President Dallin H. Oaks: ‘The Great Plan’

First counselor in the First Presidency

Notable quotes:

“We who know God’s plan and who have covenanted to participate have a clear responsibility to teach these truths and do all that we can to further them for others and in our own circumstances in mortality.”
“The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given His children.”
“God’s plan gives us four great assurances to assist our journey through mortality. All are given to us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the centerpiece of the plan.”

Summary points:

  • The four great assurances from God’s plan of salvation: repentance for the cleansing from sins, Christ taking upon Himself all mortal infirmities, resurrection for all to overcome physical death, and progress not concluding with the end of mortality.
  • Each will be judged according to one’s actions, the desires of his or her heart and the kind of person he or she has become, with the judge being the Savior Jesus Christ.

Talk summary: 

God’s divine plan of happiness allows all to rely on the Savior. His resurrection redeems all from physical death, and His atoning sacrifice pays the price for the repentant to be cleansed from sin.

“This Atonement of Jesus Christ is central to the Father’s plan.”

Through that Atonement, God’s plan provides four great assurances: His suffering and one’s repentance allows sins to be forgiven and remembered no more, He took upon Himself all mortal infirmities, His resurrection revokes the finality of physical death, and one’s progress need not conclude with the end of mortality.

Other fundamentals of God’s plan include chastity, marriage and the bearing of children. “The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given his children.”

During the 200th anniversary of the First Vision and the Restoration’s initiation, “we know the Lord’s plan and we are encouraged by two centuries of its blessings through His restored Church. In this year of 2020, we have what the medical profession calls 20/20 vision for the events of the past. As we look to the future, however, our vision is far less sure.”

With “more mortally experienced workers” in the spirit world and more temples to perform the ordinances of eternity, “all of this furthers our Heavenly Father’s plan. God’s love is so great that … He has provided a destiny of glory for all of His children.”

Many Latter-day Saints do not fully understand this plan, which answers most questions about doctrine and inspired policies. “We who know God’s plan and who have covenanted to participate, have a clear responsibility to teach these truths and do all that we can to further them for others and in our own circumstances in mortality.”

In the news:

About the speaker:

  • President Dallin H. Oaks was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles 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.

Recently on social:

  • On March 24, President Oaks shared on Instagram his testimony of personal and prophetic revelation in preparation for general conference.
View this post on Instagram

Given current circumstances, many of us are now spending more time at home. I invite you to take advantage of this time by studying the Restoration as we prepare for this unique general conference. I wish to share some of what I have learned about the Prophet Joseph Smith. • Joseph Smith's comparative youth overarched his prophetic ministry. He was 14 at the time of the First Vision, 21 when he received the gold plates, and just 23 when he finished translating the Book of Mormon (in less than 60 working days). Over half of the revelations in our Doctrine and Covenants were given through this prophet when he was 25 or younger. He was 26 when the First Presidency was organized and just over 33 when he escaped from imprisonment in Missouri and resumed leadership of the Saints gathering in Nauvoo. He was only thirty-eight and a half when he was murdered. • The key to the uniqueness of Joseph Smith’s message and the Restoration is revelation. Revelation is the foundation of our Church doctrine and governance. Joseph Smith declared, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded upon direct revelation, as the true Church of God has ever been” (”Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith“ [2007], 195). • In our day, revelation continues to guide the Church. Likewise, each of us can receive revelation for our own lives. May we each utilize the gift of personal revelation in our lives and truly seek to #HearHim.

A post shared by Dallin H. Oaks (@dallinhoaks) on

  • He tweeted a message about the importance of faith in God’s plan, especially when seeking answers to questions, on Jan. 12.
  • In a Facebook post Dec. 8, 2019, President Oaks wrote that peace comes from individual righteousness.

At this Christmas season, the whole Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the “Prince of Peace.” In His…

Posted by Dallin H. Oaks on Sunday, December 8, 2019
  • On Dec. 2, 2019, he cautioned young men and women in an Instagram post to beware of labeling themselves with a temporary identity. “Our single best quality by which to characterize ourselves is that we are sons or daughters of God,” he wrote.