A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race (Joseph Smith, HC, 4:227; Teachings, 174).

A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon. Those things that were presented unto your mind by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus (Joseph Smith, HC, 3:381;Teachings, 151).

All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:362;Teachings, 296).

And I heard a great voice, bearing record from heav'n,
He's the Saviour, and only begotten of God—
By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made,
Even all that career in the heavens so broad.
Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last,
Are sav'd by the very same Saviour of ours;
And, of course, are begotten God's daughters and sons,
By the very same truths, and the very same pow'rs.
(Joseph Smith, Messages of the First Presidency, 1:162).

But while one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men, [He] causes "His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." He holds the reins of judgment in His hands; He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, not according to the narrow, contracted notions of men, but, "according to the deeds done in the body whether they be good or evil," or whether these deeds were done in England, America, Spain, Turkey, or India. He will judge them, "not according to what they have not, but according to what they have," those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will be judged by that law. We need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the Great Jehovah; He will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to (1) their means of obtaining intelligence, (2) the laws by which they are governed, (3) the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information, (4) and His inscrutable designs in relation to the human family; and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess that the Judge of all the earth has done right (Joseph Smith, HC, 4:595-596; Teachings, 218).

Could we read and comprehend all that has been written from the days of Adam, on the relation of man to God, we should know very little. Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience...Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:50; Teachings, 324).

Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:364; Teachings, 365).

Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood, they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:391; Teachings, 300-301).

For a man to lay down his all, his character and reputation, his honor, and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children, and even his own life also—counting all things but filth and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ—requires more than mere belief or supposition that he is doing the will of God; but actual knowledge, realizing that, when those sufferings are ended, he will enter into eternal rest, and be a partaker of the glory of God...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; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; 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. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, 6:5, 7)

Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives; for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:46; Teachings, 324, Oct. 5, 1843; D&C 132 given Jul. 12, 1843).

God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them (Joseph Smith, HC, 3:380; Teachings, 149).

God said, "Thou shalt not kill;" at another time He said "Thou shalt utterly destroy." This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:135; Teachings, 256).

God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God (Joseph Smith, quoted by John Taylor, JD 24:197).

God...never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:135; Teachings, 256-257).

Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:134-135; Teachings, 255-256).

I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women—all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:401;Teachings, 304).

I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:57; Teachings, 327).

I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:402; Teachings, 305).

I had heard men and women pray—especially the former—from the most ignorant, both as to letters and intellect, to the most learned and eloquent, but never until then [listening to the Prophet Joseph Smith pray] 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. There was no ostentation, no raising of the voice as by enthusiasm, 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 (Daniel Taylor, Quoted in Ensign, Jan. 1976, 20).

I went one day to the Prophet with a sister. She had a charge to make against one of the brethren for scandal. When her complaint had been heard the Prophet asked her if she was quite sure that what the brother had said of her was utterly untrue. She was quite sure that it was. He then told her to think no more about it, for it could not harm her. If untrue it could not live, but the truth will survive. Still she felt that she should have some redress. Then he offered her his method of dealing with such cases for himself. When an enemy had told a scandalous story about him, which had often been done, before he rendered judgment he paused and let his mind run back to the time and place and setting of the story to see if he had not by some unguarded word or act laid the block on which the story was built. If he found that he had done so, he said that in his heart he then forgave his enemy, and felt thankful that he had received warning of a weakness that he had not known he possessed. Then he said to the sister that he would have her to do the same: search her memory thoroughly and see if she had not herself unconsciously laid the foundation for the scandal that annoyed her. The sister thought deeply for a few moments and then confessed that she believed that she had. Then the Prophet told her that in her heart she should forgive that brother who had risked his own good name and her friendship to give her this clearer view of herself. The sister thanked her advisor and went away in peace (Jesse W. Crosby, in Hyrum Andrus, They Knew the Prophet, 162-163).

If you wish to go where God is, you must be like God, or possess the principles which God possesses (Joseph Smith, HC, 4:588; Teachings, 216).

In my leisure moments I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world and...grows more wicked and corrupt...The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again. The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable, wicked world (Joseph Smith, HC 4:553-554).

Isaac Behunnin: "If I should leave this Church I would not do as those men have done. I would go to some remote place where Mormonism had never been heard of, settle down, and no one would ever learn that I knew anything about it." Joseph: "Brother Behunnin, you don't know what you would do. No doubt these men once thought as you do. Before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached, good and evil were set before you. You could choose either or neither. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. When you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant." (Joseph Smith, related by Daniel Tyler, in Hyrum Andrus They Knew the Prophet, 61).

It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:362; Teachings, 296).

It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:305; Teachings, 345).

It was more temple than prison, so long as the Prophet was there. It was a place of meditation and prayer. A temple, first of all, is a place of prayer; and prayer is communion with God. It is the infinite in man seeking the infinite in God. Where they find each other, there is holy sanctuary—a temple. Joseph Smith sought God in this rude prison, and found him (B.H. Roberts, CHC 1:526).

No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:58; Teachings, 328).

No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done (Joseph Smith, HC 4:540).

One morning when he was getting ready to continue the translation, something went wrong about the house and he was put out about it. Something that Emma, his wife, had done. Oliver and I went upstairs and Joseph came up soon after to continue the translation but he could not do anything. He could not translate a single syllable. He went downstairs, out into the orchard, and made supplication to the Lord; was gone about an hour—came back to the house, and asked Emma's forgiveness and then came upstairs where we were and then the translation went on all right. He could do nothing save he was humble and faithful (David Whitmer, CHC 1:131).

Silence, ye fiends of the infernal pit! In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die this instant!...He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel, he looked upon the quailing guards, whose weapons were lowered or dropped to the ground; whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards. I have seen the ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was suspended on a breath, in the courts of England; I have witnessed a Congress in solemn session to give laws to a nation; I have tried to conceive of kings, of royal courts, of thrones and crowns; and of emperors assembled to decide the fate of kingdoms; but dignity and majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight in a dungeon, in an obscure village in Missouri (Joseph Smith, quoted in Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 228-230).

The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:223; Teachings, 332).

The opinions of men, so far as I am concerned, are to me as the crackling of thorns under the pot, or the whistling of the wind (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:402; Teachings, 304).

The other Comforter spoken of is a subject of great interest, and perhaps understood by few of this generation. After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints. Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of...God (Joseph Smith, HC, 3:380; Teachings, 150-151).

The reason we do not have the secrets of the Lord revealed unto us, is because we do not keep them but reveal them...even to our enemies. I can keep a secret till Doomsday (Joseph Smith, HC, 4:479; Teachings, 195).

This generation is as corrupt as the generation of the Jews that crucified Christ; and if He were here today, and should preach the same doctrine He did then, they would put Him to death (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:58; Teachings, 328, stated in 1843).

This is good doctrine. It tastes good. I can taste the principles of eternal life, and so can you. You say honey is sweet, and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life. I know it is good; and when I tell you of these things which were given my be inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive them as sweet, and rejoice more and more (Joseph Smith, HC 6:312; Teachings, 355).

To a remark of Elder Orson Pratt's, that a man's body changes every seven years, President Joseph Smith replied: There is no fundamental principle belonging to a human system that ever goes into another in this world or in the world to come; I care not what the theories of men are. We have the testimony that God will raise us up, and he has the power to do it. If any one supposes that any part of our bodies, that is, the fundamental parts thereof, ever goes into another body, he is mistaken (Joseph Smith, HC 5:339).

We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed in the government and laws of that kingdom by proper degrees, until his mind is capable in some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality, and consistency of the same (Joseph Smith, HC, 2:8; Teachings, 51).

We never can comprehend the things of God and of heaven, but by revelation (Joseph Smith, HC 5:344; Teachings, 292).

What was the object of gathering the Jews, or the people of God in any age of the world? The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose. It is for the same purpose that God gathers together His people in the last days, to build unto the Lord a house to prepare them for the ordinances and endowments, washings and anointings (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:423; Teachings, 307-308).

When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel, you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:306-307; Teachings, 348).

[Joseph] told me I should never get discouraged whatever difficulties might surround me. If I was sunk in the lowest pit of Nova Scotia and all the Rocky Mountains piled in on top of me, I ought not to be discouraged but hang on, exercise faith and keep up good courage and I should come out on the top of the heap (George A. Smith, Juvenile Instructor, 81:463; See also Ezra Taft Benson, "Do Not Despair," Ensign, Oct. 1986, 4).

When still a boy He had all the intelligence necessary to enable Him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom He possessed; but He was a boy only, and lacked physical strength even to defend His own person; and was subject to cold, to hunger and to death. So it is with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; we have the revelation of Jesus, and the knowledge within us is sufficient to organize a righteous government upon the earth, and to give universal peace to all mankind, if they would receive it, but we lack the physical strength, as did our Savior when a child, to defend our principles, and we have a necessity to be afflicted, persecuted and smitten, and to bear it patiently until Jacob is of age, then he will take care of himself (Joseph Smith, HC, 6:608; Teachings, 392).

I make this broad declaration, that whenever God gives a vision of an image, or beast, or figure of any kind, He always holds Himself responsible to give a revelation or interpretation of the meaning thereof, otherwise we are not responsible or accountable for our belief in it. Don't be afraid of being damned for not knowing the meaning of a vision or figure, if God has not given a revelation or interpretation of the subject (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:343; Teachings, 291).

Q1—Do you believe the Bible? A—If we do, we are the only people under heaven that does, for there are none of the religious sects of the day that do.
Q2—Wherein do you differ from other sects? A—In that we believe the Bible, and all other sects profess to believe their interpretations of the Bible, and their creeds.
Q3—Will everybody be damned, but Mormons? A—Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness.
Q4—How and where did you obtain the Book of Mormon? A—Moroni, who deposited the plates in a hill in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, being dead and raised again therefrom, appeared unto me, and told me where they were, and gave me directions how to obtain them. I obtained them, and the Urim and Thummim with them, by the means of which I translated the plates; and thus came the Book of Mormon.
Q5—Do you believe Joseph Smith, Jun., to be a Prophet? A—Yes, and every other man who has the testimony of Jesus. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation, 19:10)
Q6—Do the Mormons believe in having all things in common? A—No.
Q7—Do the Mormons believe in having more wives than one? A—No, not at the same time. But they believe that if their companion dies, they have a right to marry again. But we do disapprove of the custom, which as gained in the world, and has been practiced among us, to our great mortification, in marrying in five or six weeks, or even in two or three months, after the death of their companion. We believe that due respect ought to be had to the memory of the dead, and the feelings of both friends and children.
Q8—Can they [the Mormons] raise the dead? A—No, nor can any other people that now lives, or ever did live. But God can raise the dead, through man as an instrument.
Q9—What signs does Joseph Smith give of his divine mission? A—The signs which God is pleased to let him give, according as His wisdom thinks best, in order that He may judge the world agreeably to His own plan.
Q10—Was not Joseph Smith a money digger? A—Yes, but it was never a very profitable job for him, as he only got fourteen dollars a month for it.
Q11—Did not Joseph Smith steal his wife? A—Ask her, she was of age, she can answer for herself.
Q12—Do the people have to give up their money when they join his Church? A—No other requirement than to bear their proportion of the expenses of the Church, and support the poor.
Q13—Are the Mormons abolitionists? A—No, unless delivering the people from priestcraft, and the priests from the power of Satan, should be considered abolition. But we do not believe in setting the negroes free.
Q14—Do they not stir up the Indians to war, and to commit depredations? A—No, and they who reported the story knew it was false when they put it in circulation. These and similar reports are palmed upon the people by the priests, and this is the only reason why we ever thought of answering them.
Q15—Do the Mormons baptize in the name of 'Joe' Smith? A—No, but if they did, it would be as valid as the baptism administered by the sectarian priests.
Q16—If the Mormon doctrine is true, what has become of all those who died since the days of the Apostles? A—All those who have not had an opportunity of hearing the Gospel, and being administered unto by an inspired man in the flesh, must have it hereafter, before they can be finally judged.
Q17—Does not 'Joe' Smith profess to be Jesus Christ? A—No, but he professes to be His brother, as all other Saints have done and now do.
Q18—Is there anything in the Bible which licenses you to believe in revelation now-a-days? A—Is there anything that does not authorize us to believe so? If there is, we have, as yet, not been able to find it.
Q19—Is not the canon of the Scriptures full? A—If it is, there is a great defect in the book, or else it would have said so.
Q20—What are the fundamental principles of your religion? A—The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. But in connection with these, we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the power of faith, the enjoyment of the spiritual gifts according to the will of God, the restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth.
I published the foregoing answers to save myself the trouble of repeating the same a thousand times over and over again. (Joseph Smith, HC, 3:28; Teachings, 119; May 8, 1838).

Christ and the resurrected Saints will reign over the earth during the thousand years. They will not probably dwell upon the earth, but will visit it when they please, or when it is necessary to govern it (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:212; Teachings, 268).

Destruction, to the eye of the spiritual beholder, seems to be written by the finger of an invisible hand, in large capitals, upon almost every thing we behold (Joseph Smith, HC, 1:314; Teachings, 16).

[1835] I considered it of the first importance that I should be right, in matters that involve eternal consequences...[1832] At about the age of twelve years my mind become seriously imprest with regard to the all importent concerns for the wellfare of my immortal Soul which led me to searching the scriptures believeing as I was taught, that they contained the word of God thus applying myself to them and my intimate acquaintance with those of different denominations led me to marvel excedingly for I discovered that they did not adorn their profession by a holy walk and Godly conversation agreeable to what I found contained in that sacred depository this was a grief to my Soul thus from the age of twelve years to fifteen I pondered many things in my heart concerning the sittuation of the world of mankind the contentions and divisions the wickedness and abominations and the darkness which pervaded the of the minds of mankind my mind become excedingly distressed for I became convicted of my sins and by searching the scriptures I found that mankind did not come unto the Lord but that they had apostatised from the true and liveing faith and there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the new testament and I felt to mourn for my own sins and for the sins of the world (Joseph Smith, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, compiled and edited by Dean C. Jessee [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1984], 75, 4-5; or Milton V. Backman, Jr., Joseph Smith's First Vision, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1971], 158, 156).

Soon after the foregoing revelation was received, a woman came making great pretensions of revealing commandments, laws and other curious matters; and as almost every person has advocates for both theory and practice, in the various notions and projects of the age, it became necessary to inquire of the Lord, when I received the following: [Section 43] (Joseph Smith, HC 1:154).

The way to get along in any important matter is to gather unto yourselves wise men, experienced and aged men, to assist in council in all times of trouble. Handsome men are not apt to be wise and strong-minded men; but the strength of a strong-minded man will generally create course features, like the rough, strong bough of the oak (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:389; Teachings, 299).

Satan [is] generally blamed for the evils which we [do], but if he was the cause of all our wickedness, men could not be condemned. The devil [can] not compel mankind to do evil; all [is] voluntary. Those who [resist] the Spirit of God, [are] liable to be led into temptation, and then the association of heaven [is] withdrawn from those who [refuse] to be made partakers of such great glory. God [will] not exert any compulsory means, and the devil [can] not; and such ideas as [are] entertained [on these subjects] by many [are] absurd (Joseph Smith, HC, 4:358; Teachings, 187).

One great evil is, that men are ignorant of the nature of spirits; their power, laws, government, intelligence, etc., and imagine that when there is anything like power, revelation, or vision manifested, that it must be of God. Hence the Methodists, Presbyterians, and others frequently possess a spirit that will cause them to lie down, and during its operation, animation is frequently entirely suspended; they consider it to be the power of God, and a glorious manifestation from God-a manifestation of what? Is there any intelligence communicated? Are the curtains of heaven withdrawn, or the purposes of God developed? Have they seen and conversed with an angel-or have the glories of futurity burst upon their view? No! but their body has been inanimate, the operation of their spirit suspended, and all the intelligence that can be obtained from them when they arise, is a shout of "glory," or "hallelujah," or some incoherent expression; but they have had "the power" (Joseph Smith, HC, 4:572; Teachings, 203-204).

Let this Society teach women how to behave towards their husbands, to treat them with mildness and affection. When a man is borne down with trouble, when he is perplexed with care and difficulty, if he can meet a smile instead of an argument or a murmur—if he can meet with mildness, it will calm down his soul and soothe his feelings; when the mind is going to despair, it needs a solace of affection and kindness (Joseph Smith, HC, 4:606-607; Teachings, 228).

Furthermore, the angel told him...that the time had not yet come for the plates to be brought forth to the world; that he could not take them from the place wherein they were deposited until he had learned to keep the commandments of God—not only till he was willing but able to do it (Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, 81).

