Elder Jack N. Gerard, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday’s campus Devotional livestreamed from the Marriott Center. He spoke about the importance of taking steps toward God’s light, even when the way forward may seem unclear.
Elder and Sister Gerard began their lives together in Washington D.C. They started a family while Elder Gerard went to work full-time and attended night classes to complete his undergraduate and law degree. By the time he had finished, he and his wife were expecting their third child.
While trying to juggle work, school, church and family life, Elder and Sister Gerard received an anonymous letter telling them they had their priorities wrong. The author of the letter criticized their circumstances and told them their approach to life was not what it should be.
The letter came into their minds each time they questioned the decisions they had made. Knowing someone was judging them that closely made it difficult to move forward without doubting their path.
“Every day seemed to be an act of faith as we tried to stay true to our commitment while wading through the murky waters of life,” Elder Gerard said. “Now that the experience is over, we reflect on those days fondly and can see the hand of the Lord guiding us every step of the way.”
In the scriptures, there are many examples of times where God’s children are blessed in ways they could never have known. In the Book of Mormon, Alma and the sons of Mosiah had many afflictions, and in some cases, they almost turned back.
At the end of the period of stress and turmoil, Ammon rhetorically says, “How great reason we have to rejoice, for could we have supposed when we started ... that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?”
“Much like Ammon, as I look back today, I could not have supposed when we started that God would have granted us such great blessings,” Elder Gerard said.
Elder Gerard said he and his wife often think back to their experience, trying to determine what made it possible for them to continue on and have confidence that they were doing the right thing.
“Sister Gerard and I came to know that our willingness to trust the Lord and heed His counsel, even when we did not see clearly, resulted in blessings beyond anything we could suppose,” he said. “We anchored ourselves to the hope of eternal life because we needed a clear beacon to pursue, particularly when day-to-day choices were ambiguous and at times even confusing.”
Elder Gerard compared making decisions in life to understanding what we see from a reflection of glass, darkly. Seeing this way is puzzling and obscures the resulting image.
“Each of us will have moments when life’s pressure will force us to turn for help,” he said. “One of the great tests in this is how we respond in those moments.”
Elder Gerard said it is vital that in these moments we learn to trust in the Lord, even when we don’t understand, or we feel we are seeing through glass darkly.
“Always place your trust in the Lord. Heed His counsel, and even when the path is not clear, know the great blessings He will grant unto you,” he said. “While we cannot suppose in our daily lives precisely what great blessings we will receive, the day will come when we will look back just as Ammon did and declare, ‘Could we have supposed when we started that this journey would lead to the greatest blessing of all, to live as families in the presence of our Heavenly Father and our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ?’”
Next Devotional: Estela Marquez, Multicultural Student Services
Estela Marquez, of Multicultural Student Services, will deliver the Devotional on Tuesday, April 7, at 11:05 a.m.
Her remarks will 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.