The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - N. Eldon Tanner

"I wonder how many of us know that we are spirit children of God; and when we are praying, whether it's over a meal, beginning or closing of a meeting, or at a baptism or confirmation, or the blessing of the bread and water in the sacrament, that we are actually talking to God. He is there, he hears our prayers, and he blesses us." — "He Is There," General Conference, April 1981

"Immorality and unchastity are so common today that our youth, seeing many types, of perversions on television and in movies, are feeling that these are accepted modes of living. I cannot emphasize too strongly the importance of keeping ourselves clean and pure and chaste in order to be worthy to bear this holy priesthood and to prepare ourselves and our families for eternal life." — "Ready To Work Long Hours," General Conference, October 1976

"Satan is at work, my brethren and sisters. Our freedom is at stake. It is the responsibility of everyone who calls himself a Christian, and particularly for every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more particularly for every holder of the priesthood of God, to take a firm stand and a determined stand against evil. It is my testimony to you, my brothers and sisters, wherever you may be, that God has given us the solution to our problems, the plan by which we can enjoy peace in the world and peace in our lives." — "Conference Report," October 1961, p. 107

"The birth, life, death and resurrection, and the message of our Lord and Savior is the central theme of all scripture -- the Old Testament, the New Testament, and our latter-day scriptures, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. What would the scriptures be without this message? All other things lose their meaning and purpose and fade into insignificance." — "Conference Report," April 1969, p. 116

"The issue, then, becomes quite clear; that it is not what kind of God man can believe in, but what kind of man does the living God reach." — "Conference Report," April 1966, p. 137

"Referring to these covenants in the temple, I would like to say to you again, remember these three words: keep the covenants. And I think I am safe in saying to you that if you and your families will keep these covenants, you will be happy, you will be successful, you will be respected, you will have good families that you can take back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. All you will have to do is remember three words: keep the covenants, the obligations that you have taken upon yourselves, the pledges that you have made. Keep the covenants." — "Conference Report," October 1966, p. 99

"This love of which the Savior spoke, and which he emphasizes as being the most important thing in life, must begin in the home and then be carried into our daily lives. Tolerance and respect for others' beliefs must be taught in the home. Children must learn to love and live and play with those of differing beliefs, while being staunch and true to their own convictions and teachings." — N. Eldon Tanner, "The Great Commandments," Ensign, July 1980, p. 3-4

"I gave a talk on Mother's Day to four or five hundred M-Men and Gleaners. I told them: 'Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.' (Ex. 20:12) I finished with this thought, and I would like to leave the thought with you: The parents that you should honor more than any others are the parents of your children-to-be. Those children are entitled to the best parents that it is possible for you to give them-clean parents. I am so thankful that when I found Sally Merrill I found a girl who could go to the temple with me, and a girl who had lived so that she could look her five daughters in the face and expect them to live the way they should, knowing that she had." -- Nathan Eldon Tanner, "My Experiences and Observations," "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1966, p. 10

"Let me suggest that you set about now to make up your minds what you want to be and that you be determined to be it no matter what. You are prepared to meet all opposition, all ridicule and all temptation. And let us realize that as you rationalize and begin to try to explain what you have done and have excused yourself for what you are going to do or are doing, or have done, you are bringing your ideals down, down, down to your actions. But when you are prepared to repent and say, 'I am prepared and determined to do the things that I have decided to do—serve the Lord, keep his commandments, be the kind of person I think my sons and daughters are entitled to as parents, choose to do the thing the way I would like my son or daughter to do it'—then you are raising your actions up to your ideals. As you do that, the Lord will bless you. You will find joy and happiness in this life and in the life to come." — Nathan Eldon Tanner, "Choose You this Day Whom Ye Will Serve," "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1963 p. 10

"We all know that there are many, many things in science which we do not understand, but which we must and do accept. Where would we be if the laws of nature and the laws of God were limited to man's understanding? We have been admonished: 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.' (Prov. 3:5)" — N. Eldon Tanner, "General Conference Reports," April 1969, p. 116

