My history with him goes way back. He grew up in New York. I grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, 50 miles away, and we were about the same age. And so all the priesthood leaders, every experience that he had, I had too. Then he showed up at the University of Utah at about the same time that I was there. He was a pitcher, so I just had a feeling of someone I could love and trust and thought the world of and admired. And so I saw him as a boy and then as a young man and then as the Presiding Bishop of the Church. He was a great pitcher, by the way.
The strength which will come through your prayers will be invaluable to what I need to do to forge the spiritual strength required to have my voice and my testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ penetrate the hearts of those who will hear. People sometimes talk about great businessmen in the Church. You'd be hard pressed to see anybody that had a record anything like his. He was literally a legend in business. He brought those same qualities to the leadership: practical, on the ground, sensitive to people, an ability to see what was happening. He had that capacity. From his conference talks, I think that kind of the biggest things that stood out to me was his love for missionary work, getting out and sharing the gospel, and just being a good individual. The call was clear. I had to let go of everything that I had known and what I had been striving for in my life. So it was; I was beginning to learn the law of consecration. It is not one particular event. It is a lifetime--day by day, each one of us striving to do our best in the service of others. His relationship with his wife--I loved their companionship. As much as I admire him, and as much as I say what a fine fellow he was, she is one of the great souls that I've ever known. And he knew that, and I guess that's how I describe their marriage, is he treated her as if she was one of the great people he'd ever known. When you see how much he loves his companion and how much she loves him, you can see what kind of man that's helped him become.
She had followed me all over the world. We have moved 15 times.
She's learned two languages, brought up our children, and has always supported me. He was a believer. He believed. I would say what he did for my testimony more was by the way he lived and behaved. He knew God. He knew the Savior, and He loved the Savior. He didn't bury his testimony; he lived his testimony. You know what I mean?
With all the love I have in me, with all the Savior's love through me, I invite you to come unto Him. I bear my special testimony that through the Atonement, He has overcome all things. May each of us also overcome worldly temptation by coming unto Him is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.