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Elder Nelson's 1979 Autobiography - Heart to Heart


David T

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Has anyone had the opportunity to read this? I learned about it based on his mention of it in the forward to his latest book (which pointed out that he viewed writing the book as obedience to Prophetic council from President Kimball), combined with numerous references I'd seen online to his extremely brief mention of his June 9, 1974 Temple Meeting. I know the book was a very limited edition, and am surprised my library up here in Georgia was able to get it from the University of Utah Library.

Has anyone else here read it? I've decided to begin reading the existing biographies of the living Apostles, and figured this would be an interesting way to start.

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I read it. It was pretty good, bios are only as good as the writer and the subject is and Elder Nelson did some pretty cool thing. Great Photos as I recall and ya it was allright. Pres. Monson also wrote an Autobiography in 1985 that is hard to come by and Elder Franklin D. Richards of the 70 wrote one that is hard to get.

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I've been reading this book pretty much non-stop, and I find it one of the most fascinating things I've read, especially in the context of the autobiography of an Apostle written before he was called to the Apostleship. Due to the extremely personal and familial nature of the work, as well as some very sacred experiences that are shared, I'm not surprised this isn't currently mass-produced, and was replaced by an updated biography. For those interested in an example, here is a record of his visions of President Harold B. Lee, following that Prophet's death (pp 159-160):

Since the passing of President Lee, I have had two very special dreams involving him. The first was in April of 1975. the substance of that message is too sacred to mention here, but it was a very reassuring and humbling experience.

The Second occurred on September 16, 1978. In the dream there were two vivid messages: first, that if President Lee had gone on living, a very severe affliction would have developed in his body which, if allowed to progress, would have given him great pain, suffering, and incapacity. The medical details of this were dreadful and distressing. He said his sudden death in December 1973 was brought about as an act of love and mercy, for the Lord wished to spare him and the Church the misery that otherwise would have ensued. His second message was that the revelations recieved and the actions subsequently taken by President Kimball were the very same as would have been received and performed by President Lee had he remained as the prophet. President Lee exclaimed that the Lord gives His will to His living prophet regardless of who the prophet is at the time, for the Lord indeed is directing His Church.

I've learned a lot about Elder Nelson that places additional things in greater context. Knowing that he served both on the High Council, in a Stake Presidency, and General Sunday School Presidency with Joseph B. Wirthlin at his side makes the image of him standing behind and literally supporting a shaking Elder Wirthlin in General Conference at the end of his life an even more powerful image of an old friend supporting another.

wirthlinnelson.jpg

My respect for this man as a human being, and a recognition of the appropriateness of his Apostolic calling has greatly increased. If copies weren't so rare and expensive on the secondary market ($400-500), I would quickly snatch a copy for my own library.

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For those interested in an example, here is a record of his visions of President Harold B. Lee, following that Prophet's death (pp 159-160):

That's an interesting idea about OD2, because of the effort and time that President Kimball put into the process. Does that mean President Lee was planning on taking the same steps and efforts to bring it about? Or would the process have been different?

Of course, it would have been really amazing if he had dreamed of President Lee telling him that, had he lived, OD2 wouldn't have happened under his watch.

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