President Dallin H. Oaks: ‘The Need for a Church’

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, spoke during the Saturday morning session of October 2021 general conference. He taught about the importance of Church attendance. The following is a summary of what he said.

Notable quotes from President Oaks

“Church attendance can open our hearts and sanctify our souls.”
“Members who forgo Church attendance and rely only on individual spirituality separate themselves from these gospel essentials: the power and blessings of the priesthood, the fulness of restored doctrine, and the motivations and opportunities to apply that doctrine.”
“Our worship and application of eternal principles draw us closer to God and magnify our capacity to love.”

Summary of President Oaks’ talk

Many good, religious-minded people have stopped participating in their churches, synagogues and mosques. “If we cease valuing our churches, for any reason, we threaten our personal spiritual life, and significant numbers separating themselves from God reduces His blessings to our nations.”

Church attendance can open hearts and sanctify souls.

With the Lord’s direction and authority, the restored Church of Jesus Christ was established to teach the fullness of His doctrine and to officiate with His priesthood authority to perform the ordinances necessary to enter the kingdom of God.

Latter-day Saints who forgo attendance and rely only on individual spirituality separate themselves from gospel essentials — the priesthood’s power and blessings, the fullness of restored doctrine, the motivations and opportunities to apply that doctrine, and the opportunity to qualify for an eternal perpetuation of their family.

“Despite the good works that can be accomplished without a church, the fullness of doctrine and its saving and exalting ordinances are available only in the restored Church. In addition, Church attendance gives us the strength and enhancement of faith that comes from associating with other believers and worshipping together with those who are also striving to stay on the covenant path and be better disciples of Christ.”

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 August 25, 2000, he married Kristen M. McMain in the Salt Lake Temple.

President Oaks in the news

President Oaks’ recent social posts

  • On July 4, President Oaks posted on Facebook about the United States Constitution and invited his followers to learn and advocate its inspired principles. 
  • President Oaks shared a picture of the Savior in a June 13 Instagram post and testified of the power of love. “Our love of God and His love for us is the central gospel principle — vital to what influences us and vital to what we must remember,” he wrote.
  • He tweeted a link to his #HearHim video on April 15 and encouraged his followers to act on impressions from the Lord, no matter how unusual they seem. 

Read more October 2021 general conference coverage