Elder Packer had been called just one year before to the Council of the Twelve Apostles, and he related an experience he had prior to his calling:
"It has been our privilege this morning to raise our hands to sustain the President of the Church. I count that a great privilege and special obligation, for I have a witness about him.As Elder Packer related, this is a witness that we as members of the church are familiar with, or at least one that we should be familiar with. Having a witness of Christ and His appointed leaders and servants is vital to our understanding and devotion to the gospel and its principals.
Some weeks before the meeting of last April, I left the office one Friday afternoon thinking of the weekend conference assignment. I waited for the elevator to come down from the fifth floor.
As the elevator doors quietly opened, there stood President Joseph Fielding Smith. There was a moment of surprise in seeing him, since his office is on a lower floor. As I saw him framed in the doorway, there fell upon me a powerful witness—there stands the prophet of God. That sweet voice of Spirit that is akin to light, that has something to do with pure intelligence, affirmed to me that this was the prophet of God."
Many people have been asked the question of whether we have proof of our testimonies, whether we have seen Him for ourselves, and other versions of those questions.
“… It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.Like the ordinances of God's temple, a personal witness of Christ is a sacred experience. Though personal experiences with Christ could be proclaimed from the rooftops, too true is the scripture that depicts the casting of one's pearls before swine. Solemn testimony is often met with disbelief and derision by those who are unprepared or unwilling to hear and feel the Spirit of the Lord.
“And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.” (Alma 12:9–10.)
Nevertheless, we do bear our testimonies of Christ, His gospel, and His prophets. The words used over and over by so many may seem to be trite and unsatisfactory in and of themselves, but the witness of the Spirit can and does bear record of their truth to our minds and hearts.
It was not their words that held the meaning or the power. It was the Spirit. “… for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.” (2 Ne. 33:1.)
I, too, want to add my testimony to countless others and declare that I know God lives, that His Son died for us and was resurrected, and that His gospel has been restored and is here on the earth today. I love Him, and I love his gospel. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
For more posts on the Tuesday Morning session of the April 1971 General Conference, please see these links below: