We Talk of Christ


Tonight was our adult session of Stake Conference. In my many years of attending church meetings, tonight was the finest meeting I have ever attended. The first speaker was the Stake President. He is being retired tomorrow and going to serve as a Mission President in South America. His opening statement was that he wasn’t certain when he was called as a Stake President what it meant to “magnify your calling” as a Stake President. He said he prayed about it many weeks before he finally decided that it wasn’t “his calling” that should be magnified, but the calling and mission of Christ. He said that for the last nine years he has tried with every talk, or interview, or counsel he’s given, to magnify Christ, to make Christ’s life and mission and glory greater in the eyes of everyone he served as Stake President. I personally believe he succeeded, because I have never heard him speak about anything else.

He then quoted 2 Nephi 25:26: “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”

He went on to give the finest talk on the atonement I have ever heard. I could hardly keep tears from my eyes. I wish I had recorded it so I could listen again and again. He quoted a dozen scriptures from the New Testament and Book of Mormon. His witness and testimony and worship of Christ was as profound as any person I have ever heard testify except perhaps for Elder McConkie’s final remarks just before his death.

Every speaker after that spoke of Christ. There was no other subject. It wasn’t just that the mentioned Him, they only spoke of Him. Our visiting 70 spoke with equal power and testimony of Christ. It was a pivotal event for me.

Why was it pivotal? I think it is because I have written and taught and testified of Christ for all of my adult life, and I have come to think and believe many glorious and worshipful things about my Savior. I have often heard these things taught in church here a little, there a little. I hear worshipful words every Sunday. But, this is the first time where the entire meeting was about Christ, and that everything I believe, and every worship thing I feel about Him, was spoken tonight.

We sang “I Need Thee Every Hour” in closing. I couldn’t sing because my voice was choked with emotion, but I thought ever word, and shed many tears of gratitude and joy.

Happy Sabbath,

Brother John

© March 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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16 Responses to We Talk of Christ

  1. James says:

    I really needed to hear about this experience. As I read I could almost feel his sincere heart seeking as he prayed those weeks to understand how to magnify the weighty church calling of Stake President – and then it came – it isn’t about you, it’s about Christ! It’s like the people of King Benjamin seeing their own nothingness yet rejoicing beyond words. It really is all about Christ and He will deliver every one of us if we will just magnify Him in all that we do. May all the challenges of our church callings bring us to that realization. It’s stories like these that make it seem like Zion isn’t far off, not at all.

    James

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  2. Steve says:

    I was also touched by Pres. Wilkinson’s remarks. And I was almost unable to sing the shepherd song. One of the best stake meetings I remember.

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    • You know – it never dawned on me that someone reading this blog might be in the same stake!!! How naive can a person be? I know people read it in Australia – so why not right here? How funny. You’ll have to introduce yourself to me privately so I don’t die dumb. But, beyond that, it truly was a wonderful weekend of Christ-centered meetings. The King of Love my Shepherd is was performed fantasticly! The men’s section was the strongest I’ve ever heard.

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  3. Robin Carlson says:

    Dear Bro John;
    Recently I was reading past posts and found one that had a very interesting chart but I was very tired and had many demands I was trying to meet simultaneously and now cannot remember what date the post was.
    Despite having looked again and again I can’t find it. The chart was about the blessings that come with Gospel compliance (faith, repentance, baptism, etc.) and illustrated how most Saints get to a cut-off point short of the full blessings.
    If this rings a bell could you please post the date of the “chart” so I could study it further?
    Thank you and God bless,
    Robin Carlson

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    • Could it have been “The Path of the Ancients”? That is the only one I can see that might be the one you’re referring to.
      JMP

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      • Robin Carlson says:

        Bro. John;
        Yes, yes, yes, the Path of the Ancients is exactly what I was looking for and couldn’t remember title or date.
        Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question. My puzzling (to me) lack of progress now is explained: I believe I was bumping into the veil of unbelief without really comprehending what it was/is and why I was encountering it.
        Thank you also for your posting your experience with being harshly treated by a person in authority: I’ve been there several times and not coped well. Am in the midst of another such experience and your post is helping me do better this time. I am striving to give this burden to the Lord and say within my heart and mind, “The Lord judge between me and thee” and just let go.
        Your sister in the gospel,
        Robin Carlson

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  4. LHD says:

    I rejoice again to imagine such a meeting. I read Mckonkie’s message that you linked and thought it was as grand as you said it was. Your stake president really understood what to magnify, our Lord and Savoir! Thank you for sharing both.

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  5. Miles says:

    John,
    Thanks so much for being part of the answer to my prayer. I have been troubled with my understanding of how in the BOM the Prophets are so focused on Jesus the Christ and Yet my other readings focus on Father in the Name of the Son. So I started praying that I would gain a much better understanding of which Father I am praying to and that I would find the answers during Conference. Then I received your blog on this subject and also received Denver Snuffer’s book titled ‘Come, Let Us Adore Him’ which I will complete before Conference. Two great preparations for the answers which will surely come soon.

    You and Terry are still widely known in Alaska and missed lots.
    Miles

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    • Thank you Miles. I miss you guys and all of my Alaska friends. It finally snowed last night enough to turn the ground white. It will be gone by noon. My fruit trees are already starting to blossom. It’s so different from Alaska.

      God bless,

      John

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  6. kenh says:

    Thank you John for sharing these experiences. Gratitude goes so beautifully both ways. When we sincerely show gratitude for Christ for all that he has done for us by loving others and testifying with all of our hearts of Him, how gracious and grateful He is to us for our meager efforts to promote Him. Blessings many times too great to hold within are ours and those around us. When we allow Christ to live through us and bear witness of His love for us, we then evoke that love to everyone around us. They feel His love too. “That all may be edified.”

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  7. Steve Hansen says:

    How odd you should mention Elder McConkie’s final conference talk. I drew quite a bit from it for my talk today. You should know as well your entry this morning helped add to my talk, too, so thank you. This was just in the nick of time for me today, and added greatly to a wonderful block of meetings for me., but also helped with the narrative flow of a talk I didn’t actually have in writing. Maybe one day I can return the favor, even though you seem to have plenty to draw from already.

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    • I draw from an empty bucket every day which the Lord graciously fills again and again as I plead with Him for grace and guidance. I’m so grateful you had a great Sabbath. Our wonderful Bishop was called as the next Stake President. We just barely got him trained too….

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    • I love those words of his final address. Our wonderful, inspired, Christlike Bishop was just called as our new Stake President. It’s a loss for our ward, and great gain for the Stake. As for me, I am constantly drawing from an empty bucket until the Lord overlooks my flaws and gives me grace, which usually seems to show up at 11:59:59.

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      • Steve Hansen says:

        See if you can have some of that grace sent my way; it seems I’m in a continous state of writer’s block. 😀

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  8. Chris says:

    What a treat to read this while waiting for a meeting to start. What a great start to my morning, my sabbath, my week. Thank you. This also gives me hope.

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  9. Donald says:

    simply wonderful. Thank you John. 🙂

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