We arrived at the Missionary Training Center Saturday, September 19. We have now been here for a day and a half, and already we have had more wonderful and noteworthy experiences than we can recount. Tonight, for example, we attended a devotional where Lloyd Newell, announcer for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s “Music & the Spoken Word,” was the speaker. As good as he was, the part of the program that was most moving was when the 2,000 missionaries in the audience sang “Redeemer of Israel.” It was amazing how powerful, how beautiful, and how well it sounded.
We watched a filmed address by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, titled “The Character of Christ,” wherein he bore a strong witness of the reality of the Atonement. He quoted the late Elder Neal A. Maxwell who said, “There could have been no Atonement without the character of Christ! [I.e.,] without Jesus’ perfect character.”
We were struck also by the beauty and the story told in a painting (about 12 feet long) by Liz Lemon Swindle which is on loan to the MTC. We can’t reproduce here either the music by the missionaries or the talk by Elder Bednar, but we can show here one of the scores of paintings hanging throughout the Center. This particular picture [click to enlarge] made us feel good to think that there were times in the ministry of the Savior that he and the original Twelve could sometimes laugh together at something funny someone had said.
Another highlight of our day was meeting in Sunday School with the other senior missionaries who are here for training. Our lesson was on "tender mercies," where we were invited to share stories of not just the blessings, but the tender mercies we have experienced in our lives.