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Devotional

“Give Heed to the Words of the Prophets”

of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

August 16, 2022

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In the doctrines of the Church, faith and the quest for knowledge are not inconsistent; they are compatible and complementary.

I am grateful for the opportunity to share some remarks at this one hundreth anniversary of Brigham Young University’s Education Week.

The first Leadership Week was held for a few days beginning on January 23, 1922. Looking at 1922, two other events have caught my personal attention.

The year 1922 was the first time the Church used the relatively new radio technology as a means of communication. The second event was the commencement of Aggie ice cream. I realize that Aggie ice cream is a little frivolous, particularly at BYU, but having grown up in Cache Valley, it also has caught my attention.

Coming back to Education Week, the stated purpose then was to provide spiritual as well as academic stimulation and training to leaders, particularly in Church leadership lines. Over the years the trend moved toward classes to enhance knowledge and continue education. These special classes relate to the regular classes taught at BYU.

This event has continued to progress, evolve, and improve over the years. It blesses the lives of many people. Since 2008, Education Week has been the responsibility of the Brigham Young University Division of Continuing Education.

I appreciate the fact that from the beginning the purpose was to provide spiritual as well as academic information. To use a little different phraseology, the effort has always been to increase knowledge and build faith in Jesus Christ.

In the doctrines of the Church, faith and the quest for knowledge are not inconsistent; they are compatible and complementary.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members have a doctrinal commitment to education. President Russell M. Nelson recently said, “I consider [education] a religious responsibility.”1 Some pursue education formally, and studies indicate that a high percentage of active Latter-day Saints has completed four or more years of college. That is among the highest percentages of all religions. In addition, members of the Church “with college experience have [Church] attendance rates notably higher than any other group.”2 Others pursue informal, continuing education such as that you will experience this week. I commend each of you for attending today to learn and to strengthen your faith. An omniscient God honors your efforts.

Latter-day Saint doctrine is unique and unequivocal about the role of intelligence and the importance of education and knowledge. In section 93 of our Doctrine and Covenants, we are taught:

1. Truth is independent—it “is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.”3

2. “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.”4

3. Exercising our agency to receive “truth and light”5 is essential.

In the quest for both faith and knowledge, we also need to maintain humility.

Faith and knowledge both require effort and commitment. We cannot expect to have faith at the center of our lives if all our efforts are expended on knowledge, sports, hobbies, making money, or other pursuits.

I love and have often used the story Elder LeGrand Richards, then of the Quorum of the Twelve, used to tell of a man living in the United States who sold rabbit pies. He had a significant business and produced a large number of pies. At some point people became suspicious that the pies included horsemeat. A charge was made that he was engaged in false advertising. He initially denied that the pies contained horsemeat but upon questioning admitted that, yes, there was a little horsemeat. Upon further interrogation, he finally acknowledged that the pies were half horse and half rabbit. When asked what he meant by half horse and half rabbit, he said one horse and one rabbit.

Some of us want faith to be at the center of our lives, but it does not get our attention—it is the rabbit portion of the pie.

My purpose today is to examine certain knowledge through the lens of revealed doctrine. My emphasis will be on doctrine and initiatives that have been provided by some of the presidents of the Church over the last one-hundred-year period. The doctrine I have chosen is significant in that it provides an immunity to protect against specific challenges and evils not only for the times in which revelations were received but also to protect future generations. These teachings provide an immunity for future events that could have serious adverse impact on members. Interestingly, the Book of Mormon also fits this description; written anciently, it provides immunity for our day.

My basic doctrinal starting point today is section 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This is often referred to as the Lord’s preface. Over several verses, starting with verse 11, powerful language in the preface declares:

Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:

Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh. . . .

And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; . . .

They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world.6

Convincing people to adhere to the commandments is an age-old challenge. “The natural man is an enemy to God.”7 There has always been “opposition in all things.”8

The major difference for our day is that the “great-and-spacious-building”9 skeptics are louder, more contentious, and less tolerant than at any time during my life. The skeptics have abandoned the doctrinal foundations of “apostles and prophets” with “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” described by Paul in Ephesians.10 There have been times in the past when the vast majority of people understood and acknowledged that they would be judged by ­obedience to God’s commandments—not by the prevailing views or dominant philosophies of the day. In this intense, social media–fueled world, many seem more concerned about being mocked than about being judged by God. Many people mistakenly conclude that there is not a moral, righteous standard to which all people should adhere.