I have a key by which I understand the scriptures. I enquire, what was the question which drew out the answer, or caused Jesus to utter the parable? (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:261; Teachings, 276).

It is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one, to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves; therefore you will see the impropriety of giving heed to them; but if any person have a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for his own benefit and instruction; for the fundamental principles, government, and doctrine of the Church are vested in the keys of the kingdom (Joseph Smith, HC, 1:338; Teachings, 21).

It is a great thing to inquire at the hands of God, or to come into His presence; and we feel fearful to approach Him on subjects that are of little or no consequence, to satisfy the queries of individuals, especially about things the knowledge of which men ought to obtain in all sincerity, before God, for themselves, in humility by the prayer of faith; and more especially a teacher or a High Priest in the Church (Joseph Smith, HC, 1:339; Teachings, 22).

The matter of consecration must be done by the mutual consent of both parties; for to give the Bishop power to say how much every man shall have, and he be obliged to comply with the Bishop's judgment, is giving to the Bishop more power than a king has; and, upon the other hand, to let every man say how much he needs, and the Bishop be obliged to comply with his judgment, is to throw Zion into confusion, and make a slave of the Bishop. The fact is, there must be a balance or equilibrium of power, between the Bishop and the people; and thus harmony and good-will may be preserved among you (Joseph Smith, HC, 1:364; Teachings, 23).

To every church in past ages which the Lord recognized to be His, He gave revelations, wisely calculated to govern them in the peculiar situation and circumstances under which they were placed, and to enable them by authority to do the peculiar work which they were to perform. The Bible contains revelations given at different times to different people, under different circumstances...The old world was destroyed for rejecting the revelations of God given to them through Noah. The Israelites were destroyed in the wilderness for despising the revelations given to them through Moses; and Christ said that the world, in the days of the Apostles, would be condemned for not receiving the word of God through them: Thus we see that the judgments of God in the past ages have come upon the people not so much for neglecting the revelations given to their forefathers, as for rejecting those given immediately to themselves (Joseph Smith, HC 1:277-278).

Let your labors be mostly confined to those around you, in the circle of your own acquaintance, as far as knowledge is concerned, it may extend to all the world; but your administering should be confined to the circle of your immediate acquaintance, and more especially to the members of the Relief Society (Joseph Smith, HC, 4:607; Teachings, 229).

This Society is to get instruction through the order which God has established—through the medium of those appointed to lead [guide and direct the affairs of the Church in this last dispensation]—and I now turn the key to you in the name of God and this Society shall rejoice and knowledge and intelligence shall flow down from this time—this is the beginning of better days to this Society (Joseph Smith to the Relief Society, 28 Apr 1842, The Words of Joseph Smith, 118; Compare to HC, 4:607, or Teachings, 228-229).

Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind (Joseph Smith to the Relief Society, 9 June 1842, HC, 5:23; Teachings, 240).

After the foregoing was received [D&C 67], William E. M'Lellin, as the wisest man, in his own estimation, having more learning than sense, endeavored to write a commandment like unto one of the least of the Lord's, but failed; it was an awful responsibility to write in the name of the Lord. The Elders and all present that witnessed this vain attempt of a man to imitate the language of Jesus Christ, renewed their faith in the fulness of the Gospel, and in the truth of the commandments and revelations which the Lord had given to the Church through my instrumentality; and the Elders signified a willingness to bear testimony of their truth to all the world (Joseph Smith, HC 1:226).

I cannot learn from any communication by the Spirit to me, that Zion has forfeited her claim to a celestial crown, notwithstanding the Lord has caused her to be thus afflicted...I have always expected that Zion would suffer some affliction, from what I could learn from the commandments which have been given. But I would remind you of a certain clause in one which says, that after much tribulation cometh the blessing. By this, and also others, and also one received of late, I know that Zion, in the due time of the lord, will be redeemed; but how many will be the days of purification, tribulation, and affliction, the Lord has kept hid from my eyes; and when I inquire concerning this subject, the voice of the Lord is: Be still, and know that I am God; all those who suffer for my name shall reign with me, and he that layeth down his life for my sake shall find it again (Joseph Smith, 10 Dec 1833, HC, 1:453-454; Teachings, 34).

February 4, 1843. At four in the afternoon, I went out with my little Frederick, to exercise myself by sliding on the ice (Joseph Smith, HC 5:265).

If you will listen to the first promptings you will get it right nine times out of ten (Joseph Smith, Diary of Charles L. Walker, 902; See also Truman G. Madsen, Joseph Smith the Prophet, 103).

I saw Adam in the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman. He called together his children and blessed them with a patriarchal blessing. The Lord appeared in their midst, and he (Adam) blessed them all, and foretold what should befall them to the latest generation. This is why Adam blessed his posterity; he wanted to bring them into the presence of God (Joseph Smith, HC 3:388; Teachings, 158-159).

[What does it mean to "be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ"?] To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a God, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before. What did Jesus do? Why; I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds come rolling into existence. My Father worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father, so that he may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take his place, and thereby become exalted myself (Joseph Smith, HC 6:306; Teachings, 347).

In ancient days councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the council by the Spirit, was obtained, which has not been observed in this Church to the present time. It was understood in ancient days, that if one man could stay in council, another could; and if the president could spend his time, the members could also; but in our councils, generally, one will be uneasy, another asleep; one praying, another not; one's mind on the business of the council, and another thinking on something else (Joseph Smith, HC 2:25; Teachings, 69).

I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen (Joseph Smith, HC 6:185; Teachings, 331).

There has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn-dodger for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle. Even the Saints are slow to understand (Joseph Smith, HC 6:184; Teachings, 331).

If I now had in my possession, every decision which had been had upon important items of doctrine and duties since the commencement of this work, I would not part with them for any sum of money; but we have neglected to take minutes of such things, thinking, perhaps, that they would never benefit us afterwards; which, if we had them now, would decide almost every point of doctrine which might be agitated. But this has been neglected, and now we cannot bear record to the Church and to the world, of the great and glorious manifestations which have been made to us with that degree of power and authority we otherwise could, if we now had these things to publish abroad (Joseph Smith, HC 2:198; Teachings, 72).

[My wife] was a very hardworking woman, taking much more responsibility in her home than most women take. Thinking to give the Prophet some light on home management, I said to him, "Brother Joseph, my wife does much more hard work than does your wife." Brother Joseph replied by telling me that if a man cannot learn in this life to appreciate a wife and do his duty by her, in properly taking care of her, he need not expect to be given one in the hereafter. His words shut my mouth as tight as a clam. I took them as terrible reproof. After that I tried to do better by the good wife I had and tried to lighten her labors (Jesse W. Crosby, in Hyrum Andrus, They Knew the Prophet, 164).

Hyrum Smith said that he thought best that the information [about] the coming forth of the book of Mormon be related by Joseph himself to the Elders present that all might know for themselves. Joseph Smith Jr. said that it was not intended to tell the world all the particulars of the coming forth of the book of Mormon, & also said that it was not expedient for him to relate these things (Joseph Smith, Conference in Orange, OH, 25-26 Oct 1831, See Minute Book 2, Page 15, Joseph Smith Papers, HC 1:220).

Oh Lord God, deliver us, in thy due time, from the little, narrow prison -- almost as it were total darkness -- of paper, pen, and ink and a crooked, broken, scattered, and imperfect language. (Joseph Smith, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, Letter to W. W. Phelps, Nov. 27, 1832).

There was a settlement on Log Creek, between three and five miles east from Far West. It was quite a rich settlement. A man named Haughn had just completed a good flouring mill on the creek. The morning after the battle of Crooked River, Haughn came to Far West to consult with the Prophet concerning the policy of the removal of the settlers on Log Creek to the fortified camps. Col. White and myself were standing by when the Prophet said to him, "Move in, by all means, if you wish to save your lives." Haughn replied that if the settlers left their homes, all of their property would be lost, and the Gentiles would burn their houses and other buildings. The Prophet said, "You had much better lose your property than your lives. One can be replaced, the other cannot be restored; but there is no need of your losing either if you will only do as you are commanded." Haughn said that he considered the best plan was for all of the settlers to move into and around the mill, and use the blacksmith's shop and other buildings as a fort in case of attack; in this way he thought they would be perfectly safe. "You are at liberty to do so if you think best," said the Prophet. Haughn then departed, well satisfied that he had carried his point. The Prophet turned to Col. White and said, "That man did not come for counsel, but to induce me to tell him to do as he pleased; which I did. Had I commanded them to move in here and leave their property, they would have called me a tyrant. I wish they were here for their own safety. I am confident that we will soon learn that they have been butchered in a freightful manner." (John D. Lee, Writings of John D. Lee, Edited by Samuel Nyal Henrie, 61-62).

Several of the officers of the troops in Carthage, and other gentlemen, curious to see the Prophet, visited Joseph in his room. General Smith asked them if there was anything in his appearance that indicated he was the desperate character his enemies represented him to be; and he asked them to give him their honest opinion on the subject. The reply was, "No, sir, your appearance would indicate the very contrary, General Smith; but we cannot see what is in your heart, neither can we tell what are your intentions." To which Joseph replied, "Very true, gentlemen, you cannot see what is in my heart, and you are therefore unable to judge me or my intentions; but I can see what is in your hearts, and will tell you what I see. I can see that you thirst for blood, and nothing but my blood will satisfy you. It is not for crime of any description that I and my brethren are thus continually persecuted and harassed by our enemies, but there are other motives, and some of them I have expressed, so far as relates to myself; and inasmuch as you and the people thirst for blood, I prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that you shall witness scenes of blood and sorrow to your entire satisfaction. Your souls shall be perfectly satiated with blood, and many of you who are now present shall have an opportunity to face the cannon's mouth from sources you think not of; and those people that desire this great evil upon me and my brethren, shall be filled with regret and sorrow because of the scenes of desolation and distress that await them. They shall seek for peace, and shall not be able to find it. Gentlemen, you will find what I have told you to be true" (Joseph Smith HC, 6:566).

By proving contraries, truth is made manifest (Joseph Smith to L. Daniel Rupp, June 5, 1944, HC 6:)

Bro. Joseph turned to me and said: "Brother Brigham this is not arranged right but we have done the best we could under the circumstances in which we are placed, and I wish you to take this matter in hand and organize and systematize all these ceremonies with the signs, tokens, penalties and key words." I did so, and each time I got something more, so that when we went through the temple at Nauvoo I understood and knew how to place them there. We had our ceremonies pretty correct. (John Nuttall Journal, February 7, 1877, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library; found in Saints, Vol. 1; Chapter 37).

He said he was but a man and they must not expect him to be perfect; if they expected perfection from him, he should expect it from them, but if they would bear with his infirmities and the infirmities of the brethren, he would likewise bear with their infirmities. (JSP, Documents 11: 29 October 1842).

I bless thee with the blessings of thy fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and even the blessings of thy father Joseph, the son of Jacob. Behold, he looked after his posterity in the last days, when they should be scattered and driven by the Gentiles, and wept before the Lord: he sought diligently to know from whence the son should come who should bring forth the word of the Lord, by which they might be enlightened, and brought back to the true fold, and his eyes beheld thee, my son: his heart rejoiced and his soul was satisfied (JSP, Documents 4: 9 December 1834).

Joseph: "I know not why; but for some reason I am constrained to hasten my preparations, and to confer upon the Twelve all the ordinances, keys, covenants, endowments, and sealing ordinances of the priesthood, and so set before them a pattern in all things pertaining to the sanctuary and the endowment therein" (Parley P. Pratt, Jan. 1, 1845; Found in Truman G. Madsen, Lecture 7, Footnote 25).

The Prophet Joseph, I am now satisfied, had a thorough presentiment that that was the last meeting we would hold together here in the flesh. We had had our endowments; we had had all the blessings sealed upon our heads that were ever given to the apostles or prophets on the face of the earth. On that occasion the Prophet Joseph rose up and said to us: "Brethren, I have desired to live to see this temple built. I shall never live to see it, but you will. I have sealed upon your heads all the keys of the kingdom of God. I have sealed upon you every key, power, principle that the God of heaven has revealed to me. Now, no matter where I may go or what I may do, the kingdom rests upon you." Now, don't you wonder why we, as Apostles, could not have understood that the prophet of God was going to be taken away from us? But we did not understand it. The Apostles in the days of Jesus Christ could not understand what the Savior meant when He told them, "I am going away; if I do not go away the Comforter will not come!" Neither did we understand what Joseph meant. "But," he said, after having done this, "ye Apostles of the Lamb of God, my brethren, upon your shoulders this kingdom rests; now you have got to round up your shoulders and bear off the kingdom." And he also made this very strange remark: "If you do not do it you will be damned." I am the last man living who heard that declaration. (Wilford Woodruff, Millennial Star, 2 Sept. 1889, 545-9; Found in Liahona, Apr. 2004)

The world itself presents one great theatre of misery, woe, and "distress of nations with perplexity." All, all speak with a voice of thunder, that man is not able to govern himself--to legislate for himself--to protect himself--to promote his own good, nor the good of the world. (Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, 10: July 15, 1842).

It has been the design of Jehovah, from the commencement of the world, and is his purpose now, to regulate the affairs of the world in his own time; to stand as head of the universe, and take the reigns of government into his own hand. When that is done judgment will be administered in righteousness; anarchy and confusion will be destroyed, and "nations will learn war no more"...Other attempts to promote universal peace and happiness in the human family have proven abortive; every effort has failed; every plan and design has fallen to the ground; it needs the wisdom of God, the intelligence of God, and the power of God to accomplish this. (Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, 10: July 15, 1842).

The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory (Teachings Section 4, All Things to Be Gathered in One; Documents 10, May 2, 1842).







Be ye as perfect as ye can, for that is all we can do, though it is written, be ye perfect as your Father who is in heaven is perfect. To be as perfect as we possibly can, according to our knowledge, is to be just as perfect as our Father in heaven is. He cannot be any more perfect than He knows how, any more than we. When we are doing as well as we know how in the sphere and station which we occupy here, we are justified in the justice, righteousness, mercy, and judgment that go before the Lord of heaven and earth. We are as justified as the angels who are before the throne of God. The sin that will cleave to all the posterity of Adam and Eve is, that they have not done as well as they knew how (Brigham Young, Discourses, 89).

Do you think that people will obey the truth because it is true, unless they love it? No, they will not. Truth is obeyed when it is loved (Brigham Young, Discourses 220).

If all the talent, tact, wisdom, and refinement of the world had been sent to me with the Book of Mormon, and had declared, in the most exalted of earthly eloquence, the truth of it, undertaking to prove it by learning and worldly wisdom, they would have been to me like the smoke which arises only to vanish away. But when I saw a man without eloquence, or talents for public speaking, who could only say, "I know, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord," the Holy Ghost proceeding from that individual illuminated my understanding, and light, glory, and immortality were before me. I was encircled by them, filled with them, and I knew for myself that the testimony of the man was true. My own judgment, natural endowments, and education bowed to this simple, but mighty testimony. There sits the man who baptized me, (brother Eleazer Miller). It filled my system with light, and my soul with joy. The world, with all its wisdom and power, and with all the glory and fancy show of its kings or sovereigns, sinks into perfect insignificance, compared with the simple, unadorned testimony of the servant of God (Brigham Young, JD 1:91).

If you are ever called upon to chasten a person, never chasten beyond the balm you have within you to bind up...They deserve chastisement, but God forbid that I should chasten beyond the healing balm I have to save them and make better men of them (Brigham Young, JD 9:124-125).

In my experience I never did let an opportunity pass of getting with the Prophet Joseph and of hearing him speak in public or in private, so that I might draw understanding from the fountain from which he spoke, that I might have it and bring it forth when it was needed...Such moments were more precious to me than all the wealth of the world. No matter how great my poverty—if I had to borrow [a] meal to feed my wife and children, I never let an opportunity pass of learning what the Prophet had to impart. This is the secret of the success of your humble servant (Brigham Young, JD 12:269-70).

In regard to the battle in heaven...let me tell you that it was one-third part of the spirits who were prepared to take tabernacles upon this earth, and who rebelled against the other two thirds of the heavenly host; and they were cast down to this world. It is written that they were cast down to the earth. They were cast down to this globe—to this terra firma that you and I walk upon, and whose atmosphere we breathe. One-third part of the spirits that were prepared for this earth rebelled against Jesus Christ, and were cast down to the earth, and they have been opposed to him from that day to this, with Lucifer at their head (Brigham Young, Discourses, 54-55).

