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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Marion D. Hanks

"We talk in multiples, and we think in numbers, and we teach classes with many people in them. We direct guide tours where there are large numbers. But always there is the simple truth which we must understand: that the gospel of Jesus Christ is God's plan to get us home individually; and while we may teach classes, and while we may hold cottage meetings for groups, people come to faith and convictions individually. They enter the waters of baptism individually; individually they receive the blessing of the imposition of hands by those who have that authority; and when they seek to get acquainted with their Father in heaven, and to go to the place he would like them to be, they do it individually." — "Conference Report," October 1953, p. 130

"The spirit of every child of God goes on living as we experience mortal death -- the temporary separation of the body and spirit -- and through the atonement of Christ there will be a universal resurrection. The body and spirit will be joined together again as the eternally living soul. The circumstances under which we shall live eternally, in whose presence, with what companions, and in what condition of opportunity and creative service, we are now deciding by the choices we make." — "Conference Report," October 1964, p. 114

"When we think about some of the problems that exist in this world today, and we think about what happens when one honest soul undertakes to learn and live the life the Lord wants him to, and how he frequently multiplies himself in so many ways in the lives of others (as we have seen it in missionary work, in the military, in teaching, in sports, in civic work, in employment), then we know that this is in truth the Lord's kingdom, because it believes in the worth of souls." — "Conference Report," October 1969, p. 98

"There came the other day the story of the small boy who had lost his pet and who in tears beseeched his anxious mother for help. She reminded him lovingly that she had tried as hard as she could to find the pet without success. 'What more can I do, son?' she asked. 'You can cry with me,' he said." — "What Manner of Men? 'As I am'," General Conference, April 1973

"Our religion is 'not weight, it is wings.' It can carry us through the dark times, the bitter cup. It will be with us in the fiery furnace and the deep pit. It will accompany us to the hospital room and to the place of bereavement. It can guarantee us the presence of a Captain on the rough voyage. It is, in short, not the path to easy disposition of problems, but the comforting assurance of the eternal light, by which we may see, and the eternal warmth, which we may feel. 'The Lord is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in him.' (Psalm 34:8.)" — "Trust In The Lord," General Conference, April 1975

"Nothing would seem more clear than the high premium the Savior put upon selfless service to others as an indispensable element of Christian conduct and of salvation. Helping, giving, and sacrificing are, or should be, as natural as growing and breathing." — "The Royal Law," General Conference, April 1992

"All of us have much to learn and need good counsel. And beyond sound human help, beyond the 'arm of flesh,' it is written, 'Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good' (Alma 37:37). 'He will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause' (Jacob 3:1)." - Marion D. Hanks, "I Will Look unto the Lord," Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 13

"We must not hesitate to say, 'I know,' when we do know. It is written in the Book of Alma that the prophet 'stood upon [his] feet' (Alma 36:23) and manifested unto the people that he had been born of God. Many times it is recorded that the prophets, the teachers, the leaders were moved to stand and testify, and did so. I believe in reading widely, in searching other sources that are instructive and in learning from them, but the voice that is listened to, the voice that means something, is the voice that says, with true conviction, 'This I know. I have the conviction. The Spirit has borne witness to me that this is true.'" - Marion D. Hanks, "An Attitude-The Weightier Matters," Ensign, July 1981, p. 68

"The sweetness of true Christian service is often experienced in obscurity--in quiet rooms in homes and hospitals and places of confinement, in military barracks and refugee camps, and in other places far from public attention. Usually it is unheralded, but it reflects the standard set by the Savior for those who will 'inherit the kingdom prepared . from the foundation of the world.' (Matt. 25:34.) These are they who serve the hungry and the thirsty and the naked and the homeless and those who are sick or imprisoned, and who do this after the pattern and in the spirit of him who said, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' (Matt. 25:40.) To those who so serve he promised eternal life (see Matt. 25:46), while to those who fail to minister to the needy he said, 'Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.' (Matt. 25:45.)" - Marion D. Hanks, "The Royal Law of Love," Ensign, November 1988, p. 63

