Comments about ‘LDS Church General Authority Elder Marion D. Hanks dies at age 89’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 5 2011 2:00 p.m. MDT

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Woods Cross, UT

In the summer of 1970 at the age 18, along with 13 other recent high school grads, I was on the work crew for the Hill Cumorah Pageant. He came to speak with the missionaries at the hill, so the work crew were invited to attend. He spoke then opened the time up for questions. One missionary was bold enough to ask about wearing the temple garment ALL hours off the day, regardless of the activity, such as if one was swimming. Elder Hanks caught the real intent of the question and smiled. His reply? "Wear the uniform best suited for the sport."


Another story shows his "remarkable capacity for ministering to the one." My husband and I met Elder Hanks in the Honolulu Airport in 1970. We were ending my husband's 7-day "R&R" from Vietnam. Elder Hanks and I & my infant boarded a flight to San Francisco to connect with a late SLC flight, but mechanical problems kept us on the tarmac for 2 hours. We landed in SF just minutes before the SLC flight was to leave. I gathered up my infant, child seat, bag, etc. and started across the airport, thinking we'd be spending the night there. Running back in my direction was Elder Hanks. He'd sprinted to the SL flight, clear to the cockpit, & told the pilot (who hadn't been notified about us) to wait. Then he came back to help us get to the flight, taking my infant in his arms and carrying her as I ran behind him. It was a small thing, but typical of this caring man who really looked out for veterans & their families. He's one of the great ones & surely welcomed by many in heaven who he served here.


I fondly remember my first memory of Duff. I was 7 or 8 years old (1952-53). He was my brother's priesthood advisor in Wasatch Ward. The youth held a fireside at my parent's home. Duff was the speaker. He related many spiritual experiences of WWII. I hid under the dinning room table in my pajamas to listen. I was riveted. While I remember only one of the stories he told that night, what remains in my heart is the spirit that pervaded the room. The front of our home was jammed with teenagers on folding chairs, but it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. No one wanted it to end.

Provo, Utah

Elder Hanks attended as a general authority an Aaronic priesthood awards night in Fillmore, Utah, in the early 1950s when I was about 12 or 13 years old. My father and I had the opportunity to sit opposite Elder Hanks at the banquet table. He regaled all of us at the table with some of his athletics experiences, including playing handball. I don't remember much of what he said in his speech to those in attendance, but I do remember that it appealed greatly to the young men who were there and made him one of those general authorities I always looked forward to hearing in General Conference talks.

The next time I met Elder Hanks in person was in 1991 when he attended our stake conference in Sandy, Utah to participate in dividing our stake and sustaining new stake presidencies. After the conference he interviewed me prior to my call as Bishop of our ward.

Like many Latter-day saints who knew him of knew of him, I will miss Elder Hanks, and wish the best to his family.

Hurricane, UT

I remember and honor Elder Hanks by proxy for one of his British Mission Elders, Elder Lawrence James Slade, now deceased. Perhaps President Hanks and Elder Slade have enjoyed a reunion in the next life. Though somewhat troubled throughout most of his life, Larry loved President Hanks and spoke of him often. In particular he spoke of the individual attention and genuine concern that he received from his busy mission president. Larry was a dear friend, who I remember fondly. I'm smiling at the prospect of his reunion with his beloved mission president. Love and condolences to the Hanks family. Thank you for your lives of service that enabled the marvelous life of service of your beloved husband, father and grandfather.

If There is Anything Virtuous
Salt Lake City, UT

Over 20 years ago I heard a talk by Elder Hanks entitled "The Great Commandments." To this day I believe it is one of the best talks ever given on the second great commandment--that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. A few years later, I ended up exchanging letters with Elder Hanks on a very important topic. I will never forget how it felt to have a man who was in such a special position take what I had to say so seriously. It was great to receive that kind of respect. I will miss Elder Hanks and look forward to meeting him in the life after this one.