My counsel today is to “give heed to the words of the prophets.”

Eleven prophets have served during the one hundred years that Education Week has been in existence. In my remarks, because of time limitations, I will reference only six prophets who served during this period (five who served ten years or more and President Russell M. Nelson). I wish I had time to cover all eleven. Who can possibly forget the contributions of George Albert Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold Bingham Lee, Ezra Taft Benson, or Howard William Hunter?

For each prophet, I will discuss one point of doctrine, a characteristic, or a teaching that was relevant and important when it was taught but that also provides protection and immunity that blesses individuals and the Church today.

President Heber J. Grant—The Word of Wisdom

In 1922, when BYU Education Week commenced, Heber J. Grant was the prophet and president of the Church. His service as Church president commenced on November 23, 1918, when he was sixty-two years of age. It is interesting that his service began near the end of both the devastating 1918 flu epidemic and the First World War. As Church president, Heber J. Grant served for twenty-six years and five months. Like all prophets, he taught many principles, emphasized the well-established doctrine of the Church, and was a valiant witness of Jesus Christ.

One principle he continually emphasized was the Word of Wisdom. Let us hear a little of what he said. [An audio recording was played.]

It is pleasing to our Heavenly Father that we live long upon the earth, and he has given to us a Word of Wisdom, a revelation explaining his will whereby we can obtain this great blessing of long life. There is no greater blessing in all the world than to live upon the earth and to labor in that way and manner that will be pleasing and acceptable to God our Heavenly Father.11

The Word of Wisdom was a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith at Kirtland, Ohio, on February 27, 1833. It has been taught continuously from that day.

President Grant was inspired during his service as the prophet to make compliance with the Word of Wisdom a requirement for receiving a temple recommend.12 He also was noted for continuing to teach the principles of the Word of Wisdom over the many years he served.

Two important societal changes occurred during this period. First, based on mass marketing and the advent of a developing movie industry, the use of cigarettes and alcohol increased and was glamorized and made to look sophisticated. Second, there was a significant migration of members of the Church to the west coast of the United States and other locations, particularly during the Second World War. Because of President Grant’s teachings and emphasis, members were identified as people who abstained from alcohol and cigarettes. Many members overcame long-term bad habits because of President Grant’s inspired teaching.

Avoiding cigarettes and alcohol is an excellent example of prophetic guidance preceding education and scientific understanding of the significant detrimental impacts of smoking and alcohol consumption.

The Word of Wisdom, section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants, was given because “of evils and designs . . . of conspiring men.”13 It sets forth particulars, including that “wine or strong drink [i.e., alcohol] . . . is not good.”14 “Tobacco” and “hot drinks [i.e., tea and coffee] are not for the body.”15 This revelation also advocates wholesome health practices with a promise. It promises those acting in obedience to the divine command great physical and spiritual rewards.16 They “shall receive health . . . and shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge.”17

The knowledge or science of evaluating the health risks from smoking and consuming alcohol was unusually slow to develop. It was not until 1964—several decades after President Grant’s strong prophetic support for the Word of Wisdom—that the surgeon general of the United States concluded, “Cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action.”18

The statistics today with respect to cigarette smoking are not in dispute. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Smoking is estimated to increase the risk of lung cancer by twenty-five times.19

So what was portrayed as fashionable, sophisticated, and fun has in fact resulted in misery and untimely death for millions of people.

