This weekend, I had the unique opportunity to watch General Conference from a stake center in Trujillo, Peru. As the session began, I remember feeling a little disappointed that no one spoke in their native language. As a bilingual RM, I can’t tell you how awesome it was to hear Spanish being spoken over the pulpit during last conference, but my disappointment was short lived when I got a very pleasant surprise. Just before Elder Christofferson got up to speak, the translator announced that he would be giving his own talk in Spanish.
For the first time, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, during the Sunday afternoon session of the 185 semiannual General Conference, provided his own Spanish translation for his talk. Rather than the typical voice of a translator, this gave the Spanish speaking members the chance to hear his own voice give the talk in a language they understood,
It’s a little known fact that our late Apostle Elder Richard G. Scott would record his own Spanish and Portuguese translations of his talks every Conference. This came as a surprise to me when I first heard his familiar voice speaking Spanish dubbed over his English sermon a year and a half ago, and my Spanish speaking friends affirmed for me that he has always given his own talks in Spanish. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and love for Elder Scott, who after serving a mission in Uruguay and serving as a mission president in North Argentina, wanted to give his beloved Latin Saints the opportunity to hear and understand an apostle’s voice.
I found out only recently, after the passing of Elder Scott, that Elder D. Todd Christofferson was actually a missionary in North Argentina while Elder Scott was serving as the mission president. I’m sure it must have been a proud moment for Elder Scott to see one of his own missionaries become an Apostle, and humbling for Elder Christofferson to be called to the same calling as his mission president. Both served together with a special love and service for one another.
I thought it very appropriate then, as I watched the Sunday Afternoon session in Spanish, that Elder Christofferson would be giving his own talk in Spanish. This is the first time Elder Christofferson has forgone the translators and recorded his own translation, and I was amazed by his fantastic accent and confidence with the language The members were so pleased to hear his own voice speak their native language. I am so happy Elder Christofferson chose to continue Elder Scott’s tradition by reaching out to the Latin saints in this special way. I’m sure it’s what Elder Scott would have wanted.