Like many of you, I was moved by President Russell M. Nelson’s recent invitation to use social media to share my gratitude this week. In fact, I feel compelled to share my deep and eternal gratitude for the prophet himself. A personal story may illustrate why I feel this way.
Back in 1981 when I was serving as the president of Brigham Young University, I was in the middle of negotiating the building of BYU-Jerusalem. I took my wife, Pat, and our three children with me on one of my many trips to Jerusalem. Russell Nelson also happened to be on the trip. My youngest son, David, had just turned eight. While we were in Israel, I baptized him in the River Jordan.
Now, I still didn’t know Russell Nelson very well at that point. But he made that experience more than memorable for our whole family. He became the chief photographer of David’s baptism. All of the photos we have of that event were taken by Russell Nelson.
He mailed us copies afterwards and then sent copies to my mother. Now, who would think of that? There was Alice Holland, a widow who missed this opportunity with her family. Who would stop to think that she needed pictures of that event? Russell Nelson thought of it and sent her a whole packet of photos.
I want to use this opportunity to thank him for the gift he has been on my life. I suspect that you—like me—will never forget his influence and love as our beloved prophet. #GiveThanks