Growing up in the Church, I have always been engaged in a battle of knowing truths and keeping my testimony strong. I remember one Thursday morning in seminary, my instructor was teaching us about prophets and apostles. He said a phrase that was burned into my memory: “President Thomas Spencer Monson [who was the prophet at the time] is a prophet of God, and whoever has the desire to know if this is true can sincerely pray to find the answer.” His words really touched me.
When I got home that day, I got on my knees and asked Heavenly Father to let me know if President Monson was called as the prophet by Him. At that moment, I felt a great and sweet joy fill me—something inexplicable. From that day on, I knew that the warmth I felt at that moment came from God, and it confirmed my faith in the prophet. My love grew to the point that I knew I needed the prophet’s guidance in my life. I couldn’t do without it. I always wanted to listen and obey all his words from general conference. When I learned of President Monson’s death a few years later, I was deeply saddened, because my love for him was so strong.
When President Russell M. Nelson was sustained as the new prophet, I wondered how I would ever feel as much love for him as I felt for President Monson! But Heavenly Father knew the desire of my heart, which is to develop as much love for each of the men He calls to lead His Church. And I believe that He wanted me to continue to have experiences that would allow me to do that.
Soon after he was called, President Nelson sent Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to meet with the youth of Haiti. I was happy at the idea of going to see him. I wanted to know for certain if he was truly called of God.
After a long journey, I arrived in my country’s capital and took my seat in the building Elder Renlund was meeting us in. When he entered the room, I felt a gentle warmth fill my chest. He began his talk by saying that it was President Russell M. Nelson who had sent him to visit us. In that moment I knew that God knew that we needed to feel the love and support of the new prophet, and He allowed us to have that opportunity.
When Elder Renlund asked for a volunteer to read the introduction of the Book of Mormon to the group, I felt the Spirit so strongly—I stood up without even being aware of what I was doing. I walked up to the stand and stood close to the Apostle to read. My heart instantly began beating so quickly, and I cannot even articulate in words the strength of the Spirit I felt. It was like God’s presence was in the room, and it was an incredible feeling to experience. At that moment, all my questions and doubts flew away. I knew that Elder Renlund was truly an Apostle called of God. I felt a great love for him—and for the prophet who had sent him to speak to us.
Heavenly Father loves us so much that He manifests Himself and His guidance through His wonderful leaders. I bear witness that the prophet and apostles are called of God, that President Nelson follows God’s recommendations and revelation, and that he will always guide us along the right path. Since Joseph Smith, the work to restore the gospel began, and that work is still continuing today. And as we do our best to follow the counsel of our prophets and share truth with others, we can also take part in the ongoing Restoration.