate you, and pray for them 
which despitefully use you, and persecute 
you." 

Maybe a second would be from 
Luke 6:35: 

"But love ye your enemies, and do 
good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; 
and your reward shall be great, and ye 
shall be the children of the Highest: for 
he is kind unto the unthankful and to the 
evil." 

And in James 1:27 we read: 
"Pure religion and undefiled before 
God and the Father is this. To visit the 
fatherless and widows in their affliction, 
and to keep himself unspotted from the 
world." 

Finally, display one of the great 
scriptures from the Book of Mormon, 
Moroni 7:47: 

"But charity is the pure love of 
Christ, and it endureth forever; and 
whoso is found possessed of it at the last 
day, it shall be well with him." 

I love the gospel of our Lord and 
Savior. It has brought into my life the 



greatest peace of mind, joy, and happi- 
ness I could ever hope to find on this 
earth. I pray that each of us might be will- 
ing and able to share this pearl of great 
price — a pearl of lasting and singular 
beauty — with all of our Heavenly Fa- 
ther's children, that we may go forward 
armed with the gospel of our Lord and 
Savior. This is His work in which we're 
engaged. God lives. Jesus is the Christ, 
the Savior of the world. This is my sol- 
emn witness to you, in His holy name, 
amen. 

President Hinckley 

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of 
the Twelve Apostles has just addressed 
us. 

We shall now be pleased to hear 
from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, also a 
member of the Council of the Twelve. 
Following Elder Wirthlin, we shall hear 
from Elder Victor L. Brown, an emeritus 
member of the First Quorum of the 
Seventy. 



Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin 



My beloved brethren and sisters, 1 
pray for that same Spirit that we have en- 
joyed so much during this conference. 1 
should like today to address my remarks 
to the youth, to those of you who still 
have before you the greater part of this 
journey we call life. I hope you have de- 
cided to follow the course marked by our 
Savior and his teachings. Following that 
course requires great effort and the help 
of the Lord at each step along the way. 1 
promise you that his help always is there. 

The marathon 

In recent years, running has become 
a popular form of exercise throughout the 
world. Many run primarily for the exer- 
cise, but others run to condition them- 
selves for well-publicized races of various 



distances. Perhaps the premier endurance 
race is the marathon, a modern-day race 
that has its roots in ancient Greece. To- 
day, the meaning of the word has been 
broadened to include any contest or activ- 
ity of great length that requires extraor- 
dinary effort and endurance. 

A young friend of mine, whom I will 
call Alan, recently ran his first mara- 
thon—a distance of 26.2 miles. He had 
set his goal several months in advance, 
learned what preparation was required, 
and disciplined himself to follow a rigor- 
ous training schedule. He sought the 
advice of experienced runners and read 
articles on running a marathon. He prac- 
ticed running the marathon route and 
planned a strategy for traversing the hilly 
course. 



92 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

Finally, the day of the marathon 
arrived; it would be the culmination of 
months of training, discipline, and sacri- 
fice. He got off to a good start in a large 
crowd of runners. He felt strong and con- 
fident, following his predetermined strat- 
egy. About eight miles into the race, on 
a downhill part of the course, he caught 
up with an experienced runner. Brent by 
name, who had given him sound advice 
during his training. Alan decided to match 
his stride to Brent's disciplined and expe- 
rienced pace. 

As they passed the eighteen-mile 
mark, Alan struggled to stay with Brent 
so someone he knew would be by his side 
if he began "hitting the wall." Hitting the 
wall means feeling a sudden urge to quit, 
encountering an almost tangible barrier 
that requires a tremendous effort to over- 
come. It often comes at about the twenty- 
mile mark. 

For the next two miles, Alan kept 
pace with Brent. Then it hit him. He felt 
a sudden loss of energy, an almost over- 
whelming desire to stop or walk. "Stay 
with me," Brent said. "We all feel it at 
some point. You can get through it. I'll 
help pull you through." 

Somehow, Alan continued. He and 
Brent began to pass spectators. He knew 
his wife, children, and other family mem- 
bers would be watching about one mile 
ahead. Drawing on the strength provided 
by thoughts of his family, he was able to 
hang on until the desire to quit left him. 

As they finally neared the finish, 
Alan found the last mile to be the hardest 
of all. Alan and Brent crossed the finish 
line just five seconds apart. Alan was 
more exhausted than he ever had been but 
was elated because he had beaten his goal 
by more than fifteen minutes and had fin- 
ished among the top twenty-five runners. 

Life is like running a marathon 

In some respects, progressing 
through life is like running a marathon. 

You young people are nearer the begin- 
ning of your earthly sojourn. You chose 
to come to this earth and to be tested and 
proved. The end may seem too far away 
to concern you now. But life, like a mara- 



Second Day 

thon, requires a good start and a strong, 
consistent effort all of the way to the 
finish. 

Set goals 

Marathon runners set explicit goals. 
You should look ahead now and decide 
what you want to do with your lives. Fix 
clearly in your mind what you want to be 
one year from now, five years, ten years, 
and beyond. Receive your patriarchal 
blessing and strive to live worthy of its 
promises. A patriarchal blessing is one of 
the most important guides in life that 
members of the Church enjoy. Write your 
goals and review them regularly. Keep 
them before you constantly, record your 
progress, and revise them as circum- 
stances dictate. Your ultimate goal should 
be eternal life — the kind of life God 
lives, the greatest of all the gifts of God. 

Prepare 

After you visualize yourself as you 
would like to be in twenty years from 
now, identify the preparation you will 
need. Determine to pay the price in effort, 
money, study, and prayer. Be sure you 
understand the course or path you will be 
taking. The ideal course of life is not al- 
ways easy. Comparatively few will find it 
and complete it. It is not a well-marked 
freeway, but a narrow path with only 
one entrance. The way to eternal life is 
straight and narrow. When I think of stay- 
ing on the right path, I am reminded of 
Lehi's dream about the tree of life. In it, 
the love of God was likened to a tree that 
bore delicious fruit, fruit that was desir- 
able above all others. As Nephi recorded 
his father's words: "And 1 also beheld a 
strait and narrow path, which came along 
by the rod of iron, even to the tree. . . . 
And I saw numberless concourses of 
people, many of whom were pressing 
forward, that they might obtain the path 
which led unto the tree" (1 Nephi 
8:20-21). Many of these people later 
"fell away into forbidden paths and were 
lost" (8:28). But those who ignored the 
scoffing and ridicule of the world and 
held tightly to the rod of iron enjoyed the 



ELDER JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN 



93 



fruit of the tree. The rod of iron represents 
the word of God, that leads us to the love 
of God (see 1 Nephi 11:25). You must 
hold firmly to the rod of iron through the 
mists and darknesses, the hardships and 
trials of life. If you relax your grip and 
slip from the path, the iron rod might be- 
come lost in the darkness for a time until 
you repent and regain your grasp of it. 

Remember that success results when 
preparation meets opportunity in your 
lives. You will not always know precisely 
what opportunities will come or when 
they will come. But you can be sure they 
will be valuable only to the extent that 
you are prepared to respond to them. You 
can see the equation of preparation plus 
opportunity equaling success in the lives 
of leaders in the Church, government, 
business, professions, and, hopefully, in 
your own lives. 

Preparation is vitally important in 
the Church so you can do your part when 
called upon and so the Lord can use you 
when he needs you. 

Seek help and give help 

In life, as in a marathon, you should 
seek the help you need. Do not depend on 
your own strength alone. You have never 
done all you can to finish a task until you 
have sought help from the Lord, loved 
ones. Church leaders, and friends. 

I'm sure we've all been impressed 
by a miracle that has occurred recently in 
this valley. Joshua Dennis, age ten, is 
alive today because of his own fervent 
prayer, faith, and overwhelming opti- 
mism, and, in addition, because of the 
fact that he listened to his mother and 
obeyed her counsel. In addition, we re- 
member the feeling, and I call it inspira- 
tion, given to John Skinner, who led the 
search party to Joshua. 1 hope our youth 
will remember this great lesson of prayer 
as they pass through life's journey. 

Relying on only your own abilities 
can lead to the sin of pride. In the opening 
section of the Doctrine and Covenants, 
the Lord described the wicked condition 
of many in the world, and I quote: "They 



seek not the Lord to establish his righ- 
teousness, but every man walketh in his 
own way, and after the image of his own 
god" (D&C 1:16). If we boast in our own 
strength and "walk in our own way," we 
can slip easily from the straight and nar- 
row path to the broad roadways of the 
world. Do not be misled by the occasional 
easiness of the way, like the downhill part 
of a marathon. Keep close to the Lord and 
trust in him during the easier times, just 
as you do in your uphill struggles. 

