“It would be my hope that each of you would view your entire life as a marvelous university and mission in preparation for your second and most important graduation, that of graduating with honor from life,” said Elder Gary B. Sabin, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as he delivered Tuesday morning’s devotional.
Comparing one's mortal journey to school, Elder Sabin stated that individuals tend to learn more from their failures rather than from their successes. He urged the audience not to get discouraged by struggle but to realize that strength and struggle travel together.
“The curriculum of our master teacher invites each of us to make and keep sacred covenants with Him," Sabin said. "We should always remember that we are eternal beings having a mortal experience and that, in reality, we live to die and die to live.”
The key to a successful life and a meaningful journey is to follow the Savior, Elder Sabin taught. This means being obedient to Him and trusting His promise that everything will work out for our best, following His wisdom and timing.
Quoting from the Book of Mormon, Elder Sabin recounted when Helaman urged his sons to build their foundation on the rock of Christ, a solid and unshakable base. This foundation ensures that those who build upon it cannot fall. The word "cannot" provides a comforting certainty for those who are covenant keepers.
“We need to do our part by exercising faith and trusting God, but we also never need feel alone in the storms or battles of life. Though most often unrecognized, we have unseen heavenly help.”
In fact, one will run into trouble when trying to rely on their own strength, Elder Sabin declared. Illustrating this point, he told a story in which a proud athlete refused to wear a seatbelt on a plane, claiming Superman didn't need one. The flight attendant cleverly responded, "Superman doesn't need an airplane either."
“Pride is dangerous,” Elder Sabin continued. “It is good to know our limitations.”
Elder Sabin testified that if you remain humble and faithful, the Lord “‘will go before your face’” and “‘be on your right hand and on your left,’” and His “‘Spirit shall be in your hearts, [His] angels round about you, to bear you up.’”
“There are many heavenly hosts who are very interested in your welfare. You each have a big cheering section pulling for you, which is comforting to know because, even when we are built upon the rock of Christ, there will be times when the rains of life still fall, and the floods still come. As the scriptures teach us, the rain falls on both the just and the unjust.”
When we aim to be faithful, life can be an incredible adventure, regardless of challenges. It's all about having a mindset focused on learning from experiences instead of questioning why challenges occur. Adding his testimony to President Thomas S. Monson’s, Elder Sabin quoted, “‘We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.’”
Elder Sabin encouraged the audience not to fall into the trap of postponing their happiness until some future event because doing so can rob them of the joys of today.
“You may think you’ll be happier once you graduate, are married, get a job, have children, buy a house or achieve any number of other milestones; but in reality, happiness in life is a journey, not a moving target.”
Happiness does not hinge on some future event, said Elder Sabin, but rather on our attitude and gratitude.
“If you want to be happy, be grateful for each day and wherever you are, truly be there. We are all surrounded by abundant blessings, no matter our circumstances.”
Part of this happiness comes in realizing that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of hope and fresh starts.
Elder Sabin urged the audience to bring light to a darkening world. “We are counting on you to be heroes; the world is desperately in need of true heroes.”
“A true hero is one whose own hero is the Savior and who stands for right even when standing alone. Such heroes do not seek the limelight but radiate light by their unique unselfishness and goodness,” he said. “A true hero is guided by the two great commandments to love God and their fellowman.”