Today is President Oaks’ 89th birthday. Here are 9 of his quotes from the past year

President Dallin H. Oaks was sustained first counselor in the First Presidency on Jan. 14, 2018. He served as president of Brigham Young University from 1971 to 1980, and was a Utah Supreme Court justice from 1980 until his resignation in 1984 to accept his calling as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Born on Aug. 12, 1932, President Oaks is a native of Provo, Utah. He and his late wife, June Dixon Oaks, are the parents of six children. She died July 21, 1998. On Aug. 25, 2000, he married Kristen M. McMain in the Salt Lake Temple.

In honor of his 89th birthday, here are nine quotes from President Oaks in the past year.

Absolute truth

“We affirm absolute truth, including the existence of God and the right and wrong established by His commandments. The existence of God and the necessity of absolute truth are fundamental to life on this earth, whether a majority believe them or not.”

The Abundant Life Conference for single adults in the North America West Area, Aug. 8, 2021

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, speak to a crowd of young singles during the Abundant Life Conference, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, at the Bellevue Washington South Stake Center. The weekend-long conference, which was held for single adult Church members in the North America West Area, included workshops, a service project, a concert and various speakers.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, speak to a crowd of young singles during the Abundant Life Conference, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, at the Bellevue Washington South Stake Center. The weekend-long conference, which was held for single adult Church members in the North America West Area, included workshops, a service project, a concert and various speakers. Credit: Genna Martin, for the Church News

Revelation

“Revelation is the ultimate objective of the council, either revelation in the council, revelation to participants or revelation to presiding officers.”

Church News “Inside Church Headquarters” series, Aug. 5, 2021

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor, and President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor, attend a First Presidency meeting, held daily Tuesday through Friday, at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. The Church Administration Building was constructed between 1913 and 1917.
President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor, and President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor, attend a First Presidency meeting, held daily Tuesday through Friday, at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. The Church Administration Building was constructed between 1913 and 1917. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

‘Lead out in demonstrating inclusion’

“We live in a time when inclusion is needed — in political relations, in cultural relations, in legal relations — and it’s not forthcoming in our society. As a Church and as a culture, we need to lead out in demonstrating inclusion, not descent, diversity, diversion or opposition.”

SUPer DUPer Day at This Is the Place Heritage Park, July 19, 2021

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, speaks at SUPerDUPer Day inside the newly dedicated Pioneer Center on the grounds of This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 19, 2021.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, speaks at SUPerDUPer Day inside the newly dedicated Pioneer Center on the grounds of This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 19, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Defending the U.S. Constitution

“Our original Constitution, adopted in 1787, had what our distinguished [former] Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, herself a member of our most prominent minority, called some ‘birth defects.’ Nevertheless, it was our best hope for freedom and self-government. It remains so. Let us be united to defend the great principles of the United States Constitution and to use our precious freedoms to further the work of our faith and to serve our fellow men.”

Freedom Awards Gala, July 1, 2021

President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, clap during the Freedom Awards Gala, an event of America’s Freedom Festival at Provo, Utah, on July 1, 2021.
President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, clap during the Freedom Awards Gala, an event of America’s Freedom Festival at Provo, Utah, on July 1, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Adapting missionary work

“Because of what [missionaries] must do in this new environment, they will be better prepared for leadership in today’s world, in their homes, in the Church and in the world.”

Seminar for New Mission Leaders, June 25, 2021

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, emphasizes fundamentals at the 2021 Seminar for New Mission Leaders on Friday, June 25, 2021.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, emphasizes fundamentals at the 2021 Seminar for New Mission Leaders on Friday, June 25, 2021. Credit: Leslie Nilsson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Savior at the center

“Place the Savior at the center of your teachings of your students and you will have that power. … As you draw closer to Christ, your students will draw closer to you and to Him. Your capacity to teach the truth they need will increase, and your capacity to love them and discern their needs will be magnified.”

Church Educational System broadcast, June 4, 2021

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, speak during a devotional broadcast to Church Educational System teachers and administrators and their spouses on June 4, 2021.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, speak during a devotional broadcast to Church Educational System teachers and administrators and their spouses on June 4, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

‘What has Jesus Christ done for each of us?’

“What has Jesus Christ done for each of us? He has done everything that is essential for our journey through mortality toward the destiny outlined in the plan of our Heavenly Father. … Motivating all of this is ‘the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things’ (1 Nephi 11:22).”

— “What Has Our Savior Done for Us?” April 2021 general conference

President Dallin H. Oaks speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 191st Annual General Conference on Sunday, April 4, 2021.
President Dallin H. Oaks speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 191st Annual General Conference on Sunday, April 4, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Change needs to be personal

“The changes that will help us become what our Heavenly Father wants us to become are not changes by the Church in its policies or practices, but changes by you and me made in our individual desires and actions.”

Devotional for Spanish-speaking young adults, March 14, 2021

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Kathy Christofferson, left, join President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, in recording a March 14 Spanish-language young adult devotional that was taped at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Kathy Christofferson, left, join President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, in recording a March 14 Spanish-language young adult devotional that was taped at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

‘Unite in love’

“Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can unite and bring peace to people of all races and nationalities. We who believe in that gospel — whatever our origins — must unite in love of each other and of our Savior Jesus Christ.” 

BYU devotional, Oct. 27, 2020

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, addresses a group of social distancing students gathered in the Marriott Center on the BYU campus on Oct. 27, 2020, for the first small gathering since the outbreak of COVID-19.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, addresses a group of social distancing students gathered in the Marriott Center on the BYU campus on Oct. 27, 2020, for the first small gathering since the outbreak of COVID-19. Credit: BYU photo