"As I read this, I went to the Interpreter's Bible, which is written in twelve volumes, and is a commentary on all of the Old and New Testaments. This commentary was prepared by thirty-six consulting editors with over one hundred recognized, capable contributors and deals with all quotations from the Bible, taking them verse by verse and explaining their meaning and application. When I came to Ezekiel 37th chapter, verses 15 through 17, which I have just read, no feasible explanation was given, but conjectures only were made. This is no reflection on the editors or contributors to this great commentary, as they knew of no way to get the meaning. Here again, by direct revelation and by direct revelation only, do we understand clearly what Ezekiel meant." - N. Eldon Tanner, "General Conference Reports," April 1964, p. 62

"Our Lord gave us an example of the true spirit of forgiveness when he said from the cross, '... Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' (Luke 23:34.) We read also of that faithful disciple, Stephen, who was persecuted and stoned, 'And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.' (Acts 7:60.)" - N. Eldon Tanner, "The Importance of Prayer," Ensign, May 1974, p. 53

"I suggest to you that if we were spiritually sound, if we were living the teachings of Jesus Christ, whom we must serve if we are to survive as individuals and nations, then the political and economic problems already would be solved, because by living the Ten Commandments and other teachings of God we could all live together in peace and prosperity. As we review these teachings we can find nothing in them which, if lived, will not make us better and happier in every way." - N. Eldon Tanner, "Choose You This Day," Ensign, June 1971, p. 13

"If we had knowledge tonight that some young man was lost, if anyone knew of someone who was drowning, we wouldn't hesitate one minute to do all in our power to save that individual, to save the one who was lost, the one who was drowning, the one who was in need of our help. These young men and these older men who are inactive in the Church, who have strayed away from the Church because of inactivity or for any reason, need our help and need our attention just as much. They need our prayers and our consideration, and nothing will bring us greater joy and happiness than to see one come back into activity. By saving one, we might save a family. We might even save a generation. By losing one, we may lose not only the individual but a family and his posterity. The responsibility is great." - N. Eldon Tanner, "Search for the Wanderers," Ensign, June 1971, p. 59

"Immediately after God left Adam and Eve in the garden, telling them to partake freely of the fruit of all the trees except one, of which they were commanded not to partake, Satan began his nefarious plan for their destruction. Following Satan's successful attempt, God returned to the garden; and because they were ashamed, Adam and Eve were hiding from him, so he called: 'Where art thou?' a question which can and does apply to every one of us individually and collectively, and one which we might well be asking ourselves as it applies to our relationship to God and our fellowmen....

"When God said 'Where art thou?' he knew where Adam was. With his omniscience he knew what had taken place, but he was calling Adam to consider the seriousness of his actions and to report to him. But Adam had hidden himself because he was ashamed.

"We are all like Adam in that when we partake of 'forbidden fruits' or do the things we are commanded not to do, we are ashamed, and we draw away from the Church and from God and hide ourselves, and if we continue in sin, the Spirit of God withdraws from us. There is no happiness in disobedience or sin. We have all learned from our childhood that we are happier when we are doing right." - N. Eldon Tanner, "Where Art Thou," Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 33

"It is important for us to understand, as we can learn from the scriptures, that God is eternal, that his creations are eternal, and that his truths are eternal. Therefore, when he gave Eve to Adam in marriage, that union would be eternal. Marriage as ordained of God and performed in his holy temples is eternal-not just until death." - N. Eldon Tanner, "Celestial Marriages and Eternal Families," Ensign, May 1980, p. 16

"The most difficult thing for us seems to be to give of ourselves, to do away with selfishness. If we really love someone, nothing is too difficult for us to do for that individual. There is no real happiness in having or getting unless we are doing it for the purpose of giving it to others. Half the world seems to be following the wrong scent in the pursuit of happiness—many think it consists of having and getting and being served, when really happiness is found in serving others." - N. Eldon Tanner, "The Great Commandments," Ensign, July 1980, p. 4

"We are fortunate to have the gospel of Jesus Christ and to understand what it can mean to us as we prepare ourselves here to live forever in the presence of God. The world does not understand the meaning of eternal life; we have the opportunity and responsibility, therefore, to teach all nations this glorious principle." - N. Eldon Tanner, "The Power of Example," Ensign, Dec. 1981, 2

"'But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

"'And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted (Jacob 2:18-19).'