Marathon runners pass aid stations 
located along the course; they provide 
water, encouragement, and assistance. 
Without this help, many runners could 
not carry on. You young people also have 
"aid stations" to help you keep moving 
along your course. They should include 
your parents, other family members, 
ward leaders, and teachers who have "run 
more races" and are farther along the path 
of life. Benefit from the experience they 
have accumulated. Trust them; seek their 
advice, counsel, and support; and then 
listen to them. They will help you stay on 
your course. 

You young men should be grateful 
for the great privilege and blessing you 
have of bearing the Aaronic Priesthood. 
Be faithful in your priesthood duties; they 
will help you prepare for greater service. 
I urge you teachers and priests to be faith- 
ful home teachers, which is a lifetime 
calling for all of us. You young women 
should participate in the Young Women 
program. Learn the values of this pro- 
gram and apply them personally in your 
lives. Aaronic Priesthood and Young 
Women leaders support your parents in 
helping guide you through this critical 
part of your lives when the decisions you 
make have such far-reaching effects. 

Always be willing, even anxious, to 
help others. Nothing else you do will give 
you the same genuine satisfaction and joy 
within because, and 1 quote, "when ye are 
in the service of your fellow beings ye are 
only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 
2:17). Ignoring the needs of others is a 
serious sin. Think of the words of Alma 
to the people of the Church in Zarahemla. 
He asked: 



94 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

"Will ye . . . persist in the wearing 
of costly apparel and setting your 
hearts upon the vain things of the world, 
upon your riches? 

"Yea, will ye persist in supposing 
that ye are better one than another; . . . 

"Yea, and will you persist in turning 
your backs upon the poor, and the needy, 
and in withholding your substance from 
them?" (Alma 5:53-55). 

King Benjamin taught that we must 
care for those in need — the poor, hungry, 
naked, and sick — both spiritually and 
temporally if we are to receive a remis- 
sion of our sins from day to day or, in 
other words, if we are to walk guiltless 
before God (see Mosiah 18:29). 

Hitting the wall 

I suppose some of you, at one time 
or another, feel that you are "hitting the 
wall," feeling an almost compelling urge 
to quit, give up, or give in to temptation. 
You will meet challenges, adversities, 
and temptations that seem to be more than 
you can bear. In times of sickness, death, 
financial need, and other hardships, you 
may wonder whether you have the strength, 
courage, or ability to continue. 

You young people face the same 
temptations that have been common 
throughout history, plus many others that 
were unknown to earlier generations. 
However, be sure you understand that 
God will not allow you to be tempted 
beyond your ability to resist (see 1 Corin- 
thians 10:13). He does not give you chal- 
lenges that you cannot surmount. He will 
not ask more than you can do but may ask 
right up to your limits so you can prove 
yourselves. The Lord will never forsake 
or abandon anyone. You may abandon 
him, but he will not abandon you. You 
never need to feel that you are alone. 

The reason to stay on course in a 
marathon is obvious. The reason to stay 
on a course that leads to a righteous life 
may be less obvious but is much more 
important. In simple terms, a righteous 
life is the way — the only way — to happi- 
ness, joy, and peace. The Prophet Joseph 
Smith taught: 



Second Day 

"Happiness is the object and design 
of our existence; and will be the end 
thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to 
it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, 
faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the 
commandments of God. . . . 

". . . In obedience there is joy and 
peace, . . . and as God has designed our 
happiness . . . , he never has — He never 
will . . . give a commandment to His 
people that is not calculated in its nature 
to promote that happiness which He has 
designed" (History of the Church, 
5:134-35). 

We read in the Book of Mormon, 
"Men are, that they might have joy" 
(2 Nephi 2:25). 

Our Heavenly Father knows the way 
for you to enjoy happiness and peace; the 
principles of the gospel mark the way. 
They are a gift to you, his children. 

On the other hand, Satan will try, 
at every step of the way, to lead you 
off course. His objective is to make you 
unhappy and miserable like he is (see 
2 Nephi 2:27). Vast sums of money are 
spent each year to package and disguise 
sin and evil to make them appear entic- 
ing, attractive, even harmless. However, 
regardless of appearances, "wickedness 
never was happiness" (Alma 41:10) and 
never will be. Never find yourselves in 
the position of the Nephites just a few 
years before the birth of the Savior. They 
"sought ... for that which [they] could 
not obtain; ... for happiness in doing 
iniquity, which thing is contrary to the 
nature of that righteousness which is in 
our great and Eternal Head" (Helaman 
13:38). You cannot find happiness in sin 
and iniquity. 

The Lord has given you the gift of 
agency (see Moses 7:32) and instructed 
you sufficiently to know good from evil 
(see 2 Nephi 2:5). You are free to choose 
(see 2 Nephi 2:27) and are permitted to 
act (see 2 Nephi 10:23; Helaman 14:30), 
but you are not free to choose the conse- 
quences. With absolute certainty, choices 
of good and right lead to happiness and 
peace, while choices of sin and evil even- 
tually lead to unhappiness, sorrow, and 
misery. 



ELDER VICTOR L. BROWN 



95 



Endure to the end 

An obvious parallel between life and 
a marathon is the necessity to run dili- 
gently and endure to the end. Among his 
final words to his people, Nephi told 
them: "And now, . . . after ye have gotten 
into this strait and narrow path, I would 
ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you. 
Nay; ... Ye must press forward with a 
steadfastness in Christ . . . and endure to 
the end" (2 Nephi 31:19-20). I think of 
this promise of the Lord: "But they that 
wait upon the Lord shall renew their 
strength; they shall mount up with wings 
as eagles; they shall run, and not be 
weaiy; and they shall walk, and not faint" 
(Isaiah 40:31). You have that promise. 

My dear young friends, I pray that 
the Lord will guide and strengthen each of 
you in running your personal marathon. 
Then you can say, as Paul wrote to Tim- 
othy, "I have fought a good fight, I have 



finished my course, I have kept the faith" 
(2 Timothy 4:7). I know that you can live 
righteous lives and, with the help of the 
Lord, do all that you should do. I bear 
testimony that our Heavenly Father and 
Jesus Christ love each of you and want 
you to be happy. Joseph Smith is the 
prophet of the restoration of the gospel in 
these latter days, and President Ezra Taft 
Benson is the prophet today. This is the 
Church of our Lord and Savior; I am one 
of His witnesses. I bear this humble testi- 
mony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Hinckley 

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin has just 
addressed us. 

We shall now hear from Elder Victor 
L. Brown, who will speak as one who 
has received emeritus status in this 
conference. 



Elder Victor L. Brown 



Serving with prophets of God 

Twenty-eight years ago today, to 
my total surprise, my professional life 
took a completely different direction. I 
had spent twenty-one years in the com- 
mercial aviation industry, and I enjoyed 
it. We had just moved into a new home in 
Chicago when a call came from Church 
headquarters inviting me to come to Salt 
Lake City for an interview with President 
David O. McKay. All my prior plans 
were discarded as I was called to be a 
Counselor to the new Presiding Bishop, 
John H. Vandenberg. I had never thought 
nor aspired to become a General Author- 
ity, but there was only one answer pos- 
sible when President McKay, a prophet of 
God, called me to this work. 

These twenty-eight years following 
that experience in October of 1961 have 
provided opportunities for service I never 
could have dreamed of. I have been 
blessed with dedicated associates in many 
countries and at headquarters who have 
worked faithfully to help build the king- 
dom of God, often at great personal 
sacrifice. 



I was privileged to serve very closely 
under four Presidents of the Church — 
Presidents David 0. McKay, Joseph 
Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, and 
Spencer W. Kimball. As a member of 
the Presiding Bishopric for twenty-four 
years, 1 sat in weekly meetings with the 
First Presidency and was privileged to be 
taught by these prophets of God. Prior 
to President Ezra Taft Benson's call to 
be the President of the Church, I was 
released from the Presiding Bishopric. 
Although I have not had regular opportu- 
nities to meet with him, I have appreci- 
ated his leadership and have greatly 
benefited from his challenge to each 
member of the Church to study and pon- 
der the truths of the Book of Mormon. 
Each of these five Presidents under whom 
I have served as a General Authority has 
had his own personality and style; yet 1 
testify each is a prophet of God. Through 
my association with them, I have come 
to understand why we sustain them as 
prophets, seers, and revelators. 



96 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

Look at how people treat others 

In my experience with these Breth- 
ren and with other men and women in 
many parts of the world, I have found that 
the measure of a man is not necessarily 
his title or his position but rather how he 
treats others — his peers, his supervisor, 
the cab driver, or the airline clerk after 
he has missed an important connecting 
flight. This is particularly true in how a 
man treats those closest to him — his wife 
and children. 

