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Quotes from the Prophets

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Mormon Church Living Prophet Thomas Monson
One of the basic tenets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is its belief in modern revelation and modern prophets. At present, the LDS (or Mormon) Church has had fifteen prophets. While Latter-day Saints look primarily to the living prophet for revelation and guidance, members also study the admirable lives and enduring teachings of the previous prophets. The following are quotes from each of the prophets of the Restoration. For more information about each prophet click the highlighted name.

Joseph Smith 1830-1844

  • “Surely I have contemplated the things of God.” (History of the Church 5:554 )
  • “Great blessings await us at this time, and will soon be poured out upon us, if we are faithful in all things, for we are even entitled to greater spiritual blessings than they [the faithful at the time of Christ] were, because they had Christ in person with them, to instruct them in the great plan of salvation. His personal presence we have not, therefore we have need of greater faith.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 90.)
  • “[God] never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of His law and ordinances." (History of the Church, 5:135.)

Brigham Young 1844-1877

  • “The difference between God and the Devil is that God creates and organizes, while the whole study of the Devil is to destroy." (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 69.)
  • “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self security. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not." (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 135.)

John Taylor 1877-1887

  • “I would rather trust in the living God than in any other power on earth.” (Deseret News Semi-Weekly, June 10, 1884, 1.)
  • “We believe in the resurrection of the dead and in the life in the world to come; and not only in the resurrection of the male, but also of the female. We believe also in eternal unions, union on earth and in heaven. And as the heavens declare the glory of God, and the stellar universes roll on according to eternal laws implanted in them by the Deity, and perform their revolutions through successive ages, so will man progress and increase—himself, his wives, his children—through the eternities to come.” (The Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham [1943], 14.)

Wilford Woodruff 1887-1898

  • “I want to live as long as I can do good; but not an hour longer than I can live in fellowship with the Holy Spirit, with my Father in heaven, my Savior, and with the faithful Latter-day Saints. To live any longer than this would be torment and misery to me. When my work is done I am ready to go; but I want to do what is required of me.” (Deseret News Weekly, Sept. 15, 1869, 380.)
  • "The Church of God could not live twenty four hours without revelation." (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham [1946], 61.)
  • "I say to the Latter day Saints, the keys of the kingdom of God are here, and they are going to stay here, too, until the coming of the Son of Man. Let all Israel understand that.... No man who has ever breathed the breath of life can hold these keys of the kingdom of God and lead the people astray." (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham [1946], 73–74.)

Lorenzo Snow 1898-1901

  • “As man now is, God once was; as God is now man may be.” (The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 1.)
  • “There is no Latter day Saint who dies after having lived a faithful life who will lose anything because of having failed to do certain things when opportunities were not furnished him or her. In other words, if a young man or a young woman has no opportunity of getting married, and they live faithful lives up to the time of their death, they will have all the blessings, exaltation, and glory that any man or woman will have who had this opportunity and improved it. That is sure and positive.” (The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 138.)

Joseph F. Smith 1901-1918

  • "To do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all mankind, is the truest greatness. To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman. One is universal and eternal greatness, the other is ephemeral." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 285.)
  • "Pure intelligence comprises not only knowledge, but also the power to properly apply that knowledge." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 58.)

Heber J. Grant 1918-1945

  • “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet.” (Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham [1941], 111.)
  • “There is a still small voice telling us what is right, and if we listen to that still small voice we shall grow and increase in strength and power, in testimony and in ability not only to live the gospel but to inspire others to do so.” (“The Path of Safety,” Improvement Era, Dec. 1937, 735.)

George Albert Smith 1945-1951

  • “Joseph was a prophet who gave his life for the cause. Hyrum was a patriarch who gave his life, and many others have given their lives also for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the Lord's work; His authority is deposited with this Church, and nowhere else in all the world except with the Church. Knowing that, I am happy to be here with you. I am delighted to be able to worship with you in this house that is sacred to us all. I pray that when we go from here, each of us will return to our homes with a renewed determination that we will be worthy of him who gives us all our blessings, that we will be worthy of one another as we live together in our homes, sanctified by the righteousness of our lives.” (Conference Report, Apr. 1947, 167.)
  • "I wonder sometimes if we realize the importance of music. I wonder if we know that the Lord Himself is concerned about it. He has given us the information that the song of praise is a prayer unto Him. In our day He has given revelation about music. He gave instruction that Emma Smith was to gather the hymns that were to be sung in the Church." (“Pres. Smith's Leadership Address,” Church News, Feb. 16, 1946, 8.)

