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The Torchbearer

Vaughn J. Featherstone June 5, 1983 • Devotional
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This opportunity to speak to you tonight reminds me, I suppose in an intimidating way, of the sixty-six-year-old golfer who would drive the ball a long, long way down the fairway. The only problem was that his eyesight wasn’t very good, and he would lose golf balls right in the middle of the fairway. He was a strong golfer and could drive the ball a long way but couldn’t see where they went. So he went to the pro and said, “Would you mind helping me? I don’t like to lose golf balls and I love the game and don’t want to stop playing. Have you got any ideas?”

The pro said, “Oh, sure, we’ve got this eighty-eight-year-old golfer over here who is crippled up and can’t play anymore, loves the game, hangs around here all the time, and has eyes like an eagle’s. Take him along, and he will spot the ball for you. You will have a great time together.”

So they went out on the first tee, and the younger man, sixty-six, teed his ball up, and he drove a long ball far beyond where he could see. He turned to the older man and asked, “Did you see where that went?”

And he said, “Yep.”

And he said, “Where did it go?”

And he said, “I forgot.”

I think that is what you who attend this great institution have a tendency to make us do in this kind of a setting. It is easy to forget.

I happen to love the poem from which I take the title for my talk tonight; it is called “The Torch Bearer.”

The Torch Bearer
The God of the High Endeavor
Gave me a torch to bear.
I lifted it high above me
In the dark and murky air;

And straightway with loud hosannas
The crowd proclaimed its light
And followed me as I carried my torch
Through the starless night,

Till drunk with people’s praises
And mad with vanity
I forgot ’twas the torch they followed
And fancied they followed me.

Then slowly my arm grew weary
Upholding the shining load
And my tired feet went stumbling
Over the dusty road.

I fell with the torch beneath me.
In a moment the light was out.
When lo! from the throng a stripling
Sprang forth with a mighty shout,

Caught up the torch as it smoldered,
And lifted it high again,
Till fanned by the winds of heaven,
It fired the souls of men.

And as I lay in the darkness
The feet of the trampling crowd
Passed over and far beyond me,
Its paeans proclaimed around,

And I learned in the deepening twilight
This glorious verity,
‘Tis the torch that the people follow,
Whoever the bearer may be.
—Author unknown
[Thomas Curtis Clark, comp., The Master of Men (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1970, c1958), p. 205]

There is a great truth in the verse. Tonight I would like to talk to you as torchbearers. I would like to discuss what we oftentimes hear mentioned today by writers, speakers, and others as our agenda, whether a weekly agenda, an unwritten agenda, or our life’s agenda. I would refer to this one as a lifetime agenda. Elder Maxwell once mentioned a quote regarding “the tyranny of the unweighted agenda.” Think about that in your life’s priorities: “the tyranny of the unweighted agenda.” And so I’d like to talk to you about a few things that I think help us to separate illusion from reality—some may call it shadow or reality. What we have to offer is reality, and I am convinced that if we are not very careful and very selective, then maybe we do not carry the torch as well—or we may not be there to pick it up at the right time.

A Lifetime Agenda

A great general, Lucius Macedonicus, made a statement—at least it was attributed to him. He called it, or someone later called it, “Come with Me to Macedonia.” It is a great statement and one that has impressed me greatly, with its many hidden truths. He said:

Commanders should be counselled chiefly by persons of known talent, by those who have made the art of war their particular study, and whose knowledge is derived from experience, by those who are present at the scene of action, who see the enemy, who see the advantages that occasions offer, and who, like people embarked in the same ship, are sharers of the danger.

If, therefore, anyone thinks himself qualified to give advice respecting the war which I am about to conduct, let him not refuse his assistance to the state, but let him come with me into Macedonia.

He shall be furnished with a ship, a tent; even his travelling charges will be defrayed, but if he thinks this too much trouble, and prefers the repose of a city life to the toils of war, let him not on land assume the office of a pilot. The city in itself furnishes abundance of topics for conversation; let it confine its passion for talking to its own precincts and rest assured that we shall pay no attention to any counsel but such as shall be framed within our camp. [General Lucius Aemilius Paulus, surnamed Macedonicus, Roman general and patrician, c. 229-160 B.C.]