The adverse effects of alcohol are perhaps the best example of prophetic revelation being ahead of science. Over many years I followed a research project that commenced in the 1940s. Initially there were two hundred sixty-eight men attending Harvard University who were periodically studied over their entire lives. Later, others, including women, became part of the study. The goal of the original study was to find out about success and happiness. The study showed that college entrance scores and grade averages did not predict either success or happiness in later life. Early family happiness as a child and later a stable marriage were much more important. But a significant finding was the negative effect of alcohol on marital and lifetime success and happiness.20

I served in the senior leadership of two health-care systems before my call to be a General Authority for the Church. I was amazed to discover the dominant role alcohol played in destroying health. Alcohol abuse touches one-third of families and is involved in one-fourth of hospital admissions.21 It plays a major role in death, bad health, and diminished accomplishment.22 Scientific studies continue to show the terrible adverse consequences of alcohol use. For example, a new global study has established that there were 1.78 million deaths in 2020 due to alcohol use. It was the leading risk factor for death in men between the ages of fifteen and forty-nine.23

In the United States, a recent “study has found that alcohol-related deaths skyrocketed more than 25 percent during the first year of the pandemic to nearly 100,000—and actually killed more under-65 Americans than Covid during 2020.”24 “Alcohol-related deaths in America grew by an average of 3.6 percent annually between 1999 and 2019.”25

In reciting primarily individual health issues, I have not attempted to categorize other serious alcohol impacts such as accidents while driving under the influence, men trying to excuse physical and sexual assaults because of alcohol impairment, and the effects on fetal brains from alcohol use during pregnancy.26

However, over the course of a lifetime, I have seen many of my friends’ lives blighted and sometimes destroyed by alcohol. An alcohol culture is not just about Church doctrine; it is about the health and happiness of everyone.

Mary and I lived on the San Francisco Peninsula in the 1960s when a serious drug culture developed, starting in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. There had been drug cultures in the past, but the difference in San Francisco in the 1960s was that the drug culture was celebrated, and it rapidly spread to many other parts of the country. Unfortunately, the drug culture seems to have evolved from one lethal drug to another. The number of young people who have died from fentanyl is tragic. Vaping has become a new concern. Yet we have found that faithful Latter-day Saints have had an immunity and protection from the drug culture because of living the Word of Wisdom.

We live in a day when many people say they follow the science in health matters. The terrible health results from both smoking and alcohol use are now clearly established by science. I am grateful that prophetic revelations and declarations have provided both immunity and a safe harbor for faithful members of the Church. Adherence to prophetic revelation has brought safety and peace.27

President David O. McKay—Family First

I will next address President David O. McKay. President McKay became the prophet and president of the Church on April 9, 1951, when he was seventy-seven years of age. Like President Grant and all prophets, he testified of the Savior, taught many principles, and emphasized the well-established doctrine of the Church. For instance, he is remembered for teaching that every member is a missionary and for promoting enhanced missionary opportunities.

I desire to emphasize the revelatory declarations and guidance he provided with respect to successful eternal families. He reinstituted family home evening and encouraged families to carve out time for religious observance in the home. His pronouncements were significant at the time but have also provided protection against the deterioration of the family unit. His prophetic guidance commenced in the 1950s at a time when families were very strong. Looking back, we can see that the 1950s and 1960s were a pivot point, particularly in Utah and the pioneer corridor. In an earlier period, almost everyone had lived on a farm. Following the Second World War, the percentage who were employed by large organizations escalated. President McKay’s concern for families and the impact of competing responsibilities preceded one of his most important teachings.

Let us listen to a little of what President McKay said about this. He was recuperating from ill health, so you will need to listen carefully. [A video was shown.]

[“]No other success can compensate for failure in the home.[”] The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of greater value to God and future humanity than any other riches.28

This became a clarion call to parents to emphasize the home. President McKay did not want them to be caught up in career goals or inappropriate striving for positions and advancement in other organizations to the detriment of the family. He powerfully taught the need to strengthen families and to not to seek status and wealth at the expense of righteous family cohesion. Concentrating on building a righteous family was not important only then but would also become an even greater challenge in the future.

A recent Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute document on the history of Utah and U.S. households reported that, in Utah, married couples with children decreased from 54.5 percent of families in 1960 to 29 percent in 2019.29 In the United States, married couples with children decreased from 44.3 percent in 1960 to 18 percent in 2019.30

President McKay expressed a dramatic concern for concentrating our righteous efforts to bless our families at a time when it was very important, but the necessity of building strong families has increased and will become even more important in the future.