I once overheard a conversation be- 
tween two friends of mine who are some- 
what older than I and very successful in 
their professional pursuits. One said to 
the other, quietly, not realizing I could 
hear his comment, "You may think you 
love your wife, but I love Elizabeth twice 
as much as you do Rachel." Each had 
been married over fifty years. Their great- 
est success, in my opinion, is the love and 
respect they have for their companions. 

I pay tribute to my wife, Lxjis, who 
had the major responsibility in rearing our 
children, as my assignments have caused 
me to travel very extensively through- 
out the world. Because of her wonderful 
influence, "1 have no greater joy than to 
hear that my children walk in truth" 
(3 John 1:4). 

People who have walked in truth 

I have been blessed to meet many 
young Church members who "walk in 
truth" and who have taught me so much 
through their quiet obedience to the 
Lord's commandments. Let me share 
with you a few examples: 

• A fifteen-year-old Korean boy, a 
teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood, used 
his allowance each week to buy news- 
papers. Then he and his friends sold them 
on street corners in Seoul, giving the 
money to a classmate who couldn't re- 
main in school without this financial help. 
He wanted to know how it felt to be a 
Good Samaritan rather than having just an 
intellectual understanding of the lesson he 
had studied in the scriptures. 

•Another teacher, a fourteen-year- 
old Tongan boy, had the same faith the 
Prophet Joseph Smith did at fourteen. He 



Second Day 

thought. If, at my age, Joseph Smith 
could pray to God and get an answer to 
his prayers, why can't I? He prayed that 
he might somehow obtain an education 
to prepare him to help his people. The 
answer came when he received a full 
scholarship to the Church college of Ha- 
waii without having applied for it. Since 
then he has used his education to bless 
his people. 

• An eight-year-old girl, reared in a 
good home with parents who did not 
believe in God, on her own initiative 
learned the Lord's Prayer and recited that 
prayer privately every day. Eventually 
she added her own words and finally be- 
gan offering her personal prayers to her 
Heavenly Father. She knew He lived, 
even though her parents did not. A few 
days ago 1 had the honor of officiating at 
her marriage and sealing in the temple. 
Her mother was with her — the result of 
her daughter's example. 

• A deacons quorum president star- 
tled his adult leaders by asking a boy who 
hadn't been coming to church to offer the 
prayer in quorum meeting. When asked 
afterward if it really was wise to ask a boy 
to pray who had only been in church the 
second time, he responded, "But I just 
spent three days this week teaching him 
how to pray." 

• A young woman whose under- 
standing of eternal life was far beyond her 
years said that the only gift she wanted for 
her twelfth birthday was to be able to go 
to the temple and be baptized for the 
dead. 

These wonderful young Latter-day 
Saints, whom 1 love very dearly as I do all 
young people, are some of my heroes of 
the past twenty-eight years. They cause 
me to have great faith in the future even 
though there is much to concern us today. 

Blessings of temple service 

The capstone of all the experiences I 
have had in Church service was the bless- 
ing of serving in the Salt Lake Temple. 
There, Sister Brown and I, with the 
wonderful, devoted temple workers, had 
the privilege of associating daily with 
faithful members who came to the house 



ELDER VICTOR L. BROWN 



97 



of the Lord to perform sacred service. I 
had always intellectually understood and 
accepted the purposes and the ordinances 
of the temple, but now I know to the 
depths of my being the joyous, peaceful 
spirit of that service. 

When we go to the temple because 
we want to go and not because it is an 
obligation; when we go with an attitude of 
worship and a reverence for God and for 
His son Jesus Christ, and with gratitude 
for the Savior's sacrifice; when we spend 
sufficient time to leave the cares of the 
world outside, wonderful things happen 
which cannot be described. The Spirit of 
the Lord distills upon one's soul in these 
holy houses, truly the most sacred places 
on earth. A new perception comes into 
focus of who we are, of what this life is 
really about, of the opportunities of eter- 
nal life, and of our relationship with the 
Savior. 

A young medical student in Italy, 
a friend of mine who is now a cardio- 
vascular surgeon, expressed his feelings 
about the temple this way: 

"Doing temple work, especially for 
your loved ones, is an edifying and spiri- 
tual thing. You feel the gospel in action; 
you feel the love of God and the sense of 
the wonderful plan He made just for us. 
His children. 

"Two days ago, 1 was at the hospital 
working when an eighteen-year-old boy 
came to me, asking for news of his father, 
who was undergoing coronary bypass sur- 
gery. At 5:00 P.M. came the news: his 
father's heart ceased to beat. I'll remem- 
ber for the rest of my life how miserable 
and void of hope is a life without the com- 
fort of the certainty of resurrection, of be- 
ing eternally sealed as a family, of having 
the opportunity again to be with Heavenly 
Father." 

The Lord invites all to come unto 
Christ through the ordinances and cov- 
enants of the temple, that we might re- 
ceive the greatest of all God's gifts to His 
children, the blessing of eternal life and 
exaltation. 



Testimouy 

At the conclusion of these twenty- 
eight years, 1 testify of our Heavenly 
Father's love for us. The unconditional 
love the Father and the Son have for us is 
so real. The Savior continually invites us 
to "come unto him and partake of his 
goodness" (2 Nephi 26:33). 

The whole message of the gospel is 
found in one short scripture which speaks 
to all of us: "And now, my beloved breth- 
ren, I would that ye should come unto 
Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and 
partake of his salvation, and the power of 
his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and 
offer your whole souls as an offering unto 
him, and continue in fasting and praying, 
and endure to the end; and as the Lord 
liveth ye will be saved" (Omni 1:26). 

I bear witness that He lives, that He 
loves each one of His children — and that 
means every human being — every man, 
every woman, every girl, every boy, in 
the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Hinckley 

Thank you. Elder Victor L. Brown, 
whom all of us knew for so many years 
as Bishop Victor L. Brown, who served 
with great distinction first as a Counselor 
in the Presiding Bishopric, then for a long 
period of time as Presiding Bishop of the 
Church and more recently as president 
of the Salt Lake Temple. Bishop Brown 
lost his beloved companion, Lois Kjar 
Brown, only a few days ago. I'm confi- 
dent that the hearts of members of the 
Church throughout the world reach out 
to him in love and understanding and 
comfort. 

The choir and congregation will now 
join in singing "High on the Mountain 
Top." Following this. Sister Jayne B. 
Malan, First Counselor in the Young 
Women General Presidency, will speak 
to us. 



The choir and congregation sang 
"High on the Mountain Top." 



98 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 Second Day 

Jayne B. Malan 



The summer of the lambs 

The day school was out at the begin- 
ning of each summer, our family went to 
our ranch in Wyoming. It was there, with 
my parents and brothers and sisters and a 
few cousins mixed in, that 1 learned about 
family loyalty; love and concern; birth 
and death; that one must finish a job once 
it is started; and, to quote my father, 
"There are only two things important — 
the family and the Church." 

One year my father was waiting for 
us as we arrived. He said he had a big job 
for my brother Clay and me to do that 
summer. I was about twelve at the time, 
and my brother was two years older. 
Pointing to the field by the side of the 
house, my father said, "Do you see all of 
these lambs in that field? I'll share the 
money we get for the ones you raise when 
we sell them in the fall." Well, we were 
excited. Not only did we have a signifi- 
cant job to do, but we were going to be 
rich! There were a lot of lambs in that 
field — about 350 of them. And all we 
had to do was feed them. 

However, there was one thing that 
my father hadn't mentioned. None of the 
lambs had mothers. Just after shearing, 
there had been a violent storm that chilled 
the newly shorn sheep. Dad lost a thou- 
sand ewes that year. The mothers of our 
lambs were among them. 

To feed one or two baby animals is 
one thing, but to feed 350 is something 
else! It was hard. There was plenty of 
grass, but the lambs couldn't eat the 
grass. They didn't have teeth. They 
needed milk. So we made some long, V- 
shaped feeding troughs out of some 
boards. Then we got a great big tin wash- 
tub, ground up some grain, and added 
milk to make a thin mash. While my 
brother poured the mash into the troughs, 
I rounded up the lambs, herded them to 
the troughs, and said, "Eat!" Well, they 
just stood there looking at me. Although 
they were hungry and there was food in 
front of them, they still wouldn't eat. No 
one had taught them to drink milk out of 
a trough. So I tried pushing them toward 



the troughs. Do you know what happens 
when you try to push sheep? They run the 
other way. And when you lose one, you 
could lose them all because others will 
follow. That's the way with sheep. 

We tried lining up the lambs along 
the troughs and pushing their noses down 
in the milk, hoping they'd get a taste and 
want some more. We tried wiggling our 
fingers in the milk to get them to suck on 
our fingers. Some of them would drink, 
but most of them ran away. 