"The foundation and perspective then are these: We must first seek the kingdom, work and plan and spend wisely, plan for the future, and use what wealth we are blessed with to help build up that kingdom. When guided by this eternal perspective and by building on this firm foundation, we can pursue with confidence our daily tasks and our life's work, which must be carefully planned and diligently pursued." - N. Eldon Tanner, "Constancy Amid Change," Ensign (CR), November 1979, p.80

"We must always remember that though we are in the world, we must not be part of it. We just cannot follow the ways of the world. We must dare to be different. We must not be influenced by those who would call us peculiar. The Lord said to the children of Israel:

"'For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.' (Deut. 14:2.)" - N. Eldon Tanner, "Ready to Work Long Hours," Ensign (CR), November 1976, p.73

"The Lord has said, 'I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.' (D&C 64:10.) We are further admonished to forgive many times, even seventy times seven. We should stop and ask ourselves if we are prepared to ask the Lord to forgive us of our sins and trespasses only as we forgive our friends and neighbors. How wonderful it would be if we would all forgive and love our neighbors. Then it would be much easier for us to call upon the Lord to forgive us of any of our wrongdoings, and as we repent and bring forth fruits meet for repentance, we can expect Gods forgiveness and mercy to be extended in our behalf." - N. Eldon Tanner, "The Importance of Prayer," Ensign (CR), May 1974, p.50

"One young boy on the school ground can wield a mighty influence for good. One young man on the football team, or the campus, or among his fellow workers can, by living the gospel, honoring his priesthood, and taking a stand for the right, do untold good. Often you will experience much criticism and ridicule even by those who believe as you do, even though they may respect you for doing right. But remember that the Savior himself was tormented, ridiculed, spat upon, and finally crucified because he would not waver in his conviction. Have you ever stopped to think what would have happened had he weakened and said, 'Oh, what's the use?' and abandoned his mission? Do we want to be quitters, or do we want to be valiant servants in spite of all the opposition and evil in the world? Let us have the courage to stand up and be counted as true, devoted followers of Christ." - N. Eldon Tanner, "For They Loved the Praise of Men More Than the Praise of God," Ensign (CR), November 1975, p.74

"Let us enjoy the good things in life. Enjoy the gospel and its teachings. Let us not waste our time looking for things to criticize in the gospel or in our neighbors. We must look at ourselves and repent and improve. And let us remember that there is nothing else quite so sure as that we will one day leave this frail existence. Let us set about to prepare ourselves for that day." - N. Eldon Tanner, "Conference Report," October 1966, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.49

"We must not be misled by the doctrines of men. All the studies of science and philosophy will never answer the question: 'What is man and why is he here?' But it is answered clearly and simply in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are instructed: 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.' (Jas. 1:5.)" - N. Eldon Tanner, "Conference Report," October 1967, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.53

"May we always remember and acknowledge that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, came and gave his life for you and me, and accept his teachings as the way of life and salvation, and be prepared to so live that we may be found worthy of his sacrifice as we prepare ourselves to enjoy immortality and eternal life. As we do this, we will bring glory to his name and salvation to ourselves." - N. Eldon Tanner, "The Importance of Prayer," Ensign (CR), May 1974, p.50

"The foundation and perspective then are these: We must first seek the kingdom, work and plan and spend wisely, plan for the future, and use what wealth we are blessed with to help build up that kingdom. When guided by this eternal perspective and by building on this firm foundation, we can pursue with confidence our daily tasks and our life’s work, which must be carefully planned and diligently pursued." - N. Eldon Tanner, "Constancy Amid Change," Ensign (CR), November 1979, p.80

"We cannot go astray if we listen to the prophet's voice and follow him, and as we do so we will be led in the path of truth and righteousness and enjoy the love, respect, and confidence of our fellowmen, and eventually enjoy eternal life with our Father in heaven. Or we may refuse and lose all these great blessings." - N. Eldon Tanner, "Thou Mayest Choose for Thyself", Ensign (CR), July 1973, p.7

“Satan is at work, my brethren and sisters. Our freedom is at stake. It is the responsibility of everyone who calls himself a Christian, and particularly for every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more particularly for every holder of the priesthood of God, to take a firm stand and a determined stand against evil. It is my testimony to you, my brothers and sisters, wherever you may be, that God has given us the solution to our problems, the plan by which we can enjoy peace in the world and peace in our lives.” - Nathan Eldon Tanner, “Conference Report,” October 1961, Third Day–Morning Meeting, p. 107

We say, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father.” Do we really believe that he is the Father of our spirit, and act accordingly? We say, “We believe in … His Son, Jesus Christ.” Do we really believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and act accordingly? Would we live the way we do if we were conscious of that all the time? - N. Eldon Tanner, "Remember Who You Are," Ensign (CR) October 1981

