Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is a chosen generation. I believe with all my heart that this is the greatest generation in the history of the world. There is more scientific development, more medical progress, more public hygiene, more of all of the things that add to our lives to make it possible for us to live longer in this wonderful generation. When I was born, 87 years ago, the life expectancy in the United States was 50 years. Today, 87 years later, the life expectancy is 75 years. Think of it, 25 years of life have been added through the discoveries of modern science.
We live in a day of education. We live at a time when we can learn of the great things of the past. Of the marvelous things of the earth. Of all that pertains to our lives. We are a blessed people. We don’t need to walk in darkness. We can all partake of education. We can go to various kinds of schools and learn many things to bless our lives. It is a marvelous generation, but more important than all of these, is the wonderful blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ which has been restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Do you ever stop and think of what this means to you, what it means to you, my brethren, to hold the priesthood of the living God? Do you ever stop, my dear sisters, and think of what it means to you to stand up as a daughter of the living God, possessed with a divine birthright to carry forward this great work?
“Ye are a chosen generation.” I believe that with all my heart. There never was, in my judgment, a generation quite like this generation. How fortunate we are to be born in this day and time in the history of the world when the God of heaven has spoken again, and His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and ushered in this the dispensation of the fullness of times. Let us be thankful that we are a chosen generation. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Suva, Fiji, member meeting, October 15, 1997; Church News, February 7, 1998, p. 2
What has been the purpose of the scattering and the gathering of the House of Israel? What is the significance of sending into the world a chosen race of spirits, called upon earth the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but known to us to have been the children of God before Abraham was born? They were chosen in the heavens, before they came in the flesh, and were sent forth from the presence of God with a mission. We who call ourselves Latter-day Saints are a branch of the house of Israel, gathered out from among the Gentiles; we are a portion of that martyred nation, chosen of God and sent upon earth to suffer and endure for His sake and for the sake of all mankind; to bear the oracles of God, and be His representatives in the midst of the human race. –– Elder Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, October 1905, Outdoor Meeting, p. 97