`Lay hold on every good thing'

Two steps taken along the path of life will spiritually transform a person into a begotten son or daughter of Christ, BYU Pres. Merrill J. Bateman declared during Women's Conference at BYU May 2.

Pres. Bateman, of the Seventy, spoke during a morning general session in the Marriott Center. Speaking just before him was his wife, Marilyn.Pres. Bateman referred to the theme of the conference taken from Moroni 7:19. This passage, he observed, describes two steps. "The first is to search diligently in the light of Christ' so that good may be distinguished from evil.' The second is tolay hold upon every good thing and condemn it not.' "

Continuing, he said: "Diligently seeking truth and living gospel principles with all [our] mind and heart opens the door for the Holy Spirit to transform us." Pres. Bateman spoke of the following:

Searching with one's mind and heart. The university president referred to D&C 9:7-9, which concerns Oliver Cowdery's desire to translate. " . . . Oliver misunderstood the process. After failing to translate the characters, the Lord explained that Oliver . . . had not tried to work out in his mind the meaning of the characters before praying for help. Instead, he asked the Lord to give him the answers."

Speaking of searching for truth, he added, " . . . Each person has an invitation to `Come unto Christ,' to become His sons and daughters through a spiritual rebirth."

Laying hold upon every good thing. "This involves faith, repentance, participation in sacred covenants, companionship of the Holy Spirit and enduring to the end," he continued. "To serve with all one's heart is to serve with full purpose of heart. The concern is with direction and not speed. The process allows for repentance. What counts is one's desire and determination and not an extraordinary burst of energy.

"Although the Lord expects us to do our best, He is looking for steady candle power on a hill and not bright flashes in the sky which briefly illuminate but then fade."

Sister Bateman spoke of the journey of Lehi and his family to the promised land. "Lehi's journey with his family to the promised land is symbolic of our journey through life - to our promised land. Ultimately, it is our return to the land in which God and His Son, Jesus Christ, dwell.

"In our journey to this land of the heavenly city, whose builder and maker is God, we will encounter many obstacles and challenges along the way. There will be ruts and holes of grief and despair, rivers of tears and mountains of sorrow. Just as no two snowflakes are exactly alike, each person travels a different road."

But, Sister Bateman continued, "we need not travel the road alone. When we believe that we can do all things through Christ (Philip. 4:13),' our burdens will become lighter, and we will find thatpeace of God, which passeth all understanding.' " (Philip. 4:7.)

Sister Bateman spoke of her pioneer forebears, who "were followers of Christ as were so many thousands and thousands of others. They paid a heavy price for their discipleship. But they came to know their Savior. He sent angels to minister unto them and did ease their burdens.

"It is through meeting the challenge of our mortal journey that we become disciples of Jesus Christ. As we go through pains, sicknesses, afflictions and temptations of every kind, our Savior will be there to succor us. He knows how to deliver us safely back home. He is our Deliverer - our all!"

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