Elder David B. Haight expressed deep gratitude Sunday morning for the faith and prayers of countless people in his behalf, and for the divine intervention that spared his life from a serious illness.
Elder Haight of the Council of the Twelve appeared well and strong as he addressed the conference, the first time since last October. He did not speak in April conference because he was convalescing from a serious operation. He recounted his experience the evening of his health crisis, as he pled with his Heavenly Father to spare his life a little longer to have more time to do His work, if it was His will."While still praying," he recalled, "I began to lose consciousness. . . . I was now in a calm, peaceful setting; all was serene and quiet. I was conscious of two persons in the distance on a hillside. . . . Detailed features were not discernable. I heard no voices but was conscious of being in a holy presence and atmosphere."
During the days that followed, Elder Haight said he was shown a panoramic view of Christ's earthly ministry.
He saw the Savior and His apostles on the eve of His betrayal, where the Lord instructed and prepared the sacrament as a remembrance of His coming sacrifice.
"It was so impressively portrayed to me - the overwhelming love of the Savior for each," Elder Haight said. "I witnessed His thoughtful concern for significant details - the washing of the dusty feet of each apostle; His breaking and blessing of the loaf of dark bread and blessing of the wine; then His dreadful disclosure that one would betray Him."
He said he saw Christ in Gethsemane, where "in some manner beyond our comprehension," the Savior took upon Himself the sins of mankind.
As he witnessed these events during his days of unconsciousness, Elder Haight said the Holy Ghost blessed him with "a more perfect knowledge" of the Lord's mission.
"My soul was taught over and over again," he said solemnly. "I witnessed His struggling up the hill in His weakened condition carrying the cross, and His being stretched upon it. . . .
"I cannot begin to convey to you the deep impact that these scenes have confirmed upon my soul," Elder Haight emphasized, his voice quavering with emotion. Quoting Elder Bruce R. McConkie, he said, "I sense their eternal meaning and realize that `nothing in the entire plan of salvation compares in any way in importance with that most transcendent of all events, the atoning sacrifice of our Lord.' "
Elder Haight then said the sacrament is the most valuable worship experience in sacrament meeting, for this ordinance gives members the opportunity to focus upon the Lord's sacrifice.
Worthy partakers, he added, "are in harmony with the Lord and put themselves under covenant with Him. . . we who do so shall have His Spirit to be with us and, if faithful to the end, we may inherit eternal life."