That is a powerful statement, “Commanders should be counselled chiefly by persons of known talent.” I think in a real sense those of us who have a few more years than you do have some experience we could pass on to you that would be worth your while considering. I have seen the enemy. I know what he is like, and I can tell you just a little about him. I think tonight, as we talk about the torchbearer and the needs you have in prioritizing your personal agenda, a statement John H. Vandenberg made years back comes to mind. He said, “The fruit of wisdom ripens slowly.” That is a great statement and a true one, and it will be more true as years go by.

Experience

Years back when we lived in Boise, Idaho, a man in our ward, Bill Bowman, who was the wrestling coach at Boise State College, did his doctorate work, his dissertation, on what makes a winner. After interviewing over a thousand athletes and feeding all the information into the computer, he got his answer. Do you know what it is that contributes more to winning than any other thing, at least in his research? Others might vary or differ, but I happen to agree with him. He said that when all the research and data came back, experience—more than desire, more than motivation, more than anything else—experience was the number one contributor to success in winning.

I think that one thing we have to put on our agenda is the right kind of experience and place it high. You don’t need the wrong kind of experience. It was Walter Malone who said about opportunity,

They do me wrong who say I come no more
. . . When once I knock and fail to find you in,
For every day I stand outside your door
And bid you wake, and rise to fight and win.

Wail not for precious chances passed away,
Weep not for golden ages on the wane!
Each night I burn the records of the day;
At sunrise every soul is born again.
[“Opportunity,” Masterpieces of Religious Poetry, James Dalton Morrison, ed. (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1948), p. 301]

I believe that with all my heart, but I know it’s far, far better if we never get involved in the wrong kinds of experiences. I believe in repentance, and I believe in an opportunity to redo and go back and make things right, but I know in the long run we are safer if we stay on the straight and narrow path. Obedience is a great principle. Obedience isn’t a loss of free agency. Obedience is actually gaining the highest kind of free agency. When the God of heaven, who knows all the best ways and the best way, tells us how to do it and what to do, wisdom (which we gain from years of experience) would dictate that we follow that.

Service

The next item I would have to put on my list of high priorities is service. A great Frenchman by the name of François-René de Chateaubriand said this: “In the days of service all things are founded; in the days of special privilege they deteriorate; and in the days of vanity they are destroyed.”

We love President Kimball with everything in us, do we not? We literally would hold him on a feather pillow. When he goes from one area to another, they usually meet him at the airplane with a limousine and they whisk him into the limousine and drive him to the stake center or wherever he might be going, but President Kimball pushes through the bodyguards and security and is out shaking hands with people. He wants to be with the people. He is so involved in service special privilege could not detract from this great man. He will never be in a position of vanity. In the days of special privilege they deteriorate, and in the day of vanity they are destroyed, but in the days of service all things are founded.

Would you make a resolution somewhere on your agenda to take time to serve. You see, the prideful person wants other people to serve him. With the humble, sweet servant like President Kimball, his whole attitude is to serve other people, to do for them what they need done. That has been his whole mission in this life. Also understand that in service we find reality. I think it was just a year and a half ago around Christmas or the New Year holiday that I made a decision that every day I would do some Christian act of service. That is not impressive, but I decided this Christian act of service would be something I would initiate myself, not when people would come to me and say, “Will you come to the hospital, will you administer to this person, or could I counsel with you for a few minutes, or can you come here and speak?” It is something that I seek for, a Christian act of service. I think since that time there has not been a day that I haven’t found an opportunity to sign a book and send it to someone or make a phone call that may have been more important than I would have ever dared to suppose or to drop by and see someone in the hospital that had not invited me to come—just drop in. I think service is a great thing. It purges, it cleanses, and it keeps your thinking straight. Keep service high on your agenda.

Last Sunday night, I walked in the door at home at 9:30; my wife and I were home alone. We talked for a while and then went to bed. The phone rang. A friend that I had known since the first grade—his name is Joe—had called the Church operator to see if I was home. She called through and said, “There is a man by the name of Joe ––– that is trying to get in touch with you. Would you mind talking with him? He has tried several times.”

I said, “I’d love to.”

She put him on, and he said, “Hi, Brother Vaughn,” in a broken voice.

I said, “What can I do for you?”