It is supposed by this people that we have all the ordinances in our possession for life and salvation, and exaltation, and that we are administering in these ordinances. This is not the case. We are in possession of all the ordinances that can be administered in the flesh; but there are other ordinances and administrations that must be administered beyond this world. I know you would ask what they are. I will mention one. We have not, neither can we receive here, the ordinance and the keys of the resurrection. They will be given to those who have passed off this stage of action and have received their bodies again, as many have already done and many more will. They will be ordained, by those who hold the keys of the resurrection, to go forth and resurrect the Saints just as we receive the ordinance of baptism, then the keys of authority to baptize others (Brigham Young, Discourses, 397-8; See also Ensign, May 1977, 49).

Joseph said that the Elders of Israel...would receive more temptations, be more buffetted, and have greater difficulty to escape the evil thrown in their way by females than by any other means. This is one of Satan's most powerful auxiliaries with which to weaken the influence of the ministers of Christ, and bring them down from their high position and calling into darkness, shame, and disgrace. You will have to guard more strictly against that than against any other evil that may beset you (Brigham Young, JD 8:55).

Joseph stepped toward me, and looking very earnestly, yet pleasantly said, "Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world"...Joseph again said. "Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it, and it will lead them just right." (Brigham Young, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Feb. 23, 1847, 529-530).

"Brother Joseph...the brethren have a great anxiety to understand the law of adoption or sealing principles; and if you have a word of counsel for me I should be glad to recieve it." Joseph stepped toward me, and looking very earnestly, yet pleasantly said, "Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world." Our Father in Heaven organized the human family, but they are all disorganized and in great confusion." Joseph then showed me the pattern, how they were in the beginning. This I cannot describe, but I saw it, and saw where the Priesthood had been taken from the earth and how it must be joined together, so that there would be a perfect chain from Father Adam to his latest posterity. Joseph again said. "Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it, and it will lead them just right." (Brigham Young, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Feb. 23, 1847, 529-530).

No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation—the keys to rule in the spirit-world; and he rules there triumphantly (Brigham Young, JD 7:289).

Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited the plates. When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. It was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls (Brigham Young, JD 19:38).

The Latter-day Saints have got to learn that the interest of their brethren is their own interest, or they never can be saved in the celestial kingdom of God (Brigham Young, Discourses, 271).

The people of the Most High God must be tried...in all things, even as Abraham was tried...All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation...If we obtain the glory that Abraham obtained, we must do so by the same means that he did...Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation (Brigham Young, Discourses, 345).

The worst fear I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and His people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people [has stood] mobbing, robbing, poverty, and all manner of persecution and [been] true. But my greatest fear is that they cannot stand wealth (Brigham Young, Miracle of Forgiveness, 48).

When the angel who holds the keys of the resurrection shall sound his trumpet, then the peculiar fundamental particles that organized our bodies here, if we do honor to them, though they be deposited in the depths of the sea, and though one particle is in the north, another in the south, another in the east, and another in the west, will be brought together again in the twinkling of an eye, and our spirits will take possession of them (Brigham Young, Discourses, 372).

When the body is prepared, at the proper time, the spirit enters the tabernacle. When the mother feels life there is an evidence that the spirit from heaven has entered the tabernacle (Brigham Young, JD 18:258).

You cannot find a compass on the earth, that points, so directly, as the Gospel plan of salvation. It has a place for every thing, and puts everything in its place (Brigham Young, JD 3:96).

You need not be discouraged, or mourn, because you were not in [the] Jackson County persecutions, or were not driven from Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, and stripped, robbed and plundered of all your property. Do not mourn and feel bad, because you were not in Nauvoo; have no fears, for if the word of the Lord is true, you shall yet be tried in all things; so rejoice, and pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks even if it is in the spoiling of your goods, for it is the hand of God that leads us, and will continue so to do (Brigham Young, Discourses, 347).

Will education feed and clothe you, keep you warm on a cold day, or enable you to build a house? Not at all. Should we cry down education on this account? No. What is it for? The improvement of the mind; to instruct us in all arts and sciences, in the history of the world, in the laws of nations; to enable us to understand the laws and principles of life, and how to be useful while we live (Brigham Young, Discourses, 250-251).

The Father withdrew His spirit from His son, at the time he was to be crucified. Jesus had been with his Father, talked with Him, dwelt in His bosom, and knew all about heaven, about making the earth, about the transgression of man, and what would redeem the people, and that he was the character who was to redeem the sons of earth, and the earth itself from all sin that had come upon it. The light, knowledge, power, and glory with which he was clothed were far above, or exceeded that of all others who had been upon the earth after the fall, consequently at the very moment, at the hour when the crisis came for him to offer up his life, the Father withdrew Himself, withdrew His Spirit, and cast a vail over him. That is what made him sweat blood. If he had had the power of God upon him, he would not have sweat blood; but all was withdrawn from him, and a veil was cast over him, and he then plead with the Father not to forsake him (Brigham Young, JD 3:206).

The brightness and glory of the next apartment is inexpressible. It is not encumbered with this clog of dirt we are carrying around here so that when we advance in years we have to be stubbing along and to be careful lest we fall down. We see our youth, even, frequently stubbing their toes and falling down. But yonder, how different! They move with ease and like lightning. If we want to visit Jerusalem, or this, that, or the other place—and I presume we will be permitted if we desire—there we are, looking at its streets. If we want to behold Jerusalem as it was in the days of the Savior; or if we want to see the Garden of Eden as it was when created, there we are, and we see it as it existed spiritually, for it was created first spiritually and then temporally, and spiritually it still remains. And when there we may behold the earth as at the dawn of creation, or we may visit any city we please that exists upon its surface. If we wish to understand how they are living here on these western islands, or in China, we are there...and if they wish to visit different planets, they will be there. If the Lord wish to visit His children here, He is here; if He wish to send one of His angels to the earth to speak to some of His children, he is here (Brigham Young, JD 14:231).

A perfect oneness will save a people, because intelligent beings cannot become perfectly one, only by acting upon principles that pertain to eternal life. Wicked men may be partially united in evil; but, in the very nature of things, such a union is of short duration. The very principle upon which they are partially united will itself breed contention and disunion to destroy the temporary compact. Only the line of truth and righteousness can secure to any kingdom or people, either of earthly or heavenly existence, an eternal continuation of perfect union; for only truth and those who are sanctified by it can dwell in celestial glory (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 282).

It is both the duty and privilege of the Latter-day Saints to know that their religion is true (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 429).

This afternoon's meeting will be omitted. For I wish the sisters to go home and prepare to give those who have just arrived a mouthful of something to eat and wash them and nurse them. You know that I would give more for a dish of pudding and milk and baked potato and salt were I in this same situation as those persons who have just come in than I would for all your prayers—though you were to stay here all afternoon in prayer. Prayer is good, but when baked potatoes and pudding and milk are needed, prayer will not supply their place on this occasion. Give every duty its proper time and place (Brigham Young, Deseret News, 10 Dec 1856).

Precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little. That is, He gives a little to His humble followers today, and if they improve upon it, tomorrow He will give them a little more, and the next day a little more. He does not add to that which they do not improve upon (Brigham Young, JD 2:1-2).

If I can know of a truth that the hearts of the people are fully set to do the will of their Father in Heaven, though they may falter and do a great many things through the weaknesses of human nature, yet they will be saved (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 389).

Thousands of temptations assail, and you make a miss here and a slip there, and say that you have not lived up to all the knowledge you have. True; but often it is a marvel to me that you have lived up to so much as you have, considering the power of the enemy upon the earth. Few that have ever lived have fully understood that power. I do not fully comprehend the awful power and influence Satan has upon the earth, but I understand enough to know that it is a marvel that the Latter-day Saints are as good as they are (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 80).

Those who attain to the blessing of the first or celestial resurrection will be pure and holy, and perfect in body. Every man and woman that reaches to this unspeakable attainment will be as beautiful as the angels that surround the throne of God. If you can, by faithfulness in this life, obtain the right to come up in the morning of the resurrection, you need entertain no fears that the wife will be dissatisfied with her husband, or the husband with the wife (Brigham Young, JD 10:24).

Any man who will make whiskey to sell would sell the Kingdom of God for a [nickel]. I despise the whisky maker more than I do the thieves, and I have no use for either. Harlots and publicans will enter the Kingdom of God before the whisky dealer. Cursed is he that putteth the cup to his brother's lips (Brigham Young, The Life Story of Brigham Young, Gates & Widtsoe, 164; Wilford Woodruff—His Life and Labors, Cowley, 418).

If we could perceive and fully understand that all the ability and knowledge we have, every good we possess, every bright idea, every pure affection, and every good vision of mind from our infancy to the present time, are all the free gift of the Lord, and that we of ourselves have nothing original, we should be much better prepared and far more ready to act faithfully and wisely under all circumstances. Every good thing is in His hands, is subject to His power, belongs to Him, and is only handed over to us, for the time being, to see what use we will make of it (Brigham Young, JD 2:300-301).

Should you receive a vision or revelation from the Almighty, one that the Lord gave you concerning yourselves, or this people, but which you are not to reveal on account of your not being the proper person, or because it ought not to be known by the people at present, you should shut it up and seal it as [closed], and lock it as tight as heaven is to you, and make it as secret as the grave. The Lord has no confidence in those who reveal secrets, for he cannot safely reveal himself to such persons (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 40-41).

Many may think they haven't any testimony to bear, but get them to stand up and they will find the Lord will give them utterance to many truths they had not thought of before. More people have obtained a testimony while standing up trying to bear it than down on their knees praying for it (Brigham Young, in Junius F. Wells, "Historic Sketch of the YMMIA," Improvement Era, June 1925, 715; also in David A. Bednar, "Seek Learning by Faith," Address to CES Religious Educators, 3 Feb. 2006, 5).

Benjamin F. Johnson: "As soon as he [Brigham Young] spoke I jumped upon my feet, for in every possible degree it was Joseph's voice, and his person, in look, attitude, dress and appearance was Joseph himself, personified; and I knew in a moment the spirit and mantle of Joseph was upon him." Zina Huntington: "President Young was speaking. It was the voice of Joseph Smith—not that of Brigham Young. His very person was changed. . . . I closed my eyes. I could have exclaimed, I know that is Joseph Smith's voice! Yet I knew he had gone. But the same spirit was with the people." George Q. Cannon, then a boy of fifteen: "It was the voice of Joseph himself; and not only was it the voice of Joseph which was heard; but it seemed in the eyes of the people as though it was the very person of Joseph which stood before them. . . . They both saw and heard with their natural eyes and ears, and then the words which were uttered came, accompanied by the convincing power of God, to their hearts, and they were filled with the Spirit and with great joy." Wilford Woodruff: "If I had not seen him with my own eyes, there is no one that could have convinced me that it was not Joseph Smith speaking."

When a person requested a priesthood blessing, Brigham Young would ask, "Have you used any remedies?" To those who said no because "we wish the Elders to lay hands upon us, and we have faith that we shall be healed," President Young replied: "That is very inconsistent according to my faith. If we are sick, and ask the Lord to heal us, and to do all for us that is necessary to be done, according to my understanding of the Gospel of salvation, I might as well ask the Lord to cause my wheat and corn to grow, without my plowing the ground and casting in the seed. It appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the range of my knowledge, and [then] to ask my Father in Heaven...to sanctify that application to the healing of my body" (Discourses of Brigham Young, 163; Quoted by Dallin H. Oaks in "Healing the Sick," Ensign, May 2010, 47)).

Every principle God has revealed carries its own convictions of its truth to the human mind, and there is no calling of God to man on earth but what brings with it the evidence of its authenticity (Teachings of Presidents of The Church: Brigham Young, 71).

We must learn to be righteous in the dark (Brigham Young, Brigham Young's Office Journal, Jan. 28, 1857).

There is one principle I wish to urge upon the Saints in a way that it may remain with them -- that is, to understand men and women as they are, and not understand them as you are (Brigham Young, JD 8:37).

I rose up, and in a plain and forcible manner told them that Joseph was a Prophet, and I knew it, and they might rail and slander him as much as they pleased, they could not destroy the appointment of the Prophet of God, they could only destroy their own authority, cut the thread that bound them to the Prophet and to God and sink themselves to hell ("History of Brigham Young," Deseret News Weekly, 10 Feb. 1858, 386)

All facts are proved and made manifest by their opposite (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 433).







Let not your hearts be troubled, neither be ye concerned about the management and organization of my Church and Priesthood and the accomplishment of my work. Fear me and observe my laws and I will reveal unto you, from time to time, through the channels that I have appointed, everything that shall be necessary for the future development and perfection of my Church, for the adjustment and rolling forth of my kingdom, and for the building up and the establishment of my Zion. For ye are my Priesthood and I am your God. Even so. Amen (A Revelation given through John Taylor, Apr. 14, 1883, Messages of the First Presidency, 2:354)

I was not born a slave! I cannot, will not be a slave. I would not be a slave to God! I would be His servant, friend, His son. I would go at His behest; but would not be His slave. I would rather be extinct than be a slave. His friend I feel I am, and He is mine:— [but] a slave? The manacles would pierce my very bones—the clanking chains would grate against my soul—a poor, lost, servile, crawling wretch, to lick the dust and fawn and smile upon the thing who gave the lash!...But stop! I am God's free man; I will not, cannot be a slave! (Roberts, B. H., The Life of John Taylor, 424).

If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty (John Taylor, JD 20:23).

We have had a great deal said about the United Order, and about our becoming one. And some people would wish--Oh, how they do wish, they could get around that principle, if they could! But you Latter-day Saints, you cannot get around it; you cannot dig around it; it will rise before you every step you take, for God is determined to carry out his purposes, and to build up his Zion; and those who will not walk into line he will move out of the way and no place will be found for them in Israel. Hear it, you Latter-day Saints for I say to you in the name of Israel's God that it is a revelation from the Most High, and you cannot get around it (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, 254;JD 20:43).

We believe that God is going to revolutionize the earth, to purge it from iniquity of every kind and to introduce righteousness of every kind, until the great millennium is fully introduced. We believe, moreover, that God, having commenced his Work, will continue to reveal and make manifest his will to his Priesthood, to his Church and kingdom on the earth, and that among this people there will be an embodiment of virtue, of truth, of holiness, of integrity, of fidelity, of wisdom and of the knowledge of God...We believe that we shall rear splendid edifices, magnificent temples and beautiful cities that shall become the pride, praise and glory of the whole earth. We believe that this people will excel in literature, in science and the arts and in manufactures...In fact, if there is anything great, noble, dignified, exalted, anything pure, or holy, or virtuous, or lovely, anything that is calculated to exalt or ennoble the human mind, to dignify and elevate the people, it will be found among the people of the Saints of the Most High God. This is only a faint outline of some of our views in relation to these things, and hence we talk of returning to Jackson county to build the most magnificent temple that ever was formed on the earth and the most splendid city that was ever erected; yea, cities, if you please...And the people, from the President down, will all be under the guidance and direction of the Lord in all the pursuits of human life, until eventually they will be enabled to erect cities that will be fit to be caught up--that when Zion descends from above, Zion will also ascend from beneath, and be prepared to associate with those from above. The people will be so perfected and purified, ennobled, exalted, and dignified in their feelings and so truly humble and most worthy, virtuous and intelligent that they will be fit, when caught up, to associate with that Zion that shall come down from God out of heaven...If we could keep our eyes upon this a little while, and then look back to where we came from, examine our present position and see the depravity, ignorance and corruption that exists where we have come from and that yet exists among us, it is evident that some great revolution, some mighty change has got to transpire to revolutionize our minds, our feelings and judgment, our pursuits and action, and, in fact, to control and influence us throughout, before anything of this kind can take place...No wonder that Joseph Smith should say that he felt himself shut up in a nutshell, there was no power of expansion, it was difficult for him to reveal and communicate the things of God, because there was no place to receive them. What he had to communicate was so much more comprehensive, enlightened and dignified than that which the people generally knew and comprehended, it was difficult for him to speak...Yet this being a fact and these being part of the things we expect to accomplish, there must be a beginning somewhere;...and if we do squirm once in a while it is not strange, because it is so difficult for the people to comprehend the things which are for their benefit. We have been brought up so ignorantly and our ideas and views are so contracted it is scarcely possible to receive the things of God as they exist in His bosom. It is easy for us to talk about heaven, and about going to Jackson county, and about building up the kingdom of God, &c.; it is easy to sing about it and pray about it, but it is another thing to do it (John Taylor, JD, 10:146-148).







