Elder Kim B. Clark, Church Commissioner of Education of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, encouraged students to welcome God's plan into their lives at Tuesday's BYU Devotional.
“I use the word embrace because I want you to accept the plan gladly, eagerly; to adopt it into your life fully and completely,” said Elder Clark. “I want you to put your arms around the plan and draw it in close to your heart with love and gratitude for your Heavenly Father, and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ.”
Elder Clark remembers what uncertainty feels like. He learned to embrace Heavenly Father’s plan, even when that plan may include some discomfort.
God’s plan for his children is to progress towards perfection to become heirs of eternal life, as stated in The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Elder Clark said Jesus Christ’s atonement is central to that plan and makes happiness a reality.
“Our Father knew that mortality would be hard and blessed, dangerous and peaceful, full of adversity and also glorious opportunities,” said Elder Clark.
Each person is individual, and God has “a special place in His plan for you.”
Acting with faith in Jesus Christ brings direction in decisions and will help us to bless many others. Because of the greatness that is possible from following Heavenly Father’s plan, there will be opposition.
“Every wonderful opportunity in the Father’s plan comes to us in a crucible of choice. Every crucible contains two things – the opportunities created by Heavenly Father’s plan, and opposition,” said Elder Clark.
Each of us will be able to choose. This choice is a test of faith in Jesus Christ.
Crucible 1: Deep Learning
Learning, with the whole soul, is deep when it increases our power to: know and understand; take effective, righteous action; and become like God, said Elder Clark.
Deep learning is possible in all fields, but spiritual learning is most important. Elder Clark suggested that means prioritizing daily prayer and study of the Book of Mormon, Temple worship, writing inspiration, and taking religion classes.
Pride, laziness, sin, and distraction are the opposition in this crucible of choice.
Crucible 2: Serving the Lord
Acting with faith in Christ as we serve others helps us to see and love them as God does. Elder Clark focused on sharing the Gospel with others. He said that fear is the greatest opposer to missionary work.
“You can learn to share and extend invitations in a natural way, with love and kindness,” said Elder Clark.
He promised that God will lead us to those he has prepared to receive the gospel and we won’t be afraid.
Crucible 3: Creating an Eternal Family
Family is central to God’s plan and central to the way we can each receive a fullness of happiness.
“That is why it is so important for every one of us, no matter what our situation, to do everything we can to encourage and promote celestial marriage and eternal families, our own, and others, on both sides of the veil,” said Elder Clark.
Fear of failure in marriage and family life is a powerful opposer to this crucible of choice. FOMO, the fear of mission out, also opposes families by affecting people’s decisions. They think, “What if I find someone better?” and may delay marriage.
Elder Clark said these two fears show the fundamental misunderstanding that a perfect spouse is someone a person finds.
“We do not ‘find’ the perfect partner for an eternal marriage…. The partnership of an eternal marriage is something we build together with the Lord,” said Elder Clark.
Elder Clark taught that a married couple become one as they are faithful in their commitment to each other and the Lord.
Selfishness is another great opposer of marriage and family. It keeps people from finding a spouse and leads them to treat those in their family with less respect.
“If you act selfishly, you are at grave risk of making critical choices about whom to marry, when to marry, how many children to have, how to lead your family, and how to treat your spouse, without the guidance of your Heavenly Father,” said Elder Clark.
In conclusion, Elder Clark promised that Jesus Christ will be there to guide and bless each person along their distinctive path of embracing God’s plan.
“If you embrace the plan, the Lord will open the way before you, His redeeming power will flow into your life and He will wrap you in the arms of His love, now and forever,” said Elder Clark.
Next Forum: Amy Cuddy
Amy Cuddy, social psychologist, author and TEDx speaker will deliver the Forum address on Tuesday, March 27 at 11:05 a.m.
Cuddy's remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio, and will be archived on speeches.byu.edu.