As a young missionary in 1969 I had the blessing of witnessing Harold B. Lee's mastery of the scriptures in the assembly room of the Salt Lake Temple. He spoke to the missionaries who spent the first week of their missionary training in Salt Lake at the old missionary training center close to temple square. President Lee spoke briefly about missionary work and the temple and then he opened it up to questions from the missionaries and he told us that since we were in the temple that no question about the temple would be off limits. We all thought that this would be the opportunity to learn about some of the mysteries of the gospel and especially about the temple.
The questions starting comeing slowing but then speeded up as these new missionaries gained courage to raise their hand and ask questions about things that they had wondered about but were always afraid to ask.
As I recall every single question was answered by President Lee stating that the answer was in the 4 standard scriptures of the church. He then would quickly cite a scripture reference and then turn to that scripture and give the answer to the question that was asked. I marveled then at how well he knew the scriptures. He never hesitated or stumbled about recalling the chapter and verse that held the answer to the question. It was very clearly demonstrated that he knew the scriptures extremely well and understood their meaning. I will never forget that sacred experience of having an apostle of God expounding the scriptures to a group of new missionaries as they were preparing to go out and preach the gospel.
We have a special interest in the notes President Lee made in his missionary scriptures. My husband's mother (Katherine Sims Hein) and grandmother joined the church in 1917 in Lafayette, Colorado. When the grandmother, Elisabeth McNeill Sims, died in April of 1922 in Lafayette, Elder Lee was at their home as a missionary for the funeral services. We were wondering if any notation was made about this event in his writings.
The Hein family always felt close to Elder Lee because of his caring comfort at the time of the funeral. Through the years, each of the four Hein sons were married by Elder Lee in the Salt Lake Temple.
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