A priest holds the key of the ministering of angels. Never in my life, as an apostle, as a seventy, or as an elder, have I ever had more of the protection of the Lord than while holding the office of [a] priest (Wilford Woodruff, Discourses, 300).

One night the Prophet called on all who held the Priesthood to gather into the little log school house they had there. It was a small house, perhaps 14 feet square. But it held the whole of the Priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were then in the town of Kirtland. When we got together the Prophet called upon the Elders of Israel to bear testimony of this work. Oliver Cowdery, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, the two Pratts, and Orson Hyde spoke, and a good many [others]. When they got though the Prophet said, "Brethren I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight, but I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother's lap. You don't comprehend it. It is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world (Wilford Woodruff, CR Apr. 1898, 57).

The Lord has chosen a small number of choice spirits of sons and daughters out of all the creations of God, who are to inherit this earth; and this company of choice spirits have been kept in the spirit world for six thousand years to come forth in the last days to stand in the flesh in this last dispensation of the fulness of times, to organize the kingdom of God upon the earth, to build it up and to defend it and to receive the eternal and everlasting priesthood of God (Wilford Woodruff, Title of Liberty, 197; Quoted in Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 555).

The same Priesthood exists on the other side of the vail. Every man who is faithful in his quorum here will join his quorum there. When a man dies and his body is laid in the tomb, he does not lose his position. The Prophet Joseph Smith held the keys of this dispensation on this side of the vail, and he will hold them throughout the countless ages of eternity. He went into the spirit world to unlock the prison doors and to preach the Gospel to the millions of spirits who are in darkness, and every Apostle, every Seventy, every Elder, etc., who has died in the faith as soon as he passes to the other side of the vail, enters into the work of the ministry, and there is a thousand times more to preach there than there is here. I have felt of late as if our brethren on the other side of the vail had held a council, and that they had said to this one, and that one, "Cease thy work on earth, come hence, we need help," and they have called this man and that man. It has appeared so to me in seeing the many men who have been called from our midst lately (Wilford Woodruff, JD 22:333-334).

While in Winter Quarters, President Young had a dream in which the Prophet Joseph Smith appeared to him and said: "Brother Young, you exhort this people to obtain the Holy Spirit; with it they can do anything that is necessary; without it they cannot build up the kingdom of God." In one of my dreams while in Arizona, I had the same admonition from President Young. I thought he was attending one of our conferences. I said to him: "Can you speak to us?" "No," he replied, "I [am] done bearing my testimony in the flesh; I have merely come to see the people, to see you, to see what you are doing. But I want you to teach the Latter-day Saints to labor to obtain the Holy Spirit. It is one of the most important gifts that the Saints of the living God can possess. You all need this," he said, "in order to build up Zion. If you have not this Spirit—the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, the testimony of Jesus, the testimony of the Father and Son—you cannot get along. But if you are in possession of this Spirit, your minds will be open to comprehend the things of God." (Wilford Woodruff, JD 23:328-329).

The Lord has a great many principles in store for us; and the greatest principles which he has for us are the most simple and plain. The first principles of the gospel which lead us unto eternal life are the simplest, and yet none are more glorious or important to us. Men may labor to make a great display of talent, learning, and knowledge, either in printing or preaching. They may try to preach the mysteries and to present something strange, great, and wonderful, and they may labor for this with all their might, in the spirit and strength of man without the aid of the Holy Spirit of God, and yet the people are not edified, and their preaching will not give much satisfaction. It is the plainest and the most simple things that edify us the most, if taught by the Spirit of God; and there is nothing more important or beneficial unto us (Wilford Woodruff, The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, 20; JD 5:50).

Our Father, may peace abide in all the homes of Thy Saints; may holy angels guard them; may they be encompassed by Thine arms of love; may prosperity shine upon them, and may the tempter and the destroyer be removed far from them...Heavenly Father, when Thy people...are oppressed and in trouble, surrounded by difficultles or assailed by temptation and shall turn their faces towards this Thy holy house and ask Thee for deliverance, for help, for Thy power to be extended in their behalf, we beseech Thee, to look down from Thy holy habitation in mercy and tender compassion upon them, and listen to their cries (Wilford Woodruff, Dedication of the Salt Lake Temple, Contributor, 14:292, 300; or N. B. Lundwall, Temples of the Most High, 124, 127).

There is no man that has an understanding of the blessings that God has promised to give to His children, but what will desire that in preference to the fading enjoyments and empty honors of this world. You may surround any man or woman with all the wealth and glory that the imagination of man can grasp, and are they satisfied? No. There is still an aching void. On the other hand, show me a beggar upon the streets, who has got the Holy Ghost, whose mind is filled with that Spirit and power, and I will show you a person who has peace of mind, who possesses true riches, and those enjoyments that no man can obtain from any other source (Wilford Woodruff, JD, 2:199).

Before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, "You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God" (Wilford Woodruff, GC, April 1898).







Dear Brother:
Hast thou not been unwisely bold.
Man's destiny to thus unfold?
To raise, promote such high desire.
Such vast ambition thus inspire?
Still, 'tis no phantom that we trace
Man's ultimatum in life's race;
This royal path has long been trod
By righteous men, each now a God:
As Abra'm, Isaac, Jacob, too,
First babes, then men—to gods they grew.
As man now is, our God once was;
As now God is, so man may be,—
Which doth unfold man's destiny.
For John declares: When Christ we see
Like unto him we'll truly be,
And he who has this hope within,
Will purify himself from sin.
Who keep this object grand in view,
To folly, sin, will bid adieu,
Nor wallow in the mire anew;
Nor ever seek to carve his name
High on the shaft of worldly fame;
But here his ultimatum trace:
The head of all his spint-race.
Ah, well, that taught by you, dear Paul,
Though much amazed, we see it all;
Our Father God, has ope'd our eyes,
We cannot view it otherwise.
The boy, like to his father grown,
Has but attained unto his own;
To grow to sire from state of son,
Is not 'gainst Nature's course to run.
A son of God, like God to be,
Would not be robbing Deity;
And he who has this hope within,
Will purify himself from sin.
You're right, St. John, supremely right:
Whoe'er essays to climb this height,
Will cleanse himself of sin entire—
Or else 'twere needless to aspire.
(Lorenzo Snow, IE, 22:660-61; 11 January 1892.)







Adam, our great progenitor, the first man, was, like Christ, a pre-existent spirit, and like Christ he took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man, and so became a living soul...All who have inhabited the earth since Adam have taken bodies and become souls in like manner. True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ or embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man. There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man, the first of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ or embryo that becomes a man (Joseph F. Smith, "The Origin of Man," Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, 80; Ensign, Feb. 2002, 30).

After all, to do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all man-kind, is the truest greatness. To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman. We should never be discouraged in those daily tasks which God has ordained to the common lot of man. Each day's labor should be undertaken in a joyous spirit and with the thought and conviction that our happiness and eternal welfare depend upon doing well that which we ought to do, that which God has made it our duty to do. Many are unhappy because they imagine that they should be doing something unusual or something phenomenal. Some people would rather be the blossom of a tree and be admiringly seen than be an enduring part of the tree and live the commonplace life of the tree's existence. Let us not be trying to substitute an artificial life for the true one. He is truly happy who can see and appreciate the beauty with which God has adorned the commonplace things of life (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 285-6).

Among the Latter-day Saints, the preaching of false doctrines disguised as truths of the gospel, may be expected from people of two classes, and practically from these only; they are: First—The hopelessly ignorant, whose lack of intelligence is due to their indolence and sloth, who make but feeble effort, if indeed any at all, to better themselves by reading and study; those who are afflicted with a dread disease that may develop into an incurable malady—laziness. Second—The proud and self-vaunting 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. More dangerously ignorant than the first. Beware of the lazy and the proud; their infection in each case is contagious; better for them and for all when they are compelled to display the yellow flag of warning, that the clean and uninfected may be protected (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 373).

From the days of Hiram Page, at different periods there have been manifestations from delusive spirits to members of the Church. Sometimes these have come to men and women who because of transgression became easy prey to the Arch-Deceiver. At other times people who pride themselves on their strict observance of the rules and ordinances and ceremonies of the Church are led astray by false spirits, who exercise an influence so imitative of that which proceeds from a Divine source that even these persons, who think they are 'the very elect,' find it difficult to discern the essential difference...When visions, dreams, tongues, prophecy, impressions or an extraordinary gift or inspiration convey something out of harmony with the accepted revelations of the Church or contrary to the decisions of its constituted authorities, Latter-day Saints may know that it is not of God, no matter how plausible it may appear. Also, they should understand that directions for the guidance of the Church will come, by revelation, through the head. All faithful members are entitled to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for themselves, their families, and for those over whom they are appointed and ordained to preside. But anything at discord with that which comes from God through the head of the Church is not to be received as authoritative or reliable. In secular as well as spiritual affairs, Saints may receive Divine guidance and revelation affecting themselves, but this does not convey authority to direct others, and is not to be accepted when contrary to Church covenants, doctrine or discipline, or to known facts, demonstrated truths, or good common sense (Joseph F. Smith, quoted in Ensign, Jan. 1973, 105).

I believe in obeying the commandments of God, or else get out of the way. We ought not to be stumbling blocks to those who are trying to enter in at the door. God will hold us responsible for this. If there is a man on earth that has done wrong because I have set him the example, I am in some measure responsible for that wrong, and I will have to pay the debt in some way (Joseph F. Smith, Collected Discourses, 4:153).

I wish that all young men could appreciate the value there is in giving their youthful days to the service of the Lord. The Savior set a striking example in this matter, and was early about his Father's business. As early as twelve he had developed so far that he was able to teach men of wisdom and doctors of knowledge in the temple. Samuel, the prophet, had so prepared himself by a pure, self-respecting childhood that he was perfectly attuned to the whisperings of God. The shepherd youth David was chosen above his older brethren to serve in high places in the Master's cause. Other great characters in history were also selected early in life; and the best men in all ages gave their young manhood to the service of God who honored them abundantly with commendation and approval. In more modern times the Lord chose Joseph Smith in early youth to be the founder of the new and glorious dispensation of the gospel. Brigham Young was but a youth when he determined to devote his life to the Church; John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and in fact all the early founders of the Church devoted their youth and manhood to the cause of Zion. You may look around today, and who are the leaders among the people but those who early and zealously devoted themselves to the faith? And you may foretell who are to be the leaders by observing the boys who show self-respect and purity and who are earnest in all good works. The Lord will not choose men from any other class of his people and exalt them into prominence. The opposite course, waiting to serve the Lord until the wild oats of youth are sown, is reprehensible. There is always something lacking in the man who spends his youth in wickedness and sin, and then turns to righteousness in later years. Of course, the Lord honors his repentance, and it is better far that a man should late turn from evil than to continue in sin all his days, but the fact is clear that the best part of his life and strength is wasted, and there remains only poor, broken service to offer the Lord. There are regrets and heartburnings in repenting late in life from the follies and sins of youth, but there are consolation and rich reward in serving the Lord in the vigorous days of early manhood (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 334-335).

It is not necessary that our young people should know of the wickedness carried on in any place. Such knowledge is not elevating, and it is quite likely that more than one young man can trace the first step of his downfall to a curiosity which led him into questionable places...It is not necessary that they should know what is going on in such places. No man is better or stronger for such knowledge. Let them remember that "the knowledge of sin tempteth to its commission," and then avoid those temptations that in time to come may threaten their virtue and their standing in the Church of Christ (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 373).

It is not only the person who reads this strange, weird and unnatural exciting literature who is affected by its influence, but in time he influences others. This literature becomes the mother of all sorts of evil suggestions that ripen into evil practices and bring about an unnatural and debased feeling which is ever crowding out the good in the human heart and giving place to the bad. When the saints read books that are creating strange and unusual and undesirable thoughts in their minds we need not be surprised to learn that they have committed some unusual, some strange, or unnatural act. It is in the thoughts and feelings that we have to combat the evils and temptations of the world, and the purification of our thoughts and feelings should be made the special effort of every Latter-day Saint. It is remarkable how easy it is to learn sin and how hard it is to forget it (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 324).

Jesus had not finished his work when his body was slain, neither did he finish it after his resurrection from the dead; although he had accomplished the purpose for which he then came to the earth, he had not fulfilled all his work. And when will he? Not until he has redeemed and saved every son and daughter of our father Adam that have been or ever will be born upon this earth to the end of time, except the sons of perdition. That is his mission. We will not finish our work until we have saved ourselves, and then not until we shall have saved all depending upon us; for we are to become saviors upon Mount Zion, as well as Christ. We are called to this mission. The dead are not perfect without us, neither are we without them. We have a mission to perform for and in their behalf; we have a certain work to do in order to liberate those who, because of their ignorance and the unfavorable circumstances in which they were placed while here, are unprepared for eternal life; we have to open the door for them, by performing ordinances which they cannot perform for themselves, and which are essential to their release from the prison-house (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 442).

Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: "You will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit." There is restitution, there is growth, there is development, after the resurrection from death (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 445-6).

There are many excellent men but very few really good missionaries. The characteristic of a good missionary is a man who has sociability—whose friendship is permanent and sparkling—who can ingratiate himself into the confidence and favor of men who are in darkness. This cannot be done offhand. You must get acquainted with a man, learn him and gain his confidence and make him feel and know that your only desire is to do him good and bless him; then you can tell him your message, and give him the good things you have for him, kindly and lovingly (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 356).

We know that the spirit of strife and contention exists to an alarming extent among all the people of the world. Why does it exist? Because they are not one with God, nor with Christ. They have not entered into the true fold, and the result is they do not possess the spirit of the true Shepherd sufficiently to govern and control their acts in the ways of peace and righteousness. Thus they contend and strive one against another, and at last nation rises up against nation...There is just one power, and one only, that can prevent war among the nations of the earth, and that is true religion and undefiled before God, the Father. Nothing else will accomplish it. It is a very common expression today that there is good in all religions. So there is; but there is not sufficient good in the denominations of the world to prevent war, nor to prevent contention, strife, division and hatred of one another. And, put all the good doctrines, in all the denominations of the world, together, and they do not constitute sufficient good to prevent the evils that exist in the world. Why? Because the denominations lack the essential knowledge of God's revelation and truth, and the enjoyment of that spirit which comes from God that leadeth unto all truth, and that inspires men to do good and not evil, to love and not to hate, to forgive and not to bear malice, to be kind and generous and not to be unkind and contracted. So, I repeat, there is but one remedy that can prevent men from going to war, when they feel disposed to do it, and that is the Spirit of God (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 416-418).

The Priesthood in general is the authority given to man to act for God. Every man ordained to any degree of the Priesthood, has this authority delegated to him. But it is necessary that every act performed under this authority shall be done at the proper time and place, in the proper way, and after the proper order. The power of directing these labors constitutes the keys of the Priesthood (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 136).

There is no office growing out of this Priesthood that is or can be greater than the Priesthood itself. It is from the Priesthood that the office derives its authority and power. No office gives authority to the Priesthood. No office adds to the power of the Priesthood. But all offices in the Church derive their power, their virtue, their authority, from the Priesthood. If our brethren would get this principle thoroughly established in their minds, there would be less misunderstanding in relation to the functions of government in the Church than there is. Today the question is, which is the greater—the high priest or the seventy—the seventy or the high priest? I tell you that neither of them is the greater, and neither of them is the lesser. Their callings lie in different directions, but they are from the same Priesthood. If it were necessary, the seventy, holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, as he does, I say IF IT WERE NECESSARY—he could ordain a high priest; and if it were necessary for a high priest to ordain a seventy, he could do that. Why? Because both of them hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. Then again, if it were necessary, though I do not expect the necessity will ever arise, and there was no man left on earth holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, except an elder—that elder, by the inspiration of the Spirit of God and by the direction of the Almighty, could proceed and should proceed, to organize the Church of Jesus Christ in all its perfection, because he holds the Melchizedek Priesthood. But the house of God is a house of order, and while the other officers remain in the Church, we must observe the order of the priesthood, and we must perform ordinances and ordinations strictly in accordance with that order, as it has been established in the Church through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his successors (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 148-149; CR, Oct 1903, 87).

I believe that the Lord has revealed to the children of men all that they know. I do not believe that any man has discovered any principle of science, or art, in mechanism, or mathematics, or anything else, that God did not know before man did. Man is indebted to the source of all intelligence and truth, for the knowledge that he possesses; and all who will yield obedience to the promptings of the Spirit...will get a cleaner, a more expansive, and a more direct and conclusive knowledge of God's truths than anyone else can obtain. I tell you this, because I know it is true (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5).

