Gordon B. Hinckley: Wikis


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Gordon B. Hinckley
Born Gordon Bitner Hinckley
June 23, 1910(1910-06-23)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Died January 27, 2008 (aged 97)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Cause of death "Causes incident to age"
Resting place Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Residence Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Education B.A. (1932)
10 Honorary doctorates
Alma mater University of Utah
Spouse(s) Marjorie (Pay) Hinckley
Children 5
Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom
Silver Beaver Award
LDS Church President
Ordained March 12, 1995 (aged 84)
Predecessor Howard W. Hunter
Successor Thomas S. Monson
LDS Church Apostle
Called by David O. McKay
Ordained October 5, 1961 (aged 51)
Reason for ordination Hugh B. Brown added to First Presidency
End of term January 27, 2008 (aged 97)
Reason for end of term Death
Reorganization at end of term D. Todd Christofferson ordained
LDS Church General Authority
Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by David O. McKay
Start of term April 6, 1958 (aged 47)
End of term October 5, 1961 (aged 51)
End reason Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Called by David O. McKay
Start of term October 5, 1961 (aged 51)
End of term July 23, 1981 (aged 71)
End reason Called as a Counselor in the First Presidency
Counselor in the First Presidency
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
Start of term July 23, 1981 (aged 71)
End of term December 2, 1982 (aged 72)
End reason Called as Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Called by Spencer W. Kimball
Start of term December 2, 1982 (aged 72)
End of term November 5, 1985 (aged 75)
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency on the death of Spencer W. Kimball
First Counselor in the First Presidency
Called by Ezra Taft Benson
Start of term November 10, 1985 (aged 75)
End of term March 3, 1995 (aged 84)
End reason Dissolution of First Presidency on the death of Howard W. Hunter
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Start of term June 5, 1994 (aged 83)
End of term March 12, 1995 (aged 84)
End reason Became President of the Church
President of the Church
Start of term March 12, 1995 (aged 84)
End reason January 27, 2008 (aged 97)
Reason for end of term Death

Gordon Bitner Hinckley (June 23, 1910 – January 27, 2008) was an American religious leader who served as the fifteenth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from March 12, 1995 until his death. He was the oldest person to preside over the church in its history.[1] As president of the church, he was considered by its members to be a prophet, seer, and revelator.

Hinckley's presidency was noted for the building of temples, including a reconstruction of the historic Nauvoo Illinois Temple, the building of the 21,000 seat Conference Center, the issuance of the Proclamation on the Family, and the creation of the church's Perpetual Education Fund. Hinckley dedicated more LDS Church temples than anyone else, dedicating more than half of the current temples.[2] At the time of Hinckley's death, approximately one-third of the church's membership had joined the church under Hinckley's leadership. As president of the church, Hinckley was also chairman of the Church Boards of Trustees/Education that governs the Church Educational System.[1]



Early years

A fourth-generation[3] Latter-day Saint, Hinckley was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to prominent LDS writer and educator Bryant S. Hinckley and Ada Bitner Hinckley. He graduated from LDS High School in 1928. After attending the University of Utah where he earned his undergraduate degree, Hinckley became a missionary for the LDS Church, an unusual occurrence for Depression-era Latter-day Saints. He served in the London-based British Mission from 1933 to 1935.

Work for the church

Hinckley returned to the United States in 1935 after having completed a short tour of the European continent, including preaching in both Berlin and Paris. He was given an assignment by his mission president, Joseph F. Merrill, to meet with the First Presidency of the church and request that better materials be made available to missionaries for proselytizing purposes. As a result of this meeting, Hinckley received employment as executive secretary of the Radio, Publicity and Missionary Literature Committee of the church (he had received schooling as a journalist in college). Hinckley's responsibilities included developing the church's fledgling radio broadcasts and making use of the era's new communication technologies. Starting in 1937, he also served on the Sunday School General Board. After the Second World War Hinckley served as executive secretary to the Missionary Committee of the church. He also served as the church's liaison to Deseret Book, working with Deseret Book's liaison to the church, Thomas S. Monson.[4]

In the early 1950s, Hinckley was part of a committee that considered how to present the temple ordinances at the Swiss Temple. The concern was how this could be done when there would be a need to provide them in at least ten languages; the concern was eventually solved through the use of a film version of the Endowment.[5] Hinckley's background in journalism and public relations prepared him well to preside over the church during a time when it has received increasing media coverage.[citation needed]


On April 29, 1937, Hinckley married Marjorie Pay (November 23, 1911 – April 6, 2004) in the Salt Lake Temple. They had been married for nearly 67 years at the time of her death. They had five children, including Richard G. Hinckley, a member of the LDS Church’s First Quorum of the Seventy, and Virginia Hinckley Pearce, a former member of the general presidency of the church's Young Women organization.

