Pres. Hinckley visits 3 states in 3 days

North Carolina members gather to hear leader

Photo by Richard Davis

Some 8,600 members from six stakes gathered in East Carolina University's Minges Coliseum at Greenville, N.C., to hear President Gordon B. Hinckley speak Nov. 13.

Photo by Susan R. Miller

President Gordon B. Hinckley and Elder M. Russell Ballard, left, visit with Richmond Virginia Stake Pres. Christopher Lansing at statue of Thomas Jefferson.

GREENVILLE, N.C. — "Prepare for the temple," President Gordon B. Hinckley told more than 8,600 Church members from six stakes gathered here in East Carolina University's Minges Coliseum Nov. 13.

Speaking during the first stop of a three-state tour through the eastern United States Nov. 13-15, President Hinckley talked of the new temple to be built in Raleigh, N.C.

"It will be yours, it will be the Lord's. He will be most pleased if you will use it. Now get yourselves ready," admonished President Hinckley.

He also emphasized the importance and opportunity for the young people in the congregation to prepare to go to the temple to be baptized for the dead.

His voice rose in strength and intensity as he counseled them, "Do not do anything, ever, that would preclude your going to the house of the Lord. . . . Don't you ever touch a glass of beer. Don't you ever smoke a cigarette. Don't ever take a cup of coffee. Don't you ever take any illegal drugs. Don't you become involved in looking at pornography. [Don't do] any of these things which can take from you the great and honored privilege of going to the house of the Lord. . . . Don't you ever do those things. Don't ever take the name of the Lord in vain. Never. Don't get involved in immoral acts. Don't do it. Now is the time to make that decision."

President Hinckley said that he hoped to visit North Carolina in about a year and dedicate the new temple. "It will be one of the smaller temples, but you don't have to worry about that; it will have every necessary feature to give every blessing available in the House of the Lord."

He asked those in the congregation if they had a testimony of God the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus Christ. "There is nothing more important in the whole world," he explained. "If you don't have a testimony, pray about it, search the scriptures and do the will of the Father."

In closing, President Hinckley promised the members that if they would walk in obedience to the commandments, they would have food on their tables, clothes on their backs, a roof over their heads and that their children would walk in virtue and faith.

Accompanying President Hinckley were his wife, Marjorie; Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve, and his wife, Barbara; and Elder John K. Carmack of the Seventy and president of the North America East Area, and his wife, Shirley.

In his remarks, Elder Ballard counseled, "With all the power I have, I wish to emphasize that we must never become casual or take for granted in any way what it means to be a member of this great Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. . . . Let us rise up under the direction of President Hinckley and take the opportunity of sharing the gospel. Let us resolve in our own hearts to do more to build the kingdom."

Elder Carmack quoted Isa. 52:7 — "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" He spoke of the Savior and said from His travels He preached the gospel and brought faith and repentance to God's children. He noted that today President Hinckley is traveling and sharing the message of salvation.

A 200-voice choir from the Kinston North Carolina Stake provided prelude music and special selections for the meeting. As a closing hymn, the choir and congregation sang, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again."

As the members sang, President Hinckley left the podium, repeatedly turning and waving. The congregation, many of whom had tears coursing down their cheeks, enthusiastically waved back.

"This is the thrill of my lifetime, to see a living prophet out this way," said Verdel Briggs of the Goldsboro 1st Ward, Goldsboro North Carolina Stake. "It means a lot to the Saints in North Carolina. Many said even if they had to stand outside the building, it would be great just to be close to a living prophet."

Nena Hamilton, Morehead City Ward, Kinston North Carolina Stake, said excitement and anticipation grew in the congregation as President Hinckley talked about the new temple in Raleigh. "It was a time for each member individually to reflect on his or her life to see what needs to be done to be able to enter into the house of the Lord."

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