And he said, “I know you just got in. I’ve been checking all day, but my daughter is in the hospital. Can you come?”

The flesh said, “When?” I knew when, but I said to him, “When?”

And he said, “Tonight? Would that be asking too much?”

I said, “No. I’ll be right there.”

It is a half-hour drive from our home in to the University of Utah Medical Center. I turned to my wife and said, “I need to go to the hospital.” Do you know how many times she has heard that in our marriage, that I need to leave after I’ve come home? I asked, “Would you mind going with me?”

She said, “I’d love to go.” And we got out of bed, got dressed, went to the hospital together. I thought I was exhausted and tired before, but I was not exhausted when we drove back home. My wife and I had had a great experience, but more importantly, I was able to help a man that I had known since I was in the first grade who had a daughter in serious trouble in the hospital, hanging between life and death. I gave the blessing. I was not even sure as we went into the room that she would make it through the blessing. She is alive still; it is a miracle. What a blessing that service is when the flesh says, “I’ve had enough,” and the spirit says, “No, you haven’t; you are just starting. Get going.” We need to remember that.

We have some great missionaries. I was interviewing one of them sometime back, and since he has been on a mission—he and his wife together—it appears they will probably lose their business. It was a large business, and they lived in a very comfortable, large home. I was visiting with him, asking what we could do, how we could help them, and if he needed to come home from his mission and then go back out later on.

The wife replied. She said, “No. We want to stay on our mission. We can’t leave the mission field. We may lose the business and we may lose our home, but since we’ve been on our mission, we found out the difference between illusion and reality. We have some lovely things we have collected over the years, but we really don’t need them. If my husband had been home, he literally would be a dead man now. He would have put every bit of energy he had into saving the company, and he wouldn’t be here. I love the Lord for calling us on a mission at the right time. We may go home and have to live in a little apartment and have to start all over again, but that doesn’t really matter. I never have loved my husband more desperately in all my life than I do right now.”

And her husband said, “No, we will not leave the mission. The only thing I feel bad about is three of my family members who are in the business will be out looking for work.”

And I believe today they’re out looking for work, but this wonderful couple stayed out in the mission field. “In the days of service all things are founded.”

The Intense Life

I think the next thing we have to put high on our priority list is the intense life. I suppose that somewhere we have a vision that leisure, resting, and relaxing is a great thing, and that may be true. I have a verse that someday I’m going to quote to the General Authorities. It is by Edgar A. Guest, and he calls it “No Place to Go.” It goes like this:

The happiest nights
I ever know
Are those when I’ve
No place to go,
When the missus says
When the day is through:
“Tonight we don’t have
A thing to do.”
Oh, the joy of it,
And the peace untold
Of sitting ’round
In my slippers old,
With [music and book]

In my easy chair,
Knowing I needn’t
Go anywhere!
Needn’t hurry
My evening meal
Nor force the smiles
That I do not feel,
But grab a book
From a near-by shelf,
And drop all sham
And be myself.
Oh, the charm of it,
And the comfort rare;
Nothing on this earth
With it can compare;
I am sorry for him
Who doesn’t know
The joy of having
No place to go.
[Edgar A. Guest, A Heap o’ Livin’ (Chicago: Reilly & Lee, 1916), pp. 110–11]

You have to earn that; it doesn’t just come. I think we’ve all felt that way sometimes. You remember the man that got on the train in London going to Doncaster, and he went to the conductor and asked, “What time does the train stop at Doncaster?”

The conductor said, “It doesn’t stop at Doncaster on Wednesdays—every other day, but not Wednesdays.”

The man said, “It has to stop; I’ve got to get off; I’m speaking tonight at Doncaster.”

The conductor said, “I’m sorry, it doesn’t stop at Doncaster on Wednesdays. But, I’ll tell you what. There is a little junction just outside of Doncaster that the train slows down for. I believe that, if you were standing on the platform and you were all ready, and when I gave you the signal you jumped running as fast as you could when you hit the ground, you might make it.”

So just outside of Doncaster he was standing out on the platform. He had his attach case in his hand. The conductor said to jump, and he jumped running as fast as he could go. He hit the ground somehow stumbling forward in a football-stance landing and that thrust him forward. He actually gained one full car. The conductor on the car up ahead grabbed him by the hand, pulled him on board, and said, “You’re lucky to make this train. It doesn’t stop in Doncaster on Wednesdays.”

