2) President Brigham Young
- He is the Supreme Controller of the universe. At his rebuke the sea is dried up, and the rivers become a wilderness. He measures the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meteth out heaven with a span, and comprehendeth the dust of the earth in a measure, and weigheth the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance; the nations to him are as a drop in a bucket, and he taketh up the isles as a very little thing; the hairs of our heads are numbered by him, and not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Father; and he knoweth every thought and intent of the hearts of all living, for he is everywhere present by the power of his Spirit -- his minister, the Holy Ghost.
He is the Father of all, is above all, through all, and in you all [see Ephesians 4:6]; he knoweth all things pertaining to this earth, and he knows all things pertaining to millions of earths like this.
Brigham Young (1998-1999 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - page 30)
- When the wicked have power to blow out the sun, that it shines no more; when they have power to bring to a conclusion the operations of the elements, suspend the whole system of nature, and make a footstool of the throne of the Almighty, they may then think to check “Mormonism” in its course, and thwart the unalterable purposes of heaven [see D&C 121:33].
Men may persecute the people who believe its doctrines, report and publish lies to bring tribulation upon their heads, earth and hell may unite in one grand league against it, and exert their malicious powers to the utmost, but it will stand as firm and immovable in the midst of it all as the pillars of eternity.
Men may persecute the Prophet, and those who believe and uphold him, they may drive the Saints and kill them, but this does not affect the truths of “Mormonism” one iota, for they will stand when the elements melt with fervent heat, and the heavens are wrapt up like a scroll and the solid earth is dissolved [see Isaiah 34:4; D&C 88:95].
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses: Vol 1:16 "March of Mormonism" June 13th 1852
3) President John Taylor
- This church fail? No! Times and seasons may change, revolution may succeed revolution; thrones may be cast down; and empires be dissolved; earthquakes may rend the earth from center to circumference; the mountains may be hurled out of their places, and the mighty ocean be moved from its bed, but amidst the crash of worlds and the crack of matter, truth, eternal truth, must remain unchanged, and those principles which God has revealed to his saints be unscathed amidst the warring elements, and remain as firm as the throne of Jehovah."
John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, 364-365
4) President Wilford Woodruff
- When they got through [speaking] the Prophet [Joseph Smith] said, ‘Brethren I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight, but I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother’s lap. You don’t comprehend it.’ I was rather surprised. He said ‘it is only a little handfull of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America — it will fill the world.’
Wilford Woodruff - Conference Report, April 1898, 57
- The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.
Wilford Woodruff, General Conference, October 6, 1890 [it is also at the end of the Doctrine & Covenants]
5) President Lorenzo Snow
- Brethren and sisters, God has set up His Church and Kingdom on the earth for the benefit and blessing of the human family, to guide them in the way of truth, to prepare them for exaltation in His presence and for His glorious coming and kingdom on the earth. His purposes will be accomplished in spite of all the opposition which may be brought against them by wicked men and the powers of darkness.
Everything that stands in the way of this work will be removed. Nothing will be able to withstand His power, but everything that He has decreed will be fully and perfectly accomplished. The love of God for His people will continue and abide and they will triumph in His might.
Now talk about this kingdom being destroyed! … Why, you might as well try to pluck the stars from the firmament or the moon or the sun from its orbit! It never can be accomplished, for it is the work of the Almighty.
Lorenzo Snow - Teachings of Presidents of the Church - Page 242
- In many instances … where the destruction of the people of God seemed imminent, and there appeared no way of escape, … suddenly there arose something or another that had been prepared for their salvation to avert the impending destruction. We find this in the case of the Israelites when led by Moses. When they came to the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army in their rear threatened their destruction, there seemed no way of escape, but at the very moment when deliverance was required, behold, it appeared and they were delivered [see Exodus 14:10–25].
So it has been and so it ever will be with us. Notwithstanding our difficulties may appear very great, yet there will be means provided for our escape if we ourselves perform the duties incumbent upon us as the children of God. But it may become necessary in the future—and this is the point I wish to make—for some of the Saints to act the part of Esther, the queen, and be willing to sacrifice anything and everything that is required at their hands for the purpose of working out the deliverance of the Latter-day Saints.
First we should know that we are the people of God. … It is our business to step forward as did Esther, and be willing to risk all for the salvation of the people. In undertaking her task, Esther said, “If I perish, I perish.” [See Esther 4:3–16.] … But the people of God will not perish. There will always be a ram caught in the thicket for their deliverance [see Genesis 22:13] ...
