“A Love of God and of All Men”

Marion D. Hanks of the Seventy Mar. 29, 1981 • Devotional
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A week ago this evening I was in Osaka in rather pleasant weather, which was a relief because the weekend before we were in Sapporo with snow above our haircuts, and falling all the time. In between I was in Hong Kong, where we now live, where the moisture content of the air that day was 95. This is March; summer is coming.

Someone asked me, “How is it in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia?”

I said, “Well, in the summertime it is a bit monotonous until the typhoons come, but it is pleasant to be back here because, while it is very, very hot in the summer, it is not so hot the rest of the year.”

You really do look good to me, and it’s a very great pleasure to be here at BYU in the great state of Utah as conference approaches and to feel the exciting spirit of this part of the world at this time of year. I would like you to know, too, how deeply we are committed to and how very greatly we love the people of Southeast Asia with whom we are honored to work—and the nations of that part of the world, which certainly comprise one of the most vital and significant groups of nations on earth and where much of great importance to the kingdom of God is occurring.

When I was invited to fill this appointment this morning, I began to reflect on the diversity of possible topics and on my limitations in treating them, and I thought of the famous medallion of Montaigne which was struck in 1576. On one side of the medallion he had inscribed, “Que sais-je?”—“What do I know?” and on the other side, “Je m’abstiens”—“I exercise restraint.” With those reflections came to mind certain matters which engender many questions and which seem timely and appropriate. Since I do have deep convictions on these issues, I will mention in mini-sermon two of them and will speak also of a third.

Revelation

Revelation is a continuing fundamental principle of the kingdom. With all its meaning and ramifications, that great principle forms the foundation of the structure of the restored church, the restored gospel, the restored priesthood, and the ongoing and future rolling forth of the kingdom. What I know about revelation comes from the scriptures, and those scriptures are, I believe, very plain.

I am grateful for section 28 of the Doctrine and Covenants, for instance, which teaches vital truths about revelation: One, there is one man—the prophet, seer and revelator who holds the active keys—who alone speaks for the Lord to the whole Church in making any new doctrinal statement. Any revelation or commandment for the Church will come through the President of the Church. As I understand it, no other person has any authority to make such a statement unless directed by the prophet to do so. This would include conclusive doctrinal declarations in matters where varying opinions have been held by leaders of the Church and where no such declaration has been made by the President of the Church, and certainly where announcement has been made by him that the Church has taken no official position on such an issue.

In the great revelation recorded in section 28, Oliver Cowdery, who enjoyed a close relationship with and position alongside the Prophet Joseph in many of the marvelous moments of our beginnings in modern times, was taught by the Lord what all of us are to understand—that we are to teach for doctrine that which has been revealed by God through those who have been commissioned to reveal it, and that there is one man on the earth at a time so commissioned.

Point two: Oliver was told to “declare faithfully” the revealed word. If he wrote his own views, he was to write by wisdom and not by commandment so that his personal writings were to represent his personal wisdom. What he had heard from the prophet he was to teach as revelation through the prophet, but his own writings were to be by his own wisdom.

Thus, there is a prophet who is the revelator for the Lord to the Church, and there are those called to declare that which has been revealed. Oliver Cowdery was also taught that in his mission to the Lamanites, he had the promise of the blessing of the revelation of God’s will to him in that specific calling. That is that third great principle: that each of us, in our own calling and in our individual life, is entitled to and may receive the revelation of the will of God.

Now, there is much more in the first seven verses of section 43, which reiterate the first of those principles. In section 50 there is magnificent instruction about how we know when one who is teaching is teaching by the Spirit of the Lord. We must have that same Spirit to really know, and then there will be mutual edification and enlightenment. And in section 68 is the declaration to a number of missionaries relating to what they said under the influence of the Spirit.

I simply wish to declare that I believe that God has revealed that which is basic in the establishment of the kingdom; that he now reveals, as his prophets have declared, much of importance; and that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God. When he does, it will be through his prophet, seer, and revelator. That is my understanding of the doctrine.

