President Gordon B. Hinckley is grateful for many things, but for one thing above all others.
I am overwhelmed with feelings of thanksgiving. I feel so richly blessed of the Lord. I think no man has been blessed so richly as I have been blessed. I cannot understand it.
Through the great goodness of others, I have traveled far and wide across the earth in the interest of this Church. I have had remarkable opportunities to speak to the world. I have lifted my voice in testimony in great halls. Men and women of high station have received me and spoken with great respect concerning our work.
Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your obedience to the commandments of God. He is pleased and loves you. Thank you for the testimonies you carry in your hearts concerning God our Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am [deeply] grateful for this wonderful season of history in which we live. There has never been another like it. We, of all people who have walked the earth are so richly blessed.
But of all the things for which I feel grateful, one stands [above all the others]. That is a living testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One.
The earliest [time I can remember having] spiritual feelings was when I was about five years of age, a very small boy. I was crying from the pain of an earache. There were no wonder drugs at the time. My mother prepared a bag of table salt and put it on the stove to warm. My father softly put his hands upon my head and gave me a blessing, rebuking the pain and the illness by authority of the holy priesthood and in the name of Jesus Christ. He then took me tenderly in his arms and placed the bag of warm salt at my ear. The pain [grew less] and left. I fell asleep in my father’s secure embrace. As I was falling asleep, the words of his administration floated through my mind.
Later in my youth, my brother and I slept in an unheated bedroom in the winter. People thought that was good for you. Before falling into a warm bed, we knelt to say our prayers. There were expressions of simple gratitude. They concluded in the name of Jesus.
I recall jumping into my bed after I had said amen, pulling the covers up around my neck, and thinking of what I had just done in speaking to my Father in Heaven in the name of His Son. I did not have great knowledge of the gospel.
But there was some kind of lingering peace and security in communing with the heavens in and through the Lord Jesus.
That testimony grew in my heart as a missionary when I read the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, which further bore witness of [the Savior]. That knowledge became the foundation of my life, standing on the footings of the answered prayers of my childhood.
Since then my faith has grown much further. I have become His Apostle, appointed to do His will and teach His word. I have become His witness to the world. I repeat that witness of faith to you.
Jesus is my friend. He is my exemplar. He is my teacher. He is my healer. He is my leader. He is my Savior and my Redeemer. He is my God and my King.
Gratefully, and with love, I bear witness of these things.
(See Ensign, May 2000, pages 69–71.)