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Full text of "The Improvement Era"

takes planning . . . 



Going to BYU is something special. It means a superior education 
at one of the world's great universities, with a beautiful new campus, 
outstanding faculty and unusually motivated students, where a bal- 
anced education combines the finest academic, physical and spiritual 
training in an ideal social climate. Standards are high and study is 
not easy at BYU; demand is great, but there is always room for the 
good scholar. Therefore, students planning to seek a superior BYU 
education should prepare and plan for it. 

Students contemplating a college career at BYU should make 
sure that they are qualified and that all of the required steps have 
been taken for entrance. Remember, application for admission must 
be accompanied by two copies of the transcript of credits and scores 
of the American College Tests. Deadline for application is July 30. 
The American College Tests are given in every state. Obtain materials 
from your high school principal or counselor. One more test remains; 
it will be given June 25. You have until June 4 to register for it. 

If you have any questions or need application materials, write 
to the BYU Office of Admissions and Records, Provo, Utah. 

start planning today for your future at 



BRIGHAM 

YOUNG 

UNIVERSITY 




Exploring 

the 

Universe 

By Dr. Franklin S. Harris Jr. 

CELL. MEMORY 

How can a cell carry within it all 
the genetic information to produce 
a complex organism? The original 
cell contains as many "bits" of in- 
formation as are contained in some 
50 different 24-volume sets similar 
to the Encyclopedia Britannica. A 
"bit" is the amount of information 
in knowing whether an answer is 
yes or no. 




PERSPIRATION RATE 

Tests at Indiana University have 
found that a marked increase in 
perspiration rate occurs within a 
second and a half after beginning 
of muscular activity in a warm 
room. 

CHIMP INVENTIVENESS 

Studies by Jane Goodall at the 
Gombe Stream Game Reserve near 
Africa's Lake Tanganyika have 
shown that chimpanzees use a 
variety of tools and have a 20-word 
vocabulary. Miss Goodall found 
that chimps even fashion tools. 
She saw a chimp use a leaf as a 
napkin to wipe his sticky hands 
after eating. Another chimp crum- 
pled a leaf and used it as a sponge 
to soak up rainwater from a hollow 
log. 



How to send 

money 

to missionaries 

without 

transfer cost 



ifOflllMft out* 

i! If 

M 



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/jl 



•^ 



'St Sera-- \ ;^(fiCZZ 3 





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First Security Bank offers a special service for families or sponsors 
remitting funds to missionaries in the field. We provide either bank 
drafts for foreign destinations or cashier's checks free of charge, 
regardless of the amount -- and they are cashable anywhere. 
Whether your missionary is in the United States or abroad you may 
safely send any amount required, and there are no delays because 
you send the bank draft or cashier's check yourself. Both are readily 
available at any one of our 98 banking offices in 76 Intermountain 
communities. There is a First Security Bank near you. 



For safe, sure and low cost handling of your own money, 
First Security provides: 

BANK MONEY ORDERS — ideal for people who have an 
occasional need to send money. They are redeemable anywhere, 
completely safe and cost considerably less than postal money orders. 

CHECKING ACCOUNTS — Choose either our REGULAR or 
pay-as-you-go CHECKWAY plans. A generous supply of checks 
comes with your name and address printed FREE with either 
account. Come in and see which is best lor you. 

First Security Banks 



Members Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 



JUNE 1966 



465 



The Improvement Era 



The Voice of the Church 




Official organ of the Priesthood 
Quorums, Mutual Improvement 
Associations, Home Teaching, Music 
Committee, Department of Education, 
and other agencies of The 
Church of Jesus Christ of 
Later-day Saints 



Contents for June 1966 



Volume 69 9 Number 6 



Church Features 

The Editor's Page: Only One Standard of Morality, 

President David O. McKay (General Priesthood Meeting Address) .... 476 
Statement on Communism 477 

General Conference Addresses 490-555 

The Reality of the Resurrection, President David O. McKay 491 

Response to Duty, President David O. McKay 554 

He Lives-All Glory to His Name, President Hugh B. Brown 493 

He Is Not Dead, President N. Eldon Tanner 496 

The Signs of the Lord's Coming, President Joseph Fielding Smith 499 

The Church Moves On, 468; General Conference Index, 474; Melchizedek Priesthood: A 
Time for Priesthood Scholarship, 572; Presiding Bishopric's Page, 574. 

Special Features 

Teaching: Teaching for Commitment, Dale T. Tingey ... 478 

Testimony and a Liberal Education, Clair L. Wyatt 480 

Home Happiness 483 

Genealogy: The Ward Record Examination Program 484 

James A. Cullimore, Assistant to the Council of the Twelve, 

Albeit L. Zobell, Jr - 488 

Best of Movies, Howard Pearson 569 

The Spoken Word from Temple Square, Richard L. Evans ....473, 560, 580, 584 
Since Cumorah, Hugh Nibley 582 

Exploring the Universe, Franklin S. Harris, Jr., 465; These Times: Estados Unidos do Brasil, 
G. Homer Durham, 470; Letters and Reports, 472. 

The Era of Youth .. 585 

The Last Word 600 

Family and Home Features 

Today's Family, Florence B. Pinnock, Editor 

Cleanliness Is Just Good Sense y 576 

Home, Sweet Home 579 

Stories, Poetry 

Nesting Instinct, Doris S. Feet 486 

Poetry 473, 556, 558 



ART AND PHOTO CREDITS 

Art: 

465, 576, 600 -Ed -Maryon 

486 - Ted Nagata 

478, 573, 575 - Dale Kilboum 

579 - Fae Barson Call 

588, 592-595 - Jerry Thompson 

591 -Travis Winn 

598 — Sherry Johnson 



Lettering: 

470, 476, 486, 572 
Scanlon 



Maurice 



Photos: 

569 — Paramount Pictures 
490-555 - Robert Perine 
585, 596 -Eldon Linschoten 



ERA POLICY REGARDING 
ADVERTISING OF DRINKS 
CONTAINING CAFFEINE 

The Improvement Era does 
not accept advertising for bever- 
ages that contain caffeine. A 
number of inquiries have been 
received concerning the Tab 
soft drink ad that appears on 
page 233 of the March 1966 
issue. Before accepting this ad, 
we had the drink analyzed for 
caffeine content by the Utah 
State Chemist's office. The test 
number is 66-C404, February 
10, 1966. Their report reads: 
"Caffeine: none." DLG 



The Improvement Era Offices, 79 South State, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111 

David O. McKay and Richard L. Evans, Editors; Doyle L. Green, Managing Editor; Albert L. Zobell, Jr., Research Editor; Carter E. Grant, Darold M. 

Marlowe, Mabel Jones Gabbott, Jay M. Todd, Eleanor Knowles, Editorial Associates; Florence B. Pinnock, Today's Family Editor; Marion D. Hanks, The 

Era of Youth Editor; Elaine Cannon, The Era of Youth Associate Editor; Keitii Montague, The Era of Youth Art Director; Ralph Reynolds, General Art 

Director; Norman F. Price, Staff Artist. 

G. Homer Durham, Franklin S. Harris, Jr., Hugh Nibley, Sidney B. Sperry. Alma A. Gardiner, Contributing Editors. 

G. Carlos Smith, Jr., General Manager; Florence S. Jacobsen, Associate General Manager; Verl F. Scott, Business Manager; A. Glen Snarr, Subscription 

Director; Thayer Evans, S. Glenn Smith, Advertising Representatives. 

©General Superintendent, Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1966, and published by the Mutual 
Improvement Associations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All rights reserved. Subscription price, $3.00 a year, in advance; multiple subscrip- 
tions, 2 years, $5.75; 3 years, $8.25; each succeeding year, $2.50 a year added to the three-year price. 

Entered at the Post Office, Salt Lake City, Utah as second-class matter. Acceptance for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in section 1103, act 
of October 1917, authorized July 2, 1918. 

The Improvement Era is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts but welcomes contributions. Manuscripts are paid for on acceptance, and must be ac- 
companied by sufficient postage for delivery and return. 

Thirty days' notice is required for change of address. When ordering a change, please include address slip from a recent issue of the magazine. Address 
changes cannot be made unless the old address as well as the new one is included. 



THE cover 

This month's cover picture as 
well as the pictures in the con- 
ference section beginning on 
page 490 were taken on Temple 
Square during April Conference 
by Robert Perine, bishop of the 
Laguna Beach (California) Ward. 
Our cover photograph is usually 
reproduced in full color, but 
because of the unusual nature 
of this photograph taken with 
the aid of the newly developed 
fish-eye lens, we thought our 
readers would enjoy this picture 
reproduced in black and white. 



466 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



FOUR GREAT BOOKS 

Suggested reading that will grace your LDS home library - start 

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Joseph Fielding Smith's Latest! 

VOLUME V of ANSWERS TO GOSPEL QUESTIONS 



01 

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A worthy addition to the four previous volumes 
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answered in this and previous volumes. 

Here's why you'll want Volume V of AN SWERS 
TO GOSPEL QUESTIONS, topics include: 

• Use of cola drinks and playing games of chance 

• Adam is not the Father of Jesus Christ 

• Was the Apostle Paul Married? 

• What is the Meaning of First Death? 

• Organic Evolution and the Age of Man 

• Why Do We Not Observe Good Friday? 



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Questions most often asked by individuals 
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Authoritative and well-documented, it 
explains the meaning of earth-life existence 
from the concepts revealed from God in 
this dispensation. 



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y i /i% Sales Tax if you are a Utah resident ordering from Salt 
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JUNE 1966 



467 



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TO READ 

Proudly Announces 

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The Church 

Moves 

On 



MARCH 1966 

ff| Rialto (California) Stake was formed from parts of San 
Bernardino Stake with Wayne A. Reeves, president of the 
parent stake, sustained as head of the new stake. His counselors 
are Joseph W. Cook and R. Eugene Higbee. Rialto, the 415th stake 
now functioning in the Church, was created by Elder LeGrand 
Richards of the Council of the Twelve and Elder Franklin D. 
Richards, assistant to the Twelve. 

Shirley H. Bogh was sustained as president of San Bernardino 
Stake with Donald L. Hansen and Morris C. Whitlock as coun- 
selors. Presidents Bogh and Hansen had been counselors to Presi- 
dent Reeves. 

Walter F. Ririe was sustained as president of Rexburg ( Idaho ) 
Stake with Clyde L. Thomas and Warren R. Widdison as counselors. 
President Ririe succeeds President Delbert G. Taylor, whom he 
served as first counselor. J. Wendell Stucki was released as second 
counselor. 

The new annex of the Salt Lake Temple was opened for use 
today. 

The appointment of Mrs. Patricia S. Ashton of Salt Lake City 
to the general board of the Young Women's Mutual Improve- 
ment Association was announced. 

L. Edward Perry was sustained as president of Portland West 
(Oregon) Stake with Ronald K. Tall and Bryant A. Alder as 

counselors. President Perry and Counselor Tall were serving as 

counselors to retiring President C. Carlile Carlson. 

The Sound of Music received the first annual award as the 
best family movie of the year at a banquet in Provo, Utah, 
sponsored by The Improvement Era, Deseret News, KSL Television 
and Radio, and Brigham Young University. President N. Eldon 
Tanner of the First Presidency presented a two-foot-high silver 
trophy, topped by a figure representing high achievement, to Harry 
K. Sokolov, Twentieth Century-Fox film executive, and Charmian 
Carr, teen-age star of the movie. 

APRIL 1966 

Captain Norman K. Bryner, Captain Arnold T. Ellsworth, and 
Captain Claude D. Newby were three Latter-day Saints among 

the 52 chaplains recently graduated from the U. S. Army Chaplain 

School, Fort Hamilton, New York. 

With President David O. McKay presiding and speaking 
briefly, the 136th annual conference of the Church opened 
in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. 

Elder James A. Cullimore of Oklahoma City was sustained 
this morning as an assistant to the Council of the Twelve. (See 
page 490.) (Continued on page 584) 



468 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




1. THOUGHTS FOR 
ONE HUNDRED 
DAYS 

by Richard L. Evans 

Selected from "Thou- 
ghts for the Day" and 
"The Spoken Word" 
as heard on radio. 




2. IN THE GOSPEL 
NET 

by Dr. John A. Widtsoe 

A moving story of 
family life in the Church 
and faith in the Gospel. 
Gospel. 

$2.25 








3. YOU AND THE 
DESTINY OF THE 
INDIANS 


: . : .■ - : 




i.SP 


Ely. 


by Dean L. Larsen 

Who is the Indian, and 
what is your responsi- 
bilty to him? Docu- 
mented by the Book 
of Mormon. 

$1.00 




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4. LDSCHILDRENS' 
STORYBOOK 

compiled by Fern 
Hunter 

Delightful and instruc- 
tive stories especially 
selected for LDS chil- 
dren. 

$3.00 



SUMMER READING 

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WHY ANPf 
HOW 



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6. PROPHETS, 
PRINCIPLES AND 
NATIONAL 
SURVIVAL 

compiled by Jerreld 
L. Newquist 

Read what the General 
Authorities of the 
Church have said about 
issues now facing our 
nation. $4 95 




7. THE TRAVEL GUIDE TO HISTORIC 
MORMON AMERICA 

Maps, photos and historical facts tracing 
the Church's movement across America. A 
must if you're traveling to the East or Mid- 
west this summer. $1.95 




WHEAT FOR MAN, 
WHY AND HOW 

Written and compiled by 
Vernice G. Rosenvall, 
Mabel H. Miller and 
Dora D. Flack 

Newly revised and en- 
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reds of tested recipes 
developed expressly 
for the use of stone- 
ground whole wheat 
flour. $1.50 



8. COMPREHEN- 
SIVE HISTORY 
OF THE CHURCH 

byT3. H. Roberts 

Volumes I thru IV 
are now available 
in Bookcraft's out- 
standing reduced 
price edition. 

$4.50 per vol. 




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Deluxe binder in black and dark blue with gold embossed Angel 
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Lovely white cover with gold or silver embossed title. $7.00 

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Attractive white cover with gold or silver embossed title. $7.00 

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ORDER 

FROM YOUR 

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JUNE !966 




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Salt Lake City, Utah 



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11. (gold) (silver) 12. (color) (gold) (silver) 

13. (Bible) (Triple) 

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(Residents of Utah add 314% sales tax) 



469 



SUGGESTED MUSIC 

FOR MIA STAKE 

CONFERENCES 

The Lord Is a Mighty God 20 

Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words 
To Each Other 25 

The Morning Breaks .20 

Let the Mountains Shout 

For Joy 25 

Jesus Name of Wond'rous 

Love 25 

Still, Still With Thee ..: .25 

The Everlasting Arms .25 

Sheep May Safely Graze 25 




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Why throw away nature's 
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470 




As this goes to press the first LDS 
stake is organized in South America 
at Sao Paulo, Brazil. Seven wards 
and one branch were created to 
serve 3,000 members in the area. 

OEstados Unidos do Brasil, gener- 
ally known in the English language 
as "Brazil," is the largest nation of 
the South American continent. In- 
ternational diplomacy became 
aware of this fact in the days of 
the League of Nations. As the 
largest state in size and in popula- 
tion among all Latin American 
states, Brazil contended for a place 
as a permanent member of the 
Council of that organization. She 
resigned in 1926 when that place 
was denied her. Similar feelings 
exist with respect to the Security 
Council of the United Nations, suc- 
cessor organ to the Council of the 
old League. To understand the 
sensitive feelings and position of 
Brazilians is to understand more of 
the world in these times. 

Perhaps the most important fact 
about Brazil is its Portuguese lan- 
guage, setting it apart from its 




1lniM 



(BiM 




THESE TIMES 

By Dr. G. Homer Durham 

President, Arizona State University, Tempe 



Spanish-speaking neighbors. Until 
the passage of the National Defense 
Education Act by the U.S. Congress 
in 1958, the study of Portuguese 
throughout the United States was 
almost nonexistent. Portuguese 
ranked with Chinese, Arabic, Rus- 
sian, and Japanese among the 
"critical" languages in which short- 
age of American know-how existed, 
together with a number of less 
well-known tongues. 

Brazil became Portuguese rather 
than Spanish by decision of Pope 
Alexander VI, May 4, 1493, modi- 
fied by Spanish and Portuguese 
commissioners. Its status as colony 
changed in March 1808, when the 
Emperor Dom Joao established his 
throne in Rio de Janeiro to escape 
invasion from Napoleon's army in 
Lisbon. Dom Joao returned to Lis- 
bon in 1821 but left his son, Dom 
Pedro, in Brazil. Brazil became in- 
dependent, with Dom Pedro as 
emperor, in 1822. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Dom Pedro II, 
who reigned personally from July 
23, 1840, until November 15, 1889, 
nearly fifty years. This American 
monarchy ended with a bloodless 
coup that deposed the emperor on 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



November 15, 1889. A republic 
followed, led by a series of military- 
leaders. The republic today has 
22 states, a federal district, and 
several territories. 

The area of Brazil is about 
3,286,270 square miles, larger than 
the USA (3,022,387) if Alaska and 
Hawaii are excluded. With Alaska 
and Hawaii the USA is larger with 
3,628,150. Whereas the 1960 cen- 
sus shows 183,285,009 population 
for the USA, the 1962 Brazilian 
government's estimate was 75,271,- 
000 for the great southern republic. 
The presence of the heavily wooded 
basin of the Amazon River, 1,465,- 
637 square miles of it in Brazil, 
explains part of the population dif- 
ference. The future of this huge 
domain, with its network of navi- 
gable streams and potential riches, 
constitutes one of the earth's great 
frontiers. 

Brazil has thirteen sizable cities. 
Two of them rank among the 
world's largest. The World Al- 
manac lists Sao Paulo as the larger, 
with 3,850,000 people, followed by 
Rio de Janeiro's 3,307,163. 

Brazil is a world leader in the 
production of livestock, coffee, cas- 
tor beans, oranges, cocoa, sugar, 
rubber, manganese, high-grade 
quartz crystals, industrial dia- 
monds, chrome, beryllium, high- 
grade iron, and gold. 

LDS missionary activity in Brazil 
dates from 1929 as part of a South 
American Mission under President 
Reinhold Stoof. Formal establish- 
ment of a Brazilian mission came 
February 9, 1935, when President 
Rulon S. Ho wells was called for 
that purpose, with headquarters in 
Sao Paulo. An edition of the Book 
of Mormon in Portuguese appeared 
in Brazil in 1940. At first, beginning 
with President Stoof, missionary 
work was among German-speaking 
Brazilians. The shift in Portuguese 
began systematically in 1938. Fol- 
lowing World War II the mission 
came to depend on Portuguese. 

President David O. McKay vis- 
ited Brazil in January 1954. In 
September 1959 the Brazilian South 
Mission was organized and sepa- 
rated from the Brazilian Mission. 
The establishment of these separate 
enterprises has produced fruitful 
and beneficial results. The full 
consequences for such a large and 
developing nation and for the 
world are yet to be appreciated in 
these times. 



JOSEPH E. KJAR 
Chairman 



GEORGE M. 

Director 

Attorney 



CANNON 





CLARENCE H. TINGEY 
President 



MARK B. GARFF 
Senior Vice-President 
Chairman L.D.S. Church 
Building Committee 





Outstanding 

record of safety, 

integrity and 

high earnings 

on savings 




WOr" 



T. WILLIAM 
COCKAYNE 
Director 
Vice-President, 
Utah-Idaho Sugar Co. 






HUGH B. BROWN 

Director 

First Presidency 

L.D.S. Church ' 



EMERSON L. HARDY 
Vice-President 



FRANKLIN J. 

MURDOCK 

Director 

Murdock Travel Bureau 



OUTSTANDING - 60 year record of growth 

DFS has enjoyed 60 years of conservative opera- 
tion managed by forward-looking men of integrity 
creating an outstanding record of growth and 
service. 

OUTSTANDING - Record of safety 

DFS has never failed to pay a dividend and on 
time. Each account INSURED safe to $10,000 by 
a permanent U.S. Government Agency. 

OUTSTANDING -Earnings 

DFS currently pays the high 4%% compounded 
semi-annually, and your savings are ALWAYS 
AVAILABLE WHEN NEEDED. Accounts of 
any amount are welcome. 




DESERET 
FEDERAL 

SAVINGS & LOAN ASSN 



44 SOUTH MAIN 95 NO. UNIVERSITY 

SALT LAKE CITY PROVO 



SAVE-BY-MAIL 



DFS pays the postage both ways. Write for 
signature cards to open your account. 



JUNE 196S 



471 



Wherever you live... 

You can save 

ways ! 





New 5% savings certificates 
are available on savings of 
$500 or more (additional 
amounts in $100 increments). 




Regular 4% passbook savings 
provide greater availability 
for your money. 




Free checking accounts 
are available when you 
maintain a $300 minimum 
balance. 



Typ* Open your account by mail or in person. Savings 
certificates will be returned by registered, insured mail. 




ZIONS 

FIRST NATIONAL 

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Founded by Brigham Young -1873 

MEMBER FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 

Nine Banks in the Salt Lake Valley 



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Letters 

and 

Reports 



FROM MID-PACIFIC TO ATLANTIC 
COAST: GOLD MEDALLIONS 

On opposite sides of this broad country, 
young women are receiving the Gold 
Medallion award for seven individual 
awards in MIA work. 

In Hawaii: Yvonne Leimomo Kaohu, 
Honomakau Branch, Hawaii Mission. 
Yvonne has had opportunity to serve in 
a multitude of positions in her branch, 
including in both the counselor positions 
in the YWMIA, as a Sunday School and 
Primary teacher, and four years as a 
seminary officer. 

Also in Hawaii: Emylee Mae Belcher. 
Utahn attending school at the Church 
College of Hawaii. Emylee's home ward 
is Union Fifth Ward, East Jordan Stake. 
She has excelled in sports herself and 
used them as an effective tool to help 
other girls become active in the Church. 
She served as sports director of both 
Church College wards, was on the college 
track team, and is vice-president of 
women's intramurals on campus. 

In New Jersey: Marilyn Baldwin, BYU 
student. Marilyn earned six awards in 
Blackfoot, Idaho, and (he seventh in 
Short Hills Ward, New Jersey Stake. 

And: Rebecca Cotter, Short Hills 
Ward, who earned three awards in a 
"home" Mutual program with her mother 
as teacher in Italy, where there was no 
branch for her to attend. At the 1964 
New Jersey Stake youth conference, she 
was selected as an outstanding example of 
young LDS womanhood. 




Rebecca Cotter 



Emylee Belcher 





Yvonne Kaohu 



Marilyn Baldwin 



472 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



EVEN AS THE FATHER 

BY MABEL JONES GABBOTT 

"He that seeth me," he said, "hath seen 

The Father. . . ." They recalled his healing hands 

Gently touch unseeing eyes, his keen 

Ear tune to sparrow's song; and on the sands 

Of Galilee his sandaled feet pace mile 

On mile, tirelessly; they knew the way 

His eyes looked through a heart; they saw him smile. 

"He that hath seen me . . ." they heard him say. 

Thus day by day he taught them till each word 

Had built a bridge of truth to know this Man 

He knew, whom they remembered not; they heard, 

Believed, and so the miracle began. . 

Then Jesus prayed: "Our Father . . ." and men arose 

With greater stature, dignity, and grace, 

Aware of kinship with a Maker whose 

Beloved Son could lift them to his place. 



| THE 
SPOKEN 
WORD - 



THE PATTERN, THE PURPOSE 



RICHARD L. EVANS 

In the highs and lows of life, the variability of it, unhappiness and 
happiness, despair and hope, there is much to make us search ourselves, 
our hearts, our plans, our purposes, and much to make us search the 
meaning of it all. We read history; we see its cycles; we see men who 
seemingly have done much to move the world, and men who scarcely 
seem to make a ripple on the surface. And sometimes we may wonder 
about the pattern, the purpose. We see a little; we understand a little; 
we have some insights, but the great immensity of space, the great 
broad-sweeping purposes, the infinity of all there is to know, the wonder 
of it all, are overwhelming, yet reassuring, as we search and hope and 
pray— and learn and do and endure— and come to an awareness that all 
people have problems, discouragements, yet reasons for faith. Even the 
Savior of mankind, the divine begotten Son of God, was little under- 
stood, seldom thanked, yet showed patience and compassion; and yet 
with all his divine power he submitted himself to die and redeemed us 
from death. And in all our wondering and searching there is this assur- 
ance: that the world wasn't begotten by chance, nor was life. There is 
purpose. There is reason: reason for faith, for truth and decency, for 
meeting obligations, for living in goodness, for living by law, for keeping 
the commandments; reason for faithfulness in family love and loyalty, 
in all the everlasting relationships of life. And so, as Robert Louis 
Stevenson said, each ". . . day returns and brings us the petty round 
of irritating concerns and duties. Help us to play the man, help us to 
perform. . . . Give us to go . . . on our business all this day, bring 
us to our resting beds weary and content and undishonored, and grant us 
in the end the gift of sleep." Help us to be patient; to find hope, faith, 
understanding; to know that there are deeper purposes than all the 
scuffs and ripples of the surface. God bless all people with problems, 
which, indeed, is all of us. 

"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System April 3, 1966. Copyright 1966. 




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JUNE 1966 



473 



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Conference 

Index 



SPEAKERS 

Benson, Ezra Taft 545 

Brockbank, Bernard P 500 

Brown, Hugh B 493 

Brown, Victor L 503 

Burton, Theodore M 508 

Christiansen, EIRay L 510 

Critchlow, William J., Jr 514 

Cullimore, James A 547 

Dunn, Paul H 542 

Dyer, Alvin R 544 

Evans, Richard L 532 

Hanks, Marion D 552 

Hinckley, Gordon B 530 

Hunter, Howard W 515 

Kimball, Spencer W 523 

Lee, Harold B 521 

Longden, John 511 

McConkie, Bruce R 527 

McKay, David 476, 477, 491, 554 

Monson, Thomas S 519 

Packer, Boyd K 550 

Petersen, Mark E 507 

Richards, Franklin D. 548 

Richards, LeGrand 540 

Romney, Marion G 535 

Sill, Sterling W 502 

Simpson, Robert L 517 

Smith, Eldred G 512 

Smith, Joseph Fielding 499, 538 

Sonne, Alma 526 

Stapley, Delbert L 504 

Tanner, N. Eldon 496, 538 

Taylor, Henry D 529 

Tuttle, A. Theodore 549 

Vandenberg, John H. 533 

SUBJECTS 

Atheism 493 

Bishops 503 

Chastity 491 

Church duties 554 

Civil rights 493 

Communism 477 

Constitution, U.S 535 

Death 552 

Duty 515, 556 

Easter 530 

Endurance 504, 512, 521 

Faith 526, 530, 540, 550 

Fear 515 

Forgiveness 503 

Four Gospels 527 

Free agency 535 

Genealogy 508 

Godhead 514 

Golden Rule 507 

Holy Ghost 540 

Home 491 

Jesus Christ 476, 493, 527, 530, 545 

Knowledge 543 

Love 507, 515, 532 

Loyalty 549, 556 

Maturity 546 

Meaning of life 544 

Missionaries 500, 540, 552 

Motivation 515 

Obedience 529, 533 

Prayer 539 

Priesthood 538 

Procrastination 523 

Repentance 499, 503 

Resurrection 476, 493, 519, 545 

Second coming 499, 502, 510 

Service 538, 549 

Sins 503, 521 

Socialism 535 

Temptations 491, 504 

Testimony 551 

Time 511 

Tithing 517, 540, 552 

Tribulation 521 

United Order 535 

Vision of Lehi 504 

Word of Wisdom 496, 550 

World's Fair 500 

Worth 554 

Youth 491, 530, 546, 554 

NOTE: President Thorpe B. Isaacson of the 
First Presidency and Presidents Antoine R. 
Ivins, S. Dilworth Young, and Milton R. 
Hunter of the First Council of the Seventy did 
not address the conference. 



JUNE 1966 



47S 



THE EDITOR'S PAGE / BY PRESIDENT DAVID O. McKAY 




Because of the importance of President 
McKay's priesthood meeting address, and 
with his permission, we present it as his 
Editor's Page this month. 

• It is a joy and a great privilege to 
meet with this vast audience of priest- 
hood members gathered in this historic 
Tabernacle, the Assembly Hall, and 
more than four hundred other build- 
ings throughout the United States and 
Canada. I extend my affectionate 
greetings and blessings to each of you. 

"I charge thee . . .", wrote Paul to 
Timothy, "before God, and the Lord 
Jesus Christ. . . ; 

"Preach the word; be instant in 
season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, 
exhort with all longsuffering and doc- 
trine." (2 Tim. 4:1-2.) 

In the same letter he prophetically 
declared, ". . . that in the last days 
perilous times shall come. 

"For men shall be lovers of their 
own selves, . . . 

". . . lovers of pleasures more than 
lovers of God; 

"Having a form of godliness, but 
denying the power thereof. . . ." (2 
Tim. 3:1-2, 4-5.) 

It is in the spirit of Paul's charge 
and prophecy that I call attention to 
the rising crime wave that is sweeping 
over the country. Few will question 
that we are living in perilous times 
and that many people have lost their 
moorings and are being "tossed to 
and fro, . . . with every wind of doc- 
trine, by the sleight of men, and cun- 
ning craftiness, whereby they lie in 
wait to deceive." (Eph. 4:14.) 

Crime is costing this nation twenty- 
seven billion dollars a year and an 
annual toll of death, injury, suffering 
and anguish for thousands of Ameri- 
cans. 

Just recently Dr. Norman Vincent 
Peale, in referring to the decline in 
moral standards, said, "Most radical 
social changes come slowly. But not 
this time. It is almost as if the demonic 
powers in sex — and make no mistake, 
sex has its demonic side — had been 
released in a sudden explosion that has 
blasted away the restraints and tradi- 
tions of centuries. The spark that has 
set off this explosion is a twisted con- 
cept of freedom, a 'new freedom' that 
too often leaves its adherents in 
chains." And then Dr. Peale gives a 
Newsweek report which states: "Un- 



doubtedly the key to the new morality 
is the widespread belief that a boy and 
girl who have established what the 
college calls a meaningful relationship 
have the moral right to sleep together." 

The young people want to know 
what difference it makes if no one is 
getting hurt, but Dr. Peale says, "This 
sounds fine in theory, but multiply this 
attitude by millions of eager experi- 
ments and what do you get? You 
get such statistics as these: 'Between 
the years 1940 and 1957 the illegiti- 
macy rate increased: 112 percent in 
the 15-19 age group; 300 percent in the 
20-24 age group; 462 percent in the 25- 
29 age group; 478 percent in the 30-34 
age group; 456 percent in the 35-39 age 
group; and 196 percent in the 40-44 
age group. 

" 'Venereal disease among adoles- 
cents rose 130 percent between the 
years 1956 and 1961. The illegitimacy 
rate has tripled since 1953. By 1970, 
ten-million Americans will have been 
born out of wedlock. Forty percent of 
the unwed mothers are between the 
ages of 15 and 19.' 

"No one is getting hurt?" continues 
Dr. Peale. "What a laugh! What a 
hollow, tragic, gruesome laugh! And 
the hurt is not confined to individuals; 
it damages and degrades our nation 
throughout the world. From the begin- 
ning of recorded history, men have 
known that the sex drive had to be 
controlled if civilization was to replace 
anarchy. Dr. J. D. Unwin, Historian 
of the Cambridge University, made a 
study of eighty civilizations ranging 
over a period of four-thousand years 
and concluded that a society either 
chooses sexual promiscuity and decline, 
or sexual discipline and creative 
energy. Writes Dr. Unwin: 'Any 
human society is free to choose either 
to display great energy, or to enjoy 
sexual freedom; the evidence is that 
they cannot do both for more than one 
generation.' " (Excerpt from Sin, Sex 
and Self-Control by Dr. Norman Vin- 
cent Peale, pp. 49, 53-56.) 

One important cause of the increase 
in delinquency, especially in our 
youth, is a letdown in home ideals. A 
growing desire for economic indepen- 
dence or a too eager willingness to 
improve financial circumstances has 
influenced a great many mothers to 
neglect the greatest of all responsibili- 
ties — the rearing of a family. 



J. Edgar Hoover, the national direc- 
tor of the Federal Bureau of Investiga- 
tion, makes the definite statement that 
"in the background of these youthful 
offenders lies the story of shocking 
neglect. Boys and girls are being 
deprived of the care and guidance 
necessary to the proper foundation of 
their characters. Their lawlessness had 
its roots in every instance in broken 
homes, in homes where mothers and 
fathers because of their neglect, mis- 
understanding, or irresponsibility had 
failed in their primary obligation. 
More often than not, God was un- 
known, or, more important, was 
unwelcome in their homes. On the 
other hand, in nearly every instance 
the youthful offender would have 
been a strong, upright citizen had he 
been given a chance." 

The inspiration of God is seen in 
requiring the Latter-day Saints to keep 
their homes intact and to teach their 
children the principles of the gospel of 
Jesus Christ. "And they shall also teach 
their children to pray, and to walk 
uprightly before the Lord." This com- 
mand from the Lord, given to us in 
the Doctrine and Covenants, section 
68, verse 28, leaves no question as to 
the responsibility of parents to teach 
their children — a responsibility too 
frequently shifted to the shoulders of 
the Church, public schools, and offi- 
cers of the law. 

I believe that parents in the Church 
generally are teaching their children 
the gospel, yet I am convinced that 
there is still much opportunity for 
improvement in this regard, especially 
in light of present-day conditions. I 
am grateful and pleased that so many 
are responding to our program for the 
family home evening, in which par- 
ents gather their children around 
them and instruct them in truth and 
righteousness and in family love and 
loyalty. A great number of families 
have testified to the rich blessings that 
have come to them from these family 
home evenings. 

If you ask me where I first received 
my unwavering faith in the existence 
of a God, I would answer you: in the 
home of my childhood — when Father 
and Mother invariably called their 
children around them in the morning 
and at night and invoked God's 
blessing upon the household and upon 
mankind. There was a sincerity in that 



476 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




" ■ ■ ■ . '".'... .-..:...-. - .:,■■■ ' '. 

■:....:............ . . ■ ■:-■ ■ ... . 







good patriarch's voice that left an un- 
dying impression in the souls of his 
children, and Mother's prayers were 
equally impressive. I ask tonight that 
every father in the Church see to it 
that in all sincerity he impress his 
children with the reality of the exis- 
tence of God and with the reality that 
God will guide and protect his chil- 
dren. You carry that responsibility. 
Home is one of the units — the funda- 
mental unit — of society. Before I heard 
my father testify that he had heard a 
divine voice, I knew that he lived near 
to. his Maker. I also know, through a 
nearness to that same Eternal Father 
since, that my father told the truth 
when he said that when he was on his 
mission in Scotland, in answer to 
fervent prayer, he received the follow- 
ing admonition given in audible tones: 
"Testify that Joseph Smith is a prophet 
of the living God." Such is the reality 
of the true Latter-day Saint's concep- 
tion of God the Father. 

Ever since the organization of the 
Church, its leaders have raised their 
voices warning that infidelity and 
sexual immorality are two principal 
evils that threaten to weaken and to 
wreck present-day civilization. Unfor- 
tunately, the trends of modern life are 
disintegrating the very foundation of 
the Christian home. Sexual laxity, in- 
temperance, and crime are its insidious 
and vicious enemies. 

In the Church there is but one 
standard of morality. No young man 
has any more right to sow his wild 
oats in youth than has a young girl; 
she is taught that second only to the 
crime of taking human life is that of 
losing her virtue, and that should be 
also the ideal among young men. 

I know from experience that the 
world does not believe us when we tell 
them that that ideal is followed in the 
Church, but we know in our hearts it 
is true. That young man who comes to 
his bishop and asks for a recommend 
to take a pure girl to the altar is 
expected to give just the same purity 
that he expects to receive. 

No one can transgress the laws of 
chastity and find peace. That is the 
message that we must give as parents 
and priesthood members to the young 
men and women and all others 
throughout the Church. No matter 
what the (Continued on page 554) 



: :■'./; 



. ■■ ■ 






yyyy 






Statement concerning the position of the Church on Com- 
munism, made by President David O. McKay at the general 
priesthood session of the 136th Annual Conference of the Church, 
held in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Saturday, April 9, 1966, at 
7:00 p.m., read by Robert R. McKay. 

• In order that there may be no misunderstandings by bishops, 
stake presidents, and others regarding members of the Church 
participating in nonchurch meetings to study and become 
informed on the Constitution of the United States, Communism, 
etc., I wish to make the following statements that I have been 
sending out from my office for some time and that have come 
under question by some stake authorities, bishoprics, and others. 

Church members are at perfect liberty to act according to 
their own consciences in the matter of safeguarding our way of 
life. They are, of course, encouraged to honor the highest 
standards of the gospel and to work to preserve their own free- 
doms. They are free to participate in nonchurch meetings that 
are held to warn people of the threat of Communism or any 
other theory or principle that will deprive us of our free agency 
or individual liberties vouchsafed by the Constitution of the 
United States. 

The Church, out of respect for the rights of all its members 
to have their political views and loyalties, must maintain the 
strictest possible neutrality. We have no intention of trying to 
interfere with the fullest and freest exercise of the political 
franchise of our members under and within our Constitution, 
which the Lord declared he established "by the hands of wise 
men whom [he] raised up unto this very purpose" (D&C 101:80) 
and which, as to the principles thereof, the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
dedicating the Kirtland Temple, prayed should be "established 
forever." (D&C 109:54.) The Church does not yield any of its 
devotion to or convictions about safeguarding the American 
principles and the establishments of government under federal 
and state constitutions and the civil rights of men safeguarded 
by these. 

The position of this Church on the subject of Communism 
has never changed. We consider it the greatest satanical threat 
to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God's work among men 
that exists on the face of the earth. 

In this connection, we are continually being asked to give our 
opinion concerning various patriotic groups or individuals who 
are fighting Communism and speaking up for freedom. Our 
immediate concern, however, is not with parties, groups, or per- 
sons, but with principles. We therefore commend and encourage 
every person and every group who is sincerely seeking to study 
Constitutional principles and awaken a sleeping and apathetic 
people to the alarming conditions that are rapidly advancing 
about us. We wish all of our citizens throughout the land were 
participating in some type of organized self-education in order 
that they could better appreciate what is happening and know 
what they can do about it. 

Supporting the FBI, the police, the congressional committees 
investigating Communism, and various organizations that are 
attempting to awaken the people through educational means 
is a policy we warmly endorse for all our people. 

The entire concept and philosophy of Communism is dia- 
metrically opposed to everything for which the Church stands — 
belief in. Deity, belief in. the dignity and eternal nature of man, 
and the application of the gospel to efforts for peace in the 
world. Communism is militantly atheistic and is committed to 
the destruction of faith wherever it may be found. 

The Russian Commissar of Education wrote: "We must hate 
Christians and Christianity. (Continued on page 580) 









:: 









■;;■■,-. 

.yyy 









JH98HE 



JUNE 1966 



477 



Teach- 
mg for 
Commit 

VTIGn l 



BY DALE T. TINGEY. PH.D 



ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR OF SEMINARIES 
AND INSTITUTES OF RELIGION 



teaching 



CONDUCTED BY THE 
CHURCH SCHOOL SYSTEM 



On a visit to the campus of a 

large university, the writer 

was introduced to twelve 

outstanding college 

students who had recent- 



joined the Church. Each had 
a fascinating story to relate on how 
he or she was brought to a knowl- 
edge of the divinity of the Church. 
One young lady who had been 
active in the institute of religion 
program for over a year and a half 
related how she enjoyed the teach- 
ings and the program of the 
Church but felt that it really did 
not apply in her. life. Two weeks 
prior to this visit, a dedicated in- 
structor had helped her realize that 
the gospel would have little value 
in her life until she committed her- 
self, heart and soul, to make the 
principles of the restored Church a 
part of her daily living. She said 
that once she was committed to do- 




ing what the Lord required for en- 
trance into his kingdom, her whole 
life was immediately changed; her 
doubts vanished; she received 
strength to meet the problems that 
faced her in joining the Church. 
But most important, she received 
a witness of the truthfulness of the 
gospel. 

It is this type of commitment that 
is needed in the lives of youth if 
they are to have the strength and 
vitality to meet the challenge of 
service and leadership in the 
Church. Only when they commit 
themselves to standards, principles, 
and commandments do these facets 
of the Church and kingdom of God 
on earth have value in their lives. 
Young people who are the most 
unhappy are those who know cor- 
rect principles but live by a waver- 
ing standard, depending on whom 
they associate with and the cir- 
cumstances in which they find 
themselves. A recent nationwide 
study of youth by a leading maga- 
zine shows that a majority of the 
nation's young people live accord- 
ing to vascillating standards, re- 
sulting in unhappiness, insecurity, 
anxiety, and aimlessness. 

A values survey by Cornell Uni- 



versity found that "the students' 
beliefs are secular in the sense that 
religious activities cannot com- 
pete by comparison with the 
family-centeredness, the work-cen- 
teredness, and even the leisure- 
centeredness of their society." The 
researchers found little or no evi- 
dence of "absolute conviction or 
adherence" and ended by calling 
student belief "secular religion." 
(This Week Magazine, March 8, 
1964, page 6. ) This type of religious 
sterility places our young people in 
a position stated by Paul: ". . . 
tossed to and fro, and carried about 
with every wind and doctrine, by 
the sleight of men, and cunning 
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait 
to deceive" (Eph. 4:14.) 

If the Church is to continue to 
produce an ever-increasing num- 
ber of committed leaders, dedicated 
missionaries, influential teachers, 
and worthy parents, the youth of 
the Church must be brought to a 
conviction and to a commitment to 
live the principles of the gospel. 

The teachers of youth in the 
Church must get the gospel "in- 
side" their students and not have 
them merely wear it as a badge or 
feel that they belong to just "an- 



other organization" by virtue of 
their membership in the Church. 
An effective teacher got the point 
across to his students when he 
came to class wearing a large yeast 
pill on his lapel. When queried by 
the students as to the reason for the 
pill, he replied, "Don't you know 
that yeast is very good for the 
body?" The class agreed that yeast 
was good for the body but em- 
phatically retorted that it would 
certainly do the body no good 
hanging on the lapel. The teacher 
was then able to point out how 
many wear their religion on the 
outside with little or no personal 
benefit— with no appreciable change 
in their lives for good. 

On one occasion the Savior made 
a succinct statement that should 
have deep meaning in teaching. He 
said, "There is nothing from with- 
out a man, that entering into him 
can defile him: but the things 
which come out of him, those are 
they that defile the man." (Mark 
7:15.) It is not what goes into a 
person that makes him righteous 
but that which comes out of him— 
his thoughts, his words, and his 
deeds. The great teacher Galileo 
said, (Continued on page 556) 






Testimony 

and a 




BY 

CLAIR L. 
WYATT 



• Association with individuals in the academic atmos- 
phere of a university is a wonderful opportunity. There 
are many challenges; if they are approached properly, 
they will be very rewarding. Besides the classroom 
instruction, the student comes in contact with indi- 
viduals who represent many philosophies of life. The 
academic freedom of the universities protects their 
right to speak out concerning their beliefs. Frequently 
monographs are published by the university presses 
on a great variety of subjects. Campus groups meet to 
discuss the great questions and problems of the time. 
The scientist, the atheist, the skeptic, and the faithful 
all express their theories. Sometimes these theories 
challenge our cherished beliefs, and the way we react 
to them determines our own spiritual and intellectual 
growth. 

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- 
day Saints we are very much interested in education; 
we believe in it. We have been taught that "the 
glory of God is intelligence" (D&C 93:36) and that 
it is also the glory of man. "It is impossible for a man 
to be saved in ignorance" (D&C 131:6), and "whatever 
principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it 
will rise with us in the resurrection. 

"And if a person gains more knowledge and intelli- 
gence in this life through his diligence and obedience 
than another, he will have so much the advantage in 
the world to come." (D&C 130:18-19.) We are further 
instructed to ". . . seek ye diligently and teach one 
another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best 
books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study 
and also by faith." (D&C 88:118.) 

There are some religious groups in the world today 
that have a canon or catechism; they teach that if you 



Liberal 
Education 



learn the contents of the canon and obey its rules and 
ordinances, you will gain salvation. To go into higher 
education is secondary to gaining salvation, and to 
become an intellectual may only cause you to lose 
your faith. St. Bonaventure was one who held this 
belief; he said, "Reason is not to be trusted too much. 
Faith and mysticism are safer guides." 1 In a discussion 
with a fellow scientist from the East, I learned that he 
had just recently attended a meeting where the group 
was discussing the question: "Why has not our re- 
ligion produced its proper share of intellectuals in 
America?" His answer to them was that in his own case 
he had been taught all through his youth that the 
important thing was to gain salvation; the church 
could provide that; higher education is secondary and 
therefore not very important. 

We can conclude that in the Church of Jesus Christ 
to develop our intelligence and to acquire knowledge 
is a fundamental part of our religion. The Christian 
adventure is a great quest, a quest for truth and 
knowledge. There is never a time when we can sit 
back contentedly and say, "I know all that is required 
of me to gain exaltation in the kingdom of God," for 
we have set our course upon a great never-ending 
quest. That is the great Christian adventure. Thomas 
O'Dea stated that "to be an intellectual means to 
be engaged in a Quest," 2 and he warned that if to be a 
Christian means you have all truth in capsule form 
rather than accepting one's faith as a stimulus to a 
Christian adventure, then you are hopelessly lost. 

In our religion we do not try to sway people with 
mysticism or ritual; we think it is wrong to believe 
blindly. Our services are simple, and our sermons tend 
to appeal to the mind rather than to sway the emotion. 



480 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




The philosopher Clifford said, "Belief is desecrated 
when given to unproved and unquestioned state- 
ments for the solace and private pleasure of the be- 
liever. ... It is wrong, always, everywhere, and for 
everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evi- 
dence." 3 We are all familiar with many people in 
history who devoted their lives to the wrong cause. 
Probably the best-known example is that of Saul of 
Tarsus who held the coat of those who stoned Stephen, 
the first Christian martyr. (Acts 7:54-60; 8:1.) 

When we come under the influence of a university 
and the concept of a liberal education, we are taught 
that we must be willing to discard childhood notions 
and outdated beliefs. A liberal education teaches that 
we should accept nothing as proven. In fact we are 
told that "education is uncertainty," and that "certainly 
cultivated people do not exhibit the same degree of 
cock-sureness as do the ignorant," and "the more 
a man learns the more he realizes how little he 
knows." 4 This quest for truth is not without its risks, 
for we may even come to doubt our faith. Another 
great intellectual, Blaise Pascal, said there are but 
three classes of persons: ". . . two kinds of people one 
can call reasonable; those who serve God with all their 
heart because they know him, and those who seek 
him with all their heart because they do not know him. 
But as for those who live without knowing him and 
without seeking him, they judge themselves so little 
worthy of their own care, that they are not worthy of 
the care of others. ... It is a great evil to be in doubt, 
but it is at least an indispensable duty to seek when 
we are in such doubt; and thus the doubter who does 
not seek is all together completely unhappy and com- 
pletely wrong." 5 



This concept of a liberal education to doubt every- 
thing appears to be in conflict with the concept of 
testimony which is so important in our lives. One of 
my associates stated that he could not understand 
how an educated person could stand up and say he 
knows that God lives and suggested that we should 
apply the scientific approach to our beliefs. 

Certainly we do not literally believe that education 
is uncertainty. Freshman and sophomore students in 
college are taught the basic laws of science and often 
come to feel that everything is known and little is 
left to discover. However, as advanced students they 
go back and question even the most basic laws. It is 
then the student learns that there are limits and 
bounds to the operation of these laws and that to 
apply them universally is treading upon dangerous 
ground. The advanced student learns the bounds of 
certainty that apply to these laws, and his task is to 
investigate those areas of doubt. We could say in 
this context that the role of education is to define the 
limits of certainty. This implies that there are some 
areas of certainty in which a man can say, "I know." 

All truth will stand up to the rigorous test of scien- 
tific investigation whether it comes to us from an 
experimental or a religious experience. How does a 
scientist gain confidence in a law or principle? What 
is the scientific method? 

At first a scientist gathers all the known facts about 
the subject. He classifies and sorts all these facts so 
that they can be better understood. Then a theory or 
hypothesis is proposed that will explain these facts. 
Now, a hypothesis always predicts things; for example, 
the laws of motion stated by Newton predict that 
bodies will react to forces in known ways. This theory 



JUNE 1966 



4B1 




can be tested by finding out experimentally if the 
things predicted are so. To accept a theory as law 
requires that many people over a long period of time 
perform experiments that confirm the theory. 

Finally we become very confident that the theory is 
true, and we call it a law. It is important to realize that 
this is not an easy thing to do. Often it takes years to 
develop the specialized equipment required to per- 
form an experiment. Sometimes those performing the 
experiment may even doubt the result or, because 
of incompetence, lack of knowledge or improper 
equipment, fail to verify a theory when others are 
successful. 

It would not be possible for a single individual to 
test every law of science that his work requires him 
to accept as true. His life is not long enough, nor his 
facilities or knowledge great enough. So he must rely 
on competent authority. Rocket scientists use Newton's 
laws of motion to compute the path of a rocket or the 
orbit of a satellite, yet how many of them have per- 
formed experiments to verify the laws? Very few of 
them have, because they know other competent sci- 
entists have done this before them. 

Often some of the things predicted by a theory 
cannot be proved by any experiment we can con- 
ceive; for example, Einstein's theory of relativity 
predicts strange things would happen if we were to 
travel at the speed of light. It is not likely we will be 
able to travel that fast, yet other things predicted by 
this theory have been verified and thus scientists have 
increasing confidence in the theory of relativity. 



How about our confidence in the basic laws of 
religion and the existence of God himself? Many 
people doubt we can apply the scientific method to 
religious belief. You have probably heard it said that 
you cannot put God in a test tube. I am confident we 
can and should apply this method of investigation to 
our religious beliefs. It is a good method and is 
responsible for the many advances we enjoy in this 
modern day. 

May I propose an experiment? 

First, we will take the Book of Mormon and learn 
all the facts about it. Let us sort and categorize all 
these facts so that we may better understand them. 
What are some of these facts? The story of its origin, 
the many doctrines it teaches, the great nation of 
people it tells of, and many other things. Now let us 
state a theory or hypothesis to explain these facts in 
these words: "The Book of Mormon is true." This 
hypothesis, like any, predicts many things. As with 
Einstein's theory of relativity, some of the predictions 
cannot be tested directly; others can. If the Book of 
Mormon is true, it is logical that we should find evi- 
dences of the great civilization it tells about; we 
should also gain great happiness by living its teach- 
ings, for it promises that the Holy Ghost will reveal 
its truthfulness as stated by Moroni. (Moroni 10:4.) 
And among other things, if the Book of Mormon is 
true, God lives and answers prayers. Many of the 
things that this theory predicts can be tested in the 
great laboratory of life; and although we cannot put 
God in a test tube, yet (Continued on page 557) 



482 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




HOME 

IN LOO is an uninterrupted lesson. 




To avoid interruptions from the telephone, handle the call if it is important or an 
emergency; otherwise, ask permission to return the call. If a 
visitor comes, invite him to join with the family for the home evening. Radio 
and television will, of course, be turned off. Pets, while sometimes 
considered part of the family, can often be distracting and should not be present 

if they would cause disturbance. 

HOME 

I II IN LuO is making a success of the assignment each week. 

At the end of the lesson, make certain that each family member has a clear-cut 

understanding of what he is to do about the gospel truth you have been 
learning together. In making assignments, be sure that the assignment set for 

each family member is attainable by him and that he is enthusiastic 
about trying to fulfill it. These assignments will vary with the age, experience, and 
personality of each family member. Adults need the applications 
as much as children do. Children whose parents work on the assignments 
with them improve faster than those children whose parents 

only "teach" them the lesson. 



483 



JUNE 1966 



The Ward Record 
Examination Program 



• The purpose of the ward record examination pro- 
gram is to help teach the Saints how to prepare 
acceptable family group records. Errors can be cor- 
rected quickly on a local level before the records 
reach the Genealogical Society for processing. By 
eliminating errors made by the compilers before sheets 
are sent to the society, records can be processed 
quickly and efficiently and temple ordinance work 
can be performed without delay. The ward record 
examination program has already proved its value: 
78 percent of the sheets sent in by the program are 
accepted as accurate and complete, compared with 
22 percent acceptance of sheets that have not been 
so examined. The value of the program will increase 
if bishops and high priests group leaders in all wards 
of the Church will plan, coordinate, and control this 
record examination work. 

In genealogy, there is a need for all members to 
catch the "spirit" of the genealogical rules and 
standards. 

If the examiners will teach correct procedures and 
will diligently help members to want to do the things 
required of them, the Saints will work untiringly to 
produce acceptable records. Once the Saints know 
and understand the rules and standards that are ex- 
pected of them, they will abide by them. 

Patience and tact on the part of the examiners, 
together with a true spirit of helpfulness, will insure 
that the spirit rather than the letter pervades the 
records examining program. ". . . for the letter killeth, 
but the spirit giveth life." (2 Cor. 3:6.) The Apostle 
Paul did not intend to destroy the law in his writings 
to the Corinthian Saints. The laws of God cannot be 



ignored or set aside. In a somewhat similar manner, 
the record examiners are not to set themselves up as 
censors to enforce the letter of the genealogical rules 
and standards, but they are to catch the spirit of the 
examining program and learn to be teachers and 
helpers, thus assisting the Saints in a true spirit of love 
so that correct and acceptable records will be com- 
piled. 

If the examiners will approach their assigned duties 
with a prayerful spirit, full of love for their fellow 
ward members and for the genealogical responsibilities 
placed on the Saints in the latter days, the program 
of ward record examination will succeed and become 
one of the greatest aids to speeding temple ordinance 
work that has been designed. 

If the record examiners are occasionally invited into 
the ward priesthood executive meetings to explain to 
the priesthood leaders what the examining problems 
are, the priesthood leaders can help solve these prob- 
lems with their quorum members. The high priests 
group leader is officially responsible for the quality 
of the work of the record examiners and should teach 
them to be teachers rather than censors. 

Ward record examiners should make themselves 
available in weekly priesthood classes in MIA if 
requested by priesthood leaders to give special instruc- 
tion or training. They are not to teach the classes or 
monopolize the time but are to aid the teachers in any 
way they can as requested by priesthood leaders. 

Pedigree Referral Service ( PRS ) registrations should 
also pass through the record examination process be- 
fore being submitted to the Genealogical Society. In 
such cases only one examiner need check the forms. 



484 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




PRS forms ready for examination should be turned in 
to the ward high priests group leader for checking 
before being sent to the Genealogical Society. 

The Genealogical Instruction Manual was prepared 
to assist members of the Church in the preparation 
of family group records to be submitted to the 
Genealogical Society for processing. This manual is 
to be considered a guide, for if records are prepared 
in accordance with these rules and procedures, they 
can clear through the processing procedure of the 
Genealogical Society without delay. The society does 
not reject sheets where only form errors are involved 
that do not affect the actual identification of the indi- 
vidual. Form errors, however, do slow down the 
processing and therefore result in delays in checking. 
For this reason, family group records submitted for 
processing should conform to the rules for recording 
that are contained in the instruction manual. It is the 
responsibility of the ward record examiners to en- 
courage and teach ward members to conform to these 
standards. Where all entries on each family group 
record have been accurately recorded according to 
the outlined rules, the sheet can be passed without 
delay. Where the entries do not conform, the examin- 
ers should use this opportunity to teach the standards 
to the compilers and explain the advantages of adher- 
ing to the standards in future work. 

Checklist of MUST Items 

Following is a checklist of items that must appear 
on family group records before they can be approved 
by the ward record examiners: 

1. Identifying information for each individual listed 

a) Surname 

b ) Given name ( s ) 

c) Sex 

d) Date of birth (or christening) 

e ) Place of birth ( or christening ) 

2. Reference Information 

a) Source of information 

b) Name and address of compiler 

c ) Family representative 

d) Relationship 

There should be few sheets submitted in which just 
the minimum amount of identifying information listed 



above will be the only information on a family group 
record. Only where information is not obtainable 
should it be omitted. However, since ward record 
examiners are responsible for checking for clerical 
correctness only and are not to be judges of the 
research quality of the Saints, the only instance in 
which ward record examiners should reject sheets 
because of lack of information is if the above require- 
ments are not met. 

Also, sheets should be either typewritten or printed 
or written legibly in black or blue-black ink. Blue ink 
is not acceptable because it does not microfilm well. 
Only original sheets can be accepted. Carbon copies 
or sheets duplicated by photo processes interfere with 
processing procedures. 

The examiners function as teachers and counselors 
as well as examiners. The Saints should be able to 
consult with them anytime, either in their homes, over 
the telephone, or at the ward. When examiners teach 
in a spirit of friendly cooperation, the Saints learn the 
required genealogical standards and rules for record- 
ing information. By taking time and effort to make 
necessary corrections, the Saints learn correct pro- 
cedures and are not likely to make mistakes on future 
records. 

When errors are discovered, the examiners attach 
notes to the sheets so that the compilers themselves 
can make the corrections. Examiners must never alter 
or mark the record sheets themselves. Sheets with 
correction markings are acceptable. It is not necessary 
for compilers to prepare sheets over again after 
examination unless the number of errors or type of 
errors is such that the sheets become illegible or 
difficult to interpret after correction. 

The responsibility for preparing acceptable records 
is the obligation of the individual members of the 
Church. The Church has provided guidelines for ac- 
ceptability of records, but the Saints themselves are 
responsible for following the established rules and 
standards. When stake, ward, and quorum leaders add 
their influence and encouragement to the ward record 
examiners as teachers, this portion of the work will 
flourish. A gentle word of explanation given to the 
Saints will encourage them to cooperate in producing 
a record that will be "worthy of all acceptation" before 
the Lord. 



JUNE 1966 



485 




M f 







■I 




: ; V' ■ Supper ;was. ready, W &0<pi$$n Jrie tible except Jor the JasVmihute things. I looked 
'.attfie k\l^ky^acf^'^''wt^^^4b^^dhiir had resurrected from a crumbling 1 school- 

1 House. More and more li was becoming awageof my mother, not Is | had always consid- 
> erecj her but as a woman, as a wrfe. perhaps it was because I /was' beginning to examine 
>myf3wh potential in these areas,/ " , ' 'g V ^/ ■■$* k / i ;t « ^ y v 

The black, iron fingers of the ctoek^i/ited to 4:15. I' removed my mother's apton 

with its voluminous pockets crammed wtth.p iris, rubber bands, clippings, and a PTA notice 

— all theihings we liati left lying a bout thflt^Mother usually rescued. 

A| I went atoijg|he hall to the front door, I, checked .everything. It was in apple-pie i* 

Order, f knew Mother would be pleased. Shf kepi her house "picked up." It was much 

like tfte clock in the kitchen-/-old and polished af|d cared-for, but^ffrcient and practical. 
■■' Someday my house would be the same way, attractive but comfortable, and it would be built 

around rr|y ; hfsbahd^ as Mother'sls built around Daddy\ ? 

I stobH at ih^ wide front door my great grandfather had hung, and watched my five- 
' yearold brother, Walter, squatting at the far end of. the porch. He was stroking the 

leathers- of his#drake ang! waiting for Mother to come home. I was concerned for my 
I brother.* I, was' 12 when he was born, and I still remember, uneasily, how difficult it is to 

have^ to move Qver. the sunlight cut across the porch and caught his coppery hair, falling ; 

in a njop across his forehead. He was so small and trusting and precious to me— but it 
*■;■■ v; -■■•:-■■■ ".'',.-'. i^~ ■■■ ^'**r *jp f , *' '■■:■'' -./"/.'.v.'*'.'-. ■ fe:-Ov\' ./J. 

, ,'„-- j , ; fj £, . HrHE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Which girl would be choose?. One wanted 
/<? ^jy, the other to get away. 





- » . « , 

V 



>:$X3 









hadn't been that way in the beginning. What a. (of of -growing had occurred in- 
side rhe In five years to Change my feelings so completely! *■ 

"Here they come," Walter shouted. "Jeannie, here*comes Mama!" He 
streaked toward the car, his face shining in relief, and it dawned on me that 
Walter had only half-believed Mama would come back. He scuttled around the 
car like a beetle and climbed in, trying to touch her, but my father's^ anxious 
voice intervened. *;;--. 

"Wait, Walter," he said. "You'll hurt the baby." * O i ^ ^ 

Walter drew away, puzzled. I reached in and took the bundle, leaving 
Mother's arm^ free. My brother fled into them, and she held him tightly, Whis- 
pering in his ear. c. . 

After dinner I washed Walter and had, him put on clean pajamas. Then I 
took him to Mother's room.fHe walked softly, on tip-toe, his bony little body 
stiff. But when Mother opened her arms to him, he scampered across the room 
to her in< oectfrd timet I laughect softly. Often in the two weeks just past, while] 
Mother was in the hospital, I'd felt as though Walter were my little boy. Tonight, 
it was the same way, and I fejf a warm flood of ipveMor fiim as I went down $6 
tidy up the kitchen. - ,i s / 

-■It 'Was February, but tjie air was soft as spring, (Continued on page 558) 



JUHt 1066 






James A. Cullimore, new 

assistant to the Council of 

the Twelve, with his wife, 

Grace Gardner Cullimore. 

To the right are son, Kelvyn 

Henry Cullimore, second 

counselor of Oklahoma Stake, 

and daughters Luella C. Payne, 

wife of a bishop in Canada, 

and Nancy, a student at 

Brigham Young University. 

Elder Cullimore, an Oklahoma 

City businessman, is a former 

member of the priesthood 

general church welfare 

committee. 




James A. 
Cullimore 



BY ALBERT L. ZOBELL, JR. 

RESEARCH EDITOR 



• The newest assistant to the Council of the Twelve, 
who was sustained at the general conference on 
April 6, is James Alfred Cullimore, a dynamic leader 
who has spent his adult life as a businessman in the 
mission areas of the Church. Wherever his business 
life has taken him, his "Father's business" has also 
been an important part of his activity. 

For nearly thirty years the Cullimore home has been 
in Oklahoma City. There he served as branch presi- 
dent for fourteen years, followed by nine years as 
president of the West Oklahoma District. He was 
sustained as the first president of Oklahoma Stake 
October 23, 1960, serving just two and a half months 
before being called as president of the Central British 
Mission on December 27, 1960. In January 1964 he 
was called to the priesthood welfare committee, and 
since then, during the two quarters of the year that 
are designated stake welfare conferences, he has left 
his home nearly every weekend to meet with the 
Saints in their conferences throughout the Church. 



Elder Cullimore was born January 17, 1906, at Lin- 
don (near Pleasant Grove), Utah, a son of Albert 
Lorenzo and Luella Keetch Cullimore. His great- 
grandfather had been an English convert to the 
Church in 1837, in the time and the area that Wilford 
Woodruff had phenomenal success in missionary 
endeavor. The family emigrated to the United States 
in 1850, and his great-grandfather Cullimore worked 
as a stone mason in Philadelphia to obtain money to 
come to Pleasant Grove the following year. 

Elder Cullimore served as assistant scoutmaster at 
Lindon in 1924 before being called that December to 
the California Mission, where he labored in southern 
California as a district president. Having never been 
able to return to San Diego and the many scenes of 
his mission as a young district president, he was over- 
joyed to find that he was to be assigned to San Diego 
Stake welfare conference for April 16-17. 

At Brigham Young University, where he was 
studentbody president, he courted Grace Gardner of 



488 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 






• 


iii 


yb 


:■:■■ 






Spanish Fork, a daughter of Henry A. and Grace 
Brockbank Gardner. "My wife is the best part of our 
combination," he says. "She is now the stake Relief 
Society president in Oklahoma Stake." They were 
married in the Salt Lake Temple June 3, 1931, and 
traveled to New York City, where he had a scholarship 
for graduate studies at the New York University 
School of Retailing. 

He began his long experience as a furniture buyer 
in 1932 with Gimble Brothers, New York City, and 
later held the same position with Mandel Brothers of 
Chicago. After a period in Sioux City, Iowa, he be- 
came the buyer and home furnishings merchandise 
manager for Browns in Oklahoma City in 1937. He 
entered business for himself in 1946. 

Always active in the Church, he served as Timpa- 
nogos Stake Sunday School superintendent while a 
BYU student, as a district Sunday School board mem- 
ber in New York, and as branch president at Sioux 
City, before going to Oklahoma. 

Over the years, unnumbered missionaries and 
servicemen found the Cullimore home always open to 
them, a place where they could always find a wonder- 
ful meal and good, strengthening conversation. He 
told them how he, too, had longed for a home in the 
stakes of Zion; but just as a stake was being organized 
in New York, he went to Chicago; and when a stake 
was considered there, his employment opportunities 
took him elsewhere. A stake was finally organized in 
Oklahoma City with him as its first president, but he 
was soon to be called to be a mission president in 
the British Isles. 

During their early years in Oklahoma, the Culli- 
mores had wondered if they should return to the West 
to rear their son and two daughters. World War II 
prevented such a move. While touring the Central 
States Mission after the war, Elder Joseph F. Merrill 
of the Council of the Twelve heard the problem and 
counseled: "This is where the Lord wants you. Teach 
your children well and then send them to BYU to 
school, and they will marry in the Church. Things will 
work out well for you." 



Within days Elder Cullimore had leased a building 
in Oklahoma City and was on his way to opening his 
own furniture store. He had learned long ago that the 
Lord works in very natural ways and circumstances: 
if one plans well, he will succeed. The business was a 
great success at once, and he felt the promise of an 
apostle of the Lord had much to do with it. 

Of the call to the Central British Mission in 1960, 
he says: 

"In Oklahoma it was unusual for someone to be 
called on a mission and to leave a business for three 
years. People still talk about it; we received a great 
deal of favorable publicity. My call did much to 
contribute to the image of the Church in Oklahoma. 
And it made many strong business friends." 

General conference was to open Wednesday, 
April 6, 1966. He had planned to miss the first day's 
sessions, but was to come by air on Friday for the 
weekend sessions. Tuesday afternoon, April 5, he 
received a long-distance telephone call that President 
McKay desired to see him immediately. There were 
no planes out of Oklahoma City that afternoon, but 
that evening he flew to Denver, where he stayed 
overnight. At five o'clock the next morning he was on 
a flight to Salt Lake City. There he heard President 
McKay say to him: "The Lord has revealed to me 
that you are to be an assistant to the Council of the 
Twelve." 

To hear such words! Only those who are called to 
such positions can understand his feelings at that 
moment. 

He was sustained by the general conference at the 
morning session, April 6. President McKay set him 
apart April 8. His appointment brought to twelve the 
number of assistants serving. He is the twenty-second 
high priest called to serve in this capacity since 
assistants to the Twelve were first called at the April 
1941 general conference. 

The previous Sunday, Kelvyn Henry Cullimore, 
their son, had been sustained as a counselor in the 
Oklahoma Stake presidency. Their older daughter, 
Luella, is the wife of Bishop H. Dale Payne of the 
Calgary 3rd Ward, Calgary North Stake. Their 
younger daughter, Nancy, will be graduated from 
BYU this June. 

"We have lived away from Utah a long time," states 
Elder Cullimore, a giant of a man by spiritual and 
all other measurements. "But it has been a choice 
experience. It has been a challenge to all of us, all 
of the time, to live up to our standards." 

The Improvement Era joins the Church in welcom- 
ing Elder Cullimore to his new calling. The church 
membership will truly be enriched and blessed as he 
meets with them in their stake conferences and in his 
other assignments. 



JUNE 1966 



489 





Hi 

■ w ill " 


O 

1 


■ .■ ■ ■ '■■.-. 




'■' ':.•■'■■■■■■. ■•• , 


^ '111, 


jy jfi^j.-.. a.: ■'VISES' Et^SSfir^ * 


Ml' * 

* 


^'^p jM 1 - 



136th Annual GENERAL 



Address delivered Saturday Morning, April 9, 1966 



The Reality of the Resurrection 

President David 0. McKay 



". . . Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, 
which was crucified: he is risen; he is 
not here: behold the place where they 
laid him." (Mark 16:6.) 

• My dear brethren and sisters, I com- 
mend to all the excellent sermon just 
delivered by one of the Presiding 
Bishopric of the Church, Bishop Simp- 
son. I am grateful and happy to meet 
with you and worship with you this 
morning in this historic building in a 



general conference of the Church. 

I extend greetings and my blessings 
to you and to our vast audience of 
members and friends who are tuned in 
by radio and television. It is a joy and 
a privilege to be associated with you in 
this great latter-day work. 

As I stand before you to give you a 
message regarding the resurrection of 
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I pray 
for the blessings of the Lord, that he 
might uphold me, and that he may 



enlighten our minds to see, and touch 
our hearts to feel more deeply than 
mere words can denote the significance 
of this message. 

Throughout Christendom we arc 
celebrating, this Eastertide, the great- 
est event of all history — the literal 
resurrection of Jesus Christ. For over 
four thousand years, man had looked 
into the grave and had seen only the 
end of life. Of all the millions who 
had entered therein, not one person 



490 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




CONFERENCE -April 1966 



had ever returned as a resurrected, im- 
mortal being. "There was in all 
earth's area, not one empty grave. No 
human heart believed; no human voice 
declared that there was such a grave — 
a grave robbed by the power of a 
Victor stronger than man's great enemy, 
Death." 

It was, therefore, a new and glorious 
message that the angel gave to the 
women who fearfully and lovingly had 
approached the sepulcher in which 
Jesus had been buried: ". . . Ye seek 
Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: 
he is risen; he is not here: behold the 
place where they laid him." (Mark 
16:6.) 

If a miracle is a supernatural event 
whose antecedent forces are beyond 
man's finite wisdom, then the resur- 
rection of Jesus Christ is the most 



stupendous miracle of all time. In it 
stand revealed the omnipotence of God 
and the immortality of man. 

The resurrection is a miracle, how- 
ever, only in the sense that it is 
beyond man's comprehension and 
understanding. To all who accept it as 
fact, it is but a manifestation of a 
uniform law of life. Because man does 
not understand the law, he calls it a 
miracle. There are many people who 
reject the reality of the resurrection of 
Jesus. They believe, or profess to be- 
lieve, in the teachings of Christ, but 
do not believe in the virgin birth, nor 
in his literal resurrection from the 
grave; yet, this latter fact was the very 
foundation of the early Christian 
church. Even some of the religious 
leaders of the present day are claiming 
that Jesus is dead. 



Someday man's enlightenment may 
bring the momentous event of the 
resurrection out of the dusk of mystery 
into the broad day of understanding. 

Just recently a scientist, in speaking 
before a university audience, said, 
"Man has only begun the search. I 
cannot stop being amazed and reverent 
at the wonders of the Universe around 
me. It is hard to imagine that this 
just happened without the intervention 
of a power beyond man's comprehen- 
sion. Anyone who denies the existence 
of a power beyond man's specific 
knowledge, lacks the necessary humil- 
ity and objectivity which is vital for 
good scientific work." (Dr. Elie A. 
Shneour, quoted in Church News, 
March 12, 1966.) 

Establish it as a fact that Christ did 
take up his body and appeared as a 



JUNE 1966 



491 



glorified, resurrected being, and you 
answer the question of the ages: "If a 
man die, shall he live again?" (Job 
14:14.) 

That the literal resurrection of 
Christ from the grave was a reality to 
the disciples who knew him intimately 
is a certainty. In their minds there 
was absolutely no doubt. They were 
witnesses of the fact; they knew be- 
cause their eyes beheld, their ears 
heard, their hands felt the corporeal 
presence of the risen Redeemer. 

