- Be grateful for blessings
- Rejoice together- Remember inheritance
As President Gordon B. Hinckley opened the 166th Semiannual General Conference Saturday morning, he admonished conference-goers to listen to the speakers "by the power of the Spirit."
"If you will do so," continued President Hinckley, "I do not hesitate to promise that you will be uplifted, your resolution to do what is right will be stronger, you will find solutions to your problems and your needs, and you will be led to thank the Lord for what you have heard."
President Hinckley said it is an "awesome responsibility" to offer counsel during conference. "You have gathered to be encouraged, to be inspired, to be lifted and directed as members of the Church. We are all assembled together as believers in this, the cause of Christ. Each of us is His servant in building His kingdom in anticipation of the time when He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords. You have gathered to be helped with your temporal concerns, your failures and your victories. You have come to hear the word of the Lord taught by those who, not of their own choosing, have been called as teachers in this great work.
"You have prayed that you might hear things that will help you with your problems and add strength to your faith. I assure you that we have prayed also. We have prayed for inspiration and direction. There is a constant prayer in our hearts that we will not fail the great trust the Lord has placed in us and the trust which you have placed in us. We have prayed that we might be prompted to say those words which will build faith and testimony and which will become answered prayers for those who will hear.
"We are reassured by the word of the Lord that `he that preacheth [by the Spirit] and he that receiveth [by the Spirit], understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.' " (D&C 50:22.)
Continuing, President Hinckley said: "One hundred-fifty years ago our people were leaving Nauvoo and threading their way across the prairies of Iowa. None of us, I am confident, can appreciate the measure of sacrifice which they made in leaving their comfortable homes to brave the tempests of the wilderness on a journey that would not end until they reached this valley of the Great Salt Lake. Their suffering was immeasurable. They died by the hundreds for this cause of which each one of us is a part.
"I was in Palmyra this past summer and in Nauvoo, and in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which they had called Kanesville out of respect and love for a loyal friend. I stood where the Grand Encampment assembled when they reached the Missouri River. I have been over the trail from the Missouri to this valley a number of times. For me it is always a sacred experience. I am so deeply grateful for our inheritance. We shall remember it in a special way next year when we commemorate the arrival of our pioneer forebears in this valley."
President Hinckley declared: "Ours is the blessing to live in a better season. The terrible persecutions of the past are behind us. Today we are looked upon with respect by people across the world. We must always be worthy of that respect. We must earn it, or we will not have it.
"We have become as a great family spread across this vast world. We speak different tongues. We live under a variety of circumstances. But in the heart of each of us beats a common testimony."
`We know. . . '
"You and I know that God lives and is at the helm of this, His holy work.
"We know that Jesus is our Redeemder, who stands at the head of this Church which carries His name.
"We know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and is a prophet who stands at the head of this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.
"We know that the priesthood was restored upon his head, and that it has come down to us in this day in an unbroken line.
"We know that the Book of Mormon is a true testament of the reality and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ."
- President Gordon B. Hinckley
Opening session of conference