Lorenzo Snow - Teachings of Presidents of the Church - Page 243
6) President Joseph F. Smith
- We should have gained sufficient experience by this time to realize that no man, no individual, no clique, and no secret organization can combine with force and power sufficient to overturn the purposes of the Almighty; or to change the course of His work. (italics added)
Joseph F. Smith (2000-2001 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - page 114)
- No man will lead God's people nor his work. God may choose men and make them instruments of his hands for accomplishing his purposes, but the glory and honor and power will be due to the Father, in whom rests the wisdom and the might to lead his people and take care of his Zion. I am not leading the Church of Jesus Christ, nor the Latter-day Saints, and I want this distinctly understood. No man does ... Remember that God leads the work. It is his. It is not man's work. If it had been the work of Joseph Smith, or of Brigham Young, or of John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff or Lorenzo Snow, it would not have endured the tests to which it has been subjected.
Joseph F. Smith (2000-2001 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - page 222)
- I want to say to you that there never was a time since the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when a man led the Church, not for one moment. It was not so in the days of Joseph [Smith], it was not so in the days of Brigham Young; it has not been so since; it never will be so. The direction of this work among the people of the world will never be left to men. it is God's work.
Joseph F. Smith (2000-2001 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - page 221)
7) President Heber J. Grant
- Here is the keynote, Latter-day Saints. Let us realize that God is mightier than all the earth. Let us realize that if we are faithful in keeping the commandments of God His promises will be fulfilled to the very letter. For He has said that not one jot or tittle shall fall to the ground unfulfilled [see Matthew 5:18].
Heber J. Grant (2004 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - pages 30-31)
- Our enemies have never done anything that has injured this work of God, and they never will. I look around, I read, I reflect, and I ask the question, Where are the men of influence, of power and prestige, who have worked against the Latter-day Saints? … Where are there people to do them honor? They cannot be found. ... Where are the men who have assailed this work? Where is their influence? They have faded away like dew before the sun. We need have no fears, we Latter-day Saints. God will continue to sustain this work; He will sustain the right.
Heber J. Grant (2004 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - page 216)
9) President David O. McKay
- We cannot truly believe that we are the children of God, and that God exists, without believing in the final inevitable triumph of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we believe that, we shall have less worry about the destruction of the world and the present civilization, because God has established his Church never to be thrown down nor given to another people. And as God lives, and his people are true to him and to one another, we need not worry about the ultimate triumph of truth.
If you have that testimony [of truth] on your side, you can pass through the dark valley of slander, misrepresentation, and abuse, undaunted as though you wore a magic suit of armor that no bullet could enter, no arrow could pierce. You can hold your head high, toss it fearlessly and defiantly, look every man calmly and unflinchingly in the eye. … You will know that all will come out right in the end; that it must come; that all must flee before the great white light of truth, as the darkness slinks away into nothingness in the presence of the sunburst.
David O. McKay (2005 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - page 168)
10) President Joseph Fielding Smith
- If this were the work of man, it would fail, but it is the work of the Lord, and he does not fail. And we have the assurance that if we keep the commandments and are valiant in the testimony of Jesus and are true to every trust, the Lord will guide and direct us and his church in the paths of righteousness, for the accomplishment of all his purposes.
To all members of the Church throughout the world I would like to say that this church has a divinely appointed mission to perform under the direction and leadership of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and that nothing will stop his plans pertaining to it. It will fulfill the designs of our Father in heaven. I hope the Saints throughout the world daily thank the Lord for being members of his church and for the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith in restoring the gospel for our joy and happiness.
Joseph Fielding Smith (2014 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - Chapter 8)
- The gospel itself has been the same in all dispensations; the plan of salvation is the same for all our Father’s children in every age. From time to time it has been lost by apostasy, but whenever the Lord has had a people on earth, they have been offered the same laws and truths of salvation that he has revealed to us.
But there is one great added thing we have received in this age that has never been had before. In this dispensation the Lord has decreed that the Church shall never again be led astray; this time the gospel is here to stay. This time the revealed truth is destined to prepare a people for the second coming of the Son of Man, and the Church will be established in all parts of the earth when the Lord comes to usher in the millennial era of peace and righteousness.
Joseph Fielding Smith (2014 Priesthood/R.S. Manual - Chapter 8)
12) President Spencer W. Kimball
- We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching:
“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44-45.)
We forget that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us—and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas (see 2 Ne. 1:7)—or he will fight our battles for us (Ex. 14:14; D&C 98:37, to name only two references of many). This he is able to do, for as he said at the time of his betrayal, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53.) We can imagine what fearsome soldiers they would be.
