Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Worth of Souls

President Monson related this story:
"Early in my service as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, I was attending a conference in the Monument Park West Stake in Salt Lake City. My companion for the conference was a member of the General Church Welfare Committee, Paul C. Child. President Child was a student of the scriptures. He had been my stake president when I was an Aaronic Priesthood youth. Now we were together as conference visitors.

When it was his opportunity to participate, President Child took the Doctrine and Covenants and left the pulpit to stand among the priesthood to whom he was directing his message. He turned to section 18 and began to read: 'Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. … And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!' 1

President Child then raised his eyes from the scriptures and asked the question of the priesthood brethren: 'What is the worth of a human soul?' He avoided calling on a bishop, stake president, or high councilor for a response. Instead, he selected the president of an elders quorum—a brother who had been a bit drowsy and had missed the significance of the question.

The startled man responded: 'Brother Child, could you please repeat the question?' The question was repeated: 'What is the worth of a human soul?' I knew President Child’s style. I prayed fervently for that quorum president. He remained silent for what seemed like an eternity and then declared, 'Brother Child, the worth of a human soul is its capacity to become as God.' (Ensign September 1997 p 2)

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