Wednesday, April 10, 1974

A solemn assembly

This is an excerpt from a talk given in the sacrament meeting of the BYU Eleventh Branch on Sunday evening, April 7, 1974

This has been a historic conference. It was the 144t annual conference of the Church, which means there have been 144 April conferences. But there have also been an equal number of semi-annual conferences in October—so 288 general conferences [more or less] since the beginning of the Church. And a formal solemn assembly has been held in only ten of those many conferences, so this has been historic.

The last time a solemn assembly was held—when President Lee was first sustained as prophet in 1972—I had a ticket to attend in the Tabernacle. It was a solemn, moving experience to see the quorums of the priesthood stand each in their turn to witness to the Lord and all the world that they sustained, upheld, and supported him whom the Lord had called and chosen. And then in the majesty of his prophetic calling, a very humble Harold B. Lee stood and bared his soul to the Church. Little did we then suspect that so soon a new prophet would preside in Israel.

Again I had the special blessing of attending this solemn assembly in the Tabernacle. As President Kimball stood to open the session, the Spirit came over me and powerfully and peacefully bore witness to my soul that Spencer W. Kimball was a prophet of God, the Lord’s appointed mouthpiece, a prophet, a seer, a revelator.

During the voting I had the privilege of standing eight times—four with the quorum of elders and four with the general membership of the Church—and of raising my hand to the square fourteen times to witness to the Lord that I would follow those whom He had called to lead the Church.

The experience reminded me of what Joshua said to Israel anciently: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). And Saturday night, as Claudia and I retired for the evening, we knelt in family prayer and covenanted with the Lord that, as a family, we would honor and sustain and obey President Kimball.

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