King Jehoshaphat and his people were delivered by such a troop (see 2 Chr. 20), and when Elisha’s life was threatened, he comforted his servant by saying, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kgs. 6:16). The Lord then opened the eyes of the servant, “And he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kgs. 6:17.)
Enoch, too, was a man of great faith who would not be distracted from his duties by the enemy: “And so great was the faith of Enoch, that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch.” (Moses 7:13.)
What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? Our assignment is affirmative: to forsake the things of the world as ends in themselves; to leave off idolatry and press forward in faith; to carry the gospel to our enemies, that they might no longer be our enemies.
We must leave off the worship of modern-day idols and a reliance on the “arm of flesh,” for the Lord has said to all the world in our day, “I will not spare any that remain in Babylon.” (D&C 64:24.)
Spencer W. Kimball, “The False Gods We Worship,” Ensign, June 1976, p. 3
13) President Ezra Taft Benson
- I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14-16; D&C 84:49-53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. (See Ether 8:18-25.)
I testify that the church and kingdom of God is increasing in strength. Its numbers are growing, as is the faithfulness of its faithful members. It has never been better organized or equipped to perform its divine mission.
I testify that as the forces of evil increase under Lucifer’s leadership and as the forces of good increase under the leadership of Jesus Christ, there will be growing battles between the two until the final confrontation. As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil. As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will be tested. God’s wrath will soon shake the nations of the earth and will be poured out on the wicked without measure. (See JS—H 1:45; D&C 1:9.) But God will provide strength for the righteous and the means of escape; and eventually and finally truth will triumph. (See 1 Ne. 22:15-23.)
Ezra Taft Benson, “I Testify,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 86
15) President Gordon B. Hinkley
- I was on a mission in the British Isles more than 70 years ago. Part of the British Empire was still intact. That empire was the most widely extended political family of nations on the face of the earth. It was said that the sun never set on the British Empire. The Union Jack flew around the world.
Great good came of that empire in many areas. But there was also tremendous suffering. It came as a result of conquest, oppression, war, and conflict. The remains of British soldiers were buried in graves around the earth.
Now it is all gone. Rudyard Kipling wrote of its demise in his “Recessional”:
Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire.
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
(“God of Our Fathers, Known of Old,” Hymns, no. 80)
There is now another empire. It is the empire of Christ the Lord. It is the empire of the restored gospel. It is the kingdom of God. And the sun never sets on this kingdom. It has not come of conquest, of conflict, or war. It has come of peaceful persuasion, of testimony, of teaching, one here and another there ...
The growth of the Church from its infancy to its present stature is phenomenal, and we have only scratched the surface.
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Opening Remarks,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 4
- Recently while wrestling in my mind with a problem I thought to be of serious consequence I went to my knees in prayer. There came into my mind a feeling of peace and the words of the Lord, “Be still and know that I am God.” I turned to the scripture and read this reassuring statement spoken to the Prophet Joseph Smith 150 years ago: “Let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.” (D&C 101:16.)
God is weaving his tapestry according to his own grand design. All flesh is in his hands. It is not our prerogative to counsel him. It is our responsibility and our opportunity to be at peace in our minds and in our hearts, and to know that he is God, that this is his work, and that he will not permit it to fail.
We have no need to fear. We have no need to worry. We have no need to speculate. Our imperative need is to be found doing our duty individually in the callings which have come to us. And because, for the most part, the Latter-day Saints are walking in faith and working with conviction, the Church is consistently growing ever stronger.
Gordon B. Hinckley, “He Slumbers Not, nor Sleeps,” Ensign, May 1983, 5
President Boyd K. Packer (President of the Twelve)
- [Elder Packer's talk compared this life to a brutal football game where one side cheats and plays dirty and the other side plays fair. Those on the bench are those still in the pre-existence.]
When the game is finally over, you and they will see purpose in it all, may even express gratitude for having been on the field during the darkest part of the contest.
I do not think the Lord is quite so hopeless about what’s going on in the world as we are. He could put a stop to all of it any moment. But He will not! Not until every player has a chance to meet the test for which we were preparing before the world was, before we came into mortality.
Boyd K. Packer, “The Mystery of Life,” Ensign, Nov 1983, 16
- They need not fear. We need not fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. I have been in the councils of the Church and seen many things, I have seen disappointment and shock and concern. Never once have I seen any fear.
President Boyd K. Packer, "The One Pure Defense"
Boyd D. Packer - Address to CES Religious Educators, 6 February 2004, Salt Lake Tabernacle