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President Dallin H. Oaks: ‘Divine Love in the Father’s Plan’

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, spoke during the Sunday afternoon session of April 2022 general conference. He emphasized that the Church’s policies and doctrines are evidence of God’s saving love for His children.  The following is a summary of what he said.

Notable quotes from President Oaks

“To help us develop the godly attributes and the change in nature necessary to realize our divine potential, the Lord has revealed doctrine and established commandments based on eternal law.”

“The kingdom of glory we receive in the Final Judgment is determined by the laws we choose to abide in our Heavenly Father’s loving plan.”

“We affirm that the Family Proclamation, founded on unchangeable doctrine, defines the kind of family relationships where the most important part of our eternal development can occur.”

Summary of President Oaks’ talk

Understanding Heavenly Father’s gospel plan and His commandments reveals His love for His children. He loves His children so much that He gave His Son to suffer and die for them and become their Savior.

“In the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a unique understanding of our Heavenly Father’s plan. This gives us a different way of viewing the purpose of mortal life, the divine judgment that follows it and the ultimate glorious destiny of all of God’s children.”

The purpose of the Church’s doctrine and policies is to prepare God’s children for salvation in celestial glory. “The covenants made and the blessings promised to the faithful in the temples of God are the key.” 

The Church honors individual agency, promotes religious freedom and seeks to share the gospel’s blessings with all. “We do this because the Lord has taught us to esteem all of His children as our brothers and sisters, and we want to share our spiritual and temporal abundance with everyone.”

Exaltation can only be attained through the covenants of eternal marriage between a man and a woman.

A “uniquely valuable teaching” to help God’s children prepare for eternal life is the 1995 Proclamation on the Family. “Those who do not fully understand the Father’s loving plan for His children may consider this Family Proclamation no more than a changeable statement of policy. In contrast, we affirm that the Family Proclamation, founded on unchangeable doctrine, defines the kind of family relationships where the most important part of our eternal development can occur.”

“As followers of Christ who should love our fellowmen, we should live peacefully with those who do not believe as we do.”

About President Oaks

  • President Dallin H. Oaks was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1984.
  • President Oaks was a law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren at the U.S. Supreme Court and later served as a Utah Supreme Court justice 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 Aug. 25, 2000, he married Kristen M. McMain in the Salt Lake Temple.

President Oaks in the news

President Oaks’ recent social posts

  • On Nov. 10, 2021, President Oaks shared examples of reasons for membership, attendance and participation in the Savior’s restored Church in a social media post.

  • “Far from being a weakness, reconciling adverse positions through respectful negotiation is a virtue,” President Oaks wrote in a social media post on Nov. 12, 2021, following his message at the Joseph Smith Lecture on Religious Liberty at the University of Virginia.

  • The answer to all serious challenges that exist today, President Oaks taught, is the same as it has always been. “We have a Savior, and He has taught us what we should do,” he said on Feb. 8. “Our greatest joy is found through the gospel of Jesus Christ, which explains our origin as spirits, the creation of the world, our purpose in mortality and our destiny in eternity.”

Read more April 2022 general conference coverage

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