Church basks in sunshine of goodwill

At the April 1994 general conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley expressed gratitude for "a more tolerant day and greater understanding" as he spoke of some of the trials endured by earlier members of the Church.

"Gone are the days of burnings and forced marches," President Hinckley said. "The sunshine of goodwill is upon our people. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now owns the scene of the martyrdom, the Carthage Jail with the block on which it stands. It has been made beautiful and attractive for the tens of thousands who visit from many nations. Nauvoo is a place of goodwill, a remnant of a remarkable history. The site of the once-beautiful temple has become a scene of reverent curiosity. Today there is a stake of Zion which carries the name Nauvoo. And north of Chicago is a magnificently beautiful temple in which are administered ordinances of salvation to benefit the sons and daughters of God of all generations, a work which has come through the priesthood revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, a work which extends to the generations of the past the wondrous opportunities afforded by the atonement of the Savior of mankind."President Hinckley spoke of the incarceration of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith in jail at Liberty, Mo.

"In the misery of that foul place he cried out, `O God, where art thou?' (D&C 121:1).

"In answer to that prayer came this remarkable promise:

" `The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;

" `While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.

" `And thy people shall never be turned against thee by the testimony of traitors.' (D&C 122:1-3.)

"You and I are witnesses to the fulfillment of these remarkable and prophetic words," President Hinckley said. "As I speak today I am heard in thousands of halls across this and other nations. This is but a small token of the fulfillment of that promise. . . .

"Joseph Smith lived as an instrument in the hands of the Lord for the establishment of His restored work in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times. He died in testimony of the Savior of mankind. The Church which was established through him carries the name of the Redeemer of the world. Out of a vision wondrous and beautiful, experienced in the prime and vigor of his life, the Prophet Joseph wrote these words, which confirm the truth of that first Easter morning and the glory of Him from whom he drew all of his inspiration as the Prophet of this great latter-day dispensation. Said he:

" `And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

" `For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father -

" `That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.' (D&C 76:22-24.)

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