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This is a great, strong, viable organization with a tremendous outreach. We are [rather] ordinary people trying to do an extraordinary work. He is a member of the Church.

A lot of that money comes back to the local units. What is that money used for? It is used for Church purposes. About a year. Think about that. New buildings each year to accommodate the needs of the growing membership. It is used for education. We maintain the largest private, church-sponsored university in the world, Brigham Young University, with its 27, students on that campus, as well as other campuses. We maintain a tremendous institute of religion program, where we have off-campus connections with [students in] the major universities of America.

We have a corps of auditors who are qualified CPAs who are independent from all other agencies of the Church and who report only to the First Presidency of the Church. We try to be very careful. They come from the widow, they are her offering as well as the tithe of the rich man, and they are to be used with care and discretion for the purposes of the Lord. We treat them carefully and safeguard them and try in every way that we can to see that they are used as we feel the Lord would have them used for the upbuilding of His work and the betterment of people.

The work is strenuous; it is difficult. But it does something for you. It does two or three things. It creates in the first place a feeling of reliance upon the Lord. If he goes to a foreign land, he develops expertise in the language; he learns to speak the language of the people.

Wherever he goes, he comes to know the people among whom he serves and brings back with him something of their culture, their way of doing things, with appreciation and respect for them and their conditions and circumstances. And so we encourage our people to have something, to plan ahead, keep … food on hand, to establish a savings account, if possible, against a rainy day.

The individual, as we teach, ought to do for himself all that he can. When he has exhausted his resources, he ought to turn to his family to assist him. And when the Church takes over, our great desire is to first take care of his immediate needs and then to help him for so long as he needs to be helped, but in that process to assist him in training, in securing employment, in finding some way of getting on his feet again.

I hope that it reflects, in some measure at least, some of the teachings of this Church. Look at the beauties of Temple Square right here in the heart of the city, the very core of the city. Look at the magnificent temple and that great Tabernacle. They were built with vision by people with culture, with refinement, with artistry. These are not the work of charlatans. They are the work of people who had a great vision to do beautiful things. How do you do that? But there are occasionally things that arise where the will of the Lord [is needed and] is sought, and in those circumstances I think the best way I could describe the process is to liken it to the experience of Elijah as set forth in the book of First Kings.

Elijah spoke to the Lord, and there was a wind, a great wind, and the Lord was not in the wind. And there was an earthquake, and the Lord was not in the earthquake. And there was a fire, and the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire a still, small voice, which I describe as the whisperings of the Spirit.

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Now, let me just say, categorically, that the things of God are understood by the Spirit of God, and one must have and seek and cultivate that Spirit, and there comes understanding and it is real. I can give testimony of that. We believe in that mandate. We think it rests upon us to try to fulfill it. We are doing that with all of the energy and resources that we have. I have many non-Mormon friends. I respect them. I have the greatest of admiration for them. To anybody who is not of this Church, I say we recognize all of the virtues and the good that you have.

Bring it with you and see if we might add to it.


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Can anyone doubt it who looks around here today? It has been led by revelation. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God for the blessing of His sons and daughters wherever they may be found. It was the case with Moses when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt.

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It was the case for the Old Testament prophets when people were faced with oppression and trouble and difficulty. That is the purpose of a prophet, to give answers to people for the dilemmas in which they find themselves. That is what happens. That is what we see happen. Is it a matter of expediency, political expediency? Inspired guidance? President, is child abuse in the Mormon Church? It is a terrible thing. It is a wicked thing. It is a reprehensible thing. It is a thing of which I have spoken time and again. We are teaching our people.

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We are talking about it. We have set up a course of instruction for our bishops all across the nation. All last year we carried on an educational program. We have set up a help-line for them where they can get professional counseling and help with these problems. We have issued a journal dealing with child abuse, spouse abuse, abuse of the elderly, the whole problem of abuse.

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We are concerned about it. I am deeply concerned about the victims. My heart reaches out to them. I want to do everything we can to ease the pain, to preclude the happening of this evil and wicked thing. We recognize the terrible nature of it, and we want to help our people, reach out to them, assist them. I think that the men of this Church, the bishops of this Church, the officers of this Church are as concerned with the welfare of the women of the Church as they are with the men of the Church and with the children of the Church.

I am confident of that. I have been around a long time. I have known this Church from the ground up, inside and out, over a very, very long period of time. I think I know the attitude of our people. Now, there will be a blip here, a blip there, a mistake here, a mistake there. But by and large the work is wonderful, and vast good is being accomplished, and the welfare of women and children is as seriously considered as is the welfare of the men in this Church, if not more so.

Needless to say, we were blessed of the Lord. Now in conclusion I wish to say that none of us ever need hesitate to speak up for this Church, for its doctrine, for its people, for its divine organization and divinely given responsibility. It is true. It is the work of God. The only things that can ever embarrass this work are acts of disobedience to its doctrine and standards by those of its membership. I may not have been able to sort the whole situation out, but I could do something about my own response.

So, I decided to refuse to be browbeaten. I rebuked them:. And not only did the young person stop complaining, they did grow up into someone who worked to meet those needs, and they succeeded. My obedience resulted in their obedience. I am an insignificant person in a small country. But if you, like me, are in this position we also have a great strength. And we can live that life in whatever situation we find ourselves in. So, I have my own little corner of the world to get right; it is by no means worthless, but it is plenty for me to be getting on with.

Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. Used by permission. All rights reserved. E-books Check out our selection of free e-books! Written by Maggie Pope. I can be the change Many years ago, a young person would often complain to me about the lack of care and activity in their local Church. Download free E-book. Written by Elias Aslaksen.

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