"If a family loses its cherished human values and deteriorates into only the form of a family, it has lost what a family is for. Whatever changes are said to have occurred in our time, there is left to the family the most important purpose of all-the satisfaction of the basic emotional and spiritual needs of its members. In any era, one has written, society is a 'web of which the family forms the central strands.' In home, family, and love lie the resources that fulfill the life of the individual and the life of the community; indeed, the resources that would redeem our troubled world and bring it lasting peace. Children must be safeguarded and reared. Only in the home can children be assured of the love and direction they need to live life, and only parents who genuinely love can meet those needs. But it must be more than a preached or pronounced love; it must be love that takes time, makes the effort, listens patiently, gives freely, forgives generously, 'provides the amenities that will grace and adorn and make beautiful the relationships of family life.'" - Marion D. Hanks, "Practicing What We Preach," Ensign, June 1971, p. 92

"What can we do? How can we help this great young generation meet the challenges of their time?...

"First, they need faith. They need to believe....

"Two, they need to be accepted as they are, and to be included....

"Three, they need to be actively involved, to participate, to give service, to give of themselves.

"Four, they have to learn somehow that they are more important than their mistakes; that they are worthwhile, valuable, useful; that they are loved unconditionally....

"They need... my fifth and final point-the example of good men, good parents, good people, who really care." - Marion D. Hanks, "Love Unconditional," Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 106

"Salvation and exaltation, I believe, are not matters of heavenly bookkeeping, but of the qualifying of the soul that comes with knowing the Lord." - Marion D. Hanks, "Willing to Receive," Ensign, May 1980, p. 30

"The gospel is God's plan for the exalting of man to an eternal creative opportunity with his Father through giving him a vision of his great origins and heritage, his purposes and responsibilities, and his inspiring potential.

"The Church is the institutional embodiment of the gospel, the organization through which one may experience and express the great principles of God's plan.

"The priesthood is the power by which God and his sons move in spiritual leadership. And all of these-gospel, Church, priesthood-are designed to bless man and bring about God's purposes for him.

"The earth itself was prepared for man. "Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited and he hath created his children that they should possess it." (1 Ne. 17:36.)

"The individual, then, is the focal point of all the programs and performance of the Church-not the program itself, not the statistics. Not institutional expansion but individual exaltation is the purpose of it all." - Marion D. Hanks, "Conference Report," April 1966, Afternoon Meeting, p.149-150

"A youngster was assigned by his father to see to the moving of a large rock. He tugged and pushed, and he lifted and struggled without avail. Some friends were enlisted, but together they could not move it. Reluctantly he reported to his father that he could not budge the rock.

"'Have you done all you could?' asked the father.

"'Yes,' said the little boy.

"'Have you tried everything?' persisted the father.

"'Yes,' said the boy. 'I've tried everything.'

"'No, son, you haven't,' said his dad. 'You haven't asked me.'

"Why do so many of us, heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, fail to go to him, to keep in touch with our Father? He is anxious to help. But he wants us to learn our need for him, to open the door to him." - Marion D. Hanks, "Joy through Christ," Ensign (CR), July 1972, p.104

"Our religion is 'not weight, it is wings.' It can carry us through the dark times, the bitter cup. It will be with us in the fiery furnace and the deep pit. It will accompany us to the hospital room and to the place of bereavement. It can guarantee us the presence of a Captain on the rough voyage. It is, in short, not the path to easy disposition of problems, but the comforting assurance of the eternal light, by which we may see, and the eternal warmth, which we may feel. 'The Lord is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in him.' (Ps. 34:8.)" - Marion D. Hanks, "Trust in the Lord," Ensign (CR), May 1975, p.12

"Through all the books of recorded revelations of God to man, one may read again and again the marvelous message of fearlessness, of faith, of courage, of testimony, of a sound, strong mind. The words of Paul to Timothy, his son in the gospel, give strength and courage and ought to lay foundations for us to stand up where we are and bear our own witness of faith and not of fear. Said Paul to Timothy, as well you know, 'For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.' (2 Tim. 1:7.)

