8-year-old boy reflects on shaking President Monson's hand at general conference
LEHI — Stockton Cram may have been the most popular little boy among the LDS community after the Saturday afternoon session of the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 5, 2013.
It was the night after 8-year-old Stockton had the opportunity to shake the hand of president of the LDS Church, Thomas S. Monson, that he asked his mom, Christy Cram, this very question.
"He was very excited," Christy said. "We had seen the post everywhere. In fact, that night he said, 'Mom, am I the most famous little boy today?' And I said, 'Well, maybe in the LDS world you are.'"
It happened unexpectedly, but it is a moment Stockton and his family will remember forever.
"My dad walked us up to see him, and he said to wave to him," Stockton recalled about the event. "[President Monson] turned around and looked at me, and waved at me for a second, and then he said for me to come over."
As President Monson leaned over to shake Stockton's hand, the prophet asked the boy a question.
"He asked if I was going on a mission, and I said, 'Yeah,'" Stockton said. "And then he said, 'Watch my ears.' And then he wiggled them until he got out of the Conference Center."
Although the conversation was short, it is something Christy will forever appreciate.
"It was just a cute interchange, nothing major," Christy said. "He just wanted to reach out to Stockton and to talk to him for a minute, which I think is awesome."
Ever since, Christy has continually talked with her son about the opportunity he had and how important it is to remember.
"I've just tried to stress to him what a privilege that is, to have a prophet ask you to come see him," Christy said. "And I'm not stressing so much 'Oh, everyone has seen this.' I just think it's so neat that a prophet asked him to come up to him. It reminded me so much of what Christ would do."
Many have asked Stockton if he now feels pressure because he's told the prophet he will serve a mission, but Christy couldn't be happier that her son was able to talk to the prophet about serving an LDS mission.
"This will be a good thing for him to remember, that he told the prophet that he was going to go on a mission," Christy said. "I think it will be a great reminder for him as he grows up that he has even confirmed to the prophet that he's going to go on a mission."
Although Christy had to work that Saturday and could not watch the session, she was grateful that Stockton was able to attend with her ex-husband and have this experience.
"That's like a dream of mine, to be able to meet the prophet," Christy said. "I tell Stockton that it's so special and he always needs to remember this, and I think he will. ... The prophet to him is a rock star. Literally, he's his hero. Stockton is such a good little boy, and so for him it was just a really neat experience."
Christy explained that Stockton's facial expression in the photo that has circulated on the Internet is "so Stockton, showing his respect and love and admiration for this man."
When asked how he felt while shaking the prophet's hand, Stockton said, "Like the Holy Ghost was there, and it made me feel warm inside."
Since then, Stockton has had the opportunity to share his experience with many family members and friends.
"I shared it with my school class, the picture," Stockton said. "Lots of kids were like, 'Lucky, lucky,' and my teacher said, 'That's a good experience' and 'That's very neat.'"
With time to reflect on the experience, Christy's appreciation for the prophet's kindness has grown.
"Our family has been going through a really tough struggle this last year, and I thought, 'Maybe the prophet felt something and knew that this little boy's had a lot of struggles,' and just asked him to come to him," Cram said. "It's just such a Christlike thing for a prophet to do."
Stockton also said that his testimony was strengthened. The picture of him shaking the prophet's hand has been shared throughout social media, and one day Stockton said he was reading some of the comments people had left online.
"I saw in some of the comments that someone said he's not a prophet," Stockton said. "It made me feel sad."
But these statements haven't swayed Stockton's convictions. When asked how he knew that President Monson was a true prophet, Stockton quickly responded, "Because he acts like Jesus."
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