Regional Conference at the Chicago United Center|
Sunday, October 18, 1998
President Gordon B. Hinckley
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
This is a transcript of notes taken during the conference
Brother Pinnock suggested eight ways in which we can improve our the quality of our lives and find joy in daily living.
The words of Jesus tell us to ask, seek and knock ... We need to pray. It helps us control our circumstance in righteousness.
- Live a life of sexual purity. We need to have respect for our lives and our bodies.
- Keep the commandments. Whatever they may be, strive to live them all.
- Pay an honest tithe.
- Live the Word of Wisdom. Do not drink alcohol, coffee or tea, do not take drugs, tobacco or anything like unto it.
- Be honest in our everyday lives. Strive to pay our debts.
- Honor the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
- Honor our parents. It not only lengthens our lives, it will help us to be better parents and grandparents ourselves someday.
- Keep covenants and sacred promises. Dedicate that which we have to the building up of the kingdom of God.
The main theme of her talk was making wise and correct decisions throughtout our lives. she said, "If all people would make decisions as the Savior would the world would be so much better". She then related a challenge she had given to all of her grandchildren to do something each day to better their lives and brighten the lives of others. Ask yourselves in every situation, "What would Jesus do?"
She told of a trip her family had taken, rafting down the Colorado River. "We decided to go on a family trip. We asked our sons if they could go anywhere and do anything what would they want to do? Rafting the Colorado River was their reply. Colorado is a beautiful place. We admired the sheer rock cliffs and the sparkling water. The eighteen of us going on the trip, drew straws to see who would get the coveted position in the front. The three of us "won", I believe it was a set up. I took my position and we started. Things were going smoothly and then we approached the first section of rapids. There is a rope that runs around the perimeter of the rope that you need to hold tightly to keep yourself in the boat. I held on! Just about then the front of the raft dipped low into the water. The rope I held tightly in my hands, I found was not the rope secured around the raft but the rope used to tether the raft to the dock. I found that was on my head and tied uner my chin, slipped down over my face and covered my eyes. I was then faced with the dilemma, 'do I risk letting go with one hand to uncover my eyes and allow me to see, or do I hold on tightly with both?' I voted to hold on, hoping that when we had cleared the rapids, my family would notice I was gone, pull in the rope and find me at the end. Suddenly the raft dipped upward in the front and I was whipped back into the raft. I landed amidst them all and on top of the supplies, which must have temporarily stunned me. As I started to come around, I realized they were trying to pull my hands free of the rope which I desperately clung to. Each finger was being pried loose individually. It islike that in our lives. Keep a tight grip on the "gospel rope", even if you can't see what lies ahead."
Robert D. Hales [Apostle]
Related the First Vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith ...the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ...
"We honor our Savior each Sunday when we come to Sacrament meeting and prepare ourselves throughout the week to be worthy of taking the sacrament. We must prepare ourselves to go to the temple. Be faithful, be true to God and to our prophet."
Sister Hinckley began by asking if everyone could hear her, the she quipped, "If you can't, you won't be missing much anyway."
"Everyday it amazes me to think I am married to the prophet, the prophet of the Lord. You know I have known Gordon for a very long time. We lived across the street from each other, but I never had the good sense to notice him until I was in high school. I often find myself thinking, 'What's a nice girl like me doing in a mess like this?"
One day when I was younger I remember some women talking about the dedication of the Manti temple. They said that many people heard angels singing. I remember Grandma was there at the dedication, but I did not remember her ever mentioning that she had heard angels singing. So I asked her. 'Yes,' she replied, 'I remember sitting and waiting for the service to begin and thinking how nice it was to sit there and listen to the choir practicing. I wondered though why they were singing in a room upstairs in the temple. Suddenly I realized that the choir members were only then filing in to take their seats and their mouths weren't even moving.' That was testimony to me that day. Through the years my testimony has been fed by little, sometimes insignificant things. That's as it should be. All around me through the years I have heard "my angels singing" ...I have seen too much and experienced too much to deny that the gospel is true. It's really, really true!"
