Teachings of Presidents

“Introduction,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley (2016)

“Introduction,” Teachings: Gordon B. Hinckley


The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have established the Teachings of Presidents of the Church series to help you draw closer to your Heavenly Father and deepen your understanding of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. As the Church adds volumes to this series, you will build a collection of gospel reference books for your home. These books are designed to be used for personal study and as resources for teaching. They can also help you prepare family home evening lessons, prepare other lessons or talks, and answer questions about Church doctrine.

This book features the teachings of President Gordon B. Hinckley, who served as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from March 12, 1995, to January 27, 2008.

President Gordon B. Hinckley

Personal Study

As you study the teachings of President Gordon B. Hinckley, prayerfully seek the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. The questions at the end of each chapter will help you ponder, understand, and apply President Hinckley’s teachings. The following ideas may also be helpful:

  • Write thoughts and feelings that come to you from the Holy Ghost as you study.

  • Underline passages you want to remember. Consider memorizing these passages or noting them in your scriptures next to related verses.

  • Read a chapter or passage more than once so you can understand it more deeply.

  • Ask yourself questions such as “How do President Hinckley’s teachings increase my understanding of gospel principles?” or “What does the Lord want me to learn from these teachings? What does He want me to do?”

  • Ask yourself how the teachings in this book can help you with personal challenges and concerns.

  • Share what you learn with family members and friends.

Teaching from This Book

The following guidelines will help you teach from this book, whether at home or at church.

Prepare to Teach

Seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost as you prepare to teach. Study the chapter to become confident in your understanding of President Hinckley’s teachings, and prayerfully select the teachings that you feel will be most helpful.

You may want to encourage those you teach to study the chapter themselves and to give special attention to the “Suggestions for Study and Teaching” section at the end of the chapter.

Encourage Discussion about President Hinckley’s Teachings

As you teach from this book, invite others to share their thoughts, ask questions, testify, and teach one another. When they actively participate, they will be more prepared to learn and to receive personal revelation.

Allow good discussions to continue rather than trying to cover all the teachings. Guide the discussions to help participants read President Hinckley’s teachings and discover ways to apply those teachings in their lives.

The questions at the end of each chapter are a valuable resource for encouraging discussion. You may also develop your own questions specifically for those you are teaching. Some other ideas for encouraging discussion are provided below:

  • Ask participants to share what they have learned from their personal study of the chapter.

  • Assign selected questions at the end of the chapter to individuals or small groups. Ask participants to look for teachings in the chapter that relate to the questions. Then invite them to share their thoughts and insights.

  • Read together some of President Hinckley’s teachings in the chapter. Ask participants to share examples from the scriptures and from their own experiences that relate to those teachings.

  • Ask participants to choose one section and read it silently. Invite them to gather in groups of two or three people who chose the same section and discuss what they learned.

Encourage Application and Sharing

President Hinckley’s teachings will be most meaningful when individuals apply them in their lives and share them with others. You may want to use one or more of the following ideas:

  • Ask participants how they can apply President Hinckley’s teachings in their responsibilities at home, in the Church, and in other settings.

  • Invite participants to share experiences they have had as they have followed President Hinckley’s counsel.

  • Encourage participants to share some of President Hinckley’s teachings with family members and friends.

Conclude the Discussion

Briefly summarize the lesson or ask one or two others to do so. Testify of the teachings you have discussed, and encourage participants to apply what they have learned. You may also want to invite others to share their testimonies.

Information about Source Materials

The teachings in this book are direct quotations from President Gordon B. Hinckley’s sermons, writings, and interviews. Quotations from published sources have retained the punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and paragraphing of the original sources unless editorial or typographic changes have been necessary to improve readability. Because the quotations maintain fidelity to published sources, you may notice minor stylistic inconsistencies in the text. For example, pronouns referring to Deity are lowercased in some quotations and capitalized in others.

President Hinckley often used the terms men, man, and mankind to refer to all people, both male and female. He also frequently used the pronouns he, his, and him to refer to both genders. These language conventions were common in his era.