Keeping the Sabbath day holy, living the gospel, repenting and forgiving others, and fellowshipping were the counsel of President Gordon B. Hinckley to members of the Church from South Jordan, Utah.
Speaking March 2 during two Sunday general sessions in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, President Hinckley addressed 11,864 from six stakes during the Jordan Utah South regional conference. Accompanying President Hinckley were his wife, Marjorie; Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve, and his wife, Mary; and Elder Alexander B. Morrison of the Seventy, and his wife, Shirley.President Hinckley also presided over a priesthood leadership session Saturday, March 1, at the South Jordan Utah Parkway Stake center, at which 1,500 priesthood leaders attended. That total represented 88 percent of priesthood leaders of the region.
Among the admonitions President Hinckley gave on a chilly winter Sabbath day was not to shop on Sundays. "Let this day be a day of meditation, of reading the scriptures, of talking with your families and of dwelling on the things of God. If you do so you will be blessed."
The Church president declared: "It just appalls me to see the Latter-day Saints who shop on Sunday. I cannot understand how they can go in the face of the direct word of the Lord that `thou shalt keep the Sabbath day holy.' Shopping is not a part of keeping the Sabbath day holy, my brothers and sisters."
In speaking to the young people, President Hinckley reminded them how precious they are to their parents. "Please, please do not ever disappoint your parents. If you do not disappoint your parents, you will be all right.
"You are very precious to the Church," he continued. "We need every one of you. You are growing up. Grow in faith. Study the gospel. Take part in the seminary and the institute program. You are precious to God, our Eternal Father, whose sons and daughters you are. God bless you, you wonderful young people. I believe without any doubt that you are the finest generation this Church has ever had."
Continuing, President Hinckley spoke of forgiveness. "How will I know when I am forgiven? That is a serious problem for a lot of young people. They make mistakes, some of them very small mistakes and some of them major mistakes. They worry, wonder and fret and stew about their mistakes. Please ask the Lord to forgive you if you feel you have made a mistake. There may be a penalty that you will have to pay if the mistake is a serious one."
He added that one knows in his or her heart if one is forgiven. "You must confess your sins. If they are grievous you ought to talk with your bishop."
President Hinckley also spoke of the importance of forgiving others. He quoted D&C 64:8-10: "Ye ought to forgive one another, for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."
During the conference, the Church president also spoke of fellowshipping. "Brethren and sisters, do not shun those who are converts to the Church, please do not. Be kind to them. Be thoughtful. Reach out to them. Put your arms around them. Let them feel that they have true and wonderful friends here and they will remain true and faithful if you will do that."
Continuing, President Hinckley spoke of homes and families. "I hope that you men love your wives as much as you did the day you looked across the alter at her and pledged your love for time and for all eternity. I hope you wives are satisfied and not always wanting something more beyond the reach of your husbands. I hope that you children are good to your parents. . . ."
The prophet expressed the hope that there is peace and love and harmony in the homes of Latter-day Saints.
He then quoted from the words of Orson F. Whitney: " `The Prophet Joseph Smith declared - and he never taught more comforting doctrine - that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father's heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God.' " (General Conference Addresses, April 1929.)
President Hinckley added: "If any of you have a loved one in that condition, do not give up. Pray for them and love them and reach out to them and help them."