You have to live that kind of intense life, I think, if you are going to enjoy things.

Abraham Lincoln said that when a man is over forty, he is responsible for his own face. I believe that. You even see it as a mission president. When the missionaries get off the plane, you could almost identify the mission leaders. They would never believe you could, but each of us is responsible for our own face at a certain time. Thomas Bennett, a great corporate executive, says, “In the midst of every adversity, there is an abundance of opportunity.” We sometimes don’t understand that every disadvantage can be changed into an advantage, and that there is no great achievement without pain. We have to think that through a little bit, but it is a true statement.

So that would have to be the next qualifier—to live the intense life. We don’t need to just drift aimlessly or try to search out leisure. Make sure that they are prized moments when they do come. Someone said that you can tell what a man is really like if you see what he does in his leisure. We will not take time to discuss some of the ways that leisure would be used.

Testimony

I’ve always loved Heber C. Kimball. President Brigham Young referred to him as his prophet counselor and Daniel H. Wells as his statesman counselor. In the 1950s Harold B. Lee spoke here at BYU and quoted from Heber C. Kimball, and then in 1974 President Hinckley in his general conference talk quoted the same thing. And Heber C. Kimball said this:

We think we are secure here in the chambers of the everlasting hills, where we can close those few doors of the canyons against mobs and persecutors, the wicked and the vile, who have always beset us with violence and robbery, but I want to say to you, my brethren, the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God. Then, brethren, look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall; for I say unto you there is a test, a test, a TEST coming, and who will be able to stand? . . .

. . . You imagine that you would have stood by him [Joseph Smithwhen persecution raged and he was assailed by foes within and without. You would have defended him and been true to him in the midst of every trial. You think you would have been delighted to have shown your integrity in the days of mobs and traitors.

Let me say to you, that many of you will see the time when you will have all the trouble, trial and persecution that you can stand, and plenty of opportunities to show that you are true to God and his work. This Church has before it many close places through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with victory. To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got the testimony, live right and call upon the Lord and cease not till you obtain it. If you do not you will not stand.

Remember these sayings, for many of you will live to see them fulfilled. The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. [Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1967), pp. 446, 449, 450]

I think we are just now coming into that time. We live in a day of inverted values. The whole world is upside down. Transgression has never been so serious and so grievous as it is today. I’ve thought about all the consequences for our generation. We need to think a little about the testings.

Love

I’ve heard more and more of temple divorce. That is not right, a cancellation of sealings, a divorce after temple marriage. We do not consider some things. When a celestial marriage takes place in the temple, then we have made an eternal decision, and we ought to have the courage and the faith to live a Christian life and attend to those covenants. We oftentimes hear about incompatibility. I’ve never talked to any two people who, if they would both live Christian principles, could not get along and fall more deeply in love. Sometimes we take the world’s way out. That is one of the great tests that will come our way: whether we will abide the standard of the Lord or whether we will search for another way out.

President McKay said about arguments between a man and his wife, “When you get into a discussion, only one get angry at a time.” And then he suggested for the man, “You go outside and walk around the block, and then when you get back home, throw your hat in the door. If it comes back out again, walk around the block another time.” Well, that is great counsel. We need to decide that we can solve every problem. Two intelligent Christian people can solve a problem. If you were smart and wise enough to fall in love once, you can fall back in love again. Just decide in your marriages that are in the temple that you will never consider divorce. I suppose the same ought to be said for any couple who marry, in or out of the temple. Remember that no one really does ever possess anyone else. We may in a real sense give ourselves to someone else, as my life has been given to the Savior. I love him more than all else in this world. I love my wife with all my heart, and she is here tonight, and I love my family, but Jesus has my absolute love. I am totally committed to him. He possesses me, not because he demands it, but because of my free agency. And when a woman gives herself to her husband like that and a man gives himself to his wife, do you suppose they cannot solve the problems that are there? To you women here tonight, remember that no woman ever has to follow a man in unrighteousness, only in righteousness.

