Elder Peter M. Johnson, General Authority Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday’s devotional address. He taught that by coming unto the Lord, He will provide a certain pattern of instruction that leads to an increase of inspiration and spiritual strength.
Elder Johnson began by recounting some of his own personal experiences, including his conversion to the Church and his path to higher education. While the journey was not an easy one, Elder Johnson taught that no matter what background an individual comes from, it is possible to have a successful life.
“With love for and faith in Jesus Christ, determination, hard work and a lot of help, much good can be achieved.”
Understanding eternal truths will provide the faith to act on Christ’s invitations, and receive the blessings He has promised in return, said Elder Johnson. An example of this pattern is the Lord’s invitation to hearken to the word of God.
“As we accept this invitation, the Lord has promised that we would never perish, and neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of Satan overpower us or lead us to destruction — an invitation to act with the promise that through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, death and resurrection, we will find true happiness in Him.”
An Eternal Truth, An Invitation and a Promise
One of the most necessary and important eternal truths is the reality of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, Elder Johnson explained.
“Jesus Christ is our advocate with the Father, and I believe He continually prays for you and for me, that our faith in Him will not fail.”
Explaining some of the details that make up the Atonement, Elder Johnson testified that the Savior suffered and died on our behalf out of the love He has for God’s children. His atoning sacrifice makes it possible to enjoy this life and prepare for eternity.
“The Savior felt the pain of all our sins, of all our infirmities, heartaches, depression, anxiety and feelings of being marginalized, abused, forgotten and mistreated.”
The Savior invites all to simply come unto Him. Those that follow His invitation are promised peace and rest, Elder Johnson declared. He offered three things all can do in order to come unto Christ and receive Him more fully.
1. Receiving Christ’s ordinances and making covenants with Him.
Elder Johnson said that one way to come unto Christ is by making covenants with the Lord. By spending time in the temple, the Lord can turn weaknesses into strengths.
While serving as stake president in Alabama, Elder Johnson was interviewing a member who expressed his inability to sustain him in his calling because of racial differences. Elder Johnson invited this member to worship in the house of the Lord more and to work his problem out with the Lord.
After some time, the brother had a change of heart, and Elder Johnson joyfully reported that they were able to “embrace each other with such a feeling of love and brotherhood” as they were able to understand the spiritual power “received from Priesthood Ordinances and in keeping covenants with the Father and His Son.”
“As we truly come to understand the ordinances and covenants of the temple, we come to recognize that the Lord loves diversity," Elder Johnson said. "He loves me and He loves you. He wants us to know that we belong to His family. We are children of God. We are truly brothers and sisters.”
2. Become engaged learners.
The second way to come unto Christ is by becoming an engaged learner by studying the Holy Scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, Elder Johnson taught. The more someone knows about the Savior, the more they will be able to trust Him.
Elder Johnson added his testimony to that of President Nelson, who declared that the “truths of the Book of Mormon have the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console and cheer our souls.”
3. Minister to the one.
Deepening one's love for God will enable a greater love for neighbors and for self. It will also increase the desire to share time, experiences, resources and vulnerability with those in need.
Elder Johnson pointed out that there are many people on campus struggling with a plethora of hardships, but other students have the capability to be there for them and share the love of God with them.
“Let us see each other as the Savior sees us. Christ knows our uncertainties, doubts and concerns. Please know we are children of a loving Heavenly Father who knows us by name. He knows our personalities, He knows of our weaknesses, and of our strengths. He knows our divine potential and destiny, and He allows us to experience tough times because He also knows our courage. He trusts us.”