“Young Gordon B. Hinckley—Preparing,” Friend, Mar. 2001, 36
All the prophets have testified of Jesus Christ and taught His gospel, and all were called as prophets because they were “noble and … good” in pre-earth life.* Each has had a different personality, grown up in different circumstances, and had different talents and abilities. Each has had to develop his own testimony on earth as part of his preparation for this most important calling.
When President Gordon B. Hinckley was a little boy, he lived in a family who had strong testimonies of the Church. His parents had a great love of learning—and more than a thousand books in their library, which young Gordon found to be a great place to read and study in.
Because his father believed that boys should learn to work, he bought a farm. The family lived there in the summer and went there on Saturdays in the spring and fall. They pruned trees in winter and early spring, then picked the fruit in late summer and early fall. Young Gordon learned to work hard. He also learned the beauty of nature that God has given us “and the bad things that happen when nature is abused.”†
His parents and good teachers in his ward taught him the gospel. Sometimes he learned lessons the hard way. One day he used the Lord’s name in vain, and his mother washed his mouth out with soap. “She then taught me about the Lord’s name and quoted to me the commandment against taking it in vain. … Since then I have never used the Lord’s name in vain, and I hope that I never shall.”
When he was a deacon, he went with his father to a stake priesthood meeting. The brethren stood and sang “Praise to the Man,” and “there came into my heart the conviction that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.”
Young Gordon B. Hinckley later served a mission in England. His work there led to his calling as executive secretary of the Missionary Committee of the Church. He has always wanted all of Heavenly Father’s children to learn the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
By Sharon Kiser
Instructions: Remove page 37 from the magazine and mount it on white construction paper. Cut out the lips on the heavy black lines. Fold the lips in half on dotted line #1, then fold the upper part of the lips back along dotted line #2 (see illustration).
Cut out the boxed words. For a presentation in family home evening or a talk in Primary, tell the story on this page about President Hinckley when he was a young boy. Discuss why we should not take the name of the Lord in vain (see Ex. 20:7; D&C 63:60–64). Use the boxed words to discuss other things you should avoid—zip your lips against. Then tape or glue each boxed word inside the folded lips.
Zip Your Lips
Against Taking the Name of the Lord in Vain