Elder Bruce R. McConkie began his address during the October 1973 conference with a piercing hypothetical:
“If the Lord himself had chosen to come down, open the conference, and address the Saints, what message would he have delivered? If he had elected and chosen to come and speak at this session, what word would he have given us for our blessing and benefit and salvation?”
And Elder McConkie’s response was equally profound:
“[W]e … operate under the principle that the word of eternal truth which is given to the children of men, whether it comes by his own voice or the voice of his servants, it is the same. And I had it impressed upon me, when President Lee opened the conference yesterday, and again when President Romney bore the persuasive and powerful and true witness that has just come from his lips, that if the Lord himself were here, those statements which came from them are the very things that he would say at this time.”
We hear that the Prophet is Christ’s mouthpiece on the earth so often that this phrase has become trite and cliche. But do we really believe it? Do we really understand what this truth means for us?
When we read the Ensign, do we respond as if Christ is speaking to us through those pages? However imperfect our leaders are, do we really have confidence that they are receiving revelation for the lord? That their instruction is the will of the lord and the mind of the lord for our day?
Without that confidence, we will not have the strength to withstand the crush of the world. We will not have the strength to stand up for divine truth in the face of changing world conditions. We will not have the strength to endure to the end.
I am grateful to be in a Church led by a Prophet and Apostles who speak the words of God. I echo Elder McConkie’s powerful testimony:
“When I think that the Lord has a living oracle guiding his earthly kingdom, and that there are apostles and prophets who walk the earth again; when I think that the Lord has given us—the gift and power of the Holy Ghost so that we have the revelations of heaven and the power to sanctify our souls; when I think of the unnumbered blessings—the gifts,the miracles, the promise that the family unit shall go on everlastingly, all the blessings that are poured out upon us,and offered freely to all men everywhere—my desire to praise the Lord and proclaim his goodness and grace knows no bounds.”