Updated: 26 Sep 2017
Not long after delivering my speech I was called to serve an extra-curricular Mormon mission for the University of Utah Stake. Oscar McConkie, Jr., the leader to whom I had disclosed my Berlin experience, set me apart for it. With his hands on my head I will never forget the first words out of his mouth, spoken unequivocally with great confidence:
"The Lord is aware of you and the hopes of your heart. He will step out of his regular pattern to bless you in an especial way. You will know of a certainty what your work is before this mission is through..."This was not standard blessing language and I immediately began silently praying to know if I should listen to what was being said, asking questions about my family, university studies, career, etc. As soon as the questions formed in my mind, McConkie's words were addressing them in the order asked. I took this as an answer to my prayer and relaxed, vowing not to forget the words above.
From today's perspective almost 40 years later was there anything I knew "of a certainty" before that mission was through? Yes: one thing. My spiritual work with my father. Did the Lord "step out of his regular pattern to bless [me] in an especial way"? Let the reader decide after reading this story.