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