President Gordon B. Hinckley
The prophet began by apologizing for the sound system. He said that is what worries him the most about the new assembly hall being built in Salt Lake City. He does not worry that the walls will fall down or that the roof will leak, only that the people will not be able to hear when they come to listen.
"We are indebted to you brothers and sisters for being here today. We are indebted to you for being the best people on the face of the earth and you will be the best if you follow God. Thank you for your faith and testimonies. Thank you for the goodness of your lives. We have come a long way but we have a long way to go. God in His power and majesty has moved to restore the Church and His power to the earth ...the church is moving forward. We are over 10,000,000 strong. We are a great family of believers from 160 nations. We love the Lord and we seek to do His will.
What I wish to speak of today comes from the words of the Savior to Thomas, doubting Thomas. Christ appeared to the gathered ten apostles. Thomas was not with them. Jesus stood in their midst and said unto them, 'Peace be unto you'. He then showed unto them wounds in His hands and feets and side. upon Thomas' return the other disciples told him they had seen the Lord, but he said unto them, 'except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.' Eight days later the Savior returned to the disciples. This time Thomas was with them. And the Lord said unto Thomas ...'Behold my hands, reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing.' Thomas answered and said unto Him, 'My Lord and my God.'
Be not faithless, but believe ....Believe in what?
Believe in God the Eternal Father
He is the Father of us all, we are his children. We are all brothers and sisters and we should treat each other as such; without regard to color of skin, or the land from which we come. We all have a divine birthright and therefore there is something of divinity in each of us. It is a most miraculous thing that I can get on my knees and lift my prayer to heaven and the great God of the universe hears and answers.
Believe in Christ
'And this is life eternal that htey might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent.' Know Christ, believe in him... This is the very essence of eternal life and salvation.
Believe in the divine calling of Joseph Smith
He is not in the same category as the Father and the Son. We do not worship Jospeh Smith. We look to him as the great prophet of this dispensation. We speak of him, we sing of him, we honor him. [The prophet then related the story of the First Vision.] Out of this experience came the knowledge of the nature of Deity. Never before in all of history, did this message come out with greater clarity and power then it did at this time.
Believe in the Book of Mormon
Believe that it is a second witness of the Son of God. The Bible is a wonderful book. I wish we would read it more. The Bible is a great testament of the Old World, the Book of Mormon is the Testament of the New World. they have come together as two witnesses of the divinity of the Savior Jesus Christ.
Believe in what?
Believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
We have the restored church. We have experienced a parting of the curtain signaling the opening of the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.
Believe in yourself as a Child of God
What a wonderous concept that is! Recently I was a BYU to attend a recognition dinner honoring Naomi Randall, who wrote that beautiful song. [I Am a Child of God] She is a beautiful 90 years old. There is not a Primary child anywhere who does not know the words to that song. As children of a Heavenly Father we ought to stand taller and live up to our tremendous birthright.
Believe in Prayer
What an awesome privilege it is to know that we can talk to our Father in Heaven. It doesn't come with any price except humility and faith. We can go to him with any question, problem or concern.
Believe in Virtue
There are thousands of young people in this audience today; youth of noble birthright. Walk in virtue. Stay away from the filthy web of pornography. It will destroy you. You older people too, if this is a problem for you, stop it now. Stay away from illegal drugs. They will cause you to lose all self-discipline. They will utterly destroy you. Your Heavenly Father has something better in mind for you ...a plan of happiness.
Get all the education you can. It unlocks the door of opportunity. Learn of things above, learn of things below. Learn by study and also by faith. Believe in personal virtue!
Believe in your capacity to do good
You have the power to make the world a little bit better. Everywhere people need help. Larry King asked me the other night about our humanity efforts. We are right now sending aid to North Korea. A communist country? Yes! We place human well-being above politics. When people are in need, we help.
Be not faithless ...but believe! [said softly and with great emphasis]
I express my great love. I mean it, I love the Latter-Day Saints. You're all alike. You look good. You look as if you know where you're going, and you do! My dear brothers and sisters, the Lord bless you in your homes, in your hearts and in your families. Let us live together in love. The work is true ...you know that as well as I do!
Thanks to Sister Vicki Petersen for taking notes and her speedwriting ability.
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