“Where Are the Prophets?” Ensign, Sept. 1989, 69
In October of 1986, I turned on the television and idly switched from channel to channel. General conference from the Church in Salt Lake City was on one station. I heard the speaker say, “And the gospel will be taken to the Gentiles of the earth.” That really struck me—I was of Jewish origin, and I had never been called a Gentile before. I listened intently as the speaker continued to say things that I not only felt I had heard before but that I had always believed.
When the speaker referred to a living prophet, my eyes filled with tears. All my life I had wondered, “Where are the prophets?” After listening intently to the conference broadcast for twenty-five or thirty minutes, I ran next door to share my excitement with my mother-in-law. She was shocked when I told her I had been watching the Mormon conference. I was shocked when she said, “You don’t want to listen to that.” Back at home, I turned on the television and watched the rest of the broadcast.
Afterwards, I was so excited that I wrote to my mother in Oklahoma to tell her that the Mormons had a prophet. Then I visited my friends, Will and Petrea Powell, who were members of the Church. My first question was, “How could that speaker call me a Gentile?” Luckily for me, Will and Petrea were both returned missionaries; they answered all of my questions. They also gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon. By the time I finished reading First and Second Nephi, I knew the Book of Mormon was true. I read it from cover to cover in two weeks.
A few days later, I began the missionary discussions in Will and Petrea’s home with the full-time missionaries. During this time, I felt the Spirit of the Lord bear testimony to me of the truthfulness of the words the missionaries spoke, just as recorded in 2 Nephi 33:1: “For when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.” [2 Ne. 33:1] The doctrines I learned seemed familiar. I had believed in the principles of genealogy, family tradition, and unity all my life. However, what impressed me the most was that there was a living prophet on the earth today.
When the missionaries asked me if I was ready for baptism, I said, “Yes!” I was baptized on 8 February 1987 by my friend Will Powell. For me, a person with Jewish heritage, the news of a living prophet has made all the difference.