Episode #30: Published May 22, 2019
Tad R. Callister is among the most beloved Latter-day Saint authors whose titles include "The Infinite Atonement" and "The Inevitable Apostasy." In his new book, “A Case for the Book of Mormon,” the former Sunday School general president builds upon his general conference talk, which makes a full case (including what detractors might say) for this keystone of the Latter-day Saint faith, complete with witnesses, evidence and a closing argument.
"I don't think anyone can gain a better understanding of the Savior and His Atonement and His all-encompassing powers, His love for us, than you can gain from the Book of Mormon. And so if you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, you will have a testimony of Jesus Christ, you will have a testimony of His Atonement. It will give you hope, it will give you comfort, it will give you direction in life, purpose in life, meaning in life. It will be a rock foundation upon which to build."
You can find Brother Callister's new book, "A Case For The Book of Mormon," here.
Read a transcript of the episode below.
Morgan Jones: Before we get started with this week's episode, I just wanted to take a quick second to say thank you to all of you who have left us a rating or a review on iTunes, especially this week after I asked for a favor. You guys are true friends. And I want you to know that your kindness did not go unnoticed. I read every single review and I'm always grateful for your feedback. Thank you also to all of those who have shared this podcast with your family and friends. I think it's really interesting that as humans, I believe we have this desire to connect on a deeper level with those around us and talking about podcasts seems to be an easy and natural opportunity to do that. And so I've noticed that the best way to share podcasts seems to be through word of mouth. So thank you so much for spreading the word. Thank you for the reviews. And now we will get on with this week's episode.
What if you had to make a case for the Book of Mormon? What if you had to call witnesses to the stand, present evidence and give a closing argument all to support the veracity of this book that as members of the Church we read every day. Tad Callister, who was recently released as Sunday School general president, spent his professional career as an attorney. And in his new book, "A Case for the Book of Mormon," he makes his case for the book that has been called the keystone of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Tad R. Callister was serving in the presidency of the Seventy and as a member of the second Quorum of the Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when he was called as Sunday School general president in April 2014. Brother Callister received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Brigham Young University, a juris doctorate degree from University of California Los Angeles, and a master's degree in tax law from New York University Law School. He spent most of his professional career practicing tax law. He is the author of the best-selling books, "The Infinite Atonement," "The Inevitable Apostasy," and "The Blueprint of Christ's Church." He and his wife Catherine, are the parents of six children.
This is "All In," an LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, "What does it really mean to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?" I'm Morgan Jones and I am so grateful to have Brother Tad Callister with me today. Brother Callister, thank you so much for being here with us.
Tad Callister: You're welcome. I'm thrilled to be here.
MJ: Well, I am so excited to talk about this book. Because as I told you, when you got here, I am loving reading it. I'm probably a little over halfway through right now. And I feel like maybe it's just the lawyer's daughter in me, because my dad is an attorney, but I love the way that you've structured it. And so I'm excited to talk with you today about kind of your legal background, why you decided to write the book in this format and what there is for us, as members of the Church, to gain from better understanding the case for the Book of Mormon.
TC: I'll look forward hopefully to your questions. Don't make them too tough on me.
MJ: Okay. I will, I will do my best. You originally studied accounting at Brigham Young University. And I'm curious how you make the switch from accounting to then going on to get your law degree and to pursue a career as an attorney?
TC: Well, I was actually in pre-med. And then I went on my mission and I had a father and two brothers who were attorneys and another brother who was a doctor. And I decided that I'd never given law a chance but I liked math and economics. And so I thought maybe I'll do accounting, which would be a background for business law. So I came back to BYU and got a degree in accounting with the intent of going to law school, which I ended up doing.
MJ: Okay. And what kind of law did you practice?
TC: It was business law and tax law. So I would do a lot of real estate law, a lot of tax matters, a lot of business transactions and so forth.
MJ: Okay. So you're pretty familiar with what a law case looks like, based on your background. When did you initially have the idea to make a case for the Book of Mormon? What came first your conference talk or this book?
TC: Well, I think, in truth, the ideas for this book have been germinating for years and years and years because I've loved the Book of Mormon. I've spoken about it a number of times, and I've had files to collect ideas and thoughts and questions. But I think it was solidified when I gave the talk at conference a couple years ago on the Book of Mormon and I decided I wanted to expand on that. And that resulted in the book entitled, "A Case for the Book of Mormon."