David O. McKay 1951-1970

  • “Every member a missionary!” (Conference Report, Apr. 1959, 122.)
  • “No man can sincerely resolve to apply to his daily life the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth without sensing a change in his own nature. The phrase, 'born again', has a deeper significance than many people attach to it. This changed feeling may be indescribable, but it is real.” (Conference Report, Apr. 1962, 7.)

Joseph Fielding Smith 1970-1972

  • “We must endure to the end; . . . We must so live as to acquire the attributes of godliness and become the kind of people who can enjoy the glory and wonders of the celestial kingdom.” ("The Plan of Salvation,” Ensign, Nov. 1971, 5.)
  • “We believe that worship is far more than prayer and preaching and gospel performance. The supreme act of worship is to keep the commandments, to follow in the footsteps of the Son of God, to do ever those things that please Him. It is one thing to give lip service to the Lord; it is quite another to respect and honor His will by following the example He has set for us.” (“I Know That My Redeemer Liveth,” Ensign, Dec. 1971, 27.)

Harold B. Lee 1972-1973

  • “Never is the gospel of Jesus Christ more beautiful than in times of intense need, or in times of a severe storm within us as individuals, or in times of confusion and turmoil.” (“A Blessing for the Saints,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, 133.)
  • “The heaviest burden that one has to bear in this life is the burden of sin.” (“Stand Ye in Holy Places,” Ensign, July 1973, 122.)

Spencer W. Kimball 1973-1985

  • “We must lengthen our stride and must do it now.” (“Always a Convert Church: Some Lessons to Learn and Apply This Year,” Ensign, Sept. 1975, 3.)
  • “No father, no son, no mother, no daughter should get so busy that he or she does not have time to study the scriptures and the words of modern prophets. None of us should get so busy that we crowd out contemplation and praying. None of us should become so busy in our formal Church assignments that there is no room left for quiet Christian service to our neighbors.” (“Boys Need Heroes Close By,” Ensign, May 1976, 47.)

Ezra Taft Benson 1985-1994

  • “The Book of Mormon is the 'keystone' of our religion, and the Doctrine and Covenants is the capstone, with continuing latter day revelation. The Lord has placed His stamp of approval on both the keystone and the capstone.” (“The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ensign, May 1987, 83.)
  • “The great task of life is to learn the will of the Lord and then do it.” (“The Great Commandment-Love the Lord,” Ensign, May 1988, 4.)

Howard W. Hunter 1994-1995

  • “It is the deepest desire of my heart to have every member of the Church worthy to enter the temple.” (Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 8.)
  • “You should express regularly to your wife and children your reverence and respect for her. Indeed, one of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” (“Being a Righteous Husband and Father,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 50.)

Gordon B. Hinckley 1995-2008

  • “The time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 95.)
  • “This cause will roll on in majesty and power to fill the earth. Doors now closed to the preaching of the gospel will be opened. The Almighty, if necessary, may have to shake the nations to humble them and cause them to listen to the servants of the living God. Whatever is needed will come to pass.” (“Look to the Future,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 68.)
  • “Under the plan of heaven, the husband and the wife walk side by side as companions, neither one ahead of the other, but a daughter of God and a son of God walking side by side. Let your families be families of love and peace and happiness. Gather your children around you and have your family home evenings, teach your children the ways of the Lord, read to them from the scriptures, and let them come to know the great truths of the eternal gospel as set forth in these words of the Almighty.” (“Selections from Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 64.)
  • "With the growth of the Church, we likely could never build a hall large enough to accommodate all who would wish to assemble in one place. Nor would accelerating travel costs make possible their coming. The gifts of science have provided a more convenient way. We are confident that as the work of the Lord expands, he will inspire men to develop the means whereby the membership of the Church, wherever they may be, can be counseled in an intimate and personal way by his chosen prophet. Communication is the sinew that binds the Church as one great family. Between those facilities which are now available and those which are on the horizon, we shall be able to converse one with another according to the needs and circumstances of the time." (From an address given during the October 1981 General Conference.)

Thomas S. Monson 2008-Present

  • "A study of the scriptures will help our testimonies and the testimonies of our family members. Our children today are growing up surrounded by voices urging them to abandon that which is right and to pursue, instead, the pleasures of the world. Unless they have a firm foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ, a testimony of the truth, and a determination to live righteously, they are susceptible to these influences. It is our responsibility to fortify and protect them." (Thomas S. Monson, “Three Goals to Guide You,” Liahona, Nov 2007, 118–21.)
  • "In the performance of our responsibilities, I have learned that when we heed a silent prompting and act upon it without delay, our Heavenly Father will guide our footsteps and bless our lives and the lives of others. I know of no experience more sweet or feeling more precious than to heed a prompting only to discover that the Lord has answered another person’s prayer through you." (Thomas S. Monson, “Peace, Be Still,” Ensign, Nov 2002, 53.)

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