“A Shining Example,” New Era, Oct. 1990, 12
I looked at the letter in my hand. “Dear Brother,” it said, “we would be pleased if you could audition talented young people on the Saturday of the conference at Nottingham (England) University.”
When I arrived at the university, I was told auditions were to start at 9:30 A.M. At 9:15 I was waiting patiently, when a lovely young lady approached me.
“Excuse me,” she said. “Could you possibly audition me early? My seminars start at 9:30, and I really don’t want to miss them.” She had music for only one number, but when she started to sing I thought she had the most beautiful soprano voice I had heard in a long time.
As the day wore on, and many acts were auditioned, it became apparent that a number of exceptionally talented people were present. At the end of the morning’s audition, I asked them all to return at 4:00 P.M. to learn which of them was chosen.
My thoughts, however, kept returning to the young lady I had listened to earlier. Although I felt that she could not be used in the program, I was sure that her beautiful voice should be heard by the 600 young adults who were gathered for the convention. So I spoke with the conference leaders and obtained permission for the young lady to be invited to sing at the Sunday morning meeting.
When I told her what had been arranged, she was tremendously pleased. The song that she decided to sing was “Though Deepening Trials.”
At last Saturday evening arrived, and the entertainment got under way. I was grateful that I had been given such wonderful acts to present. At the same time I was terribly sorry for the lack of time that prevented me from showing the other acts, which were also very good and worthy of being seen.
After the program, I sought out President Ralph Pulman, who would be conducting the Sunday meeting, and gave him the name of the young lady who was to sing next morning. He took one look at the name and said, “I have something to say about this young lady when I make my presentation tomorrow.” And that was that. He wouldn’t say any more about it to me.
The Sunday meeting was truly inspirational and the young lady sang beautifully.
Then President Pulman related this story. He, along with the advance party for the conference, had arrived a day early to prepare everything. The first person they saw was a porter of the university, who asked them to sit down a moment as he had something to say.
This porter had about 500 young people in his wing of the college every year. He said about 60 percent were not very well behaved. But for the last three years there had been a truly exceptional student who had never put a foot wrong and had been a wonderful example to all around her. He had learned that she was LDS, so he had decided to give the Latter-day Saints a welcome on behalf of the staff.
Then President Pulman called on the soloist to stand up, and stated that she was the student the porter had spoken of. I realized why I had been so impressed with the beautiful young lady who had proved such a worthy representative of the Church. I hope that as other LDS youth leave home, whether for a university or a youth conference, they will live so that they too can be outstanding examples.