As we reflect this weekend on the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, we would like to remind our readers of these messages of comfort shared by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the days and years since that awful day.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, President Thomas S. Monson and Elder Quentin L. Cook are among those highlighted in this list.
Click through to see the 12 messages.
Editor's note: An article by Trent Toone featuring many of these messages was originally published on DeseretNews.com in 2011, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, from an address given on Sept. 11, 2001, in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.
“Dark as is this hour, there is shining through the heavy overcast of fear and anger the solemn and wonderful image of the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, the exemplar of universal love, and it is to him that we look in these circumstances.
"It was he who gave his life that all might enjoy eternal life. ... May the peace of Christ rest upon us and give us comfort and reassurance and, particularly, we plead that he will comfort the hearts of all who mourn.”
President Hinckley gave these words in the October 2001 general conference address titled "The Times in Which We Live":
“Peace may be denied for a season. … But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to him. … Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes from obedience to the commandments of God.
“Let us be prayerful. Let us pray for righteousness. Let us pray for the forces of good. Let us reach out to help men and women of goodwill, whatever their religious persuasion and wherever they live. Let us stand firm against evil, both at home and abroad. Let us live worthy of the blessings of heaven, reforming our lives where necessary and looking to him, the Father of us all. He has said, 'Be still, and know that I am God' (Psalms 46:10).
“Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us.”
President Monson gave these words in the October 2001 general conference address titled "Now is the Time":
"Countless are the reports we have heard during the past three and a half weeks of those who were touched in some way — either directly or indirectly — by the events of that day. I should like to share with you the comments of a church member, Rebecca Sindar, who was on a flight from Salt Lake City to Dallas on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11. The flight was interrupted, as were all flights in the air at the time of the tragedies, and the plane grounded in Amarillo, Texas.
"Sister Sindar reports: 'We all left the plane and found televisions in the airport, where we crowded around to see the broadcast of what had happened. People were lined up to call loved ones to assure them we were safely on the ground. I shall always remember the 12 or so missionaries who were on their way to the mission field on our flight. They made phone calls, and then we saw them huddled in a circle in a corner of the airport, kneeling in prayer together. How I wish I could have captured that moment to share with the mothers and fathers of those sweet young men as they saw the need for prayer right away.’”
Presiding Bishop Burton gave these words in the October 2001 general conference address titled "Standing Tall":
“Out of the deep anguish and turmoil of Sept. 11 have come many instances of men, women and nations standing tall. Foes and friends have come together against a common enemy. Uncommon acts of bravery have become commonplace. Humanitarian response seems to know no bounds. Men and women, regardless of race or creed, have reached out to victims and their families. Countless prayers have been offered. The forces for good are standing tall against the forces of terror and senseless mayhem.
"The life, ministry, and teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ, provide a template for introspective assessment. Jesus Christ is our perfect example of one who always stood tall. He is the one who personifies integrity, strength, and courage.”
Remarks by President Hinckley, given at a memorial service in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on Sept. 11, 2002.
"Today, the world remembers the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. We are still shocked and dismayed at the infamy of those cowardly attacks.
"We know that much good has come of these dreadful circumstances. From the smoke and ashes of New York, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and other areas of the world has arisen a greater sense of unity and purpose in ridding the earth of evil and providing for the freedom and security of all people. We endorse the righteous efforts of God-fearing people everywhere in this important endeavor.
"May our Father in Heaven smile upon us all, comfort those who continue to mourn and guide the leaders of nations in the quest for justice and liberty is our sincere prayer."
Remarks by President James E. Faust, then the second counselor in the First Presidency, and President Thomas S. Monson, then first counselor in the First Presidency, given at a memorial service in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on Sept. 11, 2002.
"These ignoble acts of terrorism reawakened in all of us an appreciation for our blessed land. Out of this disaster have come hundreds of stories of courageous acts of unselfishness and heroism. Ours is the most favored nation ever established on this planet. Its bounty is endless. The opportunities it affords to us are immeasurable. We as its citizens are among the most favored of any of God's children ever to live under any government on the earth. This is still true despite our country's many challenges and difficulties. With all of these favored circumstances come the responsibilities and duties of citizenship.
