Brethren and sisters, it has been a glorious conference these three days, during these eight sessions. The Brethren have spoken from their hearts; they brought to our attention many of the great truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Master.
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 suggestions have been given that will help you as leaders in the perfection of your work. 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.
You have heard the Brethren speak with great strength of the principles of the gospel. You heard Brother Benson in his inspired sermon tell us that the immutable laws of God remain steadfast in the heavens above; when men and nations refuse to abide by them, the penalty must follow. They will be wasted away. Sin demands punishment. He said further, “Therefore, as humble servants of the Lord, we call upon the leaders of nations to be humble and humble themselves before God, to seek his inspiration and his guidance.” That is a bold statement, but very much in order.
You heard Elder Thomas S. Monson speak of how the President of the Council of the Twelve is guided to make changes through the inspiration of the Lord, so that Elder Monson happened to be in the right place to give a blessing to a dying child. He told us how the program unraveled so that he went to this conference, drove eighty miles out of his way, and met the family that was soon to bury this little one.
Did you hear Elder Sill telling of the examples of great and powerful people who lost their power when they lost their controls and yielded to the demands of lustful lives? He told also the story in Pilgrim’s Progress where a man refused a crown because he had given his life to raking muck.
“We have the greatest cause ever known in the world,” he said, “and the only question is how we are going to fight the battle.”
You heard Elder Cullimore tell of the family home evening program. How glorious it is! I hope every one of you will go home and see that you fail not in this glorious program of home-making. It was brought out in the Relief Society conference that the evil one knows where to attack. He is going to attack the home. He is going to try to destroy the family. That is what he wants to do. And you will see that all these workings of Satan that have been mentioned by the Brethren as they have talked to us have a final result of destroying the home, the family, the parents, the loved ones. That is what this Satan would like to do. Let us make up our minds he will not do it in our families.
You heard of the great missionary work from Elder Tuttle and others of the Brethren.
President Romney traced the scriptural history of the nations on this continent. He told of the Nephites and the Jaredites and followed the promises made of the Lord, that whatsoever nation shall possess this land of promise shall be free from bondage and from captivity and from all other nations under heaven if they will but serve the God of this land, who is Jesus Christ. That is said in about as few words as could be put together, but, oh, how important and far-reaching it is.
We heard Bishop Featherstone address us on patriotism, and whether we come from the South Seas, or from South America, or from Europe, or from Asia, all of us have our leanings; all of us should be loyal; all of us should appreciate freedom to live and worship as we please.
Elder Rector gave an instructive discussion of the Word of Wisdom, particularly on liquor, and gave some statistics which were frightening. All our magazines are filled with feeding the public, feeding the world; and he gave us information that would go a long way toward feeding the world—if we just didn’t put barley into liquor.
You heard Brother McConkie say that once or twice in every thousand years come great blessings. And he went into detail with them. He talked about the great program that came to us in this dispensation, as well as many others, in his remarks—the great program of the restoration of the gospel.
Elder Hanks talked about the power of fathers over sons, and what they could do to train them, to teach them, to lead them.
You heard Elder Hinckley talk about the flood of pornographic filth that nearly drowns us and the emphasis that is placed on sex and violence. I liked the way he asked us to encourage the leaders—the legislature—to make the proper laws to control these situations—and when they do, to give them thanks and appreciation, and when they don’t, to give them a little nudging.
Elder Haight said the Church could not function effectively without delegation, and that to delegate, one needs the priesthood. The priesthood has come to us, and we are prepared to carry forward.
I could go on with all the rest of the Brethren. All of their sermons were exceptionally good. I am sure they have touched our hearts as we have sat here and listened and prayed.
I would like to mention the talk Elder Hunter gave us this morning on the history of this building. I have been here for a long while. I was born here. But I’ve never heard that before, and I was grateful for that beautiful story of the sacrifices and the labors that these good people, our parents, went through so that we could sit, in reasonable comfort, at least, in this great Tabernacle. And how long it has served—a hundred years, he told us. A hundred years, this building!
I can imagine that in this building there have been numerous great sermons by prophets and apostles and other leaders. I can imagine the numerous prayers, deep and sincere, offered by the Brethren. I can imagine the succeeding choirs of the years, and the leaders, and what a great service this building has rendered. I hope it can last for another hundred years, at least.
I think Brother Hunter, telling about missionary work, said that if they read from this pulpit the names of the people who were to go on missions, it would take all the rest of the day, just to name them, because the missionaries we have called this year would amount to a tabernacle full of people—as many as you here. How would it be if we called all of you on missions?
I wish there were time to mention some of the other wonderful sermons, because it helps me to summarize these things and decide what I have heard, what I want to retain, what I want to do something about.
I should like to mention the strong sermon of Brother Perry regarding marriage. This is a real problem, when we think of Satan pinpointing the things that will destroy us. That’s about the first thing, isn’t it? If we cease marriage and cease home life, we are done for.
Well, now, brothers and sisters, this is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to all who are listening in, we have not been fooling. What we have said to you in these three days is truth, downright truth, and it has a definite bearing upon the salvation and exaltation of every soul that could listen and hear.
This is the gospel of Christ. He is our Lord. This is a Christian church. We follow him. We love him. We praise him. We glorify him. And now we must go forward and follow him in every detail. The gospel has been restored. It is here for us in all its fulness. Never before has it been so full and so complete, so comprehensive, never before that we know of in the world. And here it is, available to us and available to millions of people, some of whom are listening. We hope they will not make the mistake of casting it aside or ignoring it. God bless you who have been listening.
And God bless all you who are here. May he go with you to your homes as you return to your families, that peace may be with you, that your own lives may be wonderful, that your family lives may be great. And I ask these blessings, and bear testimony to you of the divinity of the work, that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior, our Redeemer. And that the way he has planned, the way of life, is right and true in every particular. And I bear this testimony to you with our great affection for you, our love, and appreciation. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.