The Story Behind “I Believe in Christ”: The Powerful Testimony of Bruce R. McConkie
During the April 1972 general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, former Apostle Bruce R. McConkie shared a stirring, personal talk titled "The Testimony of Jesus." In his address, he revealed his personal witness of Christ and shared a poem he wrote, titled “I Believe in Christ.” Before sharing the poem he stated the following:
I shall take the liberty, both by way of testimony and to set the tone for what is involved, to read these words of my own composition:
I Believe in Christ
I believe in Christ, he is my king;
With all my heart to him I'll sing;
I'll raise my voice in praise and joy,
In grand amens my tongue employ.
I believe in Christ, he is God's Son;
On earth to dwell his soul did come;
He healed the sick, the dead he raised,
Good works were his, his name be praised
I believe in Christ, O blessed name,
As Mary's Son he came to reign
'Mid mortal men, his earthly kin,
To save them from the woes of sin.
I believe in Christ, who marked the path,
Who did gain all his Father hath,
Who said to men: "Come, follow me,
That ye, my friends, with God may be."
I believe in Christ—my Lord, my God—
My feet he plants on gospel sod;
I'll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ, he ransoms me;
From Satan's grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above.
I believe in Christ, he stands supreme;
From him I'll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain."
I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I'll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again,
To rule among the sons of men
McConkie delivered his final general conference address, "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane," in April 1985. In that very conference, his poem “I Believe in Christ” debuted as a new hymn, performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The music was composed by Tabernacle organist John Longhurst. This would be McConkie’s final conference, as he passed away 13 days later.
His hymn lives on and was included in the 1985 hymnbook, which is still in use today. Below is the Choir performing “I Believe in Christ,” arranged by the Choir’s music director, Mack Wilberg.