One of the highest qualities of all true leadership is a high standard of courage. When we speak of courage and leadership we are using terms that stand for the quality of life by which men determine consciously the proper course to pursue and stand with fidelity to their convictions. There has never been a time in the Church when its leaders were not required to be courageous men; not alone courageous in the sense that they were able to meet physical dangers, but also in the sense that they were steadfast and true to a clear and upright conviction. Leaders of the Church, then, should be men not easily discouraged, not without hope, and not given to forebodings of all sorts of evils to come. Above all things the leaders of the people should never disseminate a spirit of gloom in the hearts of the people. If men standing in high places sometimes feel the weight and anxiety of momentous times, they should be all the firmer and all the more resolute in those convictions which come from a God-fearing conscience and pure lives. Men in their private lives should feel the necessity of extending encouragement to the people by their own hopeful and cheerful intercourse with them, as they do by their utterances in public places. It is a matter of the greatest importance that the people be educated to appreciate and cultivate the bright side of life rather than to permit its darkness and shadows to hover over them...Men, then, who are called to leadership should be alarmed at the possession of a disposition filled with forebodings and misgivings and doubts and constant wonderments (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 155).

I dreamed that I was on a journey, and I was impressed that I ought to hurry—hurry with all my might, for fear I might be too late. I rushed on my way as fast as I possibly could, and I was only conscious of having just a little bundle, a handkerchief with a small bundle wrapped in it. I did not realize just what it was, when I was hurrying as fast as I could; but finally I came to a wonderful mansion, if it could be called a mansion. It seemed too large, too great to have been made by hand, but I thought I knew that was my destination. As I passed towards it, as fast as I could, I saw a notice, "Bath." I turned aside quickly and went into the bath and washed myself clean. I opened up this little bundle that I had, and there was a pair of white, clean garments, a thing I had not seen for a long time, because the people I was with did not think very much of making things exceedingly clean. But my garments were clean, and I put them on. Then I rushed to what appeared to be a great opening, or door. I knocked and the door opened, and the man who stood there was the Prophet Joseph Smith. He looked at me a little reprovingly, and the first words he said: "Joseph, you are late." Yet I took confidence and said: "Yes, but I am clean—I am clean!" (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 542).

We believe that these severe, natural calamities are visited upon men by the Lord for the good of his children, to quicken their devotion to others, and to bring out their better natures, that they may love and serve him. We believe, further, that they are the heralds and tokens of his final judgment, and the schoolmasters to teach the people to prepare themselves by righteous living for the coming of the Savior to reign upon the earth, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. If these lessons are impressed upon us and upon the people of our country, the anguish, and the loss of life and toil, sad, great and horrifying as they were, will not have been endured in vain (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 55).

To win one's respect and confidence, approach him midly, kindly. No friendship was ever gained by an attack upon principle or upon man, but by calm reason and the lowly Spirit of Truth. If you have built for a man a better house than his own, and he is willing to accept yours and forsake his, then, and not till then, should you proceed to tear down the old structure. Rotten though it may be, it will require some time for it to lose all its charms and fond memories of its former occupant. Therefore let him, not you, proceed to tear it away (Joseph F. Smith, From Prophet to Son, 42-43)

And we are told that he turned away sorrowful, because he had great possessions. He would not hearken to, nor obey the law of God in this matter. Not that Jesus required of the young man to go and sell all that he possessed and give it away; that is not the principle involved...The rich man may enter into the kingdom of heaven as freely as the poor, if he will bring his heart and affections into subjection to the law of God and to the principle of truth; if he will place his affections upon God, his heart upon the truth, and his soul upon the accomplishment of God's purposes, and not fix his affections and his hopes upon the things of the world. Here is the difficulty, and this was the difficulty with the young man. He had great possessions, and he preferred to rely upon his wealth rather than forsake all and follow Christ. If he had possessed the spirit of truth in his heart to have known the will of God, and to have loved the Lord with all his heart and his neighbor as himself, he would have said to the Lord, "Yea, Lord, I will do as you require, I will go and sell all that I have, and give it to the poor." If he had had it in his heart to do this, that alone might have been sufficient, and the demand would probably have stopped there; for undoubtedly the Lord did not deem it essential for him to go and give his riches away, or to sell his possessions and give the proceeds away, in order that he might be perfect, for that, in a measure, would have been improvident. Yet, if it had required all this to test him and to prove him, to see whether he loved the Lord with all his heart, mind, and strength, and his neighbor as himself, then he ought to have been willing to do it; and if he had been, he would have lacked nothing and would have received the gift of eternal life, which is the greatest gift of God, and which can be received on no other principle than the one mentioned by Jesus to the young man. (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, Many Duties of Man, "What the Lord Requires of His Saints," 260-1).

The greatest achievement mankind can make in this world is to familiarize themselves with divine truth, so thoroughly, so perfectly, that the example or conduct of no creature living in the world can ever turn them away from the knowledge that they have obtained...From my boyhood I have desired to learn the principles of the gospel in such a way and to such an extent that it would matter not to me who might fall from the truth, who might make a mistake, who might fail to continue to follow the example of the Master, my foundation would be sure and certain in the truths that I have learned, though all men else go astray and fail of obedience to them. (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 1:3-4)







Every Latter-day Saint who is loyal to the principles of the Gospel, is not seeking wealth; he is not asking himself the question, "What have I," and "What can I gain?" The true Latter-day Saint is asking, "What can I do to better myself, to encourage those with whom I am associated, and to uplift the children of God?" That is the inspiration that comes to every Latter-day Saint who realizes the force of this Gospel that we have espoused (Heber J. Grant, CR Oct. 1909, 30).

I remember speaking, upon one occasion, in one of our great Church schools. I said that I hoped it would never be forgotten that the one and only reason why there was any necessity for a Church school was to make Latter-day Saints...If we kept in our minds the one central thing, namely, the making of Latter-day Saints in our schools, then they would be fulfilling the object of their existence. The amount of money expended would cut no figure at all, because we cannot value in dollars and cents the saving of a single soul (Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, 165).

Never be found among the number that try to see how little they can do; but always be found among the number that try to see how much they can do (Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, 97).

Nobody lives up to his ideals, but if we are striving, if we are working, if we are trying, to the best of our ability, to improve day by day, then we are in the line of our duty. If we are seeking to remedy our own defects, if we are so living that we can ask God for light, for knowledge, for intelligence, and above all for His spirit, that we may overcome our weaknesses, then, I can tell you, we are in the straight and narrow path that leads to life eternal; then we need have no fear (Heber J. Grant, CR Apr. 1909, 111).

You have no need to fear that any man will ever stand at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ unless our Heavenly Father wants him there (Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, 68).

I believe that if every dollar of money that is expended in Utah for liquor and for beer, tea, coffee and tobacco, were saved, Utah would need no help from the United States government to take care of the poor, but that peace, prosperity, happiness and abundance would be given to the people of our fair state, and of every other state in the Union (Heber J. Grant, CR Oct. 1935, 9).







A man's reaction to his appetites and impulses when they are aroused gives the measure of that man's character. In these reactions are revealed the man's power to govern or his forced servility to yield (David O. McKay, Improvement Era, Dec. 1951, 875).

In their yearning for a good time, young people are often tempted to indulge in the things that appeal only to the baser side of humanity, five of the most common of which are: (1) vulgarity and obscenity; (2) drinking and the using of narcotics; (3) unchastity; (4) disloyalty; and (5) irreverence (David O. McKay, Improvement Era, Jun. 1967, 25).

Let me assure you, Brethren, that some day you will have a personal Priesthood interview with the Savior, Himself. If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which He will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities: First, He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife. Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual? Second, He will want an accountability report about each of your children individually. He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship but will request information about your relationship to each and every child. Third, He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre-existence. Fourth, He will want a summary of your activity in your Church assignments. He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in his eyes the home teacher and a mission president are equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your Church assignments. Fifth, He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your doings. Sixth, He will ask for an accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world (David O. McKay, Notes of Fred Baker, Managing Director, Department of Physical Facilities).

Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother's image is the first that stamps itself on the unwritten page of the young child's mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security; her kiss, the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, 452-3).

The flower by the roadside that catches the dust of every traveler is not the one to be admired and is seldom if ever plucked; but the one blooming away up on the hillside, protected by a perpendicular cliff is the flower with the virgin perfume, the one the boy will almost risk his life to possess (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p.451).

When one puts business or pleasure above his home, he that moment starts on the downgrade to soul-weakness. When the club becomes more attractive to any man than his home, it is time for him to confess in better shame that he has failed to measure up to the supreme opportunity of his life and flunked in the final test of true manhood. No other success can compensate for failure in the home. The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of greater value to God and future humanity than any other riches. In such a home God can work miracles and will work miracles (David O. McKay, Improvement Era, Jun. 1964, 445).

There are three things which must guide all teachers. First, get into the subject...; second, get that subject into you; third, try to lead your pupils to get that subject into them—not pouring it into them, but leading them to see what you see, to know what you know, to feel what you feel (David O. McKay, Improvement Era, Aug. 1919, 900).

When the Lord tells you what to do, you've got to have the courage to do it or you had better not ask him again (David O. McKay, Quoted by Harold B. Lee, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, 54).

Every action is preceded by a thought. If we want to control our actions, we must control our thinking (David O. McKay, quoted by Thomas S. Monson, "Preparation Brings Blessings," Apr. 2010).

I think it must be apparent to every thinking mind that the noblest of all professions is that of teaching, and that upon the effectiveness of that teaching hangs the destiny of nations. (David O. McKay, The Relief Society Magazine, 1934, 21:722.)







And may I say for the consolation of those who mourn, and for the comfort and guidance of all of us, that no righteous man is ever taken before his time. In the case of faithful Saints, they are simply transferred to other fields of labor (Joseph Fielding Smith at the funeral of Richard L. Evans, Ensign, Dec. 1971, 10).

I have often thought when he is gone people will say, "He is a very good man, sincere, orthodox, etc." They will speak of him as the public knows him; but the man they have in mind is very different from the man I know. The man I know is a kind, loving husband and father whose greatest ambition in life is to make his family happy, entirely forgetful of self in his efforts to do this. He is the man that lulls to sleep the fretful child, who tells bedtime stories to the little ones, who is never too tired or too busy to sit up late at night or to get up early in the morning to help the older children solve perplexing school problems. When illness comes, the man I know watches tenderly over the afflicted one and waits upon him. It is their father for whom they cry, feeling his presence a cure-all for all ills. It is his hands that bind up the wounds, his arms that give courage to the sufferer, his voice that corrects them gently when they err, until it becomes their happiness to do the thing that will make him happy. The man I know is most gentle, and if he feels that he has been unjust to anyone the distance is never too far for him to go and, with loving words or kind deeds, erase the hurt. He welcomes gladly the young people to his home and is never happier than when discussing with them topics of the day—sports or whatever interests them most. He enjoys a good story and is quick to see the humor of a situation, to laugh and to be laughed at, always willing to join in any wholesome activity. The man I know is unselfish, uncomplaining, considerate, thoughtful, sympathetic, doing everything within his power to make life a supreme joy for his loved ones. That is the man I know (Ethel Reynolds Smith, Ensign, Aug. 1972, 34).

It is contrary to the law of God for the heavens to be opened and messengers to come to do anything for man that man can do for himself (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS 1:196).

It is my judgment that there are many members of this Church who have been baptized for the remission of their sins, who have had hands laid upon their heads for the gift of the Holy Ghost, who have never received that gift, that is, the manifestations of it. Why? Because they have never put themselves in order to receive these manifestations. They have never humbled themselves. They have never taken the steps that would prepare them for the companionship of the Holy Ghost (Joseph Fielding Smith, Improvement Era, Dec. 1958, 922).

It is true that the mortal body in due time returns to the earth as the Lord predicted that it should. Much of the cremated body is carried off into the air and only a small portion of ash remains. However it is impossible to destroy a body. It makes no difference whether a body is consumed by fire, buried in the depths of the sea, or placed in the tomb, the time will come when every essential particle will be called back again to its own place, and the individual whose body was laid away, or scattered to the winds, will be reassembled with every essential part restored (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:100).

Men are only instruments in the Lord's hands, and the honor and glory for all that his servants accomplish is and should be ascribed unto him forever (Joseph Fielding Smith, Improvement Era, Jun. 1970, 26).

Some will gain celestial bodies with all the powers of exaltation and eternal increase. Those who enter the terrestrial kingdom will have terrestrial bodies, and they will be more glorious than the bodies of those who receive the telestial glory. In both of these kingdoms there will be changes in the bodies and limitations. They will not have the power of increase, neither the power or nature to live as husbands and wives, for this will be denied them and they cannot increase. Those who receive the exaltation in the celestial kingdom will have the "continuation of the seeds forever." They will live in the family relationship. In the terrestrial and in the telestial kingdoms there will be no marriage. Those who enter there will remain "separately and singly" forever. Some of the functions in the celestial body will not appear in the terrestrial body, neither in the telestial body, and the power of procreation will be removed. I take it that men and women will, in these kingdoms, be just what the so-called Christian world expects us all to be—neither man nor woman, merely immortal beings having received the resurrection (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS 2:287-8).

The Lord is just with all his children, and little children who die will not be penalized simply because they happen to die. The Lord will grant unto these children the privilege of all the sealing blessings which pertain to exaltation. We were all mature spirits before we were born, and the bodies of little children will grow after the resurrection to the full stature of the spirit, and all the blessings will be theirs through their obedience, the same as if they had lived to maturity and received them on the earth. The Lord is just and will not deprive any person of a blessing, simply because he dies before that blessing can be received. It would be manifestly unfair to deprive a little child of the privilege of receiving all the blessings of exaltation in the world to come simply because it died in infancy (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS 2:54).

When a man and a woman, in all sincerity, enter into a covenant of marriage for time and all eternity the Holy Ghost—who is the Spirit of promise—bears record of or ratifies that sealing. In other words, he seals the promises appertaining to the marriage covenant upon them. Now...if one or both of these covenanting persons break that covenant by which they were sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, then the Spirit withdraws the seal and the guilty party, or parties, stand as if there had been no sealing or promise given. All covenants are sealed based upon faithfulness (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS 2:98).

When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even of the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:34, The Mission of the Holy Ghost).







Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you; it is measured by the spirit with which you meet the problems of life (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Feb. 1974, 78).

I am reminded of a concept President Lee taught the General Authorities. He warned us not to place our trust nor build our sermon on one single verse of scripture. He said that God is the greatest of all teachers and understands the value of repetition. If an idea is true, we will find that concept repeated again and again throughout the scriptures. Instructions are not confined to any one generation but are given repeatedly, often in other words so we will not miss their true meaning (Recited by Theodore M. Burton, Ensign, Nov. 1974, 55).

I should like now to make reference to the spread of rumor and gossip which, when once started, gains momentum as each telling becomes more fanciful, until unwittingly those who wish to dwell on the sensational repeat them in firesides, in classes, in Relief Society gatherings and priesthood quorum classes without first verifying the source before becoming a party to causing speculation and discussions that steal time away from the things that would be profitable and beneficial and enlightening to their souls...It never ceases to amaze me how gullible some of our Church members are at broadcasting these sensational stories, or dreams, or visions, some alleged to have been given to Church leaders, past or present, without first verifying the report with proper Church authorities (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Jan. 1973, 105).

Never must we allow supposed mercy to the unrepentant sinner to rob the justice upon which true repentance from sinful practices is predicated (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Jan. 1973, 106).

Now, you husbands, remember that the most important of the Lord's work that you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home. Home teaching, bishopric's work, and other Church duties are all important, but the most important work is within the walls of your home (Harold B. Lee, Strengthening the Home, pamphlet, 1973, 7).

The trouble with us today is that there are too many of us who put question marks instead of periods after what the Lord says. I want you to think about that. We shouldn't be concerned about why he said something, or whether or not it can be made so. Just trust the Lord. We don't try to find the answers or explanations. We shouldn't try to spend time explaining what the Lord didn't see fit to explain. If our people put periods and not question marks after what the Lord has declared, we would say, "It is enough for me to know that is what the Lord said." (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Jan. 1973, 108).

