Who Was That Man?

“Who Was That Man?” Ensign, Dec. 1997, 53

Who Was That Man?

It was Christmastime, and Mother took my brother, sisters, and me shopping in downtown Salt Lake City. The large department store we visited had the usual pre-Christmas crowd, so Mother asked me to stay close as she stood in line at the counter. I waited for what seemed like hours because I was going to sit on Santa’s lap when Mom finished. Christmas music was coming over the loudspeakers, and my feet started to move to the rhythm of the carols. Soon I was dancing and whirling, and as I twirled about I accidentally bumped into a gentleman. Stopping abruptly, I looked up at the kindest, gentlest face I had ever seen.

The music seemed to pause, and everyone around us stood still, watching. The white-haired man placed his hands on my head and said, “Merry Christmas, my little child, and may the Lord always bless you.”

I stood transfixed, watching him as he moved away. People nodded and smiled at him as he passed. When he was out of sight, I tiptoed back to my mother’s side.

“Honey, do you know who that was?” she asked me, smiling. I knew I had seen him somewhere before and that he must be very important.

“I’m not really sure, Mom,” I answered, “but I think it was Christ.”

“Pretty close, dear, pretty close. That was President David O. McKay.”

I don’t remember if I ever sat on Santa’s lap that day or not, but I shall never forget the feelings of peace and joy I felt as I received a sweet blessing at the hand of a prophet.