I think it was about four years ago while I was in the MTC when I solidified my testimony of the importance of the twelve apostles. One in particular made a huge difference in my life: Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. He spoke to the missionaries in the MTC and gave his moving “Missionary Work and the Atonement” talk. My favorite quote from this speech is:
“I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. …How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?”
His words completely changed my perspective of missionary work, as well as the Atonement. I was especially grateful for these insights because I was three days away from flying to a foreign country and sharing the “good news” in a language I could barely speak. His testimony strengthened me, just like I’m sure he’s strengthened you at one point or another.
I bet if you simply heard his voice and didn’t see his face you’d recognize that it was Elder Holland. His voice and the way he talks are so uniquely his. I’ve had chills listening to him as he testifies of the Savior, calls back the wandering soul, or pleads with the sinner to repent. One of my favorite scriptures reminds me of Elder Holland:
“And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among [the] people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony.” (Alma 4:19)
He truly does bear pure testimony. I think bold and vigorous are two other good words to describe the style of his testimonies.
Elder Holland recently published a new book, Created for Greater Things. The following quote is where the book’s title came from:
“I believe we have all been created for greater things than we can comprehend. The times call for great things, but great things in the noblest and most redemptive sense are predicated upon tolerance, love, respect, understanding, dignity, prayer, God.”
It’s a small book packed with gorgeous pictures and illustrations and some of his most memorable quotes. I’ve thumbed through it quite a few times and always seem to find some kind of encouraging quote or answer to a prayer. You can’t go wrong with an apostle of the Lord. Thanks, Elder Holland.
Ashley Jones practices public relations for Deseret Book. She loves writing, emailing her missionary sister, and making/ eating home-made popcorn.
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