Peter, the chief apostle, on the occa- 
sion when the eleven had met to 
choose one to take the place of Judas 
Iscariot, said, "Wherefore of these 
men . . . must one be ordained to be a 
witness with us of his resurrection." 
(Acts 1:21, 22.) 

It always interests me to study about 
the class of men who surrounded the 
apostles at that time, from whom the 
apostles chose this special witness. 
They were men who had been "wit- 
nesses" of the resurrection. Only such 
a one was considered eligible and 
worthy to be chosen as one of the 
Twelve Apostles. 

On another occasion Peter declared 
before their enemies, the very men who 
had put Jesus to death on the cross: 
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words. . . . 
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof 
we all are witnesses." (Acts 2:22, 32.) 

Of the value and significance of the 
nearness and intimacy of the authors 
of the epistles, the author Beverly 
Nichols writes: 

"[They] were within hailing dis- 
tance, historically, of Christ; at any 
rate, when their ideas, which they 
afterwards transmitted to paper, were 
formed. The winds had hardly had 
time to efface the sacred print of his 
steps in the sands over which He 
walked. The rain had hardly had 
time to wash away, with its callous 
tears, the blood from the rotting wood 
of the deserted cross. 

"Yet these men knew — I can't go on 
using the word 'believe,' which is far 
too vapid and colourless — that God 
had descended to earth in the shape 
of a certain man, that this man had 
met an obscene and clownish death, 
and that the grotesque mode of his 
dying had redeemed mankind from 
sin. They knew, moreover, that He 
had risen from the dead on the third 
day and ascended into heaven." 
(Beverly Nichols, The Fool Hath 
Said [New York: Doubleday, 1936], 
pp. 56-57.) 

Nearness to the event gives increased 
value to the evidence given by the 
apostles. A deeper value of their 
testimony lies in the fact that with 
Jesus' death the apostles were stricken 
with discouragement and gloom. For 
two and one-half years they had been 
upheld and inspired by Christ's pres- 
ence. But now he was gone. They 
were left alone, and they seemed con- 



fused and helpless. Not with timidity, 
not with feelings of doubt, gloom, and 
discouragement is a skeptical world 
made to believe. Such wavering, 
despairing minds as the apostles pos- 
sessed on the day of the crucifixion 
could never have stirred people to 
accept an unpopular belief and to die 
martyrs to the cause. 

What, then, was it that suddenly 
changed these disciples to confident, 
fearless, heroic preachers of the gospel 
of Jesus Christ? It was the revelation 
that Christ had risen from the grave. 
"His promises had been kept, His Mes- 
sianic mission fulfilled." 

I urge all within the sound of my 
voice to consider carefully the testi- 
monies of these eyewitnesses as re- 
corded in the New Testament, whose 
honesty is not questioned even by 
skeptical criticism. 

That the spirit of man passes tri- 
umphantly through the portals of 
death into everlasting life is one of 
the glorious messages given by Christ, 
our Redeemer. To him this earthly 
career is but a day and its closing but 
the setting of life's sun. Death, but a 
sleep, is followed by a glorious awaken- 
ing in the morning of an eternal 
realm. When Mary and Martha saw 
their brother only as a corpse in the 
dark and silent tomb, Christ saw him 
still a living being. This fact he ex- 
pressed in the two words: ". . . Lazarus 
sleepeth. . . ." (John 11:11.) 

If everyone participating in Easter 
services knew that the crucified Christ 
actually rose on the third day — that 
after having greeted others and min- 
gled with others in the spirit world, 
his spirit did again reanimate his 
pierced body, and after sojourning 
among men for the space of forty 
days, he ascended a glorified soul to 
his Father — what benign peace would 
come to souls now troubled with doubt 
and uncertainty! 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Lat- 
ter-day Saints stands with Peter, with 
Paul, with James, and with all the 
other early apostles who accepted the 
resurrection not only as being literally 
true, but as the consummation of 
Christ's divine mission on earth. 

Eighteen hundred years after Jesus 
died upon the cross, the Prophet Joseph 
Smith declared that the risen Lord ap- 
peared to him, saying: "... I saw two 
Personages, whose brightness and glory 
defy all description, standing above me 
in the air. One of them spake unto 
me, calling me by name and said, 
pointing to the other — This is My 
Beloved Son. Hear Him!" (Joseph 
Smith 2:17.) 

Later, speaking of the reality of this 
vision, he testifies as follows: "... I 
had seen a vision; I knew it, and I 
knew that God knew it, and I could 
not deny it, neither dared I do it; at 
least I knew that by so doing I would 
offend God, and come under condem- 



nation." (Joseph Smith 2:25.) 

If Joseph Smith's testimony stood 
alone, it would be, as Christ said of 
his testimony when he spoke of him- 
self, of no avail; but Jesus had God's 
testimony and that of the apostles. And 
Joseph Smith had other witnesses 
whose testimonies cannot be ques- 
tioned. Three witnesses corroborated 
Joseph Smith's testimony, the truth of 
which was made known by the appear- 
ance to them of the Angel Moroni. 

Confirming the irrefutable testimony 
of Christ's early apostles, The Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
proclaims the glorious vision of the 
Prophet Joseph Smith: 

"And now, after the many testi- 
monies which have been given of him, 
this is the testimony, last of all, which 
we give of him: That he lives! 

"For we saw him, even on the right 
hand of God; and we heard the voice 
bearing record that he is the Only 
Begotten of the Father — 

"That by him, and through him, and 
of him, the worlds are and were cre- 
ated, and the inhabitants thereof are 
begotten sons and daughters unto 
God." (D&C 76:22-24.) 

In the light of such unimpeachable 
testimonies as given by the ancient 
apostles — testimonies dating from a 
few years subsequent to the event itself 
— in the light of that most marvelous 
revelation in this age of the living 
Christ, it seems difficult indeed to 
understand how men can still reject 
him and can doubt the immortality of 
man. 

An unwavering faith in Christ is 
the most important need of the world 
today. It is more than a mere feeling. 
It is power that moves into action, 
and should be in human life the most 
basic of all motivating forces. 

It was in this sense that an eminent 
doctor of medicine, who had but 
recently lost his mother in death, 
admonished his students to keep their 
faith. Said he, "Those of you who have 
discarded faith will live to regret it. 
There are times such as this when you 
lose a loved one by death that science 
is entirely inadequate. I commend you 
to think seriously about these matters. 
They give comfort and solace which 
can be obtained in no other way. Many 
have discarded religion because it ap- 
pears unscientific. I believe you will 
find in the last analysis that Faith is 
scientific." 

There is no cause to fear death; it 
is but an incident in life. It is as 
natural as birth. Why should we fear 
it? Some fear it because they think 
it is the end of life, and life often is 
the dearest thing we have. Eternal life 
is man's greatest blessing. 

If only men would "do his will," 
instead of looking hopelessly at the 
dark and gloomy tomb, they would 
turn their eyes heavenward and know 
that Christ is risen! 



492 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



No man can accept the resurrection 
and be consistent in his belief without 
accepting also the existence of a per- 
sonal God. Through the resurrection 
Christ conquered death and became 
an immortal soul. "My Lord and my 
God" (John 20:28) was not merely an 
idle exclamation of Thomas when he 
beheld his risen Lord. Once we accept 
Christ as divine, it is easy to visualize 
his Father as being just as personal as 
he; for, said Jesus, ". . . he that hath 
seen me hath seen the Father. . . ." 
(John 14:9.) 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- 
day Saints declares to all the world 
that Christ is the Son of God, the 
Redeemer of the world! No true fol- 
lower is satisfied to accept him merely 
as a great reformer, the ideal teacher, 
or even as the one perfect man. The 
Man of Galilee is — not figuratively, but 
literally — the Son of the living God. 

Belief in the resurrection connotes 
also the immortality of man. Jesus 
passed through all the experiences of 
mortality just as you and I. He knew 
happiness, he experienced pain. He 
rejoiced as well as sorrowed with 
others. He knew friendship. He ex- 
perienced, also, the sadness that comes 
through traitors and false accusers. He 
died a mortal death even as you will. 
Since Christ lived after death, so shall 
you, and so shall I, and so shall your 
soldier boy who gives his life on the 
battlefield. 

Jesus was the one perfect man who 
ever lived. In rising from the dead, he 
conquered death and is now Lord of 
the earth. How utterly weak, how 
extremely foolish is he who would 
willfully reject Christ's way of life, 
especially in the light of the fact that 
such rejection leads only to unhappi- 
ness, misery, and even to death! 

No man can sincerely resolve to ap- 
ply in his daily life the teachings of 
Jesus of Nazareth without sensing a 
change in his whole being. The 
phrase "born again" has a deeper sig- 
nificance than what many people 
attach to it. This changed feeling 
may be indescribable, but it is real. 
Happy is the person who has truly 
sensed the uplifting, transforming 
power that comes from this nearness 
to the Savior, this kinship to the living 
Christ. I am thankful that I know 
that Christ is my Redeemer. 

When Christians throughout the 
world have this faith coursing in their 
veins, when they feel a loyalty in their 
hearts to the Resurrected Christ and to 
the principles connoted thereby, man- 
kind will have taken the first great 
step toward the perpetual peace for 
which we daily are praying. Reject 
him and the world will be filled with 
hatred and drenched in blood by re- 
curring wars. 

Members of the Church of Christ are 
under obligation to make the sinless 
Son of Man their ideal. He is the one 



perfect being who ever walked the 
earth; the sublimest example of nobil- 
ity; godlike in nature; perfect in his 
love; our Redeemer; our Savior; the 
immaculate Son of our Eternal Father; 
the Light, the Life, the Way. 

As Christ lives after death, so shall 
all men, each taking that place in the 
next world for which he is best fitted. 

The message of the resurrection, 
therefore, is the most comforting, the 
most glorious ever given to man, for 
when death takes a loved one from us, 



our sorrowing hearts are assuaged by 
the hope and divine assurance ex- 
pressed in the words: "He is not here; 
he is risen!" 

With all my soul I know that death 
is conquered by Jesus Christ, and be- 
cause our Redeemer lives, so shall we. 
I bear you witness that he does live. 
I know it, and I hope you know that 
divine truth. 

May all mankind some day have 
that faith, I pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



Sunday Morning Session, April 10, 1966 



"He Lives-All Glory to His Name" 

President Hugh B. Brown 
Of the First Presidency 



• Many of the speakers during this 
conference have referred to the cele- 
bration of Easter and the resurrection 
of the Lord. Yesterday the President 
of the Church preached a powerful 
sermon on the fact of the resurrection 
of Christ. This morning we join with 
millions of people throughout the 
world in celebrating Easter in com- 
memoration of this miraculous event. 
This is a time when we should re- 
examine and reaffirm our faith and 
rededicate our lives to Christ's service. 

His birth into mortality and the de- 
tails of his death and resurrection are 
well-attested facts of history. In addi- 
tion to the New Testament story of 
these miraculous events, the scriptures, 
both old and new, abound with in- 
spired predictions concerning his sec- 
ond coming. 

Let us examine the basis of our faith 
as it is to be found in the Holy Bible 
and other sacred records and attempt 
to evaluate and coordinate the ante- 
mortal, the mortal, and the postmortal 
life of this transcendent personage. 

The Apostle John tells us that the 
Word — which he identifies as the 
Savior — was with God in the begin- 
ning. This is a precise and unam- 
biguous declaration, not only that he 
was with God in the beginning, but 
that he himself was invested with the 
powers and rank of godship and that 
he came into the world and dwelt 
among men. He was the Creator of 
'all that is. 

Jesus himself frequently referred to 
the fact of his preexistence. For ex- 
ample, he said, "For I came down from 
heaven, not to do mine own will, but 
the will of him that sent me." (John 
6:38.) 

And then in that greatest of all 
prayers, recorded in John 17:5, we find 
the poignant plea: "And now, O 
Father, glorify thou me with thine 
own self with the glory which I had 



with thee before the world was." 

At another time he chidingly spoke 
to his uncomprehending followers and 
said: "Doth this offend you? 

"What and if ye shall see the Son 
of man ascend up where he was 
before?" (John 6:61-62.) 

These and other proofs of Christ's 
preexistence confirm our faith that all 
men had a spiritual existence before 
mortal birth and that the souls of all 
men are immortal. Obviously, if the 
spirit had an existence before the body 
was created, that spirit is capable of 
independent existence after the body 
dies. 

The fact that he came forth from 
the tomb with spirit and body reunited 
was positively stated and demonstrated 
by the risen Lord when he appeared 
to his amazed apostles and said, ". . . 
handle me, and see; for a spirit hath 
not flesh and bones, as ye see me 
have." (Luke 24:39.) 

This gives divine assurance that we 
too, through his atoning sacrifice, shall 
partake of the blessings of the resur- 
rection. Hearken to his promise when 
he said, 

"I am the resurrection, and the life: 
he that believeth in me, though he 
were dead, yet shall he live: 

"And whosoever liveth and believeth 
in me shall never die. . . ." (John 
11:25-26.) 

And again, "For God so loved the 
world, that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in him 
should not perish, but have everlast- 
ing life." (John 3:16.) 

In these times of uncertainty, con- 
flict, chaos, and confusion, where there 
is unprovoked aggression, attempted 
subjugation, and enslavement, when 
people are being denied their freedom 
and their liberties, and especially 
when whole nations of men, including 
some of the clergy, pride themselves 
on their atheism, deny the existence of 



JUNE 1966 



493 



God, speak of Christ as a myth and of 
religion as an opiate, when increasing 
numbers of men are declaring that 
God is dead and others are asking 
whether he in fact ever lived — in times 
like these we must reexamine and re- 
emphasize our faith in Jesus the Christ, 
the Son of God, and conform our lives 
to his teachings and emulate his 
matchless example. 

Indicative of the lack of faith, the 
confused and muddled thinking, and 
the dangerous teachings of some re- 
ligious leaders, I quote from the Feb- 
ruary 22, 1966, issue of Look magazine 
(pp. 25-29): 

"Last September, the Protestant 
Episcopal Bishop of California left on 
sabbatical for Cambridge University in 
England 'to find out what I really do 
believe.' . . . 

"What he believes is hardly typical 
of a bishop. 'I've jettisoned the Trinity, 
the Virgin Birth and the Incarnation,' 
he told Look in his Cambridge flat 
recently. . . . 

"The inquiry has inevitably led the 
Bishop to the enigma of Christ Him- 
self. He sees Him not as Jesus among 
the lilies in a stained-glass window, 
but as a country carpenter turned 
itinerant preacher for three powerful 
years. . . . 

"Cambridge University, where [the] 
Bishop ... is staying, is the womb of 
what has been proclaimed — and con- 
demned — as the 'new theology.' ... Its 
innovators, mainly Cambridge dons, 
are reacting to a society throttled by 
secularism. Only ten percent of the 
English attend church. . . . 

" 'The old theology starts with the 
divinity of Christ and tries to explain 
how God became man. The new 
theology starts with the only indisput- 
able fact — that Christ was man — and 
tries to show how God acted through 
Him uniquely.' " 

We reaffirm our faith in the Bible 
as the word of God. We believe in its 



teachings, its doctrines, its definitions, 
and its revelations of an omnipotent, 
omnipresent, and omniscient God. The 
fact that man was created in his 
image confirms our faith that he is a 
living and personal God. He is our 
Eternal Father, the God of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob, the Jehovah of the 
Old Testament, and the promised 
Messiah. 

We proclaim the preexistence and 
divine nature of Jesus the Christ, the 
purpose of his earth life, the reality of 
his resurrection and ascension, and the 
certainty of his second coming as eter- 
nal and well-attested truths and 
prophetic promises. They have illu- 
minating and inspiring significance for 
our troubled world. They are our 
heritage from the Judeo-Christian 
world, clarified and amplified by mod- 
ern revelation. 

They are relevant to our time. This 
is an age of conflict of ideology, a time 
of ferment in technology, a period of 
startling and revolutionary progress in 
science — an era when at last the means 
lie at hand to free mankind from the 
ancient shackles of pain and hunger, 
fear and war. But the true crisis of 
our times lies at a deeper level. All 
this freedom and so-called elbowroom 
only thrusts upon us with additional 
force the fundamental issues of our 
faith. 

There must be a reaffirmation of the 
truths concerning the fatherhood of 
God, the godhood of Christ, and the 
brotherhood of man — truths for which 
the Savior lived and died. Brotherhood 
—love of God and fellowmen — will 
make men free and establish peace in 
a world that is threatened with a 
devastating and final war. 

The truculent and blasphemous at- 
tempts of the Communists to erase 
Christ from their literature and to 
expunge all memory of him from the 
hearts and minds of men must fail, 
for as God made man in his own 




The fish-eye lens 
captures the com- 
plete world of 
conference — held in 
the Tabernacle 
since 1867. 



image, so his image is indelibly 
stamped upon the souls of men, and 
instinctively they know that they are 
the immortal sons of God, predestined 
to be free. This inborn conviction 
accounts for the courageous and undis- 
courageable resiliency of many perse- 
cuted people. 

The challenge of evil leading 
inevitably to chaos, confusion, and 
defeat tends to make the relevance of 
Christ's life and message more ap- 
parent, the application of his divine 
teachings more urgent, and eventual 
victory beyond question. 

As Paul said, the time would come 
when "every knee should bow . . . 

"And that every tongue should con- 
fess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the 
glory of God the Father." (Phil. 
2:10-11.) 

A comprehensive knowledge of 
prophecy (which is but history fore- 
told) and of history (which is often 
prophecy fulfilled) confirms the fact 
that God lives. From Genesis to 
Revelation, the Bible contains the 
continuing story of God's dealings with 
his universal family, his begotten 
children. 

Christ came to earth and glorified 
the Father, finished the work that was 
given him to do, and at the end asked 
only that he be glorified with the 
Father with the glory that he had 
with him before the world was. (John 
17:3-5.) 

Christians everywhere should be- 
lieve and be guided by the revelations 
of God given through his prophets, 
whether on the eastern hemisphere or 
in the western world. The peoples in 
the western world are they to whom 
he referred as "other sheep I have, 
which are not of this fold: them also 
I must bring, and they shall hear my 
voice; and there shall be one fold, and 
one shepherd." (John 10:16.) 

The United States of America and 
her allies have been forced to take up 
arms in defense of liberty and freedom. 
The scriptures, both ancient and mod- 
ern, justify defending the liberties and 
freedom of ourselves and our weaker 
neighbors. 

The various presidents of the United 
States, regardless of party, have de- 
clared that we have no desire for 
territorial gain or acquisition nor the 
subjugation of weaker nations. We 
stand for freedom and liberty for all, 
together with the right of untrammeled 
self-determination — all in the interest 
of permanent world peace. 

The President of the United States 
recently restated and underlined this 
policy and disclaimed any intent on 
the part of the United States to gain 
empire, bases, or dominion. This is in 
strict harmony with the word of God 
given to ancient prophets, some of 
whom were kings, generals, and leaders 
of armies. 

We concur in what was said by 



494 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



one of them on the subject of freedom, 
as recorded in Alma 61:14: 

"Therefore, ... let us resist evil, and 
whatsoever evil we cannot resist with 
our words, yea, such as rebellions and 
dissensions, let us resist them with our 
swords, that we may retain our free- 
dom, that we may rejoice in . . . the 
cause of our Redeemer and our God." 

The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches 
the universality of God's concern for 
men and that obedience is a universal 
and fundamental law of progress, both 
temporal and spiritual. The aristoc- 
racy of righteousness is the only 
aristocracy that God recognizes. This 
leaves no room for self-righteous ex- 
pressions in words or actions of being 
"holier than thou." There is a real 
unity in the human race, and all men 
have a right to equal consideration as 
human beings, regardless of their race, 
creed, or color. 

For any church, country, nation, or 
other group to believe that it is the 
only people in whom God is interested 
or that it has special merit because of 
color, race, or belief, that they are in- 
herently superior and loved by God, 
without regard to the lives they live, 
is not only a great and dangerous 
fallacy but is a continuing barrier to 
peace. This is demoralizing, whether 
it is the exploded and presumptuous 
myth of an Aryan race of supermen or 
disguised in more subtle forms. Let us 
steadfastly avoid such demoralizing 
arrogance. 

The most important problem facing 
us in working out a long-range 
program for peace is a tolerant and 
sympathetic understanding between 
races and creeds. As Thomas Bracken 
wrote: 

"O God, that men would see a little 
clearer, 

Or judge less harshly where they can- 
not see! 

O God, that men would draw a little 
nearer 

To one another! They'd be nearer 
Thee, 

And understood." 

("Not Understood. We Move Along 
Asunder," Latter-day Saint Hymns 
[1927], No. 352.) 

It is regrettable that very few people 
in the world are free from the idea 
that they and their people and race are 
superior. The people on this continent 
were instructed that they should not 
hiss nor spurn nor make game of any 
remnant of the house of Israel, "for 
behold, the Lord remembereth his 
covenant unto them, and he will do 
unto them according to that which 
he hath sworn." (3 Nephi 29:8.) 

We have fought two world wars 
and numerous other engagements to 
secure freedom and self-determination 
for ourselves and others, and yet we 




Panoramic view of the Temple, 
Ensign Peak, Utah State Capitol, 
Relief Society Building. At 
right is site of planned Church 
Administration Building. 



know the same old satanic forces are 
at work to destroy the peace and pros- 
perity of the human family. We can- 
not have peace in the world until we 
have tolerance and understanding. The 
happiness we seek can only be found 
in righteousness, for wickedness never 
was happiness. There is no leger- 
demain method of getting blessings. 

We are reminded by one of the 
prophets that if men die in their 
wickedness, they will be cast off as 
to things that are spiritual and must 
be brought to stand before God to be 
judged of their works. If their works 
have been filthiness, they must be 
filthy, and if they be filthy, it must 
be that they cannot dwell in the 
kingdom of God; there cannot be any 
unclean thing enter into that king- 
dom. (1 Ne. 15:33-34.) 

Having briefly considered then his 
preexistence, his mortal birth, his 
transcendent ministry, his crucifixion 
and miraculous resurrection and ascen- 
sion, let us look to the future: is his 
work finished or is he still active and 
interested in the affairs of men? will 
he appear again on this earth? 

The scriptures are replete with pre- 
dictions and warnings concerning this 
event, but time will permit us to refer 
to but few of them. 

Job said, "For I know that my re- 
deemer liveth, and that he shall stand 
at the latter day upon the earth. . . ." 
(Job 19:25.) 

And Isaiah promises, ". . . behold, 



your God will come with vengeance, 
even God with a recompense; he will 
come and save you." (Isa. 35.4.) 

In Malachi we read, "Behold, I will 
send my messenger, and he shall pre- 
pare the way before me: and the Lord, 
whom ye seek, shall suddenly come 
to his temple. . . ." (Mai. 3:1.) 

We find many references to his sec- 
ond coming in the New Testament. 
Near Bethany, at the time of the 
ascension of the Lord, a prediction was 
made by the angel: "Ye men of Gal- 
lilee, why stand ye gazing up into 
heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken 
up from you into heaven, shall so 
come in like manner as ye have seen 
him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11.) 

In Matthew 25:31 we read, "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. . . ." 

Luke tells us that great events shall 
precede his coming: "Nation shall rise 
against nation, and kingdom against 
kingdom: 

"Men's hearts [shall fail] them for 
fear, and for looking after those things 
which are coming on the earth: for 
the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 

"And then shall they see the Son 
of man coming in a cloud with power 
and great glory." (Luke 21:10, 26-27.) 

And the Apostle Paul tells us in 
Thessalonians 4:16, "For the Lord 
himself shall descend from heaven 
with a shout, with the voice of the 
archangel, and with the trump of God: 
and the dead in Christ shall rise 
first. . . ." 

The Savior himself on many occa- 
sions predicted his return to earth. In 
Matthew 16:27 we read, "For the Son 
of man shall come in the glory of his 
Father with his angels; and then he 
shall reward every man according to 
his works." 

After referring to the signs that 
would precede his coming, he said, 
"And then shall appear the sign of the 
Son of man in heaven: and then shall 
all the tribes of the earth mourn, and 
they shall see the Son of man coming 
in the clouds of heaven with power 
and great glory." (Matt. 24:30.) 

We humbly, but without any equiv- 
ocation, add our own witness to the 
testimonies of the apostles and prophets 
of old that God is not dead but is 
gloriously alive, and that Jesus Christ 
not only did live, but that he still 
lives, that he is a personal being, that 
he will triumphantly come again with 
his resurrected, glorified body still 
bearing the marks of the crucifixion. 

We humbly repeat what we often 
sing: "I know that my Redeemer lives! 
He lives, all glory to his name! He 
lives, my Savior still the same; O sweet 
the joy this sentence gives: 'I know 
that my Redeemer lives!' " to which 
I testify in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



JUNE 1366 



495 



Sunday Afternoon Session, April 10, 1966 



// 



He Is Not Dead" 



President N. Eldon Tanner 
Of the First Presidency 



• President McKay, my beloved col- 
leagues, brothers and sisters, and all 
who are listening in, it is with a deep 
feeling of humility that I stand before 
you in this great conference today and 
participate with you as we com- 
memorate the death and resurrection 
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, 
the Son of the living God. 

The inspiring talks we have heard 
and the lovely music to which we have 
listened and the beautiful spirit that 
has pervaded this whole conference, I 
am sure, have touched our hearts and 
helped us to appreciate the great sig- 
nificance and sacredness of this occa- 
sion that we are commemorating 
today. The most important and most 
significant of all events that have hap- 
pened in the history and life of man- 
kind are the birth, life, death, and 
resurrection of our Lord and Savior, 
Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten of 
God the Eternal Father. 

"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.) 

The scriptures give us an accurate 
and dramatic account of how Christ 
went about doing good, healing the 
sick, making the blind to see and the 
lame to walk; how he was persecuted, 
tried, and sentenced to death; how he 
was betrayed; the agony he suffered 
before he was actually hanged on the 
cross. Yet in spite of all persecution 
and suffering, he said as he was hanged 
on the cross: "Father, forgive them; 
for they know not what they do." 
(Luke 23:34.) 

And his last words before he died 
were: "Father, into thy hands I com- 
mend my spirit. . . ." (Luke 23:46.) 

As the women, through their love, 
came seeking Jesus at the tomb, the 
most glorious of all messages was given 
to them by the angel who said: "He is 
not here: for he is risen, as he said." 
(Matt. 28:6.) 

Then we have the irrefutable testi- 
monies of Peter and John and the 
other apostles and many others who 
saw him and talked to him after his 
resurrection and were instructed by 
him, both in the Old World and on 
this the American continent. 

I say to the world as the late Presi- 
dent J. Reuben Clark, Jr., said in his 
closing words to a large group of busi- 
ness leaders at a dinner given in his 
honor in New York City: 



"For us Christians he is the Christ, 
the Only Begotten Son of the Living 
God, the Creator under God, of the 
earth, the Redeemer of the world, our 
Savior, the First Fruits of the Resur- 
rection, which comes to all born into 
this earth, believer and unbeliever 
alike, the only name under heaven 
given among men, whereby we must 
be saved." (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Be- 
hold the Lamb of God, p. viii.) 

Today, while we in The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to- 
gether with millions of others through- 
out the world, believe in God the 
Eternal Father and in his Son, Jesus 
Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, there 
are those who are trying to convince 
the world that God is dead. Some 
claim to be Christians, yet atheists, 
and claim that God died in Christ. 

This theory is not new, but it is 
more serious and probably worthy of 
our attention because the argument is 
originating within Christendom and is 
being argued by intellectuals, theo- 
logians, teachers of the seminaries in 
universities, ministers, and bishops 
who preach it from the pulpit and 
perpetrate it in books and magazines. 

The seriousness of the claim that 
God is dead is also emphasized by 
conditions in the colleges in America 
today. In Cornell .University's Value 
Study, the researchers found little or 
no evidence of absolute conviction or 
adherence, and ended by calling 
student belief "secular religion." 

In the Weekly Religious Review, we 
read: "It is a serious theological mat- 
ter, though not without its comical 
aspects, all of a sudden seminary pro- 
fessors are popping up in every coun- 
try, it seems, saying: 'We simply must 
stop believing in God.' Faith, they say, 
wagging their heads at their students, 
is no longer possible." (Weekly Re- 
ligious Review, No. 266, November 19, 
1965, p. 1.) 

It is significant to note that many 
of America's colleges were originally 
founded by religious groups for re- 
ligious purposes. During most of the 
nineteenth century they were centers 
of religious activity, but in this century 
there has been a radical shift toward 
religious neutralism among academic 
leaders. Thus the student of tradi- 
tional faith may discover that his 
cherished convictions are ignored, dis- 
missed, and silenced or questioned by 
another standard of belief. Their de- 
cline in a secular environment, intel- 



lectually and morally, is rapid and 
not infrequently disastrous. 

In order to help our students meet 
this trend, The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints has the policy of 
establishing seminaries and institutes 
near every high school and university 
where there are sufficient of our stu- 
dents to justify it. I would encourage 
parents to have their children attend 
schools where these facilities are avail- 
able. These people who profess and 
promote the "God is dead" theory say 
that it is old-fashioned to believe in 
God and warn that unless Christians 
bring their faith into line with modern 
knowledge, Christian faith itself will 
be abandoned. Can you think of 
anything more abhorrent than to claim 
that we should seek to make God ac- 
ceptable to man rather than to try to 
bring man back to God? 

The promise given by God to Israel 
as found in Deuteronomy is worthy of 
our very careful attention: 

"But if from thence thou shalt seek 
the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, 
if thou seek him with all thy heart and 
with all thy soul. 

"When thou art in tribulation, and 
all these things are come upon thee, 
even in the latter days, if thou turn to 
the Lord thy God, and shalt be 
obedient unto his voice; 

". . . he will not forsake thee." 
(Deut. 4:29-31.) 

When you read the prayer offered 
by Jesus Christ in the Garden of Geth- 
semane, as he left his three apostles, 
"and he went a little further, and fell 
on his face, and prayed, saying, O my 
Father, if it be possible, let this cup 
pass from me: nevertheless not as I 
will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39), 
is there any doubt in your mind that 
he was talking to his Father, that he 
knew God lived? 

Then as he reported to his Father 
in that beautiful prayer recorded in 
John 17: "These words spake Jesus, 
and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and 
said, Father, the hour is come; glorify 
thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify 
thee: 

"As thou hast given him power over 
all flesh, that he should give eternal 
life to as many as thou hast given him. 

"And this is life eternal, that they 
might know thee the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast 
sent. 

"I have glorified thee on the earth: 
I have finished the work which thou 
gavest me to do. 

"And now, O Father, glorify thou 
me with thine own self with the glory 
which I had with thee before the 
world was." (John 17:1-5.) 

Can anyone believe in Christ, ac- 
cept his words, and doubt that God 
lives, that he stands ready to hear 
and answer prayers, and that he is 
the Father of Jesus Christ? 



496 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Let us consider Joseph Smith's own 
words as he tells of his experience 
when he went to God in prayer after 
reading in James: "If any of you lack 
wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth 
to all men liberally, and upbraideth 
not; and it shall be given him." (Jas. 
1:5.) 

Joseph says: "At length I came to the 
conclusion that I must either remain in 
darkness and confusion, or else I must 
do as James directs, that is, ask of God. 
I at length came to the determination 
to ask of God, concluding that if he 
gave wisdom to them that lacked wis- 
dom, and would give liberally, and 
not upbraid, I might venture. 

"So, in accordance with this, my 
determination to ask of God, I retired 
to the woods to make the attempt." 
(Joseph Smith 2:13-14.) 

As a result of this earnest and sin- 
cere prayer, he had a visitation that 
gave further evidence in this dispensa- 
tion of the reality of the Father and 
the Son. He records: "When the light 
rested upon me I saw two Personages, 
whose brightness and glory defy all 
description, standing above me in the 
air. One of them spake unto me, 
calling me by name and said, point- 
ing to the other — This is My Beloved 
Son. Hear Him!" (Joseph Smith 2:17.) 

In spite of all these examples of the 
force of prayer, much doubt seems to 
exist in the world today; therefore, it 
is evident that somewhere along the 
line the churches have lost touch with 
the twentieth century. Could this be 
because they have lost touch with God 
and have been led by blind guides? If 
so, there is good reason, as all seem to 
agree, why the old forms must be 
changed and for us to return to God. 

To help us understand how preva- 
lent this need is and how important 
it is for all people individually to 
acknowledge and return to God, I 
should like to refer to one source of 
evidence that might be helpful. 

During the last decade, an average 
of about 10,000 young men have been 
acting full-time in a religious peace 
corps throughout the world. They are 
our Mormon missionaries. They spend 
a good part of every day in person 
to person contact with all the 
world's culture — the churched, the un- 
churched, the high and the low, the 
Christian and the non-Christian. They 
meet "millions of people in their 
homes and in makeshift settings, at 
which time they discuss God and 
prayer. 

As these missionaries kneel with 
their new-found friends in prayer and 
teach them to pray, they pour out their 
hearts to the Lord in all humility. 
They find that prayer has become as 
meaningless to many people as the 
purpose of life has become meaning- 
less. They find that few pray in any 
satisfying or in any effective way. They 



find that very few have any form of 
family prayer. It is appalling to find 
how few people feel that they are 
really praying to a living God or have 
any clear expectation of what the re- 
sult might be. In fact, if they believe 
in God, they admit they believe in a 
kind of God and in a kind of re- 
ligiousness, but to actually talk to God 
is foreign to them. 

Many say: "Praying is listening to 
music or responding to nature." 

Others say: "I have my own kind of 
prayer." 

And still others say: "Prayer at its 
best is just silence — seeking nothing, 
expecting nothing." 

The most difficult problem the mis- 
sionaries have is to get the people 
whom they are trying to teach to kneel 
down and actually pray with them. 
This attitude toward prayer is clearly 
pointed out in a report of a recent 
survey of one of the outstanding centers 
of religion in the United States. 

All of the students here are preparing 
either for teaching or ministerial 
careers in religion. The survey showed 
that only 9 percent of them reported 
having any significant prayer life. 
The others said "None" or "Almost 
none," yet all said they were deeply 
religious and cared to help others be- 
come so. 

If these cases are typical, one must 
come to the conclusion that the world 
has reached the point at which they 
think of God, whatever God is, as a 
kind of being who makes prayer mean- 
ingless, or something to which one 
cannot go for guidance, strength, and 
comfort. 

These Mormon missionaries of 
whom I spoke have had some very out- 
standing and encouraging experiences 
with those who have learned to pray 
to a living God. They have seen hun- 
dreds of thousands of them come alive 
to reality. 



One outstanding businessman, when 
asked how he happened to become in- 
terested in the Church, said to me 
personally: "When I knelt with those 
boys and heard them pray, I knew 
that they knew to whom they were 
speaking." He went on to say that as 
he became interested, he too began to 
pray to a living God and proved with- 
out doubt the statement of Moroni 
wherein he said: 

"And when ye shall receive these 
things, I would exhort you that ye 
would ask God, the Eternal Father, 
in the name of Christ, if these things 
are not true; and if ye shall ask with 
a sincere heart, with real intent, hav- 
ing faith in Christ, he will manifest 
the truth of it unto you, by the power 
of the Holy Ghost." (Moro. 10:4.) 

Nothing can bring a greater feeling 
of joy and peace and satisfaction and 
security to us than to know that God 
is present and interested in us. This 
changes the outlook and the lives of 
the people when they have discovered 
or rediscovered that prayer is a vital, 
vibrant link. Then their lives be- 
come meaningful, and the change is 
evident to all. 

As these people who now know 
through prayer that God lives try to 
explain their attitude toward prayer 
before they met the missionaries, it 
brings us to one conclusion, and that 
is that men were deadened toward 
God, and not that God is dead. Until 
they are conscious of a living God to 
whom they can go, the gospel means 
very little to them. 

The issue, then, becomes quite clear; 
that it is not what kind of God man 
can believe in, but what kind of man 
does the living God reach. One able 
theologian makes this profound state- 
ment: 

"It may be that the funeral that is 
now being held in some churches is 
not for a God who had died, but for 




Popular meeting 
place of old ac- 
quaintances is 
Seagull Monument. 
This year's weather, 
despite a few tradi- 
tional conference 
showers, allowed 
much between- 
session mingling. 



JUNE 1966 



497 




a God who was never alive, whom it 
was blasphemy to worship, and is now 
folly to mourn. Before such a God 
one can pray himself to death — in 
vain." 

For those who have been worshiping 
an unknown God, or idols of some 
kind or other, the crumbling of these 
gods or idols may be a good thing, 
providing the worshipers can see be- 
yond the idols. It may be that our 
cultures in the twentieth century are 
so sick and tired of false prophets that 
many are not interested in or capable 
of listening to true ones and, in fact, 
not capable of acknowledging that 
there ever were true prophets. There- 
fore, they feel no relationship to God 
and no need of calling on him. This 
in itself is a most serious situation 
indeed. 

There surely can be no real com- 
fort in what is called an atheistic re- 
ligion. Imagine a religion in which 
one can only think of a God who is 
formless, faceless, and heartless, who 
makes no demands, who has no con- 
sequences, who takes no role in any of 
the real battles of life except (as some 
kind of metaphysical Atlas) to provide 
the ground of battle. 

What can a man expect of God, 
or how can he expect God to reach 
him, if he is convinced that the only 
proof of God's reality is his total ab- 
sence or if he has a hundred reasons 
why divine revelation, if it came, 
would not be divine and not be 
revelation? 

In referring to these conditions in 
the world today, the eloquent Rabbi 
Abraham Joshua Heschel says: 

"I speak as a person who is often 
afraid and terribly alarmed lest God 
has turned away from us in disgust 
and even deprived us of the power to 
understand his word. Some of us are 
like patients in the state of final agony, 
who scream in delirium: The doctor 
is dead! The doctor is dead!" (Union 
Theological Seminary Quarterly, Jan- 
uary 1966.) 

In order for life to have a purpose, 
and for us to know where we came 



from and why we are here and what 
our future might hold,, it is necessary 
that we be willing to admit the possi- 
bility that God does exist, that his 
absence is not his will, but our lack 
of will or our unwillingness to reach, 
to listen, and to respond. 

All down through the ages the 
prophets have borne testimony that 
they have talked with God, that they 
have received instructions and been 
led by him. This applies to prophets 
in varying conditions, in different 
countries, and at different times, in- 
cluding our own. Also, hundreds of 
thousands of individuals scattered 
throughout the world today can and 
do bear testimony that their prayers 
have been answered in many ways. 

What a beautiful sight and experi- 
ence and what a great privilege and 
blessing it is for a family to kneel 
down together in family prayer and 
talk to God, knowing that he is there, 
that he will hear and answer their 
prayers. The value of such a prayer 
and the influence it has on the indi- 
viduals who kneel in that prayer, from 
the father and mother to the youngest 
child, cannot be measured. 

I remember so well as we knelt 
in family prayer how Father used to 
talk to the Lord as one man would 
talk to another, how he expressed his 
gratitude for his blessings, and how he 
prayed for the welfare of his family, 
and how he pled for wisdom and 
knowledge and courage and strength 
for all of us to do the right. 

He who made us wants us to suc- 
ceed and stands ready to answer the 
call. As the Lord said, 'Ask, and it 
shall be given you; seek, and ye shall 
find; knock, and it shall be opened 
unto you. . . ." (Matt. 7:7.) 

But as President McKay said at 
October conference, you must knock, 
you must ask, and you must seek. The 
question as to whom can the Lord 
reach may be answered in the follow- 
ing description given by a young man 
of a prayer offered by another man. 
He said: 

"I had heard men and women pray 



[before] . . . from the most ignorant, 
both as to letters and intellect, to the 
most learned and eloquent, but never 
until then had I heard a man address 
his Maker as though He was present 
listening as a kind father would listen 
to the sorrows of a dutiful child. [He] 
was at that time unlearned, but that 
prayer, ... to my humble mind, par- 
took of the learning and eloquence of 
heaven. There was no ostentation, 
no raising of the voice as by enthusi- 
asm, but a plain conversational tone, 
as a man would address a present 
friend. It appeared to me as though, 
in case the veil were taken away, I 
could see the Lord standing facing His 
humblest of all servants I had ever 
seen. Whether this was really the case 
I cannot say; but one thing I can say, 
it was the crowning, so to speak, of all 
the prayers I ever heard." 

This is a description of Joseph Smith 
by Daniel Tyler, then in his teens, 
on hearing Joseph, age 30, in Kirtland, 
Ohio. (The Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 
27, pp. 127-8.) 

Prophets, whether in ancient or 
modern times, prayed to a God who 
was alive. For them he is alive and 
present. He acts, he moves, he in- 
forms, he intervenes. He transmits 
knowledge and power. He is not just 
ultimate, he is intimate. He is a 
person. He is a jealous God. 

I should like to bear my personal 
testimony to everyone under the sound 
of my voice today that I know as I 
know I live that God lives, that he 
does hear and answer prayers. When 
as members of the First Presidency and 
Council of the Twelve we meet in 
the temple and join in prayer, he who 
is mouth actually speaks to the Lord, 
expressing our gratitude, our concern, 
asking for strength and wisdom and in- 
spiration. And I wish to bear 
testimony that I have seen these 
prayers answered many times. 

I know of no greater blessing that I 
enjoy than to know that I can go to 
God the Eternal Father in humble 
prayer, knowing that he is there as a 
living, personal God. I appeal to all 
of you who have any doubt in your 
mind that you accept the words of 
Jesus Christ himself and of the 
prophets of every dispensation who 
have said that God lives, that he is 
the Creator of mankind, in whose 
image we are made. Through ac- 
cepting the gospel as given by Jesus 
Christ and in going to God in all 
humility, our prayers will be answered, 
our success will be greater, our lives 
will be happier; and through the resur- 
rection of Jesus Christ we may go 
forward confidently toward immortal- 
ity and eternal lives into the presence 
of God the Eternal Father. 

May we all prepare ourselves for 
these blessings, I pray in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. 



498 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Wednesday Morning Session, April 6, 1966 



The Signs of the Lord's Coming 

President Joseph Fielding Smith 
Of the First Presidency and President of the Council of the Twelve 



• My dear brethren and sisters, I am 
very thankful to be here with you at 
this, the 136th Annual General Con- 
ference of The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints, and I pray that 1 
shall say something that will be for 
the upbuilding of the kingdom of our 
Father and for the benefit of those who 
are listening. I would like to speak on 
"The Signs of the Lord's Coming," and 
I pray that he will direct me in what 
I say. 

Many things have taken place dur- 
ing the past one hundred and thirty- 
six years to impress faithful members 
of the Church with the fact that the 
coming of the Lord is near. The gos- 
pel has been restored. The Church 
has been fully organized. The priest- 
hood has been conferred upon man. 
The various dispensations from the be- 
ginning have been revealed and their 
keys and authorities given to the 
Church. Israel has been and is being 
gathered to the land of Zion. The Jews 
are returning to Jerusalem. The gospel 
is being preached in all the world as 
a witness to every nation. Temples are 
being built, and ordinance work for the 
dead, as well as for the living, is per- 
formed in them. The hearts of the chil- 
dren have turned to their fathers, and 
the children are seeking after their 
dead. The covenants which the Lord 
promised to make with Israel in the 
latter days have been revealed, and 
thousands of gathered Israel have en- 
tered into them. Thus the work of the 
Lord is advancing, and all these things 
are signs of the near approach of our 
Lord. 

Jesus said the Jews would be scat- 
tered among all nations and Jerusalem 
would be trodden down by the Gen- 
tiles until the times of the Gentiles 
were fulfilled. (Luke 21:24.) The 
prophecy in Section 45, verses 24-29, 
of the Doctrine and Covenants regard- 
ing the Jews was literally fulfilled. 
Jerusalem, which was trodden down by 
the Gentiles, is no longer trodden 
down but is made the home for the 
Jews. They are returning to Palestine, 
and by this we may know that the 
times of the Gentiles are near their 
close. 

The words of the prophets are rapid- 
ly being fulfilled, but it is done on 
such natural principles that most of us 
fail to see it. Joel promised that the 
Lord would pour out his spirit upon 
all flesh: the sons and daughters 



should prophesy, old men should 
dream dreams, and young men should 
see visions. Wonders in heaven and in . 
the earth would be seen, and there 
would be fire, blood, and pillars of 
smoke. Eventually the sun is to be 
turned into darkness and the moon as 
blood, and then shall come the great 
and dreadful day of the Lord. Some 
of these signs have been given; some 
are yet to come. The sun has not yet 
been darkened. We are informed that 
this will be one of the last acts just 
preceding the coming of the Lord. 

One wonders if we are not now see- 
ing some of the signs in heaven — not 
all, for undoubtedly some of them will 
be among the heavenly bodies; such 
as the moon and the sun, the meteors 
and comets, but in speaking of the 
heavens, reference is made to that part 
which surrounds the earth and which 
belongs to it. It is in the atmosphere 
where many of the signs are to be 
given. Do we not see airships of var- 
ious kinds traveling through the heav- 
ens daily? Have we not had signs in 
the earth and through the earth with 
the radio, railroad trains, automobiles, 
submarines, and satellites, and in many 
other ways? There are yet to be great 
signs: the heavens are to be shaken, 
the sign of the Son of Man is to be 
given, and then shall the tribes of the 
earth mourn. 

Among the signs of the last days 
was an increase of learning. Daniel 
was commanded to ". . . shut up the 
words, and seal the book [of his proph- 
ecy], even to the time of the end: [and 
in that day] many shall run to and 
fro," said he "and knowledge shall be 
increased." (Dan. 12:4.) Are not the 
people "running to and fro" today as 
they never did before in the history of 
the world? Go to the Bureau of Infor- 
mation and ask there how many tour- 
ists visit Temple Square each year. 
Make inquiry at the various national 
parks, at the bus, railroad, and steam- 
ship companies; learn how many are 
running to Europe, Asia, and all parts 
of the earth. 

Are we not, most of us, running to 
and fro in our automobiles seeking 
pleasure? Is not knowledge increased? 
Was there ever a time in the history 
of the world when so much knowledge 
was poured out upon the people? But 
sad to say, the words of Paul are true 
— the people are "ever learning and 
never able to come to the knowledge 



of the truth." (2 Tim. 3:7.) 

Have you ever tried to associate the 
outpouring of knowledge, the great dis- 
coveries and inventions during the 
past 136 years, with the restoration of 
the gospel? Do you not think there is 
some connection? It is not because we 
are more intelligent than our fathers 
that we have received this knowledge, 
but because God has willed it so in 
our generation! Yet men take the 
honor unto themselves and fail to rec- 
ognize the hand of the Almighty in 
these things. 

America was discovered because the 
Lord willed it. The gospel was re- 
stored in America, rather than in some 
other land, because the Lord willed it. 
This is the land "shadowing with 
wings" spoken of by Isaiah that today 
is sending ambassadors by the sea to a 
nation scattered and peeled, which 
at one time was terrible in the begin- 
ning. (Isa. 18:1-2.) Now that nation 
is being gathered, and once again they 
shall be in favor with the Lord. 

Have we not had numerous rumors 
of wars? Have we not had wars, such 
wars as the world never saw before? 
Is there not today commotion among 
the nations, and are not their rulers 
troubled? Have not kingdoms been 
overturned and great changes been 
made among nations? The whole 
earth is in commotion. Earthquakes in 
divers places are reported every day. 
I took the liberty to call Dr. Melvin 
Cook and have him get for me some 
facts about how many earthquakes we 
have now. He quotes from a recent 
book (Earthquakes and Earth Struc- 
ture) by John H. Hodgson (who is 
chief, Division of Seismology, Domin- 
ion Observatory, Ottawa) the follow- 
ing: "The way the numbers [of 
earthquakes] go up as the magnitude 
goes down makes it easy for us to 
accept the estimate that, if all earth- 
quakes down to zero magnitude could 
be detected, the number would be be- 
tween one and ten million each year." 
Then he goes on to say that there are 
about 2,000 earthquakes each year 
with the magnitude between 5 and 6 
and about 20,000 between 4 and 5; 
therefore it looks as if there are around 
20,000 earthquakes a year that could 
be damaging if they occurred in pop- 
ulated areas. The other signs given 
by the Lord have been seen or are at 
our doors. We know this to be the 
case both from observation and from 
the predictions of the prophets. Eli- 
jah, 130 years ago, told Joseph Smith 
that the great and dreadful day of the 
Lord was near, ". . . even at the doors." 
(D&C 110:16.) 

Yet the old world goes on about its 
business paying very little heed to all 
the Lord has said and to all the signs 
and indications that have been given. 
Men harden their hearts and say ". . . 
that Christ delayeth his coming until 



JUNE 1966 



499 



the end of the earth." (D&C 45:26.) 

They are ". . . eating and drinking, 
marrying and giving in marriage . . ." 
acording to the customs of the world, 
not of God, without one thought that 
the end of wickedness is near. Pleasure 
and the love of the world have cap- 
tured the hearts of the people. There 
is no time for such people to worship 
the Lord or give heed to his warnings; 
so it will continue until the day of 
destruction is upon them. 

At no time in the history of the 
world has it been more necessary for 
the children of men to repent. We 
boast of our advanced civilization, of 
the great knowledge and wisdom with 
which we are possessed; but in and 
through it all, the love of God is for- 
gotten! The Lord, as well as Elijah, 
gave us warning, as did also Joseph 
Smith. The Lord said: "For behold, 
verily, verily, I say unto you, the time 
is soon at hand that I shall come in a 
cloud with power and great glory. 

"And it shall be a great day at the 
time of my coming, for all nations 
shall tremble. 

"But before that great day shall 
come, the sun shall be darkened, 
and the moon be turned into blood; 
and the stars shall refuse their 
shining, and some shall fall, and great 
destructions await the wicked." (D&C 
34:7-9.) 

If the great and dreadful day of the 
Lord were near at hand when Elijah 
came 130 years ago, we are just one 
century nearer it today. But some will 
say: "But no! Elijah, you are wrong! 
Surely 130 years have passed, and are 
we not better off today than ever be- 
fore? Look at our discoveries, our 
inventions, our knowledge, and our 
wisdom! Surely you made a mistake!" 
So many seem to think and say, and 
judging by their actions they are sure, 
that the world is bound to go on in its 
present condition for millions of years 
before the end will come. Talk to 
them; hear what they have to say — 
these learned men of the world. "We 
have had worse times," they say. "You 
are wrong in thinking there are more 
calamities now than in earlier times. 
There are not more earthquakes, the 
earth has always been quaking, but 
now we have facilities for gathering 
the news which our fathers did not 
have. These are not signs of the 
times; things are not different from 
former times." And so the people re- 
fuse to heed the warnings the Lord so 
kindly gives to them, and thus they 
fulfill the scriptures. Peter said such 
sayings would be uttered, and he 
warned the people. (2 Pet. 3:3-7.) In 
this warning Peter calls attention to 
the destruction of the world in the 
flood and says that at the coming of 
Christ — which scoffers would postpone 
or deny — there shall come another 
cleansing of the earth, but the second 



time by fire. Is not the condition 
among the people today similar to that 
in the days of Noah? Did the people 
believe and repent then? Can you 
make men, save with few exceptions, 
believe today that there is any dan- 
ger? Do you believe the Lord when 
he said almost 135 years ago: "For I 
am no respecter of persons, and will 
that all men shall know that the day 
speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, 
but is nigh at hand, when peace shall 
be taken from the earth, and the devil 
shall have power over his own domin- 
ion." (D&C 1:35.) 

"And behold, and lo, I come quickly 
to judgment, to convince all of their 
ungodly deeds which they have com- 
mitted against me, as it is written of 
me in the volume of the book." (D&C 
99:5.) 

"Prepare ye, prepare ye for that 
which is to come, for the Lord is nigh; 

"And the anger of the Lord is kin- 
dled, and his sword is bathed in 
heaven, and it shall fall upon the in- 



habitants of the earth." (D&C 1:12- 
13.) 

"Verily, I say unto you, this genera- 
tion, in which these things shall be 
shown forth, shall not pass away until 
all I have told you shall be fulfilled." 
(Joseph Smith 1:34.) 

Shall we slumber on in utter obliv- 
ion or indifference to all that the 
Lord has given us as warning? I say 
unto you, "Watch therefore: for ye 
know not what hour your Lord doth 
come. 

"But know this, that if the good 
man of the house had known in what 
watch the thief would come, he would 
have watched, and would not have 
suffered his house to be broken up. 

"Therefore be ye also ready: for in 
such an hour as ye think not the Son 
of Man cometh." (Matt. 24:42-44.) 

May we heed this warning given by 
the Lord and get our houses in order 
and be prepared for the coming of the 
Lord, I humbly pray in the name of 
Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen. 



Missionary Work— Our Way of Life 

Bernard P. Brockbank 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• Brothers and sisters, it is good to be 
in this historic Tabernacle in general 
conference — to be here near the moun- 
tain of the Lord's house in the tops 
of the mountains. 

The spires of the temple capped with 
the Angel Moroni are one of the land- 
marks of the restoration of the Church 
and gospel of Jesus Christ through 
heavenly messengers here on this earth. 
As you know, the facade of the Mor- 
mon Pavilion at the New York World's 
Fair was a replica of the front of the 
Salt Lake Temple. Many visitors 
commented on its beauty and religious 
significance. It served as a beacon and 
a magnet to draw millions of people 
to the pavilion. 

We found after visiting with mil- 
lions of visitors at the Mormon Pa- 
vilion that many were sincerely seeking 
for greater light and knowledge rela- 
tive to God's plan of life. Many wanted 
to know more about a living, personal 
God and about a living, personal Jesus 
Christ. They seemed hungry and 
anxious to hear the teachings of the 
Savior as they were taught and lived 
by him. They wanted to hear the doc- 
trines of the holy scriptures as given 
by the ancient prophets, apostles, and 
Jesus Christ. 

The main exhibit at the pavilion 
was the missionaries. The priesthood 
and the Holy Ghost were manifest to 
tens of thousands through the spirit, 



love, and dedication of the mission- 
aries. Many visitors left their com- 
ments. 

A Catholic said: "There should be 
more young men like this called all 
over the world. This is the most in- 
structive religious pavilion at the fair. 
I'm impressed with so many young 
men knowing the truth." 

A Baptist said: "Words fail to de- 
scribe the beauty seen here. I wish 
every faith had as much conviction 
and such dedicated young people with 
the ideals of the spirit. There is hope 
for the future through your young 
people." 

The Mormon Pavilion with its 
achievements is one of the greatest, 
most far-reaching missionary ventures 
of our time. We learned many lessons 
from the visitors at the pavilion; and 
if the lessons are fully used, they will 
help to bring into reality one of the 
great requests of our prophet, President 
David O. McKay. He requested that 
every member be a missionary and 
that each member bring one or more 
persons into the Church each year. 

The Lord said in modern-day revela- 
tion, "Behold, I sent you out to testify 
and warn the people, and it becometh 
every man who hath been warned to 
warn his neighbor." (D&C 88:81.) 

I have asked hundreds of members 
if they would like to bring someone 
into The Church of Jesus Christ of 



500 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Latter-day Saints, and each said, 
"Yes"; but year aftei year passes, and 
they do not accomplish their desire. 
Only a very small percent of the Saints 
bring one or more converts into the 
Church each year. We have more than 
one million possible members who 
would like to help in reaching and 
teaching their friends, who would like 
to bring someone into the Church each 
year. 

We are in the process of creating 
and setting up similar exhibits to those 
used at the Mormon Pavilion in each 
of the church bureaus of information 
where space is available. In the areas 
such as Salt Lake City the local mis- 
sionaries and the Saints will be able 
to bring their friends and neighbors to 
the Salt Lake Temple Square Bureau 
of Information and there, with the 
help of visual aids, teach them about 
the restoration of the gospel and bring 
their friends to a knowledge of the 
Church of Jesus Christ. The exhibits 
will be built around the teachings and 
doctrines as taught and exemplified by 
the Savior. It has always been most 
interesting to me to know that Jesus 
not only taught his plan of life and 
salvation, but he also set the example 
and requested that we follow him. 
This leaves little room for private 
interpretation. 

Missionary Saints through the help 
of the exhibits will be able to en- 
courage their friends and neighbors to 
turn to the God-inspired scriptures to 
seek and find the true gospel through 
the recorded message that our Father 
in heaven has left here on the earth 
for us. 

The exhibits will start with the 
creation of man in the image and 
likeness of God. 

The ancient prophets will be shown 
as God and heavenly messengers ap- 
peared and directed them in the Lord's 
program. 

The teachings and examples of Jesus 
Christ will be shown through murals 
and various visual aids, such as Jesus 
setting the example for proper water 
baptism, and all Christians will be 
encouraged to know and follow his 
example. 

Jesus called, ordained, and built his 
Church around Twelve Apostles. 
Through visual aids and the spoken 
word, we will encourage the people to 
know that apostles are an essential part 
of Jesus Christ's Church. 

The apostasy from the teachings of 
Jesus Christ will be shown through 
visual aids. Men have changed the 
concept of God and Jesus Christ. Some 
have even gone so far as to say that 
God is without body, parts, or passions. 
Men changed the baptism of Jesus. 
Men discontinued the Twelve Apostles. 
The Melchizedek Priesthood was 
changed. Tithing was discontinued 
among many. And many other changes 



were made that time will not permit 
to bring to our attention. 

We will show through visual aids 
the First Vision and the restoration of 
the Church and the teachings and plan 
of life as given by the Savior. 

The same film on eternal life that 
was shown at the pavilion will be 
used. I would like to quote a state- 
ment by Norman Vincent Peale re- 
garding the film. He said, "The film 
told the story of where we came from, 
why we are here, and where we are 
going." He added, "The film motivated 
one to want to make the most of earth 
life, and the last two minutes of the 
film were the most touching, the most 
inspirational, and most revealing of 
any two minutes of a film I have ever 
seen in my entire life." 

He also said, "I don't know the 
name of the character- actor who was 
the grandfather, but when he died and 
entered the eternal existence, bewilder- 
ment and wonder were written on his 
face. All of a sudden, he caught a 
glimpse of his wife from whom he had 
been parted. She ran to him and 
threw her arms around him. Then 
came his brothers, sisters, mother and 
father, aunts, uncles, grandparents, 
and all who were near and dear to him 
on earth. Surrounded by those who 
loved him, the camera gave us a close- 
up of his face, whereon was written 
radiant, exultant joy. I have never seen 
such a character portrayal, nor such a 
beautiful scene. Out of this film, I 
learned two things: (1) an entirely 
new concept of the purpose of life and 
its connection with the eternities, and 
(2) an entirely new concept of the 
importance of the family in connection 
with the eternities." (Interview with 
T. Bowring Woodbury and Norman 
Vincent Peale, May 20, 1964.) Our 



family program is one of our great 
missionary tools. 

We hope that many exhibits will 
be created to assist the Saints and the 
missionaries to teach and love their 
neighbors and friends into the Church. 
We hope that it will be possible to 
have similar portable exhibits that can 
be attractively set up in the cultural 
halls and stake centers of the Church. 
They would run for a week or ten 
days, and the missionaries and Saints 
can bring their friends and neighbors. 
The World's Fair film on eternal life 
could also be shown as part of this 
exhibit. 

With sufficient bureaus and portable 
units we should be able to have a half 
million Saints and missionaries par- 
ticipate. Can you picture a half million 
Saints with the help of the Lord 
teaching their friends and neighbors 
about the restoration of God's program 
through a prophet of God and teaching 
them to see the plan of life as taught 
by the Savior and not the plan that 
has been changed and corrupted by 
men? 

The religious unrest in the world 
today is causing the honest in heart to 
seek and look for the living God. Many 
of our friends and neighbors are wait- 
ing to hear and know God's program 
for man. 

Fellow Saints, you who have a testi- 
mony that God lives, that Jesus Christ 
lives, and that God's plan of life is 
essential for entrance into the kingdom 
of heaven, you have a responsibility to 
warn your neighbors. In my humble 
opinion the greatest potential mission- 
ary power and force of this Church is 
vested in the Saints. May we follow 
our Prophet and teach our friends and 
neighbors, I pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 




Television cameras 
zoom in on the 
General Authorities, 
transmitting their 
messages through- 
out North America. 
WRUL radio 
beamed the ad- 
dresses worldwide. 



JUNE 1966 



501 



The Second Coming 

Sterling W. Sill 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• My brothers and sisters, I appreciate 
very much this privilege of having a 
part with you in this great general 
conference of the Church. As important 
ideas are held up before our minds, we 
are helped to follow more fully that 
divine instruction that "man shall not 
live by bread alone." (Matt. 4:4.) It is 
desirable at all times that we should 
live by the word of the Lord, but this 
applies particularly to us, as our age is 
the most important and the most ex- 
citing that the world has ever known. 
Our forefathers lived on a flat station- 
ary earth and plowed their ground 
with a wooden stick. But we live on 
an earth of power steering, jet propul- 
sion, and atomic power, and we need 
personality and character qualities to 
match the times. Great events are now 
taking place at breathtaking speed in 
fulfillment of the word of the Lord to 
Daniel, twenty-five centuries ago. Con- 
cerning our day, he said, "But thou, O 
Daniel, shut up the words, . . . even 
to the time of the end: many shall run 
to and fro, and knowledge shall be 
increased." (Dan. 12:4.) 

Certainly the knowledge explosion 
of our day furnishes a literal fulfill- 
ment of this prophecy before our own 
eyes. It is interesting to remember that 
George Washington rode to his inau- 
guration in a chariot drawn by horses, 
but two thousand years earlier, Julius 
Caesar had gone to his Roman capital 
in exactly the same way. Little or no 
change had taken place in all of that 
long period. When I was born, the 
Wright Brothers had not yet made 
their famous maiden 60-foot flight at 
Kill Devil Hill. During the first part 
of our century we had no guided 
missiles, no space travel, no automo- 
biles, no radios, no television, no 
movies, and no atomic bombs. And 
most of the world's work was then still 
being done by the muscle power of 
men and animals. However, the 
ancient prophets have known a great 
deal about our age of miracles for 
many centuries. - 

Moses was permitted to see the his- 
tory of our earth from its beginning 
to its end. (Moses 1:8.) Much of the 
writings of Isaiah concerns our own 
day, though he seemed a little bit 
surprised when he looked out of his 
window into the future and exclaimed: 
"Who are these that fly as a cloud, 
and as the doves to their windows?" 
(Isa. 60:8.) Foreseeing our day, the 
prophet Habakkuk said, "Their horses 



also are swifter than the leopards, and 
are more fierce than the evening 
wolves: and their horsemen shall 
spread themselves, and their horsemen 
shall come from afar; they shall fly as 
the eagle that hasteth to eat." (Hab. 
1:8.) And Nahum gives a clear mental 
view of one of our night scenes when 
he said: ". . . the chariots shall be 
with flaming torches in the day of his 
preparation, and the fir trees shall be 
terribly shaken. 

"The chariots shall rage in the 
streets, they shall justle one against 
another in the broad ways: they shall 
seem like torches, they shall run like 
the lightnings." (Nah. 2:3-4.) 

The important world events all seem 
to have been foretold. The people of 
Noah's day were warned about the 
flood, and God made known to Sodom 
and Gomorrah that their evil would 
draw a rainstorm of fire and brimstone 
from heaven. Jesus warned Jerusalem 
of its impending doom and foretold his 
own death. He announced the apostasy 
from God and foretold the dark ages 
that would follow the Savior's rejec- 
tion. 

But one of the most important 
events on the divine timetable of the 
world's future is the glorious second 
coming of Jesus Christ. This will 
probably be the most momentous 
happening ever to take place in the 
history of the world. The most often 
mentioned event in the entire Bible is 
that wonderful, yet awful experience 
that we will have when Jesus Christ 
shall come to judge our world. There 
are many important gospel doctrines 
mentioned in the Bible only briefly, 
and some not at all. The new birth is 
mentioned in the Bible nine times; 
baptism is mentioned 52 times, repen- 
tance is mentioned 89, but the second 
coming of Christ is mentioned over 
1,500 times in the Old Testament and 
300 times in the New Testament. 
If God thought this subject that 
important, he must have wanted us to 
do something about it. The Holy 
Bible forecasts events before they 
happen, and much of our history has 
actually been written down before it 
occurred. The Bible accurately pre- 
dicted Christ's first coming in every 
detail, hundreds of years in advance. 
It revealed that he would come from 
the tribe of Judah (Mic. 5:2; John 
7:42), that his birthplace _ would be 
Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2; John 7:42), that 
lie would be born of a virgin (Isa. 



7:14), that he would flee into Egypt 
(Hos. 11:1; Matt. 2:15), that he would 
heal the sick, that his own people 
would reject him (Isa. 53:3), that he 
would be betrayed by a friend and 
sold for 30 pieces of silver, that he 
would take upon himself the sins of 
the world and be crucified with sin- 
ners (Mark 15:27; Isa. 53:3-12; Luke 
22:37), that his sides would be pierced 
(John 19:37; Zech. 12:10), that he 
would institute a universal resurrection, 
and that he would personally rise from 
the dead the third day (Hos. 6:2; Luke 
9:22). 

This same Bible also foretells that 
he will come to the earth a second 
time, though in a different manner. 
The first time he came as a man of 
sorrows who was acquainted with grief 
(Isa. 53:3), but the second time he will 
come as the mighty God (Isa. 9:6). 
He came the first time as the Prince 
of Peace (Isa. 9:6). He will come the 
second time as King of kings and Lord 
of lords (Rev. 17:14). He came the 
first time to atone for our sins; he will 
come the second time to judge those 
sinners who have not repented. The 
Apostle Paul says, ". . . the Lord Jesus 
shall be revealed from heaven with his 
mighty angels, 

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on 
them that know not God, and that 
obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus 
Christ." (2 Thess. 1:7-8.) 

Malachi says, ". . . and the Lord, 
whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to 
his temple. . . . 

"But who may abide the day of his 
coming? and who shall stand when he 
appeareth?" (Mai. 3:1-2.) And we 
might ask ourselves, who indeed? 

According to the divine plan, our 
earth has been allotted a mortal or 
temporal existence of seven thousand 
years, patterned after the seven days of 
creation. The first four thousand years 
began with the fall of Adam and ended 
at the birth of Christ. But 1966 more 
years have come and gone since that 
time. Therefore, on the divine calendar 
we are now living in the late Saturday 
evening of time. This glorious second 
coming of Christ is scheduled to usher 
in the earth's Sabbath of a thousand 
years, known to the prophets as the 
millennium. During this period Christ 
will reign personally upon the earth. 
However, before this can happen, the 
wicked will be destroyed by fire and 
Satan will be bound. At Christ's com- 
ing a great number of very exciting 
things are going to take place. He is 
not coming alone; as Paul says, he 
will come with his mighty angels. 
(See 2 Thess. 1:7-8.) At his coming 
a great many of the faithful dead will 
be resurrected and caught up to meet 
the Lord in the air. And some of the 
righteous who are then living upon 
the earth will be changed from mor- 
tality to immortality in the twinkling 
of an eye to join that impressive com- 



502 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



pany in the air. Certainly this is some- 
thing to look forward to. (See 1 Thess. 
4:13-17.) 

At the time of Adam's fall, a curse 
was placed upon the earth, and since 
then it has existed in its fallen or 
telestial state. For, nearly six thousand 
years it has brought forth thorns, 
thistles, and noxious weeds, while 
crime, corruption, war, and sin have 
flourished upon its face. But at the 
second coming of Christ, the earth will 
be cleansed by fire. It will then be 
renewed and receive its paradisiacal 
glory as it is raised to the status of a 
terrestrial sphere. 

On the last Tuesday of the Lord's 
life, his disciples came to him and 
said, ". . . what shall be the sign of 
thy coming, and of the end of the 
world?" (Matt. 24:3.) Jesus warned 
them of the great wickedness that 
would exist upon the earth and the 
deception of false teachers. He said, 
". . . then shall many be offended, and 
shall betray one another, and shall 
hate one another. 

"And because iniquity shall abound, 
the love of many shall wax cold." 
(Matt. 24:10, 12.) 

At that time Jesus said some rather 
uncomplimentary things about us. He 
said, ". . . as the days of Noe were, 
so shall also the coming of the Son of 
man be." (Matt. 24:37.) Apparently 
Noah's day was quite a day; some of 
its chief characteristics were the 
people's lack of preparation and their 
disbelief in God. As in our own day, 
the antediluvians thought that the 
heavens were sealed and that God 
would never again reveal himself. It 
must have sounded a little bit ridicu- 
lous to them when on a warm cloud- 
less day Noah prophesied that a flood 
would come and destroy their entire 
society if they did not repent, but we 
are in a similar situation. And even 
though the combined sins of Sodom, 
Babylon, and ancient Rome all glare 
at us from our own newspaper head- 
lines, yet we are far from changing our 
ways. Instead, many people of our day 
are contending for a type of behavior 
that condones alcoholism, immorality, 
and a wide variety of deviations from 
God's laws. 

As one of the signs that would pre- 
cede his coming, Jesus said that there 
would be wars and rumors of wars, 
and an awful hate would exist among 
people. He said, "For nation shall rise 
against nation, and kingdom against 
kingdom: and there shall be famines, 
and pestilences, and earthquakes, in 
divers places." (Matt. 24:7.) 

Dr. Carl Joachim Hambro, late 
president of the League of Nations, 
said that in World War I alone, thirty- 
five million human beings died of 
starvation and epidemics. But that is 
only a drop in the bucket compared 
to the possible horror and mutilation 
of present-day war. We can now drop 



concentrated fire on a nation and 
literally roast its population. War 
doesn't solve a single human problem, 
and yet the one place where our gen- 
eration excels most is in its ability to 
make war. Modern war is undoubtedly 
the most highly developed of all of 
our sciences. Even a horrible kind of 
destructive cold war now seems to have 
become a fixed part of our unfortunate 
way of life. But sinful, unstable man 
now holds in his hands the ability to 
destroy everything upon the earth in 
just a few hours. Our failure has been 
that while we have perfected weapons, 
we have failed to perfect the men who 
may be asked to use them. But still 
there is no letup in our evil. Like the 
ancients, we can discern the face of 
the sky, but we . fail in reading the 
signs of the times. This has always 
been one of the world's most serious 
problems. 

On the Mount of Olives the Lord 
also foretold another event that would 
precede his glorious second coming. He 



said: "And this gospel of the kingdom 
shall be preached in all the world for 
a witness unto all nations; and then 
shall the end come." (Matt. 24:14.) 
Angelic messengers with authority 
from God have been sent to the earth 
in our day to restore the simple prin- 
ciples and ordinances of the gospel 
that fulfill this prophecy. The Church 
of Jesus Christ has again been estab- 
lished upon the earth, built upon its 
necessary foundation of apostles and 
prophets. (See Eph. 2:19-20.) 

In obedience to God's command, the 
world has also been given three great 
volumes of new scripture outlining in 
every detail the simple principles of 
the gospel of Christ. These modern 
scriptures add many additional pro- 
phetic statements to those of the Old 
and New Testaments, warning us to 
make ourselves ready for this tremen- 
dous event that is now at our doors. 
May God help us so to do, I humbly 
pray in the name of Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



Repentance— the Blessing of Hope 



Bishop Victor L. Brown 
Of the Presiding Bishopric 



• My dear brethren and sisters, I am 
grateful to be here today and to par- 
ticipate in this great conference. I 
pray that what I shall say will in 
some way be helpful in lifting the 
heavy burdens carried hy some. . 
Someone has written: 

MY NAME IS LEGION 

"Within my earthly temple, there's a 

crowd; 
There's one of us that's humble, one 

that's proud, 
There's one that's broken-hearted for 

his sins, 
There's one that unrepentant sits and 

grins; 
There's one that loves his neighbor as 

himself, 
And one that cares for naught but 

fame and pelf. 
From much corroding care, I should 

be free 
If I could once determine which is 

me." 

