[The following is a summary of an excellent article that appeared in the August 1987 entitled, "Horacio Tulio Insignares: Magnifying the Priesthood" by Marvin K. Gardner.]

Horacio Insignares, of Bucaramanga, Colombia, first listened to the missionaries in 1968. At that time he was not ready for their message. He found their words confusing and he wasn't interested in hearing more. Eight years later he met a pair of missionaries getting off of a bus and he felt an urge to talk to them. He related: "When I looked at them, I saw something very different from the rest of the people on the street--something angelic." He invited them to his home that evening. His wife, Dora, was committed to her own church and refused to listen to their message at that time.

This time Horacio participated in the discussions and committed to follow the gospel. His baptismal date was set for August 26, 1976. Dora had begun to listen to the elders, but by August 24, still had not decided to be baptized. Horacio challenged her to pray. That night Dora had a powerful spiritual witness and two days later they were both baptized with their two oldest children.

Prior to his baptism, the elders explained to Horacio that he could not hold the priesthood because of his black ancestry. This did not concern him at first, he only wanted to be baptized a member of the Church. After baptism, he faithfully attended his meetings and served as financial secretary and as a counselor in the Sunday School. One Sunday the priesthood question did deeply trouble him to the point that he felt something "falling inside" him. Dora quickly called for the branch president and missionaries. They gave him strength and his testimony grew stronger.

In 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball announced that a revelation had been received from the Lord, that "the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood." Two months later, the mission president traveled to Bucaramanga to interview Horacio. The next day he was ordained an elder and set apart as the branch president.

Two years later he was called as district president. He had a great desire to take the gospel to his hometown, Barrancabermeja, 2 1/2 hours away. The mission president was skeptical about opening up the town, but authorized President Insignares to take a missionary there and to bring back a referral. He went to the town and organized a meeting at his mother's home. Thirty-five people gathered for the very successful meeting. The mission president authorized missionaries to start working part-time in the town. Soon they worked there full time. People started to be baptized in groups of 10-12 at a time. Within a year, a ward was created. By 1987, there were eight hundred members in the town and two wards.

In 1981, Elder Robert E Wells of the Seventy came to Bucaramanga to create the Bucaramanga Columbia Stake. Elder Wells recalled: "Last December I was assigned to go to Bucaramanga to form the first stake in that city. I was thrilled, I was inspired, I enjoyed that stake conference as few other spiritual occasions because, as I interviewed the various priesthood leaders of that stake, there was that moment of inspiration when I saw the mantle of the Lord descend upon Brother Insignares, that handsome black man, and he was called as the new stake president. It was a moment of great rejoicing to place my hands on his head and with that special authority ordain him a high priest and set him apart as the first stake president in Bucaramanga. He is a man whom I honor and respect highly. For many long years he trusted in the Lord even though he did not understand." (BYU Devotional, De Jong Concert Hall, June 29, 1982).

One Sunday, President Insignares felt impressed to visit the ward in Barrancabermeja. He didn't know why, but he followed the prompting. When he arrived, he saw a childhood friend. The man told President Insignares, "I told my wife I would go with her to church today, and if I found a friend there, I would be baptized." He was and later was called as a bishop of one of the Barrancabermeja wards.

When an extremist group bombed three LDS chapels in Bucaramanga, President Insignares urged the members to forgive and pray for the offenders. Then he personally met with the group's leaders and asked them to stop. They did.

The Ensign wrote of Horacio Insignares: "His leadership, his personable nature, his genuine love for people, and his warm, friendly smile have made President Insignares a highly respected man in Bucaramanga. As he walks down the street he greets and is greeted by many. And he treats everyone the same. The man selling newspapers gets the same kind word as the attorney or government leader. He buys an item from a street vendor who is recently out of prison and needs work. He hugs a peddler woman on the street: she is a sister in the Church and he is not ashamed to show love to her, even in public."

(See also, "Taking the Gospel Home" in _Pioneer Spirit_ by Heidi S. Swinton.)