General authority

In 1958, Hinckley became a general authority of the Church in the now-discontinued position of Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In September 1961, he became an apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Member of First Presidency

On July 23, 1981, Hinckley became a counselor in the First Presidency. As the 1980s progressed, the health of both President Spencer W. Kimball and his aging counselors N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney led to Hinckley's being the only healthy member of the First Presidency. When Tanner died in 1982, Romney succeeded him as first counselor and Hinckley succeeded Romney as second counselor in the First Presidency. Because of the ill health of Kimball and Romney, Hinckley was involved in much of the day-to-day affairs of running the church.[4]

The Mark Hofmann document forgeries, bombings, and investigation occurred during this time. Several books[6] describe the arrangements for acquiring supposed historical documents for the church by Hinckley and others. For example, the Stowell forgery implicating Joseph Smith in gold digging was purchased for $15,000 by Hinckley on behalf of the church from Hofmann on the promise of confidentiality. However, two years later Hofmann leaked its existence to the “Mormon intellectual underground.”[7] Upon inquiry, church Spokesman Jerry Cahill denied that the church possessed the document.[8] Hinckley corrected Cahill and released the letter to scholars for study.[9] The document was later found to be a forgery.

After Kimball's death in November 1985, then-former President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Ezra Taft Benson became president of the church and named Hinckley his first counselor. Fellow apostle Thomas S. Monson was named second counselor, and, for a while, all three members of the First Presidency were able to perform their duties. In the early 1990s, however, Benson developed serious health problems that removed him from public view, and Hinckley again carried out many of the duties of the president of the church until Benson died in 1994. After Benson’s death, Howard W. Hunter became President and retained Hinckley and Monson as counselors in the First Presidency. At the same time, Hinckley became President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by virtue of seniority.

President of the Church

Hinckley and his counselors meet with George W. Bush, August 31, 2006 in the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.

When Hunter died after a presidency of only nine months, Hinckley succeeded to the presidency of the church at the age of 84. On November 2, 2006, Hinckley surpassed David O. McKay to become the oldest president in Church history.[10]

Hinckley was known for his acceleration of the building of temples. Before he became president in 1995 there were 47 operating temples in the Church; at the time of his passing, there were 124 – over two-thirds of which had been dedicated or rededicated by Hinckley–and 14 announced or under construction. [11] Hinckley oversaw other significant building projects, including the construction of the Conference Center and extensive renovations of the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

On September 23, 1995, Hinckley released The Family: A Proclamation to the World, a statement of belief and counsel regarding the sanctity of the family and marriage prepared by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.[12]

In February 1996, Church membership in countries other than the United States surpassed that of the U.S. membership.[13]

The year 1996 also saw the broadcast of a memorable 60 Minutes interview of President Hinckley by Mike Wallace during a segment on the LDS Church.

In November 2000, President Hinckley spoke to the youth of the church and gave them six traits to work on, his famous Six Be's (Be Grateful, Be Smart, Be Clean, Be True, Be Humble, Be Prayerful), which were first introduced in his New York Times Bestseller Standing for Something[14] and later expanded on in Way to Be.

On March 31, 2001, he announced the Perpetual Education Fund, a large endowment that provides loans to students in developing nations.[15] On October 22, 2002, Hinckley participated in the dedication of the Gordon B. Hinckley Building at Brigham Young University–Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho. This was the first building at BYU–Idaho to be named for a then-living Church President.[16]

The Gordon B. Hinckley Building at BYU-Idaho

In April 2003, Hinckley gave a speech in which he addressed the ongoing war in Iraq. He said, “…as citizens we are all under the direction of our respective national leaders. They have access to greater political and military intelligence than do the people generally,” adding, “Furthermore, we are a freedom-loving people, committed to the defense of liberty wherever it is in jeopardy.” He also noted that “It may even be that [the Lord] will hold us responsible if we try to impede or hedge up the way of those who are involved in a contest with forces of evil and repression.”[17]

In March 2005, Hinckley, together with Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust, celebrated their tenth anniversary as the First Presidency—the first time in the history of the church that a First Presidency had continued for such a period of time without personnel changes.