Forgiveness

Briefly, to another subject. A letter came just the other day from a wonderful young man who had made a mistake for which he had sincerely and sorely and lengthily repented. But he was awaiting some kind of special sign that he was forgiven. Though his life was in order—is in order—and he has everything to be grateful for and to work with and so much to contribute, he is languishing, his energies mitigated, because he doesn’t know that the Lord has forgiven him. To him I declare again what I learn in the scriptures: that God forgives the penitent sinner, and that he will not only forgive but forget and never mention those sins of which we have sincerely repented (see D&C 58:42–43). And that’s what I know about repentance. We are not to pine away our lives in endless, enervating regret. We are to consecrate our lives in gratitude to a God who loved us so much that, in contemplation of our need, he sent his Only Begotten Son to live and die for us, and in gratitude to that Son who loves us so much that he paid the price of Gethsemane, the price of Calvary. There is no wisdom or strength in a condition that keeps us from making our contribution because we have made a mistake sometime, if we have truly and honestly repented. Nothing is more clear to me in the records than that.

“Exclusionary Clauses” and More

Then there is a third theme I wish to mention. Someone has written commenting on the so-called “exclusionary clauses.” Is it really necessary that we believe these “exclusionary clauses,” which must have reference to the ordinances of the gospel: “Except ye be baptized, ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven,” and the other ordinances which relate to the unfolding of our eternal opportunities? Now, again it seems to me very clear what the revelations teach us concerning the meaning and importance of these “exclusionary clauses.” Are they really necessary? Isn’t it enough if we are wholesome, genial, Christian in the broad sense of being selfless and generous? I read from section 52, a revelation given to the elders of the Church in Kirtland, the language of which is instructive and clear:

Wherefore, he that prayeth, whose spirit is contrite, the same is accepted of me if he obey mine ordinances.

He that speaketh, whose spirit is contrite, whose language is meek and edifieth, the same is of God if he obey mine ordinances. [D&C 52:15–16]

In many ways and in many instances in the holy records, the emphasis and clarification are given. The last chapter of the book of 2 Nephi has the testimony of that great prophet as he finished his work. He had learned compassion and consideration and kindness and all the other qualities generally thought of as Christian. But note the summation of his conviction:

I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat.

I have charity for the Jew—I say Jew, because I mean them from whence I came.

I also have charity for the Gentiles.

[Now charity is interpreted in the record as the “pure love of Christ.” Here is the declaration of Nephi that he has that feeling for his own people, for the Jew, and for the gentile.]

But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the straight path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation. [2 Nephi 33:7–9]

As we read the scriptures, we discover what is meant by the “gate” and the “straight path.”

For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. [2 Nephi 31:17]

In 2 Nephi 9 and 10, that is further explained. What does it mean to be reconciled to Christ? The answer is, To obey the ordinances; then there is more. Now it is the more to which I would like to refer. I believe in and declare my knowledge and conviction of the importance of the so-called “exclusionary clauses.” These ordinances are announced as essential, indispensable. We believe that and we practice that and we announce that to the world. That’s the missionary theme. But is that all? Again the answers are very clear in scripture. I would suspect that all or most of you would be interested in turning to 2 Nephi 31 and reading what must accompany entrance at the gate. This great chapter has taught the reasons for, the explanation for, the baptism of the Lord himself (2 Nephi 31:5 to 10 or 11, and so forth)—the meaning of Christ’s statement that this he did to “fulfill all righteousness.” Then the “gate” and the “straight and narrow path” are identified, and these words follow:

And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this straight and narrow path, I would ask if all is done. Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

Wherefore, you must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. [2 Nephi 31:19–20]

How do we express this steadfastness, the brightness of hope, the love of God and all men? Again, the Lord has answered clearly and repeatedly in the record. One well-known answer is in chapter 34 of the book of Alma, where, after prayer and faith are discussed in detail, the prophet declares:

And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is in vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith. [Alma 34:28]

We might turn again and again to passages in all the standard works that teach us that one requisite of forgiveness, one essential in salvation, is this continuing sacrificial service to God’s other children, in the name of Christ. To me, it is his most moving personal message beyond the declaration of his own sonship and his own purpose in life declared through the record:

Behold, . . . I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.