MJ: I loved the conference talk, I love the book even more. I think that the book, there's just so much information to pack into a 10 minute conference talk. And so I love that the book gives us an opportunity to kind of really dive into it. How is this book, in your experience as an attorney, how is this book structured like a true legal case?
TC: I think the very first part of the book, the first half, is a defense in a way. It's designed to respond to the questions of the critics and to say, you know, we may not have every answer, but we have a lot of answers and some very, very good answers. But the second half of the book is to take the offense and to say you've, you've had your game time now to shoot. Now it's our turn to shoot and we're going to take the offense, and you need to answer some very difficult questions that we have for you. And so it's designed in two parts: one, to respond to their questions and two, to take the offense and say we have a lot of spiritual and intellectual ammunition that have never been completely responded to by the critics. And the truth is because there is no adequate response because it's true.
MJ: So as I read, I was impressed because you raise some of these, these critical—I don't know if I should call them attacks—things that people have raised as opposition to the Book of Mormon. And as I read, I thought, I don't know that we've ever looked at the Book of Mormon, I haven't, quite like this. And I'm curious for you, Brother Callister. Did you have any concerns about presenting arguments against the Book of Mormon that some reading the book may not have even been aware of before reading.
TC: That's a very fair question and a good question. And I did have some concerns but they were overcome by a couple of factors. One is that we live in a day of the Internet. And these questions were available, these attacks are available. And most people are going to hear them one way or another. They'll hear them from a friend or someone who's not a friend, or they're going to see them when they read on the internet. Or their kids are going to have these questions or their friends are going to have these questions. And I thought true faith, as the Lord said, is know the truth, and the truth will make you free. And I think the more you understand the opposition, and the more you have responses to it, or you have the spiritual faith to endure some questions that may not be answered, it's a way to strengthen testimonies, not weaken testimonies. And I think it was Peter who said, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you," but how can you give answers if you haven't paid the price to find out what their questions are, and their attacks are? And so hopefully this will strengthen testimonies and immunize people against some of these attacks that may come in the future. And they'll say, "Oh, yeah, I've heard that question. And I know the answer, or I'm contented with my own spiritual response at this point."
MJ: Yeah. That answers another question that I was curious about, which is, I think a lot of us we, sometimes it's like ignorance is bliss. And so we're like, "Oh, well, I believe it. I feel good about it. I'd rather not dig into some of this." But you've kind of already answered this about what there is to gain and that is that immunization. Is there anything else you would add as to what we have as members of the church to gain by strengthening our understanding of what people are saying against the Book of Mormon, and also the case for the Book of Mormon?
TC: I think if we also understand their arguments. It helps us to respond to them in a kindly but intelligent way that may soften their hearts and open them up. And if we have to say every single time, "Well, I don't know, but I believe," that may be okay for us, but it will be hard for them if we can't sometimes give intelligent answers and for me, reason can destroy faith, but reason can also strengthen faith and we ought to use all the reason we can to strengthen our faith. I think the the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon make sense. And there's a lot of intellectual evidence there that can support our spiritual testimonies and I think we have the duty to find all of the intellectual evidences, we can to strengthen our spiritual testimony because they work hand in hand in that way.
MJ: Brother Callister, when did you first gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon?
TC: I think I've always had a testimony of the Book of Mormon for some reason, always, but I read it for the first time when I was about 15 or 16 years of age. I know we have a lot of younger generation, they read it at 8 or 9, bless their souls, but I was about 15 or 16. And I was reading the story of the 2000 sons of Helaman. And you know if you're a young man, you really relate to them at that age, you know, they were heroes for me. And one night after I had finished reading the story, there just came this impression to my mind, it was not an audible voice, but it was a definite impression that said, "That story is true." And that was an extra witness to me of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. And from that time forward, it's only been an increase in testimony as I tried to study the arguments for, the arguments against, and I've sought the Lord's help in prayer. And the thing that's been maybe the greatest witness to me is the incredible doctrinal sermons and teachings in the Book of Mormon. There is no possible way that Joseph Smith, at 23 years of age, could have expounded all of this doctrine in this beautiful way that he does. I think in the Bible, we have maybe 40 passages that really talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
In the Book of Mormon, we have masterful sermons after sermon, King Benjamin and then Jacob, Nephi, Alma, and Amulek and Helaman. And those are a witness to me that they're preaching the truth with divine insight. And to me that's the greatest witness of the Book of Mormon is its doctrinal insights as confirmed by the Spirit.
