Insight given on revelation

The Church News staff had the opportunity to meet in late 1978 with President Spencer W. Kimball for a lengthy interview, from which were gleaned articles for the Jan. 6, 1979, issue of the paper, which was in commemoration of President Kimball's first five years as the prophet. One of the many topics discussed was the revelation in which it was made known that the priesthood was to be bestowed upon all worthy male members regardless of race. The revelation was announced June 9, 1978.

President Kimball, speaking of the day the revelation on the priesthood was given, told the Church News: "We held a meeting of the Council of the Twelve in the temple on the regular day. We considered this very seriously and thoughtfully and prayerfully. I asked the Twelve not to go home when the time came. . . . I offered the final prayer and I told the Lord if it wasn't right, if He didn't want this change to come in the Church, that I would be true to it all the rest of my life. . . ."We had this special prayer circle; then I knew that the time had come. . . . This revelation and assurance came to me so clearly that there was no question about it."

In Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, more information is recorded about President Kimball's experiences in the days and weeks before he received this revelation:

"After everybody had gone out of the temple, I knelt and prayed. I prayed with much fervency. I knew that something was before us that was extremely important to many of the children of God. I knew that we could receive the revelations of the Lord only by being worthy and ready for them and ready to accept them and put them into place. Day after day I went alone and with great solemnity and seriousness in the upper rooms of the temple, and there I . . . said, `Lord, I want only what is right. . . . We want only the thing that thou dost want, and we want it when you want it and not until.' "

In the October 1988 general conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of his experience when the revelation on the priesthood was given. President Hinckley said:

"President Kimball himself was voice in that prayer. . . . There was a hallowed and sanctified atmosphere in the room. For me, it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his Brethren. The Spirit of God was there. And by the power of the Holy Ghost there came to that prophet an assurance that the thing for which he prayed was right, that the time had come, and that now the wondrous blessings of the priesthood should be extended to worthy men everywhere regardless of lineage. Every man in that circle, by the power of the Holy Ghost, knew the same thing."

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