Words of the Living Prophet
September 1997

“Words of the Living Prophet,” Liahona, Sept. 1997, 26

Words of the Living Prophet

Faithful Youth

“You young men and women, you are the great hope of the future. I want to say to you young people, keep your roots in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have a hymn that says, ‘Shall the youth of Zion falter In defending truth and right? … No! True to the faith that our parents have cherished, True to the truth for which martyrs have perished, To God’s command, Soul, heart, and hand, Faithful and true we will ever stand’ (Hymns, number 254). I urge you further to live lives of purity and cleanliness. The way of purity is the way of happiness. Sin never was happiness. Transgression never was happiness. Be strong, as the youth of Zion. Stand up to those who would pull you down. Stand tall and true and virtuous, and God will bless you. And when you reach the time for marriage, look in the direction of another member of the Church. You will be happier if you marry in the Church because you and your companion will have the same beliefs, the same standards, the same faith rooted in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”1

Purpose of the Church

“When all is said and done, there is one purpose for this Church, and that is to assist our Father in Heaven in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of His sons and daughters. The only reason for its being is to build faith in things that are eternal.”2

Purpose of Our Work

“I hope that we will never lose sight of the fact that the purpose of all of our work is to help the sons and daughters of God find their way along the road that leads to immortality and eternal life; to have come into their hearts a love for God our Eternal Father, whose children we are; to have come into their hearts a solid, certain conviction concerning the place of each of us in the plan of the Almighty, that we are children of God, partakers of a divine birthright, spiritual children, who have come with a touch of divinity within us. All of the administrative things in the Church are important. I want to confirm and endorse and emphasize that. But when all is said and done, our greatest responsibility as leaders in this Church is to increase the knowledge of our people concerning their place as sons and daughters of God, their divine inheritance, and their divine, eternal destiny.”3

Live Principles of the Gospel

“The proclamation on the family is a wonderful statement, but I want to say this: It will mean absolutely nothing unless we bring its principles into our own lives. The Bible will do us no good unless we live its precepts. The Book of Mormon will do us no good unless we live its doctrine. The Doctrine and Covenants will do us no good unless we abide by the principles set forth therein. Likewise the Pearl of Great Price, including the Articles of Faith contained therein, and likewise this proclamation. The test of our convictions concerning this work lies in the manner of our living, my beloved brothers and sisters.”4

Keys of the Priesthood

“This afternoon we went to the Church of the Apostles where is found the original Christus statue by Thorvaldsen. And then on either side of that beautiful chapel are the carved figures of the Apostles, including Peter, with the keys in his hand. I don’t think the people who have responsibility for that church understand the significance of those keys, but for us they are real, they are genuine. The Lord said to His Apostles, ‘And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ (Matt. 16:19). Those are the eternal keys of the priesthood which have been restored under the hands of Peter, James, and John, and also Moses, Elias, and Elijah. They are the keys of the fulness of the priesthood as the Lord uses the word in the 124th section of the Doctrine and Covenants [D&C 124]—those keys which are exercised in the house of the Lord.”5

First Vision

“This [upper state New York] is where the First Vision occurred. This is the pivotal thing of our story. Every claim that we make concerning divine authority, every truth that we offer concerning the validity of this work, all find their roots in the First Vision of the boy prophet. This was the great curtain-raiser on the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God promised that He would restore all the power, the gifts, the blessings of all previous dispensations in one great summing up, as it were, and we are right here where it occurred. And, I repeat, my beloved brethren and sisters, that becomes the hinge pin on which this whole cause turns.”6

Book of Mormon

“Who can deny the truth of the Book of Mormon? It is here to handle. The evidence for its truth lies in its reading, its prayerful reading. Anybody, according to Moroni, can gain a knowledge of the truth, and millions have done so, through the reading of this book. You can handle it, you can lift it, you can open it, you can search its words. There have been scores of explanations trying to find some other origin of the book. Every one has failed, while the Book of Mormon goes on and on and on.”7

Sacrifice for the Church

“I think of what people have put into this work, of the more than 4,000 who died and were buried between the Mississippi and the Salt Lake Valley, losing their lives for this cause. I repeat, people do not make that kind of sacrifice for a fabricated story.”8


  1. Fireside, The Hague, Netherlands, 13 June 1996.

  2. Regional conference, Berlin, Germany, 15 June 1996.

  3. Regional conference, Berlin, Germany, 15 June 1996.

  4. Fireside, Copenhagen, Denmark, 14 June 1996.

  5. Missionary meeting, Copenhagen, Denmark, 14 June 1996.

  6. Missionary meeting, Rochester, New York, 12 July 1996.

  7. Missionary meeting, Rochester, New York, 12 July 1996.

  8. Missionary meeting, Rochester, New York, 12 July 1996.

Photograph by Jed Clark

Faith—And Should We Die Before Our Journey’s Through—Happy Day, by Harold I. Hopkinson