Many of the lambs were slowly 
starving to death. The only way we could 
be sure they were being fed was to pick 
them up in our arms, two at a time, and 
feed them like babies. 

And then there were the coyotes. At 
night the coyotes would sit up on the hill, 
and they'd howl. The next morning we 
would see the results of their night's 
work, and we would have two or three 
more lambs to bury. The coyotes would 
sneak up on the lambs, scatter the herd, 
and then pick out the ones they wanted 
and go after them. The first were those 
that were weak or separated from the 
flock. Often in the night when the coyotes 
came and the lambs were restless, my dad 
would take out his rifle and shoot in the 
air to scare them away. We felt secure 
when my dad was home because we knew 
our lambs were safe when he was there to 
watch over them. 

Clay and I soon forgot about being 
rich. All we wanted to do was save our 
lambs. The hardest part was seeing them 
die. Every morning we would find five, 
seven, ten lambs that had died during the 
night. Some the coyotes got, and others 
starved to death surrounded by food they 
couldn't or wouldn't eat. 

Part of our job was to gather up the 
dead lambs and help dispose of them. I 
got used to that, and it really wasn't so 
bad until I named one of the lambs. It was 
an awkward little thing with a black spot 
on its nose. It was always under my feet, 
and it knew my voice. I loved my lamb. It 
was one I held in my arms and fed with a 
bottle like a baby. 



JAYNE B. MALAN 



99 



One morning my lamb didn't come 
when I called. I found it later that day 
under the willows by the creek. It was 
dead. With tears streaming down my 
face, I picked up my lamb and went to 
find my father. Looking up at him, I said, 
"Dad, isn't there someone who can help 
us feed our lambs?" 

After a long moment he said, "Jayne, 
once a long, long time ago, someone else 
said almost those same words. He said, 

'Feed my lambs. . . . Feed my sheep 

Feed my sheep' " (John 21:15-17). Dad 
put his arms around me and let me cry for 
a time, then went with me to bury my 
lamb. 

The Savior's lambs 

It wasn't until many years later that I 
fully realized the meaning of my father's 
words. I was pondering the scripture in 
Moses that says, "For behold, this is my 
work and my glory — to bring to pass the 
immortality and eternal life of [all man- 
kind]" (Moses 1:39). As I thought about 
the mission of the Savior, I remembered 
the summer of the lambs, and for a few 
brief moments I thought I could sense 
how the Savior must feel with so many 
lambs to feed, so many souls to save. And 
I knew in my heart that he needed my 
help. 

You wonderful young people, from 
what we've observed, you're not un- 
like our lambs. You, too, are hungry — 
hungry for things of the Spirit that will 
make you grow strong and keep you safe 
from the coyotes that are out to destroy 
you. You are capable and willing to do 
your part in building the kingdom when 
you are taught how. And we want to help 
you. 

We know that you need someone to 
love you, someone to listen and under- 
stand. You need to be needed. You need 
opportunities to come together in a safe 
environment, a safe fold so to speak, 
where you can share with one another and 
develop wholesome friendships based on 
brother-sister relationships rather than 
romantic involvement. You need oppor- 
tunities to experience the joy of sacrifice 
and service, of caring for and loving one 



another as our Savior loves us. Within 
the gospel we have what you need, but 
you will need to reach out and accept it. 

Youth, prepare now 

It would have been far easier to save 
our lambs if the mothers had been there to 
feed them. Young women, you are the 
mothers of tomorrow. Young men, you 
are the fathers. Together, you are the par- 
ents, the teachers, and the advisers who 
will help nurture and feed young lambs 
and lead them home. Prepare yourselves 
now for that sacred responsibility. Study 
the scriptures. Develop your God-given 
talents. Learn all you can about the world 
around you that is clean and good. Pre- 
pare yourselves to enter the temple of the 
Lord and be worthy to receive the ordi- 
nances and blessings by living, teaching, 
and sharing the gospel. 

Your Heavenly Father knows you 
and cares about what you are doing. He 
wants you to fulfill your divine mission, 
then come home and bring your family 
and friends with you. He wants you to be 
happy. Be on your knees daily and talk to 
your Heavenly Father. Share the happy 
times. Talk about what's hard for you. 
Like my father, your Heavenly Father 
will understand. He'll be there to walk 
with you and to comfort and protect you, 
for he has promised to those who seek 
him, "I will be on your right hand and on 
your left, and my Spirit shall be in your 
hearts, and mine angels round about you, 
to bear you up" (D&C 84:88). 

With a shepherd's loving care 

Our prophet. President Benson, has 
said, "The symbolism of the Good Shep- 
herd is not without significant parallel in 
the Church today. The sheep need to be 
led by watchful shepherds. . . .With a 
shepherd's loving care, our young 
people, our young lambs, will not be as 
inclined to wander. And if they do, 
the crook of the shepherd's staff, a loving 
arm, and an understanding heart will help 
to retrieve them" (Regional Representa- 
tives' seminar, 3 Apr. 1987). 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



100 

Sunday, October 1 

Parents, priesthood leaders, teach- 
ers, advisers, be "watchful shepherds"; 
and you, our noble youth, band together 
in the strength of the Lord and lead out in 
righteousness. Reach out with loving 
arms and understanding hearts to those 
who are weak or wandering. Help bring 
them back to the fold, where they can 
learn of the Good Shepherd and grow 
close to him. And please choose carefully 
the paths you walk, for others will follow. 
That's the way with sheep. 

Of our little flock, we saved only 
one-third. And what of the Savior's 
flock? He has said, "Feed my lambs. . . . 
Feed my sheep." 

This I know: He needs our help. 
With more people to help, more lambs 



Second Day 

will be saved. A simple fact, but true. Of 
this I can bear testimony in the name of 
Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Hinckley 

Thank you. Sister Jayne Malan, for 
that very touching and impressive talk 
and testimony. 

We should now like to hear brief 
testimonies from Elders F. Arthur Kay 
and John Sonnenberg, who have served 
as members of the Seventy called five 
years ago and who have served the Lord 
so very well and faithfully. 



Elder F. Arthur Kay 



Seeing God's power at work 

My beloved brothers and sisters, this 
is indeed a challenge and an opportunity, 
a privilege that 1 had not anticipated and 
yet one of those great opportunities to do 
that which 1 have been called to do for the 
past five years — and that is to bear wit- 
ness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

These five years have been filled 
with experiences that have further taught 
me what I had learned in the previous 
forty years while serving in various 
capacities of leadership in the Church — 
and that is that God does hear and answer 
prayer, that there is power in the priest- 
hood, and that by that power and author- 
ity to act in his name great things happen 
in the lives of people. 

I have in mind today a blessing given 
to someone precious and close to me who 
was told by her physicians that the child 
she was to bear would unquestionably 
have Down's syndrome; an abortion was 
recommended. She refused, and in the 
next few weeks calls from the hospital 
and others came encouraging that the 
little fetus be aborted. Finally, in despera- 
tion, she called her doctor and said, "Get 
those people off my back. This little child 
will have a right to life regardless of its 



condition." She had been given a priest- 
hood blessing by her father and had been 
promised that the little child would be 
normal and healthy. When the little child 
involved was born, so it was. Today she 
is an unusually beautiful, bright, charm- 
ing child. 

I have thought how many times in 
her life she would have had cause to 
reflect had she followed that counsel 
which was contrary to that given her by 
her father. 

I recall that not too long ago 1 be- 
came acquainted with a precious young 
woman named Sharon living in Brisbane, 
Australia. She had cystic fibrosis and had 
in the last few years spent nearly as much 
time in the hospital as she had in her 
home. She was downcast and desperate, 
feeling that God had forgotten her and 
that there was no chance for her. But a 
priesthood blessing told her to trust in the 
Lord with all of her heart and lean not to 
her own understanding and promised that 
He would guide and direct her. And then 
came the words that somewhat frightened 
him who was pronouncing the blessing: 
"Sharon, there will come in your lifetime 
medical advances which will correct the 
problem and alleviate the challenges that 
you are facing." 



ELDER JOHN SONNENBERG 



101 



Within thirty days, in Melbourne, 
Australia, there came a medical announce- 
ment of a new drug, experimental in na- 
ture, that showed promise in combating 
cystic fibrosis. Sharon applied for treat- 
ment, and it has been successful. Today 
she spends very little time in the hospital; 
the rest of her time is spent preparing for 
a career. 

Keep the faith 

My brothers and sisters, these are 
only two instances of times I have seen 
God's power at work. 1 want you to know 
that my testimony came when I was a 
little boy at the feet of my parents. 1 loved 
my parents. They taught me in the way of 
truth and righteousness. I was taught the 
story of the Restoration, which I believed 
with all of my heart because I believed 
my parents. 

