Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, he completed high school there in 1928. After attending the University of Utah he was called to go on a mission to London in 1933, an unusual occurrence for Depression-era Saints. Hinckley returned to the United States in 1935 and soon accepted a job offer to lead the Church's new public relations department (he had been schooled as a journalist in college). Hinckley's responsibilities included developing the Church's fledgling radio broadcasts and making use of the era's new communication technologies. Starting in 1937, he served on the Sunday School General Board. On April 29, 1937, he married Marjorie Pay (November 23, 1911 April 6, 2004). They had been married 67 years at the time of her death..
"There is no substitute for virtue. Keep your thoughts virtuous. Rise above the filth that's all around you in this world and stand tall in strength and virtue. You can do this and you will be happier for it for as long as you live. God bless you in cherishing, developing and holding on to this great gift, the quality of personal virtue."
"Watch what you choose to do. For instance, someone might want you to smoke. Never forget that I told you -- don't do it. Say no. That can of beer that somebody wants you to try, don't do it. Don't you ever do it. That drug that someone might want you to use, don't touch it. Stay away from it. It can destroy you."
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