I held the door open for the prophet once. I was 18 years old and just out of high school. I had headed to Brigham Young University a month before school started, thinking I might have a better chance at finding part-time work before the throng of students arrived for fall semester. I landed a part-time job doing janitorial work at the Wilkinson Center, hub of the BYU campus. One week into the job, I was at work thinking it’s just another ordinary day, when I became aware that there was to be a commencement luncheon in room 324 that day and several church dignitaries would be in attendance.
Journal entry from August 15, 1980:
Three hours into my shift at around 1 o’clock I grab a rag and a squirt bottle and head up to the third. Outside 324 there are about five guys wearing suits and have little transmitter earphones in one ear. I am standing at a nearby drinking fountain — I’ve washed it about 25 times (inconspicuously, of course) hoping to get a glimpse of the prophet and then I hear one guy say to another, “They’ve gotta be out by 1:15.” I look at my watch — 13 after. I’m going crazy. Then the secret agents (I call the bodyguards secret agents) say, “OK, here they come.” My heart skips five beats. I scooted up and I asked one of the secret agents how often the first presidency come here like this. He said, “All four of them together come about once every 100 years.” I ALMOST DIED. Then the secret agent said to me, “How would you like to do the most important job in your life?” I screamed, “Sure!” He said, “Will you hold the elevator door open for the prophet?” By now I’ve totally lost all my senses!! I shove the rag and sprayer in my left hand and hide them behind my back. That vest though, the only time I see them in person and I have to be wearing that pukey yellow janitors vest. HERE THEY COME!! My stomach is turning flops.
First Marion G. Romney and N. Eldon Tanner and an agent get on the elevator and I get to shake their hands. I was so excited I almost threw up on them. They go down. Elder Packer and his wife and some others go down on the other elevator. Then President Benson and his wife come. BYU President Dallin Oaks and his family, Barbara Smith and her husband, FINALLY PRESIDENT SPENCER W. KIMBALL AND HIS WIFE CAMILLA. I just couldn't believe it. He was adorable wearing a bright yellow Hawaiian lei around his neck. They were so gracious. I shook their hands too.
After they had gone and I came to my senses, I realized that the rag I had shoved behind my back was dripping wet (25 times, remember!?!) I had held the rag against my pants all that time. Now I have this big wet spot on the back of my pants. For the rest of my shift I kind of walked with my back to the wall.
We ever pray for thee, our prophet dear,
That God will give to thee comfort and cheer;
As the advancing years furrow thy brow,
Still may the light within shine bright as now,
Still may the light within shine bright as now.
We ever pray for thee with all our hearts,
That strength be given thee to do thy part,
To guide and counsel us from day to day,
To shed a holy light around our way,
To shed a holy light around our way.
We ever pray for thee with fervent love;
And as the children’s prayer is heard above,
Thou shalt be ever blest, and God will give
All that is meet and best while thou shalt live,
All that is meet and best while thou shalt live.
— text by Evan Stephens
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