In the forty-sixth section of the Doc- 
trine and Covenants, the Lord says: "To 
some it is given by the Holy Ghost to 
know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 
... To others it is given to believe on 
their words" (46:13-14). 1 was one of 
those who believed on my parents' words. 
To me, the teachings of the First Vision, 



the visits of Moroni and others were as 
real as if they had been personal experi- 
ences of my own. 1 have never had a day 
in my life that 1 can remember when I 
haven't known these things are true. 

1 pay tribute this day to my wife of 
some fifty years, who has been at my 
side, encouraging, sustaining, support- 
ing, and enduring when the going was 
tough. I want her and my children to 
know that I love her and them with all of 
my heart. 

In the past two or three weeks, I 
have greeted most of my grandchildren, 
and I have shaken their hands and looked 
into their eyes and have said, "Keep the 
faith, my child. It's true." Almost invari- 
ably there has come the response, "I will. 
Grandpa, I will." 

Their words, "Yes, Grandpa, I will," 
have caused me to reflect. My greatest 
desire is to continue faithful as an ex- 
ample to my family. 1 trust that one day 
the response will be, "Yes, Grandpa, I 
have." 

I bear you my witness that Jesus is 
the Christ, the Son of the living God. 
Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Ezra 
Taft Benson is a prophet of God. I leave 
that testimony with you in the name of 
Jesus Christ, amen. 



Elder John Sonnenberg 



The true meaning of love 

My beloved brothers and sisters, I 
am grateful for this opportunity to bear 
witness of the divinity of this great work 
and testify to all the world that we are led 
by a prophet of God. I don't think I've 
heard any more convincing words of love 
than those I've heard when I've been in 
the temple with President Benson and his 
dedicated Counselors and he says, "1 love 
you, my Brethren. I love every one of 
you." From the depths of his heart, he has 
proclaimed to us the true significance of 
love for our fellowmen. 

A few years ago while we were in 
Sydney, Australia, my wife and I re- 
ceived a letter from one of our grand- 



children. He wrote: "Dear Grandma and 
Grandpa, 1 just turned twelve years of 
age, and the bishop called me into the 
office, and he said, 'I have some ques- 
tions to ask of you, Bruce. Bruce, you're 
twelve years of age now, and so I need to 
know if you love the Lord.' I told him I 
do. 'Do you say bad words, Bruce?' 'No, 
bishop, I never say bad words.' 'Do you 
love your mother and dad?' 'Yes, bishop, 
1 do.' 'Do you pay your tithing, Bruce?' 
'Yes I do, bishop.' 

"You know. Grandpa and Grandma, 
the bishop said that I could receive the 
Aaronic Priesthood because I was twelve 
years of age, and he asked me if I knew 
what the Aaronic Priesthood was. I told 



102 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

him that I knew a little bit and that I could 
be ordained a deacon. You know, the 
next week the bishop asked who I would 
like to be ordained by. I said 1 would like 
to be ordained by my dad. So my dad put 
his hands upon my head, and the bishop 
stood around and so did my uncles, and 
my dad conferred the Aaronic Priesthood 
upon me and ordained me a deacon. 

"Now, Grandma and Grandpa, 
you're a long way away, but I know that 
you're a General Authority and some day 
you'll come home. You know, I can't 
wait until you come home because I know 
you'll sit on the stand, and then Grandpa, 
I can pass the sacrament to you." 

I think that is the true meaning of 
love, of families. 

A light unto the world 

I express my love to my devoted 
sweetheart and eternal companion. I'm 
grateful for the matriarch that she is in our 
family. I am grateful for each of our chil- 
dren; I am grateful for their families. I'm 
grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ for his 
atoning sacrifice. I've come to know him 
more assuredly as I have sat in council 
with your great leaders. I testify to you 
that they are men of God. 

I like a scripture that I reflect upon 
frequently, and I think of it when I think 
of them, "For they were set to be a light 
unto the world, and to be the saviors of 
men" (D&C 103:9). I bear witness that 
those who come into the kingdom will 
eventually say unto them who have 
helped them come into the kingdom, "You 
were a light unto me, and I acknowledge 
you as literally being a savior to me." 

Another of my favorite scriptures that 
I would like to share with you is, "Search 
diligently, pray always, and be believing, 
and all things shall work together for your 
good, if ye walk uprightly and remember 
the covenant wherewith ye have cov- 
enanted one with another" (D&C 90:24). 



Second Day 

Look to the Savior 

Inscribed on the granite walls of the 
temple here in Salt Lake City is the con- 
stellation of Ursa Major, or the Great 
Bear, commonly known to you as the Big 
Dipper. If you were to project a line 
through the bottom two stars opposite 
the handle, it would point to and bisect 
the North Star. The mariners and those 
who have been lost at sea or on land 
have looked to the North Star to find their 
bearings. 

I bear witness that there is, figura- 
tively speaking, a "North Star" leading us 
today — a beloved prophet of God. Look 
to him. He will point you to the way of 
truth and righteousness. Look to the 
Savior, for he will give you life eternal. 

Again I express my love to you. 
President Benson, to your dedicated and 
devoted Counselors, to the General 
Authorities, and to the body of the 
Church for your love and sustaining influ- 
ence. We have come to love you in the 
Pacific islands; we have come to love you 
in Europe, where we served; we have 
come to love the Saints all over the world. 
My lovely companion and I shall ever 
remember this association with grateful 
hearts as we continue to bear witness of 
the atoning sacrifice of our Lord and 
Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I bear witness that the Church has 
been restored, that Joseph Smith is a 
prophet of God, as is a living prophet to- 
day, President Ezra Taft Benson, in the 
name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

President Hinckley 

Thank you. Elder Kay and Elder 
Sonnenberg, for those beautiful and mov- 
ing testimonies. Testimonies of similar 
substance and beauty could be borne by 
each of those who has been released dur- 
ing this conference. We pray that the 
blessings of the Lord will go with them 
and be with them now and throughout 
their lives. 

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member 
of the Council of the Twelve, will now 
address us. 



ELDER NEAL A. MAXWELL 



103 



Elder Neal A. Maxwell 



With all of you, I express my admi- 
ration to these wonderful men who are 
being released and whose status is being 
adjusted. They were exemplary at the 
time of their calls; they are even more so 
today. They are portable sermons for us 
all. My sermon was essentially prepared 
in June. It is for myself as well as for the 
members of the Church. 

Murmuring against tlie Lord 

Murmuring is defined as a half- 
suppressed resentment or muttered com- 
plaint. We all remember, in Fiddler on 
the Roof, Tevye's verbal asides to God. 

However, just as "a yawn [can be] 
a silent shout," so murmuring can be 
much more than muted muttering (G. K. 
Chesterton, in Robert Andrews, ed.. The 
Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quota- 
tions [New York: Columbia University 
Press, 1987], p. 30). The real "Addressee" 
of some of our murmuring is clearly the 
Lord, as when the people complained 
against Moses (see Exodus 16:8; 1 Nephi 
16:20). At least Tevye honestly acknowl- 
edged whom he addressed. 

Scriptural accounts of murmuring 

Murmuring seems to come so natu- 
rally to the natural man. It crosses the 
scriptural spectrum of recorded com- 
plaints. We need bread. We need water 
(see Numbers 21:5). The needed military 
reinforcements did not arrive (see Alma 
60). "Why did we ever leave Egypt?" (see 
Numbers 11:20). "Why did we ever leave 
Jerusalem?" (see 1 Nephi 2:11). Some, 
perhaps understandably, murmured over 
persecution by unbelievers, and others 
even murmured over what the name of 
Christ's church should be (see Mosiah 
27:1; 3 Nephi 27:3-4). Most ironically, 
the coming forth of more scripture from 
God was to cause murmuring (see 
2 Nephi 29:8). 

An early scriptural instance of mur- 
muring involved Cain's offering to the 



Lord, illustrating how our intentions are 
at least as important as our deeds (see 
Moses 5:20-21). Cain was "wroth" that 
Abel's offering was acceptable but not 
his. Sometimes, brothers and sisters, we, 
too, worry if someone else seems to be 
more favored than we. Worse still, we 
want to be accepted of the Lord — but on 
our terms, not His! 

A basic cause of murmuring is that 
too many of us seem to expect that life 
will flow ever smoothly, featuring an un- 
broken chain of green lights with empty 
parking places just in front of our desti- 
nations! 

In its extremity, murmuring reflects 
not only the feelings of the discontented, 
but also the feelings of the very con- 
flicted: 

"Their sorrowing was ... the sor- 
rowing of the damned, because [they 
could not] take happiness in sin. 