On January 24, 2006, Hinckley underwent surgery to remove cancerous growths from his large intestine.[18]

In June 2006, Hinckley traveled to Iowa City, Iowa to speak at a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Mormon handcart companies. On June 23, 2006—his 96th birthday—Hinckley participated in a groundbreaking ceremony at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah for a new building that was to be named in his honor. The building was named the "Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center" and was completed and dedicated on Hinckley's 97th birthday.[19]

On March 31, 2007, Hinckley rededicated the Salt Lake Tabernacle after extensive renovation.[20] Hinckley's last public appearance was on January 4, 2008, when he offered the prayer at the rededication of the Utah State Capitol.[21]

During his tenure as president, Hinckley gave over 2000 speeches[22], and traveled nearly a million miles over a lifetime to more than 160 countries, as he met with church members and dedicated chapels and temples.[23]

Temple dedications

At the time Hinckley became president of the church, he had dedicated 23 of the church's 47 temples and had rededicated four of the remaining 24.[24] While president of the church, Hinckley presided at the dedication of 65 additional temples.[25] Hinckley also rededicated five temples while president of the church, four of which he had dedicated initially. In all, Hinckley dedicated or rededicated 92 different temples — 87 while president of the church — at 97 different dedicatory services.


Hinckley receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President George W. Bush in 2004

On June 23, 2004 (Hinckley's 94th birthday), U.S. President George W. Bush awarded Hinckley the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House. The press release put forth by the White House stated:[26]

"Gordon B. Hinckley [...] has inspired millions and has led efforts to improve humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and education funding across the globe."

Hinckley received many educational honors, including the Distinguished Citizen Award from Southern Utah University, Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah, and 10 honorary doctorates from schools including Westminster College, Utah State University, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Weber State University, and Southern Utah University. He received the Silver Buffalo Award of the Boy Scouts of America, and was honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice for his contributions to tolerance and understanding in the world.


On January 27, 2008, at approximately 7 p.m. MST, Hinckley died at the age of ninety-seven while surrounded by family in his Salt Lake City apartment.[27][28] According to a church spokesman, the death was due to "causes incident to age." A Deseret Morning News article states that Hinckley had just gone through a treatment of chemotherapy a few days earlier, and had "worked until the very end."[29] Thomas S. Monson became the presidential successor on February 3, 2008.[30] Funeral services were held on February 2, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. MST at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.[31] Hinckley was buried at the Salt Lake City Cemetery next to his wife, who had died almost four years earlier. Some of the soil that was used to bury him was imported from the grounds of the Preston England Temple in Lancashire, as Hinckley had served his mission in England.[32]

Further reading

  • Dew, Sheri L. (1996). Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. ISBN 1-57345-165-7. 
  • McCune, George M. (1996). Gordon B. Hinckley: Shoulder For The Lord. Salt Lake City, Utah: Hawkes Publishing. ISBN 0890365830. 
  • Garff, Melinda T. (1998). Gordon B. Hinckley: Fifteenth President of the Church. Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft. ISBN 157008534X. 


