Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
"I testify that through the Prophet Joseph Smith the Church has been restored and continues to move forward under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles," Elder John B. Dickson of the Quorum of the Seventy declared in the Saturday Afternoon session of general conference. "Their mandate to take the gospel to the world is the same as the apostles of old."
After he recounted the Savior's admonition for the gospel to be taken first to the House of Israel and then to the gentiles, Elder Dickson spoke of further instruction from the Lord for furthering His work. He spoke of how, in 1978, "following the established pattern of revelation through the Senior Apostle, President Spencer W. Kimball, came the Revelation on Priesthood allowing all worthy males across the world to receive the priesthood and assist their family and other in receiving every blessing of the restored gospel."
Elder Dickson said he heard about the special revelation while serving as a mission president. "I remember tears coming to my eyes.… I was pleased beyond words as I knew it was right and that the time had come for all mankind to have access to all of the ordinances, covenants and blessings of the gospel."
Later as a Seventy in the Africa West area, some 34 years after the revelation on the priesthood, Elder Dickson described how the people in that area have been affected. "They are coming into the Church by the hundreds and every week or so a couple of wards or branches are created somewhere in the Africa West Area with, in nearly every case, all African priesthood and auxiliary leadership."
He said he wished members everywhere could "join a Sunday School, auxiliary or priesthood class is a sacred experience where the Church curriculum is followed and there is great gospel understanding, teaching and learning by the Spirit."
He added, "The gospel in Africa is going to a happy people, very unencumbered by the trappings that affect the lives of many in the West. They are not concerned about having endless material possessions. It has been said of Africans that 'they have very little of that which matters least and a great deal of that which matters most.'"
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