I love golf stories, and especially this one. This golfer was at the eighteenth hole, he took out three of his favorite golf clubs and handed them to the caddy and he said, “Take these clubs home and give them to my wife. They are my favorites and they ought to be a remembrance of me. I’m going to walk out into the lake here and drown myself.”

The caddy said, “It wouldn’t work. You couldn’t keep your head down.”

Well, I don’t know about that, but in marriage we can solve the problems. Marriage doesn’t work unless you make an effort at it and make it work. Make this a high priority agenda item. Whatever comes in your marriage, simply kneel down together and put your arm around each other’s waist and pray to God, “Please help us.” I promise the help will come.

To conclude this particular section, I will quote another Frenchman, Ren de Chardan, who said, “Sometime, after we have mastered the winds and the waves and the tides and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love, and then for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”

That is why President Kimball is so great. When I went out to Oklahoma, many years back and found young chaplain John Cooper out there, I was reminded of his father who had been the stake president up in Logan. There was a time in the Church—and many of you have never heard this before or never known it—when we had quarterly stake conference, and two General Authorities visited every stake conference. Then we went to one General Authority per quarter, then one per six months, then one per year in most stakes—not all of them. But in all those years President Cooper kept a little guest book, and he had every visitor that came to his stake sign in it. The guest book had the date, the name of the person, his title or position, and his hobby. When he had me sign this book, I saw all these thick pages with line after line of the Brethren’s names. I looked through and there were President Heber J. Grant and President David O. McKay and President Joseph Fielding Smith, Matthew Cowley, Adam S. Bennion—all the great apostles of the past. I came to this entry: Date: 1954; Name: Spencer W. Kimball; Position: Apostle; hobby: I love people. I kept turning the pages and came to 1964: Spencer W. Kimball, apostle; hobby: I love people. I don’t think that President Kimball went back through his book and found out what he had written before to be consistent. I think if we could call him tonight on the phone at his apartment and ask, “President Kimball, what is your hobby?” he would say, “I love people.” That is it. Put love high on your priority list.

Gethsemane

A rabbi recently wrote a book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Interesting thought, isn’t it? We could write one, When Good Things Happen to Bad People, and that’s an interesting thought. We sometimes feel as if we’re being persecuted or that the Lord has withdrawn from us. I don’t believe for a second that with many, many of the things that happen to us the Lord is going to interfere. I think it is just part of life. I don’t think there is any punishment behind a lot of things. I think they are consequences of living. President Harold B. Lee said, “We will be tested every month of our life.” And I believe that. After he quoted that great quote by Heber C. Kimball, he mentioned that. So, you will be tested. Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote a great verse that I quoted at October conference a year ago, and it is called “Gethsemane.” After the conference I wrote to the Historical Department and said, “I need a reference for that particular poem. Would you mind sending it over to me?” Tom Truitt sent over from the Historical Department this long poem, “Gethsemane.” I had quoted only one stanza and a couple of lines and what I quoted I thought was good, but listen to all of it:

In golden youth when seems the earth
A Summer-land of singing mirth,
When souls are glad and hearts are light,
And not a shadow lurks in sight,

We do not know it, but there lies
Somewhere veiled under evening skies
A garden which we all must see—
The garden of Gethsemane.

With joyous steps we go our ways, 
Love lends a halo to our days;
Light sorrows sail like clouds afar,
We laugh, and say how strong we are.

We hurry on; and hurrying, go
Close to the border-land of woe,
That waits for you, and waits for me—
Forever waits Gethsemane.

Down shadowy lanes, across strange streams,
Bridged over by our broken dreams;
Behind the misty caps of years,
Beyond the great salt fount of tears,

The garden lies. Strive as you may,
You cannot miss it in your way.
All paths that have been, or shall be,
Pass somewhere through Gethsemane.

All those who journey, soon or late,
Must pass within the garden’s gate;
Must kneel alone in darkness there,
And battle with some fierce despair.

God pity those who can not say,
“Not mine but thine,” who only pray,
“Let this cup pass,” and cannot see
The purpose in Gethsemane.
[Maurine and Other Poems (Chicago: W. B. Conkey, 1888), p. 135]

There will always be a purpose, and I can promise you that no righteous people will ever go through suffering except that they will be compensated for that suffering. Kahlil Gibran said, “The cavity created by the suffering through which we go becomes a receptacle for compensating blessings.” I happen to believe that. I would qualify that by saying “righteous suffering” because many people suffer because of the wickedness and the sinfulness and the transgression, but for righteous suffering, compensating blessings will fill the cavity created.

