Bishop Burton in the final session of the October 1973 conference told of an experience that I think many of us can relate to. He spoke of talking to a complete stranger on the streets of Rio de Janeiro only to discover that the person was actually a member of the Church. Bishop Burton emphasized that there is a certain light in the countenance of members that are living according to the Commandments of God:
“If we truly accept God in our lives and live in accordance with his commandments, God will work a mighty change in our appearance and we will begin to appear more like our Heavenly Father, in whose image we have been created. Could it be this appearance we recognize when we meet men and women who are trying to live close to the Lord?”
This same theme was echoed by President Monson just a year ago in conference:
“To me that means we strive to have in our lives kindness, gratitude, forgiveness, and goodwill. These qualities will provide for us a spirit which will touch the lives of those around us. It has been my opportunity through the years to associate with countless individuals who possess such a spirit. We experience a special feeling when we are with them, a feeling that makes us want to associate with them and to follow their example. They radiate the Light of Christ and help us feel His love for us.”
I truly have felt this in my interactions with believers in Christ– both inside and outside of the Church. I am a Christian and a member of Christ’s Church today because of the positive influence of true Christians who had Christ’s countenance engraved on their souls. Because of these individuals, I thirsted for greater knowledge and ultimately came to know my savior and redeemer.
Certainly, that spirit cannot be confined solely to members of the Church. There are good people throughout the world that have this same burning light within them. But, as beneficiaries of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we are entitled to his presence in our lives–if we remain worthy.
I hope that I am doing what I need to do in order to have his image in my countenance. I hope that I am doing what I need to do in order to look and “feel” like a true latter-day saint.