There are among us many loose writings predicting the calamities which are about to overtake us. Some of these have been publicized as though they were necessary to wake up the world to the horrors about to overtake us. We need no such publications to be forewarned, if we were only conversant with what the scriptures have already spoken to us in plainness? Read the 24th chapter of Matthew—particularly that inspired version as contained in the Pearl of Great Price. Then read the 45th section of the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord, not man, has documented the signs of the times. Now turn to section 101 and section 133 of the Doctrine and Covenants and hear the step-by-step recounting of events leading up to the coming of the Savior. Finally, turn to the promises the Lord makes to those who keep the commandments when these judgments descend upon the wicked, as set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 38. Brethren, these are the writings with which you should concern yourselves, rather than commentaries that may come from those whose information may not be the most reliable and whose motives may be subject to question. And may I say, parenthetically, most of such writers are not handicapped by having any authentic information on their writings (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Jan. 1973, 106).

You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Jul. 1973, 123).

In discussing this quotation [D&C 107:99-100] in the temple at a recent meeting of all the General Authorities, I called attention particularly to the meaning of that word let (let every man learn his duty), which we have frequently thought of as an injunction for each of us to learn his duty. Now, that may be a part of the meaning, but more importantly to me, there should be in that statement a constant reminder that it becomes the responsibility of those of us who lead to let, to permit, to give opportunity for every man to learn his duty and to be prepared to act in his office and calling according to his appointment...we are often guilty of not letting those under our direction do their duty as herein explained...We must be as coaches in a football game and not become the quarterbacks, to attempt to do directly what we have the responsibility to teach those under our charge to do...The matter of our being willing to let another learn his duty involves our willingness to teach correct principles and then allow the individual enough room to apply and grow in his leadership (Harold B. Lee, The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 512).

I bid you remember what President J. Reuben Clark Jr. said to his teenage daughter as she was going out on a date in Mexico City. He asked her to be in at a certain hour and said, "Remember that you are the daughter of the United States ambassador to Mexico, and remember that you are a Latter-day Saint." Chafing under that constant, urgent reminder, the teenage daughter said, "Daddy, what is the matter, don't you trust me?" His answer must have shocked her as he said, "No, my darling, I don't trust you. I don't even trust myself."...We who are along the way of life a little more know that when we get out into certain areas, we don't even dare trust ourselves, let alone you who have less experience to guide you in making proper decisions (Harold B. Lee, The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 629).

He had learned from this experience that the innovator walks a rugged path where there are few immediate friends, and leaders who are mostly content with the status quo. As always, the greatest opposition seemed to come from within, where change would endanger status and vested interest (Harold B. Lee, Prophet & Seer, 156).







I am confident that there is a time to die, but I believe also that many people die before "their time" because they are careless, abuse their bodies, take unnecessary chances, or expose themselves to hazards, accidents, and sickness (Spencer W. Kimball, FPM, 103).

I am reminded of an article I read some years ago about a group of men who had gone to the jungles to capture monkeys. They tried a number of different things to catch the monkeys, including nets. But finding that the nets could injure such small creatures, they finally came upon an ingenious solution. They built a large number of small boxes, and in the top of each they bored a hole just large enough for a monkey to get his hand into. They then set these boxes out under the trees and in each one they put a nut that the monkeys were particularly fond of. When the men left, the monkeys began to come down from the trees and examine the boxes. Finding that there were nuts to be had, they reached into the boxes to get them. But when a monkey would try to withdraw his hand with the nut, he could not get his hand out of the box because his little fist, with the nut inside, was now too large. At about this time, the men would come out of the underbrush and converge on the monkeys. And here is the curious thing: When the monkeys saw the men coming, they would shriek and scramble about with the thought of escaping; but as easy as it would have been, they would not let go of the nut so that they could withdraw their hands from the boxes and thus escape. The men captured them easily. And so it often seems to be with people, having such a firm grasp on things of the world—that which is telestial—that no amount of urging and no degree of emergency can persuade them to let go in favor of that which is celestial (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, June 1976, 5,6).

I do not claim to be a scholar and I do not claim to understand fully the scriptures nor the program. I feel a great obligation to motivate the people. I have no desire to entertain them. In all my sermons, my objective is to get people to doing things, the good things, the right things. Knowledge is of no value unless used. When I know the requirements of the Lord and see how far that we his people come from fully meeting those requirements, it gives me a great urge to do all in my power to help the people of his Church to measure up to all the requirements (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, xix).

I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures, the distance narrows and the spirituality returns. I find myself loving more intensely those whom I must love with all my heart and mind and strength, and loving them more, I find it easier to abide their counsel (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, 135).

I remember an article in a local newspaper, telling of a young couple married in Salt Lake by a man who had only civil authority—no power beyond the grave. They had a brilliant wedding breakfast. They got into the car to travel to another city for an evening wedding reception, where hundreds of friends and relatives would come to wish them well. They did not reach their destination. There was no reception. A car accident took their lives. Their mortality was ended. An eternal life had not been provided for. About three hours of marriage, and the end of it came like a flash of lightning. And the sad thing was that their three-hour marriage was performed within a mile of the holy Temple, where a man with the sealing power would gladly have saved them from the bitter cup. They're in eternity now. I don't know what they're thinking or what they're doing, but they're not prepared for eternity. They had grown to twenty years or more of life and they didn't go to the temple, even though they were members of the Church. They ignored it. They left it. Yes, the family can go to the temple a year later. Yes, they can do the ordinance work for them. And the records will show it. But the question is, Will the young deceased couple accept the ordinances when they were of such little consequence to them while they lived? And more important than all else, do you think that God is going to be mocked? He is the God of the living, not of the dead. And they were dead, both physically and also, it would seem, spiritually. He has identified this ordinance as one to be done in mortality...Have you ever known couples who ignored the temple marriage and had tragedy take one of them in unexpected death? Have you ever seen the surviving spouse rush to the temple when the year is ended to endow by proxy the deceased spouse and have the sealing done? Have you ever realized that there is no magic in death, that ceasing to breathe does not make angels of careless people, does not make believers of disbelievers, does not bring faith where there was skepticism? (Spencer W. Kimball, Speeches, 1973, 270-271).

If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective...If we say that early death is a calamity, disaster, or tragedy, would it not be saying that mortality is preferable to earlier entrance into the spirit world and to eventual salvation and exaltation? If mortality be the perfect state, then death would be a frustration, but the gospel teaches us there is no tragedy in death, but only in sin...Everyone must die. Death is an important part of life. Of course, we are never quite ready for the change. Not knowing when it should come, we properly fight to retain our life. Yet we ought not be afraid of death. We pray for the sick, we administer to the afflicted, we implore the Lord to heal and reduce pain and save life and postpone death, and properly so, but not because eternity is so frightful (Spencer W. Kimball, FPM, 97,101,103).

It is not enough just to pray. It is essential that we really speak to the Lord. It has been said of some men that when they prayed, a child was likely to open his eyes to see if the Lord were really there, so personal and direct was the petition (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1974, 113).

Kissing has been prostituted and has been degenerated to develop lust instead of affection, honor, and admiration. To kiss in casual dating is asking for trouble. Heavy kissing is an abomination and stirs passion that results in the eventual loss of virtue. Even if timely courtship justifies a kiss, it should be a clean, decent, sexless one (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Dec. 1986, 59-60).

Many people cannot repent until they have suffered much. They cannot direct their thoughts into new clean channels. They cannot control their acts. They cannot plan their future properly until they have lost values that they did not seem to fully appreciate...One form of punishment is deprivation, and so if one is not permitted to partake of the sacrament or to use his priesthood or to go to the temple or to preach or pray in any of the meetings, it constitutes a degree of embarrassment and deprivation and punishment. In fact, the principal punishment that the Church can deal is deprivation from privileges...If no penalties are assessed, if no punishment is required, if no deprivation is expected, then what would induce the average transgressor to change his ways? (Spencer W. Kimball, New Era, May 1974, 7).

No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God...and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father in heaven (Orson F. Whitney, quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, FPM, 98).

One day in the temple in Salt Lake City, as I walked down the long hall preparing to go into one of the rooms to perform a marriage for a young couple, a woman followed me and with great agitation she said, "Elder Kimball, do you remember me?" Her eyes were searching and her ears were seeking to hear if I remembered her. I was abashed. For the life of me I could not make the connection. I was much embarrassed. I finally said, "I am sorry, but I cannot remember you." Instead of disappointment, there was great joy that came to her face. She was relieved. She said, "Oh, I am so grateful you can't remember me. With my husband, I spent all night with you one time, while you were trying to change our lives. We had committed sin, and we were struggling to get rid of it. You labored all night to help me to clear it. We have repented, and we have changed our lives totally. I am glad you don't remember me, because if you, one of the apostles, cannot remember me, maybe the Savior cannot remember my sins." (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, 108).

"Riches" is a relative term. Perhaps few people ever concede that they are rich. We may say that he is "rich" whose accumulations are sufficiently great to blind him to his spiritual and moral obligations and to render him slave instead of master (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, 356).

The confession of major sins to a proper Church authority is one of those requirements made by the Lord. These sins include adultery, fornication, other sexual transgressions, and other sins of comparable seriousness...Many offenders in their shame and pride have satisfied their consciences, temporarily at least, with a few silent prayers to the Lord and rationalized that this was sufficient confession of their sins. "But I have confessed my sin to my Heavenly Father," they will insist, "and that is all that is necessary." This is not true where a major sin is involved...While the major sins call for confession to the proper Church authorities, clearly such confession is neither necessary nor desirable for all sins. Those of lesser gravity but which have offended others—marital differences, minor fits of anger, disagreements and such—should instead be confessed to the person or persons hurt and the matter should be cleared between the persons involved, normally without a reference to a church authority (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, 94).

The foolish virgins asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. The wise needed all their oil for themselves; they could not save the foolish. The responsibility was each for himself. This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. How can one share obedience to the principle of tithing; a mind at peace from righteous living; an accumulation of knowledge? How can one share faith or testimony? How can one share attitudes or chastity, or the experience of a mission? How can one share temple privileges? Each must obtain that kind of oil for himself. In the parable, oil can be purchased at the market. In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity—these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps. Midnight is so late for those who have procrastinated (Spencer W. Kimball, FPM, 253-256).

The responsibility for each person's social, emotional, spiritual, physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church if he is a faithful member thereof. No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able, will voluntarily shift the burden of his own or his family's well-being to someone else. So long as he can, under the inspiration of the Lord and with his own labors, he will supply himself and his family with the spiritual and temporal necessities of life (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, 366).

The setting apart may be taken literally; it is a setting apart from sin, apart from the carnal; apart from everything which is crude, low, vicious, cheap, or vulgar; set apart from the world to a higher plane of thought and activity (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, 478).

The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1980, 4).

We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance...We forget that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us or he will fight our battles for us (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Jun. 1976, 6).

We hope that the leaders and the members of the Church who have attended and listened to the conference have been inspired and uplifted. We hope you have made copious notes of the thoughts that have come to your mind as the Brethren have addressed you. Many helpful thoughts have been given for the perfection of our own lives, and that, of course, is the basic reason for our coming. While sitting here, I have made up my mind that when I go home from this conference this night there are many, many areas in my life that I can perfect. I have made a mental list of them, and I expect to go to work as soon as we get through with conference (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1975, 111).

Whatever thing a man sets his heart and his trust in most is his god; and if his god doesn't also happen to be the true and living God of Israel, that man is laboring in idolatry (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Jun. 1976, 4).

When I was a youngster, a stirring challenge came to me that moved me not a little. I cannot remember who issued the challenge nor under what circumstances it came. I remember only that it struck me like a "bolt out of the blue heavens." The unknown voice postulated: "The 'Mormon Church' has stood its ground for the first two generations—but wait till the third and fourth and succeeding generations come along! The first generation fired with a new religion developed a great enthusiasm for it. Surrounded with bitterness, calumny of a hostile world, persecuted from pillar to post, they were forced to huddle together for survival. There was good reason to expect they would live and die faithful to their espoused cause. The second generation came along born to enthusiasts, zealots, devotees. They were born to men and women who had developed great faith, were used to hardships and sacrifices for their faith. They inherited from their parents and soaked up from religious homes the stuff of which the faithful are made. They had full reservoirs of strength and faith upon which to draw. But wait till the third and fourth generations come along," said the cynical voice. "The fire will have gone out—the devotion will have been diluted—the sacrifice will have been nullified the world will have hovered over them and surrounded them and eroded them—the faith will have been expended and the religious fervor leaked out." That day I realized that I was a member of the third generation. That day I clenched my growing fists. I gritted my teeth and made a firm commitment to myself that here was one "third generation" who would not fulfill that dire prediction (Spencer W. Kimball, Improvement Era, Dec. 1969, 47-48).

When the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving. And, to the woman it is paraphrased: "Thou shalt love thy husband with all thy heart and shalt cleave unto him and none else." The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse. The Lord says: "Thou shalt cleave unto him and none else." Marriage presupposes total allegiance and total fidelity. Each spouse takes the partner with the understanding that he or she gives totally to the spouse all the heart, strength, loyalty, honor, and affection, with all dignity. Any divergence is sin; any sharing of the heart is transgression (Spencer W. Kimball, FPM, 142-143).

We learn to do by doing. If we study the gospel to teach it we have acquired knowledge, for where we carry the lantern to light the path of others we light our own way. As we analyze and arrange the scriptures to present an acceptable lesson to others, we have clarified our own minds. As we explain that which we already know there seems to come to us an unfolding of additional truths, and enlargement of our understandings, new connections and applications (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, 530).

I have been impressed at the number of times the Lord said, "Go thy way and tell no man." And I have been led many times in my blessings—when I felt there was going to be special healing, and that they were such people as would go out and shout it from the housetops—to say, "And when you are healed, tell no man who laid his hands upon your head." I think that takes away from me the temptation to want to be spectacular, or to want praise, or to want credit, and from them the urge to publish a sacred, intimate miracle. That relieves me. It leaves me more humble and I am sure then I am in a better position to call down the blessings of the Lord again (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, 234).

In abandoning sin one cannot merely wish for better conditions. He must make them. He may need to come to hate the spotted garments and loathe the sin. He must be certain not only that he has abandoned the sin but that he has changed the situations surrounding the sin. He should avoid the places and conditions and circumstances where the sin occurred, for these could most readily breed it again. He must abandon the people with whom the sin was committed. He may not hate the persons involved but he must avoid them and everything associated with the sin. He must dispose of all letters, trinkets, and things which will remind him of the "old days" and the "old times." He must forget addresses, telephone numbers, people, places and situations from the sinful past, and build a new life. He must eliminate anything which would stir the old memories (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, 171-172).

The living of the Word of Wisdom is a test. Perhaps he chose to make a part of this test those things which would be universally used and would take character and courage and strength to leave alone. It was given as a principle and adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints (Spencer W. Kimball, CR Oct. 1951, 86; TSWK, 203).

Not so different are we today! We want the glamour and frothiness of the world, not always realizing the penalties of our folly. The non member next door has a boat—we want a boat, even though, in many instances it means abandonment of Sabbath activities and the breaking of the Lord's holy day. Our contemporaries have pagan weddings—we must adopt their every style and pattern, even though it glamorizes the world and loses sight of the solemnity of true marriage. Our neighbors and fellow workers use tobacco—we must use tobacco. We can not stand to be different! Others drink their cocktails and indulge in their social drinking—"we must also have a king like unto other nations." Styles are created by the vulgar and money-mad and run from one extreme to the other to out-date present wardrobes and create business for merchants. We cannot be different. We would rather die than be "not up to date." If the dress is knee length we must go little above the knee. If shorts are short we must have the shortest. Sweaters are tight we must have the tightest; if bathing suits are skimpy we must have the skimpiest. "We must have a king like unto other nations!" The Lord says he will have a peculiar people but we do not wish to be peculiar. If the style is monopolistic dancing, we will dance with no one but the partner with whom we came. If intimate fondling is the pattern of the crowd, we will fondle. "We must have a king like unto other nations!" Others have hollywood marriages with finery and glitter and ostentatious pomposity. We also must have candles, gowns, best men and ladies in waiting, often dangerously near immodestly dressed. "We must have a king like unto other nations!" The world has a queen in every industry, business, factory, school and social group. She must dress immodestly, display her figure and appear in public places to further the financial interests of business, entertainment and social groups. We must have a queen around which to center our activities. Ours, also, must have a beautiful face, a little talent, and a well formed body for public exhibition. We can do little else for "we must have a queen like unto other nations!" Others have their "hotrods," their springless cars, their ducktail haircuts—we must have the same. Others park in cars in dark places, date steady—we must do the same! "We must have a king like unto other nations!" When, oh when, will our Latter-day Saints stand firm on their own feet, establish their own standards, follow proper patterns, and live their own glorious lives in accordance with Gospel inspired patterns, aping no one who has not a better program! Certainly good times and happy lives and clean fun are not dependent upon the glamorous, the pompous, the extremes (Spencer W. Kimball, Church News, Oct 15, 1960, 14).

