Words of the Living Prophet
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“Words of the Living Prophet,” Liahona, Dec. 1998, 38

Words of the Living Prophet

Build the Kingdom

“Let us work together, every one of us, to build the kingdom, to tell our neighbors, to help the missionaries, to live the kind of lives which will cause other people to ask about us. When you bring someone into this Church, when you help him and nurture him, when you encourage him and bring him along, you bring in not only an individual, but you bring in generations. Faithful men and women have faithful children, and those children grow to be faithful fathers and mothers, and so the marvelous process goes on.”1

Blessed by Paying Tithing

“It is always a blessing to give back to the Lord just one-tenth of what He has given to us. I have a great testimony of tithing, my brethren and sisters. It has never been hard for me to pay my tithing, even in times of financial stress, because the Lord has made a promise that He would bless us if we would do so. I alone did not make that promise. The bishop didn’t make that promise. The Lord made that promise, and His is the power to keep that promise.”2

Read to Your Children

“Read to your children. Read the story of the Son of God. Read to them from the New Testament. Read to them from the Book of Mormon. It will take time, and you are very busy, but it will prove to be a great blessing in your lives as well as in their lives. And there will grow in their hearts a great love for the Savior of the world, the only perfect man who walked the earth. He will become to them a very real living being, and His great atoning sacrifice, as they grow to manhood and womanhood, will take on a new and more glorious meaning in their lives.”3

Teach of Joseph Smith

“Teach your children of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We sing that great hymn ‘We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet’ (Hymns, number 19). Whenever I hear it, I don’t think of myself. I think of the Prophet Joseph Smith, of the boy who went into the woods and prayed for light and understanding, unto whom God the Father and the risen Son appeared and spoke. This great and remarkable man was the instrument of God in bringing to us this marvelous Book of Mormon and the revelations found in the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph Smith laid the foundation of this Church. If what he said was true, then it is all true, and I want to give my testimony that what he said is true, and I want to urge you to teach your children of the Prophet Joseph. Read to them of him. When I was a little boy, my mother had a little book. It was called From Plowboy to Prophet. It was the story of Joseph Smith, and she read that story to us. Now we are very old, but that story still remains with us. Teach them of the Prophet Joseph Smith.”4

Personal Virtue

“I believe in the beauty of personal virtue. Be happy. Be alive. Be alert. Enjoy life and have a lot of fun. But there is a line which you should never cross. It is the line that pertains to morality, to integrity, and the crossing of which is expressed in coarse language, in sloppy dress and manners, and in immoral behavior. Each of you can and must stand above these destructive evils. May God bless you as you strive to do so.”5

Treatment of Families

“My brethren, treat your wives with kindness. They are your companions. They stand equal with you before the Lord. You cannot get into the highest degree of the celestial kingdom, the kingdom of our Father, without them. Nor can they without you. You will walk side by side as companions, honoring and loving and respecting one another. Treat your children as sons and daughters of God. Be kind. Love them. Respect them. Counsel with them. Teach them. Pray for them. Guide them, and God will bless both them and you.”6

The Miracle of Changed Lives

“I see the miracle that takes place in the lives of our people everywhere. This Church is a church of hope. Its doctrine is the doctrine of salvation. We are out to save people, to help them with their problems, literally, in a very, very real way that encourages them in their lives. … There is nothing more satisfying in the world than to see someone who gets hold of his life with the help of encouraging friends and turns it around and makes something good and substantial and productive of it. I think that is my greatest satisfaction.”7


  1. Fireside, Quito, Ecuador, 12 August 1997.

  2. Regional conference, Montevideo, Uruguay, 10 August 1997.

  3. Regional conference, Montevideo, Uruguay, 10 August 1997.

  4. Regional conference, Asunción, Paraguay, 10 August 1997.

  5. Statement placed in 1997 Pioneers of Progress display at Utah State Capitol.

  6. Regional conference, Hamilton, New Zealand, 11 May 1997.

  7. Question and answer session following address to Los Angeles World Affairs Council, 6 March 1997.

Photography by Jed Clark

Photography by Steve Bunderson