Hear Him

Area Leadership Message

Elder Tom-Atle Herland
Elder Tom-Atle Herland Area Seventy

“This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” 1 said the Father to Joseph Smith in a grove in the state of New York, a spring day in 1820. This was the beginning of the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ, just as Christ had organized it while He lived here on earth. Because of an apostasy that commenced shortly after the death of Christ, His Church and authority eventually disappeared from the earth and only centuries later, in 1820, the process began of restoring His Church and the restoration of authority to perform all the ordinances of the priesthood. All of this happened because of the sincere prayer of a young man about where to find the truth. He chose to ask and then listen, and what an answer he received!

We are all different and may have unalike approaches to hearing Him, but even though we are different, we are all God’s children, and He loves us for who we are, and He wants us to hear Him. If we are to hear Him, we must make an effort. What is the greatest desire of your heart? What can you do to hear Him?

Some time ago I was at a gathering in Frankfurt with Church leaders from all over Europe, preparing a large event, which we would later need to postpone 2021 because of the pandemic. At this meeting, Elder Massimo De Feo, counselor in the Area Presidency, concluded his teaching, and the entire meeting by showing a video, a piece of music with the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø and The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square called Slow down. This is from a concert Sissel held with The Tabernacle Choir in 2019 2, but I had simply not seen or heard this, even though I am also from Norway. I was indeed not prepared for what I experienced when Elder de Feo started the video. Just seconds into the performance, it was as if I heard Him in a way that I perhaps never had heard Him before. My emotions completely overpowered me, and I cried like a child. I tried to not let my body shake too much and I looked down so it would not be apparent that I was weeping, I was afraid it would ruin the moment for all others present. The piece of music prompted me to experience God‘s grace, love, and forgiveness through the Savior Jesus Christ for me personally, that all my mistakes in life were mixed with all the demanding experiences life had offered, could be healed and taken away. I felt a glimpse of Heaven, a taste of heavenly (Celestial) existence. Later, I went online and read some of the comments in the comment area. The following are two comments: “I will NEVER forget when I first saw this. I am autistic and have struggled with chronic depression and suicide ideation. The last few weeks before that concert were pure torture for me and I was completely lost in what to do anymore. A few days before this song was performed, I asked a few friends of mine in the Choir for some support which they gave and when I first heard this song, I was drowning in tears. Truly the light will always come at the end of the tunnel. Thank you Tabernacle Choir, my dear friends for being such heroes in my life and such wonderful friends! I love you all forever!” And the second comment: “I’m so glad they didn’t edit out the applause. That moment when she realizes that approximately twenty thousand people are giving her a standing ovation is magical.”

Dear friends, hearing Him is magical; it is heavenly (Celestial) and it touches our hearts, our spirits, and helps us continue our journey home to Him. That is worth fighting for. What can you do to hear Him more often?

1 (JSH 1:17)

2 Slow Down - Sissel (2019 Pioneer Concert with The Tabernacle Choir) -