New apostle sees two kinds of miracles: One is prophetic calling of President Hunter, the other is faithful Church members

Tells of miracles

Praises members- Receives strength

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland told the Saturday afternoon session of conference that since being called as a member of the Council of the Twelve last June he has seen "two kinds of miracles."

The first, he said, is the prophetic calling of President Howard W. Hunter. The second is the "great faithful but often unheralded body of the Church" who play their part in the "ongoing saga of the Restoration."

"President Hunter," said the newest apostle, "is a miracle - one who has been fashioned, molded, refined and sustained for the service he now renders. He is a remarkable blend of velvet and steel. Like every prophet before him - including Joseph Smith Jr. - and every prophet who will succeed him, President Hunter was called and foreordained in the grand councils of heaven before this world was."

Turning his remarks to the members of the Church, he said he receives great strength from those who do such things as love their families, pay their tithing and send sons and daughters on missions. "I pay tribute to every one of you and am deeply honored to stand in your presence."

He thanked them for their sustaining vote, noting: "And you say to Brother Holland through his tears and nights of walking the floor, `You lean on us. Lean on us out here in Omaha and Ontario and Osaka where we have never even seen you, and scarcely know who you are. But you are one of the "Brethren" so you are no stranger or foreigner to us, but a fellow citizen in the household of God.' "

As examples of the faithful, Elder Holland told of Debbie, Tanya, and Liza Avila. The sisters each developed muscular dystrophy at age 7 and by the time he met them they were totally immobile.

But in spite of their disabilities they lived the gospel and eventually, with the help of many others, were able to receive their temple endowments. Debbie also returned another time to do the work for their grandmother who had diligently cared for them until her own health failed and she died.

After telling the story, Elder Holland said: "The on-going `miracle' of the Restoration. Covenants. Temples. Quiet, unsung Christian living. The work of the kingdom done with worn hands, weary hands, hands which in some cases cannot be raised to the square, but which are surely sustaining hands in every holy and sacred sense of the word."

He then told of a church in England, built in the 1600s during a time of upheaval and plague, with a plaque on the wall that stated: "To have done the best things in the worst times, and hoped them in the most calamitous."

"Those are lines," he said, "I would use to praise the prophets and the faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ down through the years - legions of the quietly heroic in every decade of the dispensation, led by the Lord's anointed, whose arms can also grow weary and whose legs are sometimes weak."

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