Elder Jairo Mazzagardi of the Seventy spoke in the 186th Annual General Conference of his experience with understanding the importance of the Restoration of the church.
Elder Mazzagardi was baptized in 1978 after attending the São Paulo Temple open house with a good friend.
“Questions began to arise in my mind,” Elder Mazzagardi said. “Why did the church have to be restored in the United States and not in Brazil or Italy, the land of my ancestors?”
He said that the most reasonable answer to him at the time, was the freedom granted by the U.S. Constitution.
According to Elder Mazzagardi, he had read about the many people in Palmyra at the time of the restoration of the church and was curious about the reason behind it. He asked others and did some research, but found nothing that could calm his heart.
Elder Mazzagardi found his answers when he visited the Peter Whitmer farm in Palmyra, New York. He was told of the building of a canal in the early 1800s that would reach the Hudson River.
“Palmyra was a center for some of the construction. They needed skilled people, technicians, families and their friends. Many people began to pour in from the neighboring towns, and places to work on the canal,” Elder Mazzagardi said.
“At that moment, I understood how the hand of God, our Father, in his immense wisdom, had prepared in His plan a place to bring young Joseph Smith, putting him in the midst of that religious confusion,” Elder Mazzagardi said. “Because there, in Cumorah, the precious plates of the Book of Mormon were hidden.”
He said, “If you who hear me have any questions in your heart, do not give up!”
Elder Mazzagardi concluded his talk by testifying of the importance of the restoration.
“What happened in Cumorah was an important part of the Restoration, as Joseph Smith received the plates which contained the Book of Mormon,” Elder Mazzagardi said. “This book helps us get closer to Christ than any other book on the earth.”