MJ: What you just said reminded me of one of my favorite parts of the book where you talk about these sermons. And you say, referring to the Book of Mormon, "Its divine language leaves an indelible impression upon the mind which also causes a stirring of the soul. It has a purity and conciseness of thought that prompts us to repeatedly stop and ponder the language, perhaps even memorize selected verses, highlight them in our scriptures or place them on a mirror, refrigerator, or other visible location at home. These verses become our companions and friends in times of need or reflection. Such passages forged from the language of the Spirit are messages with a heartbeat, messages that live and breathe and inspire."
Brother Callister, what is it that gives the Book of Mormon a heartbeat?
TC: I think it's the Spirit, that Spirit is what breathes life into all of these doctrines, so that they're not just some mundane historical principle, I mean fact, these aren't just facts. These are visions of how we ought to live our lives and the promises that come if you will do it. They are catalysts to be a better person. And I think that's how they're a heartbeat, is they give life to our spirit, and motivation to our incentive to be a better person.
MJ: Thank you. That part of the book, it gave me chills. And so I think, and it's so true, there are so many scriptures like when I think about what the Book of Mormon has done for my life, I think of like little moments when I really, really needed comfort, and how, in that moment, some scripture from the Book of Mormon helped me and so I think that that is so so important. Why do you think it is becoming increasingly more important in our climate and culture to have a personal testimony and witness of the Book of Mormon?
TC: Well, we had prophets tell us that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. And if it's the keystone of our religion, it certainly to be the keystone of our testimonies. And why should it be the keystone of our testimonies? Because its entire focus is on Jesus Christ.
I don't think anyone can gain a better understanding of the Savior and His Atonement and His all-encompassing powers, His love for us, than you can gain from the Book of Mormon. And so if you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, you will have a testimony of Jesus Christ, you will have a testimony of His Atonement. It will give you hope, it will give you comfort, it will give you direction in life, purpose in life, meaning in life. It will be a rock foundation upon which to build.
MJ: I'd like to, if it's okay with you, I'd like to give people a little taste of some of what is found in this book. So I'm curious, what would you say is one of the more compelling arguments against the Book of Mormon that you present in the book? And can you give listeners an idea of how you would argue against that in support of the Book of Mormon?
TC: Well, I think one of the arguments that the critics felt was compelling for years and years is that the Book of Mormon had many anachronisms, meaning something that was out of time, out of place, out of context. For example: Their argument now is that the Book of Mormon mentions horses, but we don't have evidence of horses in that time frame or oxen or sheep or silk or steel or iron. That's one of their key arguments.
But I do put in here that if you put forth a partial truth as the whole truth, it's an untruth. And that's a partial truth. And the reason it's a partial truth is what the critics fail to tell you in the context of this is that we only have 2 percent, or less, much less of the archaeological finds of ancient America have been discovered and excavated.
So I say to them, suppose somebody surveyed 2 percent of the United States geographically and when they were done, they told you, Morgan, I can tell you categorically that there are no Everglades in the United States. There are no redwood forests, there are no volcanoes, there are no gold mines, there are no oil wells, because in the 2 percent that I surveyed, none of those things were found. What would you say?
MJ: That's ridiculous.
TC: Exactly right. And now, what they also failed to tell you is not only that many of these people, the real archaeologists today tell you, it's less than one tenth of 1 percent. But they also fail to tell you is, this same argument was made about metal plates. And then all of a sudden, metal plates were discovered. And then the same argument was made about the Book of Mormon mentions cement but there's been no cement found. But now cement has been found. The same argument was made that Alma was a woman's name and the Book of Mormon puts it out as a man's name. And then we discovered it was a man's name. And then that there was no barley. It's mentioned three times at least in the Book of Mormon, there was no domesticated barley in that time, and now we've discovered barley. And so I would say one of their arguments that they felt was a strong argument, over the passage of time and when the whole truth is known, is a very weak argument now.
MJ: That was so interesting to hear. It made me think the first person to join the church in my family was a woman named Mary Jane Hodges and she joined the church in North Carolina. And the missionaries knocked on her door and they shared the Book of Mormon with her and she read it and she loved it so much, she was pregnant at the time and she loved Alma so much that she said, regardless of whether it was a boy or girl, she was going to name her baby Alma. Turned out, it was a girl but Alma can be a boy or a girl's name, just like Morgan can be a boy or a girl's name.