Max Wiley lost his wife to cancer, he lost a daughter to pneumonia, and then his other daughter was brutally raped and murdered in a Chicago apartment. All his immediate family in a short period of time were gone. And someone asked him, “Max, how do you keep going on?”

He answered, “A long time ago someone told me, ‘When you have come to the end of your rope, you just tie a knot and hang on.’”

Sometimes that is all we can do. Cullum said, “Night claims from the overburdened soul the truth which daylight is denied” (Ridgwell Cullum, The Men Who Wrought [Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs, 1916], p. 25).

I believe it was in response to that statement that President Hugh B. Brown, in a funeral service, said, “Yes, but no matter how dark the night, the dawn is irresistible.” What a marvelous thing it is to have an understanding that the Lord will never test us more than we can stand!

Faith in Christ

Number one on our agenda, above all else, is faith in Christ. I don’t know anything that will take the place of it. Whenever we find problems in the Church, we usually find them under one of two umbrellas or canopies, either transgression or lack of faith in Christ. If members have faith in Christ, then they are active in the Church and they are absolutely committed.

Purity

Then I suppose the final item—not the final one, but near the final one—would have to be purity. Purity is an essential. Do you know that Victor Hugo said, “Pearls do not dissolve in mire.” We live in a day of almost open mental sewage, but pearls do not dissolve in mire. We have to be aware of it and be able to look beyond it and see the Lord’s design in things. It has been my experience to sit among the Brethren for some time. Long before I was a General Authority I would sit out in the congregation and look at the faces of the General Authorities. Do you know what I always saw? Besides integrity, devotion, love, and commitment—and I love them more now than I did in those days—I saw almost a translucence, that is, a whiteness, a countenance change. I don’t know if any of you saw LeGrand Richards in his later life, but it is true his skin was smooth and almost translucent. I believe you could have almost looked into the soul of LeGrand Richards through this crystal clear, translucent flesh of his and seen “the foulest deed his heart doth hold.” I believe in President Kimball’s case his face is almost translucent. In the upper room of the temple quite often in our first Thursday meetings—and we’ll have one again this Thursday—I have seen on occasion some of the Brethren stand there with an aura of light around them as they spoke. One of the men around whom I saw an aura when he spoke was the president of this great institution, Jeff Holland. It was about four inches wide. He reported to the Brethren, and I could see it. I knew that Jeff Holland was speaking in an inspired way to the Brethren at that time. So keep purity high on your list.

Summary

Let me conclude again by reviewing with you the things you ought to carry as a torchbearer. First, follow great men and women, those whom you can trust, those who are worthy examples. Make certain that you choose to serve. If you choose not to serve, you will never be a great leader. Sometime take the Topical Guide and look under Leadership—all the references you can under Leadership. What will you find? The qualities of leadership are not listed there. The are listed under Servant, Love, Compassion.You don’t find them under Leadership.

Remember to live an intense life. Stretch your mind to the very limit. Force yourself to do some things when you don’t necessarily feel like doing them. Force yourself to be physically ambitious as well, not just mentally ambitious. You have to have the balance of physical and mental ambition. And then learn the value of love—“Someday after we have mastered the winds and the waves and the tides and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love, and then for the second time in the history of the world man will have discovered fire.”

Remember also that you cannot escape it; you must one day go to Gethsemane and back. I promise you will never have to go alone as He did. I promise you that every step of the way He will be with you, that His love is absolute and His charity is uttermost. There is no end to His charity, no end to His love, and He will always be with you. Then live pure; it is essential to greatness. God bless you. I have a testimony. With everything in my soul I know that this is the kingdom of God on the earth. There is none other. As humble and as bold as I can possibly be, I have to declare my witness of this Church, as this is the only true and living church on the face of the whole earth, and that is reality; it is not shadow. It is not an illusion; it is actual truth. I know it is so. I bear that humble witness to you tonight in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Vaughn J. Featherstone was a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this devotional address was given at BYU on 5 June 1983.

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