  • Hinckley, Gordon B. (2008). My Dear Sisters: Inspiration for Women from Gordon B. Hinckley. Covenant Communications. ISBN 1598115952. 
  • ——. (2006). One Bright Shining Hope: Messages for Women from Gordon B. Hinckley.. Deseret Book. ISBN 1-59038-355-9. 
  • ——. (2005). Discourses of President Gordon B. Hinckley (2 vols. ed.). Deseret Book. ISBN 1-59038-431-8 (vol. 1), ISBN 1-59038-518-7 (vol. 2). 
  • ——. (2002). Way to Be!: Nine Ways to Be Happy and Make Something of Your Life. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-3830-3. 
  • ——. (2001). Stand a Little Taller. Eagle Gate. ISBN 1-57008-767-9. 
  • ——. (2000). Standing for Something: Ten Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes. Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-3317-6. 
  • ——. (1997). Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley. Deseret Book. ISBN 1-57345-262-9. 
  • ——. (1989). Faith: The Essence of True Religion. Deseret Book. ISBN 0-87579-270-7. 
  • ——. (1981). Be Thou An Example. Deseret Book. ISBN 0-87747-899-6. 
  • ——. (1951). James Henry Moyle, the story of a Distinguished American and an honored churchman. Deseret Book. 
  • ——. (1947). What of the Mormons? A Brief Study of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  (part reprinted in 1969 under the title Truth Restored: A Short History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
  • ——. (1943). A Brief Statement of Principles of the Gospel Based Largely Upon the Compendium (Richards/Little) with Excerpts from Other Writings: Including Also Church Chronology, Priesthood Ordinances, Selected Hymns. 

See also


  1. ^ a b "Biography of President Gordon B. Hinckley". http://www.lds.org/newsroom/biography/0,15609,3959-1----37,00.html. Retrieved October 30, 2006. 
  2. ^ LDS Church Almanac, 2008 Edition, p. 507-509
  3. ^ "Line: Lucien Noble -> Angeline Wilcox Noble -> Bryant Stringham Hinckley -> Gordon B. Hinckley" familysearch.org [1] Accessed January 29, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Dew, Sheri L. (1996). Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. pp. 304, pp. 395–401. ISBN 1-57345-165-7. 
  5. ^ Westwood, Brad (June 1997). "Houses of the Lord". Ensign: p. 9. http://www.lds.org/portal/site/LDSOrg/menuitem.b12f9d18fae655bb69095bd3e44916a0/?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=866a57b60090c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1. Retrieved November 7, 2007. 
  6. ^ For e.g., The Mormon Murders, Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders, Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case, Tracking The White Salamander.
  7. ^ The Mormon Murders pg. 146.
  8. ^ The Mormon Murders pg. 171-172, Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case pg 101-102.
  9. ^ Allan D. Roberts, "The Truth is the Most Important Thing: A Look at Mark W. Hofmann, the Mormon Salamander Man"
  10. ^ Arave, Lynn (November 2, 2006). "LDS leader ties record for longevity". Deseret Morning News. http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,650203647,00.html. Retrieved November 4, 2006. 
  11. ^ Deseret News, 2007 Church Almanac
  12. ^ "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102
  13. ^ Fidel, Steve (February 26, 1996). "Members living abroad outnumber LDS in U.S.". Deseret News. http://archive.deseretnews.com/archive/473945/MEMBERS-LIVING-ABROAD-OUTNUMBER-LDS-IN-US.html. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  14. ^ Amazon.com
  15. ^ Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Perpetual Education Fund," Ensign, May 2001, 51
  16. ^ Brigham Young University - Idaho Scroll
  17. ^ "War and Peace". LDS General Conference Archives. April 2003. http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,49-1-353-27,00.html. Retrieved November 11, 2007. 
  18. ^ "President Hinckley in Recovery". LDS Newsroom. January 26, 2006. http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=35315e876b68f010VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&vgnextchannel=9ae411154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD. Retrieved November 7, 2007. 
  19. ^ "President Hinckley Celebrates 96th Birthday". LDS Newsroom. June 23, 2006. http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=de5b22526078f010VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&vgnextchannel=9ae411154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD. Retrieved November 7, 2007. 
  20. ^ "Salt Lake Tabernacle Reopens". LDS Newsroom. March 31, 2007. http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=dbf60e11ee8a1110VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&vgnextchannel=9ae411154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD. Retrieved November 7, 2007. 
  21. ^ Robert Gehrke, "Three years, $227M later, state Capitol reopens", Salt Lake Tribune, January 4, 2008.
  22. ^ "Saturday's funeral services for Mormon leader may mirror wife's in 2004", Salt Lake Tribune, January 31, 2008."
  23. ^ "LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley dies at age 97", Deseret Morning News, January 27, 2008.
  24. ^ 2008 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Morning News, 2007) pp. 507–508.
  25. ^ 2008 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Morning News, 2007) p. 513. One of these was the Apia Samoa Temple, originally dedicated by Hinckley in 1983 but burned in an accidental fire in 2003.
  26. ^ "Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Gordon B. Hinckley". http://www.medaloffreedom.com/GordonHinckley.htm. Retrieved October 30, 2006. 
  27. ^ "President Gordon B. Hinckley dies at age 97", deseretnews.com, January 27, 2008.
  28. ^ "Beloved Church President, Gordon B. Hinckley, Dies at 97", newsroom.lds.org, January 27, 2008.
  29. ^ "World mourns beloved leader", deseretnews.com, January 28, 2008.
  30. ^ LDS Newsroom - Thomas S. Monson Named
    16th Church President
  31. ^ LDS Newsroom - Funeral Services for President Hinckley Announced
  32. ^ "Millions Pay Tribute to President Hinckley, ‘Giant Among Men’". Newsroom. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. February 2, 2008. http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/millions-pay-tribute-to-president-hinckley-giant-among-men. Retrieved February 5, 2008. 