"And [yet] they did not come unto 
Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spir- 
its, but they did curse God, and wish to 
die. Nevertheless they would struggle 
with the sword for their lives" (Mormon 
2:13-14). 

In His parable of the vineyard work- 
ers, Jesus noted of disciples how those 
who worked from the first hour, having 
"borne the burden and heat of the day" 
(Matthew 20:12), murmured because they 
received the same wages as those who 
worked only the last hour (see 20:11). 
We beggars are so concerned with our 
entitlements. 

Laman and Lemuel murmured 
against father Lehi for leading them into 
the wilderness because of the "foolish 
imaginations of his heart" (1 Nephi 2:11; 
see also 3:31; 4:4). This same depressing 
duo declared that father Lehi had judged 
the Jerusalemites too harshly, yet Jerusa- 
lem was soon to fall. 

Lehi rebuked murmuring Laman and 
Lemuel for complaining over Nephi's 
saying "hard things" to them (1 Nephi 
16:3). Lehi noted, "That which ye call 
anger was the truth" (2 Nephi 1:26). How 
often you and I, brothers and sisters. 



104 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

can make that same mistake! Cutting truth 
does hurt, but its lancing can drain off 
pride. 

There was murmuring, too, because 
Nephi broke his steel bow and couldn't 
build a ship (see 1 Nephi 17:17) and 
because he was seen as trying to "rule 
over us" (2 Nephi 5:3). Those same mur- 
murers, however, soon surfeited them- 
selves on the meat brought back by 
Nephi's new bow, and they sailed in the 
ship that Nephi built. How handy inspired 
but imperfect leaders in the Church are as 
focal points for our frustrations, espe- 
cially if circumstances require them to 
suffer in silence! Having confidence in 
leaders who keep confidences is part of 
sustaining them. 

Oliver Cowdery fell short of the 
coveted privilege of translating. He was 
told, "Do not murmur, my son, for it is 
wisdom in me that I have dealt with you 
after this manner" (D&C 9:6). Emma 
Smith was likewise told to "murmur not" 
that certain things were withheld from her 
(D&C 25:4). 

The nature of murmurers 

In pondering these and various other 
examples of murmuring, several other 
things become obvious. 

First, the murmurer often lacks the 
courage to express openly his concerns. If 
the complaint concerns a peer, the mur- 
murer seldom follows Jesus' counsel, 
"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass 
against thee, go and tell him his fault 
between thee and him alone: if he shall 
hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother" 
(Matthew 18:15). 

Second, murmurers make good con- 
versational cloak holders. Though pick- 
ing up no stones themselves, they provoke 
others to do so. 

Third, while a murmurer insists on 
venting his own feelings, he regards any 
response thereto as hostile (see 2 Nephi 
1:26). Furthermore, murmurers seldom 
take into account the bearing capacity of 
their audiences. 

Fourth, murmurers have short mem- 
ories. Israel arrived in Sinai, then jour- 



Second Day 

neyed on to the Holy Land though they 
were sometimes hungry and thirsty. But 
the Lord rescued them, whether by the 
miraculous appearance by quail or by 
water struck from a rock (see Numbers 
11:31; Exodus 17:6). Strange, isn't it, 
brothers and sisters, how those with the 
shortest memories have the longest lists 
of demands! However, with no remem- 
brance of past blessings, there is no per- 
spective about what is really going on. 

This powerful verse in the Old 
Testament reminds us of what is really 
going on: 

"And thou shalt remember all the 
way which the Lord thy God led thee 
these forty years in the wilderness, to 
humble thee, and to prove thee, to know 
what was in thine heart, whether thou 
wouldest keep his commandments, or no" 
(Deuteronomy 8:2). 

Perspective makes such an enormous 
and constant difference in our lives. It 
shouldn't surprise us, therefore, that 
Satan, we are told, does not know the 
mind of God (see Moses 4:6). 

Perhaps when we murmur we are un- 
consciously complaining over not being 
able to cut a special deal with the Lord. 
We want full blessings but without full 
obedience to the laws on which those 
blessings are predicated. For instance, 
some murmurers seem to hope to reshape 
the Church to their liking by virtue of 
their murmuring. But why would one 
want to belong to a church that he could 
remake in his own image, when it is the 
Lord's image that we should come to have 
in our countenances? (see Alma 5:19). 

The doctrines are His, brothers and 
sisters, not ours. The power is His to 
delegate, not ours to manipulate! 

One especially fundamental fact 
about murmuring is contained in this 
verse: "And thus Laman and Lemuel . . . 
did murmur because they knew not the 
dealings of that God who had created 
them" (1 Nephi 2:12). 

Like Laman and Lemuel, we too 
sometimes fail to understand the dealings 
of our God in our lives and in our times 
(see 1 Nephi 2:12; 17:22). 



ELDER NEAL A. MAXWELL 



105 



Thomas B. Marsh's murmuring 

Presidents Brigham Young and 
Heber C. Kimball tried to discourage 
Thomas B. Marsh's murmuring, but to no 
avail. A repentant Brother Marsh later 
said of that time: 

"I must have lost the Spirit of the 
Lord out of my heart. . . . 

"1 became jealous of the Prophet . . . 
and overlooked everything that was right, 
and spent all my time in looking for the 
evil; ... I thought I saw a beam in 
Brother Joseph's eye, but it was nothing 
but a mote, and my own eye was filled 
with the beam; ... I got mad and I 
wanted everybody else to be mad. I talked 
with Brother Brigham Young and Brother 
Heber C. Kimball, and I wanted them to 
be mad like myself; and I saw they were 
not mad, and 1 got madder still because 
they were not. Brother Brigham Young, 
with a cautious look, said, 'Are you the 
leader of the Church, Brother Thomas?' 
I answered 'No.' 'Well then,' said he, 
'why do you not let that alone?' " (in 
Joseph E. Cardon and Samuel 0. 
Bennion, comps., Testimonies of the 
Divinity of The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints by Its Leaders 
[Independence, Mo.: Zion's Printing and 
Publishing Co., 1930], pp. 103, 105). 

The faithful do not murmur 

Laborers in the Lord's vineyard who 
murmur over life's inequities, declared 

Jesus, murmur "against the goodman of 
the house" (Matthew 20:11). The good- 
ness of the Lord is attested to in so many 
ways — mansions await!— yet we un- 
grateful guests still complain about the 
present accommodations. 

Those of deep faith do not murmur. 
They are generously disposed, and they 
are reluctant to murmur, even while in 
deep difficulties, as with one faithful 
group, who said: 

"Behold, [perhaps] ye are unsuc- 
cessful . . . ; if so, we do not desire to 
murmur. . . . 

"... It mattereth not — we trust God 
will deliver us, notwithstanding the weak- 
ness of our armies" (Alma 58:35, 37). 



Exemplary Job, who went through 
so very much, was openly anxious that he 
not charge God foolishly (see Job 1:22). 

The pleading of one filled with faith 
who is also concerned with the welfare of 
others, as with Joseph Smith in Liberty 
Jail, is not murmuring. This is not the 
murmuring of a superficial follower who 
is quick to complain and who is slow to 
endure. Reassurance and further instruc- 
tion followed with Joseph being told, 
"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine 
adversity and thine afflictions shall be but 
a small moment" (D&C 121:7). 

Damage to ourselves is sufficient 
reason to resist murmuring, but another 
obvious danger is its contagiousness. 
Even faithful father Lehi, for one brief 
moment, got caught up in the contagion 
of murmuring (see 1 Nephi 16:20). Simi- 
larly, when Moses lapsed, very briefly, 
it was under exasperating pressure from 
rebels (see Numbers 20:7-12). No one 
knows how to work a crowd better than 
the adversary. 

Be of good cheer 

Instead of murmuring, therefore, 
being of good cheer is what is needed, 
and being of good cheer is equally con- 
tagious. We have clear obligations to so 
strengthen each other by doing things 
"with cheerful hearts and countenances" 
(D&C 59:15; see also 81:5). 

Basic things over which the scrip- 
tures say we are to be of good cheer in- 
clude the transcending blessing that our 
sins can be forgiven and that Jesus has 
overcome the world! These are marvelous 
blessings. Additionally, we are assured 
that the Lord is in our midst. He will lead 
us along. He will stand by us (see 
Matthew 9:2; John 16:33; D&C 61:36; 
68:6; 78:18). By knowing that these ever- 
lasting things are firmly in place, can we 
not, then, better endure irritations, such 
as a dislocated travel schedule? Besides, 
brothers and sisters, how can it rain on the 
just and the unjust alike without occasion- 
ally raining on our personal parade? (see 
Matthew 5:45). 



