I spent the last two days in Longview being taught by a living apostle of the Lord. What a blessing and experience that was. Elder Oaks has a wonderful sense of humor. It was fun to see him laugh and make a few funny remarks. One in particular occured Saturday night. He said he wanted to tell the men 4 things they should always say to their wives. He said "you may want to write them down" then he said "I'm talking to the men to write them down, not the women". Of course, that got a laugh. He said #1. Always say "yes, dear". #2. Always say "I love you" and #3 Always say "I'm sorry". He then got a grin on his face and said, "I'm sure all the wives love this list" (more laughter) So the 4th thing a husband should always say is "We Can't Afford It!" Now more men were laughing too. Elder Oaks talked a lot about the family. He said because the men have the priesthood doesnt mean they can boss their wives around and use it to dominate them. It's not like they are the Bishop and the wife is the Relief Society President. That is not how the priesthood works in the home. He talked about the importance of going to Sacrament Meeting every Sunday, by commandment, to renew our covenants. I thought one of his more powerful messages was to the youth. He read D&C 38:42
"And go ye out from among the wicked. Save yourselves. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Even so. Amen."
He said if your friends are going things they shouldn't, like drugs, immorality, etc. Youth should not hang around them on "Friday and Saturday night". Be friendly, but don't hang out with them. He talked about the importance of being clean. He told the Aaronic Priesthood men that they need to be clean to bear the vessels of the Lord, meaning the sacrament trays, cups, every Sunday. He told the young women that they don't handle the sacrament, but they have been given the gift to bear children, to create bodies for the spirits that Heavenly Father sends down to Earth, and there is not a more important vessel, or temple, than these bodies.
He told them that the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet was the word of God to them. When an Apostle says it, I think it reaches the youth in a special way.
We got to shake his hand. Elder Oaks went around before the meetings to try to shake hands with almost everyone in attendance. Lacey and Sean got to shake his hand twice.
I was thinking back about how many apostle's hands I have shaken in my life time and these come to mind: Dallin H. Oaks, Boyd K. Packer, Neal A. Maxwell, Marvin J. Ashton, M. Russel Ballard, Howard W. Hunter (before he was the Prophet), and Joseph B. Wirthlin. I haven't shaken a Prophet's hand, but I have been in their presence. The two I have seen were Spencer W. Kimball and Gordon B. Hinkley. I am so grateful that the Lord has restored his Church and again has a living Prophet on the Earth, so the Lord can speak to us today, as he did in the ancient of days. I am also thankful he restored the Church as it existed in his day, with Apostles. The time they give to us is remarkable. I was thinking, "when do they get to spend time with their families?" They are on the road so much attending meetings all over the world, staying in new and unfamiliar places. I have a greater appreciation of the sacrafices they give to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful weekend.