“I Am the Vine, Ye Are the Branches”

Dean L. Larsen


 

This past week, as I read through some prospective material for the Ensign magazine, I came to these lines of verse that reflect the reaction of a housewife after her first encounter with some Latter-day Saint missionaries:

The sun shone that afternoon and so did you
As I opened the door.
Truth standing there and I concerned about my custard
And the kitchen floor.
You spoke, memories stirred and through the windows, darkly,
I watched the years
And wondered what it was I longed for
And why my tears.
You went on your way, but something lingered in the air,
Peace for my pain;
I picked up my mop, pretended that things could
Be the same again.

Since receiving a phone call several days ago from President Kimball, in an attempt to maintain some equilibrium, I’ve been pretending that things would be the same again for me; I know they will not, and I desire with all my heart the sustaining influence of the Lord and the influence of your faith and prayers as I accept this new assignment. I have told the Lord that I am his to use however he sees fit. I have also made that pledge to President Kimball, and I am sustained in that by a loving, faithful wife and a loyal family. I have the consolation of these words of promise of the Lord to his earlier servants when he said:

“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” (John 15:3–5, 7–8.)

I bear witness today, brothers and sisters, that the Lord Jesus Christ lives, that this is his work, that President Kimball is indeed the Lord’s prophet upon the earth. The Lord will come again to reign as King of kings and as Lord of lords. May we be worthy to be with those who serve and live with him when that time comes, I pray, and solemnly invoke his blessings upon us all this day, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.