And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; . . . that as I have been lifted up . . . even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. [3 Nephi 27:13–14]

In application of that purpose in our lives he gave us the magnificent parable and story of the King, and those on the right hand, and those on the left. We have heard it often. In these verses he speaks of the hungry, of the thirsty, of the naked, of the homeless, of they who are ill and in prison. And everyone in the room, I suspect, knows the conclusion of that marvelous story:

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. [Matthew 25:40]

That isn’t the end, however, of the story in Matthew 25. It goes on to talk about those on the left hand who shall be banished from his presence, and the same categories of need and the needy are listed: the hungry, the naked, the thirsty, the stranger, those who are ill, those who are in prison. And the conclusion is:

Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not unto me. [Matthew 25:45]

That seems so plain and so personal. Protestations of commitment and testimony which do not comprehend compassionate, considerate, selfless service to our fellowmen, real service beyond eye-pleasing and lip-serving, are not testimonies that are broad enough or real enough.

Help for Southeast Asia’s Refugees

Now, that’s a rather long introduction to something I want to tell you about that you may not know about. You may not know that, in addition to having some wonderfully good ball teams about which we have heard, you have some other teams representing you. In Phanat Nikhom in the province of Chon Buri, not too many miles from the Gulf of Thailand and about 100 miles from Bangkok, twelve remarkable young ladies, most of them graduates of this university, are presently charged with the responsibility of cultural orientation in a camp for refugees in transit to new countries. These twelve—and a mature couple who are their liaison with governments living in Bangkok—have done and are doing a remarkable work. You may have read a little about it in the Church News a week ago. If you did not, please do.

They won’t be honored by any great public notoriety, but they are doing something which in the aggregate and in the historical perspective may be far more important than anything even the good ball teams of this university are doing or will do. These twelve are meeting refugees at that critical moment when they are in transit, some of them for months, many for years, waiting to get home again—a home, not their former home; that’s gone.

There are a few things about refugees one ought to know. Not the numbers—I have them, and they are staggering (about half a million to this country in recent times; hundreds of thousands along the borders still—many hopeless). The refugees are not undesirable or weak people. Sometimes we get the notion they are different from us. They are different, all right, in that they have lost substantially everything we hold dear. But they are not different in their aspirations and their intelligence and their ties with families and their emotions and their desires. They can never go home again. Their home isn’t there; the street isn’t there; the people aren’t there; their loved ones aren’t there, and very frequently they are not with them either. They are casualties of war.

The refugee story ordinarily is a story of strength, of courage, of character, very frequently of a willingness to stand up for what one believes and to lay one’s life on the line for it.

Well, our great young ladies are in that refugee camp teaching many hours every day—cultural orientation, some crash English, but fundamentally they are teaching people how to live, how to cope with a certain amount of grace in the new country of which they know so little. They are frightened. One of the tender moments of my life—and I will not forget it while God grants me memory of anything—was to watch a young lady whose home is in this valley and who attended this school take a little brown baby from his mother’s arms, hold him tenderly, kiss the baby, and then gently, lovingly, lay the child down on a little carpet on which a diaper had been placed. She finished the operation, the first time the baby had ever worn a diaper in his life. The mother and the others watched with great eagerness, adoringly, as if in the presence of the Lord himself, and I felt that way. A little later we went from the large teaching shed to the compounds where they live, and there again the process was repeated, this time for a smaller group. You see, many of these great folks haven’t had the kind of experiences that would equip them for the simplest kind of understanding of life in this country. They don’t know how to get on an airplane. I went in one of the big teaching sheds there where our young ladies were teaching them about the journey they were soon to make. The refugees came to class carrying bundles under their arms, representing their baggage. They passed by three tables where attendants stood. All had been instructed carefully in what to do. One table represented the airlines counter, and they had to present a piece of paper as a ticket. They were excited, giggling; they were pale and frightened. Tentatively they put forward their tickets. The attendant took the ticket, tore a piece off, and gave them a part back. They went then to “Immigration” and to the folks who inspected their baggage. Then they sat in rows on the concrete floor while they were shown signs that said “No Smoking” and “Fasten Your Seat Belt,” etc. They had never seen any of that before. They didn’t know about food on a tray or stewardesses or going to the bathroom. They were taught gently, lovingly, genially.