The choice to serve God, worthily made, does not necessarily preclude a home or sufficient money or income, or the things of this world which bring joy and happiness, but it does require that we must not turn away from God and the teachings of Jesus Christ while in the pursuit of our temporal needs. - N. Eldon Tanner, "Choose You This Day", Ensign (CR), June 1971, p.11

Today there are many subjects being discussed because of the controversies all around us. It should be evident to all that we need divine direction, since men and women who argue about these controversies seem to be unable to come to workable or peaceable solutions. It is sad indeed that the world does not know or accept the fact that in our midst is a prophet through whom God can direct the solution of world problems. - N. Eldon Tanner, "The Debate is Over," Liahona, June 1980

There are many scriptures which assure us that God is as interested in us today as he has been in all his children from the beginning, and thus we believe in continuous revelation from God through his prophets to guide us in these latter days. The Prophet Amos said, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7.) - N. Eldon Tanner, "Christ in America," Ensign (CR) May 1975

While Satan is determined to destroy us, the Savior says: “… this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.)

He gave his life so that all mankind might enjoy immortality; and through his gospel and the teachings of the prophets, both ancient and modern, we are given a clear understanding of the purpose of life and how to distinguish right from wrong, with promises of salvation and exaltation to all who keep the commandments. But remember that Satan has committed himself to destroy mankind and is continually at work to accomplish this one thing. -
N. Eldon Tanner, “Thou Mayest Choose for Thyself,” Ensign (CR) May 1973

As we go through life we are continually making choices which will determine what we get out of life. Are we going to take advantage of our opportunities to improve, or waste our time? Are we going to do right, or wrong? Are we going to go to church, or desecrate the Sabbath? Are we going to serve God, or mammon? We cannot have divided homage. Life must find its mastery. - N. Eldon Tanner, "Choose You This Day," Ensign (CR), June 1971, p.11

We believe that God still speaks to his people on the earth today, and that the Church is being led by a prophet of God … through whom the Lord speaks. The gospel message is sweet, it is a message of peace and goodwill, it is the one and only thing that will bring peace to the world, and it offers salvation and exaltation to all who will accept it. - N. Eldon Tanner, "The Contributions of the Prophet Joseph Smith," Ensign (CR), November 1979, p.50

We are all concerned about conditions in the world today, and are searching for answers to the many problems that are affecting our personal lives, our communities, and countries throughout the world. Though it is true that the trend in the world today is toward lawlessness, rioting, and rebellion, we are sick and tired of having it played up so much both in conversation and in news media. We, with a positive approach, need to center our efforts on living and teaching the gospel, thereby eliminating the cause and improving conditions. Every man, including the rebellious, who is honest with himself must admit that what he is ultimately seeking is happiness and a better way of life. - N. Eldon Tanner, “Conference Report,” April 1970, General Priesthood Meeting, p.61

How important it is for us to apply in our lives those great principles of repentance and forgiveness. Let us always remember that the one who carries a grudge or ill feelings toward a neighbor and does not forgive is the one who is uncomfortable and unhappy and ill at ease, and continuing in this course will canker his soul, and in him will remain the greater sin. There are numerous stories with beautiful endings where persons who have carried grudges or harbored ill feelings toward others have had the courage and strength to, later on, go and apologize, showing love and making reconciliation, resulting in a beautiful new relationship where both are greatly relieved and happy together. – N. Eldon Tanner, “The Importance of Prayer,” Ensign (CR) May 1974

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:6–7).
I wish to bear my testimony to all those who are within the sound of my voice this morning that that angel has flown and that the everlasting gospel has been restored and that the Church of Jesus Christ has been reestablished upon the earth, with the power to administer its ordinances. –
N. Eldon Tanner, “The Contributions of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Ensign (CR) November 1979

There are two important elements in self-mastery. The first is to determine your course or set the sails, so to speak, of moral standards; the other is the willpower, or the wind in the sails carrying one forward. As I said before, character is determined by the extent to which we can master ourselves toward good ends. It is difficult to say just what builds good character, but we know it when we see it. It always commands our admiration, and the absence of it our pity. But it is largely a matter of willpower. – N. Eldon Tanner, “Success if Gauged by Self-Mastery,” Ensign (CR) May 1975

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