That’s a long, long walk. My brothers and sisters, my heart is full. I believe more than anything else I would like to truly express my love for my Father in heaven. I thought this morning of my wife as she said to me early, “Are you ready for today?” Those words have seemed to ring in my mind all day as I’ve realized that if I’m not ready, it’s too late. I have begun to realize more fully that this last thirty-four years has represented the time for preparation—not today, but that which has gone before, the many, many yesterdays. The preparation has come from those persons who have been close to me and my family—priesthood leaders, mission presidents, these good Brethren of the First Council of the Seventy for whom I have worked for a number of years—I realize that it’s in those yesterdays, those many early mornings, those many long hours, as has been described here today, that most of the battles are fought and won.
I would just share this one thought with you this afternoon, my brothers and sisters. I’ve had going through my mind something that Brother Sill said that was a paraphrase from Alma, expressed in a little different way, when Alma said the following:
“Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (Alma 37:33, 36–37.)
My brothers and sisters, I bear witness to you that this is the church of Jesus Christ, that he is at the head, that he is the rock of our salvation, that our affections must be totally placed, all of them, upon the Lord. And I bear witness that if they are placed elsewhere, we will not receive that promise to be lifted up at the last day. I bear my witness with a surety that goes beyond words of those promptings that come that this is the true church of Jesus Christ, the only one upon the face of the whole earth, because the Lord has so declared it. I bear witness that President Kimball is a prophet of God and want to express to these good Brethren in front of me that I pledge all of my efforts, my time, and talents, and resources, and all that I have, for as long as they’re desired by the Lord or by these Brethren, to do whatever they would have me do. And I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.