Pres. Hinckley counsels members in Ohio

"You will be the very best people in the world as you live the gospel of Jesus Christ," President Gordon B. Hinckley said to members gathered in this city. "You will be stronger and better and happier and more peaceful in your hearts."

En route to New York City where he spoke in Madison Square Garden, President Hinckley visited Columbus, Ohio, April 25, and spoke to about 6,800 people in the Polaris Amphitheater. At the conclusion of his address, he announced plans for a small temple to be built in or near this city. (Please see May 2 Church News.)He was accompanied by his wife, Marjorie; Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy and president of the North America Central Area, and Elder Jensen's wife, Kathleen. All spoke at the meeting.

In his address, President Hinckley observed that the world is going one way and the Church in another.

"If the world continues to go in its direction, and we continue to go in our direction, we'll grow further and further apart. But we will discover that we'll have tremendous capacity to reach around for those in distress and trouble and need, and help them and lift them and bless their lives, if we are Latter-day Saints in the truest sense of that word."

President Hinckley said that being in Ohio made him think of the times of Kirtland, and of the early days of the Church. He spoke of "a great winnowing process that took place in Kirtland, largely over financial matters, but it had a tremendous filtering effect upon the people. Those who were faithful, those who were true, those who were loyal stayed with the Prophet Joseph Smith and those who were otherwise drifted away. That process has been going on ever since and will continue to go on."

He encouraged members to be good neighbors. "No man can be a true Latter-day Saint who is unneighborly, who does not reach out to assist and help others. It is inherent in the very nature of the gospel that we do so."

He said that Church members "cannot live unto ourselves. The more we forget ourselves and lose ourselves in the service of others, the closer we draw to the Lord and His great work and kingdom."

He said that in recent years the Church has expended millions upon millions of dollars in humanitarian aid, most recently in North Korea.

"Political considerations cannot be a consideration when there are people who are hungry and dying for want of food. But we do not need to go so far. We need to cultivate within our own hearts a great spirit of neighborliness by reaching out to those in distress."

President Hinckley said the families of Latter-day Saints ought to be "the best families under the heavens."

"Brothers and sisters, there is much of trouble in the homes of our people. There is much of unkindness, of unkind words, of bitterness, of hatred even, in the homes of our people. We deal with it constantly. This is a day of repentance when you and I can turn around and face up to our responsibilities as husbands and wives, as fathers, as parents, and as children. The family is a creation of God. It is the basic unit of society. All else depends on it. If the family falls apart, the nation falls apart. There isn't the slightest question in my mind concerning that."

He said Latter-day Saint families have more light and knowledge and understanding than is had by any other people on the face of the earth.

"Great are the blessings that are promised. Marvelous are the gifts of God, which are given us out of His love when we are so married. Take a good look at ourselves and see if we are the kind of husbands we ought to be. If we are the kinds of wives we ought to be. If we are the kinds of parents we ought to be. If we are the kind of children we ought to be."

President Hinckley also encouraged members to carry forward the great work of the redemption of the dead in the temple of the Lord.

"I want to compliment you people in these stakes, in your great devotion and faithfulness in traveling all the way to Washington D.C., to there serve in the temple, and all the way home. You have demonstrated over the years, those of you who have done so, your great testimony concerning the divinity and the blessings of this remarkable and unique work which we carry on."

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