They Know, Just as I Know

    “They Know, Just as I Know,” Ensign, October 2019

    They Know, Just as I Know

    During general conference, I remember friends far away who testify that through the prophet we hear the word of the Lord.

    October 2017 General Conference - (Mumbai, India), Primary Children Learning

    Photograph by Wendy Gibbs Keeler

    When I was about eight years old, I attended general conference for the first time. At that time the meetings were held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

    At the conclusion of the session, my father and I hurried outside to the west side of the Tabernacle. A few minutes later, President David O. McKay (1873–1970) came out of the Tabernacle. He helped Sister McKay into the waiting car, then smiled and waved as he got into the vehicle. It was a memorable experience for me, to be so close to a prophet of God and to feel of his goodness and love.

    Since then, I have been blessed to be in the presence of every subsequent President of the Church and have had the opportunity to attend general conference in the Tabernacle or Conference Center many times. I love to be near the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and to learn from them.

    While I served as a mission president in India, however, I didn’t attend general conference in the Conference Center. And as my wife and I met with the members in India—beginning on the first Sunday we were there—I noticed something very meaningful about the testimonies they shared in fast and testimony meetings and on other occasions.

    Many faithful members expressed their love and gratitude for the President of the Church and shared powerful, spiritual testimonies that they knew he was the Lord’s prophet. Most had never been to Salt Lake City or been in the presence of a President of the Church. But as I listened to them, I knew that they knew, in the same way I knew, that there are living prophets to guide us in our day. Later, as I served in the Asia Area Presidency and traveled throughout Asia, I heard similarly strong and sincere testimonies.

    As general conference approaches, I am grateful for the opportunity I will have once again to be in the Conference Center with prophets and apostles. But as I sit close to them, I will remember my faithful friends far away who know just as surely as I do, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that what we hear is the word of the Lord as “spoken by the mouth of [His] holy prophets” (3 Nephi 1:13).