Prophets

Witness Testimony of Prophets

Wendy Watson Nelson:

Mangal Dan Dipty:


One day while praying, I felt inspired to investigate the Mormon Church. I learned that Salt Lake City, Utah, was the Church’s headquarters. I decided to write a letter and addressed it to “Men in charge of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.”

In 1959, in response to my letter, Brother Lamar Williams from the Church Missionary Department sent me Joseph Smith’s testimony, the Articles of Faith, and the Book of Mormon. I studied them all and was convinced of their truthfulness. However, there were no missionaries or members to teach me in India.

Then in January 1961, Elder Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Delhi. I spent three days traveling with him to the Taj Mahal at Agra and to Dharamsala. I was like a sponge soaking up all the gospel lessons he taught. On the final day of his visit, I was ready for baptism. On January 7, 1961, I was baptized by Elder Kimball in the Yamuna River; Sister Kimball was the official witness, though there were many curious onlookers. I was confirmed that evening.

Those three days when the Lord’s Apostle taught me without any interruptions have been some of the best days of my life. Parting was sad because he had become my special Mormon friend.

I often look back at my journey from being a “jungle boy” in rural India to being where I am today and know that my life and faith are truly miracles. The Lord’s embroidery of my life is more beautiful than I ever expected. How wonderful it was to have the Lord’s anointed prophet Spencer W. Kimball school me and walk with me at key times in my life’s journey.

Belle Spafford:


Twenty-nine and a half years have passed since that day, during which I have served under six of the Prophet-Presidents of the Church: Presidents Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, and Spencer W Kimball and their great and inspired counselors. What a rare and marvelous blessing!

These have been busy, demanding, challenging years, yet rewarding beyond my powers to measure. The members of each of the First Presidencies, the Twelve and other General Authorities have been good to me. The Lord has been good to me! Many, many times he has put ideas into my mind and even words into my mouth that have enabled me to meet difficult situations or remove resistant obstacles that otherwise might have impaired the work of the Society for which I had been given responsibility.

Anne Vadly Louis:


I remember one Thursday morning in seminary, my instructor was teaching us about prophets and apostles. He said a phrase that was burned into my memory: “President Thomas Spencer Monson [who was the prophet at the time] is a prophet of God, and whoever has the desire to know if this is true can sincerely pray to find the answer.” His words really touched me.

When I got home that day, I got on my knees and asked Heavenly Father to let me know if President Monson was called as the prophet by Him. At that moment, I felt a great and sweet joy fill me—something inexplicable. From that day on, I knew that the warmth I felt at that moment came from God, and it confirmed my faith in the prophet.

Jeffrey R. Holland:

Not often but over the years some sources have suggested that the Brethren are out of touch in their declarations, that they don’t know the issues, that some of their policies and practices are out-of-date, not relevant to our times.
As the least of those who have been sustained by you to witness the guidance of this Church firsthand, I say with all the fervor of my soul that never in my personal or professional life have I ever associated with any group who are so in touch, who know so profoundly the issues facing us, who look so deeply into the old, stay so open to the new, and weigh so carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully everything in between. I testify that the grasp this body of men and women have of moral and societal issues exceeds that of any think tank or brain trust of comparable endeavor of which I know anywhere on the earth. I bear personal witness of how thoroughly good they are, of how hard they work, and how humbly they live. It is no trivial matter for this Church to declare to the world prophecy, seership, and revelation, but we do declare it. It is true light shining in a dark world, and it shines from these proceedings.

Edward L. Kimball:

He outlined to them the direction his thoughts had carried him—the fading of his reluctance, the disappearance of objections, the growing assurance he had received, the tentative decision he had reached, and his desire for a clear answer. Once more he asked the Twelve to speak, without concern for seniority. “Do you have anything to say?” Elder McConkie spoke in favor of the change, noting there was no scriptural impediment. President Tanner asked searching questions as Elder McConkie spoke. Then Elder Packer spoke at length, explaining his view that every worthy man should be allowed to hold the priesthood. He quoted scriptures (D&C 124:49; 56:4–5; 58:32) in support of the change. Eight of the ten volunteered their views, all favorable. President Kimball called on the other two, and they also spoke in favor. Discussion continued for two hours.155 Elder Packer said, a few weeks later, “One objection would have deterred him, would have made him put it off, so careful was he . . . that it had to be right.” The decision process bonded them in unity. They then sought divine confirmation.

President Kimball asked, “Do you mind if I lead you in prayer?” There were things he wanted to say to the Lord. He had reached a decision after great struggle, and he wanted the Lord’s confirmation, if it would come. They surrounded the altar in a prayer circle. President Kimball told the Lord at length that if extending the priesthood was not right, if the Lord did not want this change to come in the Church, he would fight the world’s opposition. Elder McConkie later recounted, “The Lord took over and President Kimball was inspired in his prayer, asking the right questions, and he asked for a manifestation.”