106 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



Sunday, October 1 

Ways to express legitimate concerns 

Of course there are ways provided — 
formal and informal — for expressing 

legitimate concerns and complaints, and 
for doing so productively. These avenues 
often go unused, especially if one's real 
desire is to parade his discontent. Letting 
off steam always produces more heat than 
light (see Matthew 18:15). True, we may 
merely gripe or grumble in a passing way. 
We may even do it cleverly. Still, even 
mild murmuring can be more pointed than 
we may care to admit. 

Murmuring is a form of mocking 

Some actually question God's capac- 
ity, this in the face of His assurance to us, 
"1 am able to do my own work" (2 Nephi 
27:20, 21). Therefore, murmuring can be 
another form of mocking God's plan of 
salvation (see 3 Nephi 29:6). Yes, such 
individuals say, God has an overall gen- 
eral plan, but we don't care for His spe- 
cific timing (see 2 Nephi 27:21; Enos 
1:16; Ether 3:24, 27). Yet the scriptures 
specifically advise us that "all things must 
come to pass in their time" (D&C 64:32; 
see also 24:16). 

Yes, such individuals may acknowl- 
edge God, but they criticize His ways (see 
Jacob 4:8; D&C 1:16; 56:14). We want 
things to be done in our ways, even 
though our ways are much lower ways 
(see Isaiah 55:8-9). 

The importance of patience 

Furthermore, since God has told us 
He intends to try our faith and our pa- 
tience, are not situations of stress the very 
settings from which such murmuring 
would emerge? (see Mosiah 23:21). Of 
course — unless we are careful. 

God accomplishes things, brothers 
and sisters, "in process of time." This 
calls for our patience. Moreover, doing 
things in process of time is often His way 
of either preserving our agency or of pro- 
viding us with needed opportunity. In 



Second Day 

fact, certain experiences, over which we 
might understandably murmur, can actu- 
ally be for our good (see D&C 105:10; 
122:7; Genesis 30:27). Thus you and I 
may think God is merely marking time, 
when He is actually marking openings for 
us, openings which are sorely needed. 
Even then, we are so slow to use those 
openings in order to escape from the 
familiar cell of selfishness. 

Murmuring deafens and blinds us 

Murmuring can also be noisy enough 
that it drowns out the various spiritual 
signals to us, signals which tell us in 
some cases to quit soaking ourselves 
indulgently in the hot tubs of self-pity! 
Murmuring over the weight of our crosses 
not only takes energy otherwise needed to 
carry them but might cause another to put 
down his cross altogether. Besides, broth- 
ers and sisters, if we were not carrying so 
much else, our crosses would be much 
lighter. The heaviest load we feel is often 
from the weight of our unkept promises 
and our unresolved sins, which press 
down relentlessly upon us. In any genuine 
surrendering to God, one says, "1 will 
give away all my sins to know thee" 
(Alma 22:18). To Whom shall we give 
our sins? Only Jesus is both willing and 
able to take them! 

Finally, nonmurmurers are permitted 
to see so much more. Ancient Israel was 
once compassed about with "a great host" 
of hostile horses and chariots. Elisha 
counseled his anxious young servant, 
"Fear not: for they that be with us are 
more than they that be with them" 
(2 Kings 6:16). The prophet then prayed 
that the Lord would "open" the young 
man's eyes, "and he saw: and, behold, 
the mountain was full of horses and 
chariots of fire round about Elisha"! 
(2 Kings 6:17). 

Elisha's counsel can help Church 
members today to silence our murmuring. 
Regardless of how things seem, or come 
to seem, in troubled times, "They that be 
with us are more than they that be with 



PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY 



107 



them." My brothers and sisters, if our lips 
are closed to murmuring, then our eyes 
can be opened. I so pray for us all in the 
holy name of Jesus Christ, amen. 



President Hinckley 

Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Coun- 
cil of the Twelve has just spoken to us. 



President Gord 

Appreciation for President Benson 

We come now to the conclusion of 
this great conference. President Benson 
asked President Monson in the opening 
session to read a message from him, 
which was beautiful and inclusive and of 
great value to us. He has felt that he 
would not speak in this session. 

We commemorated President 
Benson's ninetieth birthday last August 
fourth with a great celebration in this 
Tabernacle, which was carried to the 
Church across the nation and even to 
some foreign areas. His life has been rich 
and wonderful and marvelous. His 
service has been tremendous and unceas- 
ing. His love for the people has been deep 
and magnificent. 

1 know that he would have me ex- 
press in his behalf his deep love for each 
of you, for you members of the Church 
throughout the world wherever you may 
be; likewise, he would extend that love 
to those who are not members of the 
Church, for he stands as a prophet of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, extending in his life 
and in his authority as that prophet all of 
the love which the Lord would have his 
children receive. 

"We ever pray for thee, our prophet 
dear." God bless you for your great 
leadership, for your dedicated service, for 
your example to us, for your love of God 
expressed through your service to His 
children. 

As we conclude this conference, we 
express our sincere appreciation to the 
Mormon Youth Chorus, the Polynesian 

choir, the Tabernacle Choir, and their 
conductors and organists for their beauti- 
ful and inspiring music. 



n B. Hinckley 

The Tabernacle Choir: a national 
treasure 

May 1 say concerning this great Tab- 
ernacle Choir, which has sung for us to- 
day, that it has become an institution in 
the Church and has become, as expressed 
by a great national leader, a national trea- 
sure. They are dedicated and wonderful 
people, skillfully led and directed by 
good and able leaders, who sing the glo- 
ries of God each week to a vast audience 
from sea to shining sea across this land 
and have been doing so for sixty years. 
Last July that anniversary was celebrated 
here, again in this Tabernacle. Think of 
it — six decades without an interruption of 
singing as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, 
representatives of The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is noth- 
ing like it in the history of broadcasting in 
this nation or in any other nation. They 
have now given 3,127 continuous pro- 
grams, that number being the number of 
the program that was given this morning. 
We salute them. We honor them. We 
praise them. We thank them for their 
dedicated service and their unmatched 
contributions. 

The roots of this choir lie in the soil 
of this block. It was 140 or more years 
ago — first in the old Bowery and then in 
the old Tabernacle, which stood just to 
the south of us — that a group of singers 
first raised their voices in this valley in 
praise to God. The choir they began has 
gone on ever since and in the process 
grown better with age. Thank you so 
very, very much. 

We thank our city officials for the 
cooperation given this conference, the 
Relief Society, the doctors and Church 



GENERAL CONFERENCE 



108 

Sunday, October 1 

health unit nurses who have been on hand 
to render service, and the ushers and 

interpreters. We express appreciation to 
local and national press representatives 
for the coverage of the conference. We 
are grateful to the owners and the opera- 
tors of the many radio and television 
stations and cable and satellite systems 
who have given time and made facilities 
available to carry sessions of this confer- 
ence in many countries. 

The choir will sing "A Gaelic Bless- 
ing," and the benediction will then be 
offered by Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen of 
the Seventy. The conference will then 
stand adjourned for six months. 

A word of benediction 

As we conclude, may I leave with 
you, in the form of a word of benediction, 
some of the words of the Lord as set forth 

in His revelation: 

"Therefore, cease from all your light 
speeches, from all laughter, from all your 
lustful desires, from all your pride and 
light-mindedness, and from all your 
wicked doings. ... 



Second Day 

"See that ye love one another; cease 
to be covetous; learn to impart one to 
another as the gospel requires. 

"Cease to be idle; cease to be 
unclean; cease to find fault one with 
another. . . . 

"And above all things, clothe your- 
selves with the bond of charity, as with a 
mantle, which is the bond of perfectness 
and peace. 

"Pray always, that ye may not faint, 
until I come. Behold, and lo, I will come 
quickly, and receive you unto myself 
[saith the Lord]. Amen" (D&C 88:121, 
123-26). 

Our prayers go with you. May there 
come into your minds remembrances of 
the wonderful things we have heard as 
we have sat together as the Saints of God 
and partaken of His everlasting truths, I 
humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, 
amen. 



The choir sang "A Gaelic Blessing." 
The benediction was offered by 
Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen. 



SUMMARY OF CONFERENCE MUSIC 



The Mormon Youth Chorus, con- 
ducted by Robert C. Bowden, furnished 
the choral numbers for the Saturday 
morning session of the conference. 

Music for the Saturday afternoon 
session was provided by a Polynesian 
Choir from the Salt Lake Valley, con- 
ducted by Kuinise V. Matagi. 

At the general priesthood session, 
music was furnished by a combined 
men's choir from the Tabernacle Choir 
and Mormon Youth Chorus. Robert C. 
Bowden and Donald Ripplinger con- 
ducted the choir. 