Jesus saw sin as wrong but also was able to see sin as springing from deep and unmet needs on the part fo the sinner (Spencer W. Kimball, "Jesus: The Perfect Leader," Ensign, Aug. 1979, ??).

Let me tell you of one of the goals that I made when I was still but a lad. When I heard a Church leader from Salt Lake City tell us at conference that we should read the scriptures, and I recognized that I had never read the Bible, that very night at the conclusion of that very sermon I walked to my home a block away and climbed up in my little attic room in the top of the house and lighted a little coal-oil lamp that was on the little table, and I read the first chapters of Genesis. A year later I closed the Bible, having read every chapter in that big and glorious book. I found that this Bible that I was reading had in it 66 books, and then I was nearly dissuaded when I found that it had in it 1,189 chapters, and then I also found that it had 1,519 pages. It was formidable, but I knew if others did it that I could do it. I found that there were certain parts that were hard for a 14-year-old boy to understand. There were some pages that were not especially interesting to me, but when I had read the 66 books and 1,189 chapters and 1,519 pages, I had a glowing satisfaction that I had made a goal and that I had achieved it. Now I am not telling you this story to boast; I am merely using this as an example to say that if I could do it by coal-oil light, you can do it by electric light. I have always been glad I read the Bible from cover to cover (Spencer W. Kimball, "Planning for a Full and Abundant Life," Ensign, May 1974, 86??).

A vicious, destructive, social pattern of early steady dating must be changed...It is my considered feeling, having had some experience in interviewing youth, that the change of this one pattern of social activities of our youth would immediately eliminate a majority of the sins of our young folks; would preclude numerous early, forced marriages; would greatly reduce school dropouts; and would be most influential in bringing a great majority of our young men and women to the holy marriage altar at the temple—clean, sweet, full of faith to become the worthy parents of the next generation (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 287).

This is my feeling for the work at this moment. There are great challenges ahead of us, giant opportunities to be met. I welcome that exciting prospect and feel to say to the Lord, humbly, "Give me this mountain," give me these challenges. Humbly, I give this pledge to the Lord and to you, my beloved brothers and sisters, fellow workers in this sacred cause of Christ: I will go forward, with faith in the God of Israel, knowing that he will guide and direct us, and lead us, finally, to the accomplishment of his purposes and to our promised land and our promised blessings (Spencer W. Kimball, "Give Me This Mountain," Ensign, Nov. 1979, 78).

The Great Wall of China with its fifteen hundred miles of unbreakable walls, with its twentyfive-feet-high impregnableness, with its innumerable watchman towers, was breached by the treachery of men. The Maginot Line in France, these forts thought to be so strong and impassable, were violated as though they were not there. Strength is not in concrete and reinforcing steel. Protection is not in walls nor mountains nor cliffs, yet foolish men still lean on "the arm of flesh"...0 foolish men who think to protect the world with armaments, battleships, and space equipment, when only righteousness is needed! The answer to all of our problems—personal, national, and international—has been given to us many times by many prophets, ancient and modern...God will fight our battles if we honor him and serve him with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength (Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of SWK, 415-416).

I am convinced that each of us, at some time in our lives, must discover the scriptures for ourselves--and not just discover them once, but rediscover them again and again (Spencer W. Kimball, "How Rare a Possession--the Scriptures!," Ensign, Sept. 1976).

I fear that all too often many of our members come to church, sit through a class or meeting, and they then return home having been largely [uninspired]. It is especially unfortunate when this happens at a time when they may be entering a period of stress, temptation, or crisis. We all need to be touched and nurtured by the Spirit, and effective teaching is one of the most important ways this can happen. We often do vigorous enlistment work to get members to come to church but then do not adequately watch over what they receive when they do come (Spencer W. Kimball, "Ministering to the Needs of Members," GC Oct. 1980).

Serious sin enters into our lives as we yield first to little temptations. Seldom does one enter into deeper transgression without first yielding to lesser ones, which open the door to the greater...An honest man doesn't suddenly become dishonest any more than a clean field suddenly becomes weedy. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the devil to enter a door that is closed. He seems to have no keys for locked doors. But if a door is slightly ajar, he gets his toe in, and soon this is followed by his foot, then by his leg and his body and his head, and finally he is in all the way. This situation is reminiscent of the fable of the camel and his owner who were traveling across the desert sand dunes when a wind storm came up. The traveler quickly set up his tent and moved in, closing the flaps to protect himself from the cutting, grinding sands of the raging storm. The camel was of course left outside, and as the violent wind hurled the sand against his body and into his eyes and nostrils he found it unbearable and finally begged for entrance into the tent. "There is room only for myself," said the traveler. "But may I just get my nose in so I can breathe air not filled with sand?" asked the camel. "Well, perhaps you could do that," replied the traveler, and he opened the flap ever so little and the long nose of the camel entered. How comfortable the camel was now! But soon the camel became weary of the smarting sand on his eyes and ears..."The wind-driven sand is like a rasp on my head. Could I put just my head in?" Again, the traveler rationalized that to acquiesce would do him no damage, for the camel's head could occupy the space at the top of the tent which he himself was not using. So the camel put his head inside and the beast was satisfied again\0xFEFF--but for a short while only. "Just the front quarters," he begged, and again the traveler relented and soon the camel's front shoulders and legs were in the tent. Finally, by the same processes of pleading and of yielding, the camel's torso, his hind quarters and all were in the tent. But now it was too crowded for the two, and the camel kicked the traveler out into the wind and storm (Spencer W. Kimball, "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball," Chapter 10).







A powerful testimony to the importance of the Book of Mormon is to note where the Lord placed its coming forth in the timetable of the unfolding Restoration. The only thing that preceded it was the First Vision. In that marvelous manifestation, the Prophet Joseph Smith learned the true nature of God and that God had a work for him to do. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon was the next thing to follow. Think of that in terms of what it implies. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon preceded the restoration of the priesthood. It was published just a few days before the Church was organized. The Saints were given the Book of Mormon to read before they were given the revelations outlining such great doctrines as the three degrees of glory, celestial marriage, or work for the dead. It came before priesthood quorums and Church organization. Doesn't this tell us something about how the Lord views this sacred work? (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1986, 4).

I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to that counsel. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1986, 6; also Marion G. Romney, CR, Apr. 1960, 110-13).

It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1986, 8).

Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace.(Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Dec. 1988, 4).

One of the most important things you can do as priesthood leaders is to immerse yourselves in the scriptures. Search them diligently. Feast upon the words of Christ. Learn the doctrine. Master the principles that are found therein. There are few other efforts that will bring greater dividends to your calling. There are few other ways to gain greater inspiration as you serve. But that alone, as valuable as it is, is not enough. You must also bend your efforts and your activities to stimulating meaningful scripture study among the members of the Church (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1986, 81).

Often we spend great effort in trying to increase the activity levels in our stakes. We work diligently to raise the percentages of those attending sacrament meetings. We labor to get a higher percentage of our young men on missions. We strive to improve the numbers of those marrying in the temple. All of these are commendable efforts and important to the growth of the kingdom. But when individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1986, 81).

Sometimes, from behind the pulpit, in our classrooms, in our council meetings, and in our Church publications, we hear, read, or witness things that do not square with the truth. This is especially true where freedom is involved. Now, do not let this serve as an excuse for your own wrongdoing. The Lord is letting the wheat and the tares mature before He fully purges the Church. He is also testing you to see if you will be misled. The devil is trying to deceive the very elect (Ezra Taft Benson, TETB, 134).

That man is greatest and most blessed and joyful whose life most closely approaches the pattern of the Christ. This has nothing to do with earthly wealth, power, or prestige. The only true test of greatness, blessedness, joyfulness is how close a life can come to being like the Master, Jesus Christ (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Dec. 1988, 2).

The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means. First, it tells in a plain manner of Christ and his gospel. It testifies of his divinity and of the necessity for a Redeemer and the need of our putting trust in him. Second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1975, 64).

The Book of Mormon was written for us today. God is the author of the book. It is a record of a fallen people, compiled by inspired men for our blessing today. Those people never had the book—it was meant for us. Mormon, the ancient prophet after whom the book is named, abridged centuries of records. God, who knows the end from the beginning, told him what to include in his abridgment that we would need for our day (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1975, 63).

The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1985, 6).

The spirit world is not far away. Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us. The prophet Brigham Young asked, "Where is the spirit world?" and then answered his own question: "It is right here...Do spirits go beyond the boundaries of this organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth, for the express purpose of inhabiting it to all eternity." (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Aug. 1991, 2; JD 3:369).

There were witnesses then who saw Him. There have been many in this dispensation who have seen Him. As one of those special witnesses so called in this day, I testify to you that He lives. There is no truth or fact of which I am more assured or more confident than the truth of the literal resurrection of our Lord (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Apr. 1991, 4).

Too many of our young men have not yet decided to give two years of service to the Lord. I speak particularly to you young men who live in the United States and Canada, the host nations from which the gospel is to go to other nations. While you reap the benefits of prosperity unprecedented in the history of mankind, do you ever think that one of the reasons the Lord sent you to earth under such favorable circumstances is that you could use your talents, education, and money to bless others with the gospel? (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1979, 33).

We love all of our missionaries who are serving the Lord full time in the mission field. But there is a difference in missionaries. Some are better prepared to serve the Lord the first month in the mission field than some who are returning home after twenty-four months. We want young men entering the mission field who can enter the mission field "on the run," who have the faith born of personal righteousness and clean living that they can have a great and productive mission (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1986, 45).

We need more missionaries. But we also need better-prepared missionaries...We need missionaries to match our message (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1975, 65)

When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power (Quoted by Donald L. Staheli, Ensign, May 1998, 82).

When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1988, 4).

When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, July 1989, 2).

We must be careful, as we seek to become more and more godlike, that we do not become discouraged and lose hope. Becoming Christlike is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible. The scriptures record remarkable accounts of men whose lives changed dramatically, in an instant, as it were: Alma the Younger, Paul on the road to Damascus, Enos praying far into the night, King Lamoni. Such astonishing examples of the power to change even those steeped in sin give confidence that the Atonement can reach even those deepest in despair. But we must be cautious as we discuss these remarkable examples. Though they are real and powerful, they are the exception more than the rule. For every Paul, for every Enos, and for every King Lamoni, there are hundreds and thousands of people who find the process of repentance much more subtle, much more imperceptible. Day by day they move closer to the Lord, little realizing they are building a godlike life. They live quiet lives of goodness, service, and commitment. They are like the Lamanites, who the Lord said "were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not" (Ezra Taft Benson, "A Mighty Change of Heart," Ensign, Oct. 1989, 5).

[One] great reason why we must make the Book of Mormon a center focus of study is that it was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us. Mormon wrote near the end of the Nephite civilization. Under the inspiration of God, who sees all things from the beginning, he abridged centuries of records, choosing the stories, speeches, and events that would be most helpful to us...If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, "Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?" (Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion," Ensign, Nov. 1986, 6n7).

Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods. The methods and procedures are usually developed through study and prayer and by living so that we can obtain and follow the promptings of the Spirit. Less spiritually advanced people, such as those in the days of Moses, had to be commanded in many things. Today those spiritually alert look at the objectives, check the guidelines laid down by the Lord and his prophets, and then prayerfully act—without having to be commanded "in all things." This attitude prepares men for godhood. The overall objective to be accomplished...has always been the same; only our methods to accomplish these objectives have varied. Any faithful member in this dispensation, no matter when he lived, could have found righteous methods to have carried out these objectives without having to wait for the latest, specific church-wide program (Ezra Taft Benson, "Not Commanded in All Things," Improvement Era, June 1965, 537).

Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind (Ezra Taft Benson, "The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants," Ensign, May 1987, 85).

The condition of the physical body can affect the spirit. That's why the Lord gave us the Word of Wisdom. He also said that we should retire to our beds early and arise early, that we should not run faster than we have strength, and that we should use moderation in all good things...Food can affect the mind, and deficiencies of certain elements in the body can promote mental depression...Rest and physical exercise are essential, and a walk in the fresh air can refresh the spirit. Wholesome recreation is part of our religion and is a necessary change of pace; even its anticipation can lift the spirit (Ezra Taft Benson, "Do Not Despair," Ensign, Oct. 1986, 2-4).

Let us make the temple a sacred home away from our eternal home. This temple will be a standing witness that the power of God can stay the powers of evil in our midst. Many parents, in and out of the Church, are concerned about protection against a cascading avalanche of wickedness which threatens to engulf Christian principles...There is a power associated with the ordinances of heaven—even the power of godliness—which can and will thwart the forces of evil if we will be worthy of those sacred blessings. This community will be protected, our families will be protected, our children will be safeguarded as we live the gospel, visit the temple, and live close to the Lord (Ezra Taft Benson, Atlanta Georgia Temple Cornerstone Laying, 1 June 1983, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 256).

The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior's visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Savior's second coming (Ezra Taft Benson, "The Savior's Visit to America," Ensign, May 1987, 4).

Keep the commandments of God. Follow the counsel of his living prophet, taking care not to exceed the counsel with your own private views (Ezra Taft Benson, "May the Kingdom of God Go Forth," Ensign, May 1978, 34).

The living prophet has the power of TNT. By that I mean "Today's News Today." God's revelations to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore, the most important prophet, so far as you and I are concerned, is the one living in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us. Therefore, the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet...contained each month in our Church magazines. Our marching orders for each six months are found in the general conference addresses. (Ezra Taft Benson, "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet," 26 Feb 1980).

The temple work for the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence and other Founding Fathers has been done. All these appeared to Wilford Woodruff when he was president of the St. George Temple. President George Washington was ordained a high priest at that time. You will also be interested to know that, according to Wilford Woodruff's journal, John Wesley, Benjamin Franklin, and Christopher Columbus were also ordained high priests at that time. When one casts doubt about the character of these noble sons of God, I believe he or she will have to answer to the God of heaven for it (Ezra Taft Benson, This Nation Shall Endure, 18).

We should not go out of the path of duty to pick up a cross there is no need to bear, but neither should we sidestep a cross that clearly lies within the path of duty. (Ezra Taft Bensons, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, The Gospel in Our Lives, "Duty").







Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, pupil of Aristotle, conqueror of most of the known world in his time, was one of the world's great young leaders. After years of exercising military pomp and prowess and after extending his kingdom from Macedonia to Egypt and from Cyprus to India, he wept when there seemed to be no more world to conquer. Then, as evidence of just how short-lived such power is, Alexander caught a fever and died at thirty-three years of age. The vast kingdom he had gained virtually died with him...Quite a different young leader also died at what seems such an untimely age of thirty-three. He likewise was a king, a pupil, and a conqueror. Yet he received no honors from man, achieved no territorial conquests, rose to no political station. So far as we know, he never held a sword nor wore even a single piece of armor. But the Kingdom he established still flourishes some two thousand years later...The differences between Alexander and this equally young Nazarene are many. But the greatest difference is in their ultimate victories. Alexander conquered lands, peoples, principalities, and earthly kingdoms. But the Perfect Leader, the Light and Life of the world—Jesus Christ the Son of God—conquered what neither Alexander nor any other could defeat or overcome: Jesus of Nazareth conquered death. Against the medals and monuments of centuries of men's fleeting victories stands the only monument necessary to mark the eternal triumph—an empty garden tomb (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, May 1986, 15).

As I think of the blessings God has given us and the many beauties of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am aware that along the way we are asked to make certain contributions in return, contributions of time or of money or of other resources. These are all valued and all necessary, but they do not constitute our full offering to God. Ultimately, what our Father in Heaven will require of us is more than a contribution; it is a total commitment, a complete devotion, all that we are and all that we can be (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, May 1990, 60).

If prayer is only a spasmodic cry at the time of crisis, then it is utterly selfish, and we come to think of God as a repairman or a service agency to help us only in our emergencies. We should remember the Most High day and night—always—not only at times when all other assistance has failed and we desperately need help. If there is any element in human life on which we have a record of miraculous success and inestimable worth to the human soul, it is prayerful, reverential, devout communication with our Heavenly Father (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1977, 52).

Jesus was careful to place the petition "Hallowed be thy name" at the very forefront of his prayer. Unless that reverent, prayerful, honorable attitude toward God is uppermost in our hearts, we are not fully prepared to pray. If our first thought is of ourselves and not of God, we are not praying as Jesus taught (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1977, 52).