During that prayer, those present felt something powerful, unifying, ineffable. Those who tried to describe it struggled to find words. Elder McConkie said:

[It was as though another day of Pentecost came.] On the day of Pentecost in the Old World it is recorded that cloven tongues of fire rested upon the people. They were trying to put into words what is impossible to express directly. There are no words to describe the sensation, but simultaneously the Twelve and the three members of the First Presidency had the Holy Ghost descend upon them and they knew that God had manifested his will. . . . I had had some remarkable spiritual experiences before, particularly in connection with my call as an apostle, but nothing of this magnitude.
All of the Brethren at once knew and felt in their souls what the answer to the importuning petition of President Kimball was. . . . Some of the Brethren were weeping. All were sober and somewhat overcome. When President Kimball stood up, several of the Brethren, in turn, threw their arms around him.

Elder L. Tom Perry recalled: “While he was praying we had a marvelous experience. We had just a unity of feeling. The nearest I can describe it is that it was much like what has been recounted as happening at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. I felt something like the rushing of wind. There was a feeling that came over the whole group. When President Kimball got up he was visibly relieved and overjoyed.”

Elder Hinckley said soon afterward that the experience defied description: “It was marvelous, very personal, bringing with it great unity and strong conviction that this change was a revelation from God.” Ten years later he said:

There was a hallowed and sanctified atmosphere in the room. For me, it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet. . . . And by the power of the Holy Ghost there came to that prophet an assurance that the thing for which he prayed was right, that the time had come. . . .

There was not the sound “as of a rushing mighty wind,” there were not “cloven tongues like as of fire” as there had been on the Day of Pentecost. . . .

. . . But the voice of the Spirit whispered with certainty into our minds and our very souls.

It was for us, at least for me personally, as I imagine it was with Enos, who said concerning his remarkable experience, “. . . behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind.”

. . . Not one of us who was present on that occasion was ever quite the same after that.

Elder David B. Haight recalled, “The Spirit touched each of our hearts with the same message in the same way. Each was witness to a transcendent heavenly event.” He spoke of the event again eighteen years later: “I was there. I was there with the outpouring of the Spirit in that room so strong that none of us could speak afterwards. We just left quietly to go back to the office. No one could say anything because of the heavenly spiritual experience.” Elder Marvin J. Ashton called it “the most intense spiritual impression I’ve ever felt.” Elder Packer said that during the prayer all present became aware what the decision must be.

President Ezra Taft Benson recorded in his journal: “Following the prayer, we experienced the sweetest spirit of unity and conviction that I have ever experienced. . . . Our bosoms burned with the righteousness of the decision we had made.” He also said he “had never experienced anything of such spiritual magnitude and power.” Each who felt this powerful spiritual experience confirming the decision proposed by President Kimball perceived it as a revelation.

Elder Howard W. Hunter said, “Following the prayer . . . comments were made about the feeling shared by all, that seldom, if ever, had there been greater unanimity in the council.”

Elder Perry said, “I don’t think we’ve had a president more willing to entreat the Lord or more receptive since the Prophet Joseph. We knew that he had received the will of the Lord.”

Elder Quentin R. Cook:


When important changes to bless our homes were announced at the October 2018 general conference, I testified that "in the deliberations of the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the temple,...after our beloved prophet petitioned the Lord for revelation..., a powerful confirmation was received by all."

At that time, other revelations relating to sacred temple ordinances had been received but not announced or implemented. This guidance commenced with individual prophetic revelation to President Russell M. Nelson and tender and powerful confirmation to those participating in the process. President Nelson specifically involved the sisters who preside over the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary organizations. The final guidance, in the temple, to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was profoundly spiritual and powerful. We each knew we had received the mind, will, and voice of the Lord.


Most of our guidance comes from the Holy Ghost. Sometimes and for some purposes, it comes directly from the Lord. I personally testify that this is true. Guidance for the Church, as a whole, comes to the President and prophet of the Church.

Bishop Dean Davies:


Just as the car reached the crown of the rise, President Hinckley said, “Stop the car, stop the car.” He then pointed to the right at a parcel of ground and said, “What about this property? This is where the temple goes. This is where the Lord wants the temple. Can you get it? Can you get it?”
We hadn’t looked at this property. It was farther back and away from the main road, and it was not listed for sale. When we responded we didn’t know, President Hinckley pointed to the property and said again, “This is where the temple goes.” We stayed a few minutes, then left for the airport to return home.
The next day, Brother Williams and I were called to President Hinckley’s office. He had drawn out everything on a piece of paper: the roads, the chapel, turn left here, X marks the spot for the temple. He asked what we had found out. We told him he couldn’t have picked a more difficult property. It was owned by three individuals: one from Canada, one from India, and one from China! And it didn’t have the necessary religious zoning.
“Well, do your best,” he said.
Then the miracles happened. Within several months we owned the property, and later the city of Langley, British Columbia, gave permission to build the temple.

Elder Henry B. Eyring:

Sheri Dew:

Wendy Watson Nelson

And then I love it when he does the necessary work to receive the instruction from the Lord on whatever topic it is. But I love when sometimes he will say, “The Lord showed me exactly.” And that phrase caught my attention the very first time he used it, because just the day before, I had been studying from the life and teachings of President Wilford Woodruff and President Woodruff used the very same phrase. He said, “The Lord showed me exactly.” Now, again, I don’t know what the issue was or is when my husband wrestles, nor when he says, “The Lord showed me exactly,” but the rest of the sentence for my husband sometimes is then, “The Lord showed me exactly how to proceed,” “The Lord showed me exactly what to do or say,” “The Lord showed me exactly what would happen if a certain course were followed.”