Emphasizing that "the glory of God is intelligence," President Gordon B. Hinckley encouraged LDS young people here to get "all the training you can get." His comments were part of counsel he gave April 27-28 as he continued his relentless pace of travel to meet with members of the Church in their home regions.
President Hinckley was accompanied to the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Regional Conference by his wife, Marjorie, who also spoke. Participating with them were Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Vaughn J Featherstone of the Seventy, president of the North America Northeast Area. Their wives, Sisters Colleen Maxwell and Merlene Featherstone, accompanied them and gave remarks at the conference.While in Pittsburgh, President Hinckley presided at a regional meeting attended by some 5,000 members from the Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh North, and the Jamestown New York stakes, and the Dubois Pennsylvania District. The Sunday session was held at the Sewell Center of Pittsburgh's Robert Morris College.
On the previous afternoon, President Hinckley spoke twice at a priesthood leadership meeting of 470 brethren at the Pittsburgh stake center, and later that evening to a group of 170 missionaries from the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission.
During the Sunday general session, President Hinckley specifically addressed the youth, from whom he had received a card signed by 87 young people who pledged to stand for truth and righteousness.
He encouraged them to take advantage of opportunities for training. The injunction to "be prepared in all things" (D&C 88:80) includes the "whole field of secular knowledge which the Lord has said we must be acquainted with and in addition to that the things of God, the things of life, and the things of eternity."
"Do not sell yourselves short. Get all the training you can get. You are moving into a very rough world, sometimes spoken of as a jungle, where all the skills you can accumulate will be needed if you are to make a contribution to the society of which you are a part."
He quoted John 10:10: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." He then added, "That abundance is more likely to come if you are equipped to take a place of responsibility and make a contribution in the society in which you live.
"It is a tough world in which to live," he said. "It is a challenging world. It is a world that is full of filth and temptation and all kinds attractions that lead in the wrong direction. I would like, with the inspiration of the Lord, to say something that might be helpful to you as you live in this difficult but wonderful age. Really it is a great time to be alive, isn't it? No better time in all the history of the world than this, this great age of discovery and enlightenment, learning and faith."
He said the youth in the Church have the opportunity for "all that this . . . great age has to offer in the world, and beyond that the marvelous blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, which has come to earth in this dispensation of the fulness of times, this great final dispensation when the God of heaven has reintroduced all great truths, blessings and authority of all past dispensations."
President Hinckley warned against "sophisticated temptations" when men of "great selfishness are reaching out to peddle filth to their enrichment and your impoverishment. Do not be taken in by the sleazy, the filthy, the dirty elements of pornography which are constantly thrown at you. It is on television, it is in literature, it is on videotapes, it is in magazines, it is in advertising, it is all about you. It is poison and it can lead to destruction. . . . Be clean, you of this royal generation, be clean."
He said that praying in earnestness, night and morning, is wonderful, and that prayer "unlocks the powers of heaven in our behalf. Prayer is a great gift which our Eternal Father has given us by which we may approach Him and speak with Him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . . You cannot reach your potential alone. You need the help of the Lord."
The prophet concluded with his testimony: "God lives. I know that. I know that and I know that you know it. Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of mankind, who gave His life as a sacrifice for each of us."