Elder Kelly R. Johnson, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday’s devotional address. He spoke about casting aside distractions and remaining focused on Christ and His covenant path.
Elder Johnson taught that one of the adversary’s goals is to distract us from the Savior through various means. As this happens, devoting our energy to less important endeavors can make our minds become “swallowed up in other things” to the point where we may miss important spiritual details; we can become numb to Christ’s invitation to “come, follow me.”
“Distractions can often be good things,” said Elder Johnson. “The reality is, a distraction doesn’t have to be evil to be effective.”
He challenged the audience to consider, What things distract each of us from staying focused on those things that are most important?
To demonstrate his point, Elder Johnson shared a personal example. As a high school basketball player, he participated in a national tournament. The opponent assigned to guard him was intimidating and covered him closely, and that pressure once led to him shooting the ball into the opponent's basket instead of his own.
This experience, explained Elder Johnson, was an important lesson for him. Because he was so focused on the defensive pressure of his opponent, he had lost concentration on the more important things in the game, like which basket was his. We must “ponder the path of [our] feet, and let all [our] ways be established” (Proverbs 4:26) in order to achieve the things we hope to achieve.
Years later, at a chaotic point in Elder Johnson’s life, he came across a theory called fractal geometry. Elder Johnson described fractals as never-ending, complex patterns that repeat themselves. He used a triangle as an example — triangles can be broken down into an infinite number of smaller triangles. Thus, a triangle takes on the shape of its components. So it is with our lives: their makeup will have a similar shape to a single day.
Understanding the general idea behind fractal geometry can help us remain disciplined in our quest for eternal life. Citing President Russell M. Nelson’s recent October 2021 General Conference address, Elder Johnson emphasized the importance of heeding the prophet’s plea to make time for the Lord. As we do so, the makeup of our lives will surely take a different shape.
Making time for the Lord can come in many ways, and doing so might require us to give up distractions we’re holding on to. After all, highlighted Elder Johnson, the Savior’s plea to follow Him often required His disciples to give something up before they could come unto Him.
“Ponder the direction of your life … Determine what distractions you need to give up to truly come to the Savior and to follow Him. Then do those things, and I testify that as you do them daily, you will achieve all that God wants you to achieve.”
Next devotional Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will deliver the next devotional address on Tuesday, March 22, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.
His remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM and SiriusXM 143. Video, text and audio are archived on speeches.byu.edu.