October 1998


These are momentous times in which we are living as Saints of the Most High. … Let us go on rearing our children in righteousness and truth. Let us be good neighbors and good friends.

Just a word in conclusion. We’ve been here a long time for those in the Tabernacle seated on the hard benches. I look forward to our holding conference in the new building where the chairs will be upholstered.

We have had a wonderful conference. The Lord has blessed us, and we are deeply grateful. As we return to our homes, may we reflect upon the things which we have heard. Where there is need for reformation in our lives, may we make those adjustments which will lead to such. Where we have been stirred in our hearts, may we respond to the Spirit which has touched us. Where we have been lax in our duty, may we have the self-discipline to stand tall and do what is expected of us.

I am pleased to report, my brethren and sisters, concerning the program of constructing smaller temples which has been mentioned in this conference many times. We dedicated the first of these in Monticello, Utah, a few months ago. We built a temple there so that we might learn from it. We have learned a few things, and we have been deeply gratified by the response of the Saints in that area and by their great enthusiasm for the beautiful structure which has come into their midst.

We will dedicate a number of new temples beginning the first of the year. Some of these will be larger, some smaller. During the last conference I expressed the hope that we would build 30 new temples during the next two years. I am sure that many thought this was just wishful dreaming on my part. It seemed totally unrealistic.

I am grateful to be able to say that our building people, our architects, our engineers, our designers and furnishings experts, advise me that in all likelihood we will have 100 or more temples operating in the year 2000, nearly twice the number we have today. I assure you that nobody is sleeping on the job—no one who has anything to do with this immense project. I speak of these temples as smaller temples. Actually, they do not look small, they look large. They are beautiful. They are built of the best materials and in the best fashion of which we know. Each will be a house of the Lord dedicated to His holy purposes.

We shall not stop at these. We shall go on building. We know there are so very many locations where they are needed in order that you, the faithful Saints of this Church, may go to receive your own blessings and to extend those blessings to those who have passed beyond the veil of death. We pray that our people will be worthy to use them. Where repentance is needed, now is the time to turn about and prepare ourselves for their use.

My brothers and sisters, these are momentous times in which we are living as Saints of the Most High. With the generous blessing of the Lord, with His revealed will before us, with the faithful Saints throughout the world, we find it possible to do that which was thought to be impossible only a very short time ago.

I have now been an officer in this Church for a very long time. I am an old man who cannot deny the calendar. I have lived long enough and served in enough different capacities to have removed from my mind, if such were necessary, any doubt of the divinity of this, the work of God. We respect those of other churches. We desire their friendship and hope to render meaningful service with them. We know they all do good, but we unabashedly state—and this frequently brings criticism upon us—that this is the true and living Church of our Father in Heaven and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now before I sit down, I want to pay a moment’s tribute to this great choir to which we’ve listened today. They are magnificent. They are doing a great work. They are better than they’ve ever been, and they must go on improving. Their best today will not be good enough tomorrow. Keep it up, dear friends.

Let us go on rearing our children in righteousness and truth. Let us be good neighbors and good friends, loving and reaching out to those not of our faith as well as those who are of our faith. May the smiles of heaven rest upon you, my beloved associates, is my humble prayer as I leave with you my witness and my testimony and my love for each of you wherever you may be across this broad world is my humble prayer and word of benediction in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.