I had the opportunity of conducting a seminar for my employer in the city of Amman, Jordan, and I happened to be there during the time of the king’s death. One evening, after our meetings, eight of us went to dinner. Our backgrounds were very diverse, coming from different countries and religious beliefs. As we were finishing our meal, the subject turned to the king’s death and the love the Arab world had for him. The discussion then turned to the religious activities of the king and his family.
I was asked about my religious beliefs. I explained that I was born in Utah and that I was a Christian. I explained how there had been a restoration that took place through the prophet Joseph Smith in 1830. I shared how Joseph Smith had translated a record about a family that left Jerusalem around 600 B.C. and traveled down the Arabian Peninsula. Then they crossed the ocean and established a great civilization on the American continent. I explained that this record included a visit from our Savior Jesus Christ after His resurrection. I could feel the Spirit whispering these truths to them as they sat and listened to this story.
I was asked what the church believes and this presented a great opportunity for me to share the 13 Articles of Faith as I was counseled by Brother Stephen Page in a CES class I attended years ago. He encouraged us to memorize the Articles of Faith and be ready to share them, based on a story President Kimball had shared about the interaction of a young boy on a train to California with a businessman.
Every person listened intently and I could feel the Spirit bear witness to each of them of these truths. As I concluded the Articles, I then asked if anyone would like to hear what our Prophet had to say to the world about the family. One person spoke up and said, “You mean a prophet like Muhammad?” I said yes, a prophet like Moses, Elijah, or Abraham. I pulled out a copy of the Proclamation to the World that I kept in my pocket and read it to the group. There seemed to be tears welling up in their eyes as everyone listened. This was counsel they had never before heard and they wanted copies of their own. I arranged for everyone in the group to get copies of their own the next day.
I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to be challenged to memorize these most precious and basic beliefs of the gospel.
— Jerry Butt, Stone Creek Ward, Bountiful Utah Stone Creek Stake