"Out of the ancient record words well known, again, to all of you, words of faith and assurance: 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;...' (Psalm 23:4.)

"Through all the dealings of God with man there have been trials and troubles and afflictions and impositions and apprehensions, and there have been the repeated assurances of God to man that he should be of courage and not fear." - Marion Duff Hanks, "Conference Report," October 1961, First Day, p.12

"I want to mention a sensitivity to beauty as vital to real joy. If you want to be really happy, learn to be sensitive to beauty; to poetry; to trees; to the great Western scenes; to God's great creations; to what goes on in the street and the kitchen, as well as in the sky and on the tree trunk; to the out-of-doors; to things that live." - Marion D. Hanks, "How To Be Happy," October 18, 1961, "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1961, p.7

"Christ, we know, had a great interest in human beings of every description, and great love for them. He companied with little children, sought out the sinner; he summoned men to follow him from the fishing boat and the counting table. So conscious was he of individuals that in the midst of the multitude he felt the woman's touch of his robe. He memorialized in a magnificent parable the selfless consideration of a despised Samaritan toward another human being in need. He enfolded the ninety and nine and went seeking the lost one. Our purpose is to follow him." - Marion D. Hanks, "Conference Report," October 1970, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p.57

"'Watch ye,' Paul said. Be wise. There are a lot of roads to travel on, many places to go, countless things to see. Companions of all kinds are available. So watch your step, examine carefully the alternatives. There are only so many books you can read, so many places you can go, so many tasks you can prepare to work at and actually give your time to; you can only have so many real friends; you have one character to form, one life to live, one Master who can be served at a time. So, said Paul, 'Watch you.' Be wise. Keep reading, keep thinking, keep asking, keep interested. Try out your own ideas, weigh them and weigh those of others, thoughtfully, prayerfully, honestly. Let truth have its chance in the marketplace." - Marion D. Hanks, May 28, 1964, "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1964, p.7

"If we cannot fully understand the atonementand men infinitely wiser than I have said publicly they cannotyou and I can yet get a little glimpse of it in holding in our arms a sweet child with a skinned knee or a bruised feeling. We share the pain, we bear some of it in our own hearts. We begin to understand an identification so close that when certain ones visited, or fed, or clothed, or blessed, they were doing it not alone to those whom they served, but to Him. He was that wrapped up in his children, his spiritual children." - Marion D. Hanks, May 28, 1964, "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1964, p.14

There is one who understands, who sympathizes. He was misunderstood, rejected, knew supreme loneliness, was poor and had not a place to lay his head, suffered anguish and conflict of mind.

He understands.

He can give pardon and bring peace.

The specialty of the Savior is mercy.

And he requires that we be specialists in mercy.

"Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." (Luke 6:36.) - Marion D. Hanks, "My Specialty is Mercy," Ensign (CR) October 1981

The oppressing presence of problems all about us—personal, family, and in our society—accentuates the peril as well as the privilege of free agency. The ancient Psalmist surely seems to be singing to our time: “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble” (Ps. 31:9).

Why is there so much trouble? “With all that fairway, why do we spend so much time in the rough?” someone said.

Part of the answer is that without opposition and testing, free agency loses its meaning. Opposition, tribulation, afflictions, the refining fire are part of the eternal plan. - Marion D. Hanks, "I Will Look unto the Lord," Ensign (CR) October 1986

All through the scriptures the loftier expectation is expressed by the Lord and His apostles: Believe, repent, obey the ordinances, walk in the light of the Spirit, endure in faith—yes! But also, manifest your discipleship in civility, in gentility and tender compassion, in kindness and consideration, in patience and forbearance and refusal to condemn, in forgiveness and mercy. - Marion D. Hanks, "More Joy and Rejoicing," Ensign (CR), November 1976, p.31

God loves every one of his children—of that we are absolutely assured, we know it in our hearts—but God needs instruments of his love. He needs those who can carry his love and make it meaningful and personal in the lives of others. The shepherd’s search for the lost sheep was a mission of grace and so was the joyful journey of the forgiving father when he ran to meet the penitent prodigal who had come to himself and had, with trepidation, started home. - Marion D. Hanks, "Gifts You Can't Wrap," New Era, December 1972

One cannot live long with the scriptures without recognizing that God our Father and his holy Son have specialties also.

