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Today is President Oaks’ 90th birthday. Read 9 of his quotes from the past year

Born Aug. 12, 1932, President Dallin H. Oaks has served as an Apostle since 1984 and in the First Presidency since 2018

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President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, left, and his wife, Sister Kristen M. Oaks, arrive for funeral services for Sister Donna Edith Smith Packer, wife of the late President Boyd K. Packer, who served as president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in Cottonwood Heights on Monday, March 14, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News


President Dallin H. Oaks was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in April 1984 and called as first counselor in the First Presidency in January 2018. Born on Aug. 12, 1932, in Provo, Utah, he and his two siblings were raised by their mother after their father died.

While attending Brigham Young University, President Oaks met June Dixon, and they married in 1952. They have six children. She died of cancer in 1998. President Oaks married Kristen M. McCain in 2000. He graduated in accounting from BYU and received a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

President Oaks was a member of the Utah National Guard, Illinois National Guard and Army Reserve. He clerked for Chief Justice Earl Warren at the U.S. Supreme Court, taught at the University of Chicago, was the president of BYU from 1971 until 1980 and was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court, on which he served until his call to be an Apostle.

In honor of President Oaks’ birthday today, here are nine of his quotes from the past year.

1. Mortality has speed bumps

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In episode 96 of the Church News podcast, President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, reflects on the lessons learned in nine decades.

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“A major lesson I’ve learned in my life is that mortality has a lot of speed bumps and whether you consider your own experiences (or those of your family, or those around you or those you read about), life is full of a lot of difficulties, a lot of choices — some easy, and some excruciatingly difficult.”

Church News podcast, Aug. 9, 2022

2. Women can do it all

President Dallin H. Oaks with his mother, Stella, brother Merrill and sister Evelyn. President Oaks’ father died when he was 7 years old, and his mother raised three children on her own.

President Dallin H. Oaks with his mother, Stella, brother Merrill and sister Evelyn. President Oaks’ father died when he was 7 years old, and his mother raised three children on her own.

Courtesy President Dallin H. Oaks

“I grew up seeing a woman, my mother, just as capable as any man. And throughout my life, I have never felt to discount the wisdom, or the efforts, or the leadership, or the importance of women, because I was raised by a role model who was both father and mother, community leader, teacher, Church leader. Women can do it all.”

12 lessons learned through the decades, Aug. 11, 2022

3. Defending religious freedom

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President Dallin H. Oaks, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, talks with Notre Dame law school dean G. Marcus Cole during the Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

“For faith communities, the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of association and the right to assemble; the right to determine new members; the right to select leaders and important employees, including in related organizations; and the right to function as an organization. For individual believers, essential rights include religious expression and exercise and freedom from religious discrimination.

“In defense of these rights, we should be united.” 

Notre Dame Religious Liberty Summit in Rome, Italy, July 20, 2022

4. Stand fast with love

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President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, left, and Elder Clark G. Gilbert, a General Authority Seventy and church commissioner of education, speak at an Ensign College devotional in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

“I encourage you to refrain from participating in the contentious communications that are so common today. Social media that generates conflicts to expand audiences … often fosters careless charges, false representations and ugly innuendoes that intensify the distance between different parties and their communications.”

Ensign College devotional, May 18, 2022

5. Heavenly Father’s plan

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 192nd Annual General Conference held in the Conference Center on April 3, 2022.

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 192nd Annual General Conference held in the Conference Center on April 3, 2022

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“We affirm that the Family Proclamation, founded on unchangeable doctrine, defines the kind of family relationships where the most important part of our eternal development can occur.”

— “Divine Love in the Father’s Plan,” April 2022 general conference

6. Take heart

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Post from President Dallin H. Oaks on Instagram

“Though men’s hearts are failing them, you should take heart. There have always been challenging times. We, the generations of your predecessors, have survived serious challenges, and so will you. The answer to all of these challenges is the same as it has always been. We have a Savior, and He has taught us what we should do.”

Facebook post and Instagram post, Feb. 8, 2022

7. The temple speaks to us

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President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Sister Kristin M. Oaks, arrive at the Mesa Arizona Temple a day ahead of the rededication ceremony in Mesa, Arizona, on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

“The temple speaks to us in contrast to the individualism of the age. It speaks to us by its ceremonies and its covenants in terms of the responsibilities that we owe to one another and how we fit into Heavenly Father’s plan as part of His family and His culture.”

Rededication of Mesa Arizona Temple, Dec. 12, 2021

8. Religious freedom and nondiscrimination

President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency delivers the 2021 Joseph Smith Lecture in the Dome Room of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency delivers the 2021 Joseph Smith Lecture in the Dome Room of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Let us unite with those who advocate nondiscrimination to seek a culture and laws that respect the rights of all to the equal protection of the law and the right to the free exercise of religion.”

Address at the University of Virginia, Nov. 12, 2021

9. The need for a church

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President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, conducts the Sunday afternoon session of the 191st Semiannual General Conference, broadcast from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Attendance and activity in a church help us become better people and better influences on the lives of others. In church we are taught how to apply religious principles. We learn from one another. A persuasive example is more powerful than a sermon. We are strengthened by associating with others of like minds. In church attendance and participation, our hearts are, as the Bible says, ‘knit together in love.’”

— “The Need for a Church,” October 2021 general conference

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