As we sustained two new apostles this conference weekend, we were able to hear their powerful testimonies of the Savior. Their witnesses flooded our hearts with the Spirit, helping us remember our relationship with our Heavenly Father and our conviction to do His will.
After these powerful moments, we wanted to reflect back on all of the apostles' first testimonies shared in general conference after they were sustained as special witnesses of Christ. May their words help us find a similar conviction to serve the Lord until the very end:
Now, I understand fully that the call to the Holy Apostleship is one of witness to the world of the divinity of the Lord Jesus the Christ. I know that salvation is centered in Him! Said the angel to King Benjamin: “Salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:18). . . .
The creation of the earth and all that dwell therein, the necessary fall that enabled man to be, and the atonement of the Lord are three fundamental components of God’s eternal plan. Without that atoning sacrifice, there would be neither immortality nor eternal life. . . .
The testimony that I bear is but an echo of the resounding testimonies of the 84 who previously have received this call to the Twelve since the spring of 1820. I know that God the Father and the Son appeared to usher in this last great dispensation of eternal truth. I testify that we are of the house of Israel, specifically of the lineage of Joseph, bearing the birthright and charged with the irrevocable responsibility to prepare the world for the second coming of the Savior. Then, numberless multitudes among every nation, kindred, tongue, and people will eventually join in proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. So I solemnly testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I know that God expects us to work to purify our hearts and our thoughts so that we may serve one another for the highest and best reason, the pure love of Christ.
Most of all, I know that God lives, and I know that his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, died for our sins and is our Savior. And I know that God has restored the fulness of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith in these latter days. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I will keep my covenant to take his name upon me and always remember him. And I will go wherever I am sent to teach of him and offer the ordinances by which we take his name upon us and promise that we will always remember him and keep his commandments.
And if they accept that invitation, they will know what I know: God, our Father, lives. His Son, Jesus the Christ, did the will of the Father and atoned for all of our sins. Because of him we will be resurrected. Because of his atonement we may be exalted. The Lord sent heavenly messengers to confer keys on his prophet, Joseph Smith. The Lord has called his prophet today, Gordon B. Hinckley. The Savior will speak to us and all the world through him.
And if those who hear will take the Savior’s name upon them and always remember him, and keep his commandments, they will finally come to him and he will take them home to his Father and our Father, where we may live forever in families. I testify that is true, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
My brothers and sisters, I am deeply humbled at the confidence of the Lord and my Brethren and pledge to you that I will do the very best I know how. . . .
I understand the source of the call. I have learned during the past nine and a half years that this is our Heavenly Father’s church. The errands that I have been sent on to act in the name of the Lord enable me to witness to you today that I know, as I know that I stand before you, that Jesus is the Christ, that he lives. He is very close to this work and very close to all of us who are asked to perform the work throughout the earth in his name.
In the spirit of that legacy from those who have given so much—prophets and Apostles and people like you—I pledge to “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men” (2 Ne. 31:20). I pledge to “take hold of that for which Christ once took hold of me” (New English Bible, Philip. 3:12).
I testify of him, the Redeemer of the world and Master of us all. He is the Only Begotten Son of the living God, who has exalted that son’s name over every other, and has given him principality, power, might, and dominion at his right hand in the heavenly place. We esteem this Messiah to be holy, harmless, undefiled—the bearer of unchangeable priesthood (see Heb. 7:24, 26). He is the anchor to our souls and our high priest of promise. He is our God of good things to come. In time and in eternity—and surely in striving to fulfill this new responsibility which has come to me—I shall forever be grateful for his promise: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). I thank him for that blessing upon us all, in his name, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
God our Heavenly Father knows us by name. Jesus Christ lives; He is the Messiah; He loves us. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real; it brings immortality to all and opens the door to eternal life.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is again on the earth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and living.
The Book of Mormon is a second witness of Jesus Christ and a manifestation of the truthfulness of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I love the Prophet Joseph. I love President Gordon B. Hinckley, who is the prophet of God and holds all the keys of the kingdom at this time, keys which prophets have held in uninterrupted succession since Joseph Smith.