TC: Well, in fact, they finally found a deed in 1961 in Israel. It was about the first century, around the first century, I forgot if it was BC or AD but it was during Book of Mormon times, and it was signed by Alma ben Yehuda, which means ALMA, the son of Judah. So that was a proof that Alma at that point in time was also a boy's name.
MJ: That's fascinating.I feel like those listening, and myself included, have probably all had people raise concerns to them about the veracity of the Book of Mormon. What is the best way to respond to our friends or neighbors or family members that may raise some of these arguments? What's the best way to respond without contention?
TC: I think one way is just to share with them some of the beautiful doctrinal truths about the Savior. Most people feel a sense of spirit when you talk about the Savior. Say "I'd just like to share with you some of the beautiful truths that are in the Book of Mormon that either support the Bible or help give us new insights that are not in the Bible. For example, the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We learn in the Bible that He overcame physical death and He overcame spiritual death and that's confirmed in the Book of Mormon, but we also learn some additional truths, that through His Atonement He suffered for all of our pains and afflictions so He has the power to comfort us. And also that through His suffering, He made it possible for us to overcome our weaknesses, and strive to perfect ourselves to become more like Him. And these are some chapters that will help you understand some of these beautiful truths about the Savior and I just invite you to read them. And the way I found out the Bible is true. I don't know how you found out the Bible is true, but I had to, I had to read it and pray about it and be open minded. And that's exactly what I've done with the Book of Mormon. And let me just ask you as my friend, if you're wanting somebody who was a Muslim, to know the Bible was true, how would you invite them to know the Bible is true?"
MJ: To Read it.
TC: "And pray about it, wouldn't you? and that's all I'm asking you to do with the Book of Mormon. And if you do and you give it a fair chance, I honestly believe you'll feel the same spirit that I do about this book."
MJ: Yeah. I love that. And that made me think of how much I love your book, "The Infinite Atonement, which is really completely off-topic. But I felt like I should tell you that. You write at length in this book about the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. And that's the part that I'm currently reading and so it's fresh in my mind. And I love that you talk about...you point out that if you were to look at Peter, at just one part in his story, that maybe you would question his witness of Christ, and that the same can be true if we look at the witnesses of the Book of Mormon through isolated incidences. Why are witnesses so important in this case for the Book of Mormon?
TC: Well, I think the Lord established why they're important, he said "in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." If you go to court, there's an accident case, what do they want to hear? They want to hear from the witnesses. And I think what made such a difference to me why I spent so much time in the witnesses is when I grew up, I had seen the statements and maybe five to seven statements of the witnesses. And I kind of thought that was it. And I didn't realize that we have about 200 recorded statements of the three witnesses. And when I started reading these, and I saw the consistency of them, and I saw that every means possible by Satan to pressure them to recant their testimonies there might have been from friends, it might have been from enemies, it might have been from family, it might have been for money. Even their lives were put on the line, which I didn't know, in a couple instances and Satan used every single method he could to dissuade them from staying true to their testimonies, but they never yielded. Even when they were at differences with Joseph Smith, even when they were gone from the Church for awhile, they never gave up on this testimony and then each one of them on their deathbeds, if you think if this was a fraud, why in the world on your deathbed, would you voluntarily reaffirm this testimony before you're going to go to the other side? Because you knew it was true and you wanted one of the last words from your breath to be that I was honorable, I fulfilled my responsibilities as a witness to this Book of Mormon so when you get to the other side, you could say I'm a man of integrity.
MJ: Thank you for that. Brother Callister. As you were working on this book, I imagine that just like anything, we learn new things, and we have new findings regardless of how many times we've read the Book of Mormon or read about the Book of Mormon. What for you was the most significant finding as you wrote this book?
