When I was a little boy, about age five, I spent a good deal of time in my grandparents’ home. In the winter, after the crops had been harvested and my Grandpa Condie had some free time, he would hold me on his lap and read me stories from the Book of Mormon. I always felt a warm feeling inside as Grandpa read to me. I especially loved the stories of Nephi and of kindly King Benjamin. Nearly 60 years later, I still get a warm feeling in my heart when I read the scriptures.
I also often spent time in the homes of my two uncles as I played with my cousins. I especially liked being there when it was time for family prayer. Uncle Carl was a farmer. When he prayed, he concentrated on really talking to Heavenly Father, thanking Him for his many blessings and humbly pleading for moisture for the crops. Uncle Angus was the father of six lively boys, and he prayed for the guidance and protection of his sons. When these two men prayed, I knew that Heavenly Father was listening. I got the same warm feeling while kneeling in family prayer with them that I did while on my grandpa’s lap listening to scripture stories.
At about age 10, I experienced that warm feeling again when I went to stake conference with my parents. An Apostle, Elder Matthew Cowley, was the visiting speaker. He was well known for being a man of faith and miracles—he served a five-year mission to New Zealand starting when he was only 17! As he spoke, I knew for myself that he was a servant of our Heavenly Father. After the meeting, I asked my parents if I could shake his hand. We stood in line for a long time because many other people felt as I did, that Elder Cowley was a very special man. When I finally had the opportunity to shake his hand, I began to cry. I cried all the way home. As a young lad, I was very self-conscious about crying for no apparent reason. My mother explained to me that the feelings I had were a sign of the Spirit confirming that Elder Cowley was a special witness of the Savior. I often experience those same feelings when I shake hands with the Brethren whom we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators today.
Singing Primary songs is another way I often feel the Spirit. One of my favorites is “I Think When I Read That Sweet Story” (Children’s Songbook, 56). As a young Primary boy, I could see in my mind the Savior blessing the sick, the blind, and the little children. Another one of my favorites is “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (pp. 74–75) because, as I sing it, I truly feel of His great love for all of us. I also love to sing “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (pp. 78–79). As I near the end of that song, I often feel just as I did the day I shook hands with Elder Matthew Cowley.