These things I know in my heart and in my mind. And of these things I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
As one of the weakest of the weak, I testify that God lives. I testify and witness that Jesus is the Christ. He is our Redeemer and our Savior, and He lives. And I testify that the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His true Church have been restored to the earth in these latter days through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Priesthood keys and authority and saving ordinances are again found on the earth. By the power of that priesthood, families truly can be together forever. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and the keystone of our religion. And, brothers and sisters, the heavens are not closed. God speaks—to us individually and to the leaders of His latter-day kingdom on earth. President Gordon B. Hinckley is the Lord’s prophet on the earth today. Of these things I testify and declare my witness in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
It is our faith in Jesus Christ that sustains us at the crossroads of life’s journey. . . . There is no other name under heaven whereby man can be saved (see Acts 4:12). We must take upon us His name and receive His image in our countenance so that when He comes we will be more like Him (see 1 John 3:2; Alma 5:14). When we choose to follow Christ in faith rather than choosing another path out of fear, we are blessed with a consequence that is consistent with our choice (see D&C 6:34–36).
May we all recognize and give thanks for the incomparable gift of life we each enjoy and for the breath that He lends us daily. May we choose to have conviction at the crossroads of life and exercise faith in Jesus Christ. My prayer is that we will live by faith and not by fear. I bear my witness of God, who is our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, who atoned for our sins, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I know Jesus Christ as the living, resurrected Son of God. . . .
I rejoice that for the balance of my life I shall be able continually to offer Christ, to offer the good news of Christ in all the world. I bear witness of the reality and love of God, our Heavenly Father, to whom Jesus gave all glory. I love and bear witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Through his personal association with the Lord, his translation and publication of the Book of Mormon, and the sealing of his testimony with his martyr’s blood, Joseph has become the preeminent revelator of Jesus Christ in His true character as divine Redeemer. Jesus has had no greater witness nor more devoted friend than Joseph Smith. I declare my testimony of the calling of President Thomas S. Monson as prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ in this time and pledge my loyalty to him and his counselors in their sacred roles. I pray God’s blessings upon us all. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Above all, we proclaim our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. All that we are—all that we will ever be—we owe to Him. While we gaze in awe at His majesty, He does not ask us to stay our distance but bids us to come unto Him. “I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).
His words echo through the centuries:
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25–26).
Brothers and sisters, He lives. He is resurrected. He guides His holy work upon the earth. His prophet is President Thomas S. Monson. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I can’t remember not believing in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have loved Them since I learned of Them at the knees of my angel mother, reading scripture and gospel stories. That early belief has now grown into a knowledge and a witness of a loving Heavenly Father, who hears and answers our prayers. My testimony of Jesus Christ has been built from many special experiences in which I have come to know His great love for each one of us.
I’m grateful for our Savior’s Atonement and wish like Alma to shout it with the trump of God. . . . As we follow our prophet, I pray that we may have charity in our hearts toward others and that we will become a living witness and indeed “stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers [us].” Oh, may it be “wonderful, wonderful to [you and to] me.” In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
These are the words which I have shared hundreds of times with both those who belong to the Church and many who are not members: “God is our [loving] Heavenly Father. We are His children. … He weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right. He wants to communicate with us, and we can communicate with Him through sincere prayer. …
“Heavenly Father has provided us, His children, with a way to … return to live in His presence. … Central to our [Heavenly] Father’s plan is Jesus Christ’s Atonement.”
Heavenly Father sent His Son to the earth to atone for the sins of all mankind. Of these plain and precious truths I bear my testimony, and I do so in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
With all my heart I want to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.7 I love Him. I adore Him. I witness of His living reality. I witness that He is the Anointed One, the Messiah. I am a witness of His incomparable mercy, compassion, and love. I add my testimony to that of the Apostles who, in the year 2000, stated “that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. … He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world.”
I testify that on a day in 1820 in a grove in upstate New York, the risen Lord appeared, along with God, our Heavenly Father, to the Prophet Joseph Smith, just as Joseph Smith said They did. Priesthood keys are on earth today to enable saving and exalting ordinances. I know it. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
On this Easter Sunday, I humbly pledge all the energies and faculties of my soul, whatever they be or become, to my Savior, to my dear Susan and our family, to my Brethren, and to each of you, my beloved brothers and sisters.
Everything worthy and eternal is centered in the living reality of God, our loving Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Atonement, witnessed by the Holy Ghost. I reverently witness and solemnly testify of the living Christ—He who died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven. He is Alpha and Omega—with us in the beginning, He is with us to the end.
I solemnly testify that Jesus Christ is risen, He lives, and that He directs His Church on earth through His prophets, seers, and revelators. I testify that He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and that through Him we can be saved and exalted in the presence of our dear God. I love Him. I adore Him. I want to follow Him, do His will, and become more like Him.