Elder Christofferson speaks to Arizona young single adults

Credit: Scott P. Adair
Credit: Scott P. Adair


Urging a group of more than 1,200 young single adults to care more about each other and make a “magnificent difference,” Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke at a devotional held in the Tempe Institute of Religion at Arizona State University on Sept. 20.

“Please look out for each other,” he said. “In your wards, in your associations, your circle of acquaintances and friendships, care about each other, look after one another and when someone seems weak or discouraged, put your arm around them. And when you are in that position, others can do the same. All of us need that at one time or another.”

He counseled them to do more by serving.

“But don’t just let it go; don’t just focus on yourself and say ‘I’m OK, I’m sorry for her’ or ‘I’m sorry for him,’ ” he counseled. “Do more than that, even though it may seem like a small thing … you can truly minister to one another and make a magnificent difference. The power, as the scriptures says, is within you.”

Citing examples of President Thomas S. Monson’s personal ministry that includes visits to funerals, hospitals, care centers, or of giving blessings and making phone calls, he encouraged those in attendance to follow that example.

“Sometimes you or I may feel that if we can’t do everything [we] don’t want to do anything,” Elder Christofferson said. “We’re paralyzed in a way by the fear or worry about what can’t be done so we don’t do anything. Take his example, would you? And do what is in your power to do, and have the faith as he does that the Lord will provide what you cannot.”

If President Monson can find time to touch lives in that simple and individual way, surely others can do the same, Elder Christofferson said.

He also quoted from the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 and taught that the Lord looks at how we’ve been diligent and faithful with the stewardship He has given us, and not in comparison with others.

“So stop comparing yourself to each other,” he said. “Ask, ‘What am I doing with my talents?’ It doesn’t matter how many I have compared to someone else. … What does matter is what I’ve done with what I’ve received, and what I am doing, and what I will yet do.”

“You don’t have to be perfect tomorrow,” he said. “But you can rest assured and confident and at peace that He who knows you best and has endowed you with talents and potential is pleased as you work and are diligently devoted to what you have been given.”

Joining Elder Christofferson in speaking to the young adults was Dr. Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. Dr. Crow spoke prior to Elder Christofferson, focusing his remarks on the word or idea of “devotion.”

Relating the story of Abraham’s test of willingness and obedience to sacrifice his son, Dr. Crow said Abraham’s devotion to God was proven.

‘Ask yourself, ‘What am I devoted to?’ Or what do you aspire to be devoted to and how do you close that gap,” he said. “It’s more than attending a meeting or thinking good thoughts — devotion is unbelievable, untiring commitment.”

“It is known to all humans — but not exercised by all humans — that they should be devoted to God,” he said.

Dr. Crow, who became ASU president in 2002, was instrumental in working with Church officials to allow for a new institute building with an adjacent multi-level parking structure to be built in 2007 on Church-owned land in what is now the heart of the ASU campus. He also changed university policy that prohibited students who were awarded scholarships to retain them while they served full-time missions.

“I believe that the foundational underpinnings of the United States is that each of us has a right to advance in our faith in an unencumbered way,” he said after the meeting.

Accompanying Elder Christofferson were Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy; Bishop Dean M. Davies, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric; Elder Leonard D. Greer, an Area Seventy, and his wife, Julie. Bishop Davies, Elder Corbridge and Sister Greer also spoke during the meeting.

The Tempe and Gilbert YSA stakes were invited to attend, filling the chapel, cultural hall and overflow classrooms.

Sean Worsley, a member of the Tempe YSA Stake, said he loved that Elder Christofferson talked about the Parable of the Talents.

“We don’t need to compare ourselves with others,” he said. “Heavenly Father isn’t looking for that. He’s looking for us to be diligent with what we’ve been given and have faith that if we do our best then everything will work out how it’s supposed to.”

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