We had a stake conference in Lille, France, where Elder Dallin Oaks spoke. We arrived earlier and got seats right up front. We were standing up looking to see if we recognized anyone at the conference. JoAnn noticed a couple that seemed very familiar and she told Arnold that the couple was familiar and we should go over and say hello. Arnold then said, "That's Elder and Sister Oaks." No wonder they looked familiar.
We were told that Elder Oaks did not like to shake hands. However, he came in, took off his hat and coat and came down in the congregation and proceeded to talk with and shake hands will all that wanted to. He was so generous and gracious. JoAnn spoke to him in English and he seemed pleased to be able to speak with someone in English.
This photo showed that there were many young children in attendance at the conference. They were very well behaved and it made us so happy to have them there. It is a tribute to the fact that the church is growing in France in family units.
This cropped picture shows Elder Oaks speaking with some members at the conference.
Sister Oaks spoke at the conference and she spoke in French. She did a very nice job. She did a presentation with some of the Primary children, using what she called "testimony gloves." It was very well done. Elder Oaks told the congregation that his wife does this little presentation every where they go to speak and that she has done it in over 20 languages. We were very impressed with this wonderful woman. She told us that she was 55 when she was married. To think of all the time that she had probably thought she would never get married and then she ended up marrying an Apostle of the Lord.
Elder Oaks also gave a wonderful talk. He spoke so simply and powerfully. He said some things that we had not thought about before. He gave new meaning and understanding to D&C 46:13-14.
"D&C 46:13 To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.
"14 To others it is given to believe on their words
, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful."
It was so powerful to know that those of us who know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he was crucified for the sins of the world must open our mouths or those that would believe on our words would have nothing to believe on if we kept quiet. It gave us such perspective on our responsibilities to speak up.
Just a scene after conference of the members outside of the conference area.