They sometimes have to be taught through two interpreters because there are many languages and they are difficult. One interpreter may speak English and Khmer, another Khmer and Laotian but no English. To reach the Laotians, our folks must speak to the first Khmer, who translates to the second Khmer, who teaches the Laotians. But it works! All day long these heroines of ours are patiently teaching, preparing, helping, blessing, and they are doing it in accordance with strict rules against proselyting in refugee camps. That is difficult for them, but things are happening that indicate what kind of a fallout there will be one day when these good people who are leaving in large numbers every week fan out across the earth. We faithfully keep the commitment that we shall not proselyte in terms of our specific church convictions, and yet what happens is a thrill. Let me share one or two simple instances.

Here’s a letter from one of these young ladies that gives an idea of what it’s all about:

Good things are happening at Phanat Nikhom. Some of us had a very special experience yesterday that Sister Edmonds asked me to write and share with you. We were walking down a road in the Holding Center. In the distance we saw a small group of people walking toward us. A little girl bolted out from the group, running toward us with outstretched arms. She stopped. She was so very cute. I bent down to take her in my arms and give her a big hug. I held her, and we tried to talk to her while the rest of the group joined us. We talked with the mother in Cantonese and learned that these were Vietnamese who just arrived three days ago from another camp. The little girl was five years old and had never seen Westerners before, yet, as her mother said, she so joyously welcomed us. Later we were talking with a Catholic father who is a wonderful man working in these camps. I said, “It’s easy for us to feel so strongly about these wonderful people, these refugees.” I told him about the experience we had just had with the little Vietnamese girl. He stopped me. He said, “That proves my point about you girls. She wouldn’t have done that to volunteers from any of these other fine agencies. She could see that you are different.”

And with this our lovely representative finishes:

I am so happy that I can be here sharing with these precious people. I’m glad the light of the gospel helps us to be different. Thank you for your prayers and support.

I want to give you perhaps two other examples of hundreds that reflect not so much the tremendously hard work, the tremendous sacrifices being made there by our folks, but the consequences of them. Here is a short paragraph from another letter:

Today in the Hmong orientation class [and you’ll recognize that the Hmong and the Yaos are hill tribes from Cambodia or Kampuchea] I saw wealth and poverty—a wealth of creativity in a child making up games to play with two sets of rubber thongs and poverty of education in a grandmother who struggled to copy the words to the children’s song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” by starting at the last line at the bottom of the page and working her way up. Her eyes went up to the board and down to her page many times for each letter she formed with her pen. We have discovered that some of these wonderful women cannot count even to ten in their own or any other language. So much to do. We are thankful for this opportunity to be useful.

Yet, some of these folks are professionals. They have sophisticated education and experience. And our young ladies must meet time variances. Some are there for two weeks, some for many months. Some go through the teaching process a number of times, some are there only a few hours. And from early in the morning until late at night, our folks are teaching others to teach and are themselves teaching great numbers of these people in need.

I suppose out of all these letters the one that may touch you as much as any, or at least did me, is the one about Christmas. They were teaching about holidays.