TC: Well, I think one of them was the extent of the witnesses' statements, the frequency, the numerous number of statements. That was one of the things that I had learned. I think others were just how many answers we had to these critics' attacks that I had never taken the time, honestly, to look up because I just believed it was true. And I started going through all of these arguments about Oliver Cowdery wrote the Book of Mormon or Sidney Rigdon wrote the Book of Mormon or it was copied from the Solomon Spaulding Manuscript or copied from The View of the Hebrews. And when I started to go through these things in detail, I found out, "Wow, there's only two choices. If you get down to the bottom, there's only two choices: Either Joseph Smith wrote this thing and it's a total fraud. Or he was totally inspired by God. And it's a work of God. And I think from my experience of trying to write some past books, one of them took me 18 years and for someone to tell me that Joseph Smith at age 23, trying to eke out a living as a newlywed, wrote this in 65 days with one draft, after my secretary told me the other day that I had 72 drafts of this latest book, "A Case for the Book of Mormon," and President Nelson told me he had 40 drafts of one of his conference talks, to tell me that Joseph Smith wrote all of these doctrinal insights with all of these names and interactions in 65 days with one draft, I just shake my head and say, "You're naive. I hate to tell you but you're naive to think that can be done." I think someone once said, a person with an experience is never at the mercy of someone with an opinion. I think Hank Smith said that and if you've written books, you know, this just doesn't happen in 23 days, a marvelous book like the Book of Mormon.
MJ: Yeah. How did this book and working on it strengthen your personal testimony or change your personal testimony of the Book of Mormon?
TC: Well I, I've always had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but the the most remarkable thing to me was that, no matter what chapter you read, it focuses you on doctrine. Sometimes you may get lost and you think I'm in these war chapters. But those war chapters will always teach you some doctrinal or leadership principle, and that's why they were put in there. And so the Book of Mormon is a book of doctrine and that, I think, was one of the things that changed me is to realize that the way the Lord teaches is he says we should teach the doctrine and then all of the history and the stories and the resources we use, they support that doctrine, because the doctrine is what motivates us. The doctrine is what gives us testimonies, the doctrine is what gives us vision and hope and meaning.
MJ: Yeah, I had a Sunday School teacher back home in North Carolina, who was a convert to the church. He is a Texan cowboy. And he told us in our first lesson with him, he said, "I'm just going to go ahead and tell you upfront. I don't know how to pronounce half of these names that we're going to be talking about," and he's like, "But I will tell you, we're going to focus on what there is to gain from that." And I think that first and foremost, that should always be the goal and that's always something that has stuck with me. Brother Callister, you were just released as Sunday school general president, do you have any parting words or thoughts for members of the Church?
TC: Well, President Nelson, when he introduced the ministering servants rather than home teachers, told us that we are going to a higher and holier way. And I think the new curriculum is designed to do the same thing—to take us in a higher and holier way, to take us from just reading the scriptures to pondering the scriptures, discussing them, asking questions. And I think as we do that, that pondering will invite more revelation into our individual and our family lives. And I don't think somebody has to be tricky or sophisticated, the individual and family manual is a very helpful manual, I think, to help you get into the scriptures and ponder them. And then it makes for better Sunday school classes if people are willing to participate and I hope that will. It adds to the spirit of those so I would just say, just follow the program and the Lord's prophet's direction.
MJ: Yeah. You mentioned the new "Come Follow Me for Individuals and Families." And I have loved studying that. I think it's added so much to my personal study. And I'm curious, I'm sure you've been involved with creating the curriculum for next year, and next year will be the Book of Mormon. Is that right?
TC: Yes, it is.
MJ: So what do members of the church have to look forward to from next year's curriculum?
TC: Well, wow, they have a lot to look forward to. I think there will be and I've already mentioned this, but there will be a focus on the doctrine, insights to the doctrine or from conference talks, other inspired writers. I think there's some very thoughtful questions that are asked, there's a lot of research that's being brought in that's been done in recent years, both in the actual manual and even more online. I think it'll be a very rich experience that will take you to a new level of depth in the Book of Mormon than we've ever had before. All the past has been good but hopefully every year takes us another inch or two and I think this will take us another six inches or foot deep in our love and understanding of the Book of Mormon and its great doctrines.
MJ: Well I think you're definitely right. I think, you know, I haven't seen the curriculum for next year but just based on my experience with "Come Follow Me," I feel like I have read the New Testament and never gotten out of it what I've gotten out from "Come Follow Me." How have you seen the new "Come Follow Me" program changing the Church and its members.
