So, who ever he is... until we learn his name, here is his TESTIMONY TO THE WORLD:
In June, 1974 I was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a glorious experience and I remember it well. I never questioned the truthfulness of the gospel or of the Restoration. From the moment I heard the missionaries teach, I knew it was true. There was never even a flicker of doubt. It was like being reunited with an old and dear friend.
The spirit of repentance did not come upon me until the day I was baptized. Before that time I had received a testimony that the Gospel was true and that the Church of Jesus Christ had in fact been restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith. But the question of my sins had not been the object of my serious consideration until the day of my baptism. I was at the time, twenty-four years of age. For me, the process of repentance began with my baptismal interview prior to my baptism. The interviewer was kind and considerate although his questions pierced my soul. I wept as I confessed my sins and admitted of my deep sorrow for my past life. My spirit was truly contrite as I entered into the waters of baptism. I wept openly throughout my baptism and confirmation as the spirit of the Lord testified to my heart of the tender mercies of a loving God. I had truly been born again to see the Kingdom of Heaven. I felt the burden of my sins lifted and I rejoiced with all my heart at my membership in Christís true church.
Through it all I did not know that, although I had received the spirit of repentance prior to my baptism, I had not received the gift of full repentance; that, while I had been born again to "see" the Kingdom of heaven through the receipt of my testimony by the power of the Holy Ghost, yet I had not been born again to "enter" into the Kingdom of God and I had not actually received the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. While I had enjoyed a sanctifying experience that lifted the burden of my sins, yet I had not been sanctified unto a complete and unconditional remission of all my sins, including the effects of those sins. My knowledge of these heavenly truths did not come until later, in July of 1981.
For seven years, from 1974 until 1981 I was actively and zealously engaged in Gospel living. In December, 1975, my precious wife and I were married in the Arizona Temple. I was consumed with the desire to live the Gospel fully; to serve, teach, testify, study and pray fervently. And I did so continually. I was actively involved in missionary work, temple work and home teaching. I strived to magnify all my church callings and took my membership in Christís church very seriously, as I do to this day. I absorbed myself in Gospel and scripture study feeling that I couldnít read enough. I indeed hungered and thirsted after righteousness and truth and this hunger and passion has not subsided for even a moment, even a heartbeat.
Through it all I enjoyed many spiritual experiences, sanctifying experiences. I have come not to describe such experiences as "contractions" leading to my spiritual birth. I felt the spirit of the Lord with me many times. I felt His love for me and felt a great love for Him and a desire to know Him. I was privileged to be an instrument in the Lordís hands several times in exercising the Priesthood.
Miracles were performed and lives were blessed. It was a wonderful seven years; a time of growth, development and preparation; a time of gestation. Yet through it all I sensed that something was missing. I could not describe what was missing in my life then, although now it is clear and understandable. Still, describing it to others is very difficult. Itís like trying to explain the joy of parenthood to those who have never been parents.
In 1981 my life changed. For seven years the Lord had prepared my mind and my heart. My time was at hand. My Heavenly Father sent to me a son of God, a member of the church who was and is a true disciple of Christ, to draw me unto His Beloved Son. This blessed man carried within his soul the seed of Christ which he planted within my heart. Like all true endowments of the Spirit, only those who have the gift can confer it to others by the power of the Holy Ghost.
What was this seed of Christ? It was the blessed gift of pure testimony that enlivened within my soul the need and will to live spiritually. This is the endowment that ultimately induced the labor of the second birth. The Spirit of the Lord bore witness to me that this man knew Christ. As we sat in my home one evening I felt the power of his testimony of the Savior as I had never felt it before. My soul was aflame with the desire to know the Lord as this man did, and I told him so. The next morning as we were about to depart, my new friend boldly invited me to come to Christ. He urged me to pray more fervently until I received the baptism by fire; he called me to repent until I received a complete remission of my sins. His words were bold but kind and they sunk deeply unto the core of my heart. The seed of Christ had been planted. Little did I know what all of this would mean. This was a very difficult time in my life. At the time I was serving as the Stake Mission President in my stake. I was immersed in my calling and was enjoying a good measure of success. But I was self-employed at the time and my consulting practice was very slow. In fact, at the time I had no clients and was financially without means to provide for my family.
It was during this time that I was called to come home to Christ. Shortly after my friend departed I found myself in my office alone and without work. The Spirit called me one day as I sat behind my desk and prompted me to pray. I instructed my secretary that I did not want to be interrupted under any circumstances and then locked myself in my office and began to pour out my heart unto God. I prayed that day and for two succeeding days. I prayed long and hard and for many things. But the primary intent and focus of my prayers was to know the Lord and to understand and appreciate the personal implications of the Atonement in my life.
On the third day, July 21, 1981, I found myself kneeling again by my chair in fervent prayer to know the Lord. Suddenly I saw myself praying and the presence of the Lord was beside me. As I watched, the Lord> spoke to my mind and said, "Look". I looked and for the first time in my life I saw myself as I really was, through the eyes of Christ.