We had a good time discussing Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, but when we talked about the Savior, the spirit in the room changed at the mention of his name. I talked about what death really is, just a separation of the body and the spirit and how after resurrection they can’t ever be separated again. As I talked about a perfect body, the concepts of pain, hunger, suffering all seemed to be mitigated. They have suffered so much. How much more joyous the resurrection will be to them than to us! We talked of sorrow and rejection and persecution—all real things to them. It was wonderful to teach the truth and offer hope. And then we came to Christmas. We had spoken of Santa Claus and snow and Christmas trees, and then one of them wanted to know why the star was a symbol of Christmas, so I shared the Christmas story with them, and they loved it. They don’t understand words like manger or And it came to pass, so I had to use vocabulary words they could relate to. A stable is a place where the animals live; a manger is what the animals eat out of. “Wasn’t it dirty?” they wanted to know. “Yes, but they cleaned it out and put some straw in it.” A shepherd is a man who takes care of sheep. There was no room in the inns; even though the woman was going to have a baby very soon, no one would give her a place to sleep. The story came alive to me. And at the end they said, “Why, that sounds like a refugee story. Do you have some pictures of it? And no one knew who that baby was, did they? Because if they did, they would have gladly given up their own beds.” These words have haunted me: “And no one knew who they were.” That’s my own feeling about the refugees. If we only knew who they are, we would do anything for them. But not many know, and so many seem not to care. So they suffer and remain here, obscure, despised, ignored, rejected, homeless, hungry, mocked.

I have to add this one. They were teaching a class of young people. A young boy told them about a high school French teacher in one of the countries from which they came.

During one of the late political regimes, she had been unfairly punished. She had watched vicious things and suffered vicious things and had sworn that she would never again utter another word to anyone as long as she lived. She had kept her vow since 1975, even during the time she and her mother walked clear across Cambodia to Thailand. She and her mother had been unable to obtain entrance to a third country since she would not talk. No amount of coaxing or threatening would bring her out.

One of our returned Thai missionaries who is helping in the camp found the young teacher, knelt by her, took her hand in hers, and said hello. The teacher answered! Her first words in six years, to one she had never before seen. A spirit of love reached her heart.

Benja returns to work with her each day. Now she has cut her hair and has enrolled in a basic English class. She talks every day. She is going to get to go to a new country with her mother.

I have scores of these incidents recorded. Let me add one more. They were singing with some of the youngsters. This group happened to be Vietnamese. There were Khmers and Laotians and Hmongs and Yaos also and occasionally some others—an amalgam of Indochina.

We noticed that one of these Vietnamese boys was singing along with us on the chorus of “I Am a Child of God.” We thought, “He surely does learn fast.” But as we went to leave, he said, “I know that song. Do you know this one too?” Then he hummed “Love at Home.” He told us that he learned these songs from a Protestant group in Saigon in 1975. We then sang “Love at Home” with him. Then we asked if he knew it in Vietnamese so that the other children would be able to understand the words. He sang it with such emotion and his lip quivered. We wondered if he had been part of a family when he had learned it. It was beautiful. We asked him what the words meant, and he replied in broken English, “All the world is good when there is love at my house.” After talking with him a little more, he told us that the young men who taught him the songs wore funny clothes—white shirts and ties.

He was obviously one of the youngsters then ten or eleven taught by the missionaries in Vietnam before they were pulled out.

I wanted you to know what I suspect few of you have known—that, through the work of a magnificent team of about 1,500 missionaries in Southeast Asia, miracles are happening amidst some of the most colorful political and economic complexities the world knows. With all the deprivation and all the problems and all the masses of humanity, the kingdom of God grows. Sister Hanks and I just came back from two weeks in India with President Talmage Jones and his wife, who live in Singapore and who have had added to their extensive vicinage the land of India to go with Singapore and Indonesia and Malaysia. We had such sobering and sweet experiences.

Let me attempt to tie together everything I have said by telling you about one man. He knocked on the door of our hotel in Hyderabad, having heard we were coming. The room was getting crowded. Two other men had arrived a few minutes before. They had come 600 km in an ancient bus from their home in Andhra Predesh in South India, riding all night, because they had heard that some Church leaders were going to be in Hyderabad. I was talking with the two brothers when the third man arrived. He brought with him his son. He is a professor, his son a lawyer. They had found a tract through someone who had known about the Church and had obtained a copy of the Book of Mormon. Now this man and his sons, all professionals, are ready and anxious to join the Church, pleading for that privilege. We have no one there to teach them; we are not permitted in that great land to have any missionaries presently, and so we were unable to baptize them. I am confident that we will find ways to help them. We are pleading with the Lord, and we are seeking answers, and there will be ways; but for now these people are coming singly or in groups with the same message, pleading for baptism. We must find a way. This is what this man desired. He had written a document in which he acknowledged that he had need of repentance and declared that he had sorely repented.

