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President Hinckley responds to questions about Church

  • Following President Gordon B. Hinckley's address at the World Affairs Council dinner, he answered questions about the Church. The following are his responses to questions asked by participants at the dinner, and from members of the media during his visit to Southern California March 6-7.

Brigham Young's legacy

"Brigham Young was a tremendous leader. He faced different kinds of problems from the kind of problems we face today. I think when he died there may have been 115,000 members of the Church, something like that. Today with 9.7 million we face different problems around the world. I hope that we are doing the kind of job that would make him smile and say, `You are doing all right. Just keep going.' "

Church growth

"I know we will go forward. I have absolute confidence in that. We have a doctrinal base that is very solid and strong and largely unchangeable, although we believe in new revelation . . . . But we do not need a lot of new revelation. We just need to follow that which we have, and we will modify the program, and we may modify the the organization, but the doctrinal base will remain pure." (Los Angeles World Affairs Council.)

Cloning

"It is in the field of speculation still, but it could become a matter of serious concern. There are some delicate and sensitive issues there. We just take an attitude of wait and see." (Los Angeles Times board, Los Angeles World Affairs Council.)

Future

"I don't see an apocalypse in the future right away. I just think that there is a good future for good people. I believe that with all my heart. There will never be a time when good people are not recognized and even admired for their strength and their capacity and what they do to make the world better." (Los Angeles World Affairs Council.)

Greatest misconception

"The biggest misconception is that we are not followers of Jesus Christ. That is a constant allegation that is lodged against us. There is not a bit of substance to it. If there is any people in this world who believe in Jesus Christ, it is the people of this Church. The Church carries His name. He is the central figure of all our worship." (Chuck Henry, KNBC.)

Greatest personal challenge

"(My most difficult challenge) is finding enough time to do what I have got to do. I've been trying to get out among our people around the world. That is my disappointment that I don't have more time." (Los Angeles World Affairs Council.)

Greatest personal reward

"My greatest pleasure is seeing the growth and development of the people. I see the miracle that takes place in the lives of people everywhere. There is nothing more satisfying in this world than to see someone who takes hold of his life with the help of encouraging friends, and turns it around and makes something good and substantial and productive of it." (Los Angeles World Affairs Council.)

Media

"I feel very strongly that we ought to be friendly with the media. We have nothing to fear from the media. We have a story to tell. We can speak honestly and frankly and candidly, and they respond in the same way." (Carlos Amezcua, KTLA.)

Revelation

"[Revelation comes] in a very quiet way. . . . When we have a problem, we pray about it, we ponder it, gradually the answer comes. There isn't a voice that comes, generally, but there is a very strong impression that gives one confidence to speak up and move ahead." (Chuck Henry, KNBC.)

Savior's visit to the Americas

"I think it has had a profound affect on the membership that we have in Central America, in Mexico, in South America . . . . I think it strikes a chord in the hearts of many of the people who come of Indian background . . . of whom we testify as having at one time been visited by the resurrected Savior." (Carlos Amezcua, KTLA.)

Spirit

"The Spirit of the Lord . . . is the great conversion principle. From my point of view, it is strictly the Spirit of the Lord which enters into the heart of an individual which makes all the difference in the world, which causes him to say, `It is true. I know it is true and I can't deny it.' And he builds his life accordingly." (Carlos Amezcua, KTLA.)

Women

"Women leaders [of the 3.9 million member Relief Society] are strong and able executives and . . . they are listened to. We gain great wisdom from them, and that carries down to the local organization. Now, do they hold the priesthood? No. Do they want it? No. I think they are satisfied and they are happy and they are doing a great and marvelous work." (Los Angeles World Affairs Council.)