Can we talk about how cute Elder Nelson was during conference? I loved his coy little reference to his last conference talk about “Ask the Missionaries.” #weseewhatyoudidthereeldernelson
Love that man. Love those men. They have been called as witnesses of Christ. It’s like, the coolest thing that we have 12 apostles on the earth today to witness of the divinity of the Christ.
I was sitting in the conference center with my fiancé when Elder Nelson gave his address. It pierced me to my soul and brought tears to my eyes when he spoke about the importance of the restoration of the gospel. Suddenly, the thousands of people around me, including Eric Whitlock faded away.
I was suddenly sitting in room 209 again. It was my last night in the MTC. Tomorrow I would fly to Montana. I was excited. I was nervous. I was ready to leap for joy. I was ready to cry. I was ready to vomit.
I looked around the room. There were two elders and three other sisters. We had been through a lot together those past three weeks. But now it was time to fulfill our purpose as missionaries. It was time to invite others to come to Christ. It was time to open our mouths.
I remember sitting in those ancient desks thinking I was ready.
The MTC had been hard. It had been wonderful. It had been refining.
For his final lesson, our teacher, Brother Taylor spoke to us about the restoration. He bore his testimony. It moved me deeply. I had always loved this story.
We turned to the large screen in front of us. Projected onto it was a video of what happened that spring day in 1820.
I watched young Joseph Smith walk to a grove of trees not too far from his home.
Suddenly, everything changed.
It was as if I was there in that sacred place. I could hear branches snap underneath his feet as he walked carefully and methodically to a predetermined spot.
I felt the heat of the spring sunlight hit my arms in between the cool shade created by the branches and leaves.
I felt the mist of the morning on my face and neck.
I watched Joseph pray earnestly to know which church was true.
I saw the leaves of the trees illuminate when God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith after his humble prayer.
I heard Joseph’s words echo through my soul:
“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me … When the light rested upon me I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other — this is my Beloved Son, hear Him!”
And all of the sudden I was sitting in that squeaky desk in room 209 with tears streaming down my face.
And then I knew. It was real. All of it. It wasn’t just a nice story. It really happened.
Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and Jesus Christ.
They really did know his name.
He really did speak with them face to face.
They really did love him.
Joseph Smith was called as a prophet of God to restore Christ’s church in its fullness.
I testify with everything in me that this is true. I know it. I feel it. I believe it.
This moment changed my mission. It changed my life.
The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the unique message missionaries take all over the world. Gain an unshakeable testimony of it. Pray for it. Yearn for it. Cultivate it. And once God gives it, (as he most surely will) cherish it.
But most importantly, share it.