He declared his convictions about the Lord Jesus Christ and the Prophet Joseph Smith and the priesthood and the kingdom and the gospel plan. His Book of Mormon was marked on every page, annotated on every page with cross-references to the Bible and to the Doctrine and Covenants. I read one of his annotations and tried to explain, in tenderness of heart, why we needed to have a chance to help teach them, because he had misread a scripture and had written an incorrect doctrine in his margin. His answer to that was to hand me this document in which he was pleading for baptism. He had two references to the scriptures, both of which happened to be loved passages, favorites of mine. But consider what he was saying (he’s been waiting many months): “I know I must not ask for the priesthood, but what must I do to become acceptable to the Lord and to be received by baptism?” These are the two verses. I read from Isaiah 30:

And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him . . . .

. . . Thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. [Isaiah 30:18–21]

The other reference he handed me was to section 108 of the Doctrine and Covenants, in which the Lord comforts his servant, Lyman Sherman, with these words:

Your sins are forgiven you, because you have obeyed my voice in coming up hither this morning to receive counsel of him whom I have appointed.

Brother Samuels had come 100 miles.

Therefore, let your soul be at rest concerning your spiritual standing, and resist no more my voice.

And arise up and be more careful henceforth in observing your vows, which you have made and do make, and you shall be blessed with exceeding great blessings.

Wait patiently until the solemn assembly shall be called of my servants, then you shall be remembered with the first of mine elders, and receive right by ordination with the rest of mine elders whom I have chosen.

Behold, this is the promise of the Father unto you if you continue faithful.

And it shall be fulfilled unto you in that day that you shall have right to preach my gospel wheresoever I shall send you, from henceforth from that time. [D&C 108:1–6]

Then a beautiful verse about strengthening the brethren.

We went to a meeting in a little schoolhouse, and all testified, each in turn. One of the brothers stood, dressed in his Indian white, and bore as sweet a testimony as I expect to hear on this earth. He is a young teacher with two college degrees. He concluded: “We don’t demand; we ask. What must we do to be worthy to receive baptism?” Then his brother stood. I was a little worried about his brother because he is a preacher, and he might be thought to be a little less well grounded in some ways. I will quote verbatim what he said, quietly, humbly, tearfully:

The child is father to the man. If we are not worthy to be members of God’s kingdom, are our little children not acceptable to him? It is for them we plead.

I wish to say to you who have served afar and you who have committed in your hearts—not all go afar and perhaps not all are committed—that among you there ought to be a special sense of delight to know that the Church in the far reaches of this world—in camps in Thailand, others in Hong Kong and the Philippines—is represented, the Church as an institution, by people who carry our name, the banner of the Lord, and who, with graciousness and high skill, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with a sense of sacrificial commitment that is still a bit rare in the world, are doing what the Lord wants done for those who are hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless, ill, in prison. Think of them, pray for them. They are just like you, but they are imbued with a special sense of commitment because they have a special historical mission. It is the Church, it is Christ they are representing. You will be pleased to know that the funds on which they operate are all volunteer funds, donated funds. Your senior class last year gave $20,000, the largest single contribution. That’s why I thought you ought to hear what is going on.

God bless you to have a sense of personal responsiveness to what the Lord has for us, wants from us, permits us to give. I would like you to know that I know with every capacity of my being that what is happening is good and sweet and pure and Christlike, and I am very proud and grateful to God—in the right sense proud—that I have lived long enough to see us moving in a way that will not be misunderstood—it will be understood—and of which we can be appropriately proud. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Marion D. Hanks was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this fireside address was given at Brigham Young University on 29 March 1981.

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