The specialty of the Father is mercy. - Marion D. Hanks, "My Specialty Is Mercy," Ensign (CR) November 1981

Christ’s love was so pure that he gave his life for us: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13.) But there was another gift he bestowed while he was on the cross, a gift that further measured the magnitude of his great love: he forgave, and asked his Father to forgive, those who persecuted and crucified him. - Marion D. Hanks, "Forgiveness: The Ultimate Form of Love," Ensign (CR) November 1973

There is, of course, in the promises of God no warrant that we will avoid the very experiences which we came here to undergo and through which we can learn reliance on the Lord. Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33.) He had tribulation, and he overcame. And so may we, with his help. - Marion D. Hanks, “Joy through Christ,” Ensign (CR) May 1972

There is one final thing we spoke of: if one is to learn the answers to the basic spiritual problems of his life and is to pursue a purposeful program fruitfully and happily, he must have a motivation, an "inner aim" our friends sometimes call it, a spiritual assurance, a testimony which will inspire and impel him to learn and to live. The enjoyment of that testimony is one of the great possibilities that has come to us through the restoration of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. - Marion D. Hanks, "Conference Report," April 1956, Third Day—Morning Meeting, p. 100

But we should be earnestly seeking and striving to correct and improve our own attitude and our own behavior. God has so ordained it. He loves us and believes in us and has done and will do anything he can to help us, but he will not impose on our free agency. "We love him," says the scripture, "because he first loved us." (1 Jn. 4:19.) He does not love us because we love him; he loves us unconditionally. - Marion D. Hanks, "Agency and Love," Ensign (CR), November 1983, p. 21

We know that the Lord has encouraged us to seek truth, to "knock," "ask," and "search diligently." Yet there come times when we reach the end of our capacity to reason and to understand. We must learn to walk by faith. There has been given us enough light to walk the paths we are here to tread. As the Lord in his wisdom desires that we have more light, we have the assurance that it will be given. I bear my witness that from the beginning of the history of the Church the lights have come on when the need arose. It has always been so; it is so now; it will always be. - Marion D. Hanks, "Conference Report," April 1957, Afternoon Meeting, p. 127

What of loving and being loved? Perhaps the most serious problem of many young people and of their adult generation is their poor self-image, a conviction that they are worthless. To be able to truly love God and his neighbor, one must esteem himself. Everyone needs to love and to have the assurance that he is worth loving and that he is loved, beyond "demand or reciprocity, praise or blame." No mere tolerance or indulgence can take the place of such love, which does not come from sermons or resolutions, but only from persons who can give it, and from God. - Marion D. Hanks, "Conference Report," April 1968, Second Day-Morning Meeting, p.58

Do not be like Carl Sandburg's favorite chameleon. Do you remember that once he was out walking and came across a Scottish plaid. He tried to cross it. The  job  of imitating six different colors, one after the other, was too much for him. Sandburg says that he was a very brave chameleon and "he died at the crossroads, true to his chameleon instincts.” - Marion D. Hanks, May 28, 1964, "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1964, p.10

Adversity is all about us and among us. It is an inevitable element of mortality, and all of us have some share in it ultimately. But our religion, centering in the life and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, helps us comprehend that. God and Christ love us with a mature, perfect love. The plan by which they lead requires mortal instruments of their love. We have the great honor to be invited to be such instruments. We need them, but they also need us. In this service we find the roots of most of those blessings that God wants us to enjoy. - Marion D. Hanks, "The Royal Law of Love," Ensign (CR), November 1988, p.62

We know well that character is an achievement, not a gift, yet all men to some measure, most of us to some considerable measure, and too many of us to a tragic measure live below our moral capacity, are willing to accept a plausible lower view of mankind and of ourselves than we should or need to, and fail to "make real the best that lies within" us. - Marion D. Hanks, “Conference Report,” April 1968, Second Day-Morning Meeting, p.55

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