The Tabernacle Choir, conducted 
by Jerold Ottley and Donald Ripplinger, 



provided music for the Sunday morning 
and Sunday afternoon sessions. 

Throughout the conference sessions, 
prelude, postlude, and interlude music 
and accompaniments on the Tabernacle 
organ were played by Robert Cundick, 
John Longhurst, and Clay Christiansen, 
Tabernacle organists. 

F. Michael Watson 
Clerk of the conference 



INDEX 



A 

Amado, Elder Carlos H 36 

Seeking God's comfort in adversity; Changing tragedy into a blessing; 
Christ understands our suffering; The true trial of our faith; The eternal 
perspective 

Ashton, Elder Marvin J 46 

Finishing the job; Carry on; To endure joyfully; Youth of the Church are 
pioneers; Be true to your foreordained mission; Winning the victory; Stand 
strong in all circumstances; "Thy God shall stand by thee" 

Authorities Present, General 1 

Authorities Present, Other 2 

B 

Backman, Elder Robert L 49 

Chastity is not outdated; Immorality brings punishments; Cleanliness leads 
to eternal life; Be patient; Focus on your eternal destiny; Stand by your 
convictions; Repent of your mistakes 

Ballard, Elder M. Russell 41 

Sorrow for deaths of missionaries; President Stephen Wright's dream; "By 
Him shall we remain"; Risks of missionary service; Low death rate among 
missionaries; Efforts to ensure safety; Battle fought with faith and love; 
We must continue moving forward 

Banks, Elder Benjamin B 53 

To prospective missionaries; Preparing for a bicycle trip; Preparing for a 
mission; Blessings of missionary service; Blessing others with the gospel; 
"The worth of souls is great"; The angels will rejoice over you 

Benson, President Ezra Taft (First Session) 3 



To the elderly in the Church; Temple work; Family histories; Missionary 
service; Family togetherness; Church callings; Finances; Christlike 
service; Physical fitness; Overcome aloneness by serving others; Remain 
strong through illness; To the families of the elderly; "Honour thy father 
and thy mother"; Be grateful and forgiving; Allow freedom of choice; 
Support care-givers and include the elderly; Opportunities for 
grandparents; To the priesthood leaders of the elderly; Give church 
callings; Assign home teachers and visiting teachers; Help those who care 
for the elderly; Prophetic testimony and blessing 

Brown, Elder Victor L 95 

Serving with prophets of God; Look at how people treat others; People 
who have walked in truth; Blessings of temple service; Testimony 



110 



Index 



C 

Christensen, Elder Joe J 56 

Good memories are real blessings; Memory of a general priesthood 
session; Memory of a good friend; Memory of a determined missionary; 
Make more good memories 

Church Authorities and Officers, Sustaining of 23 

Conference Music, Summary of 108 

E 

Eyring, Bishop Henry B 12 

Being grateful and generous; Living as one in Orderville; Affliction helps 
us remember; The miracle of gratitude; The Holy Ghost can help us 
remember; Prayer can help us remember; Writing can help us remember; 
Remembering Jesus Christ; The seed of gratitude 

F 

Faust, Elder James £ 8 

Past revelation; Present revelation; Future revelation 

Fifth Session 87 

First Day, Afternoon Session 22 

First Day, Morning Session 2 

First Session 2 

Fourth Session 67 

G 

General Authorities Present 1 

General Priesthood Session 45 

H 

Haight, Elder David B 72 

Grateful that life was spared; The goodness and majesty of God; The crisis, 
the peace, and the testimony; Visions of Jesus' earthly ministry; Testimony 
of the Atonement; Importance of the sacrament 

Hansen, Elder W. Eugene 28 

The Savior's mission of love; The need for love in the world; Showing love 
through Church service; Showing love in personal relationships; An 
example of love; Emulate Christlike love 



Index 111 

Hinckley, President Gordon B. (Fourth Session) 68 

"An ensign to the nations"; A vision drawn from the scriptures; Seeing the 
grand picture; The cumulative power of small acts; Progress in building the 
kingdom; The ensign of Temple Square; The breadth of temple work; 
A compelling responsibility; Contribute to the grand vision 

Hinckley, President Gordon B. (Fifth Session) 107 

Appreciation for President Benson; The Tabernacle Choir: a national 
treasure; A word of benediction 

Hinckley, President Gordon B. (Priesthood Session) 63 

The released and emeritus brethren of the Seventy; The scourge of illicit 
drugs; Use of illegal drugs is an affront to God; Blood on the hands of drug 
users; Drugs destroy self-worth; Drugs jeopardize posterity; A clear 
defense against the plague; Stand free from personal holocaust 

Holland, Elder Jeffrey R 31 

Expressions of gratitude; Jesus provides sustenance; Jesus endured and 
triumphed; Pure love of Christ never faileth 

Hunter, President Howard W 20 

The divine right to choose; Our premortal existence; The battle for freedom 
of choice; God will not violate our agency; Repent of wrong choices; 
Choose God's blessings 

J 

Jensen, Elder Marlin K 33 

Expressions of gratitude; An eye single to God's glory; Blessings of giving 
glory to God; The least shall be great; Sacrificing our vain ambitions; The 
Lord's promise 

K 

Kay, Elder F. Arthur 100 

Seeing God's power at work; Keep the faith 

L 

Larsen, Elder Dean L 76 

Our physical clocks; Our spiritual clocks; Prayer; Scripture study; Sabbath 
worship and partaking of the sacrament; Service 

M 

M alan, Jayne B 98 

The summer of the lambs; The Savior's lambs; Youth, prepare now; With 
a shepherd's loving care 



112 



Index 



Maxwell, Elder Neal A 103 

Murmuring against the Lord; Scriptural accounts of murmuring; The 
nature of murmurers; Thomas B. Marsh's murmuring; The faithful do not 
murmur; Be of good cheer; Ways to express legitimate concerns; 
Murmuring is a form of mocking; The importance of patience; Murmuring 
deafens and blinds us 



Monson, President Thomas S. (Fourth Session) 83 

Windows; President Hugh B. Brown's window; Windows sealed by pain 
and neglect; The window of faith; The window of example; The window 
of priesthood power; The window of loving service; Following the 
Savior's example; A window to the soul 

Monson, President Thomas S. (Priesthood Session) 58 

The service that counts; Remember the worth of souls; Learn the joy of 

service; Joseph Millett's experience; The Lord knows and remembers us; 
Clifton Rooker's service; "Ye have done it unto me" 



Music, Summary of Conference 108 

N 

Nelson, Elder Russell M 24 

Woman — of infinite worth; Equal blessings and opportunities; The great 
role of mother; Honor for women who are not mothers; Wise and righteous 
women; Feeling a sense of infinite worth; In partnership with God; Satan's 
efforts to demean women; Women's divine potential 

O 

Oaks, Elder Dallin H 78 

Faithful pioneers of the last wagon; Modern pioneers; Elderly missionary 
couples; "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation"; God notices all service; 
Walk the trail blazed by leaders; The importance of forgiveness; Burdens 
carried by modern pioneers; Grateful for faithful members; Home teachers 
and visiting teachers; All things shall work for your good 



Packer, Elder Boyd K 16 

Personal revelation; Revelation and the Word of Wisdom; Spiritual things 
are like leavening; Promptings from evil sources; Revelation and order; 
Revelation and change; Changes in the scriptures; Guidance through 
authorized servants; Changes come through revelation; Revelation 
continues today 

Perry, Elder L. Tom 88 

Thomas Kane's visit to Nauvoo; Persecution of missionaries; Missionaries 
have pure intent; Choose how best you can serve; Show which kingdom 
you seek 



Index 113 

Priesthood Session, General 45 

S 

Scott, Elder Richard G 38 



Recognizing answers to prayer; Apply truths that God has revealed; Ask in 
faith with an honest heart; Answers reach the heart and mind; When the 
Lord withholds an answer; Be spiritually sensitive; Nephi followed the 
spiritual law; Seek God's will; Answers may come gradually; Express 



gratitude in prayer; Trust God and be clean 

Second Day, Afternoon Session 87 

Second Day, Morning Session 67 

Second Session 22 

Sonnenberg, Elder John 101 

The true meaning of love; A light unto the world; Look to the Savior 

Summary of Conference Music 108 

Sustaining of Church Authorities and Officers 23 

T 

Third Session 45 

W 

Wirthlin, Elder Joseph B 91 



The marathon; Life is like running a marathon; Set goals; Prepare; Seek 
help and give help; Hitting the wall; Endure to the end 



™ECHURCHoF 

JESUS CHRIST 
Of LATTER-DAY 
SAINTS