Monday, October 4, 2010

I Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet

Growing up going to General Conference (see last two posts), President Monson was my favorite as a little girl because he taught with stories even I as a small child could understand.  As I grew older, I began to identify with those who were more esoteric (the late Neal A. Maxwell) or legalistic (Dallin H. Oakes) in their teaching of gospel topics.

I also had a great love and affinity for President Hinckley, the most recent Church president and prophet.  When he passed, I mourned the loss, and had a more difficult time transitioning to the concept of a new prophet, even one I liked.

You see, faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are suppose to have a "testimony," or spiritual knowledge of the truthfulness of four basic tenets: 1) The Godhead - God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, 2) the Book of Mormon, 3) Joseph Smith, and 4) the living prophet.

So when President Monson was called, I knew my testimony was lacking in one area.  I liked his stories and found him congenial, but I did not know him to be a prophet - yet.  I believed such a knowledge would come, but did not have it then.

When President Monson stood to speak last night (morning for those in the Wasatch mountains), he was overcome with emotion from the Tabernacle Choir's singing of "Love One Another" - an age-old favorite hymn.  I don't know if I have ever seen him overcome like that, but it was poignant.  He spoke with authority, great emotion, and exuberance.  The predictable pitch pattern and the 97 widows he visited as a 27-year-old bishop which make frequent appearances in his speeches and which, I am ashamed to say, have bothered me in the past, were still present.  The same kind of stories were told.  President Monson did not change, I did. I began to see him not just as a storyteller which delighted a little girl, but for what he really is - a prophet of God - because of the witness of the Spirit.  I gained my testimony of Thomas S. Monson, the living prophet.

I will now be able to sing another commonly-sung hymn in my faith, and mean it: "We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet."  I do!

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE your blog. I find your experiences exciting and your words inspirational. I have always wanted to live in England, at least for a little while...maybe one day.:)

    I loved this post b/c I too had a similar "hang-up" when President Monson was named the new prophet, I just missed President Hinckley so much. But after hearing him speak this weekend, I was so moved by his words and the spirit that I have no doubt that he is our living prophet.

    Thanks so much for sharing your testimony (and all your fun stories).

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  2. Interesting that we both had similar experiences - thanks for sharing!

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