I believe that the Lord is anxious to put into our hands inventions of which we laymen have hardly had a glimpse.
The Prophet Joseph Smith declared: "The truth of God will go forth boldly, till it has penetrated every continent, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished."
A significant revelation states: "For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth — the gospel must be preached unto every creature..." (D&C 58:64).
I am confident that the only way we can reach most of these millions of our Father's children is through the spoken word over the airwaves, since so many are illiterate. We have proved the ability of our young men to learn other languages.
President David O. McKay, speaking in the October 1966 conference of the Church, said of the scientific discoveries of recent years which will make possible the preaching of the gospel to every kindred, tongue, and people: "They stagger the imagination." And further: "...discoveries latent with such potent power, either for the blessing or the destruction of human beings as to make men's responsibility in controlling them the most gigantic ever placed in human hands...This age is fraught with limitless perils, as well as untold possibilities."
King Benjamin, that humble but mighty servant of the Lord, called together all the people in the land of Zarahemla, and the multitude was so great that King Benjamin "...caused a tower to be erected, that thereby his people might hear the words which he should speak unto them." (Mosiah 2:7).
Our Father in heaven has now provided us mighty towers - radio and television towers with possibilities beyond comprehension—to help fulfill the words of the Lord that "the sound must go forth from this place unto all the world."
Even though there are millions of people throughout the world who cannot read or write, there is a chance to reach them through radio and television. The modern transistor radio can be mass produced by the thousands in a size that is small and inexpensive. We can preach the gospel to eager ears and hearts. These should be carried by people in the marketplaces of South America, on the steppes of Russia, the vast mountains and plains of China, the subcontinent of India, and the desert sands of Arabia and Egypt. Some authorities claim that this tiny miracle will be recorded by future historians as an event even greater than the invention of the printing press. The transistor is an eloquent answer to the illiteracy and ignorance which reign supremely over the earth. The spoken voice will reach millions of hearers who can listen through a $3 or $4 transistor but could not read even an elementary treatise.
There are over 7,000 AM and FM radio stations in the United States, with thousands more in other parts of the world. There are innumerable opportunities for us to use these stations overseas, if we only prepare the message in the native languages.
Also, missionaries could be supplied with small portable cassette tape players and go into the homes with prepared messages to humble family groups all around the globe. Millions of people are anxious and willing to learn, if only they can hear the "sound" in their own language and in a manner that they can grasp and understand.
Just think what can be accomplished when we broadcast our message in many languages over numerous radio stations, large and small, around the world, and millions of good people listening on their transistors are being indoctrinated with the truth.
The Lord has blessed the world with many Early Bird satellites. They are stationed high in the heavens, relaying broadcast signals back to almost every corner of the earth's surface. Today there are 67 earth receiving stations operating in 50 countries of the world. Certainly these satellites are only the genesis of what is in store for the future of world-wide broadcasting.
With the Lord providing these miracles of communication, and with the increased efforts and devotion of our missionaries and all of us, and all others who are "sent," surely the divine injunction will come to pass: "For verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth — the gospel must be preached unto every creature..."(D&C 58:64). And we must find a way.
...Using all the latest inventions and equipment and paraphernalia already developed and that which will follow, can you see that perhaps the day may come when the world will be converted and covered?
If we do all we can, and I accept my own part of that responsibility, I am sure the Lord will bring more discoveries to our use.
...... when we have used the satellite and related discoveries to their greatest potential and all of the media - the papers, magazines, television, radio—all in their greatest power; when we have organized numerous other stakes which will be springboards; when we have recovered from inactivity the numerous young men who are now unordained and unmissioned and unmarried; then, and not until then, shall we approach the insistence of our Lord and Master to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Brethren, I am positive that the blessings of the Lord will attend every country which opens its gates to the gospel of Christ. Their blessings will flow in education, and culture, and faith, and love, like Enoch's city of Zion, which was translated, and also will become like the 200 years of peaceful habitation in this country in Nephite days. There will come prosperity to the nations, comfort and luxuries to the people, joy and peace to all recipients, and eternal life to those who accept and magnify it.
President Spencer W. Kimball
Address delivered at a Regional Representatives Seminar, Thursday, April 4, 1974; published in the October 1974 Ensign.