Testimony on Temple Square

“Testimony on Temple Square,” Ensign, Dec. 2000, 54

Testimony on Temple Square

“How do you know this Ezra Taft Benson is really a prophet?” asked our young investigator in Milan, Italy, in 1988. “Do you just have faith and believe him?”

As I considered her question, an experience I had three years earlier stood out in my mind as if it had happened that morning. I described the experience to her.

It was Christmastime 1985, a time in my life when I wasn’t really interested in the Church. I attended my meetings, but in a sense I dared the teachings to sink into my thick skull as I pondered my high school life or the fortunes of my favorite sports teams and players. That holiday season, our high school choir was given the opportunity to sing at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. In addition, we planned to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas concert later that evening.

As I walked around Temple Square after our performance, I couldn’t help but ask myself many questions about the Church, especially about one thing in particular. It was only a month after the death of President Spencer W. Kimball, and President Ezra Taft Benson had been called as his successor. People had made a big deal out of it, but I asked myself, So what?

Later that evening, my friends and I entered the Tabernacle for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance. Most of the seats were already filled, but we found a row where we could all sit together. Our seats were down in front near a door that was propped open. As we waited for the concert to begin, my attention was directed to this door. Although I didn’t see anyone, it felt as if someone had entered the room—only much bigger. This presence filled the whole room, and soon President Benson entered. My body felt electrified, but I didn’t realize what the feeling was.

Then my friend standing next to me said, “Isn’t the Spirit awesome?” I searched inside myself for some other answer, but there wasn’t one. The feeling of the Spirit encompassing my entire body was present because the prophet of God was standing only a few feet in front of me.

Although the experience was powerful, the impression soon faded into memory behind all the excitement of the holidays. Life went on, and I graduated from high school and began studying and working in a new city. Three years later, here I was teaching the gospel in Milan, Italy.

As I told our investigator about my experience, the feeling I had felt that night returned, and this time I recognized it almost immediately. When our investigator said, “I believe you,” I knew the Spirit had touched her heart too. If we will share our special experiences when the Spirit prompts us to, others can know of these same truths, because “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moro. 10:5).