A Special Witness of Jesus Christ

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“A Special Witness of Jesus Christ,” Liahona, Feb. 2003, 42–43

A Special Witness of Jesus Christ

When I entered the immense coliseum for regional conference, I saw beautifully arranged flowers and, even more impressive, thousands of people waiting in reverent silence. Everything seemed perfect. I found a seat and admired each detail as I quietly waited.

As a recent convert, I was experiencing my first regional conference. I was eager to worship and sing with members from all over my region of Brazil. But mostly I was anxious to see and hear an Apostle in person for the first time. I wondered what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, the visiting General Authority, would be like. Would a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles seem different from other leaders in and out of the Church? Would he really be a special witness of Jesus Christ?

Before I left for the conference, my husband, who is not a member of the Church, said to me sarcastically, “So you are going to hear an Apostle of Jesus Christ. Will he be holy?”

“I don’t know,” I answered. “I’ll tell you when I return.”

As I pondered and waited for Elder Holland to arrive, I desired to have a witness that this man was truly an Apostle of Jesus Christ. I prayed to Heavenly Father to know how to share my experience with my husband when I returned home.

When the local leaders and General Authorities entered the room, I was unable to determine which of them was the Apostle. There was nothing about his appearance to differentiate him from the others. When I finally identified Elder Holland, I wondered to myself, “What is different about this man?”

After the opening hymn, an invocation, and remarks by our local leaders, Sister Patricia T. Holland, the Apostle’s wife, was introduced. She was assisted by an interpreter, but I felt I could understand her in her own language because she did not speak just to our ears. She spoke also to our hearts.

Following her talk Elder Holland walked to the pulpit. When he began speaking, I was surprised at how normal his words sounded. But as he talked I began to feel within myself a witness that this man truly was a representative of the Lord and that his message was true. I thought about Jesus Christ, who also appeared physically to be like other men but who had the sublime mission to be the Savior of the world. As Elder Holland finished his talk, he bore testimony that Jesus Christ lives and that this is His true Church. The Spirit witnessed to me that Elder Holland had been appointed to speak in the name of the Lord and that he was truly one of the Lord’s Apostles.

When I arrived home, my husband asked, “So what kind of man was this Apostle?”

“On the outside, he seems just like any man,” I said. “But he is really much more—he is a special witness of Jesus Christ.”