Let me share a personal experience relating to President McKay. President McKay dedicated the Hyde Park Chapel in London, England, on February 26, 1961. I was a young missionary and was not invited to the dedication. However, I was invited to be present in Wales a few days later when the prophet traveled to Merthyr Tydfil to visit the home where his mother, Jennette Evans McKay, was born. The Welsh Saints welcomed him by singing “When you come home again to Wales”31 as they stood on the hillside near her home. President McKay had to bend down to enter the door of this modest home. When he came out, he talked about his mother with great emotion and with tears running down his face. He clearly was raised by a mother and father who represented everything he was advocating as the Lord’s prophet.

President Spencer W. Kimball—“All Are Alike unto God”

I will next address President Spencer W. Kimball. President Kimball became the prophet and president of the Church on December 30, 1973. He was seventy-eight years old. Like the previous prophets, he testified of the Savior, taught many principles, and emphasized the well-established doctrine of the Church. He is remembered for many things, including his emphasis on repentance and his revelation on the priesthood.

In describing that revelation, he said, “We had the glorious experience of having the Lord indicate clearly that the time had come when all worthy men and women everywhere can be fellowheirs and partakers of the full blessings of the gospel.”32

Let us hear a short reflection that President Kimball shared on that event. [An audio recording was played.]

I knew that something was before us that was extremely important to many of the children of God. . . . Day after day I went alone and with great solemnity and seriousness in the upper rooms of the temple.33

I am grateful that the Lord made it very clear to President Kimball what was to be done. Not enough can possibly be said about this revelation on the priesthood that has blessed and protected both individuals and the Church. It is even more important today than when it was received. On a personal level, I was deeply touched and profoundly influenced by this revelation. In my general conference talk of October 3, 2020, titled “Hearts Knit in Righteousness and Unity,” I taught:

With our all-inclusive doctrine, we can be an oasis of unity and celebrate diversity. Unity and diversity are not opposites. We can achieve greater unity as we foster an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for diversity. During the [fifteen-year] period I served in the San Francisco California Stake presidency, we had Spanish-, Tongan-, Samoan-, Tagalog-, and Mandarin-language-speaking congregations. Our English-speaking wards were composed of people from many racial and cultural backgrounds. There was love, righteousness, and unity.

[Except for language congregations,34] wards and branches in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are determined by geography . . . , not by race or culture. Race is not identified on membership records.

Early in the Book of Mormon, approximately 550 years before the birth of Christ, we are taught the fundamental commandment regarding the relationship between Father in Heaven’s children. All are to keep the Lord’s commandments, and all are invited to partake of the Lord’s goodness; “and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.35

I was in the stake presidency in 1978 when the revelation on the priesthood was announced. I experienced deep appreciation and wept. It was a seminal event for me.

President Gordon B. Hinckley—The Proclamation

I will next address President Gordon B. Hinckley. President Hinckley served as prophet and president of the Church commencing on March 12, 1995, when he was eighty-four years of age. He taught many principles and emphasized the well-established doctrine of the Church.

I was called and ordained to be an apostle by President Hinckley in October 2007. I had worked closely with him, especially when then Elder M. Russell Ballard and I worked on the new missionary guide Preach My Gospel. I have a great love and appreciation for President Hinckley. I wish I had the time to share many personal experiences that are dear to my heart. When you reflect on the period President Hinckley served as ­president—and before that as a counselor in the First Presidency—you likely remember that his exceptional administrative and communication skills allowed him to address a broad range of important matters. He served fourteen years as a counselor to three Church presidents: Presidents Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, and Howard W. Hunter. He was also a man of wit and wisdom. It would be fair to say that he provided prophetic guidance to expand the Church across the entire world.

For our purpose here today, I will direct my remarks primarily to his introduction to “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”36

Let us review a video of his introduction. [A video was shown.]

With so much of deception concerning standards and values, with so much of allurement and enticement to take on the slow stain of the world, we have felt to warn and forewarn. In furtherance of this, we of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles now issue a proclamation to the Church and to the world as a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices relative to the family which the prophets, seers, and revelators of this church have repeatedly stated throughout its history.37

President Hinckley then read the proclamation.

