Words of the Living Prophet
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“Words of the Living Prophet,” Liahona, Mar. 2000, 30

Words of the Living Prophet

Divine Nature

“What a difference it should make when each of us carries within ourselves a certain knowledge that something of divinity is within us, that we are of a royal birthright, that we are in a very literal sense sons and daughters of God, and if we are sons and daughters of one Father, then all of us are brothers and sisters and ought to treat one another as brothers and sisters.”1


“I think we can read the scriptures backwards and forwards and memorize them if you please, but if there is unkindness in our hearts, if there is abuse of our families, all of the other is in vain.”2


“Nothing happens in this Church unless you work. It is like a wheelbarrow. It doesn’t move until you get ahold of the two handles and push. Hard work moves the work of the Lord forward, and if you have learned to work with real integrity, it will bless your lives forever. I mean that with all my heart. It will bless your lives forever.”3

Temporal and Spiritual

“Critics of the Church complain that the Church has become a great business institution. Let me say emphatically that the spiritual has never been overtaken by the temporal. In fact, the two go hand in hand, the temporal to provide the means and the way for the accomplishment of the spiritual. Actually, they are one and the same. The Lord Himself has said: ‘Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; … for my commandments are spiritual; they are not natural nor temporal, neither carnal nor sensual’ (D&C 29:34–35).

“From the very beginning of this work the temporal had to be pursued to move forward the spiritual.”4


“The Lord carries great expectations of you in taking care of your part of the burden of moving forward the work of the Lord, in the payment of your tithes and offerings. We have money enough to run this Church because of the faithfulness of the people. Marvelous is that faithfulness. We don’t have a lot of rich people in the Church. The money which operates the Church comes from the consecrations of such as you—wonderful, faithful people. Tithing isn’t so much a matter of money as it is a matter of faith. The Lord can’t bless those who aren’t obedient.”5

Faith in the Future

“I feel tremendously optimistic about the future. We are in a world of all kinds of problems, as we all know. We see it on all sides—gangs, families gone, children killing children, single mothers, illegitimate births, drugs, the whole thing, but with all of that I believe there is a great residual of goodness in people. I believe that there are millions who are prayerful, faithful, strong people who are doing their best to rear their families in truth and righteousness, to live as citizens with honesty and integrity, and to make a contribution of their lives.”6

Make Good Decisions

“Have you ever looked at a great farm gate that opens and closes? If you look at the hinge, it moves ever so little, just a little movement of that hinge creates tremendous consequences out into the perimeter. That is the way it is with our lives. It is the little decisions that make the great differences in our lives.”7

Be Faithful

“We ought to be the very best people that walk the earth anywhere. If we live the gospel, we will be the best people on earth. If we don’t live the gospel, we’ll be traitors to the great and beautiful cause which we have embraced. I urge you to stand a little taller, to be a little more faithful, to be a little better, to be Latter-day Saints in every shade and meaning of that phrase. If we will be strong, if we will be faithful, if we will be true, the blessings of the Almighty will attend us wherever we go and whatever we do in righteousness.”8


  1. Meeting, Burlington, Vermont, 14 October 1998.

  2. Regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, Houston, Texas, 19 September 1998.

  3. Missionary meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 6 August 1998.

  4. Address given when named Brigham Young University Marriott School of Management International Executive of the Year, 6 November 1998.

  5. Meeting, Columbus, Ohio, 25 April 1998.

  6. Interview with Houston Chronicle, 15 September 1998.

  7. Meeting, Schenectady, New York, 17 October 1998.

  8. Meeting, Richmond, Virginia, 14 November 1998.

Photograph of President Hinckley by Jed Clark