(By Edward Sanford Martin) 

Within my earthly temple, there's a 
crowd. There's one of us that's hum- 
ble — one that's proud. There's one 
that's brokenhearted for his sins. It is 
these to whom I wish to address my 
remarks today. 

It seems that one of the tragedies of 
sin is that once a mistake has been 



made, many feel there is no redemp- 
tion. Consequently, they continue to 
live in error. There are others who, 
once having made a mistake, repent, 
and yet carry the burden of guilt 
throughout their lives, burying it deep 
in their hearts, letting it tear at their 
secret heartstrings until many times, 
later in life, they find it impossible to 
bear any longer. This often results in 
serious psychological problems. They 
have failed to realize that the Lord, 
through the blessing of repentance, 
does not expect this. He has said: 

"Behold, he who has repented of his 
sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the 
Lord, remember them no more." (D&C 
58:42.) 

The essence and purpose of the 
Savior's life was salvation — not con- 
demnation. He died that we might 
live, opening the way to eternal life 
and blessing us with the principles of 
the gospel, the second of which is re- 
pentance. He recognized that none of 
us is perfect nor free from sin. 

Many times the principle of repen- 
tance is not fully understood. It is the 
blessing of hope that offers each of us 
forgiveness. 

The first step in repentance is recog- 
nition and sorrow for the sin commit- 
ted. Of course, if we are brokenhearted 
for our sins, we have recognized them. 
This sorrow is not simply remorse and 



JUNE 1966 



503 



a fleeting twinge of conscience. The 
sorrow I refer to has no mental reser- 
vation, no feeling that perhaps our 
sins are not so gross or serious after all. 

Paul said: "For godly sorrow work- 
eth repentance to salvation. . . : but 
the sorrow of the world worketh 
death." (2 Cor. 7:10.) This kind of 
sorrow means abandonment of the sin. 
This means complete cessation from 
such actions from that point forward. 

Another vital step in repentance is 
confession. The Lord said, ". . . I, the 
Lord, forgive sins unto those who con- 
fess their sins before me and ask for- 
giveness, who have not sinned unto 
death." (D&C 64:7.) 

The Lord retains unto himself the 
right to judge the whole man. How- 
ever, in the ecclesiastical order of his 
Church, he has appointed what are 
known as common judges in Israel, 
more commonly known as bishops. 

The bishop receives the confessions 
of the members of the Church when a 
serious sin has been committed, such 
as one involving the moral law. His 
authority as a judge has to do with the 
retention of the individual's full fel- 
lowship in the Church. He has been 
given the responsibility to forgive as 
far as church membership is con- 
cerned. The Lord is the only one who 
can truly forgive. 

Each bishop recognizes his special 
role as a servant of the Lord in as- 
sisting him to accomplish his purpose. 
He said: 

"For behold, this is my work and my 
glory — to bring to pass the immortal- 
ity and eternal life of man." (Moses 
1:39.) 

The bishop knows that the confes- 
sion received from a member of his 
ward is a sacred trust. He does not 
divulge it to his wife or any other 
person. A bishop who violates such a 
sacred confidence is, himself, guilty of 
an offense before God, the Church, 
and the individual. 

We sit today with several thousands 
of these wonderful men who have been 
called and ordained by proper author- 
ity to this very special position of 
bishop. They come from all walks of 
life. They span many years in age. 
They are your neighbors and mine. 
They have grown up with us. Some of 
them have grown up with our chil- 
dren, and for these reasons and others, 
we too often fail to recognize them 
for what they have become. At the 
time of their ordination to bishop, 
they were given the authority to act as 
a common judge within the boundaries 
of their wards. They were given the 
blessing of discernment, wisdom, and 
understanding. They were counseled 
to be kind and thoughtful in their 
dealings with the membership. 

Each bishop understands fully the 
following scripture: 

"No power or influence can or 



ought to be maintained by virtue of 
the priesthood, only by persuasion, by 
long-suffering, by gentleness and 
meekness, and by love unfeigned; 

"By kindness, and pure knowledge, 
which shall greatly enlarge the soul 
without hypocrisy, and without guile — 

"Reproving betimes with sharpness, 
when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; 
and then showing forth afterwards an 
increase of love toward him whom 
thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee 
to be his enemy. . . ." (D&C 121:41- 
43.) 

As already stated, the bishop is the 
spiritual counselor to his people. He is 
the one to whom we should confess 
our serious transgressions. He is not 
a harsh judge but rather he constantly 
asks himself, "What would the Savior's 
judgment be in this case?" If we are 
truly repentant, we should be willing 



to place our trust in him and follow 
his guidance, because, after all, his 
whole purpose is not to condemn us 
but to help us. 

May the Lord bless those who have 
transgressed, that they may understand 
his love for them and the blessings 
that can be theirs through repentance, 
never forgetting that the Lord himself 
has said: 

"Behold, he who has repented of his 
sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the 
Lord, remember them no more." 
(D&C 58:42.) 

My brothers and sisters, it is my 
humble witness that God lives. I know 
it with all the fiber of my being. I 
know that he loves us, and I know 
that he has the same love for the sin- 
ner as for the Saint. May he bless us, 
I humbly pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



The Vision of Lehi 

Delbert L. Stapley 

Of the Council of the Twelve 



• My brothers and sisters and friends, 
it is a privilege always to attend the 
general conferences of the Church. 

My message is taken from the Book 
of Mormon account of the vision God 
gave to the Prophet Lehi, who, with 
his family, lived in Jerusalem about 
600 years before the birth of Christ. 
This prophet was warned concerning 
the destruction of Jerusalem by invad- 
ing Babylonian armies. God therefore 
commanded Lehi to take his family 
and a small select group and to depart 
from the city. The Lord gave assurance 
that he would lead them to a promised 
land — the Americas as we know them 
today. These families belonged to the 
house of Israel, and Lehi was a de- 
scendant of that Joseph who was sold 
into Egypt. 

After their departure from Jerusalem 
and while in the Valley of Lemuel, 
near the border of the Red Sea, God 
blessed the prophet with an inspiring 
vision. (2 Ne. 8.) In this vision Lehi 
beheld a dark and dreary wilderness. 
He was led by a messenger from God, 
a man clothed in a white robe. It 
seemed to Lehi they were moving 
deeper into the wilderness of darkness, 
and he therefore earnestly petitioned 
his God for mercy. Following his sup- 
plication the dream unfolded to his 
vision important and significant events. 
Lehi beheld a large and spacious field 
and a tree, the fruit of which was 
desirable to make one happy. He went 
forth and partook of the fruit and in 



ecstasy declared it to be the most 
sweet above all that he had before 
tasted. When Lehi partook of the fruit, 
he described it as filling his soul with 
exceeding joy, and he therefore desired 
that his family should partake of the 
fruit also, for he knew it was most 
desirable above all other fruit. As he 
cast his eyes about to discover his 
family, he beheld a river of water that 
ran along near the tree. As he looked 
toward the source of the stream, he saw 
his wife, Sariah, and two of his sons, 
Nephi and Sam. It seemed to Lehi 
that this part of his family were un- 
certain as to the way they should go. 
Being anxious about the welfare of his 
family, he beckoned unto them to 
come and partake of the fruit, which 
invitation they willingly accepted. 

Lehi had two other sons, both of 
whom were wayward. He was desirous 
that they also should come and par- 
take of the fruit. When he located 
them, they refused his invitation. 

As the vision continued, Lehi beheld 
a rod of iron that extended along the 
bank of the river and led to the tree 
by which he stood. He also beheld a 
straight and narrow path that paral- 
leled close to the rod of iron and also 
led to the tree and continued on to 
the head of the fountain unto a large 
and spacious field, as if it were a world. 
Lehi saw numberless concourses of 
people, many of whom were pressing 
forward that they might obtain the 
path that led to the tree laden with 



504 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



desirable fruit. Some commenced in 
the path, but there arose a mist of 
darkness of exceeding intensity inso- 
much that they who had commenced 
in the path did lose their way and 
wandered off and were lost. 

In the vision Lehi beheld others 
pressing forward, and they caught hold 
of the rod of iron and continued 
through the mists of darkness, clinging 
to the rod of iron, and moved along 
the straight and narrow path until 
they reached the tree and partook of 
its fruit. After partaking of the fruit 
they cast their eyes about as if they 
were ashamed. This caused Lehi to 
wonder, so he cast his eyes round 
about also and beheld on the other 
side of the river a great and spacious 
building. It was filled with people, 
both old and young, both male and 
female, who were well dressed, and 
they were in the attitude of mocking 
and were pointing fingers of scorn 
toward those who had partaken of the 
fruit. These wavering souls had made 
considerable progress toward their goal, 
but they could not withstand the 
scoffing of the multitudes and therefore 
they fell away into forbidden paths 
and were lost. 

Lehi saw another concourse of 
people, and they did press their way 
forward, continually holding fast to 
the rod of iron until they reached the 
tree and partook of its fruit. He saw 
other multitudes feeling their way 
toward that great and spacious build- 
ing. Many strayed and were drowned 
in the depths of the fountain, and 
others were lost from his view, wander- 
ing into strange roads. Great were the 
multitudes that entered the strange 
building, and after doing so they 
pointed the finger of scorn and did 
scoff at Lehi and the others who were 
partaking of the fruit. ". . . but," said 
Lehi, "we heeded them not." (1 Ne. 
8:33.) So closed the vision of Lehi. 

Now, having the details of the vision 
in mind, let us consider the teachings 
and the lessons of this unusual vision. 
We learn that people must pray for 
light and truth to know the way to 
eternal life and happiness. Only by 
humility and prayer, with a heart open 
to truth, can one escape the dominant 
influence that Satan is exerting so 
strongly and effectively today in all 
areas of the world to destroy the souls 
of men. 

Nephi, the son of Lehi, although 
fully believing the words of his father 
regarding his vision, was nevertheless 
desirous that he might see and hear 
and know for himself of those things 
witnessed by his father. He had faith 
that the vision of his father could be 
shown him by the gift and power of 
the Holy Ghost. Nephi was granted 
his wish after he, too, had humbly and 
diligently supplicated the Lord in 
prayer for this privilege. 



An angel of God appeared before 
Nephi and asked if he knew the mean- 
ing of the tree which his father saw. 
Nephi answered in the affirmative, 
stating, ". . . it is the love of God, 
which sheddeth itself abroad in the 
hearts of the children of men; where- 
fore, it is the most desirable above all 
things." And the angel added, "Yea, 
and the most joyous to the soul." 
(1 Ne. 11:22-23.) 

The tree of life was not unknown 
to the descendants of Lehi, part of 
whom are the Indian tribes of the 
Americas, for it is found in the pictorial 
hieroglyphics that were carved upon 
rocks in regions of the past civilizations 
of Lehi's posterity. The tree of life is 
not something new taught in our day, 
for there are many references to it in 
the scriptures. The significance of this 
representation may not be understood 
fully, except by few, yet it has real 
and important spiritual value. In the 
book of Revelation (2:7) we learn that 
"the tree of life ... is in the midst of 
the paradise of God." In Genesis 2:9 
we are informed that a tree of life was 
placed by God in the midst of the 
Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were 
privileged to partake of the fruit of 
this tree until they transgressed God's 
law. Thereafter the fruit of the tree 
was denied them; if they had par- 
taken, they would have lived forever in 
their fallen state. Death was in the 
great plan of God, and the hope of 
man became centered in Jesus Christ, 
who gave his life on Calvary to redeem 
and save man from the effects of the 
fall. 

Alma, a Nephite prophet, quotes the 
Christ as saying, "Come unto me and 
ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree 
of life. . . ." (Al. 5:34.) 

John the Revelator, speaking of the 
tree of life in the New Jerusalem that 
is to come down from heaven, said: 
"Blessed are they that do his com- 
mandments, that they may have right 
to the tree of life, and may enter in 
through the gates into the city." (Rev. 
22:14.) 

Lehi taught there must be an oppo- 
sition in all things. ". . . even the for- 
bidden fruit in opposition to the tree 
of life; the one being sweet and the 




other bitter." (2 Ne. 2:15.) 

Nephi advises, "Wherefore, the 
wicked are rejected from the righteous, 
and also from that tree of life, whose 
fruit is most precious and most desir- 
able above all other fruits; yea, and it 
is the greatest of all the gifts of God." 
(1 Ne. 15:36.) 

Nephi learned from the angel that 
the rod of iron seen by his father was 
the word of God, which word, if ac- 
cepted and lived, will lead mankind 
to the tree of life and to the fountain 
of living waters, which waters are a 
representation of the love of God. 
Nephi beheld also that the tree of life 
is a representation of the love of God. 

Man's duty, therefore, is to seek 
earnestly for the word of the Lord; and 
when he finds it, if he is sincere in 
his desires, he will enter into that 
straight and narrow path that will take 
him to the tree of life where he can 
partake of the fruit thereof. Remaining 
true, he will not fall into the byways 
of wickedness and sin but continue on 
to the eternal mansions prepared of 
God for the faithful and worthy of his 
children. 

The river of water spoken of in the 
vision represents filthiness. The mists 
of darkness are the temptations of the 
devil, which blind the eyes and harden 
the hearts of the children of men and 
lead them away into broad roads, 
where they perish and become lost. 
The great and spacious building was 
the pride of the world which fell and, 
said the angel, "Thus shall be the 
destruction of all nations, kindreds, 
tongues, and people, that shall fight 
against the twelve apostles of the 
Lamb." (1 Ne. 11:36.) The building 
was filled with human beings — fools 
and scoffers — who, with their ribaldry, 
succeeded in making apostates and 
transgressors of some of those who had 
tasted of the fruit of the tree of life. 
The inmates of the building delighted 
in mocking and scoffing at those who 
desired to do right. 

Inasmuch as Laman and Lemuel did 
not partake of the fruit of the tree of 
life, Lehi feared lest they would be 
cast off from the presence of the Lord 
forever. As their father, he had great 
concern for their eternal welfare, and 
his love was manifest in his exhorta- 
tion to them with all the feeling of a 
tender parent, that they would hearken 
unto his words and not be cast off. 

The parable of Jesus dealing with 
the sower who went forth to sow 
parallels in teaching the lessons given 
Lehi in the vision that I have de- 
scribed. (Matt. 13:1-9.) The Savior, 
after applying the parable of the sower 
to those whom he was teaching, in- 
terpreted it to the understanding of his 
disciples by saying: 

"When any one heareth the word of 
the kingdom, and understandeth it not, 
then cometh the wicked one, and 



JUNE 1966 



505 



catcheth away that which was sown in 
his heart. This is he which received 
seed by the wayside. 

"But he that received the seed into 
the stony places, the same is he that 
heareth the word, and anon with joy 
receiveth it; 

"Yet hath he not root in himself, 
but dureth for a while: for when 
tribulation or persecution ariseth be- 
cause of the word, by and by he is 
offended. 

"He also that received seed among 
the thorns is he that heareth the word; 
and the care of this world, and the 
deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, 
and he becometh unfruitful. 

"But he that received seed into the 
good ground is he that heareth the 
word, and understandeth it; which also 
beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some 
an hundred fold, some sixty, some 
thirty." (Matt. 13:19-23.) 

The Apostle Paul declared that he 
was not ashamed of the gospel of 
Christ, because, said he, "it is the 
power of God unto salvation. . . ." 
(Rom. 1:16.) 

No man, following the example and 
dedication of the Christ, should be- 
come ashamed or afraid of his true 
Christian status and lack courage and 
strength, in the face of opposition or 
the taunting of men, to remain true, 
firm, and steadfast to his conviction 
of what is right in the sight of God. 
This life is a probationary state 
wherein men and women are tried and 
proven in the crucible of mortal 
existence. 

The vision of Lehi and the parable 
of the sower presented by the Christ 
suggest the weaknesses of men and the 
many avenues of personal indifference, 
lack of faith, wickedness, and sin 
which, if left uncontrolled, will de- 
stroy their very souls and lead them 
down to the depths of hell. 

Lehi's love and concern for the 
eternal welfare and happiness of his 
family is applicable to all parents. 
They too, feelingly, kindly, and in 
love, must give children the oppor- 
tunity of good moral and spiritual 
teaching and training with righteous 
and ethical parental example in order 
to create the desire and the strength 
within their children's hearts to love 
God and to serve him and keep his 
commandments. 

The pitfalls of temptation and evil 
today are many. These evils are dressed 
up attractively and cunningly to de- 
ceive the very elect. Unless parents 
and youth are grounded in the basics 
of good behavior and the fundamental 
principles and standards of the gospel, 
which is the true Christian way of life, 
they can stumble and fall by the way- 
side and thus never reach the goal of 
eternal life. 

The teachings of Lehi, his son 
Nephi, the Apostle Paul, and Jesus, to 
which I have referred, are guidelines 



and directions toward the tree of life. 
The vision of Lehi blesses all of us 
with its understanding of God's pur- 
poses for his children and the respon- 
sibility of parents to their families. 
The Church and its families are 
synonymous: one does not exist without 
the other, and both serve each other, 
and all belong to God the Father. 

Now in closing I wish to summarize 
the vision of Lehi with the following 
brief comments: 

Dreams or visions are often used as 
a teaching principle, unfolding the 
secrets of heaven to the prepared mind 
and prayerful heart. 

The love of God suggests the good 
and wholesome things of life. 

The tree of life is indicative of 
eternal life — or celestial life — life in 
the full enjoyment of God's love. 

The fountain of living waters is 
representative of the love of God. All 
spiritual graces and refreshment com- 
municated by the Spirit are compared 
to a fountain. We learn from Jere- 
miah, ". . . they have forsaken the 
Lord, the fountain of living waters." 
(Jer. 17:13.) 

God, then, is called the fountain of 
living waters. The Savior taught that 
those who drink of it shall never 
thirst. 

The numberless concourses of people 
seen by Lehi in his vision represent 
the different races of men on earth. 

The river of water, which is repre- 
sentative of the filthiness of sin, 
wickedness, and contamination, sepa- 
rates the wicked from the tree of life 
and from the Saints of God and is a 
prototype of the condition called hell. 

Notwithstanding the numerous in- 
stitutions of secular and theological 
learning, the human family, by and 
large, are groping in the mists, of moral 
and spiritual darkness. Sin and vice, 
prideful exaltation of the human mind, 
and the pursuit of harmful pleasures 
blur men's perception, dull their sense 



of values, and obscure their vision of 
the rod of iron, or the word of God, 
which alone leads to eternal life. 

The great and spacious building, in 
addition to representing the pride and 
vain imaginations of men, stands for 
the mockery and ridicule of the world. 
Our generation should be reminded 
that scoffers are far from the kingdom 
of God. Those who allow the ridicule 
of men to make them embarrassed by 
the cause, the standards, or the obliga- 
tions that they have espoused as true 
followers of Christ, and are turned 
thereby from the straight' and narrow 
path of truth and righteousness, are 
those who form the stony ground in 
which the seed sown soon withers and 
dies. Those who are drowned in the 
depths of the fountain refer to those 
who are engulfed in the quagmire of 
evil-mindedness, sin, and corruption; 
therefore, the wicked sink to destruc- 
tion in the river of filth, and the 
depths thereof are the depths of hell. 

Passing through the mist and cling- 
ing steadfastly to the iron rod, the 
faithful pass triumphantly through the 
temptations that beset man's mortal 
pilgrimage to the cherished goal of 
eternal life with God. 

In man's search for happiness and 
his climb to eternal joy, there can be 
no relaxation, no deviation from the 
straight and narrow path; nor can he 
lose a firm hold upon the iron rod, 
which is the word of God. He must 
set aside the things of the world as he 
travels the path which leads to exalta- 
tion and glory in the kingdom of God. 

I bear witness to you, my brothers 
and sisters, to the truthfulness of these 
things. I know the teachings of this 
vision are important to us and to all 
the world. May God bless us that we 
may so live and set the type of example 
that will incline the hearts of men and 
women to the restored Church of our 
Lord, I humbly pray in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. 




Famed Tabernacle 
Choir members, 
directed by Richard 
P. Condie and 
accompanied by 
Alexander Schreiner, 
sound their soul- 
stirring tidings 
Easter morning. 



506 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Wednesday Afternoon Session, April 6, 1966 



Otherwise, Of What Value Is Christianity? 



Mark E. Petersen 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• We Latter-day Saints bear testimony 
that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the 
world. He is the Redeemer and the 
Messiah. He is the divine Son of God 
and the Creator of heaven and earth. 
Amid persecution and great opposition 
he fulfilled his mortal ministry and 
brought about the atonement for all 
mankind. When he died on the cross, 
the heavens mourned, as did his 
disciples among the common people 
who believed in him. And yet, his 
enemies rejoiced, feeling that in deliv- 
ering him to the Roman executioners, 
they had accomplished a great victory. 

But Christ was the real victor. On 
the third day after his crucifixion he 
came forth from the tomb in a glorious 
physical resurrection. The same body 
that was crucified now arose, no more 
to die, opening the door to a resurrec- 
tion for us all. 

But Christ means more than resur- 
rection, more than our hopes for 
immortality. He not only said, "I am 
the resurrection, . . ." but he also said, 
"I am . . . the life . . ." (John 11:25.) 
He spoke of a particular way of life, 
which he himself represented. It is a 
way to live, a way by which each of us 
may pattern our daily habits after his 
high principles. It is the perfect plan 
for human relationships. It will do 
away with man's inhumanity to man, 
whether in our homes, in our neighbor- 
hoods, or in the world at large. 

It was not his intention that we 
merely have a mental acceptance of 
him and then conduct our personal 
affairs to suit our own selfish purposes. 
His way of life provides that we shall 
rearrange our habits and readjust our 
standards in harmony with his teach- 
ings. Otherwise, of what value is 
Christianity? 

He taught us to overcome our 
prejudices and enmities, for all human 
difficulties can be overcome through 
the application of Christlike love. 

One of the greatest of all Christian 
principles is given by him in the Ser- 
mon on the Mount. He said, "Ye have 
heard that it hath been said, Thou 
shalt love thy neighbour and hate 
thine enemy. 

"But I say unto you, Love your 
enemies, bless them that curse you, do 
good to them that hate you, and pray 
for them which despitefully use you, 
and persecute you: 

"That ye may be the children of 
your Father which is in heaven. . . . 

"For if ye love them which love you, 



what reward have ye? do not even the 
publicans the same? 

"And if ye salute your brethren only, 
what do ye more than others? do not 
even the publicans so?" (Matt. 5:43- 
47.) 

Again he said: ". . . if thou bring 
thy gift to the altar, and there remem- 
berest that thy brother hath ought 
against thee; 

"Leave there thy gift before the 
altar, and go thy way; first be recon- 
ciled to thy brother, and then come 
and offer thy gift." (Matt. 5:23-24.) 

He also taught: ". . . if ye forgive 
men their trespasses, your heavenly 
Father will also forgive you: 

"But if ye forgive not men their 
trespasses, neither will your Father 
forgive your trespasses." (Matt. 6:14- 
15.) 

Continuing his outline for good 
human relationships, he said, "Judge 
not, that ye be not judged. 

"Why beholdest thou the mote that 
is in thy brother's eye, but considerest 
not the beam that is in thine own eye?" 

". . . first cast out the beam out of 
thine own eye; and then shalt thou see 
clearly to cast out the mote out of thy 
brother's eye." (Matt. 7:1, 3, 5.) 

These and many similar teachings 
formed his program for goodwill 
among men. It is the only foundation 
for a lasting peace. 

As Christians we never yet have ac- 
cepted the true meaning of his title, 
the Prince of Peace. 

Then are we truly Christians? Do 
we really follow him? Are we willing 
to adopt his principles and live them? 
The peace of Christ is attainable in 
the world. He does not command the 
impossible. 

If it were not within the realm of 
both possibility and reason to love our 
neighbors as ourselves, he would not 
have commanded it. 

If it were not possible to love our 
enemies, he would not have com- 
manded it. 

If it were not possible for us to turn 
the other cheek, to go the extra mile, 
to give our coat and our cloak also, he 
would not have commanded it. 

If it were not possible for mankind 
to reconcile their differences in the 
spirit of brotherhood, mercy, and kind- 
ness, he would not have commanded 
it. 

Was he dealing in mere verbiage 
when he gave the Beatitudes? Was he 
talking to modern Christians as well as 



to those of his own day when he said: 
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they 
shall be called the children of God"? 
(Matt. 5:9.) Can any others be the 
children of God? 

Christ is the Prince of Peace. But 
his peace will not come unless we live 
his teachings. 

He is our Savior, but he cannot save 
us if we refuse to do what he says. 

Christians of today must reassess the 
depth of their allegiance to Christ. It 
does no good to honor him with our 
lips if our hearts are far from him. 

If there is one thing more than 
another that the Lord despises, it is 
hypocrisy. None in his day received 
the condemnation that he heaped upon 
the hypocritical professors of piety who, 
he said, ". . . make clean the outside 
of the cup and of the platter, but 
within they are full of extortion and 
excess" and ". . . are like unto whited 
sepulchres, which indeed appear beau- 
tiful outward, but are within full of 
dead men's bones and of all unclean- 
ness." (Matt. 23:25, 27.) 

The writer of the Proverbs said: 

"These six things doth the Lord 
hate: yea, seven are an abomination 
unto him: 

"A proud look, a lying tongue, and 
hands that shed innocent blood, 

"An heart that deviseth wicked 
imaginations, feet that be swift in 
running to mischief, 

"A false witness that speaketh lies, 
and he that soweth discord among 
brethren." (Prov. 6:16-19.) 

If there is anything basic to Chris- 
tianity, it is honesty and sincerity. 

It is also fair dealing and due regard 
for one's fellowman. 

It is doing to others as we ourselves 
would be done by. 

It is compassion and mercy. 

It is a willingness to aid the down- 
trodden, to care for the orphan and 
the widow in their affliction, and to 
keep oneself unspotted from the sins 
of the world. 

There is no true Christianity without 
good feelings toward our fellowmen. 

Is it surprising then that the Beloved 
Apostle John taught: "If a man say, 
I love God, and hateth his brother, he 
is a liar: for he that loveth not his 
brother whom he hath seen, how can 
he love God whom he hath not seen? 

"And this commandment have we 
from him, That he who loveth God 
love his brother also." (1 John 4:20- 
21.) 

Thai is why the Savior said that the 
second great commandment is to love 
our neighbors as ourselves. 

That is why John said further: "He 
that loveth not knoweth not God; for 
God is love." (1 John 4:8.) 

And that is why Paul's words were 
translated to read: 

"Though I speak with the tongues 
of men and of angels, and have not 
[love], I am become as sounding brass 



JUNE 1966 



507 



or a tinkling cymbal. 

"And though I have the gift of 
prophecy, and understand all mysteries, 
and all knowledge; and though I have 
all faith, so that I could remove moun- 
tains, and have not [love], I am 
nothing. 

"And though I bestow all my goods 
to feed the poor, and though I give my 
body to be burned, and have not 
[love], it profiteth me nothing." (1 
Cor. 13:1-3.) 

And that is why Jesus said: ". . . in 
vain they do worship me" as he spoke 
of those who give him lip service, but 
whose hearts are far from him. (Matt. 
15:9.) 

The Savior constantly emphasized 
the "weightier matters" of the law, and 
they were not the rituals nor an out- 
ward appearance of piety. 

They were the Christian acts that 
characterized the Good Samaritan; 
they were the expressions of what some 
have called the "milk of human kind- 
ness." 

Note his description of the Judgment 
Day: 

"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 pre- 
pared for you from the foundation of 
the world: 

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave 
me meat: I 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 I 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. 

"Then shall he say also unto them 
on the left hand, Depart from me, ye 
cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared 
for the devil and his angels: 

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave 
me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye 
gave me no drink: 

"I was a stranger, and ye took me 
not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: 
sick, and in prison, and ye visited me 



not. 

"Then shall they also answer him 
saying, Lord, when saw we thee an 
hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or 
naked, or sick, or in prison, and did 
not minister unto thee? 

"Then shall he answer them, saying, 
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye 
did it not to one of the least of these, 
ye did it not to me. 

"And these shall go away into ever- 
lasting punishment: but the righteous 
into life eternal." (Matt. 25:31-46.) 

True Christianity is all this world 
really needs. It is the remedy for all 
our ills. It can cure all our troubles. 
But it takes faith, and works, and much 
of both. 

It requires a new view of Christianity 
on the part of all, and a greater wil- 
lingness to accept it and to live it. 

When we see the present widespread 
disregard of the basic teachings of the 
Master, we begin to wonder just how 
many Christians there really are in the 
world. 

Are we Christian if we are unfair to 
our neighbors? Are we Christian if we 
are dishonest, or if we resort to schem- 



ing, deceit, and duplicity? Are we really 
Christian if we find no place in our 
lives for the Golden Rule? 

We "Christians" need to take anew 
look at true Christianity and ask our- 
selves if we are willing to become 
genuine disciples of the Savior. True 
disciples will follow him and will do 
his will. Hereby may we know that 
we love him — if we keep his command- 
ments. 

Jesus is the Christ. He is the Son of 
God. He is the Savior of the world, 
but he will not save us if we do not 
live the Golden Rule. He will not save 
us if we do not understand and live 
the law of charity. He will not save us 
if we reject the second great command- 
ment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour 
as thyself." (Matt. 22:39.) 

It is my earnest hope and prayer that 
we as Latter-day Saints, that we as 
Christians throughout the world, may 
really learn to know the Christ and 
know that the weightier matters of the 
law are the matters that will really 
save us, and for this I earnestly pray 
in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



A Modern Sacrifice 

Theodore M. Burton 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• Following the resurrection of Jesus, 
two followers of Jesus traveled along 
the road to Emmaus discussing his 
crucifixion. The resurrected Lord drew 
near and joined them, but since their 
spiritual eyes were closed, they did not 
recognize him. He walked along the 
way with them, listening to what they 
said, then asked them to explain what 
they were talking about. One of them 
named Cleopas answered him, telling 
him how Jesus of Nazareth had been 
taken by the chief priests and rulers 
and slain before their eyes. Cleopas 
said they had hoped that this great 
prophet might be the one to redeem 
Israel. However, he had died three days 
ago, though certain women had re- 
ported they had seen an angel who 
told them that Jesus was alive. This 
they could not understand, and they 
were sad and discouraged at what had 
happened. Then Jesus said to them: 

"O fools, and slow of heart to be- 
lieve all that the prophets have 
spoken: 

"Ought not Christ to have suffered 
these things, and to enter into his 
glory? 

"And beginning at Moses and all the 
prophets, he expounded unto them in 
all the scriptures the things concerning 
himself." (Luke 24:25-27.) 



How profitably might we restudy 
the scriptures to know the full meaning 
of that sacrifice made by Jesus in re- 
deeming us from death. Jesus died for 
all men, that all men might be made 
alive again as taught by Paul: 

"But now is Christ risen from the 
dead, and become the first fruits of 
them that slept. 

"For since by man came death, by 
man came also the resurrection of the 
dead. 

"For as in Adam all die, even so 
in Christ shall all be made alive." 
(1 Cor. 15:20-22.) 

By his death Jesus redeemed all men, 
women, and children born upon this 
earth, that in him they all would be 
made alive again. Jesus, however, did 
more than just redeem us from death 
and the grave. He came into the world 
not only to redeem mankind from 
death, but to exalt all men and women 
who would make a covenant to accept 
him as their Savior and keep that 
covenant to the. -very end of their lives. 

This doctrine was to extend world- 
wide and be valid throughout all time 
as shown by the charge Jesus gave his 
ordained ministry: 

"Go ye therefore, and teach all na- 
tions, baptizing them in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the 



508 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Holy Ghost: 

"Teaching them to observe all things 
whatsoever I have commanded yow. 
and, lo, I am with you alway, even 
unto the end of the world. Amen." 
(Matt. 28:19-20. Italics added.) 

This statement stretched the promise 
even beyond the grave so that the 
ordinance of baptism and every other 
earthly ordinance necessary for exalta- 
tion could be performed by living 
persons authorized to do this work 
vicariously for those that were dead. 
That this practice was used by the 
early Christians is made clearly evident 
when Paul used this ordinance work as 
an additional evidence of the actuality 
of the resurrection from the dead, for 
Paul argued: 

"Else what shall they do which are 
baptized for the dead, if the dead rise 
not at all? why are they then baptized 
for the dead?" (1 Cor. 15:29.) 

Well might we ask this same ques- 
tion of every person now living and 
ask why this early Christian practice 
was neglected until 130 years ago when 
the great sealing power of Elijah was 
again returned to the earth. It was 
part of early Christian doctrine as 
taught by Peter, who said that the 
quickened or resurrected Jesus preached 
the gospel of exaltation to the spirits 
of those who were dead so that they 
might be judged like the living if they 
would accept this work done for them 
by living persons. (1 Pet. 3:18-20; 4:6.) 

Peter addressed his letters to those 
who had covenanted to assist Jesus in 
the exaltation of mankind, saying to 
them: 

"But ye are a chosen generation, a 
royal priesthood, an holy nation, a 
peculiar people; that ye should shew 
forth the praises of him who hath 
called you out of darkness into his 
marvelous light: 

"Which in time past were not a 
people, but are now the people of God: 
which had not obtained mercy, but 
now have obtained mercy." (1 Pet. 
2:9-10.) 

Peter referred to the mercy of Jesus 
for the individual person. Even a per- 
son's personal sins could be forgiven 
in mercy, if he would fully repent, turn 
from his sinful ways, and keep the 
covenant with God to become his child 
through Jesus Christ. 

In his next letter Peter pled with 
his brethren: "Wherefore the rather, 
brethren, give diligence to make your 
calling and election sure: for if ye do 
these things, ye shall never fall." 
(2 Pet. 1:10.) 

Just before saying this, Peter had 
taught them the need for faith, virtue, 
knowledge, temperance, patience, god- 
liness, brotherly kindness, and charity. 
The word charity is an expression used 
for love so great that a person is willing 
to sacrifice a part of his time or worldly 
possessions for others out of the great- 
ness of his love for them. Mormon 



defined charity as the pure love of 
Christ which endureth forever. (Moro. 
7:47.) 

It was with this personal priesthood 
responsibility in mind that in 1965 a 
program of compiling data for temple 
ordinance work for three generations in 
each individual family was given to 
the priesthood of The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints. This pro- 
gram has been continued into 1966 for 
those who did not complete this work. 
By following this program themselves, 
the priesthood can lead the members of 
the whole Church into a charitable 
work for themselves, their families and 
their immediate ancestors. This is no 
make-work project, but the first step in 
an organized plan for teaching the 
priesthood the assignment given them 
by an angel on September 21, 1823, in 
these words: 

"Behold, I will reveal unto you the 
Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the 
prophet, before the coming of the great 
and dreadful day of the Lord. 

"And he shall plant in the hearts of 
the children the promises made to the 
fathers, and the hearts of the children 
shall turn to their fathers. 

"If it were not so, the whole earth 
would be utterly wasted at his coming." 
(D&C 2.) 

This three- generation program is the 
first practical step in compiling a 
record that each individual family 
must present as its sacrifice in the 
temple, as given in the following 
words from the scripture: 

"Behold, the great day of the Lord 
is at hand; and who can abide the day 
of his coming, and who can stand 
when he appeareth? For he is like a 
refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap; and 
he shall sit as a refiner and purifier 
of silver, and he shall purify the sons 
of Levi, and purge them as gold and 
silver, that they may offer unto the 
Lord an offering in righteousness. Let 
us, therefore, as a church and a people, 
and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the 
Lord an offering in righteousness; and 
let us present in his holy temple, when 
it is finished, a book containing the 
records of our dead, which shall be 
worthy of all acceptation." (D&C 
128:24.) 

The compilation of an individual 
family record is a duty of such sacred 




importance that it cannot be wholly 
entrusted to others to do for us. We 
cannot just hope that an aunt or an 
uncle or a cousin will do this work for 
the whole family. Relatives and friends 
can help and assist us. All members of 
the family should help one another in 
assembling this information and pass- 
ing it on to others. The responsibility 
for compiling a record for our own 
family, however, rests with each one of 
us in our individual families. We each 
must have a record to show that this 
holy work has been done as completely 
as we and our loved ones have power 
to complete it. As I understand the 
scripture, this is an individual family 
responsibility given to the priesthood 
to administer and to complete. 

One of the amazing by-products of 
this program of listing the record of 
temple work done for our immediate 
families is to see how our complacency 
in the past had resulted in incomplete 
work for certain members of the 
family. An aunt, an uncle, or a cousin 
had been overlooked for one reason or 
another. Some records were incomplete, 
for a necessary ordinance here or there 
had been forgotten. As families worked 
to fill these gaps, relatives were drawn 
together as if by magic. Cousins we 
had not seen for years visited us or 
called on the telephone. Contacts with 
loved ones long neglected were 
awakened again and led to the forma- 
tion of new family organizations. 
Family reunions were held that now 
had purpose and meaning. 

Not to be overlooked was the 
spiritual awakening of some families 
as sins long overlooked or covered by 
deception and falsehoods were brought 
to light and corrected. This repentance 
would not have occurred without the 
impetus given through this priesthood 
program. Thus, the record required of 
us was made more perfect and our 
lives in turn made more beautiful as 
the need for tenderness, forgiveness, 
and consideration in home and family 
ties was made evident. No family 
should hesitate to join in this program 
of gathering and completing family 
records to produce a book of remem- 
brance worthy of all acceptation in the 
temples of God. 

The priests of Israel in olden times 
presented an offering of a male lamb, 
white and without blemish, as a re- 
membrance of Jesus Christ, who was 
to come to redeem the world from 
death and the grave. In an analogous 
manner our priesthood today with 
their families are to prepare a book of 
their dead, perfect, without blemish, 
containing a record of completed ordi- 
nance work done for their dead 
ancestors. This record containing the 
completed temple ordinances is a sac- 
rifice of the living for those of their 
dead loved ones to bind them into the 
family of Jesus Christ — not only to be 
redeemed from death, but also, if ac- 



JUNE 1966 



S09 



cepted, exalting them into the very 
presence of God the Eternal Father. 

This program is the beginning, then, 
for compiling an individual family 
record by which members of the 
priesthood can help make their calling 
and election sure. As the prophet 
Joseph Smith declared: 

"The greatest responsibility . . . that 
God has laid upon us is to seek after 
our dead." (Teachings of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph 
Fielding Smith, Second Edition, p. 



356.) 

Why is this so? Because the work of 
Jesus Christ must be made complete 
and perfect through the help of those 
of us who profess to be his servants 
so that every man and woman who 
desires to do so may make a personal 
covenant upon this earth to accept 
Jesus Christ as their Lord, their Re- 
deemer, and their King. 

Of him I testify in the name of the 
Only Begotten Son, even Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



Christ Will Come Again 

EIRay L. Christiansen 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• I stand before you, my brethren and 
sisters, in humility and in gratitude 
for the assurance I have that this is 
the Church of Jesus Christ, restored in 
fulfillment of the promises of the Lord 
made through his prophets and re- 
corded both in the Old Testament and 
in the New Testament and in other 
volumes of scripture, and that his 
prophet-leader in our day is President 
David O. McKay, who sits with us 
here today. We are so thankful, Presi- 
dent McKay, that you are here. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Lat- 
ter-day Saints proclaims without reser- 
vation or hesitation the doctrine that 
Christ will return to the earth to reign 
in power and great glory. One of our 
articles of faith states: "We believe 
that . . . Christ will reign personally 
upon the earth; and, that the earth 
will be renewed and receive its para- 
disiacal glory." (Tenth article of 
faith.) 

It will be an actual, literal return of 
the Lord in person. His coming is 
assured by Job, who exclaimed: "... I 
know that my redeemer liveth, and 
that he shall stand at the latter day 
upon the earth." (Job 19:25.) 

From the writings of Moses we learn 
concerning the revelation given to 
Enoch: "And the Lord said unto 
Enoch: As I live, even so will I come 
in the last days, in the days of wicked- 
ness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath 
which I have made unto you concern- 
ing the children of Noah." (Moses 
7:60.) 

During his ministry upon the earth, 
Jesus gave his disciples assurance of his 
coming by saying: "For the Son of 
man shall come in the glory of his 
Father with his angels; and then he 
shall reward every man according to 
his works." (Matt. 16:27.) 

To those who are not indifferent 
and who do not close their minds to 
the truth, the words of Jesus, revealed 



only a few decades ago, are clear and 
understandable. To the Prophet Joseph 
Smith came this promise: "For behold, 
verily, verily, I say unto you, the time 
is soon at hand that I shall come in a 
cloud with power and great glory. 

"And it shall be a great day at the 
time of my coming, for all nations 
shall tremble." (D&C 34:7-8.) 

". . . be prepared for the days to 
come, in the which the Son of Man 
shall come down in heaven, clothed in 
the brightness of his glory, to meet the 
kingdom of God which is set up on 
the earth." (D&C 65:5. Italics added.) 

There is no ambiguity in these 
words. That the Lord will come again 
no one needs doubt! 

But when will this stupendous event 
take place? 

Ever since his ascension into heaven, 
the faithful followers of Jesus have 
looked hopefully for the day when he 
would return. However, he himself 
was most explicit in explaining that 
the precise time of his return would 
not be known in advance. ". . . of that 
day and hour," he said, "knoweth no 
man, no, not the angels of heaven, 
but my Father only." 

"Watch therefore: for ye know not 
what hour your Lord doth come." 

". . . for in such an hour as ye think 
not the Son of man cometh." (Matt. 
24:36, 42, 44.) 

There is no fixed time for a genera- 
tion, no year or precise date given by 
the Lord when events shall take place, 
and it is folly for us to attempt to do 
it for him. He will, however, see 
that his word is fulfilled, for he has 
said, ". . . one jot or one tittle shall 
in no wise pass from the law, till all 
be fulfilled." (Matt. 5:18.) 

So while the day and the hour are 
not revealed and -will not be made 
known to man, we can, by learning 
to understand the signs of the times, 
by watching the development of the 



work of God among the nations, and 
by noting the rapid fulfillment of sig- 
nificant prophecies, perceive the pro- 
gressive evidence of the approaching 
event. 

Indeed, most of the significant signs 
that the scriptures say will precede his 
coming have already taken place. 
These signs and noteworthy develop- 
ments include: 

1. A universal apostasy from the 
Church first established by Christ. 
Paul taught the Thessalonians, saying: 
". . . that day shall not come, except 
there come a falling away first. . . ." 
(2 Thess. 2:3.) 

And he reminded Timothy that "the 
time will come when they will not 
endure sound doctrine; but after their 
own lusts shall they heap to them- 
selves teachers, having itching ears; 

"And they shall turn away their 
ears from the truth. . . ." (2 Tim. 
4:3-4.) 

2. The gospel in its fullness has been 
restored as promised, and the Book of 
Mormon has come forth as prophesied 
by Ezekiel. (Ezek. 37.) 

3. Likewise, the priesthood has been 
restored through the Visitation of 
heavenly beings. 

4. The gospel has, for more than a 
hundred years, been taught to thou- 
sands of people in many nations. 

5. As promised by the prophets, 
both of the Old Testament and of the 
New Testament, the Church has been 
established in conformity with the 
original Church. 

6. In fulfillment of Malachi's prom- 
ise, Elijah has restored the keys of the 
sealing power, which are exercised in 
the many temples throughout the 
world today. 

Other marvelous signs and manifes- 
tations will be witnessed both in 
heaven and in earth prior to his com- 
ing. We must wait for them to 
develop. ° 

How will his coming affect the in- 
habitants of the earth? 

The very thought of it thrills, the 
human soul! We are told that his 
coming will be sublime and glorious; 
awesome and terrible — terrible to the 
unrepentant and ungodly, but glorious 
and delightful to those who are worthy 
of him and who are ready to meet 
him. 

"For," he has said, "I will reveal 
myself from heaven with power and 
great glory, with all the hosts thereof, 
and dwell in righteousness with men 
on earth a thousand years, and the 
wicked shall not stand. 

". . . for they will not repent. . . ." 
(D&C 29:11, 17.) 

At his coming Christ will cause the 
hosts of righteous ones who have 
passed from life to come forth from 
the graves, and those who "are alive 
and remain shall be caught up" with 
them to meet him. (1 Thess. 4:17. See 
also D&C 88:96.) 



5IO 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



"And all they who have mourned 
shall be comforted. 

"And all they who have given their 
lives for my name shall be crowned. 

"Therefore, let your hearts be com- 
forted ...... "J for all flesh is in mine 

hands; be still and know that I am 
God." (D&C 101:14-16.) 

Under such conditions, all of us will 
desire to live with him and with our 
loved ones upon the earth. And we 
can do this if we, like the five wise 
among the ten virgins spoken of by the 
Lord in the parable, will not only 
desire to meet and be with him but also 
make the preparation necessary to do 
so. We are not without direction in 
our preparation for his coming. He 
has given in. the restored gospel the pat- 
tern to be followed. 

Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, 
the Lord made this known to the 
Church, saying: 

"And even so I have sent mine ever- 
lasting covenant into the world, to be 
a light to the world, and to be a 
standard for my people, and for the 
Gentiles to seek it, and to be a mes- 
senger before my face to prepare the 
way before me." (D&C 45:9. Italics 
added.) 

". . . at that day, when I shall come 
in my glory, shall the parable be ful- 
filled which I spake concerning the 
ten virgins. 

"For they that are wise and have . . . 
taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, 
and have not been deceived — verily I 
say unto you, they shall not be hewn 
down and cast into the fire, but shall 
abide the day." (D&C 45:56-57.) 

"And it shall come to pass that the 
righteous shall be gathered out from 
among all nations, and shall come to 
Zion, singing with songs of everlasting 
joy." (D&C 45:71.) 

The words of a lovely song come to 
mind: "If Christ should come tomor- 
row, what would he do? what would 
he say?" What would we do? What 
would we say? 

"O that each in the day of his coming 
may say, 

'I have fought my way through. 

I have finished the work thou didst 
give me to do.' 

Oh, that each from the Lord may re- 
ceive this glad word: 

'Well and faithfully done; 

Enter into my joy and sit down on my 
throne, 

Enter into my joy and sit down on my 
throne.' " 
("Come, Let Us Anew," Hymns, 17.) 

It is then that will be seen a fulfill- 
ment of the Lord's own prayer, which 
has been sung so beautifully today: 
"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be 
done in earth, as it is in heaven." 
(Matt. 6:10.) 

May it so be, I pray in the name of 
Jesus Christ, our Master. Amen. 



Time Is of the Essence 

John Longden 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• On September 23, 1909, I walked 
with my father, holding his hand, 
down a street called Edge Lane in 
Liverpool, England, into the office of 
the then British Mission and had the 
privilege of shaking the hand of Presi- 
dent Charles W. Penrose just before 
we boarded ship to come to this great 
country of America. 

In March of that same year, Presi- 
dent Penrose dedicated a little corru- 
gated, galvanized meetinghouse in 
Oldham, Lancashire, where I was born. 
Through the graciousness and kindness 
of President David O. McKay of the 
First Presidency, I had the privilege of 
returning to the land of my birth after 
fifty-six years to dedicate a beautiful 
structure in the town of Oldham. 
President McKay, we shall always be 
grateful to you for this assignment and 
the opportunity of holding conferences 
in London, in Leicester, and in Hol- 
land. It was a rich experience to 
associate with the members in Old- 
ham. My, what a contrast from the 
little galvanized building in which I 
used to go to Sunday School and sac- 
rament meeting and all the other 
services that were held at that time. 
Almost four hundred people assembled 
that Sunday night of February 27 
with the Manchester Stake Mormon 
Choir, which they informed me they 
had permission to so be called by the 
First Presidency of the Church. 

Fifty-six years ago! It seems like 
yesterday! How time flies! 

We have heard much about time 
during this conference thus far, and I 
should like to spend a few moments 
on this subject of time. 

How many times have you heard the 
statement, "I haven't time" — yet all 
individuals are blessed with the same 
amount of this precious commodity. 

"Guard well your spare moments," 
Ralph Waldo Emerson advised. "They 
are like uncut diamonds. Discard them 
and their value will never be known. 
Improve them and they will become 
the brightest gems in a useful life." 

Most of us waste an inexcusable 
amount of time. We go along using 
time thoughtlessly and failing to get 
out of it either enjoyment of life or 
the satisfaction of accomplishments. 

Time passes quickly, we cannot save 
it, we cannot buy it, There is nothing 
we can do about it except to see as far 
as possible that it passes fruitfully. 

Robert R. Updegraff once said, "To 
get all there is out of living, we must 
employ our time wisely, never being 



in too much of a hurry to stop and 
sip life, but never losing our sense of 
the enormous value of a minute." 

Mere "busyness" is not necessarily 
evidence of the wise use of time. There 
should be time for mental and spir- 
itual development as well as relaxa- 
tion: time for worship and time to 
express our thankfulness for our ability 
to work, and think, and pray, and read, 
and help, and dream, and laugh, and 
plan, and learn. 

"Dost thou love life, then do not 
squander time, for that is the stuff life 
is made of," said Benjamin Franklin. 

Modern conditions have and are 
creating more leisure, adding to our 
woes unless this precious time is used 
wisely. 

I was interested in the word 
"leisure" because we hear so much 
about it, so referring to the dictionary, 
I found this description: "Spare time; 
unoccupied by work; as, leisure hours." 

"The end of labor is to gain leisure." 
(Aristotle.) 

"Employ thy time well, if thou 
meanest to gain leisure; and, since 
thou art not sure of a minute, throw 
not away an hour." "Leisure is time 
for doing something useful; this leisure 
the diligent man will obtain; but the 
lazy man, never." "A life of leisure 
and a life of laziness are two things." 
(Franklin.) 

"Leisure is a beautiful garment, but 
it will not do for constant wearing." 
(Anonymous.) 

"Leisure is pain; takes off our 
chariot wheels; how heavily we drag 
the load of life. Blessed leisure is 
our' curse." (Edward Young, Night 
Thoughts, 1742.) 

"Leisure for men of business, and 
business for men of leisure, would cure 
many complaints." (Mrs. Thrale.) 

Spare minutes are the gold-dust of 
time; the portions of life most fruitful 
in good or evil; the gaps through 
which temptations enter. 

Yes, temptations. 

"Time well employed is Satan's 
deadliest foe; it leaves no opening for 
the lurking fiend," said Wilcox. 

I think of another of my mother's 
teachings: "An idle brain is the devil's 
workshop." (English proverb.) We 
know it is not when we are busy that 
we get into trouble. 

Herndon said: "Satan selects his 
disciples when they are idle; Jesus 
selected his when they were busy at 
their work either mending their nets 
or casting them into the sea." 



JUNE 1966 



511 



Then Hans Christian Andersen said, 
"Time is so fleeting that if we do not 
remember God in our youth, age may 
find us incapable of thinking about 
Him." 

The Prophet Alma said: ". . . learn 
wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy 
youth to keep the commandments of 
God." (Al. 37:35.) 

I thrilled this morning with this 
beautiful Primary chorus and to hear 
their melodious, sweet, young voices 
singing these glorious hymns: "I am a 
child of God. . . . Lead me, guide me, 
walk beside me, Help me find the 
way." Yes, in their youth they are 
learning these precious teachings. 

The Apostle Paul gave excellent 
counsel — Ephesians 6:10-11: 

". . . be strong in the Lord, and in 
the power of his might. 

"Put on the whole armour of God, 
that ye may be able to stand against 
the wiles of the devil." 

The time we spend learning of our 
Father in heaven will bring untold 
blessings to us all the days of our lives 
and enable us to avoid or overcome 
the temptations of Satan. 

Some can see the greatness of the 
past, some can sense the potential of 
the future, but few are able to recog- 
nize the greatness of the present. Those 
of us who have the light of the gospel 
of Jesus Christ and a knowledge of the 
purpose of life and the reason for 
being here have an advantage over 
those who do not have this blessing. 

Therefore, we need to place the true 
value upon this precious commodity 
time. 

There are 60 seconds in a minute, 
60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a 
day, 168 hours in a week, 8,736 hours 
in a year. The average span of life at 
present is 70 years. In that many years 
there would be well in excess of 
600,000 hours. 

Let us r\ot worry about the span of 
life (70 years) or the total accumulated 
hours in those years, but take each day 
as it comes, living every minute, every 
hour. 

May I read something very appro- 
priate on this thought titled "Today." 
I do not know the author's name. 

Today is here. I will start with a 
smile, and resolve to be agreeable. I 
will not criticize. I refuse to waste my 
valuable time. 

Today has one thing in which I 
know I am equal with others — Time. 
All of us draw the same salary in 
seconds, minutes, hours — 24 Golden 
Hours each day. 

Today I will not waste my time, 
because the minutes I wasted yesterday 
are as lost as a vanished thought. 

Today I refuse to spend time worry- 
ing about what might happen. I am 
going to spend my time making things 
happen. 

Today I am determined to study to 
improve myself, for tomorrow I may 



be wanted, and I must not be found 
lacking. 

Today I am determined to do things 
I should do. I firmly resolve to stop 
doing the things I should not do. 

Today I begin by doing and not 
wasting my time. In one week I will 
be miles beyond the person I am today. 

Today I will not imagine what I 
would do if things were different. They 
are not different. I will make a success 
with what material I have. 

Today I will stop saying, "If I had 
time," for I never will "find time" for 
anything — if I want time I must take 
it. 

Today I will act toward other people 
as though this might be my last day 
on earth. I will not wait for tomorrow. 
Tomorrow never comes. 

Yes, we have time to be honest, time 
to be gentlemen and ladies; time to be 



polite; time to be virtuous, to be clean; 
time to study, to pray, to think; time 
to act wisely; time to be happy; time 
to worship, to develop self-control; 
time to have faith, to repent, to be 
baptized by immersion by one having 
the authority; and time to receive a 
witness of the Holy Ghost, that power 
which will guide us into further light 
and truth and knowledge, this great 
boon or favor from our Heavenly 
Father and his divine Son Jesus Christ. 
Then we are conforming with the for- 
malities that permit us entrance into 
the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
I bear this witness and testimony that 
we can take advantage of our time and 
accomplish great deeds in rendering 
service to our fellowmen, and I ask 
that this will be our lot, in the name 
of Jesus Christ, our divine Savior. 
Amen. 



Can You Abide Two Hours? 



Eldred G. Smith 
Patriarch to the Church 



• The scriptures are replete with the 
admonition to endure to the end with 
a promise of eternal life as a reward. 
To the Nephites the Lord said, "Look 
unto me, and endure to the end, and 
ye shall live; for unto him that 
endureth unto the end will I give 
eternal life." (3 Ne. 15:9.) In the 
Doctrine and Covenants the Lord 
says, ". . . whosoever is of my church, 
and endureth of my church to the end, 
him will I establish upon my rock, and 
the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against them." (D&C 10:69.) 

What does it mean to endure? One 
definition is: "to have duration; to 
continue." This would be to outlast 
time; this is important too. But here 
is another definition: "to withstand or 
bear, as pain, sorrow, destructive force, 
without yielding; to suffer patiently; 
to remain firm, as under trial or suf- 
fering; to bear up under adversity." 
One of the main purposes of this life 
is to overcome obstacles, to gain 
strength, to grow to the point where 
we can endure many things. For in- 
stance, can you endure others and 
their differences of opinion? Can you 
accept the gospel of Jesus Christ in the 
face of adversity? Can you live as 
Christ taught, that you might be 
worthy of eternal life? To endure 
means more than just a good start 
alone; we must finish with zeal. 

Life is much like a basketball game. 
You don't win if you don't start well 
and then slow down; but if you get 
off to a bad start, it is possible to catch 
up and even win. The finish is of most 
importance. Remember the parable 



Jesus gave of the laborers. He said, 
"For the kingdom of heaven is like 
unto a man that is an householder, 
which went out early in the morning 
to hire labourers into his vineyard. 

"And when he had agreed with the 
labourers for a penny a day, he sent 
them into his vineyard. 

"And he went out" repeatedly 
during the day and hired other laborers 
even unto the eleventh hour, telling 
each that he would pay them that 
which was right. Then at the end of 
the day, paying the last laborer hired 
first, he paid each a penny, giving the 
same reward for the day's labor to each 
person. (Matt. 20:1-15.) The Lord not 
only said to endure but to endure to 
the end — to the end of life, your life. 
How long is your life? Time is rele- 
vant. Brother Longden has just told us 
quite a bit about time, which should 
stir up our interest in how we use it. 
Which time calendar do you use to 
measure your lifetime on the earth? 

While Abraham was in Egypt, the 
Lord taught him much concerning the 
stars, especially those that control the 
times and the seasons. Thus Abraham 
wrote: 

"And I saw the stars, that they were 
very great, and that one of them was 
nearest unto the throne of God; and 
there were many great ones which 
were near unto it; 

"And the Lord said unto me: These 
are the governing ones; and the name 
of the great one is Kolob, because it is 
near unto me, for I am the Lord thy 
God: I have set this one to govern all 
those which belong to the same order 



512 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



as that upon which thou standest. 

"And the Lord said unto me, by the 
Urim and Thummim, that Kolob was 
after the manner of the Lord, accord- 
ing to its times and seasons in the 
revolutions thereof; that one revolution 
was a day unto the Lord, after his 
manner of reckoning, it being one 
thousand years according to the time 
appointed unto that whereon thou 
standest. This is the reckoning of the 
Lord's time, according to the reckoning 
of Kolob." (Abr. 3:2-4.) 

So according to this, 1000 years of 
our time is equivalent to one day with 
the Lord. If you were to live to be 
100 years old on earth, that would be 
1/10 of one day with the Lord. Now 
suppose we divide the Lord's day 
into 24 equal parts, as our day is, 
just for comparative purposes: 100 
years of our life would be equal to 
1/10 of 24, or 2.4 hours. So according 
to this, if you live to be 100 on this 
earth, that would be equivalent to 2.4 
hours in the Lord's time calendar. If 
you live to be 75, that would be one 
hour and 48 minutes. Fifty years of 
this time is equivalent to one hour and 
12 minutes in the Lord's time. 

Imagine yourself for a moment back 
in the spirit world before you came 
to earth. You were living in the 
presence of God in the celestial world. 
You knew from firsthand experience 
the fullness of the glory of God. You 
knew you could not participate in his 
glory, or become as he is, because you 
were only a spirit; you didn't have a 
physical body. Now the opportunity 
comes for you to go to earth where you 
can receive such a body and become 
as he is. Of course, you shouted for 
joy! Then let's assume that you were 
instructed that you would be allotted 
100 years of mortal time. To you, 
there and then, that would be two 
hours and 24 minutes. That would be 
the only time calendar you would be 
familiar with — only about 2 x /3 hours. 

Only 2 ! / 3 hours to earn such a great 
reward — and some may not live 100 
years; most of us will not. So we will 
assume about two hours time in the 
Lord's time is allotted to us in this 
life. 

Brother John Longden has just told 
us that the average life was 70 years; 
that is about 1.7 hours in the Lord's 
time. I think that for that short 
length of time you would be willing 
to put up with most anything. We 
have in this life two golden hours. 

Wouldn't you promise to endure 
almost anything for two hours to get 
the blessings that the Lord has prom- 
ised of eternal life and to become as 
he is? He has promised that all that 
the Father has shall be given unto 
you. Then suppose you were in- 
structed that you would have much 
to endure in this life on earth. Nothing 
would be too great to endure for two 
hours, would it? You would be will- 



ing to promise to build this body and 
keep it clean. You would not partici- 
pate in any activities that would de- 
file the body. You would be willing 
to accept the teachings of the Savior. 
You would accept his gospel when it 
was presented unto you. You would 
meet any adversity willingly for two 
hours. Even though you were in- 
structed that you would have pain, 
sorrow, sickness, misery, wars, and 
even horrible wars to go through, you 
would still be willing to come, and 
even to beg for the opportunities of 
coming, to endure for two hours' time. 
Yes, even if you were told you would 
be born crippled, maimed, diseased, 
you would still be willing to come to 
endure whatever might be required of 
you to get the blessings of eternal life 
as a result of but a short period of 
time. You would even be willing to 
accept being born blind on this earth 
if it meant the outcome of this short 
time would be that you would have 
the blessings of eternal life. 

I am sure that you would have prom- 
ised that you would accept the gospel 
against any opposition. You would 
live the gospel. Oh, yes. You would 
be told that you would have to live 
the Word of Wisdom. You would 
have to pay your tithing. You would 
be asked to attend many meetings. You 
would be required to give much of 
your time and your assistance in order 
to promote the work of the Lord upon 
the earth. You might be asked to sing 
in the choir occasionally. 

You might be required to do gene- 
alogical research work and to spend 
much of your time in the temples or in 
many other activities in behalf of 
someone else. You might be instructed 
that you would be required to be a 
bishop and give of your time unselfish- 
ly, as a bishop does, all for the benefit 
of others. What price could you pay 
that would be too high and too great 
for the blessings of eternal life and 
to become as your Heavenly Father? 

Some say when the missionaries 
come to them, "I am too old; it is too 



late in life to change now. I am too 
old to change my religion." To such 
people I might say, "All the more 
reason why you had better make the 
change quickly so that you will be 
prepared to meet your Maker and say, 
'I tried at the last minute when the 
opportunity first came to me.' " No one 
is too old to start doing good or to 
make changes and amendments in the 
right direction. 

If you are married for 50 years in 
this life, that is equivalent to one hour 
and 12 minutes in the Lord's time. 
Can you, as married couples, put up 
with each other and learn to be faith- 
ful in all things for an hour and 12 
minutes? Could you withstand the 
test of prosperity? This is a test under 
which many individuals, as well as 
cities or nations, fall. Can we as a 
Church, can we as Americans, can 
we of this latter day withstand the 
trial of prosperity for two hours or so 
of the Lord's time? I think that when 
the Lord does the judging, he will 
think in terms of the eternal time, 
the Lord's time. And he might say, 
could you not be faithful for such a 
short time as two hours, or an hour 
and a half, whatever time was allotted 
you — a matter of one or two hours, 
generally speaking. If so, if you can 
meet these challenges to endure to the 
end, the blessings of eternal life are 
yours. 

Then you can say, as Paul wrote to 
Timothy, "I have fought a good fight, 
I have finished my course, I have kept 
the faith: 

"Henceforth there is laid up for me 
a crown of righteousness, which the 
Lord, the righteous judge, shall give 
me at that day: and not to me only, 
but unto all them also that love his 
appearing." (2 Tim. 4:7-8.) 

May the Lord's blessings be yours to 
endure the trials of life and to endure 
temptations, to endure discouragement, 
to endure all adversities of Satan. 
That you may have the blessings of 
joy and eternal life I pray in the name 
of Jesus Christ. Amen. 




JUNE 1966 



513 



A Basic Hard-Core Godhead Concept 
for Christian Creeds 

William J. Critchlow, Jr. 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• Last year, a dignitary of a great 
Protestant church visited in Ogden 
[Utah]. His coming was announced 
in the press, and an invitation was 
extended to the public to hear him 
speak on the subject "Are the Mormons 
Christians?" I missed his sermon, so I 
wouldn't know. I mean I wouldn't 
know what he said. 

A visitor on Temple Square turned 
to a tourist at his side and asked, "Are 
these Mormons Christians?" Sensing 
the pressure of the crowd about him 
and obviously not wishing to be over- 
heard, the tourist answered, almost in 
a whisper, "Yes, in a way, but they 
are not orthodox." Then, taking his 
wife by the arm, he squeezed his way 
out of the crowd — purposely, I think, 
to avoid explaining that word ortho- 
dox. The visitor who asked the question 
would probably like to know what an 
orthodox Christian is. So would I. 

Up in Huntsville, Utah, where 
President McKay was born and reared 
and where he still resides when he is 
not in his apartment in Hotel Utah, a 
monastery has been established. I asked 
its abbot why his church came to 
Huntsville to build a monastery in 
President McKay's backyard, in a 
community where 90 percent of the 
residents are Mormons, in a state 
where Mormons constitute a substan- 
tial majority. He replied, "To bring 
Christianity to the Mormons." And he 
was not speaking facetiously. 

Last year a Protestant minister on 
the local radio program "Public Pulse" 
was asked by one of his listeners, "Is 
there any basic, hard-core concept that 
is common to, and characteristic of, all 
Christian creeds?" In substance his 
answer was, "Yes, there are two. The 
first is a belief in a God to whom you 
can ascribe no physical characteristics. 
The other is a 'concept of Jesus Christ 
as a manifestation of God in the flesh, 
who came to establish his gospel on 
the earth.' " Christian churches are 
vehicles to spread it around the world. 

Thanks to this minister, I think I 
now know what the tourist on Temple 
Square meant when he said, "Yes, in 
a way [the Mormons are Christians], 
but they are not orthodox." I also have 
a faint idea of what the minister up 
Ogden way probably said in this ser- 
mon, "Are the Mormons Christians?" 
Orthodoxy, it seems, is believing a 
little; unorthodoxy is believing too 
much. 

A Christian, according to my dic- 
tionary, is one who "believes, or pro- 
fesses or is assumed to believe, in Jesus 
Christ, and the truth as taught by 



him." Under that broad definition 
there surely ought to be room for the 
abbot, the ministers, even myself, to 
qualify as Christians and room also to 
disagree. God, whoever and wherever 
he is, would be pleased to have his 
children, regardless of creed or color, 
keep the commandments he gave to 
ancient Israel, and how much happier 
this world would be if we of Christian 
faiths would follow the simple teach- 
ings of the Christ. I am a Christian. 
My dictionary sustains me. I believe 
in Jesus Christ and the truth as taught 
by him. 

My acceptance of him literally as 
the Son of God, rather than as a mani- 
festation or reincarnation of God, must 
not rule me out of the Christian 
society. Nor should my belief in a cor- 
poreal — flesh and bones — God affect 
my Christian status. And because I 
also accept the Holy Ghost as the third 
person in the Godhead, I should not be 
accused of believing too much for an 
orthodox Christian. 

To the tourist, who may still be 
pondering the meaning of the word 
"orthodox," and to all of you listening 
in, may I submit three really basic, 
hard-core godhead concepts that truly 
are characteristic of my Latter-day 
Saint faith: 

1. I affirm — we affirm — the existence 
of a true and living God in whose 
image and likeness man was created. 
He has "a body of flesh and bones as 
tangible as man's." (D&C 130:22.) 
With limbs, he can stand and walk. 
In his head are eyes to see us, ears to 
hear us, a mouth to speak to us. Can 
anyone explain to me how he: 
— without a mouth can speak? (John 

12:28-29.) 
— without eyes can see what his chil- 
dren are doing here on earth? 
— without ears can hear my prayers 
and yours? 

My God is capable of emotions and 
passions, else: 

— how can he love? He did so love 
"the world, that he gave his only 
begotten Son, that whosoever believ- 
eth in him should not perish, but 
have everlasting life." (John 3:16.) 
— how can he be angry when his chil- 
dren blaspheme his name and break 
his commandments? 
— how can he be long suffering? merci- 
ful and gracious? 

From your Bible and mine I quote: 
". . . God said, Let us make man in 
our image, after our likeness. . . . 

"So God created man in his own 
image," and then, as if by way of 
emphasis, is added "in the image of 



God created he him. . . ." (Gen. 1: 
26-27.) 

This God of mine and yours has 
been seen and heard. In company 
with his son Jesus, God the Father 
appeared to Joseph Smith, the great 
American prophet. Introducing his 
son, he said, " — This is My Beloved 
Son, Hear Him!" (Joseph Smith 2:17.) 

The apostle John wrote: "And this 
is life eternal, that they might know 
thee the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 
17:3.) 

2. I affirm — we affirm — that Jesus 
Christ, whom the Father did send, is 
literally, not figuratively, the Son of 
God, our Heavenly Father. Jesus said 
he was. When Caiaphas on that fate- 
ful day of our Savior's trial shouted, 
"Art thou the Christ, the Son of 
the Blessed? . . . Jesus said, I am. . . ." 
(Mark 14:61-62.) His mother so 
claimed him (Luke 1:30-32); so did his 
apostles and others. (John 1:45-49, 
11:25-44; Mark 15:39; Matt. 14:33; 
Acts 9:17-20; D&C 76:15-23.) God the 
Father left no possible room for doubt 
about his sonship; four times are re- 
corded in which he, the Father, intro- 
duced Jesus as his Son: 

1. To Joseph Smith, as I have al- 
ready related. 

2. On the occasion of Christ's trans- 
figuration on the Mount. (Mark 9:2-7.) 

3. When Jesus made a personal visit 
to the Nephites. (3 Ne. 11:3-7.) 

4. At the baptism of Jesus by the 
hands of John the Baptist. (Matt. 3: 
13-17.) This particular introduction is 
narrated by Luke in these words, which 
are almost identical with those of the 
other three introductions: "And the 
Holy Ghost descended in a bodily 
shape like a dove upon him, and a 
voice came from heaven, which said, 
Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am 
well pleased." (Luke 3:22.) 

There have been fathers without 
sons, but whoever heard of a son 
without a father? Jesus is no exception. 
God is his Father. To him he prayed 
and to him he counseled us to pray. 
(Matt. 6:9-13.) 

Luke's narrative introduces my third 
hard-core concept, namely: 

3. I affirm — we affirm — that the 
Holy Ghost who "descended in a 
bodily shape like a dove" upon Jesus 
is the third member of the Godhead. 
Unlike Jesus and the Father, he does 
not have a body of flesh and bones 
but is a personage of spirit — a spirit 
entity. Like the Father and the Son, 
his spirit body has size and dimensions 
and is in the form of a man, not a 
woman. Whether he, in time, will take 
to himself a body is sheer speculation. 

Some people who are given to 
speculating suspect that he might fol- 
low the example of the Savior, who 
took upon himself a body and then 
laid it down that he might take it up 
again. The Savior said he did the 



514 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



things he saw his Father do before him. 
(John 5:19-20.) His Father took unto 
himself a body. I would not dare to 
deny the Holy Ghost that same privi- 
lege; neither would I affirm it so. 
Some things we do not know; some 
things we are not now supposed to 
know. If evil spirits can enter into 
and thus influence mortal bodies 
(Mark 5:1-12), it must be within the 
power of the Holy Ghost on occasions 
similarly to contact and influence 
human souls for good. Perhaps that's 
why he has not taken upon himself a 
mortal body. 

Spirit matter is too refined to be 
visible to the physical eye, yet God 
once permitted John the Baptist to 
behold the descent of the Holy Ghost 
"in a bodily shape" when John bap- 
tized Jesus. Like a dove the Holy Ghost 
descended — not in the form of a dove, 
but rather in the sign of the dove in 
witness of that administration. In ex- 
planation, the Prophet Joseph Smith 
has said, "The sign of the dove was 
instituted before the creation of the 
world, a witness for the Holy Ghost, 
and the devil cannot come in the sign 
of a dove. The Holy Ghost is a person- 
age, and is in the form of a personage. 
[He] . . . cannot be transformed into 
a dove; but the sign of a dove ... is 
an emblem or token of truth and 
innocence." (Teachings of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith, p. 276.) 

Again, like the Father and the Son, 
the Holy Ghost can only be in one 
place at a time, and he cannot trans- 
form himself into any other form or 
image. To affirm omnipresence of the 
personage of the Holy Ghost overstates 
divine purpose. However, his power 
and intelligence are omnipresent in 
perhaps the same way the light of 
Christ fills the immensity of space and 
is everywhere present. Who can affirm 
that the two are not in some way 
correlated agencies or powers through 
which the Holy Ghost, in administer- 
ing his affairs, sends forth his gifts? 
(Moro. 10:17; Joseph Fielding Smith, 
Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 54.) 