President Hinckley constantly emphasized family and the sanctity of marriage. He was also known for reaching out to new converts, building temples, constructing the Conference Center, empathizing with those suffering trials, and encouraging those losing hope. His testimony of Jesus Christ was powerful.

President Hinckley said, speaking of the Savior:

There is none to equal Him. There never has been. There never will be. Thanks be to God for the gift of His Beloved Son, who gave His life that we might live and who is the chief, immovable cornerstone of our faith and His Church.38

My final memories of President Hinckley are of Tuesday, January 22, 2008—five days before he passed away. As he advanced in age, he attended all his meetings and provided powerful leadership. Even on that final Tuesday his mind was clear and his spirit was strong. He asked if there had been any progress on a certain potential ­temple. He was worried that its future would not get resolved before he died.

I left on Wednesday for an assignment in Australia. On Thursday, for the first time, he was unable to participate with the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles at the weekly temple meeting, and on Sunday, January 27, he passed away, surrounded by his five children and their spouses. What a remarkable record of service by a devoted disciple.

President Thomas S. Monson—Ministering

I will next address President Thomas S. Monson. President Monson commenced his service as prophet and president of the Church on February 3, 2008. He was eighty years of age. I thoroughly enjoyed serving with him. Again, he taught adherence to the first principles and ordinances of the gospel and testified of the Savior.

In reflecting on my service with President Hinckley, President Monson, and now President Nelson, I find that I do not compare them with each other. I feel about them as I do about my parents and our children. We do not compare them; we cherish each one.

President Monson is one of the most unique men I have had the privilege of knowing. During his service, he was a powerful advocate for Jesus Christ and for His restored Church. He was only twenty-two years old when he was called as the bishop of a ward with more than one thousand members. He was called as a counselor in a stake presidency when he was twenty-seven. He was called as the president of the Canadian Mission at age thirty-one. Then on October 4, 1963, when he was only thirty-six years of age, he was called to be an apostle by President David O. McKay. His service in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and in the First Presidency spanned fifty-four years. This is the fifth-longest period of service in this dispensation.

Every General Authority strives to live a Christlike life, yet even among a group of leaders who are valiant in this regard, President Monson was exceptional. Let us view how strongly he felt about serving and ministering to each other. [A video was shown.]

I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.39

President Monson’s spiritually led ministering to the one was legendary. He both taught and was an example of going “to the rescue.”40 When the Spirit impressed upon his mind that someone needed assistance, he would drop everything and go to his or her aid. Without request or notice of any kind, he would arrive to give a final blessing before someone passed away, often before anyone else knew the sufferer was ill. He was receptive to promptings of the Spirit. He emphasized and epitomized the principle of ministering to the one as a fundamental doctrine of the kingdom.

One example I will never forget was when Elder Richard G. Scott and I were with him on assignment to the Pacific Northwest. We were scheduled to meet with a large group of priesthood leaders. We left our hotel and went to the meeting. President Monson arrived just in time to give his final message. We wondered if he had been ill. Checking with security, we found that he had become aware that a young mother of five small children was dying of cancer. He had called her and met with her, her husband, and the five children. He ministered to them and gave each a blessing. President Monson’s personal example may have been even more important than what he taught in sermons in greatly enhancing the spiritual concept of ministering and going to the rescue.

I do not believe the transition from home and visiting teaching to ministering could have occurred as effectively as it has without the Christlike example of President Thomas S. Monson.

The prophet is required to make judgments on numerous matters, including with respect to individuals who have violated commandments. In dealing with such situations, President Monson’s Christlike approach was to be as merciful as the facts would allow.41 His ministering example is important for our day, but I believe it will be more important in years to come as ministering expands and blesses the members of the Church.

President Russell M. Nelson—Make Homes Sanctuaries of Faith

I will next address President Russell M. Nelson. President Nelson commenced his service as prophet and president of the Church on January 14, 2018. He was ninety-three years of age. Working with President Nelson has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I have great appreciation and love for him as a person and as a prophet.

I have previously publicly referenced the revelatory guidance that he has received. Let me share it with you at this time:

Those of us currently serving in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have been blessed in our day as significant revelations have come through recent prophets. President Russell M. Nelson has been a commissioned agent of the Lord especially with respect to revelations to help families build sanctuaries of faith in their homes, gather scattered Israel on both sides of the veil, and bless endowed members in sacred temple ordinance matters.

