I am sure that was time well-spent. I wish we might have heard from these Brethren [Elders Ringger, Call, and Camargo] at greater length. They are three wonderful men, and their very presence here this day is to me a testimony of the great power and the divinity of this work.
I love to read of the visit of Moroni to the boy Joseph Smith—that night when he was only a youth, when a messenger clothed in white appeared before him in his bedroom. He was a farm boy, with very little in the way of formal education. But he had received a vision three years earlier, the like of which no man in his generation—or in any generation since—has received, when God the Eternal Father and the resurrected Lord had appeared to him.
Now the angel Moroni came, and according to the Prophet’s testimony, “said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.” (JS—H 1:33.)
Brother Ringger comes from Switzerland. His grandmother was touched by the missionaries a long, long time ago. His father was a man of great faith, a patriarch in the midst of his people, in a very literal way. Brother Hans Ringger has been a stake president among his people and a Regional Representative. He is a man of faith. His English may not be as polished as perhaps yours is. But there burns in his heart a deep, flaming conviction of the truth of this work. By profession, he is a distinguished architect in his native land. He has just retired as a full colonel from the Swiss Army. When I talked with him the other day about his leaving his business and consecrating himself to the work of the Lord and what it would entail, I looked into his strong face, and the tears began to well just a little. Then he said, “Of course, of course. If that’s what the Lord wishes, that’s what I want to do.”
It was so with Brother Call, who was born in Mexico and reared in Mexico—in that land where the teaching of the gospel has been so fruitful, where there are now some three hundred thousand members of the Church who speak that beautiful language known as Spanish.
It was so with Brother Camargo, who came within a few hours after I had talked with him on the phone—just picked up his things and came, without ever a question, who speaks the tongue of Brazil—Portuguese—in that tremendous nation of South America.
Three lands! “God had a work for me to do … my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues … it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.” These are but representatives of this marvelous, miraculous thing, which we are witnessing in our time, of the spread of the restored gospel across the earth for the blessing of our Father’s children wherever they may be found.
Brothers and sisters, the time has come to conclude the conference. We now leave for our homes. May we take with us something of the light of inspiration which we have gained here. Every one of us should be the better for having been here. May we put renewed energy into that which lies ahead of us.
When I was a boy, we frequently sang in Sunday School: “Put your shoulder to the wheel; push along; do your duty with a heart full of song. We all have work; let no one shirk; Put your shoulder to the wheel.” (Hymns, no. 206.)
God bless you, my beloved associates, that his Holy Spirit may abide in your hearts, that his Holy Spirit may dwell in your homes, that faith will grow at your hearthsides among those you love most, and that your influence for good may be felt among all with whom you associate, I humbly pray as I leave with you my witness and testimony of the divinity of the work, and in the authority of the holy priesthood in me vested, invoke the blessings of heaven upon you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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