President Dallin H. Oaks: ‘Two Great Commandments’

First counselor in the First Presidency

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, speaks during the general women’s session in the 189th Semiannual General Conference of the Church on Oct. 5, 2019. Credit: Screenshot
President Dallin H. Oaks Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Notable quotes:

“Our zeal to keep (the second great commandment) must not cause us to forget the first, to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. We show that love by keeping His commandments.” “The leaders of the Church must always teach the unique importance of marriage between a man and a woman and the related law of chastity.” “Our walk must be considerate of children who are uncertain about their sexual orientation, but it discourages premature labeling because in most children such uncertainty decreases significantly over time.” Summary points:

  • God requires His children to obey His commandments because exaltation comes only through obedience and repentance.
  • God’s prophets and apostles are commanded to teach nothing but truth — including the “unique importance of marriage” between a man and a woman.
  • The Lord is the is the ultimate judge. He alone has the required knowledge, wisdom and grace to judge.

Talk summary:

God requires His children to obey His commandments because only through obedience, including repentance, can one return to live in His presence and become perfect as He is.

President Russell M. Nelson’s recent talk to the young adults spoke of the “strong connection between God’s love and His laws.” The law that applies most significantly to issues relating to those identifying as LGBT is God’s law of marriage and its companion law of chastity. Both are essential in Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation for His children.

The Lord’s apostles are commissioned to teach nothing but truth. They cannot modify divine law. “Thus, the leaders of the Church must always teach the unique importance of marriage between a man and a woman and the related law of chastity.”

Exaltation is possible only through eternal marriage. 

Those who follow lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender teachings and actions should be treated with the love Christ commanded all to show to “our neighbors.”  Never persecute those who do not share “our beliefs and commitments.” Strive to be kinder and more civil.

It’s difficult to understand the challenges that one might face in mortality. But God helps His children overcome challenges if they sincerely seek His help.

 “The ultimate and final judgement will be by the Lord, Who alone has the required knowledge, wisdom and grace to judge each of us.”

The walk to follow God’s two great commandments demands that one not compromise on commandments — “but show forth a full measure of understanding and love.”

Such a walk “opposes recruitment away from the covenant path and it denies support to any who would lead people away from the Lord.”

Mothers and fathers “and all of us” are responsible to teach both of the great commandments.
In the news:

  • President Oaks spoke at the leadership session of the Church’s 189th Semiannual General Conference in October 2019, where President Russell M. Nelson announced a historic policy change allowing women, youth and children to serve as witnesses ofl ordinances.
  • Speaking to 8,500 Latter-day Saints in rural northeastern Arizona, President Oaks asked members to consider how the work of God has been “hastening” over the past 18 months.
  • President Oaks dedicated the Oakland California Temple on Sunday, June 16, 2019. In the dedicatory prayer, he asked God to “blunt the powers of evil” against His work and children.
  • President Oaks, along with his wife, Sister Kristen Oaks, spoke on anxiety, stress and gospel peace at a BYU-Hawaii devotional on June 11.
  • For the Mission Leadership Seminar, President Oaks shared the fundamentals of how to be an effective mission leader.

About the speaker:

  • President Dallin H. Oaks was called to be an apostle for the Church in 1984.
  • As a young man, President Oaks obtained a radiotelephone operator’s license and later worked as a radio announcer and engineer.
  • President Oaks was a law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court and later served as a justice on the Utah Supreme Court until his call to apostleship in 1984.
  • President Oaks and his late wife, June Dixon Oaks, are the parents of six children. She died July 21, 1998. On August 25, 2000, he married Kristen M. McMain in the Salt Lake Temple.

Recently on social:

  • President Oaks expressed his gratitude for the women in his life on Mother’s Day as he shared a quote from President Russell M. Nelson’s talk, “A Plea to My Sisters.”
  • President Oaks provided guidance on Facebook on how to navigate priorities in our ever-busier lives. 
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