Sister Camille N. Johnson, the Primary General President for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday’s devotional address. She spoke on anchoring ourselves to Christ.
Sister Johnson began with a story to illustrate her topic. On Dec. 3, 2021, Hawaii had a blizzard warning. As freakish clouds of wind, snow and waves approached the typically tropical islands, boaters scurried to secure their watercraft and reduce windage — anything on their boats that wind can catch on to and carry away.
Having established this nautical analogy, Sister Johnson asked, “Dear friends, students, faculty: Do you have windage you need to remove? Do you need to reduce resistance so that you may weather the storms that are inevitably coming or bearing down on you now?”
In addition to reducing windage, Sister Johnson emphasized the need for spiritual anchoring.
“The Savior is steady and sure and rock solid. He is an anchor that is never displaced. He is a mooring buoy that doesn’t dislodge. He is an immovable dock.”
However, Sister Johnson explained that anchors can’t keep a boat in place if there’s too much windage. Similarly, Christ does not let go of us in a swirling storm; we let things get in the way of holding on to Him.
“It is us who detach from the rock, the anchor, the buoy, the dock, when we let windage take us and carry us away.”
So how can we secure ourselves to the Savior and remove anything that could tear us away from Him during a storm? Sister Johnson pointed out seven potential sources of windage:
1. Failure to trust in the Lord
Sister Johnson explained that windage is increased when we worry excessively about the future or wait too long to give our anxieties over to the Lord.
Pursuing a career, finding a spouse and balancing family was difficult for her, said Sister Johnson. In many situations, she desperately wanted clearer direction from the Lord.
“I stand before you today and testify that I have felt the hand of the Master writing my story with me.” #BYUDevo #BYUSpeeches #BYU pic.twitter.com/sQIDpCCxEH— BYU Speeches (@BYUSpeeches) January 11, 2022
“I want things on the calendar so I can plan for them,” she admitted. “But brothers and sisters, the Savior — who is the author and finisher of my story — has done a far better job than I ever could have!”
2. Failure to empoloy daily repentance Sister Johnson pointed out that sin adds weight to our lives, but not the kind that anchors us during a storm.
“Remember, the Savior stands at the door knocking. He wants a relationship with you. Don’t let sin be your windage!”
Sister Johnson emphasized that "this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God," meaning we shouldn't procrastinate repentance.
She also suggested not to put off recognizing blessings: "Finding joy in your journey and offering gratitude to your Heavenly Father and Savior for those blessings is a way to batten the hatches, prepare for storms and secure your relationship with Jesus Christ."
4. The company we keep
Sister Johnson said she eliminates this form of windage in her life as she chooses to "spend time with people who respect what I believe and encourage me to live in a moral way."
5. Validation from unreliable sources We should surround ourselves with people who bring us closer to Christ, and prioritize receiving validation from the Lord — not the world, said Sister Johnson.
“Value and pay heed to your relationship with the Savior. Seek validation and affirmation from Him first.”
6. Distractions Sister Johnson warned against spending excessive time on things that can be good in moderation but that can take away from better things. As one way to manage distractions, she recommends setting and recording goals to identify and eliminate distractions before they create windage.
7. Distractions Sister Johnson reminded us to make sure we are spending time on the best things, offering this question to evaluate our use of time: "Are we using our time to secure our attachment to the Savior, or are the choices we make for our time a reason we are flapping around in the wind? Is time an asset or has it become windage?"
She added that we can make time for the Lord by doing things like going to the temple and inviting the Holy Ghost be a part of scripture study and prayer.
“Keep your eyes on the prize — an eternal relationship with our Heavenly Father and the Savior, and the opportunity to return to your heavenly home to be with the people who are most dear to you. That focus on your ultimate objective will help you avoid unhealthy distractions.”
There may be times that we break free from our anchor. However, when we exercise faith, the Savior’s light will always pierce the darkness surrounding us and guide us safely home.
“I testify that our Savior, Jesus Christ, stands as the lighthouse, leading us back to safety if we will just follow His light.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelves Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will deliver the next devotional address on Tuesday, January 18, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.
Elder Holland's remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM and SiriusXM 143.