Let us truly be a temple-attending and a temple-loving people. We should hasten to the temple as frequently, yet prudently, as our personal circumstances allow. We should go not only for our kindred dead but also for the personal blessings of temple worship, for the sanctity and safety that are within those hallowed and consecrated walls. As we attend the temple, we learn more richly and deeply the purpose of life and the significance of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Feb. 1995, 5).

Those who delve into the scriptural library find that to understand requires more than casual reading or perusal—there must be concentrated study. It is certain that one who studies the scriptures every day accomplishes far more than one who devotes considerable time one day and then lets days go by before continuing (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 64).

Whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives. If Jesus lays his hands upon a marriage, it lives. If he is allowed to lay his hands on the family, it lives (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 65).

Sooner or later...everyone will acknowledge that Christ's way is not only the right way, but ultimately the only way to hope and joy (Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, May 1993, 65).

There are some members who engage in temple work but fail to do family history research on their own family lines. Although they perform a divine service in assisting others, they lose a blessing by not seeking their own kindred dead as divinely directed by latter-day prophets...I have learned that those who engage in family history research and then perform the temple ordinance work for those whose names they have found will know the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessing (Howard W. Hunter, "A Temple-Motivated People," Ensign, Feb. 1995, 4n5).

Let me take just a moment to mention a little incident that made an impression upon me when I was a boy...It was on a summer day early in the morning. I was standing near the window. The curtains [hide] me from two little creatures out on the lawn. One was a large bird and the other a little bird, obviously just out of the nest. I saw the larger bird hop out on the lawn, then thump his feet and cock his head. He drew a big fat worm out of the lawn and came hopping back. The little bird opened its bill wide, but the big bird swallowed the worm. Then I saw the big bird fly up into a tree. He pecked at the bark for a little while and came back with a big bug in his mouth. The little bird opened his beak wide, but the big bird swallowed the bug. There was squawking in protest. The big bird flew away, and I didnit see it again, but I watched the little bird. After a while, the little bird hopped out on the lawn, thumped its feet, cocked its head, and pulled a big worm out of the lawn (Howard W. Hunter, "A Teacher," Ensign, July 1972).







I hope that we shall ponder with subdued feelings the talks to which we have listened. I hope that we will quietly reflect on the wonderful things we have heard. I hope that we will feel a little more contrite and humble. All of us have been edified. The test will come in the application of the teachings given. If, hereafter, we are a little more kind, if we are a little more neighborly, if we have drawn nearer to the Savior, with a more firm resolution to follow His teachings and His example, then this conference will have been a wonderful success. If, on the other hand, there is no improvement in our lives, then those who have spoken will have in large measure failed (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 2000, 88).

I too believe that God will always make a way where there is no way. I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Jul. 1995, 2).

This church does not belong to its President. Its head is the Lord Jesus Christ. We are all in this great endeavor together. We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory. Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or of little consequence. All of us in the pursuit of our duty touch the lives of others. You have as great an opportunity for satisfaction in the performance of your duty as I do in mine. The progress of this work will be determined by our joint efforts. Whatever your calling, it is as fraught with the same kind of opportunity to accomplish good as in mine. What is really important is that this is the work of the Master (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 1995, 71).

You can't tell the character of an individual by the way he does his daily work. Watch him when his work is done. See where he goes. Note the companions he seeks, and the things he does when he may do as he pleases. Then you can tell his true character...Let us take the eagle, for example. This bird works as hard and as efficiently as any other animal or bird in doing its daily work. It provides for itself and its young by the sweat of its brow, so to speak; but when its daily work is over and the eagle has time of its own to do just as it pleases, note how it spends its recreational moments. It flies in the highest realms of heaven, spreads its wings and bathes in the upper air, for it loves the pure, clean atmosphere and the lofty heights...On the other hand, let us consider the hog. This animal grunts and grubs and provides for its young just as well as the eagle; but when its working hours are over and it has some recreational moments, observe where it goes and what it does. The hog will seek out the muddiest hole in the pasture and will role and soak itself in the filth, for this is the thing it loves...People can be either eagles or hogs in their leisure time (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1994, 47).

You have nothing in this world more precious than your children. When you grow old, when your hair turns white and your body grows weary, when you are prone to sit in a rocker and meditate on the things of your life, nothing will be so important as the question of how your children have turned out. It will not be the money you have made. It will not be the cars you have owned. It will not be the large house in which you live. The searing question that will cross your mind again and again will be, How well have my children done? (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 2000, 98).

I do not claim distinction as a scholar of the scriptures. For me, the reading of the scriptures is not the pursuit of scholarship. Rather, it is a love affair with the word of the Lord and that of his prophets (Gordon B. Hinckley, "Feasting upon the Scriptures," Ensign, Dec. 1985, 44).

Most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspesed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride (Jenkins Lloyd Jones, Deseret News, 12 June 1973; quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley, "Four Imperatives for Religious Educators," 15 Sept 1978).

My plea to you is that we constantly take the position that every one of us can do better than we are now doing. We are in a constant search for excellence. That search must be continuous and never ending. It must be consuming and unrelenting...In this highly competitive world no one can stand still. There must be constant improvement. There must be wrenching thought, there must be frank and at times brutal discussion, there must be unusual effort in the search for excellence (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 185-186).

I think the perspective of our leaders who have gone beyond may be somewhat different from what it was here. I think that when we get up there we shall look at this work from a somewhat different perspective. We will not be greatly concerned with buildings and budgets. We will not be greatly concerned with reports and statistics. We will not be concerned with handbooks, with their many rulings and regulations. We will be concerned with men and women and children. We will be concerned with their happiness, with their growth and progress and their onward marching toward the resplendent goal of eventual Godhood. We will be concerned, as I feel we ought to be more so here, with "faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; repentance; baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost" that we might be instructed and enlightened and inspired as we walk the great journey of eternal life (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 432).

Keep trying. Be believing. Be happy. Don't get discouraged. Things will work out (Gordon B. Hinckley quoted by Jeffrey R. Holland, "President Gordon B. Hinckley: Stalwart and Brave He Stands," Ensign, June 1995).

Now we have an interesting custom in the Church. Departing missionaries are accorded a farewell. In some wards this has become a problem. Between outgoing missionaries and returning missionaries, most sacrament meetings are devoted to farewells and homecomings. No one else in the Church has a farewell when entering a particular service. We never have a special farewell-type meeting for a newly called bishop, for a stake president, for a Relief Society president, for a General Authority, or anyone else of whom I can think. Why should we have missionary farewells? The First Presidency and the Twelve, after most prayerful and careful consideration, have reached the decision that the present program of missionary farewells should be modified. The departing missionary will be given opportunity to speak in a sacrament meeting for 15 or 20 minutes. But parents and siblings will not be invited to do so. There might be two or more departing missionaries who speak in the same service. The meeting will be entirely in the hands of the bishop and will not be arranged by the family. There will not be special music or anything of that kind. We know this will be a great disappointment to many families. Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and friends have participated in the past. We ask that you accept this decision. Where a farewell has already been arranged, it may go forward. But none in the traditional sense should be planned for the future. We are convinced that when all aspects of the situation are considered, this is a wise decision. Please accept it, my dear brethren. I extend this plea also to the sisters, particularly the mothers. We hope also that holding elaborate open houses after the sacrament meeting at which the missionary speaks will not prevail. Members of the family may wish to get together. We have no objection to this. However, we ask that there be no public reception to which large numbers are invited. Missionary service is such a wonderful experience that it brings with it its own generous reward. And when a missionary returns to his family and his ward, he may again be given opportunity to speak in a sacrament meeting (Gordon B. Hinckley, "To Men of the Priesthood," Ensign, Nov. 2002).

Mine has been the opportunity to meet many wonderful men and women in various parts of the world. A few of them have left an indelible impression upon me. One such was a naval officer from Asia, a brilliant young man who had been brought to the United States for advanced training. Some of his associates in the United States Navy, whose behavior had attracted him, shared with him at his request their religious beliefs. He was not a Christian, but he was interested. They told him of the Savior of the world, of Jesus born in Bethlehem, who gave his life for all mankind. They told him of the appearance of God, the Eternal Father, and the resurrected Lord to the boy Joseph Smith. They spoke of modern prophets. They taught him the gospel of the Master. The Spirit touched his heart, and he was baptized. He was introduced to me just before he was to return to his native land. We spoke of these things, and then I said, "Your people are not Christians. You come from a land where Christians have had a difficult time. What will happen when you return home a Christian and, more particularly, a Mormon Christian?" His face clouded, and he replied, "My family will be disappointed. I suppose they will cast me out. They will regard me as dead. As for my future and my career, I assume that all opportunity will be foreclosed against me." I asked, "Are you willing to pay so great a price for the gospel?" His dark eyes, moistened by tears, shone from his handsome brown face as he answered, "It's true, isn't it?" Ashamed at having asked the question, I responded, "Yes, it's true." To which he replied, "Then what else matters?" These are the questions I should like to leave with you this morning: "It's true, isn't it? Then what else matters?" (Gordon B. Hinckley, GC, Apr 1973, "The True Strength of the Church"). 






Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but as the determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh (Thomas S. Monson, "Courage Counts," Ensign, Nov. 1986, 41).

May I share with you an example of one who determined early in life what his goals would be. I speak of Brother Clayton M. Christensen, a member of the Church who is a professor of business administration in the business school at Harvard University. When he was 16 years old, Brother Christensen decided, among other things, that he would not play sports on Sunday. Years later, when he attended Oxford University in England, he played center on the basketball team. That year they had an undefeated season and went through to the British equivalent of what in the United States would be the NCAA basketball tournament. They won their games fairly easily in the tournament, making it to the final four. It was then that Brother Christensen looked at the schedule and, to his absolute horror, saw that the final basketball game was scheduled to be played on a Sunday. He and the team had worked so hard to get where they were, and he was the starting center. He went to his coach with his dilemma. His coach was unsympathetic and told Brother Christensen he expected him to play in the game...The backup center [had] dislocated his shoulder, which increased the pressure on Brother Christensen to play in the final game. He went to his hotel room. He knelt down. He asked his Heavenly Father if it would be all right, just this once, if he played that game on Sunday. He said that before he had finished praying, he received the answer: "Clayton, what are you even asking me for? You know the answer." He went to his coach, telling him how sorry he was that he wouldnit be playing in the final game. Then he went to the Sunday meetings in the local ward while his team played without him. He prayed mightily for their success. They did win. That fateful, difficult decision was made more than 30 years ago. Brother Christensen has said that as time has passed, he considers it one of the most important decisions he ever made. It would have been very easy to have said, iYou know, in general, keeping the Sabbath day holy is the right commandment, but in my particular extenuating circumstance, it's okay, just this once, if I don't do it." However, he says his entire life has turned out to be an unending stream of extenuating circumstances, and had he crossed the line just that once, then the next time something came up that was so demanding and critical, it would have been so much easier to cross the line again. The lesson he learned is that it is easier to keep the commandments 100 percent of the time than it is 98 percent of the time (Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, Nov. 2010, The Three Rs of Choice).







Since the passing of President Harold B. Lee, I have had two very special dreams involving him. The first was in April of 1975. The substance of that message is too sacred to mention here...The second occurred on September 16, 1978. In the dream there were two vivid messages: First, that if President Lee had gone on living, a very severe affliction would have developed in his body which, if allowed to progress, would have given him great pain, suffering, and incapacity. He said his sudden death in December 1973 was brought about as an act of love and mercy, for the Lord wished to spare him and the Church the misery that otherwise would have ensued. His second message was that the revelations received and the actions subsequently taken by President Kimball relative to the priesthood were the very same as would have been received and performed by President Lee had he remained as the prophet. President Lee exclaimed that the Lord gives His will to His living prophet regardless of who the prophet is at the time, for the Lord indeed is directing His Church (Russell M. Nelson, From Heart to Heart, 159-160).

Many of us have had experiences with the sweet power of prayer. One of mine was shared with a stake patriarch from southern Utah. I first met him in my medical office more than 40 years ago, during the early pioneering days of surgery of the heart. This saintly soul suffered much because of a failing heart. He pleaded for help, thinking that his condition resulted from a damaged but repairable valve in his heart. Extensive evaluation revealed that he had two faulty valves. While one could be helped surgically, the other could not. Thus, an operation was not advised. He received this news with deep disappointment. Subsequent visits ended with the same advice. Finally, in desperation, he spoke to me with considerable emotion: "Dr. Nelson, I have prayed for help and have been directed to you. The Lord will not reveal to me how to repair that second valve, but He can reveal it to you. Your mind is so prepared. If you will operate upon me, the Lord will make it known to you what to do. Please perform the operation that I need, and pray for the help that you need." His great faith had a profound effect upon me. How could I turn him away again? Following a fervent prayer together, I agreed to try. In preparing for that fateful day, I prayed over and over again, but still did not know what to do for his leaking tricuspid valve. Even as the operation commenced, my assistant asked, "What are you going to do for that?" I said, "I do not know." We began the operation. After relieving the obstruction of the first valve, we exposed the second valve. We found it to be intact but so badly dilated that it could no longer function as it should. While examining this valve, a message was distinctly impressed upon my mind: Reduce the circumference of the ring. I announced that message to my assistant. "The valve tissue will be sufficient if we can effectively reduce the ring toward its normal size." But how? We could not apply a belt as one would use to tighten the waist of oversized trousers. We could not squeeze with a strap as one would cinch a saddle on a horse. Then a picture came vividly to my mind, showing how stitches could be placed—to make a pleat here and a tuck there—to accomplish the desired objective. I still remember that mental image—complete with dotted lines where sutures should be placed. The repair was completed as diagrammed in my mind. We tested the valve and found the leak to be reduced remarkably. My assistant said, "It's a miracle." I responded, "It's an answer to prayer." The patient's recovery was rapid and his relief gratifying. Not only was he helped in a marvelous way, but surgical help for other people with similar problems had become a possibility. I take no credit. Praise goes to this faithful patriarch and to God, who answered our prayers. This faithful man lived for many more years and has since gone to his eternal glory (Russell M. Nelson, "Sweet Power of Prayer," Ensign, May 2003, 7-8).

Preparation, priesthood service, and keys are all related, but different. Service of any type requires preparation. But proper authorization to give that service requires keys. May I illustrate? Prior to my call to the Twelve, I served as a medical doctor and surgeon. I had earned two doctor's degrees. I had been certified by two specialty boards. That long preparation had consumed many years, yet it carried no legal permission. Keys were required. They were held by authorities of the state government and the hospitals in which I desired to work. Once those holding proper authority exercised those keys by granting me a license and permission, then I could perform operations. In return, I was obligated to obey the law, to be loyal, and to understand and not abuse the power of a surgeon's knife. The important steps of preparation, permission, and obligation likewise pertain to other occupations. (Russell M. Nelson, GC, Oct. 1987, "Keys of the Priesthood").

Obligations pertain to those who give and to those who receive ordinations or calls. Perhaps that can be explained by example. I hold a set of keys to an automobile. In your mind, let them represent keys to something of value in your life — a tractor, an implement, or a powerful instrument. If I give keys to you, I have certain obligations, and you have certain obligations. For me as the giver, I have a duty toward your success. Should you fail, in a measure I have failed. So I must teach and train adequately to ensure your personal safety and, at the same time, safeguard precious property you are to use. For you as the receiver, obligations accompany the keys. You must know applicable laws and obey them. Loyalty is expected. And you should understand the power of your instrument. Obedience, loyalty, and understanding are implicit with your acceptance of those keys. (Russell M. Nelson, GC, Oct. 1987, "Keys of the Priesthood").

I declare my devotion to God our Eternal Father and to His Son, Jesus Christ. I know Them, love Them, and pledge to serve Them—and you—with every remaining breath of my life (Russell M. Nelson, "As We Go Forward Together," Ensign, Apr. 2018).

As a special witness of Jesus Christ, I testify that He lives! I also testify that the veil of death is very thin. I know by experiences too sacred to relate that those who have gone before are not strangers to leaders of this Church. To us and to you, our loved ones may be just as close as the next room—separated only by the doors of death. (Russell M. Nelson, GC, Apr. 1992, "Doors of Death").

In God's eternal plan, salvation is an individual matter; exaltation is a family matter (Russell M. Nelson, GC, Apr 2008, Salvation and Exaltation).

Saints can be happy under every circumstance. We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year! My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives...we can feel joy regardless of what is happening--or not happening--in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy...For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy! (Russell M. Nelson, GC, October 2016, Joy and Spiritual Survival).