TC: I think in a couple key ways. One is I think, because there is a course of study focused on the doctrine, more individuals are studying on a regular basis. And it's been a help for parents. Parents want to be good teachers, they want to teach their children but they just need some resources or helps to do it. And I think this has been a help to them to know how to teach their children. So I think it's given an incentive and spiritual ammunition to parents to hold this on a regular basis because they have they have something to teach something that they feel good about. And then I think knowing that every other week now you've got Sunday School, it's a little bit of an accounting, stewardship report. "Well, I need to get it done so my kids will all be ready for this next Sunday and, and I go to classes now I've seen even in Primary classes where kids are talking about "Well this is what we discussed at our home," and youth are discussing, "This is what we discussed in our home." And parents are saying, "Yes, this is what we've discussed." So people come much better prepared to Sunday School classes, which obviously adds to the spiritual depth of the class. So I think it works both ways. And it feeds each other both ways, individuals, families, and the Church—they all work together to support each other.
MJ: Absolutely. I feel like this is such an exciting time to be a member of the Church. I feel like it's such an interesting time to be a member of the Church, but for me, very exciting. Why do you think it's an exciting time to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
TC: Well, I think several reasons. One is that we are definitely in the times of preparing for the Second Coming. I think our prophet's made that aware to us and I think we have so much revelation today, not only in the scriptures that we have, but in the conference talks we have and from our prophets, I think this is a day of incredible pouring down of revelation from heaven. I don't know that any generation's had more than we do, maybe the city of Enoch. But I think the revelation is pouring down from heaven. That's exciting. I think also, it's exciting that you have to make a choice. And I think there's a polarization taking place in the world. And you've got to choose whether you're coming towards God or away from God. And to me, that's an exciting time to show, "I'm committed to God and I'm going to stick by him, no matter what the attacks may be, or the opposition may be."
And I think it's an exciting time because the Lord sending I think, very choice spirits to the world, this day and age. We have friends that are choice, strong spirits, we have children that are choice strong spirits, there's a great obligation but also opportunity to be teachers of the gospel to this noble generation being raised up. So I think those are all some of the reasons that make it a very, very exciting, but trying time as well.
MJ: Yeah. You said something that I thought was interesting. And I want to ask you about it. You said, you know, you have to make a choice. And for you, Brother Callister, what would be kind of your closing argument on why someone should choose to believe?
TC: That's a good question. I think that they at least have to have a spark of a desire to believe, as we read about in the Book of Mormon. And because if God exists, and if this church is true, you first of all, think of the monumental mistake if you didn't find that out while you're on the earth that not kind of "I kind of missed that one." That's a monumental, eternal mistake. And so I think everybody who has any vision whatsoever of eternal perspective wants to do every single thing within their power, to find out if God exists, and if this church is true, and if they will exert that, even a desire to believe and find, an honest desire, then they open the door to the Spirit to confirm to them that it's true. But they also have to be willing to live the commandments and if they're willing to do that, the Spirit will come. But I think the reason it's so important is because our whole eternal destiny is predicated upon finding this answer. And you can either be an ostrich with your head in the sand, or you can say, "I'm going to go out there and I'm going to do everything within my power to find the truth." And if you have that attitude, you will find the truth, if you're humble enough to accept it when it comes.
MJ: Brother Callister, why do you believe?
TC: I think I believe for several reasons. One is, it does make sense to me. And I think as part of it, the Lord said, "Come, let us reason together," and he talks on multiple occasions about us reasoning together. It makes sense to me.
Number two is, I do feel the Spirit confirming it.
Three is I'm happier when I live it.
And the Savior said, by the fruit ye shall know them. And when I look at the Church, and I see imperfect but good people, and I see the fruits of the gospel and its scriptures, I see the fruits of the gospel and people's good works. I see the fruits of the gospel and revelation today, miracles today, the priesthood on the earth today, the same teachings that we had in the Bible, I say, "Wow, all of those are evidences to me that it's absolutely true."
MJ: Well, I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed our conversation. And I appreciate your time more than you know. In conclusion, I just have one final question for you. And that is, what does it mean to you to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
TC: I was a mission president in Toronto and I used to tell the missionaries, "You can't have one foot in Provo, Utah and one foot here in Toronto, Canada. You've got to, you know, kind of burn the bridges behind you." And to be "all in" means that you are all in, you're totally committed to this gospel. You don't have a 96 percent testimony. You don't go to church 96 percent of the time and not 4 percent because it's not convenient. Being all in is being consecrated and being consecrated is saying, "I'm going to give you all of my mind, my heart, my soul, my property, whatever you want. Lord, you can have." And to me, that's being all in.
MJ: Thank you. Thank you so much Brother Callister.