Special Witnesses

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President Gordon B. Hinckley

This is the Sacred Grove. This hallowed ground is reverenced by Latter-day Saints throughout the world. Here is where it all began, the miracle of this great work which has spread over the earth. This is the scene of the First Vision. It was here that God, the Eternal Father, appeared with His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the resurrected Lord. The Father, pointing to His Son, said, "This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!" (JS-H 1:17).

Do you realize the import of that declaration? Here was God, the Eternal Father, the Almighty, bearing testimony in words plainly spoken. No more important or compelling testimony has been given of the Risen Lord than this testimony of His own Father.

The curtains that had been closed for centuries were now parted. A new and glorious gospel dispensation was opened, introducing yet other marvelous revelations. Another testament of Jesus Christ was brought forth to speak as a voice from the dust. The holy priesthood, originally bestowed by the Master on His living Apostles, was restored upon living men by these same Apostles, now resurrected. There followed a veritable "cloud of witnesses" with keys and powers to complete the restoration of the Church established by Jesus when He walked the earth, now to be known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Here in this very place the long night of apostasy blossomed into the glorious dawn of a new age. God Himself was both seen and heard. Here, where we stand in the quiet of these trees, in this most sacred of places, the nature of Deity was again revealed.

The uncluttered and receptive mind of a boy became the instrument of the revelation here given and of many more yet to follow. Standing as the 15th in line from Joseph Smith and bearing the prophetic mantle which came upon him, I solemnly declare my testimony that the Prophet Joseph’s account of these events is true, that the Father here bore witness of the divinity of His Son, that the Son instructed the boy prophet, and that there followed a train of events which led to the organization of "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which," He declared, "I, the Lord, am well pleased" (D&C 1:30).

Of the reality and personality of the living God and of His Son, our Redeemer, I stand as a solemn and reverent witness, speaking these words by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Special Witnesses