Howard W. Hunter


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Institute Class Notes (Jeffrey Marsh - Instructor)

Part of President Hunter's statement to the news media June 6, 1994: ....To the members of the Church in every country of the world and to people everywhere I extend my love. There are two invitations I would like to leave with the members of the Church as we strive to keep the commandments of God and receive the full measure of His blessings. First of all, I would invite all members of the Church to live with ever-more attention to the life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially the love and hope and compassion He displayed.

I pray that we might treat each other with more kindness, more courtesy, more humility and patience and forgiveness. We do have high expectations of one another, and all can improve. Our world cries out for more disciplined living of the commandments of God. But the way we are to encourage that, as the Lord told the Prophet Joseph in the wintry depths of Liberty Jail, is "by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;... without hypocrisy, and without guile." (D&C 121:41-42.) To those who have transgressed or been offended, we say come back.

To those who are hurt and struggling and afraid, we say let us stand with you and dry your tears. To those who are confused and assailed by error on every side, we say come to the God of all truth and the Church of continuing revelation. Come back. Stand with us. Carry on. Be believing. All is well, and all will be well. Feast at the table laid before you in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and strive to follow the Good Shepherd who has provided it. Have hope, exert faith, receive—and—give charity, the pure love of Christ. Secondly, and in that same spirit, I also invite the members of the Church to establish the temple of the Lord as the great symbol of their membership and the supernal setting for their most sacred covenants. It would be the deepest desire of my heart to have every member of the Church temple worthy.

I would hope that every adult member would be worthy of—and carry—a current temple recommend, even if proximity to a temple does not allow immediate or frequent use of it. Let us be a temple-attending and a temple-loving people. Let us hasten to the temple as frequently as time and means and personal circumstances allow. Let us go not only for our kindred dead, but let us also go for the personal blessing of temple worship, for the sanctity and safety which is provided within those hallowed and consecrated walls. The temple is a place of beauty, it is a place of revelation, it is a place of peace. It is the house of the Lord. It is holy unto the Lord. It should be holy unto us.

Christ-like behavior when faced with a situation that threatened his life:

On 7 February 1993, he was on the Brigham Young University campus to speak at a nineteen-stake fireside and [video satellite] broadcast. As President Hunter rose to address the nearly twenty thousand young adults assembled in the Marriott Center, an assailant threatened him, shouting, "Stop right there!" The man claimed to have a bomb and a detonator and ordered everyone to leave the stand except President Hunter. Many people did leave, yet President Hunter resolutely stayed at the pulpit, vwith two security guards.

Although threatened by what looked like a gun, President Hunter firmly declined to read the written statement the man handded to him. When students spontaneously began to sing "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet," the assailant was momentarily distracted. [Some people] rushed him and took him into custody....Security guards lowered President Hunter to the floor for safety.

There was, of course, a considerable commotion in the audience, but soon a reasonable calm returned. After a few moments to collect himself, President Hunter made a second approach to the microphone and read the opening line of his prepared text: "Life has a fair number of challenges in it." He stopped, looked over the audience, and added, "As demonstrated." Then he went on with his message as though nothing had happened." (Ensign, Aug 1994, p. 11-12.)

From Institute Class - Brother Jeffrey Marsh - May 5, 1998.