His mission is to testify of Christ 
and to bear record of the Father as 
well as the Son and to all truth. (John 
15:26; Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, 
p. 38.) 

Sometimes he is referred to as the 
Messenger for the Father and the Son. 
Other times he is called the Comforter. 
As such he assuages sorrow, gives hope 
to dispirited persons, and soothes 
wounded hearts and feelings. 

He is often called the Teacher. The 
apostle John said, ". . . he shall teach 
you all things and bring all things to 
your remembrance. . . ." (John 14:26.) 

He is also a Revelator. The Prophet 
Joseph Smith said, "No man can re- 
ceive the Holy Ghost without receiving 
revelations, The Holy Ghost is a 
revelator." (Documentary History of 
the Church, Vol. 6, p. 58.) 



". . . no man can say that Jesus is 
the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." 
(1 Cor. 12:3; D&C 46:13.) 

By his power one may know that 
the Book of Mormon is true. (Moro. 
10:4.) 

He is the Holy Spirit of Promise 
who "places the stamp of approval 
upon every ordinance: baptism, con- 
firmation, ordination, marriage. The 
promise is that the blessings will he 
received through faithfulness." (Doc- 
trines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 45. Italics 
added.) 

The Prophet Joseph Smith was told 
that "all covenants, contracts, bonds, 
obligations, oaths, vows, performances, 
connections, associations, or expecta- 
tions" must be sealed by the Holy 
Spirit of Promise if they are to have 
"efficacy, virtue, or force in and after 
the resurrection from the dead; for all 
contracts that are not made unto this 
end have an end when men are dead." 
(D&C 132:7.) Some of the Saints, I 
fear, fail to realize that he who places 
the seal upon the ordinances has power 
also to remove the seal when covenants 
are broken. How important it is that 
we remain faithful Saints to the very 
end. 

The gift of the Holy Ghost is be- 
stowed after baptism by the laying on 
of hands by those who hold the Mel- 
chizedek Priesthood. This priesthood 
ordinance was carefully preserved 
from the Adamic dispensation and was 



fully understood in the meridian of 
time. ". . . when Paul had laid his 
hands upon them, the Holy Ghost 
came on them; and they spake with 
tongues, and prophesied." (Acts 19:6.) 
Once, one Simon Magus made over- 
tures with money, "saying, Give me 
also this power, that on whomsoever 
I lay hands, he may receive the Holy 
Ghost." Peter's rebuke stunned him: 
"Thy money perish with thee, because 
thou hast thought that the gift of God 
may be purchased with money." (Acts 
8:19-20.) 

Now, what I have been trying to say 
in a profusion of words — and I offer 
it as my witness — is this: 

I believe — "We believe in God, the 
Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus 
Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." 
(First article of faith.) 

We believe in God the Father, the 
Planner, Elohim by name; Jesus 
the Son, the Creator, the Jehovah 
of the Old Testament; the Holy Ghost, 
the Testator, Revelator, Comforter. 

The greatest gift God has bestowed 
upon us, his errant children, is the 
gift of his Only Begotten Son — our 
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The next 
precious gift, I think, is the gift of the 
Holy Ghost. Following that I would 
rate priesthood — the great power of 
God. 

Crowning these is the gift of eternal 
life. 

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Motivations for Good: Fear, Duty, Love 

Howard W. Hunter 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• When the history of pur time is 
written, it might well describe our 
generation as the one that has in- 
creased learning and scientific accom- 
plishment to an extent far beyond the 
achievement of any preceding genera- 
tion. We are constantly amazed at 
modern development, yet we have 
learned to expect the ever-expanding 
progress stemming from the mind of 
man and as the result of his genius. 

"What is man, that thou art mindful 
of him? and the son of man, that thou 
visitest him? 

"For thou hast made him a little 
lower than the angels, and hast 
crowned him with glory and honour." 
(Ps. 8:4-5.) 

The evidence of man's accomplish- 
ments has firmly planted in the 
modern mind the conviction of man's 
greatness — just a little lower than the 
angels and crowned with glory and 
honor. 

Since the beginning, men have been 
born free moral agents with the free- 
dom to choose between good or evil. 



Even in the preexistence the spirit 
children of the father had their choice. 

". . . for, behold, the devil was before 
Adam, for he rebelled against me, say- 
ing, Give me thine honor, which is my 
power; and also a third part of the 
hosts of heaven turned he away from 
me because of their agency." (D&C 
29:36.) 

This same choice was given to the 
first man placed upon the earth, for 
after he was formed and placed amid 
the abundance that had been created, 
the Lord said: "Of every tree of the 
garden thou mayest freely eat, But of 
the tree of the knowledge of good and 
evil, thou shalt not eat of it, neverthe- 
less, thou mayest choose for thyself. 
. . ." (Moses 3:16-17.) 

When the children of Israel stood on 
the threshold of the Promised Land, 
they faced the choice that was given to 
them, Israel was clearly told of the 
consequences of its decision. There was 
no neutral ground in the statement of 
the Lord to them: 

"Behold, I set before you this day a 



JUNE 1966 



51B 



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. 
. . ." (Deut. 11:26-28.) 

In the writings of Nephi we read of 
the instructions given by Lehi to his 
sons regarding this same inherent 
agency: "Wherefore, men are free ac- 
cording to the flesh; and all things are 
given them which are expedient unto 
man. And they are free to choose 
liberty and eternal life, through the 
great mediation of all men, or to 
choose captivity and death, according 
to the captivity and power of the devil; 
for he seeketh that all man might be 
miserable like unto himself." (2 Ne. 
2:27.) 

There has never been a time when 
man has been forced to do good or 
forced to obey the commandments of 
God. He has always been given his free 
choice — his free moral agency. If one 
looks back through the events of his- 
tory, there come into view the results 
of the greatness of men who kept the 
commandments of the Lord and made 
the choice on his side. One also sees 
strewn along the wayside the ruins 
that stand as silent reminders of those 
who chose otherwise. Both had their 
free moral agency. 

In spite of the greatness of man and 
his accomplishments in the modern 
world, we observe the lack of faith in 
God and the absence of repentance, 
which has also been characteristic of 
those in the past who would not heed 
the commandments of God or the 
warnings of a prophet. Peace does not 
exist among men today. World leaders 
appear helpless to formulate a solution, 
and many of them have no regard for 
the principles of righteousness that 
would bring peace. The Ten Com- 
mandments and the Sermon on the 
Mount have been set aside by those 
who formerly professed belief in them. 

Morality appears to have been lost 
in the maze of human philosophies. 
We see it in the lives of individuals, 
people in high places in government, 
and even leaders of industry and labor. 
Many churches in the world are an- 
nouncing compromises of their tenets so 
as not to offend the modern thinking 
of their membership. The cry has gone 
up from some pulpits that God is dead. 
When God ceases to live in the minds 
and hearts of men and women, moral 
concepts collapse and only disaster can 
result. 

In this community crime is increas- 
ing. It is on the increase in all states 
of the union and all over the world. 
There is a growing disregard for law 
and order, a turn toward riot and mob 
rule, and in some cases total defiance 
of man's basic rights of life, liberty, 
and pursuit of happiness. The crimes 
of our generation are not excelled by 



any of the past, although we may 
read history and cringe at the atrocities. 

The loss of morality extends up to 
the great commanders of the earth as 
well as down to the single individual 
man. The stability of the family has 
been affected, as demonstrated by the 
upsurge of the divorce rate. Juvenile 
delinquency is accepted. It is not a 
matter of how it can be reduced, but 
how the acceleration can be held in 
moderation, as one authority has 
stated. The use of liquor and addiction 
to tobacco are on the increase; sexual 
morality is being scoffed at in many 
modern circles; free love is tolerated 
and even advocated; venereal diseases 
among teen-agers as well as others 
have taken a sharp upturn. In short, 
the will to resist evil seems to be van- 
ishing. I have asked myself, and I ask 
you this question: What is the reason 
for these appalling circumstances in a 
world in which man has made such 
outstanding achievements in learning? 

As I read the Old and New Testa- 
ments and also the Book of Mormon, 
I find that man has two theological 
concerns involving himself: his sins 
and his salvation. When man sins he 
suffers its painful effects. There are 
few chapters in these books that do 
not contain some reference to what sin 
is or does. The predominant conception 
of the nature of sin in these books is 
that of a personal alienation from God. 
We must conclude, therefore, that the 
vanishing resistance to evil in the 
world is caused by this personal aliena- 
tion from our Heavenly Father. 

Let us ask this question: What 
causes some men in a declining 
morality to shun evil and wrongdoing 
and to follow the course of righteous- 
ness in their temporal, moral, and 
spiritual lives? In my mind, there are 
three reasons for this phenomenon, and 
it is to these three points I would like 
to address my remarks. 

The first is fear. It is said that man 
fears God, but such an emotion is 
ambiguous, for it may both repel and 
attract. I am mindful of the conclusion 
reached by the writer of the book of 
Ecclesiastes in the admonition: Fear 
God, and keep his commandments. 
(Ecc. 12:13.) The word fear and its 
synonyms occur several hundred times 
in tbe Bible, and I believe we would 
agree that a summary of scripture 
would indicate that the law is to love 
the Lord absolutely and exclusively. 
Many people, however, are compelled 
to do good because of fear — fear of the 
law, fear of the unknown, fear of the 
Almighty. In the book of Revelation, 
John catalogues fear with expressions 
of other evil doings in these words: 

"He that overcometh shall inherit 
all things; and I will be his God, and 
he shall be my son. 

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, 
and the abominable, and murderers, 
and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and 



idolaters, and all liars, shall have their 
part in the lake which burneth with 
fire and brimstone. . . ." (Rev. 21:7-8.) 

To the restored Church the Lord has 
stated time and time again that fear 
is not of God and will not enter the 
hearts of those who love the Lord and 
live righteously: "Wherefore, be of 
good cheer, and do not fear, for I the 
Lord am with you, and will stand by 
you " (D&C 68:6.) 

There are many people who live the 
so-called good life because of fear, but 
as Christians we must not serve for this 
reason. Fear must be banished from 
our hearts. In one of the epistles of 
John he wrote: "There is no fear in 
love; but perfect love casteth out fear: 
because fear hath torment. He that 
feareth is not made perfect in love." 
(1 John 4:18.) 

The second reason for men to shun 
evil, pursue righteousness, and serve 
their fellowmen is duty. Often we 
hear men say they do certain things 
because it is their duty. One great 
writer has penned: "The duty of man 
... is plain and simple, and consists 
but of two points — his duty to God, 
which every man must feel; and, with 
respect to his neighbor, to do as he 
would be done by." (Thomas Paine) 
Do we have a responsibility beyond 
that which it is our duty to perform? 
The parable Jesus gave of the farmer 
and his servant is a direct answer to 
this question: 

"But which of you, having a servant 
plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto 
him by and by, when he is come from 
the field, Go and sit down to meat? 

"And will not rather say unto him, 
Make ready wherewith I may sup, and 
gird thyself, and serve me, till I have 
eaten and drunken; and afterward thou 
shalt eat and drink? 

"Doth he thank that servant because 
he did the things that were com- 
manded him? I trow not. 

"So likewise ye, when ye shall have 
done all those things which are com- 
manded you, say, We are unprofitable 
servants: we have done that which was 
our duty to do." (Luke 17:7-10.) 

Even though the servant had come 
in from the field tired and weary, it 
was his duty to gird himself and serve 
his master's meal. It was never sup- 
posed that the master would wait on 
the servant. The servant is expected to 
wait on the master. He does not expect 
a word of appreciation, because under 
his agreement he is only doing that 
which was his duty to do. Men who 
only carry out that which is within 
their duty and go no further have no 
claim to any reward beyond the scope 
of that duty and are unprofitable ser- 
vants. 

The Lord requires obedience not 
because it is our duty nor because we 
fear him. Let me read from the 58th 
section of the Doctrine and Covenants: 

"For behold, it is not meet that I 



516 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



should command in all things; for he 
that is compelled in all things, the 
same is a slothful and not a wise ser- 
vant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. 

"Verily I say, men should be 
anxiously engaged in a good cause, and 
do many things of their own free will, 
and bring to pass much righteousness; 

"For the power is in them, wherein 
they are agents unto themselves. And 
inasmuch as men do good they shall in 
nowise lose their reward. 

"But he that doeth not anything 
until he is commanded, and receiveth 
a commandment with doubtful heart, 
and keepeth it with slothfulness, the 
same is damned. 

"Who am I that made man, saith 
the Lord, that will hold him guiltless 
that obeys not my commandments?" 
(D&C 58:26-30.) 

Now I come to the third reason, 
which in my opinion ought to be the 
objective of all men everywhere. The 
greatest motivating influence for 
righteousness and for service to one's 
fellowmen is the divine principle of 
love. The answer Jesus gave to the 
scribe is a summary of the law: 

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy heart, and with all 
thy soul, and with all thy mind, and 
with all thy strength: this is the first 
commandment. 

"And the second is like, namely this, 
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy- 
self. There is none other command- 
ment greater than these." (Mark 
12:30-31.) 

Jesus revealed the meaning of love 
by his life, and the perfect example of 
love was given to us by the Father in 
the offering of his divine Son: 

"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.) 



"If a man say, I love God, and 
hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he 
that loveth not his brother whom he 
hath seen, how can he love God whom 
he hath not seen? 

"And this commandment have we 
from him, That he who loveth God 
love his brother also." (1 John 4:20- 
21.) 

The logic of this is simple, clear, and 
unequivocal: the proof of love of God 
is love of one's brother. This becomes 
the fundamental commandment of 
Christianity. This was the religion 
taught by the Master. How happy 
would society be were these two plain, 
rational precepts properly observed: 
Love me, and love thy fellows. 

The living of this commandment by 
all men would restore peace to the 
earth. It would cause them to love the 
Lord and thereby keep his command- 
ments; thus the troubles of our age 
would vanish, and man's happiness in 
a moral world would result. The 
motivating influences generated within 
man through fear, his obligation to 
duty, or deep sense of love can turn 
the tide of the declining morality of 
our generation. The greatest of these is 
love. We must strive to obtain this 
virtue if we are to serve the Lord 
without faltering or growing weary in 
our pursuit of eternal life. We will do 
this not because of fear, nor merely 
because it is our duty, but because we 
have sought for and obtained the 
greatest of all virtues, love. 

I know that God lives, that he is our 
Father, that he has given to each of 
his sons and daughters free moral 
agency, that his Son, the Redeemer of 
the world, through love, gave his life 
that each of us may have eternal life. 
I pray that we shall exercise that 
agency which we have been given by 
loving the Lord and our neighbor, in 
the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Saturday Morning Session, April 9, 1966 



What Would Thou Have Me Do? 

Robert L. Simpson 
Of the Presiding Bishopric 



• Once again in the tradition of the 
[Easter] season all Christendom pauses 
with bowed head and contrite heart 
to contemplate the terrible agony, the 
pain, the suffering, and the indignities 
of the Lord and Savior of the world 
as he gave himself to be crucified for 
the sins of all mankind. 

But with the rising of the sun of 
another Easter morning, there also 
wells up within each of us a glorious 
assurance of hope, a brilliant ray of 
peace, for he lives! Death is over- 
come! And life will be eternal. 



Let us suppose that by some miracu- 
lous arrangement the privilege would 
be granted for each to spend one 
precious minute in private audience 
with the resurrected Christ this Easter 
day. What would you do? What 
would you say? Surely there would 
be great emotion because of your love 
for him. Then I am certain that 
many would ask the simple question: 
"What would thou have me do?" and 
he might conceivably answer, "If ye 
love me, keep my commandments." 
(John 14:15.) 



". . . Feed my sheep." (John 21:16.) 

Or might it be, ". . . love thy neigh- 
bour as thyself." (Matt. 19:19.) 

There is no reason to believe that 
his counsel and advice today would 
be any different than it was 2,000 
years ago. For his house is a house 
of order. His gospel is the same yes- 
terday, today, and forever. 

And because he would be most 
anxious for us to overcome selfishness 
and lack of faith, which I believe are 
the two major sources of man's prob- 
lems today, don't you think he might 
have some advice to give with respect 
to the mastery over worldly possessions, 
for surely "where your treasure is, 
there will your heart be also." (Matt. 
6:21.) Yes, this great principle of 
faith and the willingness to share our 
temporal increase go hand in hand. 

In fact, someone has properly ob- 
served that it doesn't take money to 
pay tithing — it takes faith. 

In this respect, I shall always re- 
member the faith of an old Maori 
brother in New Zealand. As the mis- 
sionaries came to his humble little 
fishing shack located well off the 
beaten track, he hurried to find an 
envelope that contained a letter ad- 
dressed to him and in which he had 
also stuffed a sizable sum of hard- 
earned money. He promptly handed 
the envelope containing the money 
and letter to the missionaries. This 
fine brother didn't have the ability to 
read the letter when it arrived, for it 
was written in English and his tongue 
was Maori, but he could read the 
financial figures contained in it, and 
he recognized the letterhead as being 
from the mission office. He thought 
the mission needed the cash amount 
mentioned for some special purpose, 
and he had it all ready for the mis- 
sionaries. After translating the letter 
for him, it was now clear that the 
letter merely confirmed his annual 
tithing settlement and stated the total 
amount paid for the previous year. 
His faith was such that he stood ready 
to pay the same amount all over again 
if the Lord's servants needed it for 
the work. 

Now while I have you down in New 
Zealand, let me tell you about a beau- 
tiful little white chapel located in 
Maromaku Valley. About twenty-five 
years ago Brother Matthew Cowley, 
who was then the New Zealand Mis- 
sion president, wrote to President 
[Heber J.] Grant and his counselors, 
telling them of this faithful branch of 
English members. He expressed a 
recommendation that because of their 
devotion and outstanding tithing rec- 
ord over many years, a modest chapel 
be built for them without local partici- 
pation, entirely from the general tith- 
ing funds of the Church. Soon the 
answer came back that the recom- 
mendation was approved. Immediately 
a special meeting was called in the 



JUNE 1966 



SI7 



community schoolhouse, and for the 
first time these wonderful people heard 
what had transpired in their behalf. 

At first they just sat. No one seemed 
particularly elated by the news, and 
then, one by one, each family head 
stood to explain how he would be 
disappointed if he were not allowed 
to accept financial responsibility for a 
certain phase of the proposed chapel. 
Within twenty minutes, the entire 
amount had been subscribed to. These 
faithful people were in the habit of 
going the extra mile in helping to 
finance the needs of the kingdom, and 
this is the way they wanted it. You 
see, people overcome selfish desires as 
they practice the Lord's law of giving. 

Just last week a man said: "Today's 
cost of living makes it impossible for 
me to consider ten percent of my in- 
come for tithing." By every standard 
of today's economic and financial 
teaching as figured by the mind of 
man, his reasoning seems justified. But 
the spiritual law is different. Do you 
remember how perplexed the multitude 
was when the Savior said this: "He 
that findeth his life shall lose it: and 
he that loseth his life for my sake shall 
find it"? (Matt. 10:39.) How much 
like this law is the law of tithing, 
wherein we receive by giving away. It 
just doesn't add up by worldly stan- 
dards, and most men consider such 
teachings impractical and even ab- 
stract. 

But it works! And hundreds of 
thousands can bear that witness today 
because their faith has been such that 
they were willing to accept God's in- 
vitation when he said: "Bring ye all 
the tithes into the storehouse, that 
there may be meat in mine house, and 
prove me now herewith, saith the Lord 
of hosts, if I will not open you the 
windows of heaven, and pour you out 
a blessing, that there shall not be 
room enough to receive it." (Mai. 
3:10.) No business proposition in all 
this wide world can begin to match 
this offer. Here is the only real an- 
swer to today's cost of living. We 
can't make the family budget stretch 
far enough on our own, so we had 
better form a partnership with the 
Lord by giving ten percent to him. "I, 
the Lord, am bound when ye do what 
I say"; and then he concludes, "but 
when ye do not what I say, ye have no 
promise." (D&C 82:10.) Now, it is just 
that simple. And when we decide to 
accept his terms, we'll be amazed to 
learn that we can do far better on 
$9.00 with the help of the Lord than 
we can with $10.00 on our own. 

Many of us remember the tremen- 
dous enthusiasm of President Stephen 
L Richards of the First Presidency on 
the subject of "tithing." He had this 
to say concerning partnership with 
God: "I like to think of the Lord as a 
partner because the essence of partner- 
ship is a sharing of profits. It is 



however indispensible in a partnership 
that there shall also be a sharing of 
the burdens of the enterprise. The 
honor and the satisfaction that come 
to one in realization that he lives his 
life in partnership with God is to me 
a lofty and exalting thought. One 
cannot hope to realize the profits from 
that venture without bearing his por- 
tion of the expense — the giving which 
is requisite." 

President Richards went on to say 
that our part of that partnership could 
only be confirmed through the pay- 
ment of an honest tithe. 

He also made this observation with 
regard to the spiritual power that 
comes to one who is willing to give 
of his substance to the Lord: "Obser- 
vance of tithing brings spiritual power 
and after all, that to me, is the main 
thing. Religion is more than mere 
repose or relaxation. It is positive 
spiritual exercise. It makes for the 
growth of the soul, it cultivates all of 
the virtues. So one who is serious 
about religion will be willing to give 
to it the things which are vital to 
himself." (Stephen L Richards, The 
Law of Tithing, Deseret News Press.) 

I want to share with you the testi- 
mony of a wonderful brother who had 
been impressed by one of the Church 
leaders as he explained the law of 
tithing. Meeting him on the street 
about three months later, he took some 
money from his pocket and said: "Do 
you see this? It is all mine. It does 
not belong to the butcher, the baker, 
or the loan agency. For the first time 
in my life I am free of debt. I can 
walk down either side of the street 
with my head held high. I no longer 
have to cross from side to side, avoid- 
ing the shopkeepers holding my de- 
linquent accounts." 

Then he went on to tell how all 
this came about because he took time 
to sit down with his family, and they 
decided how they were going to meet 
their obligation to the Lord. 

This man has peace of mind today. 
He is now a leader in a branch of the 
Church and a blessing to scores of 
other people. While wearing the 
chains of indebtedness, he was literally 
in bondage and unavailable to the 
Lord for service. Tithing had been 
the answer, and he found financial 
freedom. 

The personnel manager in a large 
Los Angeles plant, who is not a mem- 
ber of the Church, relates this story: 
"I asked one of your returned mission- 
aries seeking employment with our 
firm if he paid his tithing, and when 
he said 'y es / I hired him on the spot. 
I knew that he would be a man of 
integrity, I knew that he loved the 
Lord, and I also knew that he would 
be true to his wife." 

So you see, brothers and sisters, the 
payment of tithing means many things 
to many people. 



We often hear the comment: "I be- 
lieve all you say about tithing, but I 
am so hopelessly in debt right now I 
will have to wait until next year to 
start." The only trouble with that is 
that next year never comes. Meet 
with your bishop right away and re- 
ceive his kindly counsel. Then call 
a special meeting of all the family. 
Invite them to participate in the pos- 
sible solutions to the problem. Maybe 
your son Johnny ends up with a paper 
route — that's great! And teen-ager 
Susan finds work on Saturdays — won- 
derful! I think all of our teen-agers 
should learn well this wonderful prin- 
ciple of work. Not only that, but the 
entire family might agree to rough it 
for a few years by settling on a five- 
year-old car that uses regular gas and 
has roll-up windows. This important 
family meeting on finances could be 
the turning point toward eternal ex- 
altation and salvation. 

Few topics have received as much 
time and attention from this pulpit as 
has the subject of tithing. There is 
good reason for such emphasis. Com- 
pliance to the great law of tithing 
develops and trains men in the vital 
attribute of obedience, which has been 
referred to as the first law of heaven. 
It trains men in the vital attribute 
of faith, without which there can be 
little hope for anyone, and also in the 
vital attribute of unselfishness, man's 
most immediate need for solving the 
world's dilemmas in this day of hate, 
greed, and distrust. 

Speaking through the Psalmist, 
the Lord declared: ". . . the world 
is mine, and the fulness thereof." 
(Ps. 50:12.) He doesn't really need 
our ten percent — it is all his in the 
first place — but we need the experi- 
ence of giving. Just as the Sabbath was 
created for man rather than man for 
the Sabbath, so it is with tithing: 
the value of the human soul is most 
important. ". . . my work and my 
glory," the Lord declares, is "to bring 
to pass the immortality and eternal 
life of man." (Moses 1:39.) There is 
no thought more compatible with the 
spirit of Easter than that. 

The God and Creator of heaven and 
earth could surely lay all the riches 
of the world at the feet of his leaders 
here in mortality if this were the im- 
portant factor. But most important 
is that we demonstrate our love for 
God by making our means available to 
him according to his perfect plan and 
supreme wisdom. 

Each dollar of tithing expenditure is 
for the blessing of people, the edifica- 
tion of the soul, the perfection of man; 
and in this, all who participate can 
find added comfort in the Savior's ob- 
servation that "inasmuch as ye have 
done it unto one of the least of these 
my brethren, ye have done it unto 
me." (Matt. 25:40.) We make won- 
derful things possible for many won- 



518 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



derful people when we return the 
Lord's tenth to him. 

I bear solemn witness to all who can 
hear that the law of tithing is God- 
given and that the purpose for which 
these sacred funds are used is sancti- 
fied by divine direction. 

Old Testament prophets taught the 
law of tithing, for they said: "Honour 
the Lord with thy substance, and with 
the first-fruits of all thine increase: 

"So shall thy barns be filled with 
plenty, and thy presses shall burst out 
with new wine." (Prov. 3:9-10.) This 
admonition has never been rescinded. 

On one occasion just prior to that 
first Easter morning two thousand 
years ago, the Savior admonished his 
disciples: "Lay not up for yourselves 
treasures upon earth, where moth and 
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves 
break through and steal: 

"But lay up for yourselves treasures 
in heaven, where neither moth nor 
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves 
do not break through nor steal: 

"For where your treasure is, there 
will your heart be also." (Matt. 
6:19-21.) 

To justify the purpose of the Savior's 
suffering and to fulfill the opportunity 
that he has afforded us of life eternal, 
man must break the restricting chains 
of selfishness. There is no better way 
than to do it in the Lord's way. He 
gave his life that we might truly live, 
not just exist. He established the pat- 
tern, declaring: "I am the way, the 
truth, and the life. . . ." (John 14:6.) 



He beckons all to "come . . . follow 
me." (Matt. 19:21.) He pleads with 
seemingly indifferent children: "If ye 
love me, keep my commandments." 
(John 14:15.) He says that if we are 
to preserve life, we must be prepared 
to give it away — our time to the bless- 
ings and comfort and edification of 
others, our means to the building of 
the kingdom and the blessings of 
mankind here and now. 

Yes, in my opinion, God issued the 
challenge of the ages when he said: 
". . . prove me now herewith," and 
followed it quickly with a resulting 
promise that he would "open you 
the windows of heaven, and pour you 
out a blessing, that there shall not 
be room enough to receive it." (Mai. 
3:10.) 

There has never been a more defi- 
nite promise than this. Let us not 
forget that the "windows of heaven" 
can only be operated by the remote 
control switch in our hand. We must 
make the first move. This is the very 
foundation of the eternal principle of 
faith. Once that faith has been 
demonstrated, God stands ready and 
anxious to fulfill his part of the 
agreement. 

May the spirit of Easter and the 
sure knowledge that he lives permeate 
our hearts this day. May his great 
atoning sacrifice be a constant re- 
minder of the relatively insignificant 
sacrifices expected of us, I pray in the 
name of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of 
the world. Amen. 



I Know That My Redeemer Lives 



Thomas S. Monson 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• Spring has returned to the com- 
munity of Franklin, Idaho. One can 
hear the ever-welcome chirp of the 
robin and see the beauty of the first 
daffodil. Seemingly overnight, the 
drab brown grass of winter turns to a 
verdant green. Soon plows will turn 
the earth, seeds will be planted, and 
a new cycle of life will commence. 
Tucked away from the bustle of activ- 
ity and snuggled against the friendly 
hills is the town cemetery. 

Just three weeks ago a new grave 
was opened — not a large one — and a 
tiny casket was lowered into mother 
earth. Three lines appear on the attrac- 
tive headstone: 

MICHAEL PAUL SHUMWAY 
Born: October 24, 1965 
Died: March 14, 1966 

May I introduce you to the Shumway 



family. They are my neighbors here 
in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mark and 
Wilma Shumway and each of the 
children always greet you with a 
friendly smile or a wave of the hand. 
They brighten a neighborhood. They 
are good people. 

Can you imagine the happiness in 
the family home on that 24th day of 
October when little Michael was born. 
Father was proud, brothers and sisters 
were excited, Mother was humble, as 
they welcomed this sweet new blossom 
of humanity, fresh fallen from God's 
own home, to flower on earth. Happy 
months followed. 

Then came that fateful night in 
March when little Michael was called 
to his heavenly home and the breath 
of life was gone. As I visited with 
Mark and Wilma, so bowed down 
with grief from the loss of their 
precious son, I noticed one of Michael's 



tiny toys as it rested near the crib. I 
remembered the words of Eugene 
Field's masterpiece, "Little Boy Blue": 

"The little toy dog is covered with dust, 
But sturdy and stanch he stands; 
And the little toy soldier is red with 

rust. 
And his musket molds in his hands. 
Time was when the little toy dog was 

new, 
And the soldier was passing fair, 
And that was the time when our Little 

Boy Blue 
Kissed them and put them there. 

" 'Now, don't you go till I come,' he 

said, 
'And don't you make any noise!' 
So toddling off to his trundle-bed. 
He dreamed of the pretty toys. 
And as he was dreaming, an angel song- 
Awakened our Little Boy Blue, — 
Oh, the years are many, the years arc 

long, 
But the little toy friends are true. 

"Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they 

stand, 
Each in the same old place, 
Awaiting the touch of a little hand, 
The smile of a little face. 
And they wonder, as waiting the long 

years through, 
In the dust of that little chair, 
What has become of our Little Boy 

Blue 
Since he kissed them and put them 

there." 

There are many toy dogs and many 
toy dolls that belonged to many boys 
and girls who lived and then were 
taken from us. And while the toys 
may wonder while they wait, anxious 
parents need not wonder. The revealed 
word of a loving Heavenly Father pro- 
vides answers to questions of the heart. 

Mark and Wilma, could you gather 
your little ones around as we discuss 
some of these answers. There are 
many hundreds of thousands of others, 
perhaps millions, listening in, but they 
may benefit from our conversation; for 
who hasn't lost a mother, a father, a 
sister, a brother, a son, or a daughter? 

Every thoughtful person has asked 
himself that question best phrased by 
Job of old: "If a man die, shall he live 
again?" (Job 14:14.) Try as we may 
to put the question out of our thoughts, 
it always returns. Death comes to all 
mankind. It comes to the aged as they 
walk on faltering feet. Its summons is 
heard by those who have scarcely 
reached midway in life's journey, and 
often it hushes the laughter of little 
children. 

In Paul's message to the Hebrews, he 
declared: ". . . it is appointed unto men 
once to die. . . ." (Heb. 9:27.) While 
death is inevitable, it can best be 
understood when we learn of life, 
even eternal life. 

Life on earth does not mark the 



JUNE 1966 



519 



beginning of our existence. The poet 
William Wordsworth wrote: 

"Our birth is but a sleep and a for- 
getting: 

The soul that rises with us, our life's 
Star, 

Hath had elsewhere its setting, 

And cometh from afar: 

Not in entire forgetfulness, 

And not in utter nakedness, 

But trailing clouds of glory do we come 

From God, who is our home: 

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!" 
("Ode on Intimations of Immortality 
from Recollections of Early Child- 
hood.") 

And who can fail to be sobered by 
the declaration of the prophet Jere- 
miah: "Then the word of the Lord 
came unto me, saying, 

"Before I formed thee in the belly I 
knew thee; and before thou earnest 
forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, 
and I ordained thee a prophet unto the 
nations." (Jer. 1:4-5.) 

In the wisdom of God, an earth was 
created upon which man might dwell. 
Genesis records that the earth was 
without form and void, and darkness 
was upon the face of the deep. Then 
God said, "Let there be light: and 
there was light." 

"Let there be a firmament . . . ," and 
there was a firmament. 

"Let the earth bring forth grass, . . ." 
and the earth brought forth grass. 
(Gen. 1:3, 6, 11.) He made the fowls 
of the air, the creatures of the water, 
the beasts of the earth. 

And then "God created man in his 
own image, in the image of God cre- 
ated he him; male and female created 
he them." (Gen. 1:27.) To man was 
given dominion over every living thing. 
Earth became a proving ground, a 
testing station, a provider of needed 
experience. 

We laugh, we cry, we work, we play, 
we love, we live. And then we die. 
And dead we would remain but for 
one man and his mission, even Jesus 
of Nazareth. Born in a stable, cradled 
in a manger, his birth fulfilled the in- 
spired pronouncements of many proph- 
ets. He was taught from on high. He 
provided the life, the light, and the 
way. Multitudes followed him. Chil- 
dren adored him. The haughty 
rejected him. He spoke in parables. 
He taught by example. He lived a 
perfect life. Through his ministry 
blind men saw, deaf men heard, and 
lame men walked. Even the dead re- 
turned to life. 

Though the King of kings and Lord 
of lords had come, he was accorded 
the greeting given to an enemy or a 
traitor. There followed a mockery that 
some called a trial. Cries of "Crucify 
him, crucify him," filled the air. 
(John 19:6.) Then commenced the 
climb to Calvary's Hill. 



He was ridiculed, reviled, mocked, 
jeered, and nailed to a cross amidst 
shouts of "Let Christ the King of 
Israel descend now from the cross, that 
we may see and believe." (Mark 
15:32.) "He saved others; himself he 
cannot save." (Matt. 27:42.) "If thou 
be Christ, save thyself. . . ." (Luke 
23:39) His response: "Father, forgive 
them; for they know not what they 
do." (Luke 23:34.) ". . . into thy hands 
I commend my spirit: and having said 
thus: he gave up the ghost." (Luke 
23:46.) His body was placed by loving 
hands in a sepulcher hewn of stone. 

On the first day of the week, very 
early in the morning, Mary Magda- 
lene and the other Mary came unto 
the sepulcher. To their astonishment, 
the body of their Lord was gone. Luke 
records that two men in shining 
garments stood by them and said: 
"Why seek ye the living among the 
dead? 

"He is not here, but is risen. . . ." 
(Luke 24:1, 5-6.) Job's question, "If 
a man die, shall he live again?" had 
just been answered. 

The sacred scripture records the 
events following his ascension. Flow- 
ever, today, as always, the skeptic's 
voice challenges the word of God, and 
each man must choose to whom he 
shall listen. Clarence Darrow, the 
famous lawyer and agnostic, declared, 
"No life is of much value, and every 
death is but a little loss." Schopen- 
hauer, the German philosopher and 
pessimist, wrote: "To desire immortal- 
ity is to desire the eternal perpetuation 
of a great mistake." And to their words 
are added those of new r generations as 
foolish men crucify the Christ anew. 
For they modify his miracles, doubt 
his divinity, and reject his resurrection. 

Robert Blatchford, in his book God 
and My Neighbor attacked with vigor 
the accepted Christian beliefs, such as 
God, Christ, prayer, and immortality. 
He boldly asserted: "I claim to have 
proved everything I set out to prove so 
fully and decisively that no Christian, 
however great or able he may be, can 
answer my arguments or shake my 
case." He surrounded himself with a 
wall of skepticism. Then a surprising 
thing happened. His wall suddenly 
crumbled to dust. He was left exposed 
and undefended. Slowly he began to 
feel his way back to the faith he had 
scorned and ridiculed. What had 
caused this profound change in his 
outlook? His wife died. With broken 
heart, he went into the room where 
lay all that was mortal of her. He 
looked at the face he loved so well. 
Coming out he said to a friend: "It is 
she and yet it is not she. Everything 
is changed. Something that was there 
before is taken away. She is not the 
same. What can be gone if it be not 
the soul?" 

Later he wrote: "Death is not what 
some people imagine. It is only like 



going into another room. In that 
other room we shall find . . . the dear 
women and men and the sweet chil- 
dren we have loved and lost." (God 
and My Neighbor [Chicago: Charles 
H. Kerr and Company].) 

Against the philosophy rampant in 
today's world — a doubting of the au- 
thenticity of the Sermon on the Mount, 
an abandonment of Christ's teachings, 
a denial of God, and a rejection of his 
laws — we seek a point of reference, an 
unimpeachable source, even a testi- 
mony of eye witnesses. Stephen, 
doomed to the cruel death of a martyr, 
looked up to heaven and cried: ". . -. I 
see the heavens opened, and the Son 
of man standing on the right hand of 
God." (Acts 7:56.) Saul, on the road 
to Damascus, had a vision of the risen, 
exalted Christ. Peter and John also 
testified of the risen Christ. 

Who can help but be penetrated by 
the stirring testimony of Paul at 
Corinth? He declared "that Christ died 
for our sins according to the scriptures; 

"And that he was buried, and that 
he rose again the third day according 
to the scriptures: 

"And . . . was seen of Cephas, then 
of the twelve; 

"After that, he was seen of above 
five hundred brethren at once; of whom 
the greater part remain unto this 
present. . . . 

"After that, he was seen of James; 
then of all the apostles. 

And ". . . he was seen of me. . . ." 
(I Cor. 15:3-8.) 

To the agnostic, the skeptic, the re- 
viler, I ask, "Agnostic, can you an- 
swer?" "Skeptic, can you save?" 
"Reviler, can you redeem?" 

God the Eternal Father spoke to the 
multitude on this continent and said: 
"Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased, in whom I have glori- 
fied my name — hear ye him. 

". . . as they understood they cast 
their eyes up again towards heaven; 
and behold, they saw a Man descend- 
ing out of heaven, ... 

". . . he stretched forth his hand and 
spake unto the people, saying: 

"Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom 
the prophets testified shall come into 
the world. 

"... I am the light and the life of 
the world; and I have drunk out of 
that bitter cup which the Father hath 
given me, and have glorified the Father 
in taking upon me the sins of the 
world " (3 Ne. 11:7-11.) 

"Arise and come forth unto me, that 
ye may thrust your hands into my 
side, and also that ye may feel the 
prints of the nails in my hands and in 
my feet, that ye may know that I am 
the God of Israel, and the God of the 
whole earth, and have been slain for 
the sins of the world. 

"And when they had all gone forth 
and had witnessed for themselves, they 
did cry out with one accord, saying: 



520 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



"Hosanna! Blessed be the name of 
the Most High God! And they did fall 
down at the feet of Jesus, and did wor- 
ship him." (3 Ne. 11:14, 16-17.) 

This loving God who introduced his 
crucified and resurrected Son was not 
a God lacking in body, parts, or pas- 
sions — the God of a man-made phi- 
losophy. Rather, God our 'Father has 
ears with which to hear our prayers. 
He has eyes with which to see our 
actions. He has a mouth with which 
to speak to us. He has a heart with 
which to feel compassion and love. He 
is real. He is living. We are his chil- 
dren made in his image. We look 
like him and he looks like us. 

This is the God who so loved the 
world that he gave his Only Begotten 
Son that we might have everlasting 
life. 

To you, Wilma and Mark Shumway, 
and to all who have loved and lost 
a dear one, he provides the courage to 
say, ". . . the Lord gave, and the 
Lord hath taken away; blessed be the 
name of the Lord." (Job 1:21.) As 



you and your children journey to the 
family home in Franklin, Idaho, where 
tenderly and lovingly you will place 
the flowers of springtime on that tiny 
grave, your eyes may be moist with 
tears, but your hearts will burn with 
the knowledge that the bands of death 
have been broken and that members 
of your family, though now separated 
by death, will one day be reunited to 
share the blessings of eternal life. 

With all my heart and the fervency 
of my soul, I lift up my voice in testi- 
mony today as a special witness and 
declare that God does live. Jesus is 
his Son, the Only Begotten of the 
Father in the flesh. He is our Re- 
deemer; he is our Mediator with the 
Father. He it was who died on the 
cross to atone for our sins. He became 
the first fruit of the resurrection. Oh, 
sweet the joy this sentence gives, "I 
know that my Redeemer lives!" and 
may the whole world know it and live 
by that knowledge, I humbly pray in 
the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord and 
Savior. Amen. 



That Ye May Be Able to Withstand 

in the Evil Day 

Harold B. Lee 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• My prayer is that what I say in 
these next few moments may not be 
out of harmony with what has seemed 
to be the theme of this great confer- 
ence, which has, among other things, 
impressed upon us the vital importance 
of keeping the commandments of God 
as an effective hedge against the evils 
of our day. Many questions are asked 
today as the disturbed conditions in 
the world become more confusing and 
appalling to our people and to others 
who are shocked by the continuance of 
undeclared wars and by the spectacle 
of government affairs and some private 
and public businesses being dominated, 
in many instances, by official mandate 
rather than by due legislative processes. 
We see rebellion against the law, 
which approaches anarchy when lead- 
ers openly incite riots against law and 
order; we are witnessing the constant 
parading of ugly and soul-destroying, 
lewd, and provocative literature, 
theatricals, and radio and television 
shows. We hear vicious attacks on 
public officials without the oppor- 
tunity being given to them to make a 
defense or a rebuttal to the evil dia- 
tribes and character assassinations that 
tend to discourage worthy men from 
accepting appointments to public of- 
fices. These are but a few of the ills 
that afflict us in our so-called modern 



age 



In the midst of all this, we hear our 



faithful people asking these questions 
over and over again: Are we living in 
the last days? Is there a sure way we 
can know the false from the true? 
Does the Church take any position in 
these matters? Is the devil on the loose? 
Has the Church a defense against these 
terrifying circumstances? 

To all of these questions, the an- 
swers are unwavering: Yes, we are 
living in the last days. There are sure 
guides to truth if church members will 
use them. The Church is a continuing 
revolution against any and all norms 
of society that fall below the gospel 
standards. Within the gospel of Jesus 
Christ may be found the solution to 
every problem confronting us that will 
enable us to find happiness here and 
eternal life in the world to come. Yes, 
the devil is certainly on the loose. 
The Church indeed has within itself 
the most effective possible defense 
against these ungodly and terrifying 
conditions. 

My text for this brief address sets 
out in clearness the eternal contest 
with the evil forces among us. The 
Apostle Paul admonished the Saints of 
Ephesus: 

"Put on the whole armour of God, 
that ye may be # able to stand against 
the wiles of the' devil. 

"For we wrestle not against flesh and 
blood, but against principalities, 
against powers, against the rulers of 



the darkness of this world, against 
spiritual wickedness in high places." 
(Eph. 6:11-12.) 

This profound admonition was pre- 
ceded by pertinent instructions that 
impress the very present needs of to- 
day. There must be the love of a hus- 
band for his wife and the love of a 
wife for her husband, and children 
must be obedient to parents. The 
Apostle Paul drew a parallel between 
the reverence for and love of parents 
and children in the home to the love 
of the Master for his Church, and then 
concluded with these words: "Finally, 
my brethren, be strong in the Lord, 
and in the power of his might." (Eph. 
6:10.) 

All with righteous desires are op- 
posed to sin. Some years ago I par- 
ticipated in a panel discussion at the 
University of Utah with public offi- 
cials, businessmen, and a district judge, 
as well as professional men of the 
university. The district judge made a 
profound statement when he declared 
that the great need in the fight against 
lawlessness, against immorality, against 
atheism, socialism, Communism, or 
other related ills is faith in the Lord 
Jesus Christ. Our city attorney had 
accompanied me, I being a city offi- 
cial at the time. To him the comment 
of the judge about faith as a weapon 
against sin was sheer stupidity and a 
pompous display of religious bigotry. 
As I have thought about the statement 
of the judge, I have recalled a wise 
observation by one of my esteemed 
colleagues: "Beautiful roses," he said, 
"do not grow unless the roots of the 
parent bush are planted in rich, fertile 
soil — watered and cultivated and care- 
fully nurtured by the hand of a master 
gardener. Likewise, beautiful flowers 
of virtue, honesty, integrity, or sobriety 
do not blossom in a human soul unless 
his feet are firmly planted on a testi- 
mony of the divine mission of the Lord 
and Savior Jesus Christ." (Charles A. 
Callis, formerly of the Council of the 
Twelve.) 

Despite the sarcasm of my nonmem- 
ber attorney friend, the judge in the 
panel discussion was right. My knowl- 
edge of the Lord's word concerning sin 
and my experience in dealing with 
human problems have taught me that 
the judge was close to the mark. We 
must know the truth, for the truth only 
will make us free from the pitfalls of 
evil. Knowledge of and love for the 
Son of God as a perfected being will 
bring heaven close when temptations 
are near. 

The Apostle Paul closed his sermon 
to the Ephesians with these meaning- 
ful words: "Stand therefore, having 
your loins girt about with truth, and 
having on the breastplate of righteous- 
ness; 

"And your feet shod with the prepa- 
ration of the gospel of peace; 

"Above all, taking the shield of 



JUNE 1956 



521 



faith, wherewith ye shall be able to 
quench all the fiery darts of the 
wicked. 

"And take the helmet of salvation, 
and the sword of the Spirit, which is 
the word of God: 

"Praying always with all prayer and 
supplication in the Spirit, and watch- 
ing thereunto with all perseverance 
and supplication for all saints. . . ." 
(Eph. 6:14-18.) 

To the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul 
set forth in plainness that his teachings 
would not be from his learning in 
secular fields in which he was a recog- 
nized scholar. His pledge to them as a 
preacher of righteousness and truth 
was significant: 

"And I, brethren, when I came to 
you, came not with excellency of 
speech or of wisdom, declaring unto 
you the testimony of God. 

"For I determined not to know any 
thing among you, save Jesus Christ, 
and him crucified. . . . 

"That your faith should not stand 
in the wisdom of men, but in the 
power of God." (1 Cor. 2:1-3, 5.) I 
would that all who are called to high 
places in the Church would determine, 
as did the Apostle to the Gentiles, to 
know and to preach nothing save Jesus 
Christ and him crucified. 

We are told plainly in the revela- 
tions that the fruits of the true gospel 
of Jesus Christ are unity and harmony. 
The following from a revelation while 
the Church was young and the leaders 
inexperienced plainly declares that the 
gospel in its fullness was given to 
overcome contention. Listen to his 
words: 

"Yea, and I will also bring to light 
my gospel . . . and shall bring to light 
the true points of my doctrine, yea, 
and the only doctrine which is in me. 

"And this I do that I may establish 
my gospel, that there may not be so 
much contention; yea, Satan doth stir 
up the hearts of the people to conten- 
tion concerning the points of my 
doctrine; and in these things they do 
err, for they do wrest the scriptures 
and do not understand them." (D&C 
10:62-63.) 

Then the Lord has declared some- 
thing more, which all of us as leaders 
and teachers should heed: 

"Behold, this is my doctrine — who- 
soever repenteth and cometh unto me, 
the same is my church. 

"Whosoever declareth more or less 
than this, the same is not of me, but 
is against me; therefore he is not of 
my church. 

"And now, behold, whosoever is of 
my church, and endureth of my church 
to the end, him will I establish upon 
my rock, and the gates of hell shall 
not prevail against them. 

"And now, remember the words of 
him who is the life and light of the 
world, your Redeemer, your Lord and 
your God." (D&C 10:67-70.) 



"I say unto you, be one; and if ye 
are not one, ye are not mine." (D&C 
38:27.) 

The absolute test of the divinity of 
the calling of any officer in the Church 
is this: Is he in harmony with the 
brethren of that body to which he 
belongs? When we are out of harmony, 
we should look to ourselves first to find 
the way to unity. A wise man has 
given us the key to his development in 
his unforgettable statement; here are 
his wise words: "If there was any 'key' 
to this process of growing up, it lay 
in the systematic effort I made to sub- 
ject myself to critical self- appraisal. As 
I came to know myself, I acquired a 
better understanding of other people." 
(Bernard Baruch.) 

Martin Harris, you remember, was 
warned particularly to repent of his 
sins, for he sought the praise of 
the world. (D&C 58:39.) I suppose the 
love of praise and adulation of the 
world is the beginning of the downfall 
of many men. Alma, a prophet of the 
Book of Mormon, seemed to make it 
clear that the sowing of the seeds of 
hatred, suspicion, and contention in 
any organization is destructive of the 
purpose of life and unbecoming to the 
children of God. 

This is a part of a great sermon 
delivered by this ancient prophet: 
"And he commanded them that they 
should teach nothing save it were the 
things which he had taught, and which 
had been spoken by the mouth of the 
holy prophets. 

"Yea, even he commanded them 
that they should preach nothing save 
it were repentance and faith on the 
Lord, who had redeemed his people. 

"And he commanded them that 
there should be no contention one with 
another, but that they should look 
forward with one eye, having one faith 
and one baptism, having their hearts 
knit together in unity and in love one 
towards another. 

"And thus he commanded them to 
preach. And thus they became the 
children of God." (Mosiah 18:19-22.) 

A few years ago while touring the 
missions of South America, I heard 
President William Grant Bangerter of 
the Brazilian Mission make some in- 
teresting comments. He reported that 
there had been a wave of incidents in 
which evil spirits were afflicting the 
missionaries and the Saints. At every 
conference the missionaries were re- 
lating experiences they were having 
with evil spirits. The intensity of their 
influence was frightening. The mis- 
■ sion president admonished them to 
cease talking about the works of the 
devil in the future and instead teach 
with power the works of the Lord and 
bear testimony of his works among 
them. There was an almost imme- 
diate cessation of the power of the 
evil spirits when the people confined 
their testimonies to the works of the 



Lord rather than of Satan, the mission 
president told me. 

We should all learn that the funda- 
mentals of gospel teachings are the 
Lord's weapons against evil and sins 
of all kind, whether they be political 
dangers, immorality, threatened family 
disasters, or any other sinister afflic- 
tions among us. 

One wise teacher, the superintendent 
of California schools, has said: You 
don't train a boy to refrain from 
burglary by teaching him how to 
manipulate the tumblers of a safe in 
the dark; neither do you teach him to 
avoid immorality by teaching him all 
about sex in the school room. (Dr. 
Max Rafferty, in The Salt Lake 
Tribune, 1964.) By the same token, 
you don't teach people to avoid Com- 
munism by telling them all about 
Communism or to avoid murderous 
acts of violence by constantly telling 
horror stories. 

President David O. McKay has said 
it better than I can. "In these days of 
uncertainty and unrest, liberty-loving 
people's greatest responsibility and 
paramount duty is to preserve and 
proclaim the freedom of the individual, 
his relationship to Deity, and the 
necessity of obedience to the princi- 
ples of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only 
thus will mankind find peace and hap- 
piness." (President David O. McKay, 
The Improvement Era, Dec. 1962, p. 
903.) 

I should like to read that again be- 
cause it is the key to what I am trying 
to say: "In these days of uncertainty 
and unrest, liberty-loving people's 
greatest responsibility and paramount 
duty is to preserve and proclaim the 
freedom of the individual, his relation- 
ship to Deity, and the necessity of 
obedience to the principles of the 
gospel of Jesus Christ. Only thus will 
mankind find peace and happiness." 

The conclusions we must reach are 
inescapable as we ponder these pro- 
found declarations. One who has an 
abiding conviction concerning God, who 
has faith in his relationship to Deity 
and the necessity of obedience to the 
principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, 
who believes in and has a love for the 
Son of God, and who has a feeling of 
certainty as to the immortality of the 
soul can successfully combat sin and 
unrighteousness in any guise. 

Ours, then, must be a positive rather 
than a negative approach, as indicated 
by these divine instructions. The Lord 
has explained this in his preface to 
his revelations in our day, as he tells us 
the value of the scriptures and why the 
fullness of gospel teachings was given 
to us today. He said: 

"Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing 
the calamity which should come upon 
the inhabitants of the earth, called 
upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., 
and spake unto him from heaven, and 
gave him commandments; 



522 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



"And also gave commandments to 
others, that they should proclaim these 
things unto the world; and all this 
that it might be fulfilled, which was 
written by the prophets — 

"The weak things of the world shall 
come forth and break down the mighty 
and strong ones, that man should not 
counsel his fellow man, neither trust 
in the arm of flesh — 

"But that every man might speak 
in the name of God the Lord, even the 
Savior of the world; 

"That faith also might increase in 
the earth; 

"That mine everlasting covenant 
might be established; 

"That the fulness of my gospel 
might be proclaimed by the weak and 
the simple unto the ends of the world, 
and before kings and rulers. 

"Behold, I am God and have spoken 
it; these commandments are of me, 
and were given unto my servants in 
their weakness, after the manner of 
their language, that they might come 
to understanding. 

"And inasmuch as they erred it 
might be made known; 

"And inasmuch as they sought wis- 
dom they might be instructed; 

"And inasmuch as they sinned they 
might be chastened, that they might 
repent; 

"And inasmuch as they were hum- 
ble they might be made strong, and 
blessed from on high, and receive 
knowledge from time to time." (D&C 
1:17-28.) 

How much clearer can the Lord tell 
us the value of the gospel in keeping 
us from following false leaders up 
blind alleys? 

The Lord has sounded a warning to 
all of us who hold responsible places 
in his kingdom in this day. 

Said he: 

"But there is a possibility that man 
may fall from grace and depart from 
the living God; 

"Therefore let the church take heed 
and pray always, lest they fall into 
temptation; 

"Yea, and even let those who are 
sanctified take heed also." (D&C 20:32- 
34.) The sanctified, as defined, are 
those who have a holiness of life and 
character — those who may have titles 
of high places in the Church. 

A President of the Church has told 
us where we may expect to find false 
leaders: 

"First," he said, "The hopelessly 
ignorant, whose lack of intelligence is 
due to their indolence and sloth. . . . 

"Second — -The proud and self-vaunt- 
ing ones, who read by the lamp of 
their own conceit; who interpret by 
rules of their own contriving; who have 
become a law unto themselves, and so 
pose as the sole judges of their own 
doings." (President Joseph F. Smith, 
Gospel Doctrine, twelfth ed., p. 373.) 

Ours is the great responsibility to be- 



come fully involved in the great drive 
going forward in the Church today: 
to impress parents with their respon- 
sibility to teach their own families in 
their homes and to have a completely 
correlated course of gospel teachings in 
church auxiliaries and priesthood quo- 
rums for the children, the youth, and 
the adults — all to the end that we 
might develop a gospel scholarship in 
the individual that will withstand 
in this evil day the forces that, without 
this abiding testimony of the gospel, 
would make us and our children prey 
to all the vices and false ideologies in 
the world. 

May the Lord continue to pour out 
his knowledge upon his Church and 
give to all who are members, and in- 
deed to all the honorable of the earth, 
attentive minds and obedient hearts, 
that he may indeed be an ensign to 



the world as prophesied when "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. . . ." (Isa. 
2:3.) 

For that I pray humbly for all of us 
as individuals and for the Church 
collectively. 

The Master closed his last recorded 
sermon prior to his crucifixion with 
the words: "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.) 

I humbly bear solemn witness to the 
life and mission of our Lord and Mas- 
ter, the Prince of Peace, in the name 
of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Saturday Afternoon Session, April 9, 1966 



Hidden Wedges 

Spencer W. Kimball 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• One night I lay awake thinking 
through the problems of the day. All 
week there had filed by my desk peo- 
ple — wonderful people — some bowed in 
grief and anguish of soul; others learn- 
ing repentance through life's penalties; 
some frustrated in their marital upsets, 
in their moral aberrations, in their 
financial reverses, and in their spiritual 
deficiencies. 

These people were good people 
basically; but as they traveled, they 
had found difficulty in staying on the 
main thoroughfare and had deviated 
pn side roads; they had forgotten cove- 
nants and postponed putting into effect 
their good resolutions. 

There came to my mind an article 
by Samuel T. Whitman entitled "For- 
gotten Wedges." I had learned to use 
wedges when I was a lad in Arizona, 
it being my duty to supply wood for 
many fires in the big house. May I 
quote Whitman: 

"The ice storm wasn't generally de- 
structive. True, a few wires came 
down, and there was a sudden jump 
in accidents along the highway. Walk- 
ing out of doors became unpleasant 
and difficult. It was disagreeable 
weather, but it was not serious. Nor- 
mally, the big walnut tree could easily 
have borne the weight that formed on 
its spreading limbs. It was the iron 
wedge in its heart that caused the 
damage. 

"The story of the iron wedge began 
years ago when the white-haired 
farmer was a lad on his father's home- 



stead. The sawmill had then only 
recently been moved from the valley, 
and the settlers were still finding tools 
and odd pieces of equipment scattered 
about. . . . 

"On this particular day, it was a 
faller's wedge — wide, flat, and heavy, 
a foot or more long, and splayed from 
mighty poundings. The path from the 
south pasture did not pass the wood- 
shed; and, because he was already late 
for dinner, the lad laid the wedge . . . 
between the limbs of the young walnut 
tree his father had planted near the 
front gate. He would take the wedge 
to the shed right after dinner, or some- 
time when he was going that way. 

"He truly meant to, but he never 
did. It was there between the limbs, 
a little tight, when he attained his 
manhood. It was there, now firmly 
gripped, when he married and took 
over his father's farm. It was half 
grown over on the day the threshing 
crew ate dinner under the tree. . . . 
Grown in and healed over, the wedge 
was still in the tree the winter the ice 
storm came. 

"In the chill silence of that wintry 
night, with the mist like rain sifting 
down and freezing where it fell, one 
of the three major limbs split away 
from the trunk and crashed to the 
ground. This so unbalanced the re- 
mainder of the top that it, too, split 
apart and went down. When the storm 
was over, not a twig of the once- 
proud tree remained. 

"Early the next morning, the farmer 



JUNE 1966 



523 



went out to mourn his loss. 'Wouldn't 
have had that happen for a thousand 
dollars,' he said. 'Prettiest tree in the 
valley, that was.' 

"Then, his eyes caught sight of some- 
thing in the splintered ruin. 'The 
wedge,' he muttered reproachfully. 
'The wedge I found in the south pas- 
ture.' A glance told him why the tree 
had fallen. Growing edge-up in the 
trunk, the wedge had prevented the 
limb fibers from knitting together as 
they should." 

Forgotten wedges! Hidden weak- 
nesses grown over and invisible, wait- 
ing until some winter night to work 
their ruin. What better symbolizes the 
presence and the effect of sin in our 
lives? 

This brings to my memory some 
verses I heard long years ago entitled: 

Jim Died Today 

Around the corner I have a friend, 
In this great city which has no end; 

Yet, days go by and weeks rush on, 
And before I know it a year has gone. 

And I never see my old friend's face; 
For life is a swift and terrible race. 

He knows I like him just as well 
As in the days when I rang his bell 

And he rang mine. We were younger 

then 
And now we are busy tired men — 

Tired with playing the foolish game; 
Tired with trying to make a name; 

Tomorrow, I say, I will call on Jim, 
Just to show I'm thinking of him. 

But tomorrow comes and tomorrow 

goes; 
And the distance between us grows 

and grows 

Around the corner! Yet miles away— 
Here's a telegram, sir — "Jim died 
today!" 

And that's what we get — and deserve 

in the end — 
Around the corner, a vanished friend. 

And, as I thought of Jim, I thought 
also of John, my trusted friend. He was 
well regarded in his community, hon- 
orable in business dealings, kindly. He 
frankly admitted his principal weak- 
ness. John was an inveterate chain 
smoker. Always a cigarette hung be- 
tween his lips. It seemed as much a 
part of him as his ear or nose or finger. 
Sometimes we joked about his insepa- 
rable companion. He always chuckled 
and said, "Everybody is entitled to one 
weakness." And then in more sober 
moments, he would become pensive 
and say, "I know it is bad, but it has 



hold of me like an octopus. Someday 
I'll conquer it." Yes, someday! But 
the days sped into years; his hair be- 
came thinner, his complexion more 
sallow; and there finally came a cough 
— a little hacking cough. It worried 
us who appreciated his good qualities, 
but there was little we could do. 

I moved to Utah and saw him no 
more for many years. Time put on its 
running shoes, and years piled up; and 
one day I was on assignment in 
Phoenix when a mutual friend, know- 
ing my affection for John, said, "Did 
you know he is in the hospital dying 
of lung cancer?" Dropping everything, 
I rushed to the hospital but almost too 
late. There he lay propped up in his 
bed, breathing irregular, painful gasps. 
I was glad he recognized me even for 
that single moment. His forced smile 
froze. His light went out. He had 
certainly intended to overcome the 
habit, especially after scientific research 
had confirmed the Lord's revelation, 
but his master dictator decreed other- 
wise. 

Here he had lain in fear and alone, 
facing the inevitable. The cancer was 
too deep, too scattered, too entrenched. 

I trembled as I saw him die, this 




friend of thirty years. He might have 
lived yet many years in health and 
happiness. And as I stood in awe and 
with head bowed low, I remembered 
another great tree that could not stand 
the storm because of forgotten wedges, 
slow death-dealing wedges. Tomorrow 
he would have thrown his cigarettes 
away, but that recreant tomorrow, that 
procrastinating tomorrow that sup- 
posedly never comes, was here. There 
would now never be another cigarette. 
The wedges had seen to that. And 
then there came to me the words of 
Ralph Parlett: 

"Strength and struggle travel to- 
gether. The supreme reward of struggle 
is strength. Life is a battle and the 
greatest joy is to overcome. The pur- 
suit of easy things makes men 
weak. . . ." 

My thoughts shifted to a little boy 
in Arizona with curly hair who sat 



upon my knee long years ago. His 
smile was beautiful and his laugh con- 
tagious. He grew into handsome man- 
hood, but as he went through his 
teens, he carelessly threw into the 
forks of his walnut tree a bottle. In 
his sober moments he admitted it was 
bad for him. Tomorrow he would dis- 
card this little devil, his master. Yes, 
tomorrow! 

When he was married, the bottle 
wedge was still in the tree and the 
fibers encasing it. With a hollow 
laugh, he passed it off and said he 
could certainly remove it tomorrow. 
The cursed thing was there when the 
children came. They loved this hand- 
some dad! Yet, sometimes came strange 
situations they could not understand. 
Hardly could they believe this was 
their dad, so different he was at times — 
more and more frequent. 

This bottle wedge was still there 
when the children were in their teens. 
They still could not comprehend how 
their father could be Dr. Jekyll yester- 
day and Mr. Hyde today, so wonderful 
he was when sober. Procrastination 
and the bottle wedge became deeper 
and deeper in his tree and engulfed 
by it. He had about reached the point 
of no return. 

Years passed, and he entered my life 
again. He borrowed two dollars. On 
the spur of the moment, I did not 
realize what two dollars would buy 
and how desperate one could be for 
what two dollars would purchase. His 
hair was gray, his body sloppy fat, his 
eyes bleary, his laugh hollow. His 
children were now on their own. One 
son had died in a tavern, one had 
divorced three times. One day I found 
him in the gutter. The storm had 
come, the wedge was deeply imbedded. 
Yesterday, with self control, he could 
have defeated his enemy and been 
headed toward thrones and exaltations, 
but the yesterdays became tomorrows. 
And, as I helped him out of the gutter 
and for a moment to stand upon his 
feet, I sorrowed and remembered 
wedges — hidden wedges. 

And, as I saw him fettered and en- 
slaved, there came to my memory a 
paragraph from a modern writer, 
which I paraphrase: 

History, which had yawned for thou- 
sands of years, stirred on her dust- 
covered couch, opened her eyes, and 
saw one more son of God become a 
fettered slave. She sighed, sat up, 
shook the dust from the pages of her 
voluminous book, glanced at the long 
list of victims, turned a fresh page, 
took up her pen and moistened it, and 
wrote another name. 

"It is an old tale," she said, tiredly 
and hopelessly, as her old bones moved 
wearily to record again. "Millions 
have followed this highway through 
the ages of the past," she said, "de- 
priving spouses, neglecting children, 
corrupting lives, destroying character." 



524 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Then she remonstrated, "Why can I 
never sleep? Why must I continue on, 
recording distorted lives, corrupted 
civilizations — will men never learn?" 
(Taylor Caldwell, The Earth Is the 
Lord's, p. 414.) 

Here were bottle wedges! the winds 
and whirlwind wedges, broken trees 
split open, branchless tree-made skele- 
tons. 

And then I remembered Bill. His 
was also a sad story. His beginnings 
were auspicious, his backgrounds good. 
Even his home life was better than 
average, but he was tiring of restraints. 

He would enlist in the military 
service, where he could do what he 
wanted to do. A short training period 
and he was shipped abroad. Saigon 
was an intriguing city with its great 
river, its exotic nature, its strange 
people. 

One day he relaxed his hold, yielded 
to impulse, made a contact that 
dropped him into a foreign world to 
him — a world of sin. His training 
came to his rescue and brought him to 
his knees in repentance. But the 
memory of man is short, and the sensa- 
tions and demands of the carnal are 
insistent; and with abandon, he threw 
his wedge into the forks of his walnut 
tree. Some day he would remove the 
wedge and put it away where it 
belonged. 

Under some pressures from asso- 
ciates, he began to smoke and then to 
drink, his inhibitions smothered. With 
his wedge in the forks of his tree, he 
was uncomfortable at first and his con- 
science hurt, but soon he seared it. 
Many months passed, and his military 
stint was nearing the end. On one of 
the many occasions when he had im- 
bibed too freely, he pulled from his 
pocket a handful of coins and boasted 
loudly, "With these coins I can buy 
every kind of sin in the book." And he 
heedlessly proceeded to make his pur- 
chase. Long ago he had ceased to 
pray. How could he ask the Lord's 
blessings upon his sinful acts, perver- 
sions, and aberrations? Not long now 
and he would be done with this war 
business and would return to normal 
life. Surely he would remove the 
wedge then. 

He did go home, but by now his 
mischief was entrenched, his habits 
of thought and action too deeply im- 
bedded, his willpower too weak. 

Fibers had grown over the wedge. 
Nothing short of major tree surgery 
could remove it now. 

And then I remembered the story of 
the young farmer grown old and the 
walnut tree split apart, and I thought 
again: Forgotten wedges! Hidden 
wedges! And my heart was heavy. 
Then Horace Greeley's words came to 
me: 

"The height of a man's success is 
gauged by his self-mastery; the depth 
of his failure by his self-abandonment. 



There is no other limitation in either 
direction. And this law is the expres- 
sion of eternal justice. 

"He who cannot establish a domin- 
ion over himself will have no dominion 
over others, he who masters himself 
shall be king." 

Then came the couple from Texas. 
In their prolonged conflicts, selfishness, 
and stubbornness, a wide chasm had 
deepened between them. Their rela- 
tives mourned for them, their leaders 
struggled with them, and their inno- 
cent children suffered from frustration, 
rebellion, and delinquency because of 
these two potentially great souls. The 
beautiful love of 16 years ago was fast 
changing to hate; the long-ago trust 
was turning to bitterness; each was 
bent upon reforming the other. Argu- 
ment, pressures, levers, and threats 
were used to bend the other to his and 
her will. And while they quarreled 
and manufactured venom in their in- 
criminations and recriminations, they 
shriveled and wrinkled and dwarfed. 
The former great gentleman became a 
quarrelsome antagonist; the former 
lovely lady became a shrew. Two 
selfish people degenerated to wizened 
little pygmies. Their wedges had now 




been long in the tree. Some day he 
would conquer her. Some day she 
would win, justifying her position. 
Yes, they would tomorrow correct their 
errors, swallow their pride, neutralize 
their selfishness, and remove the 
wedge, but already it was tight in the 
forks. 

Oh, how blind is self-centered, 
selfish man, with his ugly wedges! 

These folks may never .get their 
"chariot of the sun" as expressed by 
Ralph Waldo Emerson: 

"Every man takes care that his 
neighbor shall not cheat him. But a 
day comes when he begins to care that 
he does not cheat his neighbor. Then 
all goes well. He has changed his 
market cart into a chariot of the sun." 

And Phillips Brooks addressed such 
who permit themselves hatred and 
bitterness: 

"You who are letting miserable mis- 
understandings run on from year to 



year, meaning to clear them up some 
day; you who are keeping wretched 
quarrels alive because you cannot quite 
make up your mind that now is the 
day to sacrifice your pride and kill 
them; you who are passing men sul- 
lenly upon the street, not speaking to 
them out of some silly spite, and yet 
knowing that it would fill you with 
shame and remorse if you heard that 
one of those men were dead tomorrow 
morning; you who are letting your 
neighbor starve, till you hear that he 
is dying of starvation; or letting your 
friend's heart ache for a word of appre- 
ciation or sympathy which you mean 
to give him some day; if you only 
could know and see and feel, all of a 
sudden, that 'the time is short.' How 
it would break the spell! How you 
would go instantly and do the thing 
which you might never have another 
chance to do!" 

And then, I applied the wedge 
story in another area. For more than 
a century the living gospel has been 
restored on the earth, and tens of 
thousands of missionaries have pro- 
claimed to millions the true message. 
Their testimonies have touched many 
hearts that said, "Yes," but whose 
lips with human fears resisted their 
accepting the gospel toward their 
eternal welfare. They have trembled 
as the Holy Ghost whispered to their 
spirits, "It is true — embrace it," and yet 
poor excuses caused their postponing 
action. Numerous are those who all 
over the world have received the wit- 
ness that the gospel is true, yet have 
postponed baptism. Great numbers 
have heard of the additional scripture, 
the Book of Mormon, which contains 
the fullness of the gospel, yet never 
have absorbed its truths. A million 
copies of it found their way in a mil- 
lion home libraries last year and other 
millions previously, yet procrastinat- 
ing people have failed to complete 
their investigation and have remained 
estranged. "Tomorrow I will read it," 
they say; "another day I will invite 
the missionaries to teach me." But 
tomorrow is a sluggard and shifts 
along on leaden feet, and life goes on, 
and storms do come, and limbs are 
split, and trees do fall, and eternity 
approaches, and our sincere call ' goes 
unheeded. 

Percy Adams Hutchison (1878- ) 
gave this verse in his "Swordless 
Christ" (Vicisti Galilee, stanza 1) : 

"Ay, down the years, behold he rides, 

The lowly Christ, upon an ass; 

But conquering? Ten shall heed the 

call, 
A thousand idly watch him pass." 

And I wondered how many tens of 
thousands did hear his voice, felt an 
inner twinge of heart, felt impelled 
to follow, but lingered and pro- 
crastinated. 



JUNE 1966 



525 



How many saw his smile and heard 
his sermons on the mount and were 
pricked in their hearts, but stopped 
to eat and sleep and work and play, 
and failed to heed? 

Numerous ones must have jostled 
him in narrow streets of Jerusalem 
and turned around and looked the 
second time at him whom they had 
touched, but went their way to daily 
tasks and missed their opportunity. 

How many heard the story of his 
walking on the water but were too 
busy with their selling fish in the 
market or herding sheep to ask the 
vital reasons and fathom the deep 
powers? 

How many who saw him hanging 
there upon the cross saw only wood 
beams and nails and flesh and blood 
and made no effort to penetrate the 
purposes and the reasons: how one 
could choose to die such an igno- 
minious death; how one could be so 
controlled in time of such excruciating 
pain; what were the reasons behind 
such treatment; what were the deep 
purposes; who was this "author of 
eternal salvation unto all them that 
obey him"? (Heb. 5:9.) 

How many felt the stir that comes 
in human breasts when truth, pressed 
in upon them but pressured by minor 
exigencies, moves far away from their 
eternal destiny? 

And then I think: Procrastination — 
thou wretched thief of time and oppor- 
tunity! 

When will men stand true to their 
one-time inspired yearnings? 