A morale builder he was ! I was serving in Vietnam, Marines 1967 active duty. Elder Hanks spoke to a group of us in a chapel in Da Nang on China Beach. After the meeting was over, I was able to visit with Elder Hanks with a few other guys. As we walked along China Beach he spoke to us with words of incouragement and wisdom that I will never forget . At that time I did not realize how much faith I would need for the time I served in Vietman . I lost close friends and almost lost my life many times in Vietnam. I am today disablied from serving in Vietnam. Thank you Elder Hanks for taking the time to be there with us at a time we needed you so much ! Thank You Dieter Kunkel

  • 4:50 p.m. Aug. 7, 2011
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Horsham, W Sussex

Elder Hanks was mission president in the 1960's when my parents were investigating the church. It was Elder Hanks who told my father that it was time to stop procrastinating and make a decision. Due to Elder Hank's influence the right decision was made. Many wonderful missionaries were involved during the two year teaching process and the whole of my family owe  a great debt to Elder Hanks and all his missionaries who changed not only our lives, but hopefully our eternity too. Our love and best wishes to all the family of Elder Hanks.


Can remember Elder Hanks resonating voice/ the many talks and teaching I heard from him over the years, like it was yesterday. What he was about and what he was giving to us and the great person that he is-- we are so hugely lucky to have been impacted by him and to be able to listen to him teach. Can only imagine the Savior and Joseph Smith eagerly welcoming him on the other side: THANK YOU for your invaluable efforts and the huge difference you made, in building up the Kingdom and strengthening the Youth of the church!

Goshen, UT

I am sorry to see him go. I always loved his talks and his home town way of speaking. My condolences to his family.


My memories of Elder Marion D. Hanks (Duff) began in 1949 when I was a Junior at West High School and was invited to sign up for Seminary. I did, and that was the beginning of my admiration for "Duff" as I took 3 of his early morning seminary classes and was able to graduate from Seminary. He was always available to counsel us in whatever problems we might be having and his solutions and wisdom remain with me to this day. Other than my parents, he was the greatest influence in my life in teaching the gospel in such illuminating ways. His stories and examples from the scriptures have stayed with me and strengthened me over the years. My husband and I had the blessing of hearing him speak and visiting with him in some of the missions we served together, and we both appreciate his love and concern for us and for all missionaries. His General Conference talks were always a highlight for us.
There is no doubt where he is now and that is a comfort. Our love and sympathy are with his family at this time. Hopefully we will see him in the Eternities.


I remember sitting in the old mission home, where now sets the conference center, & listening to Elder Hanks. I do not remember his words but I remember the feelings I felt as a young green missionary. It was 1966 & he instructed us missionaries just how Section 50 teaches us to teach. I count myself blessed to have shared his wisdom those many years ago. Thank you for your life Elder Hanks.

Phoenix, AZ

My wife and I have know Elder Hanks for most of our lives. He was a good friend of my mother when she was growing up. He was my grandmother's mission president. He lived in my wife's ward and she was good friends with his son Richard. He graciously agreed to perform our marriage in the Salt Lake Temple. He will be greatly missed by us.

Gary G. and Lisa Meredith Cannon

Sugar City, ID

A great man who influenced a lot of people for good.

Oahu, HI

Being a Black Member of the Church. There are just to spins on the Vietnam visit stuff. In 1968 I watched Church Leaders come in and wisit the LDS Service Men. It was not5 aalways pretty with the LDS People for the rest of us.

Let it be 40 years have gone by, and I am glad he came, we where glad anyone came. I was married to a young Mormon Girl Woman at the time so there was some connection. I am also Married to a Fine Mormon Woman today. My former Wife joined the Church several years ago and my Son and Grandson. In 1988 I did the same.

I watch Conference and Read and this Elder was Cool and I liked him.

I also do not believe it was any fault of the Church Leaders from Salt Lake that their where any problems. I have always felt that that was local.

Where about 15 different Races in my Ward, lots of Vets WWII on, Japanese Vets, Hawaiian of my kinds Vets, White Vets, Then when we get done the Tongans take over with their metting.

Its about the Gospel First, all else 2nd.

Chandler, AZ

I will always be grateful for the words Elder Hanks taught me the day he sealed my wife and I in the Temple. "I am sorry are the healing words, use them often". 18 years later we still heed his advice and council!

Thank you Elder for your service, your dedication to the gospel, your sealing authority that united a simple man and his wife so long ago!

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