When important changes to bless our homes were announced at the October 2018 general conference, I testified “that in the deliberations of the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the temple, . . . after our beloved prophet petitioned the Lord for revelation . . . , a powerful confirmation was received by all.42

Let us view a little of what President Nelson said on that occasion. [A video was shown.]

The new home-centered, Church-supported integrated curriculum has the potential to unleash the power of families, as each family follows through conscientiously and carefully to transform their home into a sanctuary of faith.43

How blessed we are to have had this guidance during the pandemic.

I also previously said:

At that time, other revelations relating to sacred temple ordinances had been received but not announced or implemented. This guidance commenced with individual prophetic revelation to President Russell M. Nelson and tender and powerful confirmation to those participating in the process. President Nelson specifically involved the sisters who preside over the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary organizations. The final guidance, in the temple, to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was profoundly spiritual and powerful. We each knew we had received the mind, will, and voice of the Lord.44

I believe the immunity and protection that will come from making our homes sanctuaries of faith and fully implementing home-centered, Church-supported religious observance may be among the most important of the last one hundred years. I believe future generations will be blessed by this revelation and that it will be a seminal instrument in helping to build faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

These prophetic declarations that I have addressed have provided and will provide immunity and protection in the future to allow members to be in the world but not of the world and prepare them for the Second Coming of the Savior.

My purpose has been to examine worldly knowledge through the lens of revealed doctrine. These doctrines have provided and will continue to provide an immunity to protect against specific challenges and evils, not only for the times in which the revelations were received but also to protect us in our day and future generations in their day. We would be wise to always measure the knowledge we seek through a doctrinal lens. President Nelson has taught us that doctrine and true knowledge will ultimately support each other. That is why faith and the quest for knowledge are not inconsistent but are completely compatible and complementary.

Let me close by sharing what President Nelson has magnificently taught on giving heed to the words of the prophet:

You may not always understand every declaration of a living prophet. But when you know a prophet is a prophet, you can approach the Lord in humility and faith and ask for your own witness about whatever His prophet has proclaimed.45

My concluding counsel this morning is give heed to the words of the prophets.

As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bear my sure witness of the divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I do so in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

© by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Notes

1. Russell M. Nelson, “Choices for Eternity,” worldwide devotional for young adults, 15 May 2022.

2. Stan L. Albrecht and Tim B. Heaton, “Secular­ization, Higher Education, and Religiosity,” in James T. Duke, ed., Latter-day Saint Social Life: Social Research on the LDS Church and Its Members (Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1998), 304; see also 302. See the Pew study on religious engagement and education: “Across Multiple Christian Traditions, Highly Educated People Are More Likely Than Others to Say They Attend Church Weekly,” Pew Research Center, 25 April 2017, pewresearch.org/religion/2017/04/26/in-america-does-more-education-equal-less-religion/pf-04-26-2017_-useducation-00-03, table included in “In America, Does More Education Equal Less Religion?” Report, Pew Research Center, 26 April 2017, pewresearch.org/religion/2017/04/26/in-america-does-more-education-equal-less-religion.

3. Doctrine and Covenants 93:24.

4. Doctrine and Covenants 93:36.

5. Doctrine and Covenants 93:28.

6. Doctrine and Covenants 1:11–12, 14, 16; emphasis added.

7. Mosiah 3:19.

8. 2 Nephi 2:11.

9. 1 Nephi 8:26, 31; 11:36.

10. Ephesians 2:20.

11. Heber J. Grant, CR, October 1939, 9.

12. See “Word of Wisdom (D&C 89),” Church History Topics, churchofjesuschrist.org/study/history/topics/word-of-wisdom-dc-89.

13. Doctrine and Covenants 89:4.

14. Doctrine and Covenants 89:5.

15. Doctrine and Covenants 89:8–9.

16. See Doctrine and Covenants 89.

17. Doctrine and Covenants 89:18–19.

18. “Summaries and Conclusions,” chapter 4 in Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, PHS publication no. 1103 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1964), 33, National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), profiles.nlm.nih.gov/spotlight/nn/catalog/nlm:nlmuid-101584932X202-doc; see also “Fifty Years of Change—1964–2014,” chapter 2 in The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General (Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014), NLM, NIH, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK294310.

