Best-Loved Talks of the LDS People
By H. Wallace Goddard

Some LDS talks have left an indelible impression on our culture. Probably all of us could name a dozen talks that have changed our lives and the lives of many around us. What talks would be on your list?

Best Loved Talks

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Jay Parry and team have collected fifty of the best-loved talks by general authorities and organized them by broad topics. What an amazing collection! These fifty talks are some of the foundation stones of the latter-day work.

Elder Hugh B. Brown in his characteristically honest and gentle way tells the parable of the gardener and the currant bush: “If I let you go the way you want to go, you’ll never amount to anything” (p. 19). President Howard W. Hunter challenges us to turn from despair to the Light: “We must seek to dispel fear from among people. A timid, fearing people cannot do their work well, and they cannot do God’s work at all” (p. 30). President Ezra Taft Benson reminds us with his great insight: “The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature” (p. 55).

Timely and Timeless

Though the fifty talks span the history of the Church from its earliest days, some of the talks seem remarkably timeless today. President Spencer W. Kimball challenges us across three decades: “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 anti-enemy 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 teachings” (p. 143).

The many towering messages are awe-inspiring and potentially life-changing. President Joseph F. Smith challenges us to bring kindness and gentleness to our families. President David O. McKay invites us to “refrain from saying the sharp word[s] that come to mind” (p. 183). Elder Melvin J. Ballard relates his great dream of the Savior from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Elder John Taylor teaches us how to know the things of God. Elder John A. Widtsoe teaches us temple worship. President Brigham Young warns of the dangers of seeking riches. Elder Matthew Cowley blesses us with his sweet stories of miracles. Elder Bruce R. McConkie stirs us with his final testimony. These great prophets speak to us of heavenly things.

A Book for All LDS Libraries

Here is a collection of inspired voices teaching us eternal truth and inviting us to full citizenship in Zion. There are not many books that should be in virtually every LDS home. Yet, even on a very short list, this would be one of the books that families should cherish and use. When messengers of Heaven come to teach us, we should welcome them. These messengers and these messages command special attention.

Best-Loved Talks of the LDS People (2002). Edited by Jay A. Parry, Jack M. Lyon, and Linda Ririe Gundry. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book.

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