President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, outlined four guideposts for students to follow in life's journey at Tuesday's devotional in the Marriott Center.
President Monson entertained the crowd with stories about meeting and courting his wife, Frances, who was with him at the Marriott Center. While at a school dance he saw her for the first time, he said, and he told himself he had to meet her. He then told of meeting her parents.
"When the time for decision comes, the time for preparation is past," he said to audience laughter.
"Whatever your future path may be," he then told students, "may I suggest to you today four guideposts to assist you in your respective journeys through school and through life itself."
"First, glance backward; second, look heavenward; third, reach outward; and fourth, press onward."
President Monson urged students to learn from the past and to develop a greater appreciation for life. During this Thanksgiving holiday, he said, express appreciation to those to whom you owe a debt of gratitude.
"May the lessons we learn as we glance backward help us to live more fully each day of our future," President Monson said.
After glancing backward, he continued, look heavenward. Looking heavenward consists of cultivating faith, studying the scriptures, praying and striving for eternal life.
"Such a goal is not achieved in one glorious attempt, but rather is the result of a lifetime of righteousness, an accumulation of wise choices, even a constancy of purpose and lofty ideals," he said.
Through looking heavenward, we learn of our responsibility to reach outward, President Monson said. We must strive to serve others and, through our example, build, inspire and lead others.
"No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man," he said. "Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings joy."
While we reach outward, we must also press onward.
"In the private sanctuary of one's own conscience lies that spirit, that determination, to press onward and to measure up to the stature of true potential. But the way is rugged and the course is strenuous," President Monson said.
Though this life is not easy, we can look to the Lord for strength and help.
"Let us shed any thought of failure," he concluded. "Let us discard any habit or trait that may hinder. Let us ever press onward. Let us seek; let us obtain the prize prepared for all--even exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of God."
Writer: Alexis Plowman