I am grateful beyond any measure of expression, beyond any utterance in my power, for the blessings the Lord has so abundantly showered upon me, upon my family, and upon the faithful Saints in all the world. I now seek, most sincerely and devoutly, to be guided by the power of the Holy Ghost in bearing testimony of the truth and divinity of this glorious work in which we are all engaged. I pray also that the spirit of light and truth and edification so far present in this meeting may continue to rest in your hearts, so that you, being edified, will know of yourselves that those things about which I shall testify are true.
As members of the church and kingdom of God on earth, we enjoy the gifts of the Spirit—those wonders and glories and miracles that a gracious and benevolent God always has bestowed upon his faithful saints. The first of these gifts listed in our modern revelation on spiritual gifts is the gift of testimony, the gift of revelation, the gift of knowing of the truth and divinity of the work. This gift is elsewhere described as the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. This is my gift. I know this work is true.
I have a perfect knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God through whose instrumentality the fullness of the everlasting gospel has been restored again in our day. And I know that this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth, and that as now constituted, with President Harold B. Lee at its head, it has the approval and approbation of the Lord, is in the line of its duty, and is preparing a people for the second coming of the Son of Man.
And I know further that the Lord pours out upon his people today the same glorious and wondrous gifts enjoyed by the ancient saints. To us in this day he gives the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, even as he did to them of old. “I will tell you” the glories and wonders of the everlasting gospel, he says; “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation.” (D&C 8:2–3.)
I know there is revelation in the Church because I have received revelation. I know God speaks in this day because he has spoken to me. I rejoice in the privilege and opportunity to serve as a witness of his name, to teach the truths of salvation which he has revealed, and then to testify that these doctrines are true.
This course of teaching sound doctrine and of testifying of the truth is the Lord’s system. Religion comes from God. There is no other source. That which is true, that which brings joy and peace into the hearts of men in this world and prepares them for eternal glory in the world to come—all this originates with the Lord. Man can no more create saving religion than he can resurrect himself.
God has given us the truths of salvation in this day on the same basis he has revealed them in every dispensation of the past. His system is now and always has been to reveal to apostles and prophets and righteous men the doctrines and truths of salvation and to command them to teach those truths and to bear witness of their verity to the world. They are to bear testimony that they know their teachings come from the Lord. His representatives and servants are always witnesses of the truth. I rejoice in the privilege of standing as a witness of the truth in this day.
I am grateful that I was privileged to raise my hand to the square and covenant in my mind and in my soul this day, as the Spirit of the Lord was poured out upon this great congregation, that I would sustain and uphold and take the counsel of these great men whom God has called to preside over his kingdom, the First Presidency of the Church—President Harold B. Lee, a seer, a man filled with the spirit of revelation and of wisdom who is on intimate terms with that Lord whose we are; President N. Eldon Tanner, the embodiment of integrity and the basic Christian virtues, who loves the Lord and keeps his commandments; President Marion G. Romney, a spiritual giant, a preacher of righteousness, who knows the Lord and teaches his doctrine. President Romney and I are members of the same family. After I had been told of my call, he said to me, “I think Granddad Redd [Lemuel Hardison Redd] will be glad to receive us.” I said, “I am going to live so I will be worthy to go where he is.” He said, “So am I.”
With reference to these brethren who hold the keys of the kingdom of God at this hour, the voice of the Lord to his people is: “These are they whom I have chosen as the First Presidency of my Church. Follow them.” And also, “… on them have I laid the burden of all the churches, … and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth those, the First Presidency, whom I have sent. …” (D&C 112:18–20.)
I desire with all my heart to sustain and to uphold the Presidency of the Church, to walk in the light of the revelation and truth that comes from their lips, as they give the mind and will of the Lord, both to his people and to the honest truth seekers among all the nations of the earth. I know that the work is true.
I think I speak for each one of you, I know I do for myself and my family, when I say that in this solemn assembly—with the outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord that has been present as we have sustained the authorities of the Church and as we have listened to President Lee as he spoke by the power of the Spirit—I think all of us desire to rededicate our lives to the principles of truth and righteousness for which these noble leaders, the Presidents of the Church named by President Lee, have lived and labored and died.
Let this then be our covenant—whatever the past has been—let this then be our covenant, that we will walk in all the ordinances of the Lord blameless. Let this be our covenant, that we will keep the commandments of God and be living witnesses of the truth and divinity of this glorious work, which is destined to sweep the earth as with a flood and which shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
O God, grant that I and my family and all the faithful members of the house of Israel may walk in truth and light, and having enjoyed the fellowship and kinship and association that is found nowhere else on earth outside the Church, let us enjoy that same spirit, that same fellowship in its eternal fullness, in the mansions and realms which are ahead.
All of this I say humbly and gratefully, in the spirit of testimony and of thanksgiving, and in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.