19. See “Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking,” Smoking and Tobacco Use, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking.

20. See George E. Vaillant, Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012).

21. See Vaillant, Triumphs of Experience, 292.

22. See “Fact Sheets: Underage Drinking,” Alcohol and Public Health, CDC, cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/underage-drinking.htm.

23. See Lois M. Collins, “Huge New Global Study Says No Alcohol Level Safe for Those Under 40,” Family, Deseret News, 19 July 2022, deseret.com/2022/7/19/23269516.

24. “Drinking: A Serious Pandemic Hangover,” Talking Points, The Week, 6 May 2022, 17; see Leana S. Wen, “We Need to Talk About Pandemic Drinking,” Opinion, Washington Post, 19 April 2022, washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/19/alcohol-related-deaths-surged-covid-pandemic, citing National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) study by Aaron M. White, I-Jen P. Castle, Patricia A. Powell, Ralph W. Hingson, and George F. Koob, “Alcohol-Related Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 327, no. 17 (3 May 2022): 1704–6. See also Roni Caryn Rabin, “Alcohol-Related Deaths Spiked During the Pandemic, a Study Shows,” New York Times, 22 March 2022, nytimes.com/2022/03/22/health/alcohol-deaths-covid.html.

25. “Drinking,” 17; see Rabin, “Alcohol-Related Deaths Spiked.”

26. See “Fetal Alcohol Exposure,” Alcohol’s Effects on Health, NIAAA, NIH, niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/fetal-alcohol-exposure.

27. See “Keep the Commandments,” Hymns, 2002, no. 303.

28. David O. McKay, CR, April 1964, 5; quoting from James Edward McCulloch, Home: The Savior of Civilization (Washington, DC: Southern Co-operative League, 1924), 42. See also McKay, CR, April 1935, 116.

29. “Household Types in Utah, 1960 to 2019,” table in Shifting Foundations: A Contemporary History of Utah Households (Salt Lake City: Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, January 2021), 1.

30. “Figure 7: Household Types in Utah and the United States, 1960 to 2019,” Shifting Foundations, 8.

31. From the song “We’ll Keep a Welcome” (1940); music by Mai Jones and lyrics by Lyn Joshua and Jimmy Harper.

32. Spencer W. Kimball, “The Savior: The Center of Our Lives,” New Era, April 1980, 36; quoted in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2006), 239.

33. Spencer W. Kimball, area conference missionary meeting, Johannesburg, South Africa, 23 October 1978; TSWK, 451.

34. Doctrine and Covenants 90:11 reads, “Every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel . . . in his own language.” Accordingly, language units are usually approved.

35. Quentin L. Cook, “Hearts Knit in Righteousness and Unity,” Ensign, November 2020; quoting 2 Nephi 26:33.

36. See “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (23 September 1995).

37. Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stand Strong Against the Wiles of the World,” Ensign, November 1995; quoted in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2016), 31.

38. Gordon B. Hinckley, “First Presidency Message: Four Cornerstones of Faith,” Ensign, February 2004.

39. Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Ensign, November 2009.

40. See Thomas S. Monson, “To the Rescue,” Ensign, May 2001.

41. See Thomas S. Monson, “Mercy—The Divine Gift,” Ensign, May 1995.

42. Quentin L. Cook, “The Blessing of Continuing Revelation to Prophets and Personal Revelation to Guide Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2020; emphasis in original; quoting Cook, “Deep and Lasting Conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign, November 2018.

43. Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, November 2018.

44. Cook, “The Blessing.”

45. Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming True Millennials,” Broadcasts, An Evening with President Russell M. Nelson, worldwide devotional for young adults, 10 January 2016, churchofjesuschrist.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-devotionals/2016/01/becoming-true-millennials.

See the complete list of abbreviations here

Quentin L. Cook

Quentin L. Cook, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered this BYU Education Week address on August 16, 2022.