I rejoice in this opportunity to say a few words to you tonight. I feel impressed to speak to you about a priesthood program that has been inspired from its inception—a program that touches hearts, that changes lives, and that saves souls; a program that has the stamp of approval of our Father in Heaven; a program so vital that, if faithfully followed, it will help to spiritually renew the Church and exalt its individual members and families.
I wrote, some time ago, a letter to a disbeliever. Much of what was said in that letter has been on my mind lately and I wish to share the substance of those thoughts. With that explanation you will better understand the point of view assumed and the style in which it is given. Writing to this young man, who was battling with his thoughts, I said:
One day I was riding along with President Widsoe in charge of the European missions, I thought this was my chance to ask Brother Widsoe all those questions that had been on my mind since a little boy. So I asked him, "Why did Jesus have to suffer on the cross?"
He said, "Who told you to ask me that question?"
I am wondering if I may tell you a story that I have told quite often in the Church. It is a story that is older than you are. It’s a piece out of my own life, and I’ve told it in many stakes and missions. It has to do with an incident in my life when God showed me that he knew best.
Now the most important thing of all in your life—that which will have the greatest bearing on what you are going to be tomorrow, on your activities, your attitudes, your eventual destiny, is your one decision you make that moonlit night when you ask that individual to be your companion for life.
Beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now.
I will tell you of an experience I had before I was a General Authority which affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. "You are wrong," I said, "there is a God. I know He lives!"
I earnestly seek an interest in your faith and prayers as I strive to bring forth light on this Book of Mormon message—the sin of pride. This message has been weighing heavily on my soul for some time. I know the Lord wants this message delivered now.
My young friends of the Aaronic Priesthood and you trainers of this great army of Christ, the principle of work has been taught from the foundation of the world. It is the bottom line of any forward motion of success. The frightening disappearance of work as a part of our basic ethic is alarming.
What I shall say I could say much better if we were alone, just the two of us. It would be easier also if we had come to know one another, and had that kind of trust which makes it possible to talk of serious, even sacred things.