A Thousand Witnesses
April 1977

A Thousand Witnesses

My brothers and sisters—yes I am nervous, but there are two sisters listening tonight: my sweetheart and my mother out in Sandy. I am grateful beyond almost all power of expression to tell you what a thrill and an honor it is to be here tonight with you.

I love the prophet. Unlike most of you, I have spent four years of my life by his side, and another three years with President Benson; and I have spent every Thursday in the temple with the Council of the Twelve Apostles. I want to leave you my testimony tonight that our Heavenly Father directs this work.

I would like to pay tribute to my angel mother, who for many years prayed that a husband would become active, that he would recognize his sonship to God, and that he would accept the priesthood. As a little boy, I walked through those many years with my mother’s sustaining hand at church, finally seeing my father receive a testimony by the power of the Holy Ghost. I honor him tonight, and I love him and respect him. He has been my friend, for he has taken me into his confidence. He has taught me how to work, and how to love, and how not to be judgmental. I am grateful for my father and my mother.

And I am grateful for my wife. I would like to tell you a little story. I have been to three or four thousand meetings, I guess, in the last twenty-five years; and every one of those times she has sustained me—except for one. When I was off to a Sunday School meeting one night, she asked, “Will you be home early?” I said, “Yes, I’ll be home at 10:30.” Eleven o’clock and 11:30 came, and I wasn’t home. When I finally came home, I walked up to the door to walk in as usual, and it was locked. I rang the doorbell—and no answer. So I knocked on the door, and finally she came. She said, “I’m not going to let you in.”

I said, “Oh, come on.”

And she said, “No, it’s one time too many.”

In those days we had a Nash Rambler with a front seat that made out into a bed (but it was in the middle of winter). So I took my overcoat and went out into the car and rolled back the seat, and went to bed.

After a little while I could hear the front door open, and my wife came out to the car and asked me to come in. I told her I didn’t think I would. It was so cold I finally did.

Brethren, my wife is such a wonderful woman. In all of those years, she has sustained me so much; and I would hope that as members of the priesthood, as we hold leadership roles, we will remember this little experience and remember our wives.

I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have received a thousand witnesses in the course of my life with my missionaries and my family. I saw a daughter one night beside herself with the pain of an earache. My wife came and said, “Jim, I think you should give your daughter a blessing.” I went and gave my lovely girl a blessing; and, brethren, before I could finish the words, she was asleep.

I want you to know that my life has been and will be dedicated to the things of God, for I know He lives, and I love His work, and I love and know the principles of the gospel are true. I pledge my support to the prophet and to the Council of the Twelve Apostles, and to Brother Richards and the other presidents. I pray that it might be said of me as the apostle Paul said at the end of his days: “This one thing I do.” (Philip. 3:13.) In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.