Gordon B. Hinckley, Conference Report October 1960, pp. 66-67
If I had the wish of my heart I would ask for the privilege of sitting down and having this wonderful choir sing again that hymn which they sang so beautifully this morning:
"I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me."
I seek the inspiration of the Lord. I had prepared a talk, but I think I shall discuss something else. Brother Dyer has been speaking of the work in Europe, and I rejoice at the marvelous things that are being accomplished there. I wish to say that I feel that the same spirit, the power of the Lord upon the people of the earth, is being made manifest all over the world where the gospel is being taught.
I have recently had the experience, under the direction of the First Presidency, of going through the missions of the Orient. I cannot deny the miracles of God, and I think many of the things I have seen are truly miracles.
Not long ago, I sat in an old high school gymnasium in the city of Seoul, Korea. Just a short time earlier the blood of the young people of Korea had been running in the streets of that strife-ridden city. In our meeting that evening there were over 500 young Koreans. I was told that we have only two married couples who are members of the Church in all of the Seoul District. Our members there are young, forward-looking people. Conducting that gathering was a sandy-haired, Utah farm boy. He conducted with dignity and spoke with ease the language of those people, and after the meeting, as they came up and put their arms around him, and he put his arms around them, I marveled at the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to change men's hearts.
We then went down to the sad city of Pusan on the southern tip of Korea. We held a street meeting in the park overlooking the harbor. Within a few feet of a great anti-aircraft gun emplacement we opened our meeting, and about
150 curious, intelligent-looking people gathered. A boy from Florida, a missionary of this Church, began to speak. I then wandered down into the crowd with an army sergeant—one of our boys who was taking us around. A Korean who spoke some English said in substance to the sergeant, "How long that young man been here? Two years," was the reply. "No—he here longer. Americans here fifteen years and not speak our language. Americans not speak Korean like that." I thought of the words of the Savior as recorded by Mark: "... they shall speak with new tongues" (Mark 16:17).
I remember sitting in this tabernacle while I was a university student and hearing one of the brethren say that peace can come to the world only through acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus Christ. I was at a critical age, and I doubted the possibility of that ever occurring. I think recently I have glimpsed the vision of how it might happen.
Not long ago we were in Hiroshima, Japan. We stood in the park and green grows the grass at the site where on the sixth of August 1945, just fifteen years ago, 80,000 lives were taken with the blinding flash of the first atomic bomb. Another 80,000 have since died from the effects of it. It is a sobering experience to stand in that place.
There is a simple monument about the size of this pulpit, and it has inscribed on its face in Japanese characters, words which say in translation: "Rest in peace. May this tragedy never again come to the world."
There were three of us, the mission president, a man from Hiroshima, and myself. The man from Hiroshima was a Japanese businessman, an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a man who had served in the Japanese Imperial Army for nine years. I was an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the land which had dropped the bomb. With emotion and sincerity he said, through an interpreter, "Thank God for the missionaries. Last night my wife and I were on our knees, as we are each night, to express gratitude for the coming of these two young men who have literally saved our lives. We had nothing to live for, no hope here or hereafter, and we were drinking ourselves to death. They came. They taught us. They brought purpose into our lives. The change in me has been so noticeable that my partner became curious. I have been teaching him the gospel, and I am now going to baptize him."
That is the way peace will come to the world. This thing shall spread from soul to soul, and men in all lands shall come to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Savior of mankind, our Elder Brother, the Prince of Peace.
We sat in a testimony meeting one day a few months ago. A boy stood up with a letter in his hand. He said, "I think I am happier than I have ever been in my life. I have had many wonderful experiences here, and they have made me happy, but it is this letter that has really warmed my heart. My father, once active, began drinking, and oh, the sorrow my mother has suffered because of this. After my farewell my father said, 'My son, I am going to try to live worthy of you.' Now," the missionary said, "I have a letter from my father, received yesterday, which says that last week he was ordained a high priest and set apart as counselor in the bishopric of our ward, and he has just made a down payment on a home for the first time in his life."
These are some of the miracles I have seen in my associations with our missionaries. I am grateful, I am more grateful than I can say for this great program of the Church that I have been blessed to be associated with. I know it is one of the marks of the divinity of this work. No other organization in this world has anything quite like it.
It touches for good the lives of all who are affected by it.
The work is going forward on the other side of the earth. I recall sitting here as a boy and hearing President Grant tell of his difficulties in Japan and of his praying to the Lord to give him another assignment because of his discouragement. Do you know that the missionaries of the Northern Far East Mission have baptized an average of about six converts per missionary so far this year? Many of these were not Christian people. Our missionaries in this part of the world have taken to people who are of the Oriental religions the testimony of Jesus and have converted them to this cause. God bless them for their devotion and their faithfulness. The Lord bless us at home to sustain his work throughout the world by the virtues of our lives, I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.