What I saw I cannot fully describe in words. My whole soul was illuminated and I saw with complete clarity and understanding the deepest recesses of my subconscious mind. I saw within the hidden nooks and crannies of my soul the effects of all my sins as well as all my sins of commission and omission which had been repressed into the hidden regions of my mind. I was completely transparent. Everything was now so painfully clear, my sinful motives, intentions and desires, all cleverly disguised and rationalized through years of self-talk. Even the good things I had done for the wrong reasons were flashed before my all-seeing eye. No act, word or deed escaped my view. I saw everything.
As I beheld myself, my mind was to use Almaís words, "racked with torment" and inexpressible horror." Several times I tried to shut out the vision but the Lord would not allow it. Each time I tried to turn away the Lord would say, "Look," and I continued to look into my soul.
I wept and pleaded for the Lord to stop the vision. When I had finally seen everything the vision ended and there was darkness. I turned to find the Lord, but He was no longer beside me. The scene instantly changed and I found myself behind the brush on the outside of a garden clearing. Again a voice came to my mind and instructed me to look. My eyes turned to the garden clearing and there, in the midst, I saw my beloved Redeemer. Suddenly it became clear to me that I was witnessing His act of Atonement. But what transpired I was not prepared to see.
How can one explain with mortal words the agony of a God. Anything I say or write somehow diminishes the impact. Be that as it may, I saw the love and suffering of the Christ and am a personal witness of it. I donít know how it is possible, but I was in Gethsemane on the day of His Agony and I saw in great and terrible detail with my eyes and heard in awful clarity with my ears that which is too sacred to describe to unprepared ears.
It was too much to bear. As I became aware that He was suffering such agony for ME, because of MY sins, because of His love for ME, for a "soul so rebellious and proud as mine", my heart broke and I thought I would die. Never had I sobbed and wept so violently and with such bitterness of soul. I never knew the body could sob as mine did. I never knew a heart could break as mine did. I never knew a broken heart would hurt as much as I hurt. I was in agony as never before. I thought my heart would stop and my head and chest would explode. I cried out and begged the Father to stop the suffering of my Friend and Elder Brother. "Stop it! Stop it! Please stop His suffering!" I wept, I sobbed and my body convulsed in anguish as I attempted to reach through the brush to hold Him, to somehow comfort Him. But His suffering did not stop and there was nothing I could do to help Him.
Finally, resolving myself to this hopeless state and wishing only to die for what I had done to Him, I cried out through my choking sobs, "Please forgive me! Please, dear God, forgive me for what I have done to my Savior. I am sorry, so very, very sorry for hurting Him so. It is enough," I continued, "please stop His suffering. I will never again do anything to hurt Him. Never! Never!"
I continued to sob and plead for forgiveness until I was totally exhausted and lay slumped on the floor weeping hot tears of anguish and pain. My strength was exhausted and I was prepared to die when the vision stopped and the voice of the Lord said unto me, "My son, thy sins are forgiven thee."
When I heard these words from my Savior I was filled with fire, which I later came to know was the endowment of charity. Never had I felt such love, such peace. I was overcome again unto great sobbing, but this time with joy. So intense was the outpouring of Godís love through the fire of His spirit that I felt as though my very life would end and my flesh would be consumed.
I came to know by the spirit of revelation that my life was acceptable to the Lord, and that I had been completely and unconditionally cleansed of all my sins and the effects of my sins; that I had been made holy, without spotĖclean every whitĖby his precious blood. I had been truly born again to enter into the Kingdom of God; I was redeemed from the fall; sanctified by the endowment of His perfect love, even charity.
Through this experience I came to understand the meaning to total conversion; of justification and of sanctification, of full repentance. I now know with a perfect knowledge that all men must be born again, or sanctified of the spirit, in order to receive their salvation and obtain their exaltation. I know now that only those who are truly born again can enjoy the blessings of the sanctified and can develop to the full stature of Christ. I know now that there is a difference between the righteousness of God and the righteousness of man; between full repentance and partial repentance; between a broken heart and a contrite spirit; between receiving forgiveness from oneís sins and a complete and unconditional forgiveness from the effects of the fall or the natural man; between an awakening of conscience which cultivates a sense of duty to God and man and a mighty change of heart which bears the fruit of charity toward God and all men.
I know now that the only way to Christ is through the offering of a broken heart and that the only way to offer such a sacrifice acceptably is to experience, in a personal way, the power and reality of the Atonement in our life; to understand and appreciate sufficiently the personal implications of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins and fallen nature. Perhaps this may come in different ways to different people, but the substance and results of the experience will, of necessity, always be the same. The greatest manifestation of Godís love for us is in the Saviorís suffering for our personal sins. It is the power of His suffering for us that draws us to Him in a complete sense and changes our heart totally. When our sacrifice of a broken heart has been accepted (i.e. justified) by the Lord, when we have fully repented of all our sins, then is our life acceptable (i.e., justified) unto the Lord. Sanctification, which is the effect or fruit of justification, totally cleanses and purifies the spirit and endows the person with a faith and hope in Christ, and with charity.