External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
Howard W. Hunter
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
December 2, 1961–February 25, 1994
Succeeded by
N. Eldon Tanner
Preceded by
Howard W. Hunter
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
June 5, 1994–March 12, 1995
Succeeded by
Thomas S. Monson
Preceded by
Howard W. Hunter
President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
March 12, 1995–January 27, 2008
Succeeded by
Thomas S. Monson
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From Wikiquote

Gordon B. Hinckley

Gordon Bitner Hinckley (June 23, 1910January 27, 2008) was President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from March 12, 1995 until his death.


  • Humbly, I seek the blessing of the Lord. I am overwhelmed with a sense of inadaquacy. I feel shaken. I'd like to express appreciation to my father, who lies critically ill. No son ever had a better father. I'd like to express appreciation to my mother. I say these things, because I'd like to make the point that all of us in our various situations are the result, largely, of the lives that touch ours. And today, I feel profoundly grateful for all who have touched mine.
    • General Conference, October, 1958
  • There is nothing that dulls a personality so much as a negative outlook.
    • Whosoever Will Save His Life, Tambuli, Feb 1983, 1.
  • Love is of the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the desire of youth, the cement that binds marriage, and the smoothing oil that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, church, and neighbors.
    • And the Greatest of These Is Love, Tambuli, Aug 1984, 1.
  • This is my prayer for all of us—"Lord, increase our faith." Increase our faith to bridge the chasms of uncertainty and doubt. . . . Grant us faith to look beyond the problems of the moment to the miracles of the future. . . . Give us faith to do what is right and let the consequence follow.
    • Lord, Increase Our Faith, Ensign, Nov. 1987, 52–53.
  • Please don’t nag yourself with thoughts of failure. Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know, and the Lord will accept of your effort.
    • Rise to the Stature of the Divine within You, Ensign, Nov 1989, 94.
  • [W]ithout hard work, nothing grows but weeds.
    • Farewell to a Prophet, Ensign, July 1994.
  • We must work harder to build mutual respect, an attitude of tolerance, with forbearance one for another.
    • Speech to the National Conference of Community and Justice, Feb 21, 1995.
  • There is so great a need for civility and mutual respect among those of differing beliefs and philosophies. We must not be partisans of any doctrine of ethnic superiority. We live in a world of diversity. We can and must be respectful toward those with whose teachings we may not agree. We must be willing to defend the rights of others who may become the victims of bigotry.
    • First talk as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, April 3,1995.
  • 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 church does not belong to its President. Its head is the Lord Jesus Christ, whose name each of us has taken upon ourselves. We are all in this great endeavor together. We are here to assist our Father in His work and His glory. . . . Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or of little consequence.
    • This Is the Work of the Master, Ensign, May 1995, 71.
  • In all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.
    • Stand True and Faithful, Ensign, May 1996, 91.
  • It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. … If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.
    • Priesthood Session of Jordan Utah South Regional Conference, March 1, 1997.
  • 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.
  • I am an old man!... I’m given to meditation and prayer. I would enjoy sitting in a rocker, swallowing prescriptions, listening to soft music, and contemplating the things of the universe. But such activity offers no challenge and makes no contribution. I wish to be up and doing. I wish to face each day with resolution and purpose. I wish to use every waking hour to give encouragement, to bless those whose burdens are heavy, to build faith and strength of testimony.
    • Testimony, Ensign, May 1998, 69.
  • You are people with a present and with a future. Don't muff the ball. Be excellent.
    • The Quest for Excellence, BYU Devotional Address, November 10, 1998.
  • Cram your heads full of knowledge.
    • Life's Obligations, Ensign, Feb. 1999, 2.
