'Come unto him and his gospel'

Church members should have faith to accept the goodness of God and the mercy of His Son, come unto Him and His gospel to be healed, and then do more to heal others, said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

Speaking March 2 at a Church Educational System fireside to more than 23,000 college-age young adults gathered in the BYU Marriott Center, Elder Holland said some young people may know the way they want to go in their lives and some may not - some having wonderful choices ahead of them while others feel less fortunate, with fewer attractive paths."But whoever you are and wherever you find yourself as you seek your way in life, I offer you tonight `the way and the life.' "

The fireside was telecast across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean via the Church's satellite system.

Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve said the essence of life is distilled down to two elements of the opening scenes of the Savior's mortal ministry.

"One element is the questions, to every one of us - What seek ye? What do you want?' The second is His answer as to how to get that. Whoever we are, and whatever our problems, His response is always the same - forever -come unto me.' "

Elder Holland told the young adults that they should, in as many ways as possible, try to take upon themselves His identity. "We seek out His teachings and retell His miracles. We send latter-day witnesses, including prophets, apostles and missionaries, around the world to declare His message. We call ourselves His children and we testify that He is the only source of eternal life."

Elder Holland told his listeners that it is his desire for them to have "more straight forward experiences with the Savior's life and teachings."

He said the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that it was necessary to have "an acquaintance" with the divine attributes of the Father and the Son in order to have faith in them.

Elder Holland told young adults who may be "troubled by a transgression or the current temptation of transgression," that Christ can lift their load and give peace to their soul.

"You can change. You can be helped. You can be made whole - whatever the problem. All He asks is that you walk away from the darkness and come into the light, His light, with meekness and lowliness of heart."

Elder Holland said the principle of repentance is the heart of the gospel. The Church is not "a monastery for the isolation of perfect people," but rather "a hospital" for those who wish to get well.

"Do whatever you have to do to come into the fold and be blessed," he said. "For some of you that is simply to live with greater faith, to believe more. For some of you it does mean to repent - right here. Tonight. For some of you it means to be baptized and come into the body and fellowship of Christ. For virtually all of us it means to live more by the promptings and promises of the Holy Ghost."

Considering the "incomprehensible cost of the Crucifixion," Elder Holland said Christ is not going to turn His back on anyone.

"Just because God is God, because Christ is Christ, they cannot do other than care for us and bless us and help us if we will but come unto them, approaching their throne of grace in meekness and lowliness of heart." Elder Holland said much of the comfort he spoke about comes from the Savior's power to heal wounds of life, sorrow or transgression.

He asked the young adults to heal others - those they love and especially those they don't love - as they have been healed themselves.

"I ask you to be a healer, be a helper, be someone who joins in the work of Christ in lifting burdens, in making the load lighter, in making things better. . . ," he said. "Often, too often maybe, we can, usually unwittingly, be quite insensitive to the circumstances and difficulties of those around us."

He emphasized that no one person is endowed with time and money to tend to all the wounded and the weary. Nevertheless, he continued, "I suspect we can find a way to do a little more of that then we do."

Elder Holland said he wishes he could go back to his youth and have another chance to reach out to several of his classmates.

He spoke of a young woman - who in her childhood was "somewhat overweight and less than popular" - and who did not attend their 20-year reunion because she did not want to remember the feelings of "loneliness and shattered self-esteem" she felt in high school.

"I have wept for her, my friend and other friends like her in our youth, to which I and a lot of others obviously were not masters of `the healer's art'. . . ." he said. "I make an appeal for us to reach beyond our own contentment, move out of our own comfort and companion zone, to reach those who may not always be so easy to reach."

Elder Holland concluded: "I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. I testify that this is His true and living and only Church," he said. "He wishes us to come unto Him, to follow Him, to be comforted by Him. Then He wishes us to give comfort to others."

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