Yesterday, 13 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in more than 170 countries, had the opportunity to sustain a new Church president. Thomas S. Monson, his conselors in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were presented to us for symbolic vote in a solemn assembly. When it was my turn to stand as a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood in the Church, I did so by myself in my living room while watching the meeting on TV. I then sustained the new leaders as prophets, seers and revelators.
Since President Hinckley’s death, I have had a hard time imagining anyone else as the president of the Church. I have been trying to get a personal witness that President Monson is the Lord’s chosen leader for the Latter-day Saints at this time. That witness, given by the power of the Holy Ghost, came to me yesterday as I stood in my pajamas in my living room and quietly raised by hand in a sustaining vote of President Monson. I am extremely grateful for the assurance I received that his is indeed the person whom the Lord has chosen to lead us at this time. Tears filled my eyes during that sacred moment, and I knew that President Monson has been called as the prophet.
Now, that may sound strange to those not of our faith. But nevertheless, it is my testimony that God has restored the fulness of the gospel in our day. In 1820, God the Father and his son Jesus Christ appeared to a young farmboy named Joseph Smith to clarify His true nature and to restore the principles and ordinances of the gospel to the earth, along with priesthood power which had been lost over the previous centuries since the death of Christ’s original apostles. From Joseph Smith down to Thomas S. Monson, there has been an unbroken line of authority. I am grateful for inspired leaders who can help us know God’s will for us today. Their counsel, along with the precious truths found in the Old and New Testaments and modern scriptures like the Book of Mormon, serves as an invalauble resource to guide my path back to God.
Ultimately, I am most grateful for their unwavering testimony of the risen Lord Jesus Christ, which is at the core of all I believe. The life, teachings, example and incomprehensible sacrifice of the Savior is at the very center of Mormonism — everything else is but an appendage to it, according to Joseph Smith. I have an undeniable conviction that Jesus Christ’s atonement has the power to save mankind. It is a gift given freely by Him, our acceptance of which is demonstrated by our willingness to follow Him and keep his commandments. These truths have shaped my life, they have made me want to be a better person, husband, father and friend. God be praised for His matchless gift of his son Jesus Christ!