  • None of us will become perfect in a day or a month or a year. We will not accomplish it in a lifetime, but we can begin now, starting with our more obvious weaknesses and gradually converting them to strengths as we go forward with our lives. This quest may be a long one; in fact, it will be lifelong. It may be fraught with many mistakes, with falling down and getting back up again. And it will take much effort. But we must not sell ourselves short. We must make a little extra effort. We would be wise to kneel before our God in supplication. He will help us. He will bless us. He will comfort and sustain us. He will help us to do more, and be more, than we can ever accomplish or be on our own.
    • Standing for Something: Ten Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes, Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-3317-6. (2000).
  • Believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, the Son of God, who came to earth and walked the dusty roads of Palestine-the Son of God-to teach us the way of truth and light and salvation, and who, in one great and glorious act offered an atonement for each of us. He opened the way of salvation and exaltation for each of us, under which we may go forward in the Church and kingdom of God. Be not faithless, but believe in the great and wonderful and marvelous blessings of the Atonement.
    • Selections from Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Mar. 2001, 64.
  • We are sometimes told that we are not a biblical church. We are a biblical church. This wonderful testament of the Old World, this great and good Holy Bible is one of our standard works. We teach from it. We bear testimony of it. We read from it. It strengthens our testimony. And we add to that this great second witness, the Book of Mormon, the testament of the New World, for as the Bible says, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall [all things] be established" (2 Cor. 13:1).”
    • Selections from Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Mar. 2001, 64.
  • 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.
  • One of the bellwether marks of the growth and vitality of the Church is the construction of temples. . . . We will keep on working to bring the temples to the people, making it more convenient for Latter day Saints everywhere to receive the blessings which can only be had in these holy houses.
    • The Work Goes On, Ensign, May 2001, 1.
  • You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities.
    • How Can I Become the Woman of Whom I Dream? Ensign, May 2001, 93.
  • I come to you tonight with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we try to "accentuate the positive." I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort.
    • Be Not Afraid, Only Believe, CES Fireside for Young Adults, September 9, 2001.
  • The great genius of this church is work. Everybody works. You do not grow unless you work. Faith, testimony of the truth is just like the muscle of my arm. If you use it, it grows strong. If you put it in a sling, it grows weak and flabby. We put people to work. We expect great things of them, and the marvelous and wonderful thing is they come through.
    • Speaking to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, June 12, 2002.
  • I would like to suggest to you that you ‘grab life by the horns’ and do not let life grab you by the horns. You take control of your lives. … Do not let life control you. … Take charge. Rise to the divinity that is within you.
    • Ensign, June 2003, 74–75.
  • My children and I were at her bedside as she slipped peacefully into eternity. As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams.
    • The Women in Our Lives, Sunday Morning Session, General Conference, October 3, 2004
  • The best thing you can do is just keep busy, keep working hard, so you’re not dwelling on it all the time. Work is the best antidote for sorrow.
    • Discussing the death of his wife with Larry King, 2004.
  • Somehow forgiveness, with love and tolerance, accomplishes miracles that can happen in no other way.
    • Forgiveness, Liahona, Nov 2005, 81–84.
  • By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.
    • Words of the Prophet: Forget Yourself and Serve, New Era, Jul 2006, 2–5.
  • The wind is blowing and I feel like the last leaf on the tree. Actually, my health is quite good despite all the rumors to the contrary. Skillful doctors and nurses keep me on the right track; some of you may go before I do.
    • The Things of Which I Know Sunday Morning Session, General Conference, April 1, 2007.
  • So long as this church has any resources, those resources will be made available to those in need, anywhere in the world.
    • Speech given in Honduras, November 1998, following Hurricane Mitch


  • At the last performance of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, prior to structural upgrades, Hinckley addressed the Choir. He commented on the expected 18 months that the Tabernacle would be closed, adding "I hope I'm here to welcome you back!

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