Let those take care who postpone the 
clearing of bad habits and of con- 
structively doing what they ought. 
"Some day I'll join the Church," says 
one. "I'll cease my drinking soon," 
says another. "One day I'll smoke no 
more," others pledge. "Some day we'll 
be ready for our temple sealings," 



promise a delayed-action husband and 
wife. "Some day, when they apolo- 
gize, I'll forgive those who injured 
me," small souls say. "Some day I'll 
get my debts paid." "We'll get around 
soon to having our family prayers, 
and next week we'll start our home 
evenings." "We shall start paying 
tithing from our next pay check." To- 
morrow — yes, tomorrow. 

And then, we quote more lines from 
Whitman: 

"Pride, envy, selfishness, dishonesty, 
intemperance, doubt, secret passions — 
almost numberless in variety and de- 
gree are the wedges of sin. And alas! 
almost numberless are the men and. 
women who today are allowing sin to 
grow in the heart wood of their lives. 

"The wedge is there. We know it is 
there. We put it there ourselves one 
day, when we were hurried and 
thoughtless. It shouldn't be there, of 
course. It is harming the tree. But 
we are busy so we leave it there; and 
in time, it grows over and we forget. 
The years slip swiftly by. Wintertime 
comes with its storms and ice. The life 
we prized so much goes down in the 
unspeakable loss of spiritual disaster. 
For years after the wedge had grown 
over, the tree flourished and gave no 
sign of its inner weakness. Thus it is 
with sin. 

"Many a fine house on many a fine 
street has a wedge of sin within its 
elegance. And many a man who 
walks the streets in pride and arro- 
gance of worldly success is an 
unrepentant sinner before God. Never- 
theless, the wedge is there and in the 
end of its work is a fallen tree, split 
and shattered and worthless." 

May the Lord bless us all that we 
may early recognize and remember and 
remove all wedges before they wreak 
their havoc in our lives, I pray in the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Truth Will Prevail 

Alma Sonne 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• My brethren and sisters: Elder 
Kimball's remarks reminded me of the 
first memory gem I learned in Primary: 

"Defer not till tomorrow to be wise, 
Tomorrow's sun to thee may never 
rise." 

(William Congreve, 
Letter to Cobham.) 

Economically, the world at present 
is disturbed about inflation. And it 
has been stated that only a spiritual 
revival can prevent it from becoming 



a catastrophe. I am sure a spiritual 
revival would solve many problems in 
our country and elsewhere. 

But when all is said and done, the 
best hedge against inflation is the 
character of the people. New ideas, 
new methods, new departures from the 
beaten path will come and go, but 
fundamental things like thrift, self- 
reliance, and hard work will be re- 
stored in the final solution. Security 
does not come without preparation. 
Health and happiness cannot be 
bought or given. They are products of 



service and sacrifice. Only righteous- 
ness can exalt a nation and an individ- 
ual. History has so proved. This was 
true 3,000 years ago and it is true 
today. 

Roger Babson once said: "When 
Jesus appealed to people to give to the 
poor, He . . . had in mind the good 
of the giver even more than the good 
of the recipient." (Roger W. Babson, 
If Further Inflation Comes [Philadel- 
phia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 
1950], p. 201.) 

He also said that the safest hedge 
against inflation is the Ten Com- 
mandments, especially the last, "Thou 
shalt not covet. . . ." He refers to 
changes that have come, like universal 
suffrage, the increase in transportation 
by means of the automobile and the 
airplane, the increase in vision through 
motion pictures and television. "Hear- 
ing," said he, "has multiplied a thou- 
sand times through the radio. Yet in 
the same period there has been almost 
no increase in the nation's character. 
... A sane faith and philosophy of 
life is of greater economic importance 
than the gold content of the dollar." 
(Ibid, p. 205.) 

I believe the United States of Amer- 
ica will be free from bondage, 
economic and otherwise, ". . . if they 
will but serve the God of the land, 
who is Jesus Christ. . . ." (Eth. 2:12.) 
There is only one plan by which 
humanity can be saved and preserved, 
and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ 
in all of its wide ramifications. 

We have moved forward so rapidly 
in the various avenues that we have 
lost our bearings. Thoughtlessness and 
expediency dominate our efforts to suc- 
ceed. 

The other night I asked a group of 
teen-agers to read the story of the 
Prodigal Son. Charles Dickens said: 
"It is the most beautiful story ever 
told." It is not difficult to picture 
that wayward son as he returned to 
his home, disappointed and ashamed 
— in rags and tatters. He had lost his 
inheritance, he had wasted his sub- 
stance in riotous living, he had thrown 
away his opportunities, and he was 
now back where he started. 

I reminded these youngsters that the 
greatest tragedy in human experience 
is a misspent life. Haphazard use of 
time, money, and energy means a poor 
return, devoid of satisfaction and 
fraught with failure and uncertainty. 
The young people to whom I refer are 
the homemakers of tomorrow and the 
future citizens of our country. 

To me there is no grander spectacle 
in this world than that of a young 
man and a young woman kneeling at 
the altar and joining hands in holy 
wedlock and pledging to each other 
their love and devotion for time and 
all eternity. It makes for stability. 
Such a union is not easily severed. It 



526 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



is a sacred covenant which cannot be 
broken except by sin and wrongdoing. 

There is an old proverb that reads: 
". . . thou shalt deliver him the pledge 
again when the sun goeth down. . . ." 
(Deut. 24:13.) In modern language it 
means: Keep your promises and hold 
sacred your covenants. 

The task before us is to safeguard 
the moral and spiritual agencies re- 
quired to preserve a healthy and God- 
inspired civilization. 

The rock-foundation of such a civili- 
zation is a firm faith in the true and 
living God. Without such faith the 
soul has no anchorage and life has 
no purpose. 

The unbeliever has no program, 

He sees no future, he prepares for 
none; 

He does not hear the voice of the 
prophets, 

He has not looked beneath the crust 
of things, 

He flounders and stumbles, 

He lives in a vacuum; 

He has no road to the future 

And no rewards for right living. 

He is negative, doubtful, and un- 
progressive. To him death is the end, 
and all hope is gone. 

To avoid the pitfalls of skepticism, 
our faith must be nourished and fos- 
tered by prayerful investigation, dili- 
gent research, and scriptural study, for 
God's plan of regeneration must be 
known to his children. Men cannot be 
saved in ignorance. The Church sup- 
plies the means and facilities for our 
growth and development. We are liv- 
ing in a day when our faith in the 
eternal values must be strengthened. 
We build our own fortifications against 
evil. 

The great work which our Eternal 
Father has founded is destined to fill 
the whole earth. It will not fail, and 
no power, however great, can stop its 
progress. Small as it was in the begin- 
ning, destitute of influence and worldly 
advantages, it is a power that will con- 
tinue to grow and increase. It will go 
forward through the power that is in 
it. 

It cannot be understood unless it be 
"viewed with the eye of faith," for 
it is the product of faith. In other 
words, the person or persons who seek 
to understand it must have some 
knowledge of the power that founded 
it, the power that sustains it, and the 
power that goes with it in its opera- 
tions in the world. 

The Lord will never forsake his 
servants who stand at the head of his 
Church in any hour of extremity, when 
even strong men are tested and tried 
and when calamities and upheavals 
are threatening the stability and wis- 
dom of men and nations. 

Faith in God, in the immortality of 
the soul, and in the words of the 
prophets, living and dead, is more 



than a passive belief. It is the motive 
power in men's lives. 

A man of faith makes decisions 
every day because of that faith; he 
knows where he is going; he rejects the 
unproven sophistries of the world; he 
can withstand the infidelity, the cyni- 
cism, the ridicule, and the groundless 
arguments of those who live without 
responsibility to God and without a 
program to guide them through the 
journey of life. 

Those who deny God and his mani- 
festations are a multitude in our day. 
They proceed without guide or com- 
pass. Their aims and ambitions are 
centered in the things of earth, and 
their conception of right and wrong is 
blurred. 

Our mission as a Church is to teach 
the unbelievers and the uninformed the 
message of faith as it pertains to the 
gospel and the divine callings of Jesus 
Christ and Joseph Smith. 

There is no other way, and the 
Church feels keenly its responsibility 
in this respect. 

As a boy I remember attending 
church in a modest meetinghouse built 
by the early settlers of Cache Valley. 
My memory of that old chapel is very 
dim, but I recall the design painted 
on the wall behind the stand. On it 
were three messages. 

In bold lettering on the top were the 
words: "Holiness to the Lord." It sug- 
gested worship. Below this expression 
of faith was another one which read: 
"Truth will prevail." Still further 
down and near the bottom were the 
words: "Truth crushed to earth will 
rise again." To me as a boy it meant 
one thing, the restored gospel of 
Christ. Truth was synonymous with 
Mormonism so called, and .a revealed 
truth. 



I think, generally speaking, it was 
the opinion of all the Latter-day Saints 
who met there. They were solid and 
sound in their beliefs. They were now 
free to worship God in their own way. 
Their chief concern was the success of 
their settlements made ". . . far away 
in the West. . . ." ("Come, Come, ye 
Saints," Hymns, 13.) As I read their 
history and review their achievements, 
I conclude they were not mistaken nor 
led astray by selfish leaders. They had 
found the truth — the truth which, as 
Jesus taught, would make them free. 

They read the Bible, the Book of 
Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and 
modern revelations. The contents of 
these books were facts, not opinions. 
The prophets did not speculate. They 
spoke as one who knows. There are no 
books so positive and forthright as the 
scriptures, modern and ancient. The 
prophets did not support their mes- 
sages by argument. These messages 
were self-evident. 

Most of the pioneers who came to the 
valleys of the mountains are now gone. 
They had faced relentless opposition 
and severe persecution, but here they 
were in their Zion, worshipping the 
true and living God. It was all in ful- 
fillment of prophecy and they were 
happy and satisfied. Their spirit was 
unconquerable, their faith never 
flagged, and their perseverance and 
powers of endurance were remarkable. 
Their example of devotion and stead- 
fastness has not been in vain. As a 
people we are proud of their achieve- 
ments. We are equally proud of pres- 
ent accomplishments, and we glory in 
the prospects for the future. 

May God's kingdom grow and in- 
crease until the earth is full of those 
who love the Lord their God, I pray 
in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Scriptural Witness of Jesus Christ 

Bruce R. McConkie 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 



• An apostle is a special witness of 
Christ. This morning we heard Presi- 
dent David O. McKay, the senior apos- 
tle of God on earth, bear an inspired 
and fervent testimony of the divine 
sonship of our Lord. 

I think it would be of interest to the 
conference to know that it was on April 
9, 1906, exactly 60 years ago today, 
that President David O. McKay was 
ordained an apostle, a special witness 
of the Lord, a special witness of him 
who has redeemed us with his blood. 
Since that day, three-score years ago, 



this man who is now God's prophet on 
earth has stood as a light and a pillar 
of spiritual strength to the Church and 
to the world. 

With all of you I rejoice and thank 
God for the ministry of that man who 
is the President of The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints, who is the 
presiding high priest of God on earth, 
who in literal reality is an apostle, a 
prophet, a man of God, a man whom 
the Lord loves. 

In this connection may I also note 
that it was on April 7, 1910, fifty-six 



JUNE 1966 



527 



years ago, that President Joseph Field- 
ing Smith, also an oracle of God, was 
ordained to the holy apostleship to 
stand with President McKay in direct- 
ing the affairs of God's kingdom on 
earth. 

That Jesus, of whom President 
McKay testified this morning, issued 
this invitation, "Come unto me. . . . 

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn 
of me. . . ." (Matt. 11:28-29.) 

He also said, ". . . this is life eternal, 
that they might know thee the only 
true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou 
hast sent." (John 17:3.) 

To know God in that full sense 
which will enable us to gain eternal 
salvation means that we must know 
what he knows, enjoy what he enjoys, 
experience what he experiences. In New 
Testament language, we must "be like 
him." (1 John 3:2.) 

But before we can become like him, 
we must obey those laws that will 
enable us to acquire the character, 
perfections, and attributes that he 
possesses. 

And before we can obey these laws, 
we must learn what they are; we must 
learn of Christ and his gospel. We 
must learn "that salvation was, and 
is, and is to come, in and through the 
atoning blood of Christ, the Lord 
Omnipotent." (Mosiah 3:18.) We 
must learn that baptism under the 
hands of a legal administrator is es- 
sential to salvation and that after 
baptism we must keep the command- 
ments and "press forward with a stead- 
fastness in Christ, having a perfect 
brightness of hope, and a love of God 
and of all men." (2 Ne. 31:20.) 

Our revelation says: "The glory of 
God is intelligence, or, in other words, 
light and truth." (D&C 93:36.) 

Joseph Smith taught that "a man is 
saved no faster than he gets knowl- 
edge" of God and his saving truths 
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph 
Smith, p. 217) and that "it is impos- 
sible for a man to be saved in igno- 
rance" of Jesus Christ and the laws 
of his gospel. (D&C 131:6.) 

We believe in gospel scholarship. 
We think that devout men every- 
where, in and out of the Church, 
should seek spiritual truth, should 
come to know God, should learn his 
laws, and should strive to live in 
harmony with them. There are no 
truths as important as those that per- 
tain to God and his gospel, to the pure 
religion that he has revealed, to the 
terms and conditions whereby we may 
gain an inheritance with him in his 
kingdom. 

Thus we find Deity commanding: 

"Search these commandments. . . ." 
(D&C 1:37.) 

". . . study my word which hath 
gone forth among the children of 
men. . . ." (D&C 11:22.) 

". . . teach the principles of my gos- 
pel, which are in the Bible and the 



Book of Mormon, in the which is the 
fulness of my gospel." (D&C 42:12.) 

Thus we find Jesus saying: 

"Search the prophets. . . ," (3 Ne. 
23:5.) 

"Search the scriptures; for . . . they 
are they which testify of me." (John 
5:39.) 

"Yea, a commandment I give unto 
you that ye search these things dili- 
gently. . . ." (3 Ne. 23:1.) 

Christ is the great exemplar, the 
prototype of perfection and salvation: 
". . . he said unto the children of men: 
Follow thou me. . . ." (2 Ne. 31:10.) 

Also: ". . . what manner of men 
ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, 
even as I am." (3 Ne. 27:27.) 

I know of no better way to respond 
to Jesus' invitation, "learn of me" 
(Matt. 10:29), than to study the scrip- 
tures with a prayerful heart. 

I know of no better way to heed his 
counsel, "follow thou me," than to live 
in harmony with the truths recorded 
in the scriptures, for as Nephi asked, 
". . . can we follow Jesus save we 
shall be willing to keep the command- 
ments of the Father?" (2 Ne. 31:10.) 

The Old Testament prophets reveal 
Christ's laws and foretell his Messianic 
ministry. 

The Doctrine and Covenants records 
his mind and will and voice as he 
speaks to men in our day. 

The Book of Mormon is an American 
witness of his divine sonship which has 
come forth "to the convincing of the 
Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the 
Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting 
himself unto all nations." (Book of 
Mormon title page.) 

The New Testament contains the 
witness of the ancient apostles that he 
ministered among men and set up his 
earthly kingdom in the meridian of 
time. 

I recently finished, primarily for my 
own personal enlightenment, an inten- 
sive, prayerful, and organized study of 
the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, 
Luke, and John — those inspired ac- 
counts that speak plainly of our Lord's 
mortal ministry. 

After concluding this study, I re- 
corded my views and sentiments con- 
cerning the gospel accounts in these 
words : 

"And so endeth the gospels — 

"Those sacred scriptures which tell 
of the birth, ministry, mission, atoning 
sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension of 
the Son of God; 

"Those revealed records which teach 
with power and conviction the eternal 
truths which men must believe to gain 
salvation in God's kingdom; 

"Those true histories of the life of 
Christ which lead men to love the Lord 
and to keep his commandments; 

"Those sacred and solemn testi- 
monies which open the door to the 
receipt of peace in this life and eternal 
life in the world to come. 



"In this holy writ, in these gospel 
accounts, in these testimonies of the 
life of our Lord — 

"We see Jesus — the Almighty, the 
Creator of all things from the begin- 
ning — receiving a tabernacle of clay in 
the womb of Mary. 

"We stand by an Infant in a man- 
ger and hear heavenly voices hail his 
birth. 

"We observe him teaching in the 
temple and confounding the worldly 
wise when but twelve years of age. 

"We watch him in Jordan, immersed 
under the hands of John, while the 
heavens open and the personage of the 
Holy Ghost descends like a dove; and 
we hear the voice of the Father speak 
approving words. 

"We go with him into a wilderness 
place apart and behold the devil come, 
tempting, enticing, seeking to lead him 
from God-directed paths. 

"We view in wonder and amazement 
his miracles: He speaks and the blind 
see; at his touch the deaf hear; he com- 
mands and the lame leap, paralytics 
rise from their beds, lepers are 
cleansed, and devils desert their ill- 
gotten abodes. 

"We rejoice at the miracle of sin- 
crippled souls being made whole, of 
disciples who forsake all to follow him, 
of saints who are born again. 

"We stand in awe as the elements 
obey his voice: He walks on the water; 
at his word storms cease; he curses the 
fig tree and it withers; water becomes 
wine when he wills it; a few small 
fish and a little bread feed thousands 
because of his word. 

"We sit with the Lord of life, as a 
man, in the intimacy of a family cir- 
cle in Bethany; we weep with him at 
Lazarus' tomb; we fast and pray at his 
side when he communes with his 
Father; we eat and sleep with him and 
walk with him down the lanes and in 
the villages of Palestine; we see him 
hungry, thirsty, weary, and marvel that 
a God should seek such mortal 
experiences. 

"We drink deeply of his teachings; 
we hear parables such as never man 
spake before; we learn what it means 
to hear one with authority announce 
his Father's doctrine. 

"We see him: 

"In sorrow — weeping for his friends, 
lamenting over doomed Jerusalem; 

"In compassion — forgiving sins, car- 
ing for his mother, making men whole 
spiritually and physically; 

"In anger — cleansing his Father's 
house, blazing forth with righteous in- 
dignation at its desecration; 

"In triumph — entering Jerusalem 
amid shouts of hosanna to the Son of 
David, transfigured before his disciples 
on the mount, standing in resurrected 
glory on a mountain in Galilee. 

"We recline with him in an upper 
room, apart from the world, and hear 
some of the greatest sermons of all time 



528 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



as we partake of the emblems of his 
flesh and blood. 

"We pray with him in Gethsemane 
and tremble under the weight of the 
burden he bore as great drops of blood 
come from every pore; we bow our 
heads in shame as Judas plants the 
traitor's kiss. 

"We stand at his side before Annas 
and again before Caiaphas; we go with 
him to Pilate and to Herod and back 
to Pilate; we partake of the pain, feel 
the insults, shudder at the mocking, 
and are revolted at the gross injustice 
and mass hysteria which hurl him in- 
escapably toward the cross. 

"We sorrow with his mother and 
others at Golgotha as Roman soldiers 
drive nails into his hands and feet; 
we shudder as the spear pierces his side, 
and live with him the moment when 
he voluntarily gives up his life. 

"We are in the garden when the 
angels roll back the stone, when he 
comes forth in glorious immortality; 
we walk with him on the Emmaus 
road; we kneel in the upper room, feel 
the nail marks in his hands and feet 
and thrust our hands into his side; and 
with Thomas we exclaim: 'My Lord 
and my God!' 

"We walk to Bethany and there 
behold, as angels attend, his ascension 
to be with his Father; and our joy is 
full, for we have seen God with man. 

"We see God in him— for we know 
that God was in Christ manifesting 



himself to the world so that all men 
could know those holy beings whom 
to know is eternal life. 

"And now what shall we say more 
of Christ? Whose Son is he? What 
works hath he wrought? Who today 
can testify of these things? 

"Let it now be written once again — 
and it is the testimony of all the proph- 
ets of all the ages — that he is the Son 
of God, the Only Begotten of the 
Father, the promised Messiah, the Lord 
God of Israel, our Redeemer and 
Savior; that he came into the world to 
manifest the Father, to reveal anew the 
gospel, to be the great Exemplar, to 
work out the infinite and eternal 
atonement; and that not many days 
hence he shall come again to reign 
personally upon the earth and to save 
and redeem those who love and serve 
him. 

"And now let it also be written, both 
on earth and in heaven, that this 
disciple, who has prepared this work, 
does himself also know of the truth 
of those things of which the prophets 
have testified. For these things have 
been revealed unto him by the Holy 
Spirit of God, and he therefore testi- 
fies that Jesus is Lord of all, the Son 
of God, through whose name salvation 
comes." (Bruce R. McConkie, Doc- 
trinal New Testament Commentary, 
pp. 873-876.) 

This testimony I renew and reaffirm 
in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



When the Lord Commands, Do It 

Henry D. Taylor 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• As we journey through life, requests 
may come to us from those who have 
been appointed to positions of leader- 
ship and authority to perform some 
labor or to accept some responsibility. 
We may not comprehend nor under- 
stand the reason at the time nor even 
later for such calls, but, with confi- 
dence in those making the. request, we 
respond without question. 

One of the beautiful incidents found 
in. the scriptures relates to our first 
parents, Adam and Eve. After being 
driven from the Garden of Eden they 
began to till the soil and to have 
dominion over the beasts of the field 
and to eat their bread by the sweat of 
their faces. They called upon the 
name of the Lord and heard his voice 
speaking to them from the way to- 
ward the Garden of Eden, but they 
did not sec him, as they were now- 
shut out from his presence. 

The Lord gave them command- 
ments that they should worship him 



and should offer as a sacrifice unto him 
the firstlings of their flocks. No ex- 
planation was given for making such 
offerings, and I suppose they wondered 
as to the reasons, but without hesita- 
tion they were obedient unto the 
directions of the Lord. 

After many days an angel appeared 
to Adam and inquired: "Why dost 
thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord?" 
Then came Adam's sublime, beautiful, 
trusting response as he answered: "I 
know not, save the Lord commanded 
me." (Moses 5:6.) Thus this noble 
couple gave sufficient reason for their 
obedience to the Lord's command. 
What a glorious example to us, their 
posterity. 

Compliance to counsel without 
knowledge of the reason therefore is 
often referred to as blind obedience. 
But obedience is not blind when it is 
based on faith — implicit, trusting faith. 

Marvelous deeds can be accom- 
plished through faith and obedience. 



While in the wilderness the prophet 
Nephi was instructed by the Lord to 
construct a vessel in which to cross 
the mighty waters. To his doubting 
brothers this appeared to be an impos- 
sible task. But Nephi knew that it 
could be done and began fashioning 
tools and accumulating materials for 
his important assignment. When he 
advised his brothers of his purpose, 
they murmured and scoffed, saying: 
"Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh 
that he can build a ship; yea, and he 
also thinketh that he can cross these 
great waters." (1 Ne. 17:17.) 

In spite of their skepticism and ridi- 
cule, Nephi was moved by the spirit 
of obedience and had faith and confi- 
dence that the Lord would open the 
way for him to carry out the com- 
mandment he had received. Humbly, 
yet majestic in his trust, he proclaimed 
to his brothers: "If God had com- 
manded me to do all things I could 
do them. If he should command me 
that I should say unto this water, be 
thou earth, it should be earth; and if 
I should say it, it would be done." 
(1 Ne. 17:50.) 

Another soul-stirring incident that is 
recorded in holy writ teaches a force- 
ful lesson from which we may profit. 
As a devoted and loving father, Abra- 
ham's heart must have been heavy 
when he was commanded to take his 
beloved son, Isaac, upon a mountain 
and offer him as a sacrifice. Yet with 
unwavering faith and implicit trust 
in the Lord, he responded to the 
charge. He was dutifully obedient. 
Mercifully, however, he was relieved 
of the severe challenge the Lord had 
imposed upon him. But he had been 
tested and tried. For his faithfulness 
and obedience, the Lord gave Abra- 
ham this wonderful promise: ". . . in 
thy seed shall all the nations of the 
earth be blessed; because thou hast 
obeyed my voice." (Gen. 22:18.) 

In those ancient days the offering 
of burnt sacrifices was a subject that 
was repeatedly taught and stressed. 
Evidently there were many discussions 
as to which was the more important 
practice, sacrifice or obedience. Samuel, 
the prophet, asked Saul, whom he was 
teaching, the question: "Hath the 
Lord as great delight in burnt offerings 
and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice 
of the Lord?" Then without waiting 
for a reply, he gave this inspired an- 
swer: "Behold, to obey is better than 
sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat 
of rams." (1 Sam. 15:22.) How power- 
ful to Adam, Abraham, Saul, and to 
us, also, is this lesson concerning the 
importance of obedience. 

Now what of our own day? As we 
read the daily newspapers, view tele- 
vision, and listen to the radio, we are 
acutely aware of the unrest that exists 
in the world today. Wars, bloodshed, 
riots, and acts of lawlessness are 
characteristic of the times. They are 



JUNE 1966 



529 



evidence of some men's desires for un- 
righteous power, a lack of consideration 
for the rights of others, a disregard for 
established laws, and a tendency to be 
nonconformists. The jails today are 
crowded with such individuals. It is 
necessary, as we all know, for law- 
making bodies to enact legislation that 
will protect the rights of the law- 
abiding majority against the rebellious 
minority. 

But these selfish, self-appointed non- 
conformists, whose inspiration is de- 
rived from an evil source rather than 
a source divine, have not learned to 
appreciate the peace and joy that come 
into the soul through obeying the laws 
of the land and observing the com- 
mandments of the Lord. 

The Savior, on the other hand, sub- 
scribed to the principle of obedience to 
divine law. In referring to him the 
Apostle Paul observed: "Though he 
were a Son, yet learned he obedience 
by the things which he suffered; 

"And being made perfect, he became 
the author of eternal salvation unto 
all them that obey him." (Heb. 5:8-9.) 
Should we not follow the Lord's 
example? 

At the present time, through inspira- 
tion from the Lord, many worthwhile 
programs are being given to the 
Church. These programs have the en- 
dorsement, approval, and blessing of 
the General Authorities. Do we 
hearken unto the chosen servants of 
the Lord, who prepare these valuable 
aids for us? Do we render obedience 
to the counsel that comes to them 
through inspiration and revelation 
from our Father in heaven? 

Well might we as individuals and as 
parents ask ourselves these questions: 

"In these good and prosperous times, 
have I accumulated an adequate re- 
serve of food, clothing, and savings to 
provide for me and my family in the 
event of illness, emergency, or un- 
employment?" 

"Am I living in such a way that my 
life will be an inspiration and an ex- 
ample to others? and am I following 
the counsel of the prophet when he 
declares that every member should be 
a missionary?" 

"Am I gathering my family around 
me each week in a home evening and 
studying the gospel?" 

"Have I carefully analyzed my fam- 
ily records and engaged in prayerful 
research in order to complete the his- 
tory of my progenitors?" 

Over the centuries the Lord has 
given many assurances of his desire 
to pour out blessings upon the people, 
but he has made it equally clear that 
blessings are predicated upon obedi- 
ence and a willingness to obey his 
commandments. Moses in his day 
promised the children of Israel: 

"And it shall come to pass, if thou 
shalt hearken diligently unto the voice 
of the Lord thy God, to observe and 



to do all his commandments which I 
command thee this day, that the Lord 
thy God will set thee on high above 
all nations of the earth: 

"And all these blessings shall come 
on thee, and overtake thee, if thou 
shalt hearken unto the voice of the 
Lord thy God." (Deut. 28:1-2.) 

And now in the latter days the Lord 
has again made it crystal clear that 
he is willing to bless" the faithful. That 
is strongly evident in this assurance: 
"I, the Lord, am bound when ye do 
what I say; but when ye do not what 
I say, ye have no promise." (D&C 
82:10.) 

This harmonizes with the statement 
that the Prophet Joseph declared he 
had made a rule in his life and fol- 
lowed each day. It was simply this: 
"When the Lord commands, do it!" 
(Documentary History of the Church, 
Vol. 2, p. 170.) 

Now, may I emphasize one more 



thought? In this year of 1966 re- 
newed emphasis is placed on the 
importance of the home and the culti- 
vating of the spirit of love therein. 
With listening ears and responsive 
hearts, we should hearken to the words 
of our beloved prophet, President 
McKay, who has counseled: ". . . let us 
never lose sight of the principle of 
obedience. 

Obedience is heaven's first law, and 
it is the law of home. There can be 
no true happiness in the home without 
obedience — obedience obtained, not 
through physical force, but through 
the divine element of love." (Treasures 
of Life, p. 329.) 

That we may be blessed with the 
rich rewards that come to the faithful 
through observing the beautiful princi- 
ple of obedience to all that the Lord 
commands us is my humble prayer, in 
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



The Miracle That Is Jesus 

Gordon B. Hinckley 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• My dear brethren and sisters, I ap- 
proach this responsibility with a prayer 
in my heart that the Lord will prompt 
me by his Holy Spirit, as I add my 
word of testimony. 

I have on the desk in my home a 
small metal box. It is about 12 inches 
square and half as high. On its face 
are six knobs and two dials. Now and 
again, when I have an hour, it be- 
comes my plaything. It is a short- 
wave radio. Turning the knobs, I 
listen to London, Washington, Tokyo, 
Peking, Moscow, Havana, and other 
great capitals of the world. 

The voices I hear are persuasive, 
seductive, fascinating, and confusing. 
Speaking across the earth, they are part 
of a mighty battle that is being waged 
for the minds of men. They are aimed 
at persuasion in political philosophy. 
There are voices of democracy compet- 
ing with voices of Communism, and 
each is winning converts according to 
the discernment and the judgment of 
listeners. 

The stakes are high, the weapons are 
sophisticated, the methods are clever. 

There is a comparable battle being 
waged for the faith of men, but the 
lines are not always so clearly drawn, 
for even among the forces of Chris- 
tianity there are those who would 
"destroy the divinity of the Christ in 
whose name they speak. They might 
be disregarded if their voices were not 
so seductive, if their influence were not 



so far-reaching, if their reasoning 
were not so subtle.. 

Tomorrow is Easter. At sunrise in 
the morning multitudes will gather on 
a thousand hills to welcome the dawn 
of the Easter day and to remind them- 
selves of the story of the Christ, whose 
resurrection they will commemorate. 
In language both beautiful and hope- 
ful, preachers of many faiths will re- 
count the story of the empty tomb. To 
them — and to you— I raise this ques- 
tion: "Do you actually believe it?" 

Do you actually believe that Jesus 
was the Son of God, the literal off- 
spring of the Father? 

Do you believe that the voice of 
God, the Eternal Father, was heard 
above the waters of Jordan declaring, 
"This is my beloved Son, in whom I 
am well pleased"? (Matt. 3:17.) 

Do you believe that this same Jesus 
was the worker of miracles, the healer 
of the sick, the restorer of the infirm, 
the giver of life to the dead? 

Do you believe that following his 
death on Calvary's hill and his burial 
in Joseph's tomb, he came forth alive 
the third day? 

Do you actually believe that he yet 
lives — real, vital, and personal — and 
that he will come again as promised 
by the angels at his ascension? 

Do you actually believe these things? 
If you do, then you are part of a shrink- 
ing body of literalists who more and 
more are being smiled at by philoso- 



530 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



phers, who more and more are being 
ridiculed by certain educators, and who 
more and more are being considered 
"out of it" by a growing coterie of min- 
isters of religion and influential 
theologians. 

I have recently read a series of 
provocative writings setting forth the 
clever reasoning of American, British, 
and European theologians to "de- 
myth," as it is called, the story of 
Jesus of Nazareth. I quote from a 
capable Protestant layman who writes: 

"The most disruptive questions are 
coming from theologians who . . . are 
questioning every old concept. They 
even suggest that maybe the word 
'God' should be discarded, since it has 
become meaningless to so many people., 

"Stripped of all else, the question 
the liberal theologians are asking is the 
old one that has time and again 
sundered the Christian church: Who 
was Jesus? 

"The revolutionists . . . turn to the 
Bible as a source of truth, but their 
Bible is an expurgated version with 
embarrassing references to abnormal 
events edited out. 'De-mythologized,' 
one says. 'De-literalized,' says another. 

"What the new wave casts up is 
'religionless' Christianity; a faith 
grounded on a philosophic system, in- 
stead of being suspended precariously 
from old myths." (Fortune, December 
1965, p. 173.) 

So, in the eyes of these intellectuals, 
these are myths — the birth of Jesus as 
the Son of God of whom the angels 
sang on Judea's plains, the worker of 
miracles who healed the sick and 
raised the dead, the Christ resurrected 
from the grave, the ascension and the 
promised return. 

These modern theologians strip him 
of his divinity and then wonder why 
men do not worship him. 

These clever scholars have taken 
from Jesus the mantle of godhood and 
have left only a man. They have tried 
to accommodate him to their own 
narrow thinking. They have robbed 
him of his divine sonship and taken 
from the world its rightful King. 

While reading of this very effective 
and growing "de-literalization" process 
and of its evident effect on the faith 
of those who are its victims, particu- 
larly the youth who are caught up in 
this sophistry, the words anciently 
spoken by the prophet Amos come 
home with new clarity: 

"Behold, the days come, saith the 
Lord God, that I will send a famine in 
the land, not a famine of bread, nor a 
thirst for water, but of hearing the 
words of the Lord: 

"And they shall wander from sea to 
sea, and from the north even to the 
east, they shall run to and fro to seek 
the word of the Lord, and shall not 
find it. 

"In that day shall the fair virgins 
and the young men faint for thirst. 



". . . even they shall fall, and never 
rise up again." (Amos 8:11-14.) 

How descriptive those words of many 
of the youth of our day, the young 
men and the young women who in 
their hearts hunger for a faith that 
will satisfy, but who, spurning it be- 
cause of the manner in which it is 
offered, "faint for thirst" and "fall, 
and never rise up again." 

To these I give our solemn witness 
that God is not dead, except as he 
is viewed with a lifeless interpretation. 

Is a belief in the divinity of our 
Lord out of date in the twentieth cen- 
tury? The great scientific age of which 
we are a part does not demand a denial 
of the miracle that is Jesus. Rather, 
there was never a time in all the his- 
tory of man that made more believable 
that which in the past might have 
been regarded as supernatural and im- 
possible. 

How can anyone today regard any- 
thing as impossible? 

To those acquainted with the giant 
strides of biological science, where 
men are beginning to peek into the 
very nature of life and its creation, 
the miracle of the birth of Jesus as 
the Son of God certainly becomes more 
plausible, even to the doubter. 

Further, it is not difficult to be- 
lieve that he, possessed of knowledge 
commensurate with the task of creat- 
ing the earth, could heal the sick, re- 
store the infirm, return the dead to 
life. It may have been difficult to 
believe these things in medieval times, 
but can one reasonably doubt the pos- 
sibility of such while witnessing the 
miracles of healing and restoration that 
occur daily? 

Is the ascension so impossible a thing 
to comprehend after sitting in one's 
living room and watching the lift-off 
of Gemini 7 as it rose into the heavens 
to seek out with unerring accuracy its 
companion, Gemini 6, then orbiting 
the earth at more than 17,000 miles an 
hour? 

Miracles? I should think so. This 
is the age of miracles. During my 
brief lifetime, I have witnessed more 
of scientific advance than did all of my 
forebears together during the previous 
5,000 years. 

With so much of what appears 




miraculous about me every day, it is 
easy to believe in the miracle of 
Jesus. 

But a witness of the Lord is not ob- 
tained by observation of the accom- 
plishments of men. Such observation 
makes reasonable a belief in his birth, 
life, death, and resurrection. But there 
is needed something more than a 
reasonable belief. There is needed an 
understanding of his unique and in- 
comparable position as the divine 
Redeemer and an enthusiasm for him 
and his message as the Son of God. 

That understanding and that en- 
thusiasm are available to all who will 
pay the price. They are not incom- 
patible with higher education, but they 
will not come only of reading philoso- 
phy. No, they come of a simpler 
process. The things of God are under- 
stood by the Spirit of God. (1 Cor. 
2:11.) So declares the word of reve- 
lation. 

The acquisition of understanding 
and enthusiasm for the Lord comes 
from following simple rules, and in 
conclusion, I should like to suggest 
three, elementary in their concept, al- 
most trite in their repetition, but 
fundamental in their application and 
fruitful in their result. I suggest them 
particularly to our young people. 

The first is to read — to read the word 
of the Lord. I know that with the 
demands of your studies there is little 
time to read anything else. But I 
promise you that if you will read the 
words of that writing which we call 
scripture, there will come into your 
heart an understanding and a warmth 
that will be pleasing to experience. 
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye 
think ye have eternal life: and they 
are they which testify of me." (John 
5:39.) Read, for instance, the Gospel 
of John from its beginning to its end. 
Let the Lord speak for himself to you, 
and his words will come with a quiet 
conviction that will make the words 
of his critics meaningless. Read also 
the testament of the New World, the 
Book of Mormon, brought forth as a 
witness "that Jesus is the Christ, the 
Eternal God, manifesting himself unto 
all nations." (Book of Mormon title 
page.) 

The next is to serve — to serve in the 
work of the Lord. Spiritual strength 
is like physical strength; it is like the 
muscle of my arm. It grows only as it 
is nourished and exercised. 

The cause of Christ does not need 
your doubts; it needs your strength 
and time and talents; and as you exer- 
cise these in service, your faith will 
grow and your doubts will wane. 

The Lord declared: "He that find- 
eth his life shall lose it: and he that 
loseth his life for my sake shall find 
it." (Matt. 10:39.) 

These words have something more 
than a cold theological meaning. They 
are a statement of a law of life — that 



JUNE 1966 



531 



as we lose ourselves in a great cause 
we find ourselves — and there is no 
greater cause than that of the Master. 

The third is to pray. Speak with 
your Eternal Father in the name of 
his Beloved Son. "Behold," he says, 
"I stand at the door, and knock; if any 
man hear my voice, and open the door, 
I will come in to him, and will sup 
with him, and he with me." (Rev. 
3:20.) 

This is his invitation, and the prom- 
ise is sure. It is unlikely that you will 
hear voices from heaven, but there 
will come a heaven-sent assurance, 
peaceful and certain. 

In that great conversation between 
Jesus and Nicodemus, the Lord de- 
clared: "That which is born of the 
flesh is flesh; and that which is born 
of the Spirit is spirit." Then he went 
on to say, "The wind bloweth where 
it listeth, and thou hearest the sound 



thereof, but canst not tell whence it 
cometh, and whither it goeth: so is 
every one that is born of the Spirit." 
(John 3:6, 8.) 

I do not hesitate to promise that 
so it will be with you. If you will 
read the word of the Lord, if you 
will serve in his cause, if in prayer 
you will talk with him, your doubts 
will leave; and shining through all of 
the confusion of philosophy, so-called 
higher criticism, and negative theology 
will come the witness of the Holy 
Spirit that Jesus is in very deed the 
Son of God, born in the flesh, the Re- 
deemer of the world resurrected from 
the grave, the Lord who shall come 
to reign as King of kings. It is your 
opportunity so to know. It is your 
obligation so to find out. God bless 
you so to do, I pray as I add my per- 
sonal witness in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



The Test of Love 

Richard L. Evans 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• One of the most quoted New Testa- 
ment texts is this from John: "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.) 

It is comfortingly familiar — the love 
of God simply stated — and what he 
did about his love is the evidence of 
it: He sent his Only Begotten Son that 
whoso believeth in him should have 
everlasting life. 

Suppose God had loved the world 
in a passive way? Suppose he hadn't 
sent his Son? Suppose he hadn't given 
us his gospel? Suppose he hadn't set 
out to save mankind or redeem us from 
death? Suppose he had let his children 
drift without plan or purpose or coun- 
sel or commandments? Would that 
have been love? 

The point I hope to make, for a 
particular purpose, is the evidence, the 
proof, the test of love. 

An editorial recently read in a medi- 
cal magazine had an intriguing title: 
"Love Is a Verb." And from this the 
writer turned his attention to the im- 
portarce of doing, of proving, of per- 
forming. The proof of any principle 
is what it does, and the proof of any 
person is what he does — how he acts, 
what he becomes — not simply what he 
says. 

"Love Is a Verb." 

We might paraphrase and say that 
service is a verb, that life is a verb; 
for it is in doing, in living, in learning, 
and not just in words that we perform 
our purpose. No one really proves him- 
self or his principles in neutrality or 



indifference or inaction. No one proves 
himself by merely thinking or simply 
sitting. 

The writer of the article referred to 
above said that in some primitive lan- 
guages, with their fewness of words, 
the description of the movement of 
game, for example, is described simply 
by one word: running. Perhaps we 
could say much more with fewer words 
by simply indicating the action: living, 
doing. ". . . when a noun replaces a 
verb there is a disadvantage . . ." be- 
cause a noun is static, and life is 
movement. Some people "assign an 
intrinsic value to 'things' like purity 
and gratitude. . . . They take credit for 
possessing nominal virtues. Or they 
punish themselves for having vices, . . . 
[but] we communicate with others in 
verbs. . . . Gratitude has not even been 
born until it has been actually con- 
veyed in word or deed. . . ." 

The same could be said for sanity, 
said this same physician. It "is not 
structural but functional. It is not 
something one has or is. It is a measure 
of what one does." (William B. Mc- 
Grath, M.D., in Medicine at Work, 
February 1966.) If we do sane things, 
we are sane. If we don't do sane 
things, we are not sane. 

Actions do speak louder than words. 

As to a young person who was specu- 
lating upon whether or not she loved 
someone, there is the reminder that 
love is not simply a noun and not 
simply a sentimental feeling. The 
proof of love is what one is willing to 
do for the loved one. The proof of 
love is how one behaves. 



Dr. John A. Widtsoe turned his at- 
tention to this subject at times: "The 
full and essential nature of love we 
may not understand," he said, "but 
there are tests by which it may be 
recognized. 

"Love is always founded in truth. . . . 
Lies and deceit, or any other violation 
of the moral law, are proofs of love's 
absence. Love perishes in the midst 
of untruth. . . . Thus, the lover who 
falsifies to his loved one, or offers her 
any act contrary to truth, does not 
really love her. 

"Further, love does not offend or 
hurt or injure the loved one. By that 
test any human venture, past and pres- 
ent, may be measured for its real 
value. Cruelty is as absent from love 
... as truth is from untruth. 

". . . love is a positive active force. 
It helps the loved one. If there is 
need, love tries to supply it. If there 
is weakness, love supplants it with 
strength. . . . Love that does not help 
is a faked or transient love. 

"Good as these tests are, there is a 
greater one. True love sacrifices for 
the loved one. . . . That is the final 
test. Christ gave of Himself, gave His 
life, for us, and thereby proclaimed the 
reality of his love for his mortal breth- 
ren and sisters. The mother gives of 
her own flesh and blood, and jeopar- 
dizes her very life, for her child. In 
family relationships there must be 
mutual sacrifices among husband, wife, 
and children, else true love is not 
there." (Dr. John A. Widtsoe, An Un- 
derstandable Religion, Ch. 8.) 

Thus, anyone who would induce 
someone to do that which it is un- 
worthy to do, or to take advantage, or 
rob someone of virtue, or embarrass, 
or hurt, really doesn't love the person 
he professes to love. What he feels 
under such circumstances is something 
less than love. The proving is in the 
doing. 

And so it is with all the virtues. 
Either we live pure lives or we don't. 
Either we think pure thoughts or we 
don't. Purity isn't simply a noun. It 
is a verb. It is the living of a certain 
kind of life. It is the thinking of cer- 
tain kinds of thoughts. Its proof is in 
keeping the commandments. 

Goodness is not theory, it is fact. 

We may think of tithing as a prin- 
ciple and discuss it and approve it, but 
if we are really convinced and con- 
verted, we will pay our tithing. 

We may think well of the mission- 
ary system, but it works only because 
some leave home and sacrifice and 
serve sincerely — not merely because it 
is a good organization or idea. 

We may think and talk of chastity 
as a virtue, but if we are converted and 
convinced, we will live chaste lives. 

If we love our children we won't 
neglect them or let them run loose. If 
we love our children we won't leave 
them "ignorant of the law, or of the 



532 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



The Destiny of the Church 



In 1842, just twelve years after the Church was organized, the Prophet 
Joseph Smith wrote a famous document that has become known as "The Went- 
worth Letter."* 

First published in the Times and Seasons on March 1, 1842, the writing is 
especially important since it contains the earliest known printing of the Articles 
of Faith. 

Less well-known but also of great interest to Latter-day Saints are the two 
paragraphs immediately preceding the Articles of Faith. The first of these 
paragraphs gives a thumbnail sketch of missionary work up to that time: 

"Persecution has not stopped the progress of truth, but has only added 
fuel to the flame, it has spread with increasing rapidity. Proud of the cause 
which they have espoused, and conscious of our innocence, and of the truth of 
their system, amidst calumny and reproach, have the Elders of this Church 
gone forth, and planted the Gospel in almost every state in the Union; it has 
penetrated our cities, it has spread over our villages, and has caused thousands 
of our intelligent, noble, and patriotic citizens to obey its divine mandates, and 
be governed by its sacred truths. It has also spread into England, Ireland, 
Scotland, and Wales, where, in the year 1840, a few of our missionaries were 
sent, and over five thousand joined the Standard of Truth; there are numbers 
now joining in every land." 

The second paragraph is in effect a remarkable prophesy or declaration 
by the Prophet Joseph concerning the destiny of the Church. The Era editors 
are pleased to present this declaration on the following double-page spread in 
full color in a style patterned after the old illuminated biblical manuscripts. 
We hope it will be widely used for framing and for teaching purposes. 

The illustrator is Lucas Visser, a young man who was born in Amsterdam 
and who joined the Church in 1963. He is now an employee of the Deseret 
News Press in Salt Lake City. The countries represented in the illustrations in 
the shields are, beginning top left and running counterclockwise: South Amer- 
ica, Italy, Russia, China, United States of America, Greece, France, Australia, 
Japan, India, Germany, Egypt, England, and Palestine. 



* Documentary History of the Church, Vol. 4, p. 535. See also Preston Nibley, "The Wentworth 
Letter," The Improvement Era, Feb. 1962, p. 96. 



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commandments, or ignorant of how to 
behave, or unacquainted with sound 
habits of work, or ignorant of courtesy 
and acceptable conduct. 

If we love our children we will urge 
them to prepare as fully as they can 
for life, persuade them to acquire all 
the training and education possible. If 
we love our children we will keep as 
close to them as possible and do our 
utmost to keep them free from sin and 
from anything that would clutter or 
scar their lives. 

As parents there is no greater obliga- 
tion that is ours — and neglect is not 
the evidence of love. Part of love is 
doing our duty in love and loyalty, 
"by persuasion, by long-suffering, by 
gentleness and meekness, and by love 
unfeigned; 

"By kindness, and pure knowl- 
edge. . . ." (D&C 121:41, 42.) 

Jesus said: ". . . lovest thou me? . . . 
Feed my sheep." (John 21:16.) 

Elsewhere it is written: "If ye love 
me, keep, my commandments." (John 
14:15.) 

Abstract qualities of character don't 
mean much in the abstract. It is how 
we live, how we serve, how we teach 
our children, what we do from day to 
day that both indicate what we are 
and determine what we are; and all 
the theory and all the speculation, all 
the quoting of scripture, all the search- 
ing of the mysteries, and all the 
splitting of hairs, and all the knowl- 
edge of the letter of the law don't in 
the final and saving sense amount to 
very much unless we live the gospel, 
unless we keep the commandments, 
unless we prove the principles, unless 
we live lives of effectiveness, sincerity, 
and service. 

Sometimes we hear someone say, 
"My life is my own. I am going to do 
with it as I please." But no one's life 
is his own. Too much of others has 
gone into the making of all of us. 

We cannot hurt ourselves without 
hurting others. A sorrow, an illness, 
a disgrace, an accident, trouble, or 
difficulty of any kind — any loss to 
loved ones is a loss to family and 
friends. We are too much a part of 
one another for this not to be so. 

If we love our parents, wouldn't the 
evidence of it be to do something about 
it: to be grateful, to help to care for 
them in their need, to honor them by 
being honorable, to take them into our 
confidence — not to worry them? 

The best evidence of love for par- 
ents would be active evidence of kind- 
ness, consideration, appreciation, respect 
for their teachings and counsel. 

The best evidence of love of country 
would be not what we say — or say we 
feel — but serving it, keeping the laws, 
preserving its principles. 

The best evidence of love for our 
Father in heaven would be living lives 
of honor and reverence; not taking his 
name in vain; living useful, righteous 



lives; and keeping his commandments. 

As to those who say they love the 
Church — the best evidence of that 
love would be serving, doing, giving 
of ourselves, living its standards, keep- 
ing the commandments. 

God help us to be members not of 
record only, but members who place 
doing and serving and living the re- 
quirements of the gospel above our 
comfort or convenience. 

"Not every one that saith unto me, 
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the king- 
dom of heaven; but he that doeth the 
will of my Father which is in heaven." 
(Matt. 7:21.) 

It is important to believe; it is im- 
portant to be; but it is also important 
to do. 

Even the devil believes. (See Jas. 
2:19.) "Conviction is worthless unless 
it is converted into conduct." (Thomas 
Carlyle.) 



Thank God for the gospel, for the 
personal and literal reality of him who 
made us in his own image, for his Son 
our Savior, and for the blessed plan of 
everlasting life with our loved ones. 

Thank God for his patience, for his 
understanding, for his comfort, for 
his commandments; for it would be a 
disillusioning life to be running loose 
without knowing what was expected 
of us — or why. Thank God that he 
sent his Only Begotten Son to show 
us the way, to redeem us from death, to 
lead us to everlasting life. 

With you I offer gratitude and a 
pledge to do my best to demonstrate 
ove for our Lord and Savior and 
'lis Father who gave us life by living 
the kind of lives that they would have 
us live, and leave my witness with you 
of the truth of that which gathers 
us here together, in the name of our 
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Saturday Evening Priesthood Session, April 9, 1966 



Strait Is the Gate 

John H. Vandenberg 
Presiding Bishop 



• Recently a statement in a magazine 
caught my attention. It said: "If you 
don't know where you are going, it 
doesn't matter which road you take." 
As I have pondered this expression, I 
see it as a timely warning to those of 
today's youth who throw all caution 
to the wind with a "don't care" atti- 
tude and to those who have lost all 
sense of direction, such as the giddy 
nonconformist who looks upon basic 
moral values with indifference and 
contempt. Young people, and particu- 
larly bearers of the priesthood of God, 
need to commit themselves to worth- 
while goals and high moral values. 
Failure to do so breeds discontent, frus- 
trations, and attitudes of rebellion. 
Conversely, however, a desired goal 
generates courage and definite purpose 
in the day-to-day affairs of life. 

An article in a national magazine 
entitled "The Twisted Age" (Look, 
Dec. 15, 1964) refers to the degrading 
influences that leave youth in a state 
of frustration, discontent, and confu- 
sion. The subtle, persuasive methods 
of some of the modern advertising used 
to attract attention seem to make for- 
bidden things glamorous, exciting, and 
acceptable. Through such means, 
some are duped into tolerating and 
then embracing sins that cause emo- 
tional problems and ultimately de- 
struction of the soul. 

The frustrations, anxieties, and re- 
bellions that are rampant today could 
be measurably reduced if young people 
could be encouraged to set high ideals. 
This would help fix in their minds an 



objective to achieve. The gospel of 
Jesus Christ provides such goals and 
gives purpose to life. It is a process 
requiring self-discipline. 

The Savior's injunction in his Ser- 
mon on the Mount was: "Enter ye in 
at the strait gate. . . ." And he tells 
why: "Because strait is the gate, and 
narrow is the way, which leadeth unto 
life. . . ." (Matt. 7:13-14.) It is a 
program for knowing where to go for 
maximum benefits. It is a road of 
discipline to follow, beamed on a goal. 
In contrast, he warned about the op- 
posite road — the wide, undisciplined, 
easy, nonconforming way. He said: 
". . . for wide is the gate, and broad is 
the way, that leadeth to destruc- 
tion. . . ." (Matt. 7:13.) 

Every individual is granted a span 
of mortality, as Carlyle expressed so 
simply: "One life, a little gleam of 
time between two eternities, no second 
chance for us for evermore." There is 
granted to most individuals the intelli- 
gence and power to reason for them- 
selves. The tragedy is that so many 
succumb to the ridiculous mediocre 
reasoning of others, which often serves 
only to waste time and distort truth. 
We need to live every moment con- 
scious that our actions will be 
compatible with the all-important goal 
of eternal life and that every moment, 
hour, and day is important. 

Most of us know of some people who 
showed promise of great attainment 
but who lived their lives so they never 
quite measured up to that promise. 
Such a person was Solomon, who was 



JUNE 1966 



533 



blessed with numerous privileges, op- 
portunities, and great wisdom. Yet he 
strayed into a path of foolishness. Solo- 
mon asked God for wisdom and was 
blessed so that there was not a king 
like him in all his days. (1 Kings 
3:13.) His philosophy indicates he 
had an understanding of life and the 
experiences that were connected with 
it. He knew of life's purpose and its 
eternal nature. In fact, few men have 
had the experience he had. Even the 
Lord appeared to him and set him a 
goal: the strait and narrow way that 
leadeth to life. (Matt. 7:14.) 

"And the Lord said unto him, I have 
heard thy prayer. . . . 

"I have hallowed this house [the 
great temple], which thou hast built, 
to put my name there for ever; and 
mine eyes and mine heart shall be 
there perpetually. 

"And if thou wilt walk before me 
... in integrity of heart, and in up- 
rightness, to do . . . all that I have 
commanded thee, and . . . keep my 
statutes and . . . judgments: 

"Then I will establish the throne of 
thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. . . . 
There shall not fail thee a man upon 
the throne of Israel." (1 Kings 9:3-5.) 

The alternative was the wide gate 
and the broad way of destruction. 

"But if ye shall at all turn from fol- 
lowing me, ye or your children, and 
will not keep my commandments and 
my statutes . . . , but go and serve other 
gods, and worship them: 

"Then will I cut off Israel out of 
the land which I have given them: and 
this house . . . will I cast out of my 
sight; and Israel shall be a proverb 
and a byword among all people." (1 
Kings 9:6-7.) 

Solomon had his choice of roads, 
and he turned from God. He bar- 
tered his long-range goal for Israel for 
the worship of other gods and day- by- 
day gratifications. He failed himself 
and failed Israel. 

In contrast, Moses entered the strait 
gate and received his errand from the 
Lord; and even though there were times 
when he did not know what the next 
approach might be, he knew the ob- 
jective, which was to lead the Israelites 
out of bondage from Egypt. Because 
he knew the goal, he set his course. 
With tenacity of purpose he went back 
to Pharaoh the second time, the third 
time, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth — 
yes, even the seventh. Each visit cul- 
minated in dramatic experiences, but 
Moses was never dissuaded. 

I cannot imagine a more "twisted 
age" than that of the time of Moses — 
a people in bondage under the control 
of the pagan Egyptians. The influences 
and temptations that surrounded him 
could have induced discouragement 
and abandonment of the g6al in a 
weaker person. But Moses had set his 
objective. His life was in tune with his 
Lord, who had appeared to him. For 



him there was no failure. 

Recently, the wife (Mrs. Lelia Hig- 
ginson) of a very dear friend of mine 
passed away in Denver, Colorado. She 
was one of the most devoted Latter-day 
Saints with whom I have ever been 
privileged to associate. There is no 
question in my mind that her loyalty 
to our Father in heaven germinated 
early in her youth as she committed 
herself to short- and long-range goals 
of righteousness. 

One evening before the funeral 
service, her husband, their six children, 
grandmother and grandfather, and two 
close friends gathered in their home. 
The father called the family together 
and brought out a book — a book she 
had kept, which contained her life 
story as she herself had written it. 
Actually, there were two episodes to 
the story written at different periods 
in her life. It was the first time that 
some of the children had heard parts 
of it, and I am sure it gave them a 
new and deeper insight into the finer 
qualities of their mother. 

The family has given me permission 
to share some of this information with 
you. Quoting from her own writing: 

"I know that I lived in the spirit 
world together with all the hosts of 
heaven and with God before I came to 
this earth. I feel that I am a choice 
spirit to have been chosen to wait 6,000 
years to come to earth at this time in 
these the last days when the world is 
so highly cultured and the second 
coming of the Savior is so near at hand. 

"I want to be ready to help build up 
the kingdom of God on this earth. I 
believe I was put here to be tried and 
tested through the weaknesses of the 
flesh and through the free agency I 
have, to live as I will. I hope I can 
prove true to the test so that I will be 
ready to go on in the next world with 
my loved ones in the plan of eternal 
progression. I know that I am indeed 
blessed to be born of noble parents of 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- 
day Saints' belief, because I think that 
there is more responsibility resting on 
us now in temple work than has ever 
been placed on the people before. 

"The goal I am seeking through this 
life is that of being permitted to be in 
the celestial kingdom in the world after 
this, and I shall never quit working for 
my goal. I have attended church since 
I was old enough to go. I learned many 
of the Church's beautiful songs. My 
grandmother was the music director, 
and I love especially the songs she 
loved. I like Mutual and the social 
instruction given in the mixed chorus, 
drama, public speaking, and dancing. 
I am interested in all of these activities 
and would like to excel in each. Music, 
however, means more to me than the 
rest." 

Now, before I read further, I want 
to let you know that these thoughts 
were written by her over 30 years ago, 



when she was a young girl. 

"I want to be married to a clean 
Mormon boy who can take me to the 
temple, and I want to be worthy of 
him. I hope that I can pass on to my 
posterity a clean, perfect mind and 
body, my knowledge of the gospel, and 
a desire to live to attain the celestial 
kingdom. I hope that I will be per- 
mitted to live with my loved ones in 
the next world and that I may be the 
means of helping all I can of those 
around me, and those who have gone 
before, to get their temple work done. 
I want to be the means of bringing 
new souls into the world and to be 
able to be a worthy and good mother, 
to help provide a home for them that 
they may enjoy the same blessings that 
I enjoy in my home." 

To look back over the successful life 
that this good sister lived, it is easy 
to see that she had been most successful 
in reaching the goals. She never 
digressed from the commitment she had 
made to herself over 30 years ago. I 
feel that goal-setting is absolutely 
necessary for happy living. But the goal 
is only part of the desired procedures. 
We need to know which roads to take 
to reach the goal. In many cases we 
set far-reaching goals but neglect the 
short-range ones. With such short- 
range plans, we need self-discipline in 
our actions — study when it is time to 
study, sleep when it is time to sleep, 
read when it is time to read, and so on 
—not permitting an undesirable over- 
lap, but getting our full measure of 
rewards and blessings from the time we 
invest in a particular activity. In this 
respect, I feel that Aaronic Priesthood 
bearers especially need to learn more 
fully their responsibility for leadership. 
They need to commit themselves more 
to obeying the proven principles of the 
gospel. They need to commit them- 
selves verbally to their friends and 
families, telling them of their desire to 
live righteously, so that their friends 
and families can help and encourage 
them and observe their progress. They 
need to make commitments with them- 
selves by writing down their goals and 
keeping a record of the fulfillment of 
their achievements. 

The entering of the strait gate re- 
quires the positive approach — a leader- 
ship approach — an approach of which 
all are capable. It is, in fact, the ideal 
life. The steps are fewer — no turning 
back, no sidestepping, only forward 
where the air is cleaner, purer, more 
wholesome; the attitude happier; and 
the achievement grander. There is no 
frustration or confusion when one is on 
the proper road to eternal life. 

Truly, "If you don't know where you 
are going, it doesn't matter which road 
you take," for you will get nowhere. 
But if we will "enter ... in at the 
strait gate," we will obtain life eternal. 
I bear you this testimony in the name 
of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



534 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Socialism and the United Order Compared 



Marion G. Romney 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• What I am going to give you now is 
a statement I have prepared in answer 
to the question, "Is Socialism the 
United Order?" Some of you may 
have already heard it. This is the 
first time I have ever attempted to give 
a talk a second time. My excuse is 
that the Brethren have asked me to give 
this talk here tonight. 

I suppose the best way to start . a 
comparison of socialism and the 
United Order is with a definition of 
the terms. Webster defines socialism 
as: 

"A political and economic theory of 
social organization based on collective 
or governmental ownership and demo- 
cratic management of the essential 
means for the production and distri- 
bution of goods; also, a policy or 
practice based on this theory." (Web- 
ster's New International Dictionary, 
2nd ed. unabridged, 1951.) 

George Bernard Shaw, the noted 
Fabian Socialist, said that: 

"Socialism, reduced to its simplest 
legal and practical expression, means 
the complete discarding of the institu- 
tion of private property by transform- 
ing it into public property and the 
division of the resultant income 
equally and indiscriminately among 
the entire population." (Encyclopedia 
Britannica, 1946 ed., Vol. 20, p. 895.) 

George Douglas Howard Cole, M.A., 
noted author and university reader in 
economics at Oxford, who treats social- 
ism for the Encyclopedia Britannica, 
says that because of the shifting sense 
in which the word has been used, "a 
short and comprehensive definition is 
impossible. We can only say," he 
concludes, "that Socialism is essentially 
a doctrine and a movement aiming at 
the collective organization of the 
community in the interest of the mass 
of the people by means of the common 
ownership and collective control of 
the means of production and ex- 
change." (Ibid., p. 888.) 

Socialism arose "out of the economic 
division in society." During the nine- 
teenth century its growth was acceler- 
ated as a protest against "the appalling 
conditions prevailing in the workshops 
and factories and the unchristian 
spirit of the spreading industrial 
system." 

The "Communist Manifesto" drafted 
by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels for 
the Communist League in 1848 is 
generally regarded as the starting point 
of modern socialism. (Ibid., p. 890.) 

The distinction between socialism, as 
represented by the various Socialist and 
Labour parties of Europe and the New 



World, and Communism, as repre- 
sented by the Russians, is one of tactics 
and strategy rather than of objective. 
Communism is indeed only socialism 
pursued by revolutionary means and 
making its revolutionary method a 
canon of faith. Communists, like 
other socialists, (1) believe in the col- 
lective control and ownership of the 
vital means of production and (2) 
seek to achieve through state action the 
coordinated control of the economic 
forces of society. They (the Com- 
munists) differ from other socialists in 
believing that this control can be se- 
cured, and its use in the interests of 
the workers ensured, only by revolu- 
tionary action leading to the dictator- 
ship of the proletariat and the creation 
of a new proletarian state as the in- 
strument of change. (Ibid.) 

A major rift between so-called 
orthodox socialism and communist 
socialism occurred in 1875 when the 
German Social Democratic party set 
forth its objective of winning power 
by taking over control of the bourgeois 
state, rather than by overthrowing it. 
In effect, the German Social Demo- 
cratic party became a parliamentary 
party, aiming at the assumption of 
political power by constitutional 
means. 

In the 1880's a small group of intel- 
lectuals set up in England the Fabian 
Society, which has had a major influ- 
ence on the development of modern 
orthodox socialism. Fabianism stands 
"for the evolutionary conception of 
socialism . . . endeavoring by progres- 
sive reforms and the nationalization 
of industries, to turn the existing 
state into a 'welfare state.' " Somewhat 
on the order of the German Social 
Democrats, Fabians aim "at permeat- 
ing the existing parties with socialistic 
ideas [rather] than at creating a defi- 
nitely socialistic party." They appeal 
"to the electorate not as revolutionaries 
but as constitutional reformers seeking 
a peaceful transformation of the sys- 
tem." (Ibid.) 

The differences in forms and policies 
of socialism occur principally in the 
manner in which they seek to imple- 
ment their theories. 

They all advocate: 

(1) That private ownership of the 
vital means of production be abolished 
and that all such property "pass under 
some form of co-ordinated public 
control." 

(2) That the power of the state be 
used to achieve their aims. 

(3) "That with a change in the 
control of industry will go a change 



in the motives which operate in the 
industrial system. . . ." (Ibid.) 

So much now for the definition of 
socialism. I have given you these 
statements in the words of socialists 
and scholars, not my words, so they 
have had their hearing. 

Now as to the United Order, and 
here I will give the words of the Lord 
and not my words. The United Order, 
the Lord's program for eliminating the 
inequalities among men, is based upon 
the underlying concept that the earth 
and all things therein belong to the 
Lord and that men hold earthly pos- 
sessions as stewards accountable to 
God. 

On January 2, 1831, the Lord re- 
vealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith 
that the Church was under obligation 
to care for the poor. (See D&C 38.) 
Later he said: 

"I, the Lord, stretched out the 
heavens, and built the earth, . . . and 
all things therein are mine. 

"And it is my purpose to provide 
for my saints, for all things are mine. 

"But it must needs be done in mine 
own way. . . ." (D&C 104:14-16.) 

On February 9, 1831, the Lord re- 
vealed to the Prophet what his way 
was. (See D&C 42.) In his way there 
were two cardinal principles: (1) con- 
secration and (2) stewardship. 

To enter the United Order, when it 
was being tried, one consecrated all 
his possessions to the Church by a 
"covenant and a deed which" could 
not "be broken." (D&C 42:30.) That 
is, he completely divested himself of 
all of his property by conveying it to 
the Church. 

Having thus voluntarily divested 
himself of title to all his property, the 
consecrator received from the Church 
a stewardship by a like conveyance. 
This stewardship could be more or less 
than his original consecration, the ob- 
ject being to make "every man equal 
according to his family, according to 
his circumstances and his wants and 
needs." (D&C 51:3.) 

This procedure preserved in every 
man the right to private ownership 
and management of his property. At 
his own option he could alienate it 
or keep and operate it and pass it on 
to his heirs. 

The intent was, however, for him to 
so operate his property as to produce 
a living for himself and his dependents. 
So long as he remained in the order, 
he consecrated to the Church the 
surplus he produced above the needs 
and wants of his family. This surplus 
went into a storehouse from which 
stewardships were given to others and 
from which the needs of the poor 
were supplied. 

These divine principles are very 
simple and easily understood. A com- 
parison of them with the underlying 
principles of socialism reveal similari- 
ties and basic differences. 



JUNE 1966 



535 



The following are similarities: Both 
(1) deal with production and distribu- 
tion of goods; (2) aim to promote the 
well-being of men by eliminating 
their economic inequalities; (3) en- 
vision the elimination of the selfish 
motives in our private capitalistic 
industrial system. 

Now the differences: 

(1) The cornerstone of the United 
Order is belief in God and acceptance 
of him as Lord of the earth and the 
author of the United Order. 

Socialism, wholly materialistic, is 
founded in the wisdom of men and not 
of God. Although all socialists may not 
be atheists, none of them in theory or 
practice seek the Lord to establish his 
righteousness. 

(2) The United Order is imple- 
mented by the voluntary free-will 
actions of men, evidenced by a con- 
secration of all their property to the 
Church of God. 

One time the Prophet Joseph Smith 
was asked a question by the brethren 
about the inventories they were tak- 
ing. His answer was to the effect, 
"You don't need to be concerned about 
the inventories. Unless a man is will- 
ing to consecrate everything he has, 
he doesn't come into the United 
Order." (Documentary History of the 
Church, Vol. 7, pp. 412-13.) On the 
other hand, socialism is implemented 
by external force, the power of the 
state. 

(3) In harmony with church be- 
lief, as set forth in the Doctrine and 
Covenants, "that no government can 
exist in peace, except such laws are 
framed and held inviolate as will se- 
cure to each individual the free exercise 
of conscience, the right and control 
of property" (D&C 134:2), the United 
Order is operated upon the principle 
of private ownership and individual 
management. 

Thus in both implementation and 
ownership and management of prop- 
erty, the United Order preserves to 
men their God-given agency, while 
socialism deprives them of it. 

(4) The United Order is non- 
political. 

Socialism is political, both in theory 
and practice. It is thus exposed to, 
and riddled by, the corruption that 
plagues and finally destroys all politi- 
cal governments that undertake to 
abridge man's agency. 

(5) A righteous people is a pre- 
requisite to the United Order. 

Socialism argues that it as a system 
will eliminate the evils of the profit 
motive. 

The United Order exalts the poor 
and humbles the rich. In the process 
both are sanctified. The poor, re- 
leased from the bondage and humiliat- 
ing limitations of poverty, are enabled 
as free men to rise to their full poten- 
tial, both temporally and spiritually. 
The rich, by consecration and by im- 



parting of their surplus for the benefit 
of the poor, not by constraint but 
willingly as an act of free will, evi- 
dence that charity for their fellow- 
men characterized by Mormon as "the 
pure love of Christ." (Moro. 7:47.) 

No, brethren, socialism is not the 
United Order. However, notwith- 
standing my abhorrence of it, I am 
persuaded that socialism is the wave 
of the present and of the foreseeable 
future. It has already taken over or 
is contending for control in most na- 
tions. 

"At the end of the year [1964] 
parties affiliated with the [Socialist] 
International were in control of the 
governments of Great Britain, Den- 
mark, Norway, Sweden, Israel, and the 
Malagasy Republic. They had repre- 
sentatives in coalition cabinets in 
Austria, Belgium, Iceland, Italy, Lux- 
embourg, and Switzerland; constituted 
the chief opposition in France, India, 
Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand 
and West Germany; and were signifi- 
cant political forces in numerous other 
countries. Many parties dominant in 
governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin 
America announced that their aim was 
a socialist society." (Encyclopedia 
Britannica, 1965 Book of the Year, 
p. 736.) 

We here in the United States, in 
converting our government into a so- 
cial welfare state, have ourselves 
adopted much of socialism. Specifically, 
we have to an alarming degree adopted 
the use of the power of the state in 
the control and distribution of the 
fruits of industry. We are on notice, 
according to the words of the Presi- 
dent, that we are going much further, 
for he is quoted as saying: 

"We're going to take all the money 
we think is unnecessarily being spent 
and take it from the 'haves' and give 
it to the 'have nots.' " (196k Congres- 
sional Record, p. 6142, Remarks of the 
President to a Group of Leaders of 
Organizations of Senior Citizens in the 
Fish Room, March 24, 1964.) 

That is the spirit of socialism: We're 
going to take. The spirit of the United 
Order is: We're going to give. 

We have also gone a long way on 
the road to public ownership and 
management of the vital means of 
production. In both of these areas the 
free agency of Americans has been 
greatly abridged. Some argue that we 
have voluntarily surrendered this power 
to government. Be this as it may, the 
fact remains that the loss of freedom 
with the consent of the enslaved, or 
even at their request, is nonetheless 
slavery. 

As to the fruits of socialism, we all 
have our own opinions. I myself have 
watched its growth in our own country 
and observed it in operation in many 
other lands. But I have yet to see or 
hear of its freeing the hearts of men 
of selfishness and greed or of its bring- 



ing peace, plenty, or freedom. These 
things it will never bring, nor will it 
do away with idleness and promote 
"industry, thrift and self-respect," for 
it is founded, in theory and in practice, 
on force, the principle of the evil one. 
As to the fruits of the United Order, 
I suggest you read Moses 7:16-18 and 
4 Nephi 2-3, 15-16. If we had time we 
could review the history, what little we 
know, of Zion in the days of Enoch 
and about what happened among the 
Nephites under those principles of the 
United Order in the first two centuries 
following the time of the Savior. 

Now what can we do about it? 

As I recently reminded my wife of 
the moratorium on the United Order, 
which the Lord placed in 1834 (D&C 
105:34), that socialism is taking over 
in the nations and that its expressed 
aims will surely fail, she spiritedly 
put to me the question: "Well, then, 
what would you suggest, that we just 
sit on our hands in despair and do 
nothing?" Perhaps similar questions 
have occurred to you. The answer is, 
"No, by no means!" We have much 
to do, and fortunately for us the Lord 
has definitely prescribed the course we 
should follow with respect to socialism 
and the United Order. 

