It is wonderful to have President Benson with us as we open this great world conference of the Church. His smile upon us and the wave of his hand mean much to all of us. Wherever we go—at home or abroad—we receive the same request: “Give our love to President Benson.”
President, I am confident I speak for all who participate with us today when I say we respect you, we honor you, we love you as the prophet of the Lord in our time.
We regret that you will be unable to speak to us. In your behalf, I convey your love and blessing upon the Saints everywhere, and likewise your testimony as spoken on previous occasions. These are your own words:
“No other single influence has had so great an impact on this earth as the life of Jesus the Christ. We cannot conceive of our lives without his teachings. Without him we would be lost in a mirage of beliefs and worship, born in fear and darkness where the sensual and materialistic hold sway. We are far short of the goal he set for us, but we must never lose sight of it; nor must we forget that our great climb toward the light, toward perfection, would not be possible except for his teachings, his life, his death, and his resurrection.” (Ensign, June 1971, p. 34.)
I testify that Christ is the light to all mankind. He has “pointed, marked out and lighted the way. ‘Sadly, many individuals and nations have extinguished that light. They have attempted to supplant His gospel with coercion and the sword.’” (Church News, 4 Dec. 1982, p. 10.) But even to those who reject Him, He is “the light [which] shineth in darkness.” (John 1:5.)
Thank you, our prophet dear, and please be assured of our prayers. May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you.