Saturday, November 23, 2013

Elder Bednar at Fort Jackson

We didn't have the opportunity to hear Elder Bednar's talk to the soldiers at Ft. Jackson, but we heard about it.  The Fentons were there, because they're assign to attend church at the fort - and President and Sister Holm were there.

They told us that a mother of one of the soldiers, when she heard Elder Bednar was going to speak on Sunday, contacted him and asked him to find her son and give him a message from her - that she loved him.  Elder Bednar said that his first thought was to ask, at the beginning of the meeting if that soldier was in attendance, and have him come forward, but, he said, he was constrained by the Spirit, that he shouldn't do that.  So, he launched into his talk, which was mainly geared to the non-members and to the head of the Fort chaplains.  His talk was very simple and direct.  We are Christians, because we are the church of Jesus Christ.  We are His church in the latter-days, the same as those who were members of His church when he was upon the earth.  His church, in the latter-days, is organized exactly like the original church that He established when he lived and preached in the Holy Lands.  We believe in baptism, by immersion, we take the holy sacrament, in remembrance of His body and His blood.  We have apostles and prophets, pastors (bishops), teachers, evangelists (missionaries), etc.Sister Fenton said that he laid everything out there, with no apologies.

After the meeting was over, Elder Bednar wanted to meet with each of the soldiers and shake their hands.  He told President Holm that in the midst of shaking hands, the Spirit alerted him that one of the next four soldiers in line was the one whose mother had contacted him.  He watched for the names on the uniforms.  That soldier was the last of the four, and Elder Bednar called him by name.  The soldier was surprised that he had been singled out.  Elder Bednar told him that he had a message for him from his mother.  "She said to tell you that she loves you," he told him.  It was a special experience for Elder Bednar and for the young soldier.

After he finished shaking hands and was heading for President Holm's car, one of the soldiers came back and said, "Thank you for coming here.  I really needed that."  Elder Bednar put his arms around the soldier and they embraced for several minutes - the soldier sobbed openly.  I'm sure it is something he will not soon forget.

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