He has told us that in preparation 
for the restoration of the gospel, he 
himself established the Constitution 
of the United States, and he has 
plainly told us why he established it. 
I hope I can get this point over to you. 
He said he established the Constitution 
to preserve to men their free agency, 
because the whole gospel of Jesus 
Christ presupposes man's untrammeled 
exercise of free agency. Man is in the 
earth to be tested. The issue as to 
whether he succeeds or fails will be 
determined by how he uses his 
agency. His whole future, through all 
eternity, is at stake. Abridge man's 
agency, and the whole purpose of his 
mortality is thwarted. Without it, the 
Lord" says, there is no existence. (See 
D&C 93:30.) The Lord so valued our 
agency that he designed and dictated 
"the laws and constitution" required 
to guarantee it. This he explained in 
the revelation in which he instructed 
the Prophet Joseph Smith to appeal 
for help, 

"According to the laws and consti- 
tution of the people, which I have 
suffered to be established, and should 
be maintained for the rights and pro- 
tection of all flesh, according to just 
and holy principles; 

"That every man may act in doc- 
trine and principle pertaining to 
futurity, according to the moral agency 
which I have given unto him, that 
every man may be accountable for his 
own sins in the day of judgment. 

"And for this purpose have I estab- 
lished the Constitution of this land, 
by the hands of wise men whom I 
raised up unto this very purpose. . . ." 



536 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



(D&C 101:77-78, 80.) 
Previously he had said: 
"And now, verily I say unto you 
concerning the laws of the land, it is 
my will that my people should ob- 
serve to do all things whatsoever I 
command them. 

"And that law of the land which is 
constitutional, supporting that prin- 
ciple of freedom in maintaining rights 
and privileges, belongs to all mankind, 
and is justifiable before me. 

"Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, 
and your brethren of my church, in 
befriending that law which is the con- 
stitutional law of the land [the test 
of its constitutionality in the words of 
the Lord here is whether it preserves 
man's agency]; 

"And as pertaining to law of man, 
whatsoever is more or less than this, 
cometh of evil. 

"I, the Lord God, make you free, 
therefore ye are free indeed; and the 
law ["that is, constitutional law] also 
maketh you free. 

"Nevertheless, when the wicked 
rule the people mourn. 

"Wherefore, honest men and wise 
men should be sought for diligently, 
and good men and wise men ye should 
observe to uphold; otherwise whatso- 
ever is less than these cometh of evil." 
(D&C 98:4-10.) 

These scriptures declare the Consti- 
tution to be a divine document. They 
tell us that "according to just and holy 
principles," the Constitution and the 
law of the land which supports the 
"principle of freedom in maintaining; 
rights and privileges, belongs to all 
mankind, and is justifiable before" 
God; that, "as pertaining to [the] law 
of man, whatsoever is more or less 
than this, cometh of evil." They re- 
mind us that the Lord has made us 
free and that laws that are constitu- 
tional will also mike us free. 

Right at this point, almost as if he 
were warning us against what is hap- 
pening today, the Lord said: "Never- 
theless, when the wicked rule the 
people mourn." Then, that we might 
know with certainty what we should 
do about it, he concluded: "Where- 
fore, honest men and wise men should 
be sought for diligently, and good 
men and wise men ye should observe 
to uphold. . . ." 

In its context this instruction, ac- 
cording to my interpretation, can only 
mean that we should seek diligently 
for and support men to represent us 
in government who are "wise" enough 
to understand freedom — as provided 
for in the Constitution and as imple- 
mented in the United Order — and who 
are honest enough and good enough 
to fight to preserve it. 

". . . under no other government in 
the world could the Church have been 
established," said President J. Reuben 
Clark, Jr., and he continued: 

". . . if we are to live as a Church, 



and progress, and have the right to 
worship as we are worshipping here 
today, we must have the great guaran- 
tees that are set up by our Constitu- 
tion. There is no other way in which 
we can secure these guarantees." (Con- 
ference Report, October 1942, pp. 58- 
59.) 

Now, not forgetting our duty to 
eschew socialism and support the just 
and holy principles of the Constitu- 
tion, as directed by the Lord, I shall 
conclude these remarks with a few 
comments concerning what we should 
do about the United Order. 

The final words of the Lord in sus- 
pending the order were: "And let those 
commandments which I have given 
concerning Zion and her law be exe- 
cuted and fulfilled, after her redemp- 
tion." (D&C 105:34.) 

Further implementation of the order 
must therefore await the redemption 
of Zion. Here Zion means Jackson 
County, Missouri. When Zion is re- 
deemed, as it most certainly shall be, 
it will be redeemed under a govern- 
ment and by a people strictly observing 
those "just and holy principles" of the 
Constitution that accord to men their 
God-given moral agency, including 
the right to private property. If, in the 
meantime, socialism takes over in 
America, it will have to be displaced, 
if need be, by the power of God, be- 
cause the United Order can never 
function under socialism or "the wel- 
fare state," for the good and sufficient 
reason that the principles upon which 
socialism and the United Order are 
conceived and operated are inimical. 

In the meantime, while we await 
the redemption of Zion and the earth 
and the establishment of the United 
Order, we as bearers of the priesthood 
should live strictly by the principles 
of the United Order insofar as they 
are embodied in present church prac- 
tices, such as the fast offering, tithing, 
and the welfare activities. Through 
these practices we could as individuals, 
if we were of a mind to do so, imple- 
ment in our own lives all the basic 
principles of the United Order. 

As you will recall, the principles 
underlying the United Order are con- 
secration and stewardships and then 
the contribution of surpluses into the 
bishop's storehouse. When the law of 
tithing was instituted four years after 
the United Order experiment was 
suspended, the Lord required the 
people to put "all their surplus property 
. . . into the hands of the bishop" 
(D&C 119:1); thereafter they were to 
"pay one-tenth of all their interest 
annually. . . ." (D&C 119:4.) This 
law, still in force, implements to a 
degree at least the United Order prin- 
ciple of stewardships, for it leaves in 
the hands of each person the owner- 
ship and management of the property 
from which he produces the needs of 
himself and familv. Furthermore, to 



use again the words of President 
Clark: 

". . . in lieu of residues and sur- 
pluses which were accumulated and 
built up under the United Order, we, 
today, have our fast offerings, our 
Welfare donations, and our tithing, 
all of which may be devoted to the 
care of the poor, as well as for the 
carrying on of the activities and busi- 
ness of the Church." 

What prohibits us from giving as 
much in fast offerings as we would 
have given in surpluses under the 
United Order? Nothing but our own 
limitations. 

Furthermore, we had under the 
United Order a bishop's storehouse in 
which were collected the materials 
from which to supply the needs and 
the wants of the poor. We have a 
bishop's storehouse under the Welfare 
Plan, used for the same purpose. . . . 

"We have now under the Welfare 
Plan all over the Church, . . . land 
projects . . . farmed for the benefit of 
the poor. . . . 

"Thus ... in many of its great 
essentials, we have, [in] the Welfare 
Plan . . . the broad essentials of the 
United Order. Furthermore, having in 
mind the assistance which is being 
given from time to time ... to help 
set people up in business or in farming, 
we have a plan which is not essen- 
tially unlike that which was in the 
United Order when the poor were 
given portions from the common 
fund." 

It is thus apparent that when the 
principles of tithing and the fast are 
properly observed and the Welfare 
Plan gets fully developed and wholly 
into operation, "we shall not be so 
very far from carrying out the great 
fundamentals of the United Order." 
(Conference Report, October 1942, pp. 
57-58.) 

The only limitation on you and me 
is within ourselves. 

And now in line with these remarks, 
for three things I pray: 

(1) That the Lord will somehow 
quicken our understanding of the 
differences between socialism and the 
United Order and give us a vivid 
awareness of the awful portent of those 
differences. 

(2) That we will develop the under- 
standing, the desire, and the courage, 
born of the Spirit, to eschew socialism 
and to support and sustain, in the 
manner revealed and as interpreted by 
the Lord, those just and holy principles 
embodied in the Constitution of the 
United States for the protection of all 
flesh, in the exercise of their God-given 
agency. 

(3) That through faithful observ- 
ance of the principles of tithing, the 
fast, and the welfare program, we will 
prepare ourselves to redeem Zion and 
ultimately live the United Order, in 
the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



JUNE 1966 



537 



No Exaltation Without the Priesthood 

President Joseph Fielding Smith 
Of the First Presidency and President of the Council of the Twelve 



their priesthood and who have failed 
to do so shall be cast out. Their priest- 
hood shall be taken from them, and 
they shall find themselves outside the 
gates of the City, for they cannot 
stand with those who have been faith- 
ful. Theirs shall be a condition of 
fellows in some way is not fit to have weeping and gnashing of teeth. "For 



• We have had a delightful meeting 
to this point, and I hope and pray 
that what I say will be for the benefit 
of all who are listening. 

Service in behalf of others is one 
thing required of every soul. He who 
able but who will not serve his 



is 



place among them. Serving others is 
its own reward. When we receive the 
priesthood, we do so with the under- 
standing that it will be used for the 
benefit of others. This is an obliga- 
tion we take upon us. In fact, priest- 
hood blesses us in two ways: first, it is 
the means through which exaltation 
comes to those who hold it; second, it 
is to be used in behalf of others that 
they also may be blessed. No man is 
independent. Put a man off by him- 
self, where he could communicate with 
none of his fellow beings or receive aid 
from them, and he would perish mis- 
erably. It is a mistake for us to draw 
within ourselves as does a snail into 
its shell. No man has been given the 
priesthood as an ornament only. He 
is expected to use it in behalf of the 
salvation of others. 

Not only is he expected, but he is 
commanded to do so, for the Lord 
said, after pointing out the various 
offices in the priesthood and the duties 
assigned to each: 

"Wherefore, now let every man learn 
his duty, and to act in the office in 
which he is appointed, in all diligence. 

"He that is slothful shall not be 
counted worthy to stand, and he that 
learns not his duty and shows him- 
self not approved shall not be counted 
worthy to stand. Even so. Amen." 
(D&C 107:99-100.) 

This means that the man who ac- 
cepts the priesthood also accepts the 
responsibilities that go with it. He 
promises that he will give service and 
make himself approved. If he breaks 
this covenant — for it is a covenant — 
then he will have to stand among 
those who do not exercise priesthood; 
he cannot stand among those who are 
approved. Let every man who holds 
the priesthood understand that he can- 
not enter into exaltation without the 
priesthood. If he refuses to use that 
priesthood when it is conferred upon 
him, he will not be found worthy to 
hold it in that day when men are re- 
warded according to their works. 

Each man holding the priesthood 
should learn his duty from the Parable 
of the Talents; for when the Lord shall 
come, like rewards shall be given us. 
Many who have promised to magnify 



unto every one that hath shall be 
given, . . . but from him that hath 
not shall be taken away even that 
which he hath." (Matt. 25:29.) Sim- 
ply this: We are under obligation as 
men holding the priesthood to put to 
service the authority which we have 
received. If we do this, then we shall 



responsibility when it is given him 
in the Church is in grave danger of 
losing the guidance of the Spirit. 
Eventually he becomes lukewarm and 
indifferent to all duties, and, like the 
plant that is not cultivated and wa- 
tered, he shrivels up and dies a 
spiritual death. 

Do you think it will ever be possible 
for any one of us, no matter how hard 
we labor, or even if we should suffer 
martyrdom, to pay our Father and 
Jesus Christ for the blessings we have 
received from them? The great love, 
with its accompanying blessings, ex- 
tended to us through the crucifixion, 
suffering, and resurrection of Jesus 
Christ is beyond our mortal compre- 
hension. We never could repay. We 
have been bought with a price beyond 
computation — not with gold or silver 
or precious stones, "but with the pre- 
cious blood of Christ, as of a lamb 
without blemish, and without spot." 
(1 Pet. 1:19.) 



have other responsibilities and glory "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus 



added, and we shall receive an abun- 
dance, that is, the fullness of the 
Father's kingdom; but if we bury our 
priesthood, then we are not entitled to 
receive any reward — wc cannot be 
exalted. 

Every member of the Church should 
try to find some church duty to per- 
form. Never refuse to serve. When a 
presiding officer asks your help, be 
glad to accept and give the best you 
have to that labor. The Lord expects 
this of us, and we are under covenant 
to do so. This course brings joy and 
peace, and at the same time those who 
serve receive the greatest blessing. The 
teacher gains more than the one 
taught; the blessing returned to us 
when we accept a call to work in the 
Church is far greater than the blessing 
we can impart to others. He who re- 
fuses to perform any labor or shirks 



offers me, 
Confused at the grace that so fully he 

proffers me; 
I tremble to know that for me he was 

crucified, 
That for me a sinner, he suffered, he 

bled and died. 
"I think of his hands pierced and 

bleeding to pay the debt! 
Such mercy, such love, and devotion 

can I forget? 
No, no, I will praise and adore at the 

mercy seat, 
Until at the glorified throne I kneel 

at his feet. 
"Oh, it is wonderful that he should 

care for me, 
Enough to die for me! 
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!" 
(Charles H. Gabriel, in Hymns, 80.) 

The Lord bless you, in the name of 
Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen. 



The Wisdom of Keeping 
the Word of Wisdom 

President N. Eldon Tanner 
Of the First Presidency 



• Brethren: It is good to be with you 
this evening in our general priesthood 
meeting and to have the priesthood 
meeting in over 400 different places, 
listening to these services tonight. 

We are very happy to have President 
McKay with us. We shall hear his 
message later. 

I wish to say a few words about the 
Word of Wisdom. When I was a 
boy and they talked about the Word 
of Wisdom, all I thought of was that 
this was a religious requirement. In 
fact, we were told a good many times: 
A cup of coffee won't hurt you; a cup 



of tea won't hurt you; one cigarette 
won't hurt you; a drink won't hurt 
you; it's getting the habit that will 
bother you. And we kids used to think 
that the Church was prudish and odd 
for trying to get us to do things that 
made us look funny in the sight of 
the boys with whom we associated 
who were not members of the Church. 
I would like to say just a few words 
about the breaking of the Word of 
Wisdom and what it means to us, the 
danger of tampering with things that 
the Lord has told us not to tamper 
with, both as it affects our bodies and 



538 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



as it affects our ability to resist, if we 
get on the wrong side of the line. 

This has been said about Satan, as 
we read in the Doctrine and Cove- 
nants : 

"Satan stirreth them up, that he 
may lead their souls to destruction. 

"And thus he has laid a cunning 
plan, thinking to destroy the work of 
God; but I will require this at their 
hands, and it shall turn to their shame 
and condemnation in the day of judg- 
ment. 

"Yea, he stirreth up their hearts to 
anger against this work. 

"Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive 
and lie in wait to catch, that ye may 
destroy; behold, this is no harm. And 
thus he flattereth them, and telleth 
them that it is no sin to lie that they 
may catch a man in lie, that they may 
destroy him. 

"And thus he flattereth them, and 
leadeth them along until he draggeth 
their souls down to hell; and thus he 
causeth them to catch themselves in 
their own snare. 

"And thus he goeth up and down, 
to and fro in the earth, seeking to de- 
stroy the souls of men." (D&C 
10:22-27.) 

There is no doubt, boys — and you 
are the ones I am talking to tonight — 
there is no doubt but that Satan is 
out, going up and down, here and 
there, trying in every way he can to 
destroy us. 

It is an interesting thing that over 
130 years ago a prophet of God said 
". . . tobacco ... is not good for 
man,. . ." (D&C 89:8), and now 
scientists all over the world say that 
tobacco is not good for man. You have 
heard it talked about a good deal, but 
I would like to appeal to these boys 
who are listening to me tonight — and 
have them appeal to other boys 
wherever they may be, and have their 
fathers appeal to them — to let them 
realize what a great danger is involved 
in partaking of tobacco and alcohol 
and these other things that are advised 
against. 

Dr. William H. Stewart has said 
the so-called "next-guy theory" — that 
it can happen to someone else but 
not to me — is the psychology that is 
preventing anti-cigarette campaigns 
from making more headway. The 
fallacy of this kind of reasoning is 
illustrated in the story of a Honolulu 
reporter, who said, "It just can't hap- 
pen to me; I'm safe." But this Hawaiian 
newsman, Mark Waters, spoke from 
the grave to readers of the Honolulu 
Star Bulletin. Waters died of lung can- 
cer at the age of 56 on February 1, the 
day the Star Bulletin ran his last story. 
It was a by-line account of a 42-year 
rendezvous with his killer. 

The story was written in the hospital 
five days before his death. Waters 
read proof on the story and made final 
corrections the day before he suc- 



cumbed, observing that it might help 
someone else. 

Waters told how he started smoking 
at 14, stealing cigarettes from his 
father's pack, and how he continued 
at the rate of two packs a day, even 
after suffering a stroke and contracting 
bronchitis. Doctors discovered cancer 
in his left lung. A lobe was removed. 
Waters gained 10 pounds after the 
September operation and felt fine. Four 
months later pain returned. The doctor 
removed fluid from his chest cavity 
but had to tell him that he had little 
time to live. 

"Not a soul I've preached to has 
stopped smoking," he wrote from his 
hospital bed, "not a single, solitary 
soul. 

"It's one of those things. You al- 
ways think, it'll happen to others, but 
never to me. When you get lung can- 
cer, God help you." 

Like the rest of his story, Waters' 
conclusion was terse. 

"I'm short of breath. I can't take 
five steps without having to sit. 

"The cancer has gone to my liver 
and I don't know where else. 

"I don't have a ghost of a chance. 

"It's too late for me. 

"It may not be for you." 

I want to tell you a little story about 
a boy I knew very well, my baby 
brother, as sweet a boy as I ever knew 
— kind, considerate of his mother, and 
loved by every member of the family. 
But he got into wrong company when 
lie was just a little boy, and he started 
using cigarettes. He used to steal 
away and have his smoke, and then 
he got to smoking a little more and 
a little more, until he became a 
habitual smoker. He had four older 
brothers, and we tried to get him to 
quit smoking, to realize that he 
shouldn't be doing it. 

He kept saying he was going to quit 
smoking, but just a few years ago he 
died of lung cancer. And if anything 
makes you hate tobacco, it is to have 
a brother, one of the finest young fel- 
lows that you know, go to his death 
because he had that habit of smoking. 
He thought when he was a kid, "I 
can quit any time I want to." In 
fact he used to say so, and he used to 
try to quit but he couldn't. 

I want to tell you another story 
about a man whom I knew very well 
in Calgary, Alberta, one of the out- 
standing drillers in the oil business — 
one who was very well-to-do and had 
the biggest string of drilling rigs in 
the whole country. 

He was doing a little social drink- 
ing. (May I add here, in case I forget 
it, that one out of every 15 who does 
a little social drinking becomes an 
alcoholic. When you are in a group 
where there are 15 men who are drink- 
ing socially, you are going to find 
that one will be an alcoholic. Every 
one of them will say, "How silly; it 



couldn't happen to me. I am just 
drinking socially. I am not going to 
drink much." And they continue to 
argue about it until they are in the 
gutter.) 

This man of whom I am speaking I 
knew very well, since I was Minister 
of Mines up there. His social drink- 
ing made him an alcoholic. That poor 
fellow was worked with by his part- 
ner, he was worked with by his 
friends, he was encouraged in every 
way to quit this drinking, but it was 
getting the better of him. He said, 
"You are crazy. I can quit drinking 
any time I want to." But finally this 
was his story — of course I knew it 
without his telling it — and I had him 
go to a group of our young men to 
tell it: "I didn't realize until I was 
actually in the gutter that I was an 
alcoholic and couldn't control myself. 
It cost me my business, it cost me my 
wife, it cost me my friends, it cost me 
the respect of everyone who knew me. 
I was literally in the gutter because I 
took the first drink." And he added, 
"I want to tell you, young men, no 
man can afford to take one drink of 
alcohol. I don't care who he is, how 
much he is worth, or if he is a multi- 
millionaire — he cannot afford to take 
one drink of alcohol." 

I want to say to you boys, wherever 
you are tonight: Realize that you can't 
afford to play with these things that 
will take your life. You can't afford 
to do it anyway, because the Lord has 
said, "Don't do it." It is being proven 
in every way that tobacco and alcohol 
are not good for us. 

Let us be men. Let us not be sissies. 
Anybody can drink, and anybody can 
smoke. It doesn't take brains to do 
that. But it does take brains and a 
little willpower and a little sense to 
refuse the first smoke and the first 
drink of alcohol. And leave the other 
things — tea and coffee — alone as well, 
because they are the first steps to the 
other transgressions. 

May the Lord bless you that every 
member in this Church holding the 
priesthood — in fact every member — 
will keep the Word of Wisdom, know- 
ing that it is a commandment of the 
Lord. It is for your own good. You 
are not a sissy. Don't be a fool. 

Remember that the priesthood you 
hold is the power of God delegated to 
you to act in his name. He has prom- 
ised that if you magnify your priest- 
hood all that he has is yours. 

I want to bear you my testimony 
that God lives and that through his 
Son, Jesus Christ, the plan of life and 
salvation has been given to us to let 
us know how we can enjoy life here 
upon the earth and prepare ourselves 
for immortality and eternal life. 

May the Lord bless us to this end 
and give us strength to do his will, I 
humbly pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



JUNE 1966 



539 



Sunday Morning Session, April 10, 1966 



A Testimony Through the Holy Ghost 



LeGrand Richards 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• I rejoice with you, my brothers and 
sisters, in the presence of our prophet 
this morning and in being able this 
Easter morning to commemorate the 
resurrection of the Lord and Savior, 
Jesus Christ. In my heart I thank him 
for having restored his kingdom to the 
earth in our day, and that those of us 
who are assembled here today have a 
witness through the Holy Spirit that 
the Lord has established his Church 
in the earth. 

It is my privilege as one of the 
General Authorities to travel to the 
various stakes of Zion and to some of 
the missions, and I always return with 
gratitude in my heart for the faith and 
faithfulness of the Latter-day Saints 
evidenced in so many ways to prove 
their love of the Lord and their desire 
to help build his kingdom and to bring 
honor and credit to his holy name and 
blessing to his children. 

The apostle James said: ". . . shew 
me thy faith without thy works, and I 
will shew thee my faith by my works." 
(Jas. 2:18.) I want to tell you that 
I am proud of the way the Latter-day 
Saints are showing their faith in God 
and their love for him by the works 
that they perform. 

Now, I thought in the few moments 
that I have to address you this morning 
that I would like to use for a text what 
the Prophet Joseph Smith said in an 
interview with the President of the 
United States when the President 
asked the Prophet wherein we differ 
in our religion from the other religions 
of the day. 

The Prophet's answer was: ". . . we 
differed in mode of baptism, and the 
gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying 
on of hands. We considered that all 
other considerations were contained in 
the gift of the Holy Ghost. . . ." (Docu- 
mentary History of the Church, Vol. 
4, p. 42.) 

I thank the Lord that in the restora- 
tion of the gospel this promise has been 
given to all who enter into the waters 
of baptism by the mode that he has 
specified and that at the hands of those 
who have the authority to administer 
the same and by the laying on of 
hands, they become recipients of the 
Holy Ghost. I would rather have my 
children and my children's children 
enjoy the companionship of the Holy 
Ghost than any other companionship 
in this world because if they will heed 
the promptings of that Spirit, he will 



lead them into all truth and see them 
safely back into the presence of their 
Father in heaven. This statement 
by the Prophet is simply repeating 
again, in a sense, what the Savior said 
to Nicodemus. Remember when he 
said, "Except a man be born of water 
and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into 
the kingdom of God" (John 3:5.) and 
hence the importance that we have in 
this Church the same foundation and 
the same power to guide and direct us. 

The promise of the Savior to his 
apostles prior to his crucifixion was 
that he would send another Comforter. 
There isn't time to go into the details 
of all that he promised that Comforter 
would do: but he was to lead them 
into all truth; he was to make known 
unto them things present, things past, 
things which are to come; he was to 
take from the Father and from the Son 
and reveal it unto them. And so the 
Savior said: 

"And I will pray the Father, and he 
shall give you another Comforter, that 
he may abide with you for ever; 

"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the 
world cannot receive, because it seeth 
him not, neither knoweth him: but ye 
know him; for he dwelleth with you, 
and shall be in you." (John 14:16-17.) 

I think one of the most positive and 
powerful demonstrations of what this 
Holy Spirit, the Comforter, can do for 
a man, as we find recorded in Holy 
Writ, is the experience of the great 
apostle Peter. You remember just prior 
to the Savior's crucifixion Peter said, 
"Though all the world forsake thee, I 
will not forsake thee." (See Matt. 26: 
33.) And you recall the Savior said 
that before the cock would crow that 
he would deny him thrice. But after 
he had tarried at Jerusalem, according 
to the command of the Savior, and he 
had received the Holy Ghost, we have 
a different Peter. When he was com- 
manded that he should no more preach 
Christ and him crucified in the streets 
of Jerusalem, his answer was, "We 
ought to obey God rather than men." 
(Acts 5:29.) 

If the Lord had not placed in his 
Church of today his Holy Spirit, we 
would not be the Church that we are; 
we could not have accomplished what 
we have accomplished; the Saints 
could not have endured all the priva- 
tions, hardships, and persecutions 
through which they have passed; 
neither could we carry on the great 



missionary program of the Church as 
we are doing, because the Lord has 
breathed into his work the breath of 
life, and our people are willing to 
make every sacrifice at the call of the 
Church in order to prove their love of 
the Lord and their desire to build his 
kingdom and to share the truth with 
their fellowmen. 

When the apostles asked the Savior 
for the signs of his second coming and 
the end of the world, after declaring 
to them what would happen — that 
there would be wars and rumors of 
wars, that nation should rise against 
nation and people against people, and 
that his gospel should be preached in 
all the world for a witness to all na- 
tions (and that is what we are doing 
as a people today) — the Savior said: 
"Then shall they deliver you up to be 
afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye 
shall be hated of all nations for my 
name's sake." (Matt. 24:9.) History has 
recorded how literally that prediction 
of the Savior has been fulfilled through 
the restoration of the gospel in our 
day. The Prophet Joseph Smith and 
his brother Hyrum, the patriarch, were 
put to death by their enemies and 
along with them hundreds of Latter- 
day Saints. My grandfather's brother 
was shot down in cold blood at the 
Haun's Mill Massacre, and our people 
were driven from pillar to post until 
they came here to these valleys of the 
mountains. But the Lord didn't intend 
that they would always suffer persecu- 
tion. He told the Prophet Joseph and 
his companions that he would give 
them power to lay the foundation of 
his Church and that he would 
bring forth out of darkness and 
obscurity the only true and living 
Church upon the face of the whole 
earth, "with which I, the Lord, am 
well pleased, speaking unto the church 
collectively and not individually." 
(D&C 1:30.) 

I was very much intrigued with and 
interested in the experience that 
Brother Marion D. Hanks of the First 
Council of the Seventy had a few years 
ago when President Eisenhower called 
a youth conference in Washington to 
which over 7,000 delegates came to 
discuss what could be done to help the 
young people, the youth of this great 
land of America. Brother Hanks was 
asked to give the keynote address — not 
just to give a talk but to lay the foun- 
dation for the discussion at that great 
convention. When Brother Hanks sat 
down, the man conducting the conven- 
tion made this statement: 

"As I sat here, I reflected that Mr. 
Hanks comes from people that were 
driven from our region of the country 
because of the things they believed, 
that suffered bitter persecution for 
their ideals, that went finally to the 
far reaches of the country where they 
thought themselves away from all of 
this. 



540 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



"Now we have invited a leader of 
that people to come here to talk to us 
of the same ideals and principles for 
which we drove them away." 

It takes truth a long time to travel. 
They crucified our Lord, but think of 
what the world is doing today in 
recognition of his ministry. And so this 
work that God the Eternal Father has 
established in the earth in our day has 
been proclaimed by the prophets that 
it shall never be thrown down or given 
to another people, but it shall roll 
forth until it shall become as a great 
mountain and fill the whole earth. 

This spirit of sacrifice is in the 
Church. Notwithstanding the persecu- 
tions heaped upon our people, they 
continued to send their representative^, 
mostly married men, into the mission 
field in the early days. We are told 
that after President Brigham Young 
accepted the gospel, for the next ten 
years he spent almost his entire time 
in the mission field, and when he went 
on his first mission, he didn't even 
have an overcoat. He took a quilt from 
the trundle bed, and his wife made 
him a cap out of a pair of old panta- 
loons. At the end of the ten years he 
said all he had ever had as a reward 
for his service was the half of a small 
pig that the Prophet Joseph divided 
with him and that had been given to 
him by one of the brethren. What be- 
sides the testimony of the Holy Ghost 
could have led a great leader like 
Brigham Young to spend ten years 
without any remuneration in order to 
share with the world the wonderful 
truths of the gospel? My grandfather, 
of the first 14 years of his married life, 
spent ten of them in the mission field 
away from his family. In this Church 
today there are many, many families 
in which there isn't a male member 
old enough to go on a mission who 
hasn't filled a mission. My grand- 
father, my father, my brothers, my 
sons, my wife's father, her brothers — 
why! we are a missionary people. To- 
day we have over 12,000 in the mission 
field at their own expense just to share 
the truths of the gospel with those who 
know not what the Lord has done in 
the restoration of his Church to the 
earth in our day. Among those there 
are many families that have two and 
three missionaries in the field at the 
same time. That spirit of sacrifice is 
still in the Church. Men give up their 
businesses. I had a friend of mine come 
in my office; he had been on two 
missions. A married man, he said, 
"Brother Richards, if I sell my home 
and my automobile I can go on another 
mission." He was willing to go for a 
third time and then come back and 
start all over again. 

After our Saints had been driven 
from the East into these valleys of the 
mountains, five years after their arrival 
here, a convention was held in the old 
tabernacle on this block for the elders 



of Israel at which 98 of them were 
called to go on missions. They were 
all married men. In those days they 
didn't ask them if they wanted to go. 
They were told in that meeting that 
their missions would not be very long 
— that they would be separated from 
their families only from three to seven 
years. Many of them were sent so far 
away that they couldn't even hear from 
their families in less than six months 
time. And then the brother in charge, 
Heber C. Kimball, said, "If any of you 
men refuse to go, there isn't a wife 
that will remain with you, because 
there isn't a Mormon woman who 
would live with a man a year, or a 
day, if he refused to go on a mission." 
Now that same spirit carries through 
to this very day. 

Here just a few years ago, when we 
were still letting young married men 
go on missions, I interviewed a young 
man for his mission; and when I saw 
the recommend from his bishop, I 
noted that he was a married mar. 
I said, "Does your wife want you to 
go on this mission?" 

He said, "She certainly does." 

I said, "Why didn't you bring her 
so I could ask her?" 

He said, "I couldn't; she's in the 
hospital. She gave birth to our first 
child this morning." 

I said, "Then let's go to the hos- 
pital." We went to the hospital, and 
there was that young wife with her 
little babe in her arms. I said, "Do 
you want this husband of yours to go 
on a mission?" 

She said, "I certainly do. When we 
married we decided that our marriage 
would not stand in the way of his 
mission. My parents are able to take 
care of me and our baby and are 
willing to, and I want him to go." 
He filled an honorable mission. 

We go through the missions, and we 
meet for hours with these missionaries 
in their missionary meetings with not 
a dry eye there. They bear their testi- 
monies and say that before they came 
on their missions they heard mission- 
aries say that their mission was the 
happiest time of their lives. "We 
didn't believe a word of it. Now we 
know what they were talking about." 

I met a man up in the Northwest 
who was a convert to the Church, and 
he had just returned from his mission. 
He said, "I wouldn't take a check for 
a million dollars for the experience of 
my mission." 

I interviewed another young man 
there who had served several years in 
the armed forces. He said, "There 
isn't a company in this world that 
could offer me a large enough salary 
to get me to leave my mission." 

Can anybody in the world plant 
such feelings in the hearts of people 
except through the testimony of the 
Holy Ghost? No wonder the Prophet 
indicated that of all considerations the 



gift of the Holy Ghost was the most 
important one. 

We see that in everything about us. 
Take the Choir here — all these years — 
we don't have to pay them. They can't 
do that in other churches. And not 
only that, there are so many other 
things. 

Take, for instance, the law of tithing, 
which Bishop Simpson talked about the 
other day. While I was serving in the 
Southern States Mission, an itinerant 
preacher came to the South telling the 
churches how they could get out of 
debt. I went to listen to him. He told 
them that if they would pay their 
tithing for ten months, they could get 
their churches out of debt. Then he 
quoted the words of Malachi indicating 
that it was the Lord's law of blessing 
his people. I went to him after the 
meeting and was introduced to him, 
and I said, "Reverend, I would like to 
bear you my testimony that you are 
getting near the truth. I am a Mormon 
elder. We have been paying our tithing 
all our lives. One thing I can't under- 
stand — you say it is the Lord's law of 
blessing of his children. If it is, why 
don't you ask them to pay tithing all 
their lives? If it would be good to be 
blessed for ten months, wouldn't it be 
better to be blessed all their lives?" 

He said, "Oh, Mr. Richards, we can't 
go that far. If we can get them to pay 
for ten months, we will do pretty 
well." 

Speaking now of the gift of the Holy 
Ghost, I want to tell you another ex- 
perience. Brother [Melvin J.] Ballard 
was up in the Northwest as president 
of the mission. In those days that 
country was not as well settled as it is 
now. A colonizer up there had heard 
about how the Mormons were coloniz- 
ers, how they had settled these towns 
all up and down through these valleys 
of the mountains. He came down and 
wrote a brief on the program of the 
Mormon Church. Then he went back, 
but he couldn't make it work, so he 
brought his brief to Brother Ballard 
and asked him if he would read it and 
tell him what was the matter with it. 
Brother Ballard read it, and he said, 
"You have here a perfect corpse; if 
somebody would just breathe into it 
the breath of life, then it would work 
for you." I thank the Lord that he 
has breathed into this Church the 
breath of life. 

We had a convention here not long 
ago — a ministerial convention. On 
Sunday they took the ministers to our 
various wards to attend the Sunday 
School. Out here in a certain ward 
where they have about twenty depart- 
ments, they took a particular minister 
right through every department. On 
the way back to the general assembly, 
the minister said, "It must cost you a 
lot of money to run an institution like 
this." 

The brother showing him around 



JUNE I9GS 



541 



called the caretaker over and said, 
"Tell this man how many are on the 
payroll." 

He said, "I am the only one. I keep 
the buildings clean." Well, they just 
can't do it, and I have had experiences 
with them to know. 

Speaking of the law of tithing being 
a law of blessing of the people, the 
Lord said, ". . . and prove me now 
herewith ... if I will not open you 
the windows of heaven. . . ." (Mai. 
3:10.) 

I think I have time to tell you one 
experience of when I was on a mission 
back in the Eastern States. One of our 
branch presidents was a large tithe 
payer — paid every month as regular as 
the clock ticked — and I said to him, 
"You must have a wonderful testimony 
of the law of tithing." 

He said, "I have." 

I said, "Would you tell me what 
it is?" 

He told me that his wife and chil- 
dren joined the Church over in 
England a few years before that; and 
when he told me who the missionary 
was, I learned it was an old MIA 
teacher of mine from out in Tooele. 
Then he said, "I didn't join the 
Church, because I didn't have the faith 
to pay my tithing. Then one day a 
young missionary who was being re- 
leased came to me and said, 'Brother 

, I want to baptize you before I 

go home!' I told him, 'You can't.' 

"Why can't I?" 

"Because I haven't the faith to pay 
my tithing." 



And then that missionary said, "If 
you will let me baptize you before I 
go home, I promise you that within a 
year from now you will be in America 
with your family, earning three times 
what you are earning now." 

He said, "That's a good enough 
promise for me." And he was baptized. 
He said that he didn't see how it 
could happen — he was under contract 
with his company to work for three 
years, and he knew he wouldn't break 
his contract. But he was able to have 
his contract bought off, and the com- 
pany released him. Within one year 
he was in America with his family, 
earning four times as much as he was 
when that Mormon missionary prom- 
ised him three times as much. I told 
that story a few years ago from this 
pulpit. At the close of the meeting one 
of the mission presidents sitting right 
down in front came up to me and said, 
"Brother Richards, I was the young 
man who made the promise." 

Brothers and sisters, I say to you that 
if you will love the Lord and serve 
him and keep his commandments, you 
never can get out of the red — you will 
always be owing the Lord something. 
He has a way of paying and compen- 
sating that is worth more than all the 
wealth of this world. And this is my 
testimony to you. I know this is the 
work of God, the Eternal Father. I 
know that God lives, that Jesus is the 
Christ. I am so proud to be one of 
his witnesses. I leave you my witness 
in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ. 
Amen. 



How One Can Know That God Lives 

Paul H. Dunn 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 



• My beloved brothers and sisters, and 
I include all who listen in that saluta- 
tion, I have been moved by the testi- 
monies and the witnesses that have 
borne evidence again these past days 
and this morning to me of the truth- 
fulness of the gospel. I am grateful 
for this opportunity to declare to you 
the inner feelings of my heart. It 
was just a few days ago that my little 
six-year-old daughter, Kellie, came 
rushing up to me and, throwing her- 
self into my arms with all the exuber- 
ance that only youth can display, she 
said, "Daddy, did you know it is only 
three more days until Easter?" I as- 
sured her that I did. Then she, with an 
anxious look, wanted to know just what 
it all meant, and so we took a moment 
to visit. We talked about the eternal 
things that have been so prominent in 
this conference. As we discussed the 
eternal verities of the gospel of Jesus 
Christ on a six-year-old plane, I com- 



menced to think about the real mean- 
ing of Easter, as we do on these 
occasions. It reminded me of the de- 
lightful poem that Grace Daniels has 
recorded for us. Let me share it with 



you: 



"EASTER IS COMING" 



" 'Easter is coming,' I said to a boy, 

A wee, little lad, by the way; 

His eyes were bright and he smiled 

with delight 
As he quickly looked up from his play. 
'Oh, yes, I know Easter, for that is the 

time 
When the bunny brings eggs red and 

blue, 
And inside they're just like what old 

chickie lays, 
But some are real candy, too.' 

" 'Easter is coming,' I said to a maid, 
With brown eyes and shining brown 
hair. 



I looked in her eyes and not with sur- 
prise 

Saw the dreamlight of youth resting 
there. 

'Yes, I know it is coming,' she shyly 
replied, 

'And if you never will tell, 

There's a wedding that day and I'm 
going away 

To a dear little home on the hill.' 

" 'Easter is coming,' I said to a man, 

To whom middle-age brought no re- 
prieve. 

His silvering hair told of worry and 
care, 

And his voice held a note of peeve. 

'Don't talk about Easter, that's all I 
can hear, 

Easter hats, Easter gowns, Easter shoes, 

And for ruffles and frills, old Dad pays 
the bills, 

Do you wonder I'm down with the 
blues?' 

" 'Easter is coming,' I said to a man 

With bent form and beard white as 
snow. 

His dim eyes grew bright with a won- 
der light 

And his withered old face was aglow. 

'Ah, friend, 'tis a message I fain would 
proclaim 

To striving humanity. 

To me it means life, resurrection of 
youth, 

To endure through eternity.' 

"I pondered their answers for many a 

day, 
For each with its meaning was fraught, 
And each one so different, yet, right in 

its way, 
But what was the answer I sought? 
Must pleasure come foremost, whatever 

the cost, 
While life, youth, and love have their 

day? 
And must the true meaning of Easter 

be lost 
Till we come to the end of the way? 

"As springtime approaches with beck- 
oning hands 

And the promise of things 'born anew,' 

And Easter draws near with its myriad 
of plans, 

Just what does it mean to you?" 

I am sure to many of us it means 
new clothes, perhaps a vacation from 
school, spring at last, or the beginning 
of baseball season. These are all quite 
wonderful and vital to us, but they 
are not the real reasons we celebrate 
Easter. 

Just a few weeks ago I stood beside 
the casket of a very close friend who 
had been taken in the prime of his 
life, leaving a young widow and four 
tiny children. And as we stood in 
that sacred room while the family said 
their last goodbyes, my, it tugged at 
my heartstrings to watch a little four- 



542 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



year-old boy slip his hand into that of 
his mother and, wistfully looking up 
at her, ask the question, "Mama, will 
we ever see Daddy again?" I am sure 
this scene has been repeated many 
times throughout all the world, be- 
cause death brings us face to face 
with the question of the ages. To 
quote Job as we frequently do at this 
time of the year, "If a man die, shall 
he live again?" (Job 14:14.) 

It was just 21 years ago on another 
Easter morning when a great armada 
of ships assembled in the bay off the 
island of Okinawa. And on that 
Easter morn as I looked upon the faces 
of those who were to take the beach, 
one of the great, great questions of all 
the ages seemed again to be registered 
by those men. "What hope is there in 
the future?" 

The answer came to me, I believe, 
in the midst of one of my darkest 
hours. As I pushed ashore with my 
buddies, I crawled a few feet into the 
sand, and there I found a young 
soldier in the last moment of this life. 
I didn't know his name, nor could I 
tell you to which faith he belonged. 
As I tried to give him a little bit of 
comfort, his last words were these: 
"Out of this filth, death, destruction, 
will come a new world and a new 
way of life." In the face of what 
seemed to be his defeat, he saw the 
real victory. And almost in a providen- 
tial way, just a few yards from where 
he lay was a patch of Easter lilies, 
signifying to those who would observe 
the new birth and the new way of life. 
It was later I discovered that Okinawa 
was the Easter lily capital of the 
Orient. 

It is when we encounter experiences 
such as these that questions are often 
raised that one wants to know, and 
rightly so: How can we know the 
reality of the resurrection? Is it true? 
One of the great educators of our 
Church, Dr. Lowell Bennion, has listed 
for us four ways by which we can come 
to know truth or reality. First, he says, 
by accepting it on the authority of 
someone else; second, by thinking; 
third, by experiencing; and fourth, by 
feeling, which we in this Church 
would call inspiration or revelation. 

Let me just discuss for a moment 
each of these channels by which we 
come to know. 

First, authority. There was a time 
when a prodigious mind, such as that 
of Aristotle and Herbert Spencer, could 
survey the entire field of human 
knowledge and draw conclusions. But 
with the great accumulation of knowl- 
edge that has been derived through 
specialization, no single person can 
grasp all of the learning that is now 
available to mankind. For this reason 
man is compelled to rely upon the 
experience or authority of others for 
some of his information. Each of us 
turns to the doctor, the dentist, the 



lawyer, the teacher, the mechanic, the 
spiritual leaders, and many other 
persons for guidance in particular 
problems. The student of chemistry, 
for example, does not begin from 
scratch to rely upon his own experi- 
ence. He uses the efforts of the 
teacher, the text, the reference book, 
and other sources of authority. To 
bypass such a vast accumulation of 
knowledge would be folly indeed. 

Likewise, in religion we have pre- 
served for us the sayings and teachings 
and testimonies of Moses, of Amos, of 
Paul; of Alma in the Book of Mormon; 
of Joseph Smith in his life and teach- 
ings; and of course, of the Christ. 
These were not persons who were 
eccentric, but individuals who were 
significant in stature, living in real-life 
situations, claiming wisdom from God, 
and bearing personal testimony that 
these things that are recorded in our 
scriptures are indeed true. They too 
deserve an honest hearing. 

Second, reason or thinking. In man's 
search for truth, the mind plays a 
leading role. Man, as a child of God, 
was created in the image of his Heav- 
enly Father, the glory of whose 
intelligence is reflected in the beauty 
and orderliness of the universe. Why 
should man, God's child living in his 
world, not trust his own mind and use 
it earnestly as one avenue by which he 
can come to know the truth about 
reality — in this case, the resurrection? 

The mind has the ability to weave 
the separate experiences of life into 
larger and more unified views. Each 
day the mind is bombarded with 
numerous ideas, impressions, percep- 
tions, and feelings from without and 
from within. These enter the mind in 
a disorganized and miscellaneous 
fashion, but the human mind has the 
ability to bring a measure of order out 
of chaos by establishing meaningful 
relationships among phenomena that 
it experiences. 

However, reason alone is not a suf- 
ficient guide to truth. For, as Goethe 
has said, "Human life divided by rea- 
son leaves a remainder." Through 
reason alone one cannot choose a 
mate, find God, br' determine all 
things of greatest value. 

Third, experience. One of the most 
trustworthy avenues to truth lies along 
the path of experience. Each of us has 
a rich amount of it, for it is common 
to all. In the affairs of everyday life, 
we learn to trust experience. We learn 
sweetness by taste, softness by touch, 
colors by sight, and joy and sorrow, 
love and hate directly in life situations. 
There is no substitute for experience, 
and without it we cannot know the 
truth. 

Two types of experience have been 
described: that which is based on 
science and its discoveries and that 
which is common to all of us in every- 
day life. The latter, which is a non- 



scientific experience, is just as real and 
may also be a valid source of knowl- 
edge, but it is often either more 
general or more unique and, therefore, 
somewhat more difficult to communi- 
cate to others. 

Experiences of this type play an 
important role in religion. Many 
religious principles can be practiced 
and experienced in everyday life. The 
validity of religion does not rest on 
faith alone. We feel and observe the 
effects of selfishness, greed, lust, and 
hate. We also observe and feel the 
opposite effects of unselfishness, gen- 
erosity, purity of heart, and love. Faith 
and repentance and forgiveness are not 
abstract principles but are real parts of 
life. Prayer and worship are religious 
experiences for those who participate 
in them with faith. 

And finally, revelation. Despite the 
great emphasis on reason and the 
experience of science, inspiration (or 
intuition, as some have preferred to 
define it) also plays a very important 
role in discovering truth. Scientists 
have testified that some of their most 
profound insights have come to them, 
not in the labored process of logical 
thought, but as unexpected, unpre- 
meditated hunches, possibly as flashes 
from the imagination, the subconscious 
mind, or even from God. They, too, 
recognize inspiration as a source of 
knowledge. 

Revelation is communication from 
God to man. It is another avenue to 
truth, to a correct knowledge of reality. 
Revelation includes all the other 
avenues. 

A prophet is not without experience 
in human life, for he lives among men 
and with himself. He is not insensitive 
to good and evil, right and wrong, joy 
and sorrow, life and death. Questions 
and problems come to his mind. He 
thinks, he reflects, and he searches for 
the answers; and then — and this step 
is distinctive in the life of a prophet — 
he turns to God in humility and faith. 
When the answer comes, it is usually 
not in an audible tone, although it 
can be and often has been in both 
former and latter days, but more often 
it comes through the "still, small 
voice" of the Comforter. This Com- 
forter, the Spirit of Truth, clarifies the 
mind of the prophet and causes his 
bosom to burn within him so that he 
knows the will of God. Then he de- 
clares it to man. The testimony or 
reality of these things can be the per- 
sonal experience of every honest, 
seeking individual in the world. 
Through these channels man has come 
to know the reality of Christ's life, 
divine mission, death, and eventual 
resurrection. 

In answer to the questions: "If a 
man die, shall he live again?" and 
"What hope is there for the future?" 
I summarize the words of our prophet, 
seer, and revelator, President David O. 



JUNE I96S 



543 



McKay, who spoke yesterday: 

To sincere believers in Christianity, 
to all who accept Christ as their 
Savior, his resurrection is not a symbol 
but a reality. As Christ lived after 
death, so shall all men, each taking 
his place in the next world for which 
he has best fitted himself. With this 
assurance, obedience to eternal law 
should be a joy, not a burden, for 
compliance with the principles of the 



gospel brings happiness and peace. 
"He is not here," said a witness many 
years ago, "but is risen." (Luke 24:6.) 
Because Christ does live, so shall we. 
And then President McKay bore his 
sacred witness to that effect. 

And I would like to declare to 
President McKay and to all of you this 
day that I too know that my Redeemer 
lives, and I give you that witness in 
the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Man's Eternal Destiny 

Alvin R. Dyer 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• This morning I shall speak of him 
whom we honor this [Easter] day and 
always, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, 
known to his contemporaries as Jesus 
of Nazareth and the Son of the carpen- 
ter. He taught the true meaning and 
purpose of life, which led Paul to say^ 
"If in this life only we have hope in 
Christ, we are of all men most miser- 
able." (1 Cor. 15:19.) 

The story of the birth and life of 
Jesus of Nazareth is now accepted 
almost universally by all mankind. But 
the power and efficacy of his earth-life 
existence and the purpose of it are 
subjects of controversy, also univer- 
sally. Even within the realms of a 
Christendom there exists a vast canyon 
of variance as to who he is, the purpose 
of his mission, and the meaning of life 
that he propounded. 

In the eyes of many of his contem- 
poraries he was a disturber, an inciter 
to political division. We have this 
from Pundit Nehru, the Indian leader, 
and I quote: 

"Jesus talked a strange language of 
revolt against existing conditions and 
the social order. In particular he was 
against the rich and the hypocrites who 
made of religion a matter of certain 
observances and ceremonial. Instead of 
promising wealth and glory, he asked 
people to give up even what they had 
for a vague and mythical Kingdom of 
Heaven. He talked in stories and 
parables, but it is clear that he was a 
born rebel who could not tolerate 
existing conditions and was out to 
change them. This was not what the 
Jews wanted, and so most of them 
turned against him and handed him 
over to the Roman authorities." 
(Glimpses of World History [New 
York: The John Day Company, 1942], 
p. 85.) 

But to the humble and sincere who 
believed his message, he was wor- 
shiped and loved. 

We who are here today have a firm 
conviction of the true purpose of his 
mission and life. 



In our hearts we feel much the same 
as the two who walked unbeknown to 
them with the resurrected Christ, 
Cleopas and another, who, while 
walking to Emmaus at the time of the 
resurrection, were discussing Jesus as 
they journeyed. The Master joined 
them and opened the scriptures to 
their eyes. Impressed, they asked him 
to tarry with them as they stopped 
to be refreshed. 

Not knowing that he was the resur- 
rected Christ, they asked further ques- 
tions but did not understand his 
answers. But they talked together 
concerning the events of the past days 
that had greatly disturbed the area 
around about. The Christ also asked 
them questions, and alarmed at his 
questions Cleopas said: 

"Art thou only a stranger in Jeru- 
salem, and hast not known the things 
which are come to pass there in these 
days? 

"And [Jesus] said unto them, What 
things? And they said unto him, 
Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which 
was a prophet mighty in deed and 
word before God and all the people." 
(Luke 24:18-19.) 

Then said they: We had supposed 
him to be the one to redeem our 
people, but now he is gone, having 
been turned over to the high priests. 
Yet they said it has been three days, 
and we wonder. Still, a woman among 
us has been to the grave, and he is not 
there. Others of us have also been to 
the sepulcher, and we found him not. 
What does it all mean? 

Then said Jesus unto them, "O fools, 
and slow of heart to believe. . . ." 

Later their eyes were open and they 
knew him, but he had vanished. Said 
they: "Did not our heart burn within 
us, while he talked with us by the 
way . . . ?" (Luke 24:25, 32.) 

As we contemplate his life and mis- 
sion, our hearts burn within us, for we 
know that he lives. 

He is Christ the Lord, the Redeemer 
of mankind, who according to the plan 



wrought the atonement, which made 
possible the redemption of the soul in 
all its glorified implications. We be- 
lieve and know him to be divine, the 
Son of God, our Heavenly Father, and 
who himself being a separate and dis- 
tinct personage also is a God. This is 
abundantly attested to in the holy 
scriptures and by direct and divine 
manifestation to the Prophet Joseph 
Smith. 

There are many who will deny his 
divinity and ascribe unto him the rank 
of teacher and perhaps prophet. Many 
there are of his professed disciples, who 
speak from the pulpits that bear his 
name, who turn away when challenged 
as to the actuality of his divinity. 

The weakening trends of faith in 
Christ today are the same as in the 
time of test when he ministered among 
men upon the earth. He taught them 
in the hills of Judea and on the shores 
of Galilee; he satisfied them with 
miracles and fed them with loaves and 
fishes. The multitude followed him 
everywhere he went, but when the 
time came for him to tell them of his 
divine mission and that he was the Son 
of God, they turned from him and 
walked no more with him. Accept him 
as a teacher and a provider of both 
physical and spiritual food? Yes! 
Acknowledge him as the Son of God 
and divine? No, this they could not do, 
and they turned away from him. 

What of Christ today? Nearly 2,000 
years have passed since his glorifica- 
tion. Men ignore the purpose and the 
meaning of existence for which he gave 
his life, yet will give credence to the 
exhumed doctrines of the madman 
Nietzsche and the immoralist Plato, 
who taught that God is dead and that 
man drifts in an endless nothingness, 
that mankind generally has no spiri- 
tual contact with God the Father and 
his glorified Son. These live in the 
shadows of confusion, without a sense 
of reference or a cause for being. Here 
are the soul cries of some of these men: 

"Until a man figures out the trap 
and hunts . . . the ultimate ground of 
being," ponders one, "he has no reason 
at all for his existence. Empty, finite, 
he knows only that he will soon die. 
Since this life has no meaning, and he 
sees no future life, he is not really a 
person but a victim of self extinction." 

Another has exclaimed: "How long 
can man bear emptiness?" Still 
another: "Here is what frightens me. 
To see the sense of life dissipated. To 
see our reason for existence disappear. 
That is what is intolerable. Men can- 
not live without meaning." (Look, 
July 27, 1963, p. 19.) And from still 
another: "When I consider the short 
duration of my life, swallowed up in 
eternity before and after, the little 
space I fill, and even can see, engulfed 
in the infinite immensity of space of 
which I am ignorant, and which knows 
me not, I am frightened, and am as- 



544 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



tonished being here rather than there, 
why now rather than then." 

The immensity of the universe and 
man's relationship to time and eternity 
cause him to ask over and over again: 
Who am I? Where did I come from? 
What is my destiny? Why should man 
come into mortal existence and then 
fade and die? 

The answer to this is that the way 
to eternal life is in the knowledge of 
God and Jesus Christ whom he hath 
sent. Heeding not this eternal truth, 
men are groping in darkness. The way 
out of the shadows into the light is in 
the revealed wisdom of the gospel of 
Jesus Christ communicated unto the 
spirit of man. But he must respond to 
this unmistakable truth of eternal life 
by the innate power within himself. 

Exposed to the truth in this manner, 
he will see and feel his life calibrated 
to eternal existence and will thus be 
in the way of joy and perfection; 
herein lies the true meaning of the 
resurrection of the Christ, who as the 
pattern for all men proclaimed, "I am 
the way, the truth, and the life: no 
man cometh unto the Father, but by 
me." (John 14:6.) 

Concerning a fullness of joy obtained 
through resurrection, the Lord revealed 
this thought to Joseph Smith: "For 
man is spirit. The elements are eternal 
[meaning the natural body] , and spirit 
and element, inseparably connected 
[as in resurrection], receive a fulness 
of joy." (D&C 93:33.) 

But it is impossible for man, as man, 
devoid of revelation from God to un- 
derstand the plan of life and salvation. 
Jacob, a righteous son of the prophet 
Lehi, declared: ". . . great and marvel- 
ous are the works of the Lord. How 
unsearchable are the depths of the 
mysteries of him; and it is impossible 
that man should find out all his ways. 
And no man knoweth of his ways save 
it be revealed unto him. . . ." (Jac. 
4:8.) 

Without divine communication man 
stands confused about his own exis- 
tence. He is faced with many con- 
flicting concepts of the meaning of 
life and of his destiny, or no meaning 
and destiny at all! To find the way 
to an understanding of himself, man 
must, as a beginning, rely upon normal 
innate instincts. This inner force is 
personal; it is instinctive. But he must 
be consciously aware of what this 
power can do for him as he responds 
to the forces of good and the teachings 
of truth for which the Christ sacrificed 
his life. 

The great French philosopher and 
teacher Du Nouy spoke with inspiration 
when he said the most effective path 
that can eventually lead to the com- 
prehension of man is revelation. This 
"direct road," says he, ". . . is closed 
to a great many people and indepen- 
dent of rational thought. Those who 
can make use of it are fortunate." 



(Human Destiny [New York: Long- 
mans, Green and Co., 1947], p. 3.) But 
make use of it he must if he is to find 
God and the meaning of life. 

Scientific, religious, and educational 
thought that is bent on revising and 
supposedly amplifying man's knowl- 
edge and that does not keep alive the 
fundamental concept of the eternal 
nature of God and his Beloved Son 
and their relationship to man in 
eternity creates only secular concepts 
and mere rationalization. Such indoc- 
trination imposes false direction, re- 
tarding man's natural response to the 
truth. 

But man may know of the eternal 
truths of redemption made effectual by 
the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God. 
Concerning this the Apostle Paul de- 
clared: 

"But as it is written, Eye hath not 
seen, nor ear heard, neither have en- 
tered into the heart of man, the things 
which God hath prepared for them 
that love him. 

"But God hath revealed them unto 
us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth 
all things, yea, the deep things of God. 

"For what man knoweth the things 
of a man, save the spirit of man which 
is in him? even so the things of God 
knoweth no man, but the Spirit of 
God. 

"Now we have received, not the 
spirit of the world, but the spirit which 
is of God; that we might know the 
things that are freely given to us of 
God. 

"Which things also we speak, not 
in the words which man's wisdom 
teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost 
teacheth; comparing spiritual things 



with spiritual. 

"But the natural man receiveth not 
the things of the Spirit of God: for 
they are foolishness unto him: neither 
can he know them, because they are 
spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:9-14.) 

In conclusion, in these times of stress 
a revelation to the Prophet Joseph 
Smith might well be repeated with 
significant meaning: 

"Hearken, O ye people of my 
church, to whom the kingdom has 
been given; hearken ye and give ear 
to him who laid the foundation of the 
earth, who made the heavens and all 
the hosts thereof, and by whom all 
things were made which live, and 
move, and have a being. 

"And again I say, hearken unto my 
voice, lest death shall overtake you; in 
an hour when ye think not the summer 
shall be past, and the harvest ended, 
and your souls not saved. 

"Listen to him who is the advocate 
with the Father, who is pleading your 
cause before him." (D&C 45:1-3.) 

It is my sincere conviction that God 
has literally spoken unto a prophet at 
this crucial time in our world's history. 
The truth has been restored. Each must 
stand the burden of his own blame if 
he does not take advantage of the re- 
vealed knowledge about God and his 
Son Jesus Christ, who is the author of 
the plan of salvation that gives to 
mankind the purpose and meaning of 
life and of man's eternal destiny. The 
heralds of truth representing the 
Church and kingdom of God restored 
to earth are this day among the nations 
of mankind throughout the world 
declaring this message. To this I tes- 
tify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



In His Steps 

Ezra Taft Benson 
Of the Council of the Twelve 



• Humbly I approach this sacred 
assignment on this glorious Easter 
Sunday. 

Today as a great Christian nation — 
a nation with a spiritual foundation — 
we join the Christian world in com- 
memoration of that all-important and 
glorious event — the resurrection of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

I bear witness that Jesus is the Christ, 
the Savior and Redeemer of the world, 
the very Son of God. 

He was born the Babe of Bethlehem. 

He lived and ministered among men. 

He was crucified on Calvary. 

He is risen — really resurrected. 

He has appeared to men as a glori- 
fied Eternal King — in Palestine and 
also in America. 

I bear this witness to all, but direct 



my remarks today especially to our 
youth of the free world for whom I 
have great hope and a fervent prayer. 

My text, from Luke in the New 
Testament, stands out boldly in its 
impressive beauty. It covers a period 
of 18 years following the return of 
Jesus from Jerusalem to Nazareth. 
Except for this one rich sentence of 
greatest import, the scriptures for this 
18-year period are silent: 

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and 
stature, and in favour with God and 
man." (Luke 2:52.) 

Here then in one sentence — 14 words 
— is the impressive, meaningful, and 
comprehensive account of 18 years of 
preparation of the Son of God, the 
Savior and Redeemer of the world. 

From these impressively simple 



JUNE t966 



545 



words of Luke we can well take in- 
spiration for this hour: 

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and 
stature, and in favour with God and 
man." 

Here in broad outline, in one suc- 
cinct sentence — four points — are given 
the major fields of man's activity and 
striving — mental, physical, spiritual, 
and social. 

Young men and women, remember, 
it is people — not things — that are all- 
important. Character is the one thing 
we make in this world and take with 
us into the next. God's purpose is to 
build people of character, not physical 
monuments to their material accumu- 
lations. 

Point 1: "And Jesus increased in 
wisdom. . . ." 

In the 14th chapter of John, Jesus is 
tenderly saying his farewell to his 
disciples after the last supper. He tells 
them that he goes to prepare a place 
for them in his Father's house; that 
where he is, they also may be. And 
Thomas says to him: 

"Lord, we know not whither thou 
goest; and how can we know the way? 

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, 
the truth, and the life: no man cometh 
unto the Father, but by me." (John 
14:5-6.) The road lies before us. It is 
clearly marked. 

In Proverbs we read: "Happy is the 
man that findeth wisdom, and the man 
that gettetli understanding." (Prov. 
3:13.) 

This same Jesus who increased in 
wisdom declared to a modern prophet: 
"Seek not for riches but for wisdom, 
and behold, the mysteries of God shall 
be unfolded unto you, and then shall 
you be rich." (D&G 6:7.) 

It was once thought, and still is in 
some places, that when a young man 
sets out upon a quest for academic 
knowledge, his faith in God would 
soon be destroyed. Our youth generally 
are living proof to the contrary. It is 
not the search for knowledge — nor 
knowledge itself — that costs a man his 
faith. It is rather the conceit of small 
minds proving anew that a little 
knowledge can be a dangerous thing. 
It is intellectual pride that leads one 
to think he is self-sufficient in matters 
of mind and of spirit. Let us ever 
realize the vast difference that exists 
between discovery of the truth and the 
custodian of all truth. The one is 
human; the other is divine. 

Religion and science have sometimes 
been in apparent conflict. Yet the con- 
flict should only be apparent, not real, 
for science should seek truth, and true 
religion is truth. There can never be 
conflict between revealed religion and 
scientific fact. That they have often 
occupied different fields of truth is a 
mere detail. The gospel accepts and 
embraces all truth; science is slowly 
expanding her arms and reaching into 
the invisible domain in search of truth. 



The two are meeting daily — -science as 
a child, revealed religion as the 
mother. Truth is truth, whether labeled 
science or religion. There can be no 
conflict. Time is on the side of truth — 
for truth is eternal. 

Yes, truth is always consistent, 
whether it is revealed direct from God 
to man through his inspired prophets 
or comes from the laboratory through 
the diligent searching of his children 
and the influence of the spirit of the 
Lord upon them. 

Youth of the free nations, you face a 
changing world beset with many per- 
plexities. But while change is and will 
continue to be all about us in the 
physical world, we must recognize that 
there are certain heaven-sent verities, 
principles, and values that are eternal. 
These never change. 

As you travel life's highway, you 
will encounter theories, proposals, and 
programs that have wide appeal. You 
will be required to pass your judgment 
on them. Be not misled. Remember 
that ideas and theories are either sound 
or unsound; soundness does not depend 
upon which men hold them. 

Our inability to explain a thing in 
terms of our materialism does not 
disprove its reality. 

"Opinions at variance with time- 
honored beliefs, although receiving 
considerable current acceptance, may 
not always rest on truth." It is the 
truth that endures. It is the truth that 
makes men courageous enough to be- 
come Christlike. It is the truth that 
makes men and nations free. Yes, be 
intelligent. Intelligence is the wise and 
judicious use of knowledge. 

Continue to grow mentally — to grow 
in wisdom — to grow in truth. Desire it! 
Pray for it! Study it! Practice it! 

Do all this and you will find truth; 
it cannot be denied you. Having found 
it, never forget its source, remembering 
always that "the glory of God is in- 
telligence, or, in other words, light and 
truth." (D&C 93:36.) 

"And Jesus increased in wisdom. 
. . ." Like the master, in whose foot- 
steps you should follow, may you con- 
stantly increase in wisdom. 

Point 2: "And Jesus increased in 
. . . stature. . . ." 

You, the youth of the free world, are 
the trustees of posterity. The future of 
your country will, sooner than you 
think, rest in your hands and those of 
your contemporaries. 

Be worthy trustees. Continue to grow 
in stature. 

Be cheerful in all that you do. Live 
joyfully. Live happily. Live enthusias- 
tically, knowing that God does not 
dwell in gloom and melancholy, but in 
light and love. 

A clean mind in a healthy body will 
enable you to render far more effective 
service to others. It will help you to 
provide more vigorous leadership. It 
will give your every experience in life 



more zest and meaning. Robust health 
is a noble and worthwhile attainment. 

Possibly the best measure of the 
stature of men or women is in their 
own homes, at their own firesides. 
Some of you have already established 
homes. Practically all of you will do 
so. As you look hopefully forward, 
what conclusions have you reached 
about marriage, the home, and family? 

Are you planning for honorable 
parenthood even at the sacrifice per- 
haps of parties, clubs, and other social 
enticements? Parenthood carries with it 
peculiar responsibilities. Are you plan- 
ning to accept these without quibbling? 
Are you willing to accept and enthrone 
motherhood as the highest calling of 
woman? 

No nation rises above its homes. In 
building character the church, the 
school, and even the nation stand 
helpless when confronted with a weak- 
ened and degraded home. The good 
home is the rock foundation — the 
cornerstone of civilization. There can 
be no genuine happiness separate and 
apart from a good home, with the old- 
fashioned virtues at its base. If your 
nation is to endure, the home must be 
safeguarded, strengthened, and restored 
to its rightful importance. 

Remember that moral purity is an 
eternal principle. Its violation destroys 
the noblest qualities and aspirations of 
man. Purity is life-giving; unchastity 
is deadly. 

Moral purity is one of the greatest 
bulwarks of successful homemaking. 
Happy and successful homes — let alone 
individual lives — cannot be built on 
immorality. 

Youthful sweethearts, be true to 
God's holy laws. Remember they can- 
not be broken with impunity. If you 
would be happy and successful in your 
early association, courtship, and home- 
building, conform your lives to the 
eternal laws of heaven. There is no 
other way. 

And in so doing you shall increase 
"in stature." 

Point 3: "And Jesus increased ... in 
favour with . . . man." 

The formula for successful relation- 
ships with others boils down to that 
divine cod^ known as the Golden Rule: 

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye 
would that men should do to you, do 
ye even so to them. . . ." (Matt. 7:12.) 

It was the Master who said: 

". . . whosoever will be chief among 
you, let him be your servant." (Matt. 
20:27.) 

Unselfish, willing service to others 
was the keynote of his relationship 
with men. 

"For even the Son of man came not 
to be ministered unto, but to minister, 
and to give his life a ransom for 
many." (Mark 10:45.) 

Love one another. Serve your fellow- 
men. The example has been given you. 
The road lies clearly before you. 



546 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



If we would serve God through 
service to our brethren, we shall have 
need of a love for work. 

Energetic, purposeful work leads to 
vigorous health, praiseworthy achieve- 
ment, a clear conscience, and refresh- 
ing sleep. It has always been a boon 
to man. Have a wholesome respect for 
labor, whether with head, heart, or 
hand. Accept the challenge given by 
one of America's eminent journalists, 
Edward W. Bok: 

"When you are called to get into the 
game, get into it good and strong. 
There's no fun in going through life 
spoon-fed; in finding the soft seat. 
That makes a man soft, and a soft man 
is an abomination before God and 
man. And put everything you've got 
into it. Take hold and carry the biggest 
load your shoulders can carry, and 
then carry it right. Set the pace for 
others; don't let them set it for you." 

May you ever enjoy the satisfaction 
of honest toil. The decree that by the 
sweat of his brow man should eat 
bread is still basic. You will never wish 
or dream yourself into heaven. You 
must pay the price in toil, in sacrifice, 
and in righteous living. 

It is a truism that "security is 
achieved, not bestowed." It cannot be 
gained by self-pity or compromising 
principles. The world owes no man a 
living. 

Youth of the world, as you strive to 
increase in favor with man, be ever on 
your guard that you do not unwittingly, 
in the name of tolerance, broadminded- 
ness, and so-called liberalism, en- 
courage foreign "isms" and unsound 
theories that strike at the very root of 
all we hold dear, including our faith 
in God. Proposals will be offered and 
programs will be sponsored that have 
wide, so-called "humanitarian" appeal. 
Attractive labels are usually attached 
to the most dangerous programs, often 
in the name of public welfare and 
personal security. 

Have the courage to apply this 
standard of truth. Determine what the 
effect of the various issues at stake is 
upon the character, the integrity, and 
freedom of man. Which increase his 
freedom? Which abrogate or destroy? 
Which recognize and respect the 
individual dignity of man? 

We have the greatest material 
wealth ever known because we are free, 
and our people have been encouraged 
to produce it — out of themselves. 

It is foolish to place our material 
wealth first and decide that it, rather 
than the freedom and energy that pro- 
duced it, is our real wealth. 

Freedom, a willingness to work, and 
the desire to serve your God through 
service to your fellowmen — these are 
the sources of true wealth. Cling fast 
to these truths, and you must inevitably 
increase in favor with man. "And Jesus 
increased ... in favour . . . with man." 

Point 4: "And Jesus increased ... in 



favour with God. . . ." 

This is the most important of all 
man's strivings — without it, nothing is 
of the slightest account. 

"For what shall it profit a man, if 
he shall gain the whole world, and 
lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36.) 

Growing in favor with God is the 
most important because it is the 
veritable foundation upon which all 
other worthwhile blessings rest. Con- 
cerning this fact the Savior admonished 
his disciples: 

". . . seek ye first the kingdom of 
God, and his righteousness; and all 
these things shall be added unto you." 
(Matt. 6:33.) 

Spiritual strength promotes posi- 
tive thinking, positive ideals, positive 
habits, positive attitudes, and posi- 
tive efforts. These are the qualities that 
promote wisdom, physical and mental 
well-being, and enthusiastic acceptance 
and response by others. "Favour with 
God" gives necessary incentive and 
perspective to life. It gives man real 
purpose for living and achieving. 

As always, we have the example of 
the Master to guide us. "My meat," he 
said, "is to do the will of him that sent 
me. . . ." (John 4:34.) 

And again: "Father, ... I have 
glorified thee on the earth: I have fin- 
ished the work which thou gavest me 
to do." (John 17:1, 4.) 

We increase in favor with God as 
we do the will of God. Let us be faith- 
ful in the work he gives us, whatever 
it may be and whatever our station in 
life. Let our desires be in harmony 
with God's will as it is revealed to us 
— keeping his word in our hearts — 
conquering selfish desires that would 
lead us astray. 

If we would advance in holiness — 
increase in favor with God — nothing 
can take the place of prayer. And so I 
adjure you to give prayer— daily prayer 
— secret prayer — a foremost place in 
your lives. Let no day pass without it. 
Communion with the Almighty has 
been a source of strength, inspiration, 
and enlightenment to men and women 
through the world's history who have 
shaped the destinies of individuals and 
nations for good. 

Will you value and take advantage 
of the opportunity to tap these unseen 
but very real spiritual powers? Will 
you, with Lincoln before Gettysburg 
and Washington at Valley Forge, 
humble yourselves before Almighty 



God in fervent prayer? 

Prayer will help you understand the 
apparent conflicts in life — to know that 
God lives, that life is eternal. 

Be not ashamed to believe and pro- 
claim that God lives, that he is the 
Father of our spirits; that Jesus is the 
Christ, the Redeemer of the world; 
that the resurrection is a reality; that 
we lived as spirits before mortal birth 
and will live again as immortal beings 
through the eternities to come. Blessed 
are you if you have a testimony of 
these things. These great spiritual 
truths have seen systems come and go, 
and so it will be in the future. These 
truths will, if you are wise, take prece- 
dence in your lives over all contrary 
theories, dogmas, or hypotheses from 
whatever source or by whomsoever 
advocated. 

Therefore, go forward intelligently 
and yield simple and loyal obedience 
to all the laws of the universe and the 
truths of eternity. 

