- Excerpts from recent addresses by President Gordon B. Hinckley.
BUILDING THE KINGDOM
Let us work together, every one of us, to build the kingdom, to tell our neighbors, to help the missionaries, to live the kind of lives which will cause other people to ask about us. That will be the greatest thing that we can do. When you bring someone into this Church, when you help him and nurture him, when you encourage him and bring him along, you bring in not only an individual, but you bring in generations. For faithful men and women have faithful children and those children grow to be faithful fathers and mothers, and so the marvelous process goes on. - From Quito, Ecuador, member meeting, Aug. 12, 1997
Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is a chosen generation. I believe with all my heart that this is the greatest generation in the history of the world. There is more scientific development, more medical progress, more public hygiene, more of all of the things that add to our lives to make it possible for us to live longer in this wonderful generation. When I was born, 87 years ago, the life expectancy in the United States was 50 years. Today, 87 years later, the life expectancy is 75 years. Think of it, 25 years of life have been added through the discoveries of modern science.
We live in a day of education. We live at a time when we can learn of the great things of the past. Of the marvelous things of the earth. Of all that pertains to our lives. We are a blessed people. We don't need to walk in darkness. We can all partake of education. We can go to various kinds of schools and learn many things to bless our lives. It is a marvelous generation, but more important than all of these, is the wonderful blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which has been restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Do you ever stop and think of what this means to you, what it means to you, my brethren, to hold the priesthood of the living God? Do you ever stop, my dear sisters, and think of what it means to you to stand up as a daughter of the living God, possessed with a divine birthright to carry forward this great work?
"Ye are a chosen generation." I believe that with all my heart. There never was, in my judgment, a generation quite like this generation. How fortunate we are to be born in this day and time in the history of the world when the God of heaven has spoken again, and His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and ushered in this the dispensation of the fullness of times. Let us be thankful that we are a chosen generation. - From Suva, Fiji, member meeting, Oct. 15, 1997
This life is a part of eternity. This is one stage of our eternal lives. When we die, we will go on to purposeful, active, challenging living. The life on the other side of the veil will be somewhat like the life here. If we have been clean and decent and good here, we will go on in that same spirit. If we have been rascals, we will go in that same spirit. I believe that. I believe in the eternity of life. It is as much a part of my belief as anything that I know of, that this is not the end, that there will be another life, that we will be accountable to God our Father and to our Lord Jesus Christ, that we will have work to do and that sometime we will all participate in the resurrection. That is my hope, my faith, my testimony. - From interview with Ignacio Carrion, of El Pais newspaper, Nov. 7, 1997
PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH
Teach your children of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We sing that great hymn, "We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet." Whenever I hear it, I don't think of myself. I think of the Prophet Joseph Smith, of the boy who went into the woods and prayed for light and understanding, unto whom God the Father and the risen Son appeared and spoke. This great and remarkable man was the instrument of God in bringing to us this marvelous Book of Mormon and the revelation found in the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph Smith laid the foundation of this Church. If what he said was true, then it is all true, and I want to give my testimony that what he said is true, and I want to urge you to teach your children of the Prophet Joseph. Read to them of him. When I was a little boy, my mother had a little book. It was called, "From Plowboy to Prophet." It was the story of Joseph Smith and she read that story to us. Now we are very old, but that story still remains with us. Teach them of the Prophet Joseph Smith. - From Asuncion, Paraguay, regional conference, general session, Aug. 10, 1997
SAVE FOR A MISSION
Parents, teach your children and bring them up with a desire to go into the mission field. Save a little money to help with that process. As I said when I went on a mission, it was a very difficult time financially. My father had resources but they produced nothing because of the economy at the time. We discovered that my mother who had passed away at the time had long ago set up a little bank account in which she put savings, a little now and little again, and that money became available to help take care of my mission. Now, you mothers can do that while your children are still young, a coin here, a coin there, a little bit at a time, that you can save to assist that son or daughter in the mission field. - from Montevideo, Uruguay, regional conference, Aug. 10, 1997
WORD OF WISDOM
The Lord expects each of us to observe the Word of Wisdom. What a wonderful thing it is, this Word of Wisdom. It doesn't impose burdens on us. It gives us blessings. A professor at the University of California at Los Angeles has carried on an intensive study over a period of years, and he has reached the conclusion, and published that conclusion, that the Mormon people, speaking of averages, live 10 years longer than their peers. What is 10 years of life worth? Think of it. Think of the blessings which come to us as a gift of our Father in Heaven. And in addition to that is the marvelous promise that we shall run and not be weary and walk and not faint, and that hidden treasures of knowledge shall be given unto us. (See D&C 89:19-20.) That doesn't mean we'll be the brightest people in the world in science, or in any other temporal thing. But it does mean that the Holy Ghost will reveal unto us the things of God for our great blessing. No one can afford to violate the Word of Wisdom. - From Mexico City member meeting, Nov. 8, 1997
YOUTH, BE FAITHFUL
You boys who hold the Aaronic Priesthood, you girls who are a part of the great army of young women in the Church, you who are seminary and institute students, keep the faith. Do not let anything get in your way of being faithful members of the Church. Stand tall and be true! Get on your knees and say your prayers night and morning. Ask your Father in Heaven to guard you and to guide you, to lead you and bless you. Do not become involved in immorality. It may be tempting, but it will destroy you. It will literally destroy you. I don't have to tell you what is wrong. Every one of you knows what is wrong. Every one of you knows what is right. Choose the right! - From Puebla, Mexico, member meeting, Nov. 9, 1997