Blessing and Testimony
My beloved young friends, as part of my concluding testimony to you tonight, I wish to give you a blessing. It seems to me that as our apostolic witnesses are taken into the world, we have two opportunities and, indeed, perhaps obligations. One is to testify and bear witness, as I have been trying to do and will conclude in doing. The other is to bless—as the ancient Apostles did when the Savior invited them to do as He had done, except that it would be in all the world.
So for every one of you in attendance tonight—here in this vast auditorium or in other locations around the world—I bless every one of you, each one of you in your individual circumstances, as if my hands were on your head. I offer that to you as honestly as I offer my testimony. I bless you in the name of the Lord that God does love you, does hear your prayers, is at your side, and will never leave you.
I bless the brethren that you—that we—will be worthy of the priesthood we bear, that we will live true to the discipleship to which we have been called, in that great order, the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. I bless you that we will really be like the Master—that we will think more like He thinks, that we will talk more like He talks, and that we will do more of what He did. I bless you brethren as you strive to be faithful that you will have all the blessings of the priesthood, many of which we have quoted tonight from these very sections from the Doctrine and Covenants.
I bless the sisters within this audience and within the sound of my voice. I would have you know how much we cherish you, how much God cherishes you, and how much the flag of faith has been flown by the sisters of this Church from the beginning. In every generation, it would seem, from the beginning of time down to the present hour and beyond, so often it has been the women in our lives—our grandmothers, our mothers, our wives, our daughters, our sisters, our granddaughters—who have taken that torch of faith and that banner of beautiful living and have carried gospel principles wherever it would take them, against whatever hardship, into their own little equivalent of Liberty Jails and difficult times. Sisters, we love you and honor you and bless you. We ask that every righteous desire of your heart, tonight and forever, be answered upon your head and that you will walk away from this devotional with the understanding and the knowledge firmly in your heart as to how much God and heaven and the presiding Brethren of this Church love you and honor you.
I salute you young adults of this Church in this great CES congregation and say that the future is in your hands. Those of us of my generation have to, in the very near future, pass the baton to you. God bless you to face those times with the valor, the honesty, and the integrity we have spoken of here tonight.
In closing, I testify that the Father and the Son do live. And I testify that They are close, perhaps even closest via the Holy Spirit, when we are experiencing difficult times. I testify (and as our closing musical number, “My Kindness Shall Not Depart from Thee,” will testify, quoting the prophet Isaiah) that heaven’s kindness will never depart from you, regardless of what happens (see Isaiah 54:7–10; see also 3 Nephi 22:7–10). I testify that bad days come to an end, that faith always triumphs, and that heavenly promises are always kept. I testify that God is our Father, that Jesus is the Christ, that this is the true and living gospel—found in this, the true and living Church. I testify that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, our prophet for this hour and this day. I love him and sustain him as I know you do. In the words of the Liberty Jail prison-temple experience, my young friends, “Hold on thy way. . . . Fear not . . . , for God shall be with you forever and ever” (D&C 122:9). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Transcripts: Lessons from Liberty Jail CES Fireside for Young Adults • September 7, 2008 • Brigham Young University
Listen: "My Kindness Shall Not Depart from Thee,”
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