Yours is a great responsibility in this 
day when the need for courageous 
leadership is so urgent: 

You can become those leaders! 

Young men and women of the Free 
World, yours is a great challenge. You 
can be choice spirits in your land. For- 
get not that each of you has been 
endowed with the priceless gift of free 
agency. Each of you is, in very deed, 
the master of your fate, and Christ 
should be the captain of your soul. 
You need not be the victims of circum- 
stance, for unto you it is given to 
achieve and become "perfect, even as 
your Father which is in heaven is 
perfect." (Matt. 5:48.) 

Jesus lives today. He is risen. This 
I know. 

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and 
stature, and in favour with God and 
man." 

May you, by following this same 
path, merit the same commendation. 
For if you follow this divine pattern 
established by the resurrected Christ, 
you cannot fail, for you will have ful- 
filled the measure of your creation. 

Yes, Jesus Christ is divine. He lives 
today. He was resurrected. He is the 
Son of God, the Redeemer of the 
world. 

I bear this witness and pray that the 
young men and women of all the 
world may be blessed with -a testimony 
of this all-important truth, in the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



Sunday Afternoon Session, April 10, 1966 

Peace Now and Joy Hereafter 

James A. Cullimore 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 

• My brothers and sisters: I think that me can really tell how I feel. I think 
possibly only these brethren of the it is impossible to know unless you go 
General Authorities who have preceded through it yourself. 



JUNE I9G6 



547 



I am most grateful, however, for this 
tremendous honor that has been be- 
stowed upon me, for the privilege I 
have of working with these brethren, 
and with you, in the service of the 
Lord. I feel very humble in this calling. 
I feel entirely inadequate and unquali- 
fied. I think that I feel somewhat as 
Newel K. Whitney did when he was 
asked by the Prophet Joseph Smith to 
be the bishop of Kirtland, for he said 
that he felt that he was not capable, 
he was unqualified and just could not 
do it. After the Prophet had told him 
that the Lord had called him and that 
it was by revelation that this was made 
known, he still didn't feel that he was 
able and could act. Then the Prophet 
said, "Go and ask Father for yourself." 
He went and knelt in humble suppli- 
cation, and he heard a voice from 
heaven which said, "Thy strength is 
in me." He accepted and went about 
his work, and I understand was a 
bishop of the Church for some 18 
years. (LDS Biographical Encyclo- 
pedia, Vol. 1, p. 224.) 

I know that only by virtue of the 
strength I can receive from the Lord 
can I be made a qualified and capable 
servant of the Lord in the fulfillment 
of this responsibility. 

I am so grateful for the heritage that 
I have, for the teachings of a good 
mother and an able father who taught 
me in my youth to love the Lord. I am 
grateful for the experiences that I have 
had of living away from Zion — Utah 
Zion — in the far-flung corners of this 
country and in many areas of the coun- 
try. There are many such circumstances 
as mine all over the world and 
especially in the United States. I see, 
as I have made visits to your stakes, 
that almost without exception a de- 
voted family has been instrumental in 



the growth of the Church in that par- 
ticular area, as family members have 
seen fit to serve the Lord, to devote 
themselves to the work, and to build 
the Church. 

We are grateful for any part that 
we may have had in building the 
Church in the areas where we have 
lived, and in so doing we have built 
our testimonies and have felt strong in 
the things that we have done. I take 
strength and consolation in the teach- 
ings that the Lord gave to the Prophet 
Joseph Smith wherein he said, "Where- 
fore, be not weary in well-doing, for 
ye are laying the foundation of a great 
work. And out of small things pro- 
ceeded that which is great." (D&C 
64:33.) 

One of my favorite scriptures and 
one from which I receive a great deal 
of consolation is found in the 59th 
section of the Doctrine and Covenants: 
". . . he who doeth the works of right- 
eousness shall receive his reward, even 
peace in this world, and eternal life in 
the world to come." (D&C 59:23.) 
I can think of no greater reward than 
to have peace in this world, the vindi- 
cation of the Father, feeling that the 
things you are doing are acceptable 
unto the Lord and that you are serving 
him to such an extent that you have 
peace in your life. And, of course, all 
that any of us are working for is eternal 
life in the world to come. 

I bear you my testimony that this is 
his work and that if we will keep the 
commandments of the Lord and serve 
him well, we shall have peace in our 
souls, we shall have that vindication 
of the Father, the peace that we are 
searching for, and we shall certainly 
have eternal life, which is our ultimate 
goal. I pray for this in the name of 
Jesus Christ. Amen. 



The Principles of the Gospel Are Eternal 



Franklin D. Richards 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• My dear brothers and sisters, I re- 
joice in being with you this beautiful 
day in this peaceful and inspirational 
environment, knowing that through- 
out the world there is generally a lack 
of peace and men's hearts are failing 
them. 

The great need in the world today 
is a knowledge that God lives and 
that he governs the affairs of this 
world, that we are his spirit children, 
and that he is vitally interested in our 
welfare. I am grateful for the knowl- 
edge I have that God lives and that 
Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer. I 
am thankful for my testimony that 



Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, the 
instrument through which the gospel 
was restored to earth. 

We are blessed beyond measure by 
having a great prophet who stands at 
the head of the Church of Jesus Christ 
at this time, our beloved David O. 
McKay. May the Lord bless and sus- 
tain him. Peace will replace fear in 
men's hearts when they listen to the 
counsel of God's Prophet and accept 
and follow the principles of the re- 
stored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

One of the wonderful things about 
the gospel is that its principles are 
eternal and unchanging. It is, there- 



fore, true that as we live in accordance 
with these principles, we are assured 
results consistent with our compliance. 
The Lord made this clear when he 
instructed us through the Prophet 
Joseph Smith that "all who will have 
a blessing at my hands shall abide the 
law which was appointed for that 
blessing. . . . (D&C 132:5.) 

Regarding this matter, Elder John A. 
Widtsoe said: "The great governing 
principles of truth are unchanging. 
But, the conditions brought about by 
human activity are forever chang- 
ing. ... we span changes that in 
the past seemed impossible. And 
undoubtedly the future holds de- 
velopments that today are equally 
inconceivable. 

"Such changes affect human think- 
ing. New social and economic prob- 
lems arise. Even the spiritual outlook 
is invaded. Then, it becomes the 
duty of the Prophet to teach how the 
eternal laws of the gospel may be 
applied amidst constant change, for 
the benefit and blessing of humanity." 
(Evidences & Reconciliations, 1960 
edition, p. 351.) 

With the rapid changes that are tak- 
ing place today in every phase of our 
lives, it is very important that we 
recognize the eternal nature of prin- 
ciples of truth. Faith in the Lord 
Jesus Christ is the first great eternal 
principle of the gospel and is indeed 
a very vital factor in our lives. To 
me it is one -of the most interesting 
and inspiring principles to contem- 
plate. I would like to consider with 
you the principle of faith, together 
with its corollaries — work and progress. 
In consideration of this great prin- 
ciple we should recognize that it does 
not promise something for nothing. 
The apostle James asked the question: 
"What doth it profit, my brethren, 
though a man say he hath faith, and 
have not works? Can faith save him? 
"If a brother or sister be naked, and 
destitute of daily food, And one of 
you say unto them, Depart in peace, 
be ye warmed and filled; notwith- 
standing ye give them not those things 
which are needful to the body; what 
doth it profit? 

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, 
is dead, being alone." (Jas. 2:14-17.) 
The Prophet Joseph, in speaking on 
this subject, said: "Let us here observe, 
that a religion that does not require 
the sacrifice of all things never has 
power sufficient to produce the faith 
necessary unto life and salvation. . . . 
and it is through the medium of the 
sacrifice of all earthly things that men 
do actually know that they are doing 
the things that are well pleasing in the 
sight of God." 

"And as faith is the moving cause 
of all action in temporal concerns, so 
it is in spiritual. . . ." (Lecture 6:7 and 
Lecture 1:12.) 

Frequently we refer to the gospel of 



548 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Jesus Christ as the gospel of work, and 
the Prophet Joseph stated in his Lec- 
tures on Faith that this means mental 
as well as physical effort. 

Plans are carefully developed before 
important projects are commenced. All 
worthwhile endeavors require mental 
exertion — making decisions or the mak- 
ing up of one's mind — before physical 
exertion comes into play. 

We should realize that as we de- 
velop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ it 
is possible and natural for us to 
develop faith in ourselves; and recog- 
nizing the great importance of faith in 
our lives, we see the great need of 
continually building our faith. Among 
other things, the building of faith 
involves a prayerful study of eternal 
gospel principles and the obtaining of 
a testimony that God lives and that 
Jesus is the Christ. The process also 
involves making up one's mind to live 
the gospel and serve his fellowmen 
through the sacrifice of earthly things. 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- 
day Saints offers great opportunities 
for the building of faith. 

Faith, being the moving cause of 
all action in temporal as well as 
spiritual concerns, is evidenced by an 
affirmative attitude together with a 
well-developed plan of action. Nephi 
of old, when required to go back to 
Jerusalem to get the record of his fore- 
fathers, possessed a strong affirmative 
attitude, the evidence of a great faith, 
when he said: "I will go and do the 
things which the Lord hath com- 
manded, for I know that the Lord 
giveth no commandments unto the 
children of men, save he shall prepare 
a way for them that they may accom- 
plish the thing which he commandeth 
them." (1 Ne. 3:7.) 

On one occasion at a district confer- 
ence, I was interviewing a man for 
ordination to the office of elder. He 
was having some difficulty with the 
Word of Wisdom. I asked him what 
his attitude was, and he replied that 
there was nothing in the world that 
he would rather do than stop smoking. 

I told him that all he had to do was 
to make up his mind never to have 
another cigarette and that when he 
did that, 90 percent of his problem 
would be solved. I would then tell 
him what the other ten percent was. 

I asked him to make up his mind 
immediately, look me in the eye, shake 
my hand firmly, and tell me that he 
would never have another cigarette. 
I extended my hand to him and asked 
him if he were ready. He hesitated a 
moment and said, "No," that he was 
afraid that if he promised he would 
not smoke and then later did so, his 
conscience would hurt him. 

Under these circumstances I could 
not approve his ordination and so told 
him, since I felt there would be many 
things that he would not do that an 
elder should do. He left considerably 



disturbed. 

Later in the day he asked to speak 
to me again. As he sat down his face 
lighted up. He said that he had made 
up his mind to stop smoking and that 
he had never experienced such a won- 
derful feeling in his whole life. He 
felt as though a 50-pound weight had 
been lifted from his shoulders. 

He then asked me what the other 
ten percent was. I told him that if he 
had any cigarettes on him or at home, 
he should get rid of them immediately 
so they would not be a temptation. 

I also suggested that he discontinue 
going out with his smoking friends on 
his breaks. These and other things 
that he could do to strengthen himself 
constituted the other ten percent. Then, 
with prayer and fasting by himself and 
with his family, he could be assured 
that the Lord would make him equal 
to the task of overcoming the smoking 
habit. This incident occurred some six 
years ago. He has never smoked since 
and is now an honored and respected 
bishop. Thus, through his affirmative 
attitude and works, he manifested his 
faith; and with the help of the Lord, 
he achieved his goal. 

Effective faith is always connected 
with works, and it is only through this 
combination that we achieve. This is 
indeed the key to success, happiness, 



and growth. Keeping in mind that 
faith is a gift of God, some of the 
blessings that come from obedience to 
the great principle of faith are: 

A desire to achieve worthwhile ob- 
jectives. 

An affirmative attitude with the 
capacity to really make up one's mind. 

Confidence and power that make 
the difficult or seemingly hopeless 
possible of attainment. 

Loyalty and steadfastness in service 
to our fellowmen. 

And finally, peace, happiness, and 
growth resulting from achievement of 
worthwhile objectives. 

It was necessary for each of us as 
spirits to leave the spirit world and 
come to this earth and learn to walk 
by faith, that the purposes of this life 
might be accomplished. 

As we enter into each activity of life, 
both spiritual and temporal, let us 
apply these great fundamental and 
eternal principles of faith and works. 
By so doing we can be assured like 
Nephi of old that the Lord will pre- 
pare a way for us to do the things we 
are assigned to do. Our hearts will not 
fail us, we will achieve our righteous 
objectives, and we will have peace that 
surpasseth all understanding. 

I bear this testimony to you in the 
name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



The Witness of the Spirit 

A. Theodore Tuttle 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 



• My dear brothers and sisters, obe- 
dient to my responsibility as a seventy, 
having been "called to preach the gos- 
pel, and to be [an] especial witness 
. . . unto the Gentiles and in all the 
world" (D&C 107:25), I humbly take 
this opportunity to give my witness or 
to bear my testimony to you all. In so 
doing I seek for the spirit of which 
Nephi spoke: 

". . . for when a man speaketh by 
the power of the Holy Ghost the power 
of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the 
hearts of the children of men." (2 Ne. 
33:1.) 

I bear my testimony that God lives, 
that he is our Eternal and Heavenly 
Father, and that he loves us because 
we are his children. 

I bear witness that Jesus is the 
Christ, that he was the First Begotten 
in the spirit and the Only Begotten in 
the flesh, that he was in the beginning 
with God, that he is the Creator of 
the world and all that is in it, that 
he is the promised Messiah of whom 
the prophets spoke for 4,000 years. I 
bear witness that he is our Savior and 
Redeemer, that he wrought the atoning 
sacrifice in our behalf. I know that 



he was resurrected on the third day, 
that he lives today and is the head of 
this his church. I testify that he will 
come again the second time, as has 
been said so often in this conference. 

I bear my testimony that Joseph 
Smith was a prophet, sent to the earth 
to open this the last dispensation of 
the gospel. I know that he actually 
saw God the Father and his Son Jesus 
Christ and that he was instrumental 
in restoring the true Church of Jesus 
Christ to the earth. 

I bear witness that the apostleship 
with its keys and powers that were 
conferred upon the Prophet Joseph 
have been conferred upon his success- 
ors and that President David O. 
McKay holds them today. I bear 
witness that this courageous, deter- 
mined, noble man is indeed a prophet 
of God. 

I know that the modern scriptures 
found in this Church, consisting of the 
Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and 
Covenants, and the Pearl of Great 
Price, are true; that to follow the plan 
of salvation contained therein will 
lead us to our exaltation. 

I know that we are members of "the 



JUNE 1966 



549 



only true and living church upon the 
face of the whole earth" (D&C 1:30), 
with which the Lord is pleased. 

Some of you may wonder how it is 
possible to say without reservation and 
with such certainty that "I know" 
these things. This witness comes 
through the gift and power of the 
Holy Ghost, and it has come to me. 
This is characteristic of the true 
church in this and all other ages. This 
certainty has always been present with 
the prophets or whenever the Church 
with its authority and priesthood has 
been on the earth. 

In days of old Job spoke with this 
same certainty: 

"For I know that my redeemer 
liveth, and that he shall stand at the 
latter day upon the earth: 

"And though after my skin worms 
destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall 
I see God." (Job 19:25-26.) 

The Book of Mormon is a classic 
example of such definite declarations 
on testimony. The word "know" and 
such derivations as "knew" "knowl- 
edge," "known" appear frequently in 
the Book of Mormon. The phrase "I 
know" appears more than 100 times — 
virtually all of them testimony 
oriented, the prophets declaring a 
knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Testimonies about the Book of Mor- 
mon are equally certain. After having 
seen an angel and the plates from 
which the Book of Mormon was trans- 
lated, the Three Witnesses bore testi- 
mony with words of soberness, saying: 
"And we also know that they have 
been translated by the gift and power 
of God, for his voice hath declared it 
unto us; wherefore we know of a 
surety that the work is true." (The 
Testimony of the Three Witnesses.) 

About the Doctrine and Covenants, 
the Lord said: "Search these com- 
mandments, for they are true and 
faithful, and the prophecies and 
promises which are in them shall all 
be fulfilled." (D&C 1:37.) 

In spite of such certainty of knowl- 
edge, there are those who still doubt 
the revelations from God. 

I had a bright, but confused, young 
man in my office just last week. His 
problem may be typical of this genera- 
tion's searching, doubting youth. He 
believed only that which can be 
proved. It seemed easy for him to ac- 
cept asad believe the discoveries and 
conclusions of the scientist, but he was 
having difficulty believing revealed 
knowledge. I explained to him that 
there are different kinds of knowledge, 
some more readily discernible than 
others, but that spiritual matters must 
needs be discerned by the spirit. 

This problem pertains not to this 
generation only. Paul, speaking to the 
Corinthians, explained: 

"For what man knoweth the things 
of a man, save the spirit of man which 
is in him? even so the things of God 



knoweth no man, but the Spirit of 
God. 

"Now we have received, not the 
spirit of the world, but the spirit 
which is of God; that we might know 
the things that are freely given to us 
of God. 

"Which things also we speak, not in 
the words which man's wisdom 
teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost 
teach eth; comparing spiritual things 
with spiritual. 

"But the natural man receiveth not 
the things of the Spirit of God: for 
they are foolishness unto him: neither 
can he know them, because they are 
spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:11-14.) 

My young friend held to that old 
statement, "Seeing is believing." There 
is one realm, however, where it works 
the other way: Believing is seeing! The 
Lord hides some choice truths behind 
obstacles that will melt only before the 
warmth of faith. Faith, like courage, 
is tempered by trial. Moroni was 
speaking thus when he said: 

"And now, I, Moroni, would speak 
somewhat concerning these things; I 
would show unto the world that faith 
is things which are hoped for and not 
seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye 
see not, for ye receive no witness until 
after the trial of your faith." (Eth. 
12:6. Italics added.) 

When one hears the still small 
voice of the Spirit testifying that Jesus 
is the Christ, this kind of knowledge, 
for that person, is as valid as a moun- 
tain of so-called "scientific" evidence. 
That person really knows a truth. It 
affects his whole being. It affects all 
other kinds of knowledge that he may 
have. 

This kind of knowledge is not re- 
stricted to a special few. It is available 
to all who will receive it. It is our 
Father's desire that all his children 



shall come to a knowledge of his son: 
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye 
think ye have eternal life: and they 
are they which testify of me." (John 
5:39.) 

A testimony can come to anyone 
who desires a testimony on the basis 
that Elder Hinckley outlined yesterday 
— by a study of the scriptures, by 
serving in the Church, and by asking 
the Lord for a testimony. A testimony, 
when it comes, stimulates a man to 
want to progress. It gives him a desire 
to achieve. 

I met a man in Mexico recently. 
Several years ago when he was bap- 
tized, he could neither read nor Write. 
It is amazing today, however, to see 
this man holding a position of leader- 
ship in the branch, filling out the 
numerous reports that a branch presi- 
dent must send in, preaching from the 
scriptures, and counseling with his 
brethren. 

This achievement was not im- 
posed externally. This yearning to do 
and to be was kindled internally by 
as simple a thing as a testimony of 
the gospel. 

I have received that testimony. I 
have given you my witness. The test 
of the truthfulness of my witness, as 
well as the witness of all those who 
have so testified in this conference, is 
not the acceptance by the nonmembers 
of the Church, nor even by the mem- 
bers of the Church. The test is whether 
God inspired it and recognizes and 
honors such testimony. Any of you 
may know of the truthfulness of these 
things which have been spoken by 
asking the Lord for your own personal 
witness that these things are true. May 
each of you be concerned enough 
about your eternal destiny so to ask, 
I humbly pray in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



The Secret of Service 

Boyd K. Packer 
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve 



• My beloved brethren and sisters: 
Much of the past year we have spent 
presiding over the New England Mis- 
sion. I can't resist quoting a few lines 
from Robert Frost. Coming from New 
England here to the many varieties of 
good weather we have seen today, 
these lines seem so appropriate: 

"The sun was bright but the day was 

chill. 
You know how it is on an April day, 
When the sun is bright and the wind 

is still, 
And you're one month on in the 

middle of May. 



But if you as much as dare to speak 
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch, 
A wind comes off the frozen peak 
And you're two months back to the 
first of March." 

("Two Tramps in Mudtime.") 

New England is beautiful in many 
ways :. 

"Oh beautiful for pilgrim feet r 
Whose stern, impassioned stress 
A thoroughfare of freedom beat 
Across the wilderness!" 

(Katherine Lee Bates, "America 
the Beautiful.") 



550 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



It is a place of beginnings. It was 
there . . . 

"By the rude bridge that arched the 

flood, 
Their flags to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood, 
And fired the shot heard round the 
world." 

(Ralph Waldo Emerson, 
"Concord Hymn.") 

Something is said about its being the 
cradle of liberty. It is more than that. 
It is the birthplace of prophets of God. 
Joseph Smith was born there, Brigham 
Young, Wilford Woodruff, and many 
others. Joseph Smith twice preached 
there from door to door. 

Today our elders set foot on the 
same granite cobblestones, tap the 
same knockers on the same doors to 
bear the selfsame witness. 

They see them come, two by two — 
teaching truth, leaving blessings. Be- 
cause they are but striplings, they do 
not see them as servants of the Lord, 
authorized to represent The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by 
his own declaration "the only true and 
living church upon the face of the 
whole earth, with which I, the Lord, 
am well pleased. . . ." (D&C 1:30.) 

This dedicated service of the mis- 
sionaries is most appealing to non- 
members. Last week I sat at lunch with 
two executives of a national service 
organization. "Will you," one of them 
solicited, "spend an evening with us to 
explain how your volunteer program 
works? We depend to a large measure 
on volunteer help, and we need to 
know the secret of your success." 

If there is a secret to our success, 
it is poorly kept. The whole purpose 
of this conference and of our mission- 
ary effort is to tell it — over and over 
and over again. 

A prominent minister recently re- 
flected on why their people would not 
serve. "Our ministers are dedicated. 
Why will our people not respond?" 
The thing he does not understand is 
that the response to such a call does 
not depend on the dedication and 
conviction of the minister or the one 
making the call but rather upon the 
dedication and conviction of the one 
who answers it. 

In The Church of Jesus Christ of 
Latter-day Saints there is no profes- 
sional clergy, as is common in the 
other churches. Perhaps more signifi- 
cant than this, there is no laity. All 
members of the Church are subject to 
call to render service and carry on the 
activities of the Church. The miracle 
is the members respondl 

On one occasion I was in the office 
of President Henry D. Moyle when he 
placed a call. After greeting the man, 
he said, "I wonder if your business 
affairs would bring you into Salt Lake 
City sometime in the near future? I 
would like to meet with you and your 



wife, for I have a matter of some 
importance that I would like to discuss 
with you." 

Though it was many miles away, 
that man suddenly remembered that 
his business would bring him to Salt 
Lake City the very next morning. I 
was there when President Moyle an- 
nounced to this man that he had been 
called to preside over one of the mis- 
sions of the Church. 

"Now," he said, "we don't want to 
rush you into this decision. Call me in 
a day or two, as soon as you are able 
to make a determination as to your 
feelings concerning the call." 

The man looked at his wife and she 
looked at him, and without a word 
there was that silent conversation 
between husband and wife, and that 
gentle almost imperceptible nod. He 
turned back to President Moyle and 
said, "Well, President, what is there 
to say? What could we tell you in a 
few days that we couldn't tell you 
now? We have been called. What 
answer is there? Of course, we will 
respond to the call." 

Then President Moyle said gently, 
"Well, if you feel that way about it, 
actually there is some urgency about 
this matter. I wonder if you could be 
prepared to leave the 13th of March?" 

The man gulped, for that was just 
eleven days away. He glanced at his 
wife. There was another silent conver- 
sation. And he said, "Yes, President, 
we can meet that appointment." 

"What about your business?" asked 
the President. "What about your grain 
elevator? What about your livestock? 
What about your other holdings?" 

"I don't know," said the man. "But 
we will make arrangements. Somehow 
all of those things will be all right." 

Such is the great miracle that we 
see repeated day after day. These men, 
each with his wife and family, leave 
their private affairs settled as best they 
can with relatives or partners. They 
respond to the call, giving up political 
preference, opportunities for promo- 
tions and advancements in their 
careers, opportunities to enlarge their 
holdings and increase their wealth. 

One of the marvelous testimonies we 
witness regularly is the generosity of 
nonmember employers. They not only 
permit but indeed encourage men who 
may be their key executive officers to 
respond to such calls and reassure 
them with this farewell: "We do not 
understand it, but we compliment you 
on your dedication. We assure you 
that you can return with full status." 

The generosity of such men, though 
not members of the Church, will not 
go unheeded. To you, our friends, who 
have been thus generous, we say that 
you are within the scope of our 
prayers, and blessings will accrue to 
your benefit. 

Perhaps the most remarkable thing 
about the men and women who serve 



is their willingness to pay for the 
privilege. 

"Bring ye all the tithes into the 
storehouse, that there may be meat in 
mine house, and prove me now here- 
with, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will 
not open you the windows of heaven, 
and pour you out a blessing, that there 
shall not be room enough to receive 
it." (Mai. 3:10.) 

Without any dunners or any billing 
or any system of collections, ten per- 
cent of their increase is generously 
donated. Indeed, this is just the begin- 
ning. There is a fast offering to sustain 
the poor; there are building funds; 
there are donations of every kind. Such 
giving robs them of selfishness. It is 
one thing to give lip service — it is 
another to order one's life. 

These are men and women who are 
"in the world" but "not of the world." 
They are Saints — Latter-day Saints — 
and there are hundreds of thousands 
of them. The test, of course, is not in 
numbers only. To know the so-called 
"secret," one must see within the heart 
of the individual. 

It is no light thing to open one's 
heart and expose the most tender and 
delicate feelings. I hesitatingly do so 
only from the feeling that it may help 
someone, that it may illustrate, that 
you may understand that the gospel 
has practical application in everyday 
life; but most of all because it is 
Easter. 

Just more than a year ago, my 
mother passed away, a lovely trim 
little mother of eleven children, about 
whom I have spoken before at this 
pulpit. Her parents emigrated from 
the old country, and she grew up 
speaking Danish. 

Two years ago she contracted a 
fatal malady. Fortunately, she was 
under the care of a doctor who was 
like a son; his ministering to her 
showed such a reverence. She faced the 
experience all too common among us, 
the gradual weakening and erosion of 
her capacities, accompanied by increas- 
ing pain. At this time one of my 
brothers in company with the patriarch 
gave her a blessing, as authorized 
under the revelation that specifies that 
"the elders of the church, two or more, 
shall be called, and shall pray for and. 
lay their hands upon them in my 
name; and if they die they shall die 
unto me, and if they live they shall 
live unto me." (D&C 42:44.) 

In a marvelous way she was released 
from pain and could rest comfortably, 
except when moved about. She faced 
the long ordeal of the decline. 

One Friday afternoon at my desk, 
while I was working on correspon- 
dence, it suddenly occurred to me that 
we should go and visit Mother. It was 
a. very strong impression. We made the 
trip that very day. 

We found Mother about the same as 
we had seen her on a number of pre- 



JUNE 1965 



551 



vious visits. She seemed more apprecia- 
tive than usual for our visit. She 
then whispered over and over again 
the single word, "Tomorrow." Finally, 
I understood and said, "Mother, is 
tomorrow the day?" She smiled a 
radiant smile that brightened the face 
of this weakened little lady. "Yes," 
she said. "Mother, are you sure?" "Oh, 
yes," she said. "I am sure." 

I then asked if she would like to 
have a blessing. "That would be good," 
she said. 

That evening the brothers came as 
they usually did, and the six of us 
administered to her. The spirit of in- 
spiration was present, and the words 
of the blessing hold a sacred assurance 
to our family. 

I was under the necessity of meeting 
a conference appointment in Panguitch 
[Utah] the following day, and hesi- 
tated; but finally I felt that I must be 
about the ministry to which I have 
been called. The doctor assured us that 
there was no change, and it was sug- 
gested that I call them on Sunday 
evening when I returned. 



"Oh, no," I said. "I'll check with 
you tomorrow." 

On Saturday, the tomorrow about 
which she spoke, I called before 
leaving. The doctor had been there, 
and everything was as before. Upon 
arriving at my destination I called 
again and received the same assurance. 
After the first meeting I placed 
another call and was informed that 
Mother had slept peacefully away, sur- 
rounded by her family. The last words 
she was heard to speak were "Ira, Ira," 
the name of my father, who by six 
years had preceded her in death. 

This then is the secret: In a thou- 
sand quiet, spiritual ways, that witness 
comes. The gospel of Jesus Christ is 
true. I bear solemn witness that Jesus 
is the Christ. I know, and she knew, 
that he is the resurrection and the life 
and that as he said, "he that believeth 
in me, though he were dead, yet shall 
he live: 

"And whosoever liveth and believeth 
in me shall never die." (John 11:25- 
26.) 

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



How Many Apples in a Seed? 

Marion D. Hanks 
Of the First Council of the Seventy 



• It has been a great blessing through 
this conference to have with us Brother 
Ivins, our dearly loved and respected 
associate. He isn't here at this meeting, 
but I think it not inappropriate to tell 
you that he has been very ill and 
through the graciousness of the Lord 
has been restored marvelously and is 
able to be with us occasionally. He has 
been in meetings of this conference. 

I would like to commend also the 
appointment of President Cullimore, a 
strong and choice associate in the mis- 
sionary cause in England — a man of 
great substance and faith and strength. 

I was thinking a few moments ago 
about a meeting in Idaho at which I 
listened to a speaker who had waited 
for a long time to be called on. He 
commended the people at the meeting 
for their graciousness to him, expressed 
appreciation for their kindness, thanked 
them for making him feel at home, and 
said, "You have really made me feel 
like one of you. I don't know which 
one, but he ought to be about ready 
to go home — he's tired!" 

As I have listened with you to the 
great sermons of this conference and 
to the marvelous music and have felt 
the spirit and enjoyed the instructions, 
like you I have paid many of the 
speakers the tribute of divided atten- 
tion. Their sermons have started me 
thinking. Two thoughts in particular 
have recurred. The repeated references 



to the modern movement celebrating 
the demise of God have recalled a 
reported exchange between Nietzsche 
and another. Nietzsche's message read, 
"God is dead." Signed "Nietzsche." 
The answer came back, "Nietzsche is 
dead." Signed "God." 

The other thought: Someone said 
that atheists do not find God for the 
same reason that thieves do not find 
policemen. 

During these conference sessions I 
have been thinking of you — you and 
your counterparts all over the Church, 
all over the world — you who do so 
much of the meaningful work of the 
Church in your own area and sector. 
I am sure that you, like I, will go home 
with the desire and determination, 
born of appreciation, to apply and 
make use of what has been said here. 

Perhaps you will go home strength- 
ened in two pivotal principles around 
which our efforts revolve. 

The first is provocatively expressed 
in a few words shared with me by a 
choice friend sometime ago. I suspect 
you will remember them as I have. 
He said: "You can count the seeds in 
an apple, but can you count the apples 
in a seed?" 

". . . the worth of souls is great in 
the sight of God. . . ." (D&C 18:10.) 
The worth of the individual soul is 
great in the sight of God and in the 
lives of those who love God and seek 



to express this love through affectionate 
service to his children. 

In order that we might cooperate 
with our Heavenly Father in his stated 
purpose to "bring to pass the immor- 
tality and eternal life of man," we 
have been blessed with the gospel, the 
Church, and the priesthood. 

The gospel is God's plan for the 
exalting of man to an eternal creative 
opportunity with his Father through 
giving him a vision of his great origins 
and heritage, his purposes and respon- 
sibilities, and his inspiring potential. 
The Church is the institutional 
embodiment of the gospel, the organi- 
zation through which one may 
experience and express the great prin- 
ciples of God's plan.'. 

The priesthood is the power by 
which God and his sons move in 
spiritual leadership. And all of these — 
gospel, Church, priesthood — are de- 
signed to bless man and bring about 
God's purposes for him. 

The earth itself was prepared for 
man. "Behold, the Lord hath created 
the earth that it should be inhabited; 
and he hath created his children that 
they should possess it." (1 Ne. 17:36.) 
The individual, then, is the focal 
point of all the programs and per- 
formance of the Church — not die 
program itself, not the statistics. Not 
institutional expansion but individual 
exaltation is the purpose of it all. 

The implications of the thought are 
clear: "You can count the seeds in an 
apple, but can you count the apples in 
a seed?" 

Every choice child of God is a link 
in a chain stretching from the past to 
the future. In the choice young people 
of the Church are the seeds of the 
future. 

Do you know four lines that mean 
much to me? 

"Nobody knows what a boy is worth; 
We'll have to wait and see, 
But every man in a noble place 
A boy once used to be." 
Each boy and girl, and every adult 
also, is infinitely valuable. None is to 
be rejected, none written off, none 
neglected or left without the conscious 
concern of devoted brothers and sisters 
in the kingdom of God. 

This leads, then, to the second basic 
conviction of which I have been think- 
ing: Each of us has a solemn and 
significant responsibility to others of 
God's children and the capacity to 
wholesomely and favorably influence 
them for good if we will. We are 
brothers to all men, and we have a 
special responsibility to those of our 
own household and to those in whose 
lives we may, by reason of our church 
membership and by reason of respon- 
sibilities assigned us in the various 
organizations and programs of the 
Church, exert some important influ- 
ence through love. 

The organization of the Church 



552 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



makes available to every individual, 
old and young, at every stage in his 
life, strong supportive friendships and 
leadership. From babyhood through 
the whole of life every individual 
should have available always the 
friendship and sincere concern of a 
bishop and his counselors, of priesthood 
and auxiliary organization leaders and 
workers, of interested and loving 
family and friends and neighbors 
relating under the special motivation 
and inspiration of the Lord through 
his Church. Every individual all of 
his life should be blessed in the 
Church by a program that involves the 
consistent concern of teachers — home 
teachers they are now called — who are 
assigned to a special relationship of 
interest and helpfulness. 

In preparation for the imminent 
organization of the Church in 1830, 
the Lord revealed through the Prophet 
Joseph Smith that His representatives 
holding the priesthood were to visit 
the homes of the members of the 
Church, "exhorting them to pray 
vocally and in secret and attend to all 
family duties. 

". . . to watch over the church al- 
ways, and be with and strengthen 
them; 

". . . And see that there is no iniquity 
in the church, neither hardness with 
each other, neither lying, backbiting, 
nor evil speaking; 

"And see that the church meet to- 
gether often, and also see that all the 
members do their duty." 

"They are ... to warn, expound, 
exhort, and teach, and invite all to 
come unto Christ." (D&C 20:51, 53-55, 
59.) As in the ancient Church, the 
members of the Church are to be 
"remembered and nourished - by the 
good word of God, to keep them in the 
right way, to keep them continually 
watchful unto prayer, relying alone 
upon the merits of Christ, who was 
the author and the finisher of their 
faith." 

And to "meet together oft, to fast 
and to pray, and to speak one with 
another concerning the welfare of their 
souls." (Moro. 6:4-5.) 

To every person thus blessed by of- 
fice or assignment or membership in 
the Church with the special responsi- 
bility of stewardship and concern in 
the lives of others, the Lord said: 

"Therefore, let every man stand in 
his own office, and labor in his own 
calling; and let not the head say unto 
the feet it hath no need of the feet; 
for without the feet how shall the 
body be able to stand? 

"Also the body hath need of every 
member, that all may be edified 
together, that the system may be kept 
perfect." (D&C 84:109-110.) 

Let me spend a few minutes illus- 
trating the great importance of our 
responsibilities to each other under 
these sacred assignments from the 



Lord to be stewards in his kingdom. 

In one of the stakes of the Church 
in another land, a lovely young lady 
left her home to live in another city 
where she had found employment. She 
was away from family and established 
friends and from the Church and its 
warm involvements. She didn't take 
occasion to look up the church organi- 
zation in the city to which she went, 
finding it easy for a time to avoid the 
customary associations of her church 
membership. She formed other associa- 
tions in the new city, and they were 
not the kind she had had at home. 
Gradually she began to become in- 
volved in another kind of attitude and 
another kind of behavior. She had not 
made serious mistakes but had begun 
a way of living that would not have 
pleased her parents and that was not 
the manner of her former life. 

There came a night when, dressed 
in clothing that she might previously 
have been embarrassed to wear in 
public, perhaps harboring in her mind 
anticipations of conduct that she 
would not ever have considered before, 
she waited for the arrival of some of 
her new friends. It was a critical hour 
in her life and a critical night in her 
life, and she knew it. When she an- 
swered the knock at the door, she was 
surprised to find not those whom she 
was anticipating but rather three 
adults whom she did not know. They 
identified themselves as the bishop 
and his counselor and the president of 
the Young Women's Mutual Improve- 
ment Association. The bishop had re- 
ceived a letter from the bishop of the 
girl's home ward notifying him of the 
address and circumstance of his ward 
member in the new city. The bishop 
and his associates were calling to ex- 
press their friendship and concern and 
to invite the young lady to the 
activities and associations of the 
Church in this town. As she talked 
with them she became embarrassed at 
her clothing, chagrined at the activities 
of the recent past and the anticipations 
of the evening. She wept and rejoiced 
and responded gratefully to the friend- 
ship of this bishop and his fellow 
workers. The anticipated events of the 
evening never transpired. She formed 
the warm and wonderful friendships 
she needed with people of quality and 
devotion. She became active in the 
Church and went on to her happy and 
wholesome opportunities. 

In another city, long enough ago. 
that the story can now be told without 
likelihood of the recognition of the 
individuals involved, I heard another 
and different story. 

Let's use the name Donna to desig- 
nate another sweet young lady who 
left her home for a nearby bigger city 
for employment. She had a great desire 
to attend a church university and 
needed funds to help her achieve her 
ambition. She failed to find work in 



the big city, and as time went by she 
became more and more discouraged. 
Then, through a series of incidents, 
she came into the influence of an 
unscrupulous and designing person 
who took advantage of Donna's loneli- 
ness and youthfulness and the dis- 
couragement of her inability to find 
work and led her into an immoral 
experience. 

The experience was horrifying to 
Donna, and she returned home with a 
broken heart to tell her mother and, 
after a time, her bishop of the tragedy, 

There was counsel and compassion, 
admonition and direction, prayer and 
blessing. Donna went back home to 
make her adjustments and to begin to 
learn the sorrow of remorse of con- 
science and the blessing of gratitude 
for the graciousness and goodness and 
mercy of God. Then one day she had 
to counsel again with the bishop, to 
report to him that through this one 
fragmentary, tragic experience it was 
now apparent that she was with child. 
Now a different situation existed, and 
there was additional counsel and an 
effort to meet this new situation. 
There was consideration of the Relief 
Society Social Service program, which 
provides for such situations, and other 
possibilities were considered; but the 
decision was finally made by Donna 
that she would remain at home in her 
small town to wait her time. Some 
efforts were made at dissuasion in view 
of the problems this course involved, 
but Donna decided that, under the 
special circumstances of her widowed 
mother's illness and otherwise, she 
would remain there. 

Donna stood up in the next fast and 
testimony meeting and explained her 
condition. She acknowledged her fault 
and asked the forgiveness of her people. 
She said to them, "I would like to 
walk the streets of this town knowing 
that you know and that you have 
compassion on me and forgive me. But 
if you cannot forgive me," she said, 
"please don't blame my mother — the 
Lord knows she taught me anything 
but this — and please don't hold it 
against the baby. It isn't the baby's 
fault." She bore testimony of apprecia- 
tion for her bitterly won but dearly 
treasured personal knowledge of the 
importance of the saving mission of 
Jesus Christ. Then she sat down. 

The man who told me the story 
reported the reaction of the congrega- 
tion to this experience. There were 
many tearful eyes and many humble 
hearts. "There were no stone throwers 
there," he said. "We were full of 
compassion and love, and I found 
myself wishing that the bishop would 
close the meeting and let us leave with 
this sense of appreciation and concern 
and gratitude to God." 

The bishop did rise, but he didn't 
close the meeting. Instead he said, 
"Brothers and sisters, Donna's story 



JUNE 196S 



553 



has saddened and touched us all. She 
has courageously and humbly accepted 
full responsibility for her sorrowful 
situation. She has, in effect, put a list 
of sinners on the .wall of the chapel 
with only her name on the list. I can- 
not in honesty leave it there alone. At 
least one other name must be written 
— the name of one who is in part re- 
sponsible for this misfortune, though 
he was far away when the incident 
occurred. The name is a familiar one 
to you. It is the name of your bishop. 
You see," he said, "had I fully per- 
formed the duties of my calling and 
accepted the opportunities of my lead- 
ership, perhaps I could have prevented 
this tragedy." 

The bishop then told of his conver- 
sation with Donna and her mother 
before her departure for the big city. 
He said that he had talked with some 
of his associates. He had talked with 
his wife, expressing concern for 
Donna's well-being. He worried about 
her lack of experience and her loneli- 
ness. He had talked, he said, with the 
Lord about these things also. 

"But then," he said, "I did nothing. 
I didn't write a note to the bishop or 
to the brethren in Salt Lake City. I 
didn't pick up the telephone. I didn't 
drive a few miles to the big city. I just 
hoped and prayed that Donna would 
be all right down there all alone. I 
don't know what I might have done, 
but I have the feeling that had I been 
the kind of bishop I might have been, 
this might have been prevented. 

"My brothers and sisters," he said, 
"I don't know how long I am going to 
be bishop of this ward. But as long as 
I am, if there is anything I can do 
about it, this won't happen again to 
one of mine." 

The bishop sat down in tears. His 
counselor stood up and said, "I love 
the bishop. He is one of the best and 
most conscientious human beings I 
have ever known. I cannot leave his 
name there on the list without adding 
my own. You see, the bishop did talk 
with his associates. He talked with me 
about this matter. I think that he 
thought that because I travel occasion- 
ally in my business through the big 
city, I might find a way to check on 
Donna. I might have done, but I was 
hurrying to this meeting or that assign- 
ment and I didn't take the time. I too 
talked with others. I mentioned my 
concern to my wife. I am almost 
ashamed to tell you I talked to the 
Lord and asked him to help Donna. 
And then I did nothing. I don't know 7 
what might have happened had I done 
what I thought to do, but I have the 
feeling that I might have prevented 
this misfortune. 

"Brothers and sisters," he said, "I 
don't know how long I will be serving 
in this bishopric, but I want to tell 
you that as long as I am, if there is 



anything I can do about it, this will 
not happen again to one of mine." 

The president of the YWMIA stood 
up arid told a similar story. The 
bishop's counselor in charge of this 
auxiliary organization had talked with 
her. She had had some moments of 
thought and concern but had done 
nothing. She added her name to the 
list. 

The last witness was an older man 
who stood and added two names to 
the list — his own and that of his com- 
panion ward teacher. He noted that 
they were assigned to the home in 
which Donna and her mother lived 
and that they had failed in some visits 
and made no effective effort to be the 
kind of teachers that the revelations of 
God had contemplated. 

"I don't know how long I will be 
a ward teacher," he said, "but as long 
as I am, I will not miss another home 
another month, and I will try to be 
the kind of teacher that the Lord 
seemed to have in mind." 

The meeting ended, and the won- 
derful man who shared this great 
experience with me said, "Brother 
Hanks, I think we could not have more 
clearly understood the importance of 
the offices and officers and organiza- 
tions in the Church if the Lord himself 
had come down to teach us. I think 
that if Paul had come to repeat his 
instructions to the Corinthians that 



'the eye cannot say unto the hand, I 
have no need of thee: nor again the 
head to the feet, I have no need of 
you. Nay ... the members should 
have the same care one for another. 
And whether one member suffer, all 
the members suffer with it; Or one 
member be honoured, all the members 
rejoice with it' (1 Cor. 12:21-22, 25- 
26.) — I think we could not have under- 
stood the point more clearly." 

A number of years ago Brother 
Joseph Anderson and I had the privi- 
lege of driving with President J. 
Reuben Clark, Jr., to a solemn assem- 
bly in St. George. On the way I related 
to him this story, it having recently 
happened then. He thought a long 
time and had a tear in his eye as he 
said, "Brother Hanks, that is the most 
significant story I ever heard to illus- 
trate the great importance of our 
filling our individual obligations in 
the Church. When you have thought 
about it long enough, pass it on to 
others." 

I have thought about it long and 
often. I believe it illustrates power- 
fully and humblingly the purposes of 
the Lord in establishing his kingdom 
and permitting us the blessing of indi- 
vidual service therein. I now share it 
with you and pray God to bless us all 
to understand its implications and to 
act on them, in the name of Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 



Response to Duty 

President David 0. McKay 



• Brethren and sisters, we have had a 
glorious conference. I do not know 
when I have been more thrilled with 
the messages than I have been by those 
given at this conference, which began 
on the sixth and has continued 
through Saturday and Sunday. 

One thing has stood out in my mind 
as most significant. It is the response 
of brethren and sisters to calls to duty, 
either in the Church locally or away 
on calls that require absence from the 
town in which they live. I have been 
impressed with the responsiveness of 
men, women, and children to a call 
of the Church to duty that they need 
to perform at home or abroad. 

The government has a great plan 
for calling the youth of the country 
to perform service, not for themselves 
but a mission for the country itself. 
They are not succeeding so well as 
they had anticipated in getting the 
young men of the United States to fill 
the calls made. But you do not find 
a responsiveness to duty unheeded by 



the membership of the Church of 
Jesus Christ. 

I have had occasion to be thrilled 
with the willingness of the church 
membership to respond to the call of 
missionary work, whether it is local or 
foreign. Every man, almost without 
exception, and particularly every 
woman says he or she is ready to 
respond to any call that the Church 
makes. I don't know of anything 
more impressive in this Church than 
this response to a call to service by 
these faithful members. When you 
think of the thousands of missionaries, 
most of them men, but many of them 
women, who are giving their time, 
their means, in response to calls of 
bishops, stake presidents, and others 
in the service of this great Church, it 
is wonderful. Many have said, "I 
will sell my home, I will make any 
sacrifice in order to fulfill the call to 
duty." 

As I stand here before you, I think 
I cannot refer to one refusal to a call 



554 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



The Editors Page 

(Continued from page 477) 

opportunity, no matter what the temp- 
tation, let the young man know that 
to find happiness he must hold sacred 
his true manhood. Let him know that 
he is going to live, and live completely, 
by refusing to yield to temptations. 
Then he is happy. There is peace 



instead of turbulency in his soul. 

A happy marriage begins when a 
young couple kneels at the altar, each 
giving to the other what each demands 
and each covenanting to be true to the 
other. 

For the proper solution of the great 
problem of marriage, we may turn with 
safety to Jesus for our guide. He de- 
clared that the marriage relation is of 
divine origin and that marriage is or- 



to duty. I have in mind a postpone- 
ment for a year, or for six months and 
sometimes more, but I cannot think of 
one person who has said, "I cannot 
accept a call." One of them might 
say, "Give me six months, a year, two 
years, and I will fulfill the call, the 
duty, that you now give me." 

Yes, I can think of one, a young- 
man, who said, "No, I think I can't 
fulfill that call." He is thinking of it 
now and worrying. He will accept it, 
I am sure; if he is given a few months, 
maybe six months, he will come back 
and say, "I will take that call and do 
the best I can." 

Now, when you multiply the calls 
in the missionary area alone, it is 
wonderful that the membership of the 
Church is so responsive to any duty, 
any responsibility that the Church 
desires of them. It is apparent to all 
the Church, this responsiveness of the 
membership to the call to duty; it is 
an outstanding feature of The Church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Young men, young women, older 
men, and older women, stand ready to 
respond to a call of the Church and 
to make any sacrifice necessary in 
order to give the call of the Church 
preference in preaching the gospel, not 
only a missionary call that requires a 
sacrifice to duty, but the rendering of 
finances, sometimes reaching millions 
of dollars, in order to make the call 
more successful as a service to the 
Church. 

What I am saying is this: that every 
man and every woman with the Spirit 
of the Lord in his or her heart will 
deny himself or herself in order to 
make the calls to the work of the Lord 
successful. It is not only a half-dozen 
persons that I am referring to, but 
thousands in this Church will give an 
affirmative response to the call to an 
office in a ward or a stake. 

Brethren, I am saying to you with 
appreciation, God bless you for your 
ready response to the calls that come 
to you either in your ward or stake 
or area. And the Lord is mindful of 
your willingness to make a ready re- 
sponse and to do what you can to 
extend the work of the Lord at home 
and abroad. 



Some of you may feel as though the 
General Authorities are unappreciative, 
but I want you to know that we appre- 
ciate more than ever before in the 
history of this Church the willingness 
of men and women to respond to the 
service which the Church needs in 
the furtherance of the establishment 
of the gospel. 

God bless you! Don't feel discour- 
aged. ". . . seek ye first the kingdom of 
God, and his righteousness," and all 
else will be added. (Matt. 6:33.) You 
are showing your willingness thus to 
do your best and give your all if 
necessary. 

I have in mind men who say, "Well, 
if you need us in this area, if you need 
more help, if you need money, just 
let us know." It is the spirit of will- 
ingness and the response to the call 
of duty that overwhelms us sometimes. 
I am saying at the end of this glorious 
conference that never before in the 
history of the Church has there been 
manifest such willingness to give 
financially or intellectually anything 
the Lord wants of you as is manifest 
throughout the Church today. 

May the Lord bless you for your 
willingness to deny yourselves physi- 
cally, intellectually, and temporally 
for the good of The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

I should like to say this in better 
terms, but I cannot express it as I 
should like to. Not only are my legs 
defiant, but my tongue gets twisted. 

The Lord bless you in your homes, 
in your church appointments, whether 
at home or abroad. God bless you, 
you young men and girls, in living the 
honorable life your parents would have 
you live; and God will make you 
happy by being true to the ideals of 
virtue and purity and will bring hap- 
piness to your parents, happiness to 
your wards, happiness to the member- 
ship of the kingdom of God. 

I ask that you uphold and sustain 
your authorities in the wards and the 
stakes. Be true to the standards of 
right as taught by your fathers and 
mothers. Be true to your individual 
selves by upholding the ideals of right- 
eousness, I pray in the name of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 



dained of God, that only under the 
most exceptional conditions should it 
be set aside. In the teachings of the 
Church of Christ, the family assumes 
supreme importance in the develop- 
ment of the individual and of society. 
"Happy and thrice happy are they who 
enjoy an uninterrupted union and 
whose love, unbroken by any com- 
plaints, shall not dissolve until the last 
day." It will not dissolve when a 
worthy couple is sealed by the author- 
ity of the Holy Priesthood throughout 
all eternity. The marriage ceremony 
when thus sealed produces happiness 
and joy unsurpassed by any other ex- 
perience in the world. 

To no other group of men in all the 
world is given a better opportunity to 
instruct and inspire our young men 
and women to keep themselves un- 
spotted from the sins of the world. 
Members of the Church and especially 
of the priesthood have the opportunity 
to be engaged in the noblest calling in 
life — to establish salvation and peace 
to the extent that their individual 
efforts, their talents, and their means 
are consecrated, and their lives are 
dedicated to make the world a better 
and fitter place for man. 

The Prophet Joseph Smith was given 
the divine message: "Remember the 
worth of souls is great in the sight of 
God. . . ." (D&C 18:10.) Such is the 
philosophy expressed by the Redeemer 
in the seemingly paradoxical statement, 
". . . he that loseth his life for my sake 
shall find it." (Matt. 10:39.) The 
meaning of this becomes clear in the 
light of another passage which says, 
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one 
of the least of these my brethren, ye 
have done it unto me." (Matt. 25:40.) 

Just to be associated with men 
striving toward such an aim is a joy, 
and to assist them in their quest, an 
inspiration. If you are true followers of 
the Savior, you are striving to serve 
your fellowmen in love. 

To the thousands assembled in this 
historic Tabernacle, the Assembly Hall, 
and to the thousands listening in by 
direct wire, I pray with an earnest 
heart, God keep you away from the 
base, scheming plans of him who en- 
thrones passion, who decries self- 
control, who renounces the sacredness 
of the family, and who, in the words 
of the communist, Marx himself, woulu 
"dethrone God." 

Officers, leaders, men of the priest- 
hood, you are chosen of God. Go forth 
radiating a testimony that this is God's 
work. Feel it yourselves, and then the 
men and women in your wards and 
stakes will feel it; the young people 
especially will feel it, for you are 
radiating not just what you say, but 
what you are and what you do. 

God guide us, and help us, and in- 
spire us in this great work, I pray in 
the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 



JUNE 1966 



555 



Teaching 

(Continued from page 479) 

"You cannot teach a man anything, 
you can only help him to find it 
within himself." 

From the great teaching ability 
of Christ, note that he was ever 
striving to draw the answer from 
his listeners. To a lawyer who 
asked him, "Master, what shall I 
do to inherit eternal life?" Christ 
countered, "What is written in the 
law? how readest thou?" When 
the lawyer gave the correct answer, 
the Lord confirmed and admon- 
ished him: ". . . This do, and thou 
shalt live." (Luke 10:25-28.) 

A student of the New Testament 
counted 128 times that Jesus drew 
from people a correct answer in an 
effort to commit them to live ac- 
cording to the gospel. In the mere 
making of a response a person be- 
comes at least partially committed 
to live by his own words. Upon 
one occasion, "Jesus saith to Simon 
Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest 
thou me more than these? He 
saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou 
knowest that I love thee. He saith 
unto him, Feed my lambs. 

"He saith to him again the sec- 
ond time, Simon, son of Jonas, 
lovest thou me? He saith unto him, 
Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I 
love thee. He saith unto him, Feed 
my sheep. 

"He saith unto him the third 
time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest 
thou me? Peter was grieved be- 
cause he said unto him the third 
time, Lovest thou me? And he 
said unto him, Lord, thou know- 
est all things; thou knowest that I 
love thee. Jesus saith unto him, 
Feed my sheep." (John 21:15-17.) 

Each successive time that Peter 
reiterated his love for the Savior, 
he undoubtedly was more com- 
mitted to fulfill the charge: "Feed 
my sheep." Likewise, any great 
teacher who can bring his students 
to commit themselves verbally, or 
silently within the "heart," has 
made the gospel a directing force 
in their lives. 

A young Latter-day Saint stu- 
dent applying for admittance to 
the graduate school of a well- 
known university was called to the 
dean's office for a review of his 
application. The dean observed the 
student's religious preference and 
asked, "Are you a good Mormon?" 



The young man's reply was rather 
nebulous. Again the dean queried 
with greater intensity, "Are you or 
are you not a good Mormon?" The 
young man gathered his courage 
and replied with fervor, "Yes, I am 
a good Latter-day Saint." Com- 
mitted, the student became an even 
better member of the Church from 
that day forth. 

While visiting in the home of the 
writer, a church leader was re- 
quested to give blessings to two 
young men who were having severe 
difficulty in overcoming a Word of 
Wisdom problem. He refused the 
blessings until the boys were wil- 
ling to commit themselves with all 
their hearts to do everything within 
their power to keep the Word of 
Wisdom. The blessings were given, 
and these young men did overcome 
the problem. Both are now serving 
in the mission field. 

How does a teacher commit a 
student? 

1. The objective must be clear. 
The teacher must have clearly in 
his mind a real objective or prin- 
ciple that can be taught to bring 
about a desirable change in the 
behavior of the student. 

2. The student must understand 
the goal. This is accomplished by 
stimulating the student's interest 
through meaningful experience, 
lecture, discussion, and problem 
solving. As the student's compre- 
hension of the principle grows and 



HOLD FAST 

BY SOLVEIG PAULSON RUSSELL 

Hold fast to lovely things, 
Do not let them go. 
Keep the rose blooms softness, 
The brittle white of snow; 
Keep the lilt of pewee song, 
The glint of poppy gold; 
Fill your mind with loveliness, 
Gentle, silent, bold. 

Hold fast to lovely things, 
Do not let them go. 
See the wonder of a child, 
A hearth fire's rosy glow; 
Keep the warm sweet feeling 
Of every loving look; 
Keep the dancing laughter 
Of a dimpled brook. 

Hold fast to lovely things 
That nourish inner light, 
That breathe a secret blessing 
Of peace— strength— and delight. 



the desirability of its value becomes 
apparent to him, he will come to a 
conviction that the principle will 
have real meaning in his own life. 

3. Commit the student to the 
principle or goal. The task of the 
teacher is to bring the student to a 
point where he will not only desire 
but also will commit himself, thus 
placing him in a position of greater 
obligation to achieve the goal or to 
put the principle into action. The 
student must see this goal as 
obtainable. (With a younger stu- 
dent it must be accomplished in a 
short period of time.) 

Further, a commitment must be 
appropriate to the age of the per- 
son involved. An inexperienced 
teacher committed a group of 
young boys to go on a mission and 
was sadly disappointed a week 
later to find that all had forgotten 
the commitment. This teacher 
would have been mucrKmore suc- 
cessful had he brought the class to 
a commitment of saving pennies 
and nickels toward a mission rather 
than making a total commitment to 
go on one at some future time. 

Teacher and student must work 
together in formulating a goal that 
will help the young person apply 
the principle in his life for the 
happiness of himself and, what is 
even more desirable, for the happi- 
ness of others. It is important that 
the teacher also desire the same 
goal or is living the principle at the 
time he commits the student; other- 
wise, his efforts will be in vain. 

4. Continued motivation is essen- 
tial for commitment. A student will 
only commit himself to a goal while 
in a state of high motivation. 
Therefore, the skillful instructor 
will develop strong emotional 
feelings to fortify the conviction of 
the student that the goal will al- 
ways be very worthwhile. It must 
be remembered that how one feels 
determines his actions much more 
than how he thinks. The teacher 
should strive for a combination of 
both. If he is skillful, he will care- 
fully guide the student's thinking 
toward a commitment to the de- 
sired goal. The commitment must 
be a result of the student's own 
thinking, or he will eventually 
come to the conclusion that it was 
pressured on him during a period 
of high emotions, and he may thus 
renounce it. It is of great advantage 
to the teacher if the student makes 



556 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



his commitment known, for he can 
then help to strengthen and fortify 
the student. 

Some students, however, are 
reluctant to reveal their true feel- 
ings. To solve this problem, one 
effective teacher, while teaching a 
lesson on speech improvement, 
successfully used the method of 
having two students commit them- 
selves to each other. Each was 
obligated to treat the other if he 
used profane language. 

5. Spiritual strength is received 
through commitment. Often a teen- 
ager is reticent about making a 
commitment, fearful that he will 
not have sufficient strength to 
achieve it. The teacher should help 
the student realize that when a 
righteous commitment is made, 
there is an unseen power that will 



come to his aid— the spirit of God. 

6. Apply the commitment. When 
a commitment has been made and 
the student's decision and goal are 
clear, the instructor must then do 
everything possible to suggest, in- 
vent, or open up avenues to help 
the student put the commitment 
into immediate application. Since 
continued motivation is essential, 
it must be maintained by a sense 
of accomplishment toward an ob- 
tainable goal. The greatest weak- 
ness of both teacher and student is 
the failure to practice the principle 
of the gospel, in spite of knowing 
it will have great value in their 
lives. 

It is imperative that the youth 
of the Church commit themselves 
to the gospel principles if they are 
to fulfill the destiny that the Lord 



has in store for them. The Church 
now stands on the threshold of a 
great program to spread the gospel 
throughout the world. This will 
only be accomplished by youth 
who have made a total commitment 
to the Church and to its obligation 
of carrying the gospel "to every 
nation, kindred, tongue, and 
people. . . ." (D&C 77:8.) 

Teachers of the Church must 
strive for the power and the wis- 
dom to bring youth to the same 
commitment that made Joseph 
Smith the great teacher and 
prophet that he was when he said, 
"Whatever God requires is right, no 
matter what it is, although we may 
not see the reason thereof until 
long after the events transpire." 
(Documentary History of the 
Church, Vol. 5, p. 135. ) 



Testimony and a 
Liberal Education 

(Continued from page 482) 

as we gain greater confidence in 
the truthfulness of the Book of 
Mormon, our confidence in the 
existence of a true and living God 
becomes greater. Paul who was 
blessed with a vision of heaven, 
said, "For now we see through a 
glass darkly; but then face to face: 
now I know in part; but then shall 
I know even as also I am known/' 
(1 Cor. 13:12.) Yet like a scientist 
who gains confidence in the princi- 
ples of science and acts upon them 
as known facts, we gain testimonies 
of the truthfulness of the gospel 
and live our lives in accordance 
with it. 

Alma, a prophet of the Book of 
Mormon, believed in the scientific 
method, for he said: ". . . if ye will 
awake and arouse your faculties, 
even to an experiment upon my 
words, and exercise a particle of 
faith, yea, even if ye can no more 
than desire to believe, let this 
desire work in you, even until ye 
believe in a manner that ye can 
give place for a portion of my 
words. 

"Now, we will compare the word 
unto a seed. 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 unbelief, 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 32:27-28.) 

"And now, behold, because ye 
have tried the experiment, and 
planted the seed, and it swelleth 
and sprouteth, and beginneth to 
grow, ye must needs know that the 
seed is good. 

"And now, behold, is your knowl- 
edge perfect? Yea, your knowledge 
is perfect in that thing, and your 
faith, is dormant; and this because 
ye know, for ye know that the word 
hath swelled your souls, and ye also 
know that it hath sprouted up, that 
your understanding doth begin to 
be enlightened, and your mind 
doth begin to expand. 

"O then, is not this real? I say 
unto you, Yea, . . ." (Alma 32: 
33-35.) 

Alma has given us to understand 
the results of this experiment are 
real— not just an emotion or a feel- 
ing, but an enlightenment of the 
understanding, expansion of the 
mind, a feeling of great joy, swell- 
ing up within the breast as one 
comprehends the gospel and the 
eternal possibilities that it unfolds 



for the future progression of the 
individual. 

Little children are not able to 
perform this experiment, but rightly 
may consider their parents as com- 
petent authorities and are justified 
in saying the gospel is true. They 
do know it is true because their 
parents have told them so. How- 
ever, as a child grows and begins 
to question things for himself, it 
is normal that he should doubt. 
When young people enter the uni- 
versities, their horizons will expand, 
and many new and profound ideas 
will spring upon them. Often they 
may doubt and question old teach- 
ings. How will they respond to this 
challenge? If they are willing to 
perform Alma's experiment, to seek, 
study, and live the gospel, they 
will aquire a confidence in its 
truth until they are able to act and 
speak on the basis of knowledge. 

FOOTNOTES 

iPhilip Hughes, A History of the 

Church: The Church in the World the 

Church Made, Augustine to Aquinas 

(New York: Sheed and Ward, 1952), 

' 2, p. 431. 

2 Thomas F. O'Dea, American Catholic 
Dilemma (New American Library, 1958), 
p. 98. 

3 A. Castell, An Introduction to Mod- 
ern Philosophy (New York: Macmillan 
Co., 1943), pp. 80-81. 

4 Martin, The Meaning of a Liberal 
Education (New York: W. W. Norton, 
1926), p. 91. 

5 Blaise Pascal, Pensees and the Pro- 
vincial Letters (New York: Random 
House), pp. 68, 71. 



JUNE 19S6 



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Nesting Instinct 

(Continued from page 487) 

When I finished my work, I stood 
at the back door and listened to 
the sounds of evening. It was hard 
to believe it was still mid-winter. 
It seemed more akin to the drowsy 
beauty of April with its magic and 
make-believe, and I let myself drift 
into the enchantment. The kitchen 
with its shining fresh-washed 
dishes, the old clock, my grand- 
mother's wide-bottomed rocker by 
the window, all became my own. 
Again I laughed softly, as I had 
upstairs, watching Walter. I was 
suffering, I knew, from what my 
friends called "the nesting instinct." 

The first star appeared, distant 
in its mystery of clouds. It stood 
directly over the Tomlin's house, 
as though supported by the dark 
stream of smoke that rose from the 
chimney, filling the air with the 
pungency of wood. As I watched, 
Craig came out to where the logs 
were neatly stacked; shouldering a 
big log, he hefted it with an easy 
grace and carried it inside. He be- 
gan to whistle, but the door had 
closed again behind him before I 
could identify the tune: "I Dream 
of Jeannie with the Light Brown 
Hair." 

He gave no other indication of 
having seen me loitering there in 
the dusk. Oh,' the worry and the 
sweetness of it! Sometimes I was 
sure Craig liked me, really liked 
me. But then there was Lee Ann. 
I could never be sure that the rest 
of the time he didn't like her— and 
like her better than me. Moreover, 



SKYLARK 

BY GRACE BARKER WILSON 

The skylark flew 

directly toward the sun, 
And flung his soul 

on high in melody; 
I, though earth-bound, 

felt my spirits rise, 
And in my heart 

an answering harmony. 



558 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 









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JUNE 1966 



559 



she lived in the dorm, an out-of- 
state student. 

Craig and I had lived next door 
to each other all of our lives, but 
not until he had been away all 
summer working on a highway 
project did I miss him, and I'm 
sure he had never really given me 
more than a passing thought either. 
Then, just after the fall term began, 
I met him coming home from 
classes one afternoon. 

There was certainly nothing un- 
usual about our meeting. We came 
down two different streets, and we 
met at the intersection and walked 
home together. It was as simple as 
that. After all these years of know- 
ing Lewis Craighorn Tomlin, on 
that September day, between four 



and four-thirtv in the afternoon, I 
realized I was in love. 

I asked him about the summer. 
"I worked as a laborer on the inter- 
state highway," he told me, "mostly 
laying pipelines and digging 
ditches. At first my shoulders ached 
like an abscessed tooth, but I got 
used to it." He smiled. "The hardest 
thing to take was the sun. It poured 
down on you relentlessly. I'll bet 
I'll never complain about cold, 
dreary weather again as long as I 
lve. 

"Why did you take work like 
that?" I asked. "Your grandfather 
could have got you on anyplace in 
town— at the grocery store or the 
drugstore, maybe." 

"It was good money," he said, 



| THE 
SPOKEN 
WORD i 



EACH DAY IS DECISIVE 



RICHARD I_. EVANS 

The choices in life are always and endless. Every hour, every instant 
gives us something to decide— where we go, what we learn, what we do 
with time, whether we work or play, develop or drift, acquire good habits 
or bad, think good thoughts or unworthy ones. Each choice determines 
our direction, at least for that particular time. And while the black and 
white areas may be comparatively easy to choose between, the wide 
gray areas may be a harmless-looking mixture in which we get a little 
of both good and bad; yet like small doses of some poisons, the cumula- 
tive effect may be fatal. Temptation is always present. Compromises of 
principle are almost always possible. We never live in isolation from 
all evil. We are never free from selection. The cheap, the shoddy, the 
downright bad are always offered. The ultimately good and right are 
always there also. And while we should eliminate evil from our environ- 
ment as fully as we can, yet when we can't control circumstances outside 
ourselves, the one thing for which we are responsible is control of our- 
selves. This being so, the choices, the attitudes, inclinations, the selections 
of every instant are important. "One of the'illusions of life," said Emerson, 
"is that the present hour is not the critical [or] decisive hour. Write it 
on your heart that every day is [a decisive] day. . . ." What we decide 
to do today determines tomorrow. The decisive time of life isn't some- 
time far future. The decisive time of life is now— this hour, this moment. 
"Some day, in the years to come," said Phillips Brooks r "you will be 
wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow 
of your life. But the real struggle is here,, now. . . . Now it is being 
decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you 
shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made 
except by a steady, long continued process." Each day is decisive, each 
hour is decisive, each decision is decisive. The struggle is always, the 
choice is note. The direction is indicated every day. And as Ivor Griffith 
said it: "Character is a victory, not a gift." 1 



nvor Griffith (1891- 



American educator. 



"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System March 20, 1966. Copyright 1966. 



shrugging. "Besides, I wanted to 
get away from here for awhile, to 
sort of try my wings." 

"Did you?" 

His eyes became opaque, shut- 
ting me out. "Yes," he said. 

"Where did you stay?" 

"I lived like the other men, wher- 
ever we could find a room and 
meals. Once we slept in a loft on 
army cots for almost four weeks, 
but the food was good." He burst 
into laughter. "Some of the stuff 
they served I'd never even heard 
of before. I never left anything on 
my plate, though. We were too 
tired and hungry to be picky." 

"Was that where you met Lee 
Ann?" 

"Uh huh," he nodded slightly. 
"Her mother boarded us." Again 
his eyes shut me out. 

"Is she in your class?" 

"We don't have the same 
courses." His evasiveness irritated 
me. 

"Then how come you study to- 
gether?" I was shocked at the spite 
in my voice. I really hadn't meant 
it to come out like that. 

"How do you know with whom I 
study?" His tone was sharp-edged, 
and though I wanted to shriek at 
him, some intuitive instinct warned 
me to lose the battle. "I don't 
really know," I told him. "I just 
heard she helped you." That was 
underhanded, but it worked. 

"She helps me!" He flung back 
his head. "Well, that's a switch." 

Craig spent much more time with 
Lee Ann through the winter than 
with me. In a small town every- 
thing gets around. She was working 
as a cashier at the Motor Inn for a 
couple of hours each afternoon, so 
I herded some of my friends in for 
a soda and a look-see. She was 
bigger than I expected, long-legged 
and blonde in a healthy sort of 
way. She smiled easily and spoke 
to the customers in a peculiar, 
back-country drawl that delighted 
them. 

I thought about Lee Ann as I 
stood on the back porch dreaming, 
and I admitted that in some areas 
I was definitely outclassed. I 
watched the smoke pour out of the 
chimney in gusts. Craig must have 
thrown a log on the fire and poked 
up the blaze. Treasuring his little 
whistled tune, hoping he really did 
dream about me, I resolutely ban- 
ished Lee Ann from my mind. 

Inside the house, my father was 



560 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




MR. FREDERICK DAVIS, Conductor of the famed SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 
MORMON CHOIR, proudly seated at the Yamaha Grand Piano. 



Director Davis is one more recognized musical author- 
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Mormon community. 

As with so many fine musicians, Mr. Davis' musical 
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That same craftsmanship is responsible for the re- 
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Mormon community. 

Certainly, a Yamaha upright or grand is an ideal 
piano for the home, Ward cultural hall, chapel, junior 
Sunday school, Relief Society rooms, and other church 

uses. 

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and equally proud when Mormon churches specify 
the Yamaha quality piano for its performance and 
durability. 



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JUNE 1966 



S6I 




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ws. 



bumbling around, trying to find the 
sports page. Upstairs my new 
brother was asleep in his freshly 
painted crib. Back in the kitchen 
I shoved my dreams into the back- 
ground and hunted up my books. 

One afternoon, as Craig left me 
at my gate, I called impulsively 
after him. "Where have you been, 
anyway? I never see you around 
anymore. You must have a hideout 
somewhere." 

"I do," he said solemnly. "You've 
forgotten." He took my hand. 
"Allow me to refresh your 
memory—" 

I followed him into his house 
and up the steep steps to the old 
attic where . we used to play on 
rainy days. Everything was the way 
I remembered it. "There's Miss 
Tilly," I said, pointing to the wire- 
framed seamstress model still 
wrapped in an old sheet against the 
dust of time. "And there's the seat 
to your swing!" 

"And my grandfather's sword 
and my father's scout badges and 
the steamer trunk with my mother's 
wedding dress in it." He smiled a 
little, playfully ridiculing those who 
treasured things. 

I made a face at him. "I'd never 
throw them awav either," I said 
staunchly. 

He moved across the attic with- 
out answering me and opened the 
door near the huge chimney. The 
light from the dormer window cast 
the room into shadows, but I could 
see the room had been transformed 
from the catchall where we used to 
romp. Shelves lined two walls, and 
some of the old furniture had been 
repaired. His desk was near the 
window, piled with books. A rug 
covered the wide floor boards. "It's 
magic," I Cried. "When did you do 
it?" 

"Little Jby little." He looked 
pleased. "Come on," he took my 
hand again and started toward the 
chimney. 

