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Last night I had the opportunity to attend the annual Deseret Book Author’s Banquet as my mother‘s date. One might easily feel like a fish out of water surrounded by so many “LDS celebrities”. I was able to shake hands with and meet Chieko Okazaki, John Bytheway, Sheri Dew, S. Michael Wilcox and saw among the crowd Brad Wilcox, Dean Hughes, Kathleen Hughes, Truman G. Madsen, and several other heavy hitters.
I sat next to John Bytheway at our dinner table (great food!) and was able to talk to him a bit. The dinner went well, and afterwards there was a hilarious video presentation showing all the items released through Deseret Book during 2006, including my mom’s latest book.
Elder Holland was the guest speaker. I told my mom during his talk that he was my favorite apostle, hands down. I admire Elder Holland very much and enjoy all of his talks for their blunt clarity and resonating testimony. And so, after the festivities ended, we walked up to Elder Holland to say hello. An apostle of the Lord. Standing a few feet away. Greeting others who admire him as much as I.
And then it was our turn. My mother introduced herself and shook hands with him, and then I introduced myself and shook Elder Holland’s hand. My mother mentioned to him that I had just told her that he was my favorite apostle (gee, thanks mom!). In response, he lifted his arm, patted my cheek a couple times, and said “Well you’re my favorite!”
An apostle of the Lord touched my cheek. And said I’m his favorite. I guess I can now check that off my to-do list…
Incidentally, I had neglected to shave in the morning since I was running late and so was a bit scruffy. No doubt Elder Holland felt the stubble as he patted my cheek.. oops!
I think I’ll have to make sure that my dad has a conflicting business trip during next year’s banquet so I can go again…