President Gordon B. Hinckley, after recounting the blessings of living during this dispensation, asked members of the Woods Cross Region Jan. 11, if "we are the kind of people we ought to be as Latter-day Saints."
"What does the Lord expect of us as members of His divine Church?" he asked.He spoke to more than 7,200 members of the Church from stakes in Woods Cross and North Salt Lake City, Utah, about expectations and obligations.
"The Lord expects us to be Latter-day Saints. That's what He expects of us," President Hinckley said. "He wants us to be Latter-day Saints. That isn't just an appendage phrase on the end of the name of the Church. It signifies something of tremendous importance.
"He expects us to show love of God by the way we conduct our lives. It is what we do to demonstrate our love of God," he continued.
"He expects us as His children to reach out to those around us, not only members of the Church, but others." President Hinckley spoke of his concern of reading in the newspaper of some member of the Church who had taken a particular position on an issue with an unfriendly attitude.
"As sure and as certain as the sunrise in the morning, we Latter-day Saints and members of this great Church of the Lord, should reach out in a spirit of neighborliness and helpfulness," he said.
"We should live in such a way as to give encouragement and hope and blessing to those about us, whether they be members of the Church or not."
President Hinckley turned to the young men and spoke of their obligation to serve missions. "You have an obligation . . . for which you must prepare and for which you must live. You must keep yourselves . . . clean before the Lord and worthy to go out and represent Him in declaring His message to the world.
"He expects His young women to be clean, moral, upright, good, true, decent and virtuous in every respect. You can't afford to get near to those things which will destroy you."
Turning his attention to the adults, he said: "You will never have anything more precious in all your lives than these little ones you have brought into the world. He expects you parents . . . to rear your children in light and truth. He will hold you accountable for what you do with them.
"Don't abuse your children," President Hinckley continued. He then reminisced about his experiences as a youth and his father who reared his family without ever laying a hand upon him in anger.
"I never saw him strike a child in all of my life. When we did something wrong, I guess we deserved a licking, but he sat down with us and talked with us about it. The lesson lasted a lot longer than the sting of the lash might have lasted.
"There is too much abuse among us," he said, raising a warning voice in concern of the treatment of wives by their husbands.
"Brethren, it has got to stop. You cannot abuse your wives, verbally or spiritually or in any way, or your children. We are families."
President Hinckley recounted the Lord's expectation to pay tithing, to keep the Sabbath day holy, and to live the Word of Wisdom, and closed with a plea that members be Latter-day Saints, in "the way you operate your homes, the spirits you cultivate there, your neighborliness, your kindness, your diligence and your faith."