Words of the Living Prophet
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“Words of the Living Prophet,” Liahona, Feb. 2001, 28

Words of the Living Prophet

Every Young Man a Missionary

“It should be the ambition, the desire, the hoped-for experience of every young man in this Church to go into the world as a teacher of the eternal gospel, as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t know where you’ll go, … but it will prove to be a tremendous and wonderful experience for you. You will live close to the Lord. You will pray as you never prayed before. You’ll teach and you’ll do great good that will bless your life as long as you live.

“I want to urge you to save and prepare and think of and dream of and pray for the experience of a mission in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”1

Marry within the Church

“We ought to marry within the Church. Our lives will be richer and happier if we marry within the Church. … We will believe in the same things; we won’t quarrel over doctrine or anything of that kind.”2

Opposition to the Church

“Opposition comes of misunderstanding. As we are able to give people an increased understanding of this Church, its motives, its history, its practices, its outlook, that opposition will fade, will take on a different color. There still may be opposition, but it won’t be driving us out of Nauvoo or driving us across Missouri in the snow or things of that kind. It will be of a different kind and probably more sophisticated and difficult to meet in some circumstances.”3

Promise of Eternal Life

“The Lord in His great mercy, the Lord in His love for us, has made it possible for us to be brought together under the authority of the holy priesthood in a relationship which will last beyond death, and over which death will have no control. No great man or woman of government, no military leader, no great businessman, no great educator, no great professional man can make that kind of promise. He may attain to the highest honors of men, but he will have no control over the destiny of men and women when they pass the threshold of death.”4

Temple Worthiness

“Get a temple recommend and never, never, as long as you live, think anything, say anything, do anything which would make you ineligible for that temple recommend. And if you will live up to all the requirements of a temple recommend, you may be sure that you are living the gospel and doing what the Lord expects of you.”5

Acknowledge the Lord

“It is so very important that you do not let praise and adulation go to your head. Adulation is poison. You better never lose sight of the fact that the Lord put you where you are according to His design, which you don’t understand. Acknowledge the Lord for whatever good you can accomplish and give Him the credit and the glory and [do] not worry about that coming to yourself. If you can do that, you’ll get along all right and will go forward with a love for the people and a great respect for them and [will] try to accomplish what your office demands of you.”6

Believe in Yourselves

“Believe in yourselves. Believe in your capacity to do great and good and worthwhile things. Believe in the nature within you, the divine nature, that you are in very deed a son or daughter of the living God. There is something of divinity within you, something that stands high and tall and noble. Get above the dirt and the filth of the earth and walk on a higher plane with your heads up, believing in yourselves and in your capacity to act for good in the world and make a difference.”7

What Does the Lord Expect?

“What does the Lord expect of us as Latter-day Saints? What does He expect of me as a member of this Church? He expects me to show a love for God in the manner in which I live my life. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, might, mind, and strength; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (see Matt. 22:37–39).

“There is no room in the heart of a Latter-day Saint for bitterness, for unkindness, for animosity to any other of the sons and daughters of God. They may not be of our faith, but we owe them an obligation to treat them as sons and daughters of our Father in Heaven.

“He expects us to develop in our hearts and lives a profound love for the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. That will find its best expression in the service which we give to others.

“He expects each of us to be faithful members of the Church; to do what we are asked to do; to move the work forward; to serve wherever we are called to serve and build the kingdom in the world.”8


  1. Meeting, Singapore, 30 January 2000.

  2. Meeting, Jakarta, Indonesia, 28 January 2000.

  3. Interview with Deseret News, 25 February 2000.

  4. Meeting, Guayaquil, Ecuador, 31 July 1999.

  5. Meeting, BYU Jerusalem Center, 21 March 1999.

  6. Interview with Deseret News, 25 February 2000.

  7. Regional conference, Oahu, Hawaii, 22 January 2000.

  8. Meeting, Jakarta, Indonesia, 28 January 2000.

Left: Photograph by Jed Clark

Right: Photo illustration by John Luke