Two months ago we learned that the prophet of our church, President Nelson, would be coming to Phoenix for an evening devotional with President Oaks and I knew at that moment I wanted to be in the stadium when he spoke. Tonight was that special night.
We packed our family (aside from Briggs) into the car and made the hour drive to the Cardinals football stadium and joined 65,000 people to hear the messages that had been prepared. None of my kids had been in the same room as our prophet and this was unique opportunity that we were excited to share together.
Before President Nelson entered the stadium – everyone stood in reverence waiting for him to enter the room. And when he did, Cannon’s face lit up. “That’s President Nelson, I’ve never seen him before.” He then turns to his friend sitting behind us. “Do you see him? That’s really President Nelson.” He’s seen him on television but to see him in “real-life”, as he put it, was so exciting for him.
I was just as excited. Even as he entered the room there was a feeling of peace and confirmation in my own heart that he was called of God to serve as the prophet. His wife shared some experiences they’ve had in the last year as he was called and has served in this capacity and it made me admire and appreciate her even more. Every opportunity we have to hear from them is a spiritual treat.
Hallie’s experience trumps just about everyone’s as she sat on the floor in the front row with her cousins. (They happened to be doing a news article on Steve’s sister’s family and they wanted to film our niece and nephew with their cousins when President Nelson came in – they had the best seats in the house) She was beaming when it was through. I loved her excited voice as she recalled different moments as we made our way back to the car. “During the closing song we waved at him and he smiled and waved back at us.” 65,000 people and she got him to wave.
She won’t soon forget tonight. None of us will.
(Well perhaps Cannon – he’s young and fell asleep!)
Here are two pictures from Deseret News from the event. The first one you can see Hallie and her cousins front and center. The second one gives a good look at the stadium as a whole. 9,000 youth on the floor and 56,000 in the stands. It was a packed house.