‘Spoilers’ to the future

Credit: Lana Strathearn, Brigham Young University-Idaho
Credit: Lana Strathearn, Brigham Young University-Idaho
Credit: Katelyn Crompton, Brigham Young University-Idaho
Credit: Michael Lewis, Brigham Young University-Idaho


Press forward with faith in Christ, Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy counseled during a Brigham Young University-Idaho campus devotional on Nov. 11.

Elder Nielson began his address by saying that his wife has a habit of reading the last chapter of a new book to see how it ends before reading the rest of the book. He noted that the students’ generation would call Sister Nielson’s habit a “spoiler.”

He asked the students if they would want to know how their life stories ended, and he told them that he was going to tell them to help them become better prepared to face the daily challenges of life.

“There are certain things I know about each of you,” he said. “You are these valiant people who have found the straight and narrow path, who have caught hold of the iron rod and who have made your way to the tree and have partaken of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

He read 2 Nephi 31:20 to show students that they will have eternal life and a restored knowledge of the plan of happiness when they press forward with faith in Christ:

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”

Eternal life is the future for those who endure to the end, who have been baptized and confirmed, and who have received or will receive the ordinances of the temple in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Nielson said.

“With the knowledge of your future safely in hand, how will you now live your life from day to day?” Elder Nielson asked. “I would say to you that once you understand the end of your mortal life story and that you have been promised life with the Father, you become free from the worries of this world to act for yourself.”

Elder Nielson said that repentance is a way for an individual to be free to act for himself or herself. He said that while he was on a mission tour, he interviewed a missionary who was obedient and hardworking but who did not feel happy due to some of his past actions. The missionary told Elder Nielson that he had taken care of his transgressions before his mission, so Elder Nielson told him to forget about them because Christ had already paid for his sins.

“My young brothers and sisters on this campus, if you are still trying to pay for your own sins, understand that you are missing the very essence of God’s plan for you,” Elder Nielson said. “The Savior has paid the price already. It is only Satan who wants you to think that you can’t be forgiven and that you have to pay for your own sins. Let them go, and do it today.”

Elder Nielson said that on Nov. 11, 2013, he watched Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines Tacloban Mission. He said that over the following four-day period, he, his counselors and the Philippines Area Office staff located the 204 missionaries two by two and rescued them from sites of death and devastation.

As the counselors and leaders talked to the missionaries, he found that some of the missionaries felt they were wiser than they had been before because they had learned so much about themselves through the experience. He said that they found the trial to be a blessing to them and the people of Tacloban.

“Don’t let your trials own you,” Elder Nielson said. “You own them.”

Elder Nielson then talked about obtaining strength in order to overcome sin and said that there is an enabling power that makes burdens light and allows an individual to live after the manner of happiness.

He told the story of Alma, whose people literally carried heavy physical burdens each day. The people of Alma prayed to the Lord, and then the Lord did something unexpected. He strengthened the people to be able to physically carry their burdens, and their burdens were made light.

“The key tomorrow when you wake up and face the burdens of your life is to submit cheerfully and with patience to the will of the Lord,” Elder Nielson said. “Allow the Savior’s enabling power … to make your burdens light.”

Elder Nielson concluded his address by reminding students that they now know what will follow mortal life because they heard the spoiler.

“If you endure to the end, you will have eternal life, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God,” he said. “It is my testimony to you that as you remain faithful, the Lord has promised you all that the Father hath. He is inviting you to come.”

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