Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr., General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explained one of the most important things he learned while at BYU was that great revelation happens when the mind and heart work together.
The scriptures teach that the Spirit produces feelings in people as part of the revelation process. Such feelings are often described as happening in the heart.
Before his speech, The Book of Mormon leader King Benjamin asked his people to open their hearts as well as their minds to understand.
“We usually think of understanding as being associated with the brain,” Elder Curtis said. “But one of the lessons of this sermon is that spiritual things are understood with the heart — that is, by feelings of the Spirit within us.”
However, the mind is also an important part of revelation. Elder Curtis shared a quote by Elder Hugh B. Brown that encapsulates his experience: “Men live best when they neither deny themselves the verdict of the head nor the intimations of the heart but seek a working harmony of both.”
In classes, devotionals and friendships, Elder Curtis experienced revelation when he engaged his heart and mind to learn. Several of his friends went on to become prominent in the workforce, yet remained loyal to Jesus Christ and their families.
Elder Curtis warned that becoming too involved with “the things of the mind” can lead people away from Jesus Christ.
“As we rejoice in the blessing of being able to think, and to learn, it is imperative that we never lose our sense of humility before God,” Elder Curtis said.
He once had a “scholarly friend” who stopped attending church because he did not think the discussions were “interesting.”
Elder Curtis read scriptures that taught the Lord “despiseth” those who are prideful because of their education.
“The way forward is to consider ourselves fools before God and to come down in the depths of humility,” said Elder Curtis.
What he means is that we need to remember that mankind’s best knowledge is only a little of what God comprehends.
Elder Curtis said the Apostles are amazing examples of humility, which he learned from his travels with them.
“I have always had deep respect for the senior leaders of this Church,” Elder Curtis said. “But after having watched them close up, I must say that they are even better than I thought they were.”
Elder Curtis concluded by saying that Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of being humble when honor was deserved.
“I bear testimony of Him, and wish you the best in your journey to humbly combine heart and mind in His service,” said Elder Curtis.
Next Week: Forum by Sister Sharon Eubank
Sister Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities and first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, will deliver the BYU Forum address.