President Dallin H. Oaks: ‘Trust in the Lord’

First counselor in the First Presidency

Notable quotes:

“Let us not teach or use as official doctrine what does not meet the standards of official doctrine.”
“There is so much we do not know that our only sure reliance is to trust in the Lord and His love for His children.”
“The duty of each of us is to teach the doctrine of the restored gospel, keep the commandments, love and help one another, and do the work of salvation in the holy temples.”

Summary points:

  • There is little revealed about the spirit world and kingdoms of glory. 
  • For any unanswered questions, trust God.
  • Doctrine is taught by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Talk summary:

There are many questions the Lord has yet to reveal answers to. Some of these questions may concern conditions or relationships in the spirit world or in the kingdoms of glory. In all circumstances, the best solution is to trust the Lord and move forward. 

Truths that are known about the spirit world include the following: spirits will live on after death, the righteous spirits will be divided from the wicked, and most important, the work of salvation continues there. All spirits —- righteous and wicked — are under some form of bondage in the spirit world. 

Righteous converted souls are in bondage as they wait and “perhaps even be allowed to prompt” their proxy ordinances on earth. The wicked suffer an additional bondage as they are in spirit prison, bound by their unrepentant sins. The scriptures teach that resurrection is assured for all and will occur at different times for different groups.

Aside from these basics about the spirit world, “little else is revealed.” While several members of the Church have had visions or inspirations about the spirit world, such experiences should not be taught or understood as official doctrine of the Church. Doing so “does not further the work of the Lord” and may draw others away from seeking personal revelation. 

Remember that doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. Doctrine can also come from prophetic teachings of the president of the Church reaffirmed by other prophets and apostles. For all questions with answers that have not been yet revealed, trust in God and His love for His children. He “will surely do what is best for each of us.”

In the news:

About the speaker:

  • President Dallin H. Oaks was called to be an apostle for the Church in 1984.
  • As a young man, President Oaks obtained a radiotelephone operator’s license and later worked as a radio announcer and engineer.
  • President Oaks was a law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court and later served as a justice on the Utah Supreme Court 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.

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