"No one need tell you that we are living in a very difficult season in the history of the world. Standards are dropping everywhere. Nothing seems to be sacred any more," said President Gordon B. Hinckley.
"The traditional family is under heavy attack," he indicated, noting the time when "Abraham bargained with the Lord to save Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of the righteous. Notwithstanding his pleas, things were so bad that Jehovah decreed their destruction. They and their wicked inhabitants were annihilated. We see similar conditions today. They prevail all across the world. I think our Father must weep as He looks down upon His wayward sons and daughters."
As the concluding speaker of the worldwide priesthood leadership training broadcast held Jan. 10, President Hinckley spoke of the need for the Church and its members to stand "strong and immovable" in a "world that is marching toward self-destruction."
"In the Church we are working very hard to stem the tide of this evil. But it is an uphill battle, and we sometimes wonder whether we are making any headway," he said.
"But we are succeeding in a substantial way. We see so many of our youth who are faithful and true and who look to us for encouragement and direction.
"We must not give up. We must not become discouraged. We must never surrender to the forces of evil. We can and must maintain the standards for which this Church has stood since it was organized. There is a better way than the way of the world. If it means standing alone, we must do it."
A Bright Hope
"It is so tremendously important that the women of the Church stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord," he continued.
"We call upon the women of the Church to stand together for righteousness. They must begin in their own homes. They can teach it in their classes. They can voice it in their communities.
"They must be the teachers and the guardians of their daughters. Those daughters must be taught in the Primary and in the classes of the Young Women of the values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When you save a girl, you save generations.
" I see this as the one bright shining hope in a world that is marching toward self-destruction."
Turning attention to stake presidents and bishops, President Hinckley said, "We plead with you to give encouragement and help in every possible way to the women and the girls of your stakes and wards. They need your priesthood backing. They need your leadership and counsel. Help them in every way that you can, and while doing so you will help yourselves."
The Strength of Women
"We must never lose sight of the strength of the women. It is mothers who set the tone of the home. It is mothers who most directly affect the lives of their children. It is mothers who teach infants to pray, who read to them choice and beautiful literature from the scriptures and other sources. It is mothers who nurture them and bring them up in the ways of the Lord. Their influence is paramount."
President Hinckley quoted President Heber J. Grant who said, "Without the devotion and absolute testimony of the living God in the hearts of our mothers this Church would die."
"We frequently speak of our wives as the better half. It is essentially true," President Hinckley continued. "They are the creators of life. They are the nurturers of children. They are the teachers of young women. They are our indispensable companions. They are our co-workers in building the kingdom of God. How great is their role, how marvelous their contribution. How they add to the luster of life."
Prayer and Work
"We have a greater challenge than we realize," President Hinckley said. "As Paul declared, 'We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places' (Ephesians 6:12).
"Never lose sight of the great reassuring power of the Atonement of the Savior to lift and save. Through that Atonement comes forgiveness for past offenses and strength for righteous living.
"I have been quoted as saying, 'Do the best you can.' But I want to emphasize that it be the very best. We are too prone to be satisfied with mediocre performance. We are capable of doing so much better.
"We must get on our knees and plead with the Lord for help and strength and direction. We must then stand on our feet and move forward.
"I am absolutely confident that heaven will smile upon us. The Lord will hear and answer our prayers if we will commit ourselves, giving our very best to this work," President Hinckley said.