"The stairway,", I exclaimed, 
hurrying after him. "The stairway 
in the chimney!" He slipped his 
hand behind the panel and opened 
the door. We stepped inside. 

The narrow brick steps mounted 
to the rim, and we stood together 
looking out across the town. It had 
been years since we'd discovered 
the steps in the false flue. Craig's 
grandmother told us some legends 
about them when we came shout- 
ing to her. "They're all unfounded," 



562 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



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BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 
PURCHASES KNABE— 

THE OFFICIAL PIANO OF THE METROPOLITAN OPERA 



You'll find six Knabe Grands in the new Franklin S. Harris Fine 
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Church and civic leaders who know the worth of a fine piano 
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JOIN B.Y.U.'s ANNUAL CHURCH 
HISTORY — HILL CUMORAH 
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directed by TRUMAN G. MADSEN and LYNN A. McKINLAY. 

Visit all points - of L.D.S. church history in chronological or- 
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Lynn A. McKinlay 



sftsSf 

Truman G. Madsen 



DATES: July 23-31, 1966. Time is limited, write today for 
further details to: 

Department of Travel Study 
Brigham Young University 
Provo, Utah 84601 



she'd said. "Nobody actually knows 
why the steps were built. This part 
of the house is very old, and some 
say the steps were constructed to 
ward off Indians. Others say they 
were used as a look-out during the 
Revolution, or that they were part 
of the underground railway in the 
War Between the States." 

The river stretched like a slim, 
shining arm toward the bay, and 
along its banks the pine trees clus- 
tered, dark green against the sky. 
The town nestled near the trees 
and river, washed with the gold- 
leaf of afternoon sunshine. Even 
my own house seemed strange, 
drenched in unreality, and Walter, 
climbing in the tulip tree, was part 
of it. But we were not. Craig and I 
were separate in the vantage point 
of the chimney, looking at a world 
rooted and grounded in the past, 
containing all of which we were a 
part. He bent his head and kissed 
me. 

The next day I began avoiding 
Craig, and nearly a week passed 
before I saw him coming purpose- 
fully through the hedge that 
divided our yards. I was putting 
Walter's bike away, and there was 
nothing to do but stop and wait. 
He was carrying his books and a 
clipboard, and he put them down 
on the back porch and wheeled the 
bike into the garage for me. It used 
to be a barn. The lilacs between it 
and the porch are gnarled and old, 
but each spring they put out tight 
little buds to let you know summer 
is just around the corner. 

"Where have you been?" he 
asked. "I haven't seen you all 
week." 

"You know where I live," I said, 
making my point. 

He studied the grass. "What's 
the matter, Jeannie?" 

"I don't know." I looked at the 
grass too. 

"You've kissed other boys." I 
shook my head. I couldn't explain 
that the feelings he awakened in 
me were different. 

Inside the house, Claudie began 
to cry, so I stood up. "Mother 11 be 
needing me." Craig got to his feet 
too. 

"I was wondering," he said, 
leaning back against the porch rail, 
"if you'd like to go with me to see 
Our Town? The drama department 
is putting it on tomorrow and Sat- 
urday." 

He's asking me, not Lee Ann, I 



564 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




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thought wildly. I said, "I've seen 
the posters. I think I'd like it." 

"Good." He looked very pleased. 
"How about 7:30?" He picked up 
his books. "Lee Ann's a member of 
the cast," he said, and I wondered 
if he'd read my jealous mind. 

He went around backstage after 
the performance. Although Craig 
hadn't mentioned it, Lee Ann had 
the lead. She was good, but even 
though she touched my heart in the 
play, I knew I was no match for 
her talents on-stage or off. As we 
made our way through the mob of 
students, Mr. Jackson, my Latin 
teacher, stopped me. "I'm pleased 
to see you attending a cultural af- 
fair, Jeannie," he said, and in the 
minute it took to answer him, I lost 
track of Craig. 

I spotted Lee Ann first. Everyone 
was milling around her, shouting 
congratulations. She accepted the 
compliments with an easy gracious- 
ness that I envied, but what 
bothered me most was the skill with 
which Craig disentangled her from 
the crowd and maneuvered her into 
a corner. I moved toward them. 
This was no time for him to be 
alone with the idol of the evening. 
"Hi," I said to Craig. "I lost you in 
the crush." He didn't even hear me. 

"Mr. Ramsey says I was great," 
Lee Ann confided. "He says I have 
a bright future on the stage." She 
stood close to Craig and smiled, 
and I wanted to weep. "Someday 
I'll be famous. I'll live in a 20-room 
mansion and drive around in a 
foreign sports car. I'll have clothes, 
clothes, clothes— 50 different pair of 
shoes if I want them." Then, like 
the snap of my fingers, her mood 
changed. The joyousness became a 
hard, bleak mask. "One thing's for 
certain," she said, breathing heav- 
ily, "if acting'll get me away from 
that town where I grew up, I'll 
learn to act!" 

"Oh, come off it," Craig said, 
grinning. "It wasn't a bad town at 
all. I liked it." He turned to me for 
the first time. "It's wonderful coun- 
try," he said. "Good rich earth. I 
think I'd like to farm it." 

"You may have it if you like," she 
retorted, bowing to him. Her 
mouth had settled into a bitter line. 
"As for farming, if I never see 
another farm, it will be too soon. 
Farming is bugs and heat and ever- 
lasting work. If the crops fail, you 
starve; if they're good, you die of 
exhaustion before you get the stuff 



566 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




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JUNE 1966 



567 



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harvested. On a farm you don't win 
—not ever!" 

As suddenly as the storm de- 
scended, it ended. She smiled and 
began to talk about her future. "I 
wonder what play we'll do next?" 
she said. "Mr. Ramsey says it's 
made to order for me, but he won't 
tell me another thing about it!" 
She pouted at Craig. I thought for 
the umteenth time that evening 
that I was no match for her, but he 
steered her expertly back into the 
crowd, close to Mr. Ramsey, who 
welcomed her. 

Before I knew it, we were out of 
the theater. With a sixth sense, I 
kept quiet. We talked about the 
play on the way home. It was so 
much like our own town, our own 
people, but neither of us had been 
quite prepared to experience the 
sense of the inevitable passing of 
time. We walked the few blocks, 
deep in the spell of the play. As we 
reached the top of Kite Hill and 
the lights of our houses shone out 
in the night ahead of us, Craig 
stopped. 

"Wait a minute," he said. "I want 
to ask you something." I leaned 
against the big old sycamore we 
used to shinny up when we were 
kids. "There's a farm outside of 
town that belongs to my grand- 
father—out by Karn's Mill. All my 
life I've wanted to farm it someday. 
Do you think being a farmer's wife 
and living in a small town like this 
all your life is so terrible?" 

"No," I said. 

All around us the town was be- 
ginning to fall asleep for the night. 
I thought wildly that there wasn't 
a slick foreign car in a single drive- 
way; in fact, most of the cars were 
second-hand. And most people 
wore out one pair of good shoes 
before they bought a second pair. 
That's the way it is in most small 
towns, even college towns. 

Craig didn't say anything, but he 
held my hand until we came to our 
front door. "Meet you tomorrow," 
he said. It was a statement, not a 
question. Reluctantly he released 
my hand and pushed open the big 
door my great-grandfather had 
hung. I stepped inside, and the 
house welcomed me. I felt again 
the desire growing inside me to be 
like my mother. Craig was whist- 
ling as he crossed the lawn, "I 
Dream of Jeannie with the Light 
Brown Hair," and this time I was 
sure he meant mel 



568 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 




:.- j? ** ■ 



The pine-covered mountains of Wyoming provide the background for this scene 
from "The Night of the Grizzly," starring Clint Walker and Martha Hyer. 



Best of Movies 



BY HOWARD PEARSON 

ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, DESERET NEWS 



• In the continuing quest for good 
motion picture entertainment, the 
following motion pictures have 
been selected as those containing 
qualities considered worthwhile 
and within the gospel framework. 
The bulk of the films selected are 
those that the entire family can 
enjoy. 

• The Agony and the Ecstasy, starring 
Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison, tells 
the story of Michelangelo and deals par- 
ticularly with the years he spent in 
painting the beautiful Sistine Chapel in 
Rome. The magnificent paintings and 
sculpture of Michelangelo are shown dur- 
ing the first twenty minutes, a feature 
that is worth the price of admission in 
itself. Other works of the famed artist 
are shown throughout the film. 

• Born Free tells the heart-warming 
true story of a game warden and his wife 
in Kenya who find an orphaned lioness 
cub that they raise in their home to full 
maturity. When it becomes necessary 
for them to set the lioness free, they 
find that they must retrain her in the 
ways of the jungle. The beautiful African 
scenery and wild animals, the compas- 
sionate and fascinating story of how the 



lioness is prepared for her return to the 
jungle, and the relationships between 
the humans and the animals combine to 
make this an outstanding family movie. 

• The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, starring 
Don Knotts, is the story of a typesetter 
for a small-town newspaper who becomes 
a reporter and seeks the clue to an old 
suicide-murder in a haunted house. 
Knotts, noted for his comic quivering, is 
only one of several character actors who 
create suspense and funny situations. 

• Night of the Grizzly, starring Clint 
Walker, is the story of a Utah deputy 
who homesteads in Wyoming. He is in- 
volved with human enemies as well as 
animals in this action-packed drama of 
the West. It winds up with Walker 
fighting a grizzly bear in a battle that 
charges the emotions. 

• The Shop on Main Street, which won 
the Oscar as the best foreign film of the 
year, tells a poignant story that, despite 
a final tragedy, has moments of tender- 
ness, nobleness, humor, and pathos. The 
story takes place in the late 1900's, when 
a Slovakian carpenter is appointed "Aryan 
controller" of the button shop of an 
elderly Jewish widow. He soon becomes 
fond of the woman and, ironically, finds 
himself in the pay of the Jews to pro- 



tect her. When the Jews of the village 
are being rounded up by the Nazis for 
transportation to concentration camps, 
the carpenter finds he can either protect 
the woman at the risk of his own life or 
he can turn her over to the Nazis, thus 
setting the stage for a provocative and 
emotionally tense climax. The film is in 
Slovakian and German, with English 
subtitles. Serious moviegoers should find 
it a memorable experience, although it 
would probably have little to hold the 
interest of young children. 

• The Sound of Music, which recently 
won an Academy Award as the best 
movie of the year (as well as a similar 
award from The Improvement Era and 
other organizations of the Church), is 
still playing in movie houses throughout 
the world, and many moviegoers are 
seeing it for the s.econd and even the 
third time. Featuring beautiful music by 
Rodgers and Hammerstein and the glori- 
ous scenery of the Austrian Alps, the 
movie tells the true story of a young 
woman, Maria, who is employed as 
governess for the seven children of a 
widower, Baron Von Trapp, and who 
finally captures the hearts of the children 
as well as their father. Julie Andrews 
plays Maria, who becomes the Baroness 
Von Trapp, and Christopher Plummer is 
seen as the Baron. 



JUNE 1966 



569 



Where to Eat and What to See in Salt Lake City 




PARK CITY RESORT 



A ■ 
" COOL 
. CHANGE . 



GOLF 

GONDOLA RIDE 
HORSEBACK RIDING 





MELODRAMA 
HIKING & CAMPING 
ANTIQUE SHOPS 



Fabulous new resort area in picturesque old mining town. Inns, lodges, hotels, and 
motels. Bus transportation available. 

ONLY THIRTY MILES FROM SALT LAKE CITY. 
For Information or Reservation Write 

PARK CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 

PHONE -PARK CITY -649-9117 




©VALLEY MUSIC HALL 

©DOLL HOUSE 
1518 South Main 

©VILLAGE INN 
2929 South State 

©BEAU BRUMMEL 
3100 Highland Drive 

©BURGER CHALET 
41 East 1st South & 
818 South Main 



©PARK CITY 

©HOLIDAY INN 
3040 South State 

©TEOGRA 
1900 South State 

©WAX MUSEUM 
36 Richards Street 



^SNELGROVE'S 
850 E. 21st South & 
222 E. South Temple 



Year after year visitors by the score compliment us by their 

patronage while in Salt Lake City. 

Famous for fantastic Ice Cream Creations 



5(aelKjtoV6 



DISTINCTIVE 



9a(W 



"38 Incomparable Flavors" 

Remember, your conference visit to Salt Lake 
is not complete until you visit Snelgrove. 

"America's 2 finest Ice Cream Stores" 

850 East 21st South 222 East South Temple 

Open 10 a.m. until midnight — closed Sundays 



S70 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



during MIA Conference, June 17, 18, and 19,1966 




CHOICE DINNERS-WEDDING PARTIES 
PRIVATE PARTIES 

THE DOLL HOUSE 

1500 South on Main, Salt Lake City, Utah 
Phone 466-7551 



Always Rewarding " 
21 Varieties of 
the finest in 




"Vtlknelnn. 

_ PANCAKE HOUSE 




Pancakes 

Featuring 
Luncheon 

Specials 
and Family 

Dinners 



Open 6:00 a.m.— 12:00 p.m. 
Sun. thru Thurs. 

6:00 a.m.— 2:00 a.m. 
Sat. and Sun. 




Burger Chalets 

H<we. of 5morg -burners 

41 E. 1st South 818 S. Main 




HOLIDAY INN 

Specialty — Authentic Mexican 
Food 

Private Dining Room Available 
3040 So. State Phone 467-9881 




Conference Rooms & Executive Suites. Heated Pool. 
Restaurant - Banquet Facilities. Dialamatic Phone. 
Gift Shop. Barber & Beauty Salon. 200 Beautifully 
Decorated Rooms. 

WORLD MOTOR HOTEL 

1900 SOUTH STATE 

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 

Phone for Reservations — 487-7801 



MUSIC 




JUNE 6-18 



8:15 p.m. nightly 
Special Saturday 
Matinee 2: 15 p.m. 



JANE 




POWELL 

inTHE UNSINKABLE 

MOLLY 
BROWN LUND 



> 



WITH ART 



JUNE 20-JULY 2 

8:15 p.m. nightly 
Special Saturday 
Matinee 2:15 p.m. 



< 




WITH 



ELAINE DUNN 



^ 



call 295-3407 




BIBLICAL AND HISTORICAL 
WAX MUSEUM 

Located half block south of Tem- 
ple Square — 36 Richards Street, 
Salt Lake City, Utah. Open daily 
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. including 
Sundays and holidays. Stirring 
moments from biblical history 
and stories from the Book of Mor- 
mon are realistically portrayed 
in lifelike color and lifelike di- 
mension through the wonders of 
wax sculpture. 



JUNE 1966 



571 





A Time for 



Pries tliood 



• On Sunday, June 12, the restoration of the 
Melchizedek Priesthood will be observed in 
all of the sacrament meetings of the Church. 
All quorum members should arrange to attend 
this meeting in their own wards. Special 
effort should be made to bring the members 
who are infrequent attenders at sacrament 
meeting. 

As a preliminary to the meeting, the holders 
of the Melchizedek Priesthood would do well 
to read Section 107 of the Doctrine and 
Covenants. 

In this revelation one learns of the relation- 
ship between the high priests and the elders. 
He learns, too, the relation between the office 
of high priest and that of bishop. He reads 
that the calling of the seventy differs from that 
of either the high priest or the elder and in what 
ways it differs. He learns of the presiding 
quorum of the First Presidency, which quorum 
presides over all of the priesthood of the 
Church. 

He reads of the Quorum of the Twelve 
Apostles and of the most important power 
and function of this body. 

He learns of the Quorum of the Seventy, 
designed to assist the Quorum of the Twelve 
Apostles, as that body directs. He learns the 



fundamental basis of priesthood, its relation to 
quorums and to men who hold it. 

Having refreshed his memory by reading 
Section 107, the Melchizedek Priesthood holder 
will be ready to listen to the instruction and the 
lessons to be learned at the meeting celebrat- 
ing its restoration. 

In this connection it would also be well to 
read Section 121 of the Doctrine and Cove- 
nants, especially the part bracketed in verses 
36 to 46. This applies to all responsible officers 
in the priesthood. It should be remembered 
that all fathers preside over their own homes 
and that these verses apply to presidents of 
homes as well as to presidents of quorums. It 
can then be readily understood that the priest- 
hood was designed to be the benign, loving 
power by which we may learn the power of 
godliness; by practicing its precepts we may 
grow more to be like the Son of God, after 
whom it is named. 

Truly, it will be a rich experience to take 
part in the services in memory of the restora- 
tion of the Melchizedek Priesthood and to 
remember the kindness of the Lord in bringing 
it once more to the earth for our benefit, our 
training, and our growth in the practice of 
godliness. 



572 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



S cliolar ship 




ft*"*! <*£. 



- V U\ 



to remember the 
kindness of 
the Lord in bringing 
it once more to 

the earth 
for our benefit, 
our training, and 
our growth 
in the practice 
of godliness. 



JUNE !966 



573 



Is Any Problem Too Big for 
Home Teaching? 



• About a year ago the statistical reports of 
our ward pointed to a very low percentage of church activity. 

After much thought, the 

priesthood decided that a reevaluation of our 

membership records — the needs and problems 

of our members — was in order. 

During the month of April 1965, a concerted, 

unrelenting priesthood force spent many 

hours completing a very revealing canvass of 

the ward. We found members we didn't know 

we had. Many others had 
moved beyond the ward boundaries. The census also surveyed 

the education and employment status of the 
members. It unveiled sick and afflicted 
who had not been near the chapel for years. 
The study considered the members' citizen- 
ship status, a problem unique to the nature 
of our Spanish-speaking ward. 
Upon conclusion of the census, the priesthodd 
devised a plan in accordance with the 
church home teaching program that would 
capitalize on census information and maintain a continuous contact 

with ward members. 

The Family Home Evening Manual received 

great emphasis. Copies were delivered to 

each home with. explanations as to their use. 

Home teachers often demonstrated how to 

set up and conduct a family home evening. The outcome has 

been amazing! Sacrament 

meeting attendance has increased by 20 to 

40 more members. Fast and testimonial 

meeting attendance has increased by an 

average of 45 members. 

The number of tithe payers has almost 

doubled since December 1964. Fourteen 

members attended tithing settlement for 

1964. This past year 95 reported. Seminary 

enrollment has tripled. During 1964, from 

10 to 32 families were home taught. During 

this past year, never fewer than 140 families 

were home taught. But most of all, our 

Saints are becoming aware that they belong 

to an active, God-inspired Church. 

San Antonio Fourth Ward members are on the threshold 

of a new era — thanks to the home 
teaching program. 



Tin* l*vusidiiMf KislutpvUts Ihufii 



Melvin R. Brooks, bishop 
of the Spanish-speaking 
San Antonio (Texas) 
Fourth Ward, is a native 
of Utah and is coordinator 
of seminaries and institutes 
in Texas, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, and southern 
New Mexico. He was 

released as Spanish American Mission 

president last year. 




k 




Bishop Boyd L. Stock 

of Midland Ward, 

Lansing (Michigan) 

Stake, ivas 

born in Salt Lake City, 

filled a mission 

in the 

East Central States, 

and has served as a 

branch clerk and stake 

YMMIA superintendent. 



574 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



• One of my first opportunities as bishop was Decision to Put the Kingdom of 

to work with a family who for several years had 
soared up and down in their activity and 
spirituality. At various times over the years 
they had been fairly active, but often they fell 
back into inactivity. It became evident that 
their active periods were due to the urging 
of various people in the Church and came 
from a sense of obligation and duty. They were 
doing what we (the Church) wanted them to 
do and not what they wanted to do. During 
these times the oldest daughter fell into 
inactivity and finally married out of the Church, 
bringing more sorrow and unhappiness. At 
times, problems in the family seemed 
almost unsurmountable. The mother was on 
the verge of a nervous breakdown. Her 
husband, then an adult member of the Aaronic 
Priesthood, decided it was time to make a 
change. After fasting and prayer and 
consultation, he decided to put to a test the 
counsel of the Lord and truly seek first 
his kingdom. 

He gained the strength and conviction that 
this indeed was the Church of Jesus Christ and 
was the most important asset he could 
possess. The priesthood was called upon 
to give his wife a blessing. He was advised 
that the strength in his family would depend 
on him, that his family would look to him 
for an example of faith and strength. It was 
a joy to witness the change in their lives. 
The doubts and suspicions that they had 
harbored left them. The father attended 
priesthood meeting, paid his tithing, and 
brought his family to church regularly — because 
now it was what he wanted to do. He was 
truly learning to love the Lord and the 
gospel. Shortly thereafter the family members 
received their patriarchal blessings. The 
father was ordained an elder, and a year ago 
he, his wife, and their children went to the 
temple and were sealed together for all eternity. 
It would certainly be amiss to say that this 
family no longer have problems. The Lord 
has never promised this. The difference is 
that now they have the equipment and 
strength to cope with their difficulties. 
As each link in this family's eternal circle 
is joined together, family members humbly 
testify of the treasures that are theirs that 
"neither moth nor rust can corrupt" — 
treasures that not only they enjoy but treasures 
of joy and happiness that they have shared 
with us who know them. 
The married daughter, having observed the 
change in her parents' lives, and through 
the family's fasting and prayer in her behalf, 
has also come back into church activity. 



God First 




JUNE 1966 



575 



• "Come, let's go and put on a clean pair of hands/ 
suggested a mother, as her six-year-old son came in 
for lunch. His rejoinder: "Mommy, you'll wash the 
skin right off me; you are always scrubbing my 
hands." Lucky little fellow he is, to have a mother 
who, in an imaginative way, teaches him about 
cleanliness. 

We live in a world of germs that are waiting to 
claim us for their own. What a horrid thought— 
but it is true. Carelessness, ignorance, hot weather, 
and germs combine to bring disaster. This modern 
age offers many safeguards. The government helps 
police food on national, state, and local levels. And 
laws help insure safety for the individual up to the 
kitchen door, but from there on we are on our own. 
There can be many a slip from doorstep to dinner 
table. The mother is the police force in her home. 
She should teach her family that hands should be 
clean not just for beauty but also for health. 

It is not easy to kill germs. Some bacteria take up 
to thirty minutes of boiling to kill, and some viruses 
can survive even after two hours of boiling. On the 
other extreme, home food-freezer temperatures are 
not low enough to kill bacteria; all they do is slow 



down the multiplication. This thought is frightening, 
and we should realize that the best protection against 
germs is avoidance and cleanliness. 

Clean hands are just good sense. Wash them always 
before eating or preparing food. Avoid markets and 
restaurants that appear unclean. Even a public bar 
of soap is a carrier of infection and should not be 
used. One girl who returned from a trip around the 
world said, "There just can t be anything to the germ 
theory: millions of people are living in filth." There 
is, of course, a buildup of immunity against certain 
germs, and that is the saving factor. The best safe- 
guards for anyone are clean hands and clean food. 
Germs can be washed away with soap and water. 

A mother has the opportunity to teach the Golden 
Rule in an unusual manner. She should do every- 
thing to food that she would want done to the food 
she is to eat. Would you want to eat food coming 
from a pan in which a tasting-spoon had been dipped 
without the benefit of being washed between dips? 
Would you want to be served food prepared by un- 
washed hands? Would you want sneezes and coughs 
mixed in your soup? Of course not; neither would 
the other person. 



TODAY'S FAMILY 
FLORENCE B. PINNOCK 
EDITOR 



*:li:asmxi:ss it 








576 



•' i'i : ' 



All fresh vegetables and fruits brought into the 
kitchen from the market should be washed before 
they are stored away in the refrigerator or on the 
shelf. Perishable foods, including eggs and milk 
products, should be refrigerated immediately. Foods 
placed in the refrigerator should be kept covered so 
flavors will stay fresh, and the moisture will be 
retained in the food. Cantaloupes, cut onions, green 
peppers, and other strong-flavored foods can be placed 
in tightly sealed plastic bags in the refrigerator so 
their aromas will not penetrate other foods. Grains 
such as rice, cornmeal, cracked wheat, and macaroni 
products are best stored in tightly covered glass jars 
in order to discourage weevil growth. 

Flies and other insects have been eliminated from 
many homes, and this could be true in every home, 
with tight screen doors and windows, a discriminate 
use of sprays, and determination on the part of every 
family member to wage a battle against germs. Flies, 
other insects, and rodents are disease-carriers and 
must not be around food. Great care must be taken 
when using insecticides and other sprays around food. 
Never spray around uncovered food. When the fam- 
ily moves out to the patio for dinner, an insect spray 



should be used before the table is set and the food 
brought outdoors. 

To keep foods palatable, temperature insurance is 
found in boiling, refrigerating, and freezing. Never 
keep a food lukewarm. If food is not to be eaten 
immediately after cooking, chill it quickly by placing 
the bowl in ice water; then put it covered in the 
refrigerator. Meat, poultry, fish, gravies, creamed 
desserts, and egg-custard dishes are most susceptible 
to quick bacteria growth when left out of the 
refrigerator. 

At reunions or other large gatherings, extra pre- 
cautions should be taken because of lack of refrigerator 
facilities. Always apply the rule, "Keep all foods either 
boiling or refrigerated." 

In many parts of the world, June holds the day 
on which summer begins. So a reminder as hot 
weather approaches : Treat food with respect. Cleanli- 
ness is an all-year necessity, but its need is greatest 
in summer. Clean hands, clean food-handling habits, 
meticulous care in cooking and storing foods should 
be stressed in every home. Mother, the responsibility 
rests with you. A "home, sweet home" is a "home, 
clean home." 



.hist <;ooii si:xsi 




JUKE 1966 



577 




V 



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MEMBER 




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- 



.4 1 v 



"WE BELIEVE" 
BRACELET 

The 13 Articles of Faith indelibly stamped on 
the attractive gold-plated scrolls. An ideal gift 
available at your local LDS book store. 
Cost ?7.50 — or order direct from 

SERVICE GREETING CARD COMPANY 

4937 South Durfee Avenue 

Pico Rivera, California 90661 



POTPOURRI OF GOOD 
RECIPES FOR SUMMER 

In hot weather it is sometimes 
difficult to make decisions con- 
cerning the foods we should pre- 
pare for our families so that they 
will enjoy eating. Perhaps it would 
help us make our decisions if we 
were to check delightful recipes 
from all sources. Let us not cook 
in the summer the same things that 
we cooked all winter. Ruts are not 
made for summer eating. Here are 
a few good recipes that will lift 
appetites and spirits on any hot 
day. Each recipe has been care- 
fully worked out and tested, so if 
you meticulously follow the direc- 
tions you should be happy with the 
results. 

Individual Ham Loaves with 
Pineapple 

1 pound ham, ground fine 
V2 pound ground beef 

Vz pound ground pork 

2 eggs, beaten 
1 cup milk 

1 cup soft bread crumbs 

2 tablespoons brown sugar 
% teaspoon ground cloves 
Dash of pepper 

1 tablespoon melted butter 
1 cup crushed corn flakes 
1 can (1 pound) pineapple 
chunks, drained 
Let the bread crumbs soak in the 
beaten eggs and the milk until soft. 
Add the seasonings, brown sugar, 
and ground meats. Mix lightly. 
Form into individual loaves and 
roll each in the buttered corn 
flakes. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 
about 45 minutes. Serve hot, 
garnished with the pineapple 
chunks. 

These ham loaves are delicious 
served with noodles almondine, 
asparagus, and a fresh-fruit salad. 

June Casserole (serves 8) 

1 cup ground cooked ham 
V2 cup chopped onion 

2 tablespoons butter 

2 cans condensed cream of mush- 
room soup 

1 cup milk 

2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, 
shredded 

4 cups cooked macaroni 
4 tablespoons buttered bread 
crumbs 
Lightly brown the ham and onion 
in butter. Stir in the soup, milk, 
and P/2 cups of the cheese. Heat 



until cheese melts; stir often. Blend 
this sauce with the macaroni and 
pour into a buttered 3- or 4-quart 
casserole. Sprinkle crumbs and the 
remaining cheese on top. Bake in 
a - 350-degree F. oven until nicely 
browned and bubbling— about 30 
minutes. 

Barbecued Canadian Bacon 
Whole Canadian bacon 
1 can condensed onion soup 
V2 cup ketchup 
V2 cup salad oil 

1 clove garlic, minced 

x k teaspoon Tabasco sauce 
V4 teaspoon salt 
Vs teaspoon pepper 
Combine all ingredients except the 
bacon. Cover and simmer 10 min- 
utes; stir often. Place the whole 
Canadian bacon in a shallow pan. 
Pour the sauce over the meat. Bake 
at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour. Spoon 
sauce over the meat. This is also 
a good sauce to use over meat 
loaf. 

For a special luncheon or for sup- 
per on the patio try this tasty 
salmon mold. It is good served 
with a fresh fruit salad and blue- 
berry muffins. 

Dilled Salmon Mold (serves 8) 

2 cans (1 pound each) salmon 
Vz cup lemon juice 

1 cup dairy sour cream 

1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded 

2 tablespoons grated onion 

1 teaspoon salt 

% teaspoon dill weed 

2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) un- 
favored gelatin 

V2 cup water 

2 tablespoons cider vinegar 

2 tablespoons pimiento cut into 

small pieces 
1 cup whipping cream, whipped 

Drain the salmon; remove the 
bones and skin; flake with a fork. 
Place the salmon in a large mixing 
bowl and add the lemon juice. Fold 
in the sour cream, cheese, onion, 
salt, and dill weed. In a small 
saucepan soften the gelatin in the 
water and vinegar. Heat over low 
heat, stirring constantly until gela- 
tin is dissolved. Gradually stir 
gelatin mixture into the salmon 
mixture. Fold in the pimiento and 
the whipped cream just until com- 
bined. Turn into a 6-cup mold. 
Refrigerate until firm. Unmold onto 
serving platter and garnish with 
lemon and parsley. 



578 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Flapjack Biscuits ( quick & easy ) 

3 cups biscuit mix 

Va cup grated American cheese 

1 cup milk 

Vi teaspoon cayenne pepper 
Vegetable oil 

Combine the biscuit mix, cheese, 
and pepper. Stir in the milk, and 
mix to soft dough. Beat about 20 
strokes. Heat about Vs-inch of oil 
in skillet and drop the dough in 
rounded tablespoons and flatten 
with fork. Cook on medium heat 
until brown on one side; turn and 
brown on other. Do not fry too 
quickly. These biscuits are good 
for lunch with creamed corn and 
sliced tomatoes. 

Orange Sherbet (serves 6 to 8) 
IV2 cups orange juice 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
% cup sugar 
V2 cup water 
Grated rind of one orange and one 

lemon 
Vs teaspoon salt 

Vz cup whipping cream, whipped 
V2 teaspoon vanilla 

2 egg whites, whipped stiff 

Boil tne sugar, water, and rind for 
10 minutes. Cool and add the 
juices. Freeze in refrigerator tray. 
Remove from tray into cold mixing 
bowl and whip until light. Fold 
in the stiffly beaten egg whites, 
salt, vanilla, and the whipped 
cream. Return to tray and allow 
to finish freezing without further 
stirring. 

Summer and potato salad go to- 
gether and seem to make the sea- 
son complete. Do you remember 
the old-fashioned boiled salad 
dressing mother used to make? 
Potato salad is at its best with this 
dressing. 

Boiled Salad Dressing 
2 tablespoons flour 
2 teaspoons sugar 
V2 teaspoon salt 
'/s teaspoon dry mustard 

1 cup milk 

2 eggs 

V2 cup vinegar 
V2 cup water 

Mix the dry ingredients together; 
add the eggs slightly beaten; add 
the water, vinegar, and milk 
gradually. Cook until it thickens 
over medium heat. Stir through- 
out the cooking. Cool and add a 
little whipped cream. 




HOME, SWEET HOME 

• "Let me take Dad's place to- 
night." These words were spoken 
by a six-year-old boy on family 
night. The father was out of town, 
and Thursday night was the time 
set aside each week for family 
night. As the mother gathered the 
children together, she wondered if 
she would be able to hold their 
interest as did their father with his 
clever chalk illustrations. So when 
the oldest child volunteered to take 
his father's place, she was pleased 
and very interested in the results. 

As the lesson progressed, the boy, 
in his childish way, illustrated the 
lesson. A boy and a girl were 
drawn; soon a schoolhouse ap- 
peared. Next, two clouds were 
drawn over the schoolhouse. Then 
he proceeded to draw an object on 
each cloud. 

A younger sister asked what he 
was doing now, and he said, 
"Haven't you been listening to 
Mother? She said that we were to 
do what Heavenly Father wants us 
to do and not do the bad things 
Satan would like us to do. So you 
see, I put them up there watching 
us, and every day I'm going to 
please Heavenly Father." He had 
the object of the lesson pinned 
down to his own experience. 

Perhaps a few chalk figures 
would help bring each lesson into 
focus, especially if the children arc 
three- to six-years old. A person 
does not need to be an artist to do 
this. A few lines made on the 
chalkboard as words are said will 
do the trick. School buildings are 
big in children's lives, as are trees, 
dogs, flowers, birds, and bicycles. 
Chalk is an attention-getter and a 
point-clincher.— FBP 




Looking for a mealtime 
drink without stimulants? 

Enjoy 

POSTUM 

It's 100% caffein-free. 




-.Instant* 

POSTUM 




JUNE 1966 



What's in it then? Just toasted grains 
and other pure-food ingredients. 

What'sittaste like? Likenothingelse 
on your grocer's shelf. Slow-roasted 
to flavor perfection in brick ovens, 
Postum has a flavor all its 
own. 

Good at mealtime or 
anytime. Or when you 
have friends in. Why not 
find outforyourself soon? 

Postum is a registered trademark ot General Foods Corp. 

579 






GENERAL FOODS 
KITCHENS 




Prices 
are LOW 
in Idaho 



Some 50 styles include all L.D.S. temple 
designs in white and latest parchments. 
Matching Mormon albums, napkins, other 
accessories. One day rush order service. 




Send 25c for catalog & samples, refunded 
on first order. (50c if air mail desired.) 
REXCRAFT, Rexburg, Idaho 83440 



Name . 



Address . 



City, Zone. State . 



BLACK & WHITE 



FILMS 



I lklll# 8 exposure roll 

DEVELOPED & PRINTED 
IN JUMBO SIZE 

1 2 exposures 504 * 20 exposures $1 .00 
36 exposures $1.50 



COLOR FILM 
DEVELOPING 

KODACOLOR 

8-Exposure Roll per 

Dev. and Printing $2.55 roll 

12-Exposure Roll . per 

Dev. and Printing $3.00 ro || 

Color Reprints 204 each 

COLOR SLIDES 

135 mm Color Slides per 

20 exp., Dev. and Mount . . .$1 .35 roll 
135 mm Color Slides per 

36 exp., Dev. and Mount. . . $2.40 roll 
Color Movie per 

8 mm, 25' Roll $1.35 roll 



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of NEGATIVE, 54 each 

Send coin only— no C.O.D.'s 
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P.O. Box 1115 Dept AA Salt Lake City, Utah 



Statement on Communism 

(Continued from page 477) Even the best of them must be 

considered our worst enemies. Christian love is an obstacle to 
the development of the revolution. Down with love for one's 
neighbor. What we want is hate. Only then shall we conquer 
the universe." 

On the other hand, the gospel teaches the existence of God as 
our Eternal and Heavenly Father and declares: ". . . him only 
shalt thou serve." (Matt. 4:10.) 

Communism debases the individual and makes him the en- 
slaved tool of the state, to which he must look for sustenance 
and religion. Communism destroys man's God-given free agency. 

No member of this Church can be true to his faith, nor can 
any American be loyal to his trust, while lending aid, encourage- 
ment, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies; for if he 
does, they will prove snares to his feet. 



THE 

SPOKEN 
WORD 3 



NOW I LIKE GOOD PEOPLE" 



RICHARD L. EVANS 

Among our many choices are choices of people for certain purposes— 
for friendship, for talents, for business or professional ability, for qualities 
of character. There are some whose services we never see and some whose 
impact is very personal, but virtually all persons have some qualities 
and abilities that make some contribution to the total. We do much 
for each other. We enrich life for each other. We owe each other much. 
Even if for little else, we owe something to each other for the privilege 
of companionship. We also cause problems for each other. Virtually all 
people disappoint us at times (and we even disappoint ourselves). But 
despite faults and imperfections, all of us need each other. For good or 
ill, for better or worse, constructively or otherwise, we all play our part. 
And in all this give and take, this appreciation and disappointment, in 
all this variability, what do we look for? What can we count on? What 
are the lasting qualities in our searching and selecting? A partial answer 
is suggested by S. B. Freehof that seems exceedingly significant: "Years 
ago I preferred clever people," he said. "There was a joy in beholding 
... a mind . . . bearing thoughts quickly translated into words, or 
ideas expressed in a new way. I find now that 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, understanding 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 fear and unhappiness, 
and their search for self-respect. ... I once liked clever people. Now 
I like good people." 1 "Goodness is richer than greatness," said Edwin 
Hubbell Chapin. "[It] consists not in the outward things we do, but in 
the inward thing we are." 2 It is good to be clever, to be talented, to be 
entertaining, but what is not good is not great— not even desirable— and 
certainly not safe. "Nothing can make a man truly great but being truly 
good. . . " 3 "Now I like good people." 1 



Solomon Bennett Freehof, "Clever People," copyright 1966 by PostScript. 
2 Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814-80), American Unitarian clergyman. 
"Matthew Henry (1662-1714), English divine. 

"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System March 27, 1966. Copyright 1966. 



580 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



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582 



SINCE 
CUMORAH 

NEW VOICES FROM THE DUST 



BY HUGH NIBL.EY, PH.D. 

PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND RELIGION 
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 



Continuing his discussion on find- 
ings that relate to the Book of 
Mormon, the author challenges 
men of thought— both in the 
Church and out— to put the Book 
of Mormon to the test by applying 
the new attitudes and methods 
of contemporary philosophers of 
science. 

• In the last issue we discussed 
the Alaskan land bridge theory, 
geological time tables, and K. R. 
Popper's challenge of the authori- 
tarianism of science in which he 
noted that "observation and experi- 
ment cannot establish anything 
finally . . ." but only help us elimi- 
nate the weaker theories. 

Popper s final word is a warning 
against taking refuge in status and 
prestige; we must, says he, "avoid 
like the plague the appearance of 
possessing knowledge which is too 
deep to be clearly and simply ex- 
pressed." Or, in the words of David 
Starr Jordan, "Authority? There is 
no authority!" 

Such an approach would allevi- 
ate a good deal of the tension, 
rivalry, and misunderstanding that 
have always accompanied research 
into the scriptures. Since there are 
no true authorities, there are no 
false ones; there are no igno- 



ramuses, charlatans, or pseudo 
scholars, but only theories which 
may be more or less easily refuted. 
One does not have to be an expert 
to enter into the discussion, but the 
discussion itself will readily enough 
make clear who is equipped and 
how well and in what fields— de- 
grees, honors, titles, credentials, 
and emoluments have nothing to 
do with the case; they are but the 
forlorn trappings of an authori- 
tarianism that we have often been 
told has no place in true research. 
The only pseudo scholarship is that 
which claims authority and finality 
and so refuses to enter into the 
discussion. The new approach does 
away with such exquisite snobbery 
as the classic phrase, "the right to 
an opinion." Anybody has a right 
to an opinion, with the understand- 
ing, of course, that his opinion will 
be subjected to unsparing criticism. 
We can illustrate how the method 
of "problems— theories— criticism" 
works by taking the case of Her- 
mounts in the Book of Mormon. It 
is admittedly remarkably close in 
form and meaning to the Egyptian 
Hermonthis. But therewith the 
problem is not solved but only 
introduced. The resemblance be- 
tween the two words has to be 
explained, and so we invent a 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



theory, namely, that Joseph Smith 
must have had access to authentic 
ancient sources. That settles noth- 
ing, however, since (to quote Popper 
again) "the number of competing 
theories is always infinite," and we 
can think offhand of a dozen differ- 
ent theories to explain the Her- 
mounts phenomenon. And so we 
come to the discussion, which will 
never settle the question but which 
may lead to the discovery of much 
new and relevant information. 

Where, then, does certitude lie? 
That is another issue that has come 
in for a good deal of discussion re- 
cently, and the growing consensus 
is a surprising one: Certitude lies 
only in inspiration, in that insight 
which in the last analysis defies 
analysis. 126 Even so, routine investi- 
gation is not a waste of time, for in 
the process of dealing with materi- 
als, certain convictions build up in 
the individual that, like a testi- 
mony of the gospel, are nontrans- 
ferable but that comprise the 
most tangible and gratifying fruits 
of study. 

The Book of Mormon has always 
been a puzzle to the world. It is a 
problem and a challenge, but in- 
stead of being treated as such, it 
has always been taken as a final 
proof on the one hand that Joseph 
Smith was an imposter and on the 
other that he was an inspired 
prophet. With that deadlock we 
would leave it were it not that the 
book itself irresistibly invites test- 
ing. "Testability has degrees," ac- 
cording to Popper, and "a theory 
which asserts more, and thus takes 
greater risks, is better testable than 
a theory which asserts very little." 
Where can one find a bolder asser- 
tion than Joseph Smith's claims for 
the Book of Mormon, or a greater 
willingness than he displayed to be 
tested by all the tests the ingenuity 
of man can devise? 

(To be continued) 

FOOTNOTE 

^°For an interesting discussion of 
this, P. B. Medawar, "Is the Scientific 
Paper Fraudulent?" in Journal of Human 
Relations, 13 (1965), pp. 1-6; reprinted 
from Saturday Review, Aug. 1, 1964. 



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583 



YAMAHA 

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The Church Moves On 

(Continued from page 468) 

Church membership as of De- 
cember 31, 1965, was announced as 
1,977,418 in the stakes and 418,514 
in the missions, for a total of 
2,395,932. 

The annual conference of the 
Primary Association opened 
this morning with a general session 
in the Tabernacle, telecast live by 
KBYU-TV, channel 11, Brigham 



Young University station. During 
this session General President La- 
Vern W. Parmley was honored for 
her 25 years of service to the Pri- 
mary general board. Primary de- 
partmental sessions began shortly 
after noon, followed by a reception 
this evening. 

Departmental sessions of the 
Primary conference continued 
this morning. The concluding gen- 
eral session was held this afternoon 
in the Tabernacle, telecast by 



THE 
SPOKEN 
WORD i 



RICHARD L. EVANS 



THIS SAME JESUS 



i» 



In the insight and inspiration that God has given, a Scottish poet wrote: 
"The holy spirit of the Spring is working silently." 1 And Tennyson and 
Goethe added: "Once more the Heavenly Power makes all things 
new. . . " 2 "So then the year is repeating its old story again. We are 
come once more, thank God! to its most charming chapter. ... It always 
makes a pleasant impression on us, when we open again at these pages 
of the book of life." 3 The book of life— a theme of exceeding significance, 
since some nineteen centuries ago Jesus the Christ walked among men, 
and proclaimed the eternal precepts of everlasting life. His coming was 
foretold by prophets whose words are witnessed in the written record. 
His ministry, his message, his miracles were witnessed by a multitude 
of men— as also was the reality of his resurrection, as he appeared to his 
apostles and to many others, "being seen of them forty days, and speaking 
of the things pertaining to the kingdom. . . . And when he had spoken 
these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received 
him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven 
as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which 
also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing . . .? this same Jesus, 
which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner 
as ye have seen him go. . . " 4 His divinity, the literal reality of his 
resurrection, and his coming again on earth are the very foundation of 
Christian faith and the assurance unto all men of everlasting life. And 
this day we would witness of the certainty of such assurance— the assur- 
ance that personality is perpetuated, and truth and intelligence, and that, 
for all of us, everlasting life with our loved ones is the very essence and 
intent of heaven and the hereafter— the prime motive of our Father's 
plan and purpose, a purpose that includes renewal of association with 
those loved ones we so much miss— or who will one day leave— as we 
ourselves shall. "The holy spirit of the Spring is working silently." 
". . . we open again at these pages of the book of life." "Once more 
the Heavenly Power makes all things new. . . ." To all of this we 
would add as our witness, in the wonderful words of Job, and with 
conviction of our own: "I know that my redeemer liveth. . . " 5 

George Macdonald, Song of Spring Days. 

2 Tennyson, Early Spring. 

3 Goethe. 

*Acts 1:3, 9-11. 

5 Job 19:25. 

"The Spoken Word" from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia 
Broadcasting System April 10, 1966. Copyright 1966. 





KBYU-TV. Conducted tours of the 
Primary Children's Hospital occu- 
pied the late afternoon. 

A special meeting on home 
teaching convened this evening in 
the Tabernacle. 

An early morning church wel- 
fare meeting was held in the 
Assembly Hall. 

General sessions of the confer- 
ence, in recess since the afternoon 
of April 6, reconvened in the Tab- 
ernacle at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

An estimated 85,000 holders of 
the priesthood assembled for the 
priesthood session in the Taber- 
nacle and the adjoining Assembly 
Hall. It was sent by direct tele- 
phone wire to 478 other locations in 
the United States and Canada. 

It was announced that Frank H. 
Brown, associate director of the 
missionary home, has been ap- 
pointed secretary to the stake mis- 
sionary committee of the church 
missionary department. He suc- 
ceeds James M. Paramore. 

?■ The 136th annual general 
Ji conference of the Church 
concluded on this Easter Sunday. 
In all, some 175 television and 
many radio stations broadcast parts 
of the conference. Shortwave 
facilities beamed the conference 
messages in several languages to 
many parts of the world. 

This evening the semi-annual 
conference of the Deseret Sunday 
School Union convened in the 
Tabernacle and was telecast by 
KBYU-TV. The theme was on 
reverence. 

The First Presidency issued a 
statement urging members to 
be "as liberal as their means may 
permit" in supporting the Ameri- 
can Cancer Society's April fund- 
raising campaign. 

The Rarotonga Mission was 
discontinued and became a 
district of the New Zealand Mission. 

The First Presidency an- 
nounced the appointments of 
Dr. LeGrande C. Larsen, former 
president of Teton (Wyoming) 
Stake, to the priesthood genealog- 
ical committee, and R. Raymond 
Barnes, former president of Denver 
West (Colorado) Stake, to the 
priesthood missionary committee. 




584 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 








Marion D. Hanks, Editor • Elaine Cannon, Associate Editor • June 1966 



Carolyn Richards. Barbara Werretl, Craig Karren, Martha HarNs, Doug Nichols 




WHEN SHAKESPEARE SPOKE of "an outward honour for an inward toil," 

he coined a phrase that applies to the winners of this year's 

Era of Youth Writing Contest. 

They had toiled. 

But so had the hundreds of other contestants 

who sent their entries from all over the world. 

And they were impressive. 

Essays, short stories, poetry, and articles were entered by 

bright young lovers of the literary forms. They had put language to its 

best purpose with their best skill. The result was most satisfying 

and promises a generation of writers in the Church 

to rival the finest ancestral efforts. 

The entries were judged by 

staff members of Brigham Young University, Ricks College, Church College of Hawaii, 

and The Improvement Era, to whom we owe a great deal of appreciation. 




Some interesting facts about the contest : 

1. Postmarked entries came from China, 

Germany, England, Scotland, Hawaii, Samoa, Australia, 

Canada, Mexico, all over continental United States. 

2. Some people can follow instructions and 
some can't when submitting their contest entries. 

3. Some take special pains with their manuscript. Some don't. 

4. Some young thinkers 

have an excitingly creative approach. 

Some are refreshingly simple. 

In this issue you will read some of the chosen 

(and some of the other choice) entries. 

Watch for additional selections in other issues, 

including some of the top winners that we are reserving 

for future publication. 



The Editors 



^*» ** 



v. 





586 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 






"These were honored in their generations, 
and were the glory of the times." 

(Ecclesiasticus 44:7.) 



,--- 



BRIGHAM YOUNG 
UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS 

MICHAEL TERRY HURST 
Blanding, Utah 

GEORGE G. KING 
Spanish Fork, Utah 

PAULA S. ANDERSON 
Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 

MARILYN RiANNE MILLER 
Colton, California 

SHEILA MOAR 

Newtongrange, Midlothian, Scotland 

CATHERINE DURRANT 
Provo, Utah 

BARBARA BADGER 
Salt Lake City, Utah 

JUDY LINDSAY 
Erie, Pennsylvania 

RICKS COLLEGE 
SCHOLARSHIPS 

SHERON F. LUTHI 
Freedom, Wyoming 

LOUISE LARSEN 
Randolph, Utah 

ARLENE ANDERSON 
LaGrande, Oregon 

RHONDA LEE NANNEY 
St. Anthony, Idaho 

GRANT BRAND WALTHER 
Anchorage, Alaska 

CHURCH COLLEGE OF 
HAWAII SCHOLARSHIPS 

MILTON TUIA 

Pago Pago, American Samoa 

VERONICA J. PATNAUDE 
Hilo, Hawaii 

SEFO MALUIA 

Pago Pago, American Samoa 

BEVERLY ANN EISER 
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia 

HEIKO H. H. HEESE 
Hamburg, Germany 



CASH AWARDS 

DIANNE MARIE WHITELOCK 
Salt Lake City, Utah 

ROGER PAXTON 

Laie, Oahu, Hawaii 

CAROLYN R. GAST 
Belmont, California 

DENNIS BERRETT 
Ogden, Utah 

DON W. JENKINS 
Heber City, Utah 

JILLIAN IRENE WHITE 

Woomera, South Australia, Australia 

LYN HEPBURN 
Dundee, Angus, Scotland 

ROBERT ALAN MYERS 
Middletown, New York 

RAE ALISON WILLIAMS 
Avondale, Auckland, New Zealand 

CINDY LAWRENCE 
San Diego, California 

DAVID A. PALMER 
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada 

ERA SUBSCRIPTIONS 

MAR JEAN JOHNSON 
Rexburg, Idaho 

GORDON WILSON ROMNEY 
Salt Lake City, Utah 

MARY DAYLEY 
Bountiful, Utah 

SANDRA DAVIS 
Portland, Oregon 

KATHLEEN CARTER 
Provo, Utah 

CRAIG L. MARSHALL 
Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, England 

CAROL ANNE SCHUSTER 
Plainfield, New Jersey 

STEPHEN 0. ANDERSEN 
Logan, Utah 

MARGARET ELENA SWAPP 
Granger, Utah 

LIN BOTHWELL 
Provo, Utah 

STAN GREENHALGH 
Logan, Utah 

KALENE FAYE MILLS 
Idaho Falls, Idaho 



587 



"IF MY SON does not work today, he leaves the 
house." That was that. Ezra continued eating 
breakfast. 

His wife knew it was useless to battle. She 
busied herself about the kitchen and looked away 
from him as she said, "He says he can't work 
today because of his religion. It is the Sabbath, 
Ezra." 

"I've got the same religion he has," Ezra spoke 
loudly. He was not used to speaking quietly, and 
he was not used to being defied. "The hay has to 
be hauled now, today. The crops come first." 

His wife kept her face from him. Her words 
were soft but firm. "He says God comes first. He 
will not work on the Sabbath." 

" 'God comes first/ he says !" Ezra exploded. 
He pounded his fist on the table till his tin break- 
fast plate clinked against the oilcloth. "God comes 
first! Does not God come first with me?" Ezra's 
wife did not answer that question. They both 
knew that God did not. "I worship God, but I got 
hay to get in and corn to harvest, and if I don't 
get my crops off the field, God may freeze me 
out before I can. I haven't got a day to waste." 

"Sam says the hay's baled," Ezra's wife said 
softly, "and that it can lay in the field till the 
corn is in." 

"Sam says!" Ezra sneered. "Sam is not the 
farmer. Well, the sky is black with clouds, and 
the weather report says that it may drop rain 
to soak the hay this afternoon, and then what 
will Sam do?" 

Martha did not care to fight with her husband. 
She let the silence, which seemed to be filling 
the house of late, answer the question. 

"Lazy," Ezra murmured as he ate, "that's what 
the boy is, lazy. Isn't he?" 

"If you say so, Ezra." Martha walked across 
the kitchen. Samuel wasn't lazy. He was the 
youngest — "her boy" — but he was doing the same 
work that his three older brothers did together on 
the farm before him. Ezra never could understand 
why a boy who liked to stay home and read in- 
stead of going out to hunt, a soft boy like Samuel, 
could do the work of three men. 

"He's lazy, and he's using the Lord's Sabbath 
to get out of honest labor. Well, I'll not have him 
hanging around. He can earn his own living, and 



let him see if he'll sleep on Sunday then. I don't 
need him. I could run this farm with my own two 
hands 20 years ago and I'll do it now. Don't need 
no soft-cheeked, lazy boy to help me. You tell 
him that." 

"You tell him, Ezra," Martha said. 

She knew that Ezra did need the boy. Ezra 
could handle the farm alone years ago, but now 
he was getting old. He needed Samuel, the gentle 
one. He needed him badly, and it hurt his pride. 

Ezra had finished his breakfast. He started to 
leave. "Where is the boy?" he asked. 

"He's doing chores," Martha answered. She 
cleared Ezra's dishes from the table. 

"Doing chores? Doesn't he call that work? 
Who is he to say what's work and what is not?" 

"He's trying to help you, Ezra, but he's got to 
do what he feels is right. He's like you in that 
way," Martha said. 

"Well, I don't need him. I'm going to the field 
alone. If he doesn't come to the field, tell him to 
get out. If I have to run him out myself, I will. 
Tell him to get out." Ezra started for the kitchen 
door. 

Martha turned to her husband. "Ezra — " she 
said, but he was gone. She could make out his 
stocky figure stomping down the lane toward his 
pickup truck. 

Ezra was a hard man, but he was a strong one, 
a man in whom she had found much to love. 

Later on she heard Samuel come in and go 
upstairs. She knew he was dressing for church, 
but she did not try to stop him. She waited in 
the kitchen. 

He came down before long in the black suit she 
had made over for him. His face was scrubbed 
white and his hair was combed tight to his head. 
"I'm going to church," he said. 

"Your father hasn't changed his mind." She 
looked at her son. He seemed so young and sensi- 
tive, and yet she knew him to be iron strong. 

Sam looked away. "I'm leaving this afternoon," 
he said. 

"Son—" 

"I've got my clothes packed. I'll pick them up 
after meeting." 

She looked at her boy but did not speak. He 
had been her boy for so many years. Now, with 



TOP AWARD 





od comes 
first 



(Continued on next page) 



"He's lazy, and he's using the 
Lord's Sabbath to get out of honest labor." 



By George G. King 



_, JUNE 1»6G, »*, 



i*. 



% * ... 



5-8 9 



# 1 » •'■■ 



' f 



(Continued from preceding page) 

his three older brothers gone, he had to be his 
father's man. And he couldn't do it. 

"I've got to follow God," the boy said. "It's 
the right thing." 

She reached out her hand and pushed back his 
hair. He stood still. "You're growing up," she said 
softly. Her hands began to shake. She clasped 
them together. He reached down and held them 
firmly. 

"I'll write," he said. Then he too was out the 
kitchen door and gone. 

She wanted to call to him, but he moved away 
too fast. She just sat in the kitchen and felt the 
silence of the house. 

Ezra whipped the truck over the dirt roads, as 
he had whipped horses over the same ruts years 
before. He put the fury of his heart into the 
speed with which he drove. 

Then he tore himself from the truck and began 
throwing the bales over the pickup's high sides. 
Each bale was to him an enemy, like the silent 
son that he needed but could not understand. The 
sky was an enemy filled with dark clouds, clouds 
that carried lightning within them. Now and then 
the clouds would add their thundering rumbles to 
Ezra's cursing. 

For Ezra cursed aloud. He cursed the bales that 
left him puffing. He cursed the baling wire that 
tore his hands and left them raw and bleeding. 
He cursed the bale that slid from the side of the 
truck and left him bruised on the leg and foot. 
But most of all he cursed the son who would not 
help him and who said that he, the boy's own 
father, did not put God first. 

"Put God first!" he yelled into the thunder. 
"And where has God put me? He gave me a son 
who won't work. He lets my crops parch in the 
summer, floods them in the spring, and freezes 
them in the fall. He sends me alone to this field 
to do the work of three men and a boy. Well, 
I'll do it. 

"Leave me alone, God. Leave me alone, son," 
he shouted. "I'll do it." 

But he could not do it. Each bale he lifted tore 
the air from him and left him gasping. Sweat 
drenched his shirt and caused him to flush. He 
puffed, gasped, spit, and cursed the thunder, the 
air, and his son, as he threw bales on the truck 
in a clumsy heap until it began to tilt toward 
him. 

It began to storm. Hard, cold half-rain and 
half-sleet beat upon his face and made him shut 
his eyes and cover them with his hand because 
they stung. He couldn't see the bales ; he stumbled 
and could not find the truck. But fury had so 
filled him that he would not stop. "Hit me, hail," 
he yelled. "I'll do it alone. I'll do it." Half stum- 
bling, half falling, he lunged a bale toward the 
tipping stack. 



Hail had blinded his vision, pain had warped 
his aim, and he threw the bale with all his force 
into the center of the pile. The pile fell, a lump 
of dull green enemies toppling on him in the sleet, 
catching his legs beneath its weight. 

"Oh!" he screamed. "Oh, help me! help me!" 
His words were lost in the hail, the thunder, and 
the wrath of the storm. 

Shortly after the storm Samuel came from the 
church on his bicycle. The warmth of the meeting 
had changed his spirit. 

Friends had agreed to come in the early morn- 
ing to help him move the hay, and he hoped this 
news would melt the anger of his father. 

As he rode by the hay field, he remembered 
that his father was working alone. He could see 
the blue of the truck deep in the field but could 
not make it out clearly. Something about the 
silence of the field urged him to enter it. 

So it was that Samuel discovered his father, 
white, unconscious, caught beneath the pile of 
hay. 

Someone from a neighboring farmhouse phoned 
Martha to tell her that her husband was being 
brought home, injured. But she was not prepared 
for the ambulance, the stretcher, or the stiff way 
Ezra lay upon it as they carried him up the walk. 

It seemed even more strange to see Samuel 
walking beside him, guiding the men who carried 
him home. 

Anger had sent these two men from her door 
on separate paths; accident, and prayer, had 
returned them together. 

"Father wanted to be brought home," Sam said 
quietly when they met on the porch. "We'll move 
the hay tomorrow. I'll take care of the farm." 
Even in the noise of the crowd she noted that he 
said "Father." The cool control of her son re- 
assured her. The farm would be well taken care of. 

Because the doctor had given Ezra drugs to 
relieve the pain, he did not regain consciousness 
for some time. When he did, he seemed quiet, 
subdued, and more at peace. 

Martha was sitting beside the bed. He reached 
for her hand, and she placed it in his. 

"Samuel's going to do the hay," was the first 
thing he said. "Some people from the church are 
going to help him. Did he tell you?" 

Martha smiled. "He told me," she said, and her 
voice was soft with love. 

"Do you know what he said, Martha?" Ezra 
drew breath. It was hard for him to talk. "He 
said, Tut God first, and he'll put you first, too.' 
He's a smart boy, Martha, a good boy." 

Martha rejoiced in hearing her husband say the 
thing she had known all along. He didn't call Sam 
a man yet, but as she held his hand she knew 
that would come later. ■ 



590 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



It stood there 

like a beacon on the hill, 

its steeple bathed in -moonlight . . . 

an aged man, a child 

trudged sloivly tip the 

steep and winding path . . . 

at last they reached it; 

they entered . . . 

the old man botved his head 

in tvorship 

as the child wondered tvhy 

its roof shut out 

the stars. 




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By Roger Paxton 



ERA OF YOUTH 
CONTEST. ENTRY 










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TOP AWARD 



The Calling 



By Michael T. Hurst 



Hyrum's brother, in the morning 

Ere the sun caused cock to crow, 
Arose from sleep and lit a candle 

And read the Bible by its glow. 
His young heart was deeply troubled, 

Greatly burdened by his plight, 
For he wondered, more than most men, 

Which of all the sects was right. 
Then from James a partial answer 

Struck his mind like hammer blows 
And drove itself into his bosom: 
'Ask of God,' said ancient prose. 



From the cabin, through the barnyard, 

Strode the lad with easy grace, 
Past the plowed fields, newly seeded, 

To a predetermined place. 
Nestled deep in yonder forest, 

Cuddled in a womb of green, 
Looking back and all around him — 

Only shadows: he's unseen. 
Filtered through the shimmering treetops, 

Morning sunlight gilt the youth 
And kneeling humbly in its aura, 

Joseph prayed to learn the truth. 



592 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 





Suddenly bright skies were blackened, 

A great thick darkness gathered round, 
While evil powers, frenzied, fighting, 

Bound the lad and stopped his sound. 
Never yet such awesome power, 

Never viciousness so real, 
Never loomed such great destruction 

As the lad was caused to feel. 
Urgent prayer was nigh abandoned, 

Almost squelched by evil might, 
When rescue came in one bright instant; 

Blackness was dispelled by light. 



What a shaft of glorious brilliance 

Blessed the forest there that day, 
As all eternity rang an answer 

To the boy who went to pray. 
Flee, the denizens of darkness, 

From the presence of a greater one, 
One whose sacred luminescence 

Dims the glory of the sun. 
Standing tall in might and glory, 

In the air, o'er forest sod, 
Above him, speaking, introducing, 

Joseph saw the face of God. 

(Continued on next page) 



JUNE 1966 



593 






God the Father, great, eternal, 

Glorious, yet much like man, 
Calling once again a prophet, 

To reveal the gospel plan; 
God the Father, great, eternal, 

With his own Beloved Son, 
Son and Sire, both stood together, 

Glory, countenance, all as one. 
"Joseph, this is My Beloved, 

Hear Him," and so Joseph heard 
God's predicted declaration 

Of men's departure from his word. 



"Joseph!" 'Twas the voice of thunder, 

Yet was kind and filled his soul, 
And he listened to the Firstborn, 

Who revealed to him his role. 
For the church of old had fallen, 

Plunged to darkness from its light; 
But with guidance from the heavens, 

Morn could break upon the night. 
Morn, as when the rosy day-dawn, 

Maturing, breaks exuberant ray; 
And the shouting voice of sunlight, 

Conquering, holds the night at bay. 



594 



THE IMPROVEMENT ERA 



Thus the light the Lord was giving; 

Guidance was, for years ahead: 
Knowledge to restore salvation, 

For the living and the dead. 
Joseph faced long years of struggle, 

Years of toil and prayer and tears; 
Years of temples, priesthoods, prisons, 

Translations, visions, fears; 
Years of Kirtland, Nauvoo, Carthage, 

Persecution; hell's fires fed, 
Ere he's seen full forty seasons, 

Years that leave young Joseph dead. 



june lase 



But he felt exhilaration, 

Wonder, reverence, worship, awe; 
All his life would be a witness 

To the truth of what he saw. 
Then the vision, closing, left him 

Lying, limpid, in the wood. 
Having heard God's great assignment, 

He would do it as he should. 
Then rising, moving, through the shadows, 

Joseph stepped into the sun, 
And a prophet walked the pathways 

Where a little boy had run. 



595 



Premeditated 
Goodnight 



By Marilyn R. Miller 





Scott Miller, Jeanne Upwall. 



Saying good-night to someone special is difficult. As I sit 
next to him here at the Freshman Talent Show, my 
thoughts keep reverting to the question of how it will be 
done tonight. Close observation of his moods during the 
entire evening will help me determine the most poised, 
gracious, and feminine way to execute my strategy. 

His enthusiastic appreciation for the talented perform- 
ances of my classmates is encouraging, because light mood 
is of utmost importance. In fact, this attitude greatly 

simplifies the problem. If the pro- 
gram ends on this note, it will not 
be necessary for me to humor him 
back into the mood by recalling the 
numbers he particularly enjoyed. 

Happiness warms me whenever I 
am with him, and this reminds me 
that each word and action is very 
meaningful in our growing friend- 
ship. If I were to accidentally 
"cut" him, or if I were to say good- 
night to him in the wrong way, it 
could permanently mar our rela- 
tionship. 

The way he puts his arm around the back of my 
shoulders as we walk out of the auditorium is indicative 
of a more thoughtful mood. As usual, we never have much 
to talk about until we separate ourselves from the mass of 
chattering students. As we near the bottom of the steps, 
the crowd disperses and we begin talking of the parts of 
the show he enjoyed. This conversation is resetting the 
mood to my exact specifications. Sharing with me his appre- 
ciation for cultural entertainment (which I had noticed 
earlier in the evening) makes me feel even closer to him. 
This emotional distraction makes it difficult to keep my 
plan in mind. It cannot fail! It will not! He is too special. 

As he opens the main door of my dorm for me, I take 
a deep breath, walk in slowly, then turn and smile at him. 
He takes my arm as we climb the flight of stairs. Recalling 
a joke told by a comedian at the show makes him laugh, 
and I giggle as we "bounce" up the stairs. We are still 
laughing as we reach the last two steps. His grin widens 
when I tell him what a terrific time I had, and he thanks 
me for the evening. He is raving about the unbelievable 
talent of my class when we stop a few feet in front of my 
apartment door. 

After telling me how fun I am to be with, he hesitates. 
I immediately complete the sentence by assuring him that 
it has been a privilege for me to be with him. While I 
express my appreciation to him for sharing his thoughts 
and ideas, I gently slip my hand into his (without raising 
it), holding it just long enough for a slight strengthening 
of the handclasp, a sincere smile, and perhaps a wink. 

I slowly withdraw my hand and open the door without 
taking my eyes from his. With the almost inaudible parting 
words "good-night," I'm inside facing a closed door with a 
feeling of ecstasy for a perfect "good-night. "■ 



JUNE 1966 



597 




DECISION 



By Paula S. Anderson 




The classroom was quiet except for the faint hum of bees 
near the open windows. Rows of heads bent diligently over 
mimeographed papers; pencils scratched softly or were 
sucked thoughtfully until the right answer came. Occasion- 
ally someone coughed or stretched or sighed, but the writing 
continued. 

Nancy chewed frantically on the eraser end of her 
pencil as she gazed intently at the questions before her. 
The typing blurred together under her eyes as her thoughts 
chased themselves around in her head. It was no use. She 
just couldn't remember. And after all the studying she had 
done, too. But then, chemistry was her most difficult sub- 
ject. 

If only I could stay calm, she thought. She forced her 
panic down, only to have it rise again, a hard knot in her 
throat. She brushed a lock of hair off her warm forehead 
and rubbed her damp palms down her skirt. I must concen- 
trate, she told herself, gazing again at the questions. Sud- 
denly the answer came to the second question. A flood of 
relief flowed over her, and she quickly answered the next 
three. But despair began to rise again as she looked at the 
pages of mathematical problems. She was going to fail, 
and failure meant no scholarship and no college — at least, 
not right away. 

Nancy glanced hurriedly up at the clock. Only 30 min- 
utes more, and she wasn't even half finished. I'm not going 
to pass, she said over and over to herself, as tears stung 
her eyes, blurring the papers. She rubbed her eyes and 
glanced around. In front, Joan was hunched over, her nose 
practically on the paper, writing furiously. To her left, Don, 
the smartest one in class, was writing calmly, filling the 
page with neat rows of numbers. She glanced hastily away, 
but not before an answer had registered in her mind. She 
felt guilty as she looked at her own paper and saw the same 
answer. Well, at least I have one right, she thought. 

If anyone could help her, it would be Don. And his 
paper was so near. Nancy could feel herself being pulled 
towards him. She fought the impulse and deliberately 
looked at the clock. Only 25 minutes until the bell. She 
crossed and uncrossed her legs, coughed, and shifted in her 
seat. She wanted to look. She had to look. If she didn't look, 
she wouldn't pass. She couldn't remember. Her thoughts 
were all jumbled up. . . . 

"Mr. Baum," Nancy whispered, leaning against his 
desk, "could I please sit next to the window?" 

Mr. Baum looked up and frowned slightly. "Yes, of 
course," he whispered back. 

Nancy slipped into the isolated seat, laid her papers 
and pencil on the table, and leaned back. She closed her 
eyes, feeling the soft breeze on her face, smelling the frag- 
rance of the flowers. For a few seconds she let her mind 
pull away and drift. Very calmly and quietly she murmured 
a brief prayer — a prayer for remembrance. Then she opened 
her eyes and began to write. 

The bell rang as she was working on the last problem. 
Her right arm felt cramped, and her head was starting to 
ache. The students were beginning to file out as she slipped 
the paper clip over the pages. She had answered all the 
questions and done all the problems. Some of the problems 
were probably incorrect, but perhaps she would still get her 
B. But if she didn't, that would be all right, too. Her 
scholarship would then be given to someone else, but she 
would still have the most important thing — her self-respect. 
Suddenly, she felt wonderful. ■ 



I walk in the world of the very young, 
The young-olds, who know too much of life 

And not enough of living. 

The rebels, the half-men, the dreamers — 

I am of them. 

My world is too little for me. 

I'm boxed in; the woods are burning; 

One is a teen-ager for so little time. 

The agony, the fear, the hope of only a teen-ager 

So few minutes in eternity. 

They say you love your teen years best of all. 

The old ones, remembering their prom — 

They do not remember. 

They never knew De Moivre's Theorem, learned about quanta; 

They are the ojd. 

We are the rising sun, 

The youth of the world. 

The half-strong, half-brave, half-knowing, 

Cocky and fearfu 

Tormented, ecstatic, 

Living life in a sheltered way 

Away from life. 

We are those of a little knowledge, 
A big faith, a big dream 
. . The almost-grown. 

Who can read our fate tomorrow? 
No one — yet, 



By Judy Lindsay 




The 

Last 

Word 



There is no such 
thing as immaterial 
matter. All spirit is 
matter, but it is more 
fine or pure, and can 
only be discerned by 
purer eyes; We can- 
not see it; but when 
our bodies are puri- 
fied we shall see 
that it is all mat- 
ter. — D&C 131:7-8. 



You may search all the ages for a per- 
son who has had no problems, you may 
look through the streets of heaven ask- 
ing each one how he came there, and 
you will look in vain everywhere for a 
man morally and spiritually strong whose 
strength did not come to him in struggle. 
Do not suppose that there is a person 
who has never wrestled with his own 
success and happiness. There is no ex- 
ception anywhere. Every true strength 
is gained in struggle. — Richard L. Evans 



Mother: "Did you thank Mrs. Wilson for 
the lovely party she gave?" Little 
Deborah: "No, Mommie. The girl leav- 
ing just before me thanked her, and Mrs. 
Wilson said, 'Don't mention it,' so I didn't." 




"/'m ivorried about that boy of 
mine," said the anxious father. 
"He's too smart to take advice from 
anyone else, and not quite smart 
enough to think it up for himself." 



The deepest law of the 
spirit is that men be- 
come like that which 
they love. -Lord Byron 



Children need love, 
especially when they 
do not deserve it. 
—Harold S. Hulhert 



Our doubts are traitors, and make 
us lose the good we oft might win 
by fearing to attempt. — Shakespeare, 
Measure for Measure, Act I, sc. 4 



Julie (reaching 
for her half 
of a wishbone): 
"Oh, but I really 
don't know what 
to wish for." 
John: "Well, 
then let me wish 
for you." Julie: 
"Oh, John, this 
is so sudden, 
but I wouldn't 
disappoint you 
for the world!" 



Chinese patient (on telephone): "Doctor, what time you 
fixee teeth fo' me?" Doc: "Two-thirty — all right?" Chinese: 
"Yes, tooth hurty me all right, but wha' time you fixee?" 



It matters not whether you or I feel 
like praying, when the time comes 
to pray, pray. If we do not feel 
like it, we should pray till we do. 
. . . You will find that those who 
wait till the Spirit bids them pray 
will never pray much on this earth. 
. . . —President Brigham Young 

Some folks think they are busy when they are only confused. *t^:. 

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JUNE 1966 




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