"We should be participants, not merely bystanders, in the processes of democracy to 'preserve us as a nation.'"
Remarks by President Thomas S. Monson, then first counselor in the First Presidency, given at a memorial service in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on Sept. 11, 2002.
"Well remembered are the acts of bravery of those who did their best to save others and those who gave their lives in this heroic effort. In one of our beloved hymns are the comforting words, 'In my Gethsemane, Savior and friend, constant He is and kind, love without end.' (Hymns No. 129)."
President Faust gave these words in the October 2002 general conference address titled "What's in It for Me?":
"On Sept. 11, 2001, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were hit by terrorist-controlled airliners that caused both towers to collapse. Thousands of people were killed. Out of this tragedy have come hundreds of stories of courageous, unselfish acts. One very poignant and heroic account is the Washington Post's story of retired Army Colonel Cyril 'Rick' Rescorla, who was working as vice president for corporate security of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
"Rick was a very experienced ex-military combat leader. He was in his office when 'the first plane struck the North Tower at 8:48 a.m. … He took a call from the 71st floor reporting the fireball in One World Trade Center, and he immediately ordered an evacuation of all 2,700 employees in Building Two,' as well as 1,000 more in Building Five. Using his bullhorn, he moved up the floors, working through a bottleneck on the 44th and going as high as the 72nd, helping to evacuate the people from each floor. One friend who saw Rick reassuring people in the 10th-floor stairwell told him, 'Rick, you've got to get out, too.'
“'As soon as I make sure everyone else is out,' he replied.
“He was not rattled at all. He was putting the lives of his colleagues ahead of his own. He called headquarters to say he was going back up to search for stragglers.
"His wife had watched the United Airlines jet go through his tower. After awhile, her phone rang. It was Rick.
“'I don't want you to cry,' he said. 'I have to evacuate my people now.'
“She kept sobbing.
“'If something happens to me, I want you to know that you made my life.'
“'The phone went dead.' Rick did not make it out.
“Morgan Stanley lost only six of its 2,700 employees in the South Tower on Sept. 11, an isolated miracle amid the carnage. And company officials say Rescorla deserves most of the credit. He drew up the evacuation plan. He hustled his colleagues to safety. And then he apparently went back into the inferno to search for stragglers. He was the last man out of the South Tower after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and no one seems to doubt that he would've been again … if the skyscraper hadn't collapsed on him first.
"Amid the great evil and carnage of Sept. 11, 2001, Rick was not looking for what might be in it for him; instead he was unselfishly thinking about others and the danger they were in. Rick Rescorla was the 'right man in the right place at the right time.' Rick, a 62-year-old mountain of a man, cooly (sacrificed) his life for others. As the Savior himself said, 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'"
"If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving him our faith and trust. We too should be with him in every season.
"The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near him every week and each day. We truly 'need him every hour,' not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to him, listen to him, and serve him. If we wish to serve him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed."
Elder Cook gave these words in the April 2013 general conference address titled "Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness":
"Who can forget the evil attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on various U.S. locations? Such events remind us how quickly our feelings of peace and safety can be destroyed.
"Our oldest son and his wife, who were expecting their first child, lived three blocks from the World Trade Center in New York City when the first plane crashed into the North Tower. They went to the roof of their apartment building and were horrified as they watched what they thought was some kind of terrible accident. Then they witnessed the second plane crash into the South Tower. They immediately realized that this was no accident and believed lower Manhattan was under attack. When the South Tower collapsed, their apartment building was engulfed in the dust cloud that rained down over lower Manhattan.
"Confused about what they had witnessed and concerned about further attacks, they made their way to a safer area and then to the Manhattan stake Church building at Lincoln Center. When they arrived, they found that dozens of other members in lower Manhattan had made the same decision to gather at the stake center. They called to let us know where they were. I was relieved that they were safe but not surprised at their location. Modern revelation teaches that the stakes of Zion are a defense and 'a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.'”