Sunday, July 5, 2015
L. Tom Perry Talk Highlights
One of his earliest General Conference talks after his calling as an Apostle came in October 1975, when he was pondering religious freedom on the approach of the Bicentennial celebration of the USA.
"For the Time Will Come When They Will Not Endure Sound Doctrine"
I will develop within me the courage to stand up and defend that which I believe to be right. I will declare my personal witness that the heavens are not closed. The Lord continues to guide and direct all of his children on earth if they will but heed his voice. I will teach my firm conviction that the foundation of any righteous government is the law that has been received from the Lord to guide and direct man’s efforts. Righteous government receives direction from the Lord...
Second, I want to publicly profess my opposition to those who are so caught up in their own learning they believe with their enlightened minds they can change the laws of God. A consensus of mankind is not and never will be impowered to change these divine laws.
Let me cite just one example of how these seemingly enlightened minds are trying to destroy the sacred institution of marriage with their erroneous doctrines and teachings. A quotation from a recent publication, which is just one of many I have recently received from concerned citizens, is as follows:
“On the basis of this and other such evidence, some observers suggest that the institution of marriage which had necessarily been changed over the centuries to accommodate the needs of a changing society now faces a future in which it may gradually become obsolete. In their judgment, marriage will ultimately manifest itself, not as a religious sacrament or a legal certification but simply as a sociological fact.” (William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, The Pleasure Bond, Toronto and Boston, Little, Brown and Co., p. 179.) They are calling for a new Christian approach to marriage. They state that dogmatism is being forced to yield to humanism no matter how slowly or how grudgingly. They call attention to studies they claim are on the verge of revealing with assurance that having extramarital relations may serve as a vehicle to faithfulness to God.
I find that such teachings are absolutely contrary to the instructions of the Lord to mankind. As I examine the physical order in the Lord’s divine plan, I find no evidence that he has ever found it necessary to make a correction. The earth continues to rotate in the same direction. The angle of its axis is unchanged. The circulation of moisture continues from sea to cloud to earth to river to sea with its same beneficial effect without alteration.
I find the same consistency in the divine law he has established for mankind...
The union between husband and wife is sacred to the Lord, something not to be trifled with. The marriage covenant was essential to the Lord God to accomplish his mission and purposes for which he created the heavens and the earth.
In all periods of time, he has declared his divine law is to safeguard and protect this holy union between husband and wife. When Moses found need for laws to govern the children of Israel, one of the pronouncements by the Lord to him was, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Ex. 20:14.)
I found it interesting how forty years ago he was still giving talks on the family, but his fear then was adultery. Next, from October 1983:
"Our Father Who Art in Heaven"
As I have opportunity of kneeling each night and morning with my wife in prayer, I am full of gratitude for the blessing and privilege of having her companionship. I am full of gratitude for the blessings that come to me through my children and their lives as I am able to be with them and watch their growth and progress.
When you are on your knees in prayer, there is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to the Lord for the many blessings that he bestows on his children.
How blessed we are for our understanding of who He is. How blessed we are as a people for the gift of the gospel. I marvel at what He has created for our use and benefit and for the privilege of enjoying this earthly experience. My heart is especially filled with gratitude at this season of the harvest when I go out to dig a hill of potatoes and there find manyfold over the small piece I planted a few months before, or pull off an ear of corn and see how those two or three kernels placed in the earth now yield a hundredfold. As I travel and see the beauty of His creations—the mountains, the fertile plains, the sparkling streams, or the mighty oceans—how grateful I am for His blessings to me. When we kneel in family prayer, let us teach our children to express gratitude unto the Lord for His many blessings to us.
This is from April 1995, the first Conference after Gordon B. Hinckley had been called as the new President of the Church.
"An Elect Lady"
No single issue causes more concern among the leaders of churches and the leaders of nations than the alarming rate of breakup of marriages today. Statistics show that strong marriages produce strong families. The breakup of the family is causing serious social problems that are destroying our communities—including increases in poverty, crime, and delinquency.
The union between husband and wife is not something to be trifled with. The marriage covenant is essential for the Lord to accomplish His divine purposes. Consistently the Lord has declared that His divine laws were instituted to safeguard and protect the holy union between husband and wife...
Much will be said, written, and recorded about President Hinckley during the time he presides over the Church. Much less will be recorded about his dear companion, Marjorie. For you who have not had the opportunity of meeting Sister Hinckley, I would like to tell you something about her. What an example she has been and will continue to be to the women of the Church and to all the world. She is such a loyal, supportive companion to our President...
What an example she is to the wives of priesthood leaders all over the world!
With all of the pressures of Church service thrust on the Hinckley family, Sister Hinckley has always maintained a balance between her two eternal callings—those of wife and mother. Her success in the role as a mother is evidenced by the Hinckley children—Dick, Clark, Kathleen, Virginia, and Jane. Each child is a credit to their parents.
Sister Hinckley has said this about motherhood:
“It is the mothers of young children I would like to address first. These are golden years for you. These are years when you will probably do the most important work of your lives. Don’t wish away your years of caring for small children. Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans. This is a time of great opportunity for you to build the kingdom. When you teach children to love their Heavenly Father, you have done one of the greatest things you will ever do. If you can be a full-time homemaker, be grateful. If not, you must do what is best for you. I for one have never felt a need to apologize for my role as a full-time homemaker."
From October 2006:
"The Plan of Salvation"
Many people wonder, “Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?” Our Eternal Father did not send us to earth on an aimless, meaningless journey. He provided for us a plan to follow. He is the author of that plan. It is designed for man’s progress and ultimate salvation and exaltation...
many people in the world today continue to struggle to find answers to life’s most basic questions. The cries of “Lo, here” and “Lo, there” only grow louder and many, many times more confusing. Technology has multiplied the confusion by spreading these messages throughout the airwaves and across the massive amounts of cable lines that now cover the earth. There are so many avenues to broadcast more and more different messages, I guess it should not be surprising that people are confused. Centuries ago Paul predicted:
“The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
“And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3–4).
We need not be confused. The answers to the puzzling questions regarding the purpose of life have again been given to mankind for our guidance...
God sent His Beloved Son to overcome the Fall of Adam and Eve. He came to earth as our Savior and Redeemer. He overcame the obstacle of physical death for us by giving up His own life. When He died on the cross, His spirit became separated from His body. On the third day His spirit and His body were reunited eternally, never to be separated again.
Life on earth is of limited duration. There comes a time for all of us when the spirit and the body are separated in death. But because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected, regardless of whether we have accomplished good or evil in this life. Immortality is the gift to every mortal child of our Father in Heaven. Death must be viewed as a portal to a new and better life. Through the glorious resurrection, body and spirit will be reunited. We will have a perfect, immortal body of flesh and bones that will never be subjected to pain or death.