Sister Rosemary M. Wixom: ‘Point your life in the right direction and prepare to be astonished’

Credit: Marianne Holman Prescott

Keeping covenants, following the counsel of Church leaders and looking for ways to serve others are all ingredients in the recipe for joy, Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary general president, told LDS Business College students during a devotional on March 1.

“My hope for you today is that you will find joy in your journey and define for yourself, if you have not already, those things that matter most in your life,” she said. “We cannot be casual about creating a personal vision for our future — regardless of our age.”

In the devotional held in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, Sister Wixom shared with students ways they can set their priorities of life in the right direction. Joining Sister Wixom on the stand was her husband, Jack Wixom, and her two counselors in the Primary general presidency, Sister Cheryl A. Esplin and Sister Mary R. Durham. LDS Business College President J. Lawrence Richards conducted the event.

Sharing three principles “you can act on today,” Sister Wixom spoke of ways individuals can “point your life in the right direction with a guarantee that you will experience joy in your journey.”

‘Be loyal to covenants with the Lord’

“The covenants we make at baptism and in the temple are solemn promises to God about how we will conduct our lives,” Sister Wixom said.

It is through honoring covenants, Sister Wixom taught, that individuals will find joy and align their will with God’s. “When we are baptized, we take upon ourselves the sacred name of Jesus Christ. … We put Him and His work first in our life,” said Sister Wixom. “We seek what He wants, rather than what we want and what the world teaches us to want.”

There are many demands or “causes” vying for time, Sister Wixom said. Some “would even pull us away from our core beliefs — the very foundation upon which our covenants rest.” It is during those times, Sister Wixom said, it is important to ask, “Where is my priority? Where is my loyalty to the covenants I have made?”

In the premortal life every person already faced a similar situation and chose to follow Heavenly Father’s plan.

“Here in mortality, we must choose again,” stated Sister Wixom. “[Satan] would have us reason, we are not rejecting Christ even if we reject His Church and its standards and values. … We cannot separate our loyalty to Christ from our loyalty to His Church and living our covenants confirms our allegiance to Him.”

‘Follow His prophet’

Quoting from President Harold B. Lee’s general conference talk in 1970, Sister Wixom spoke of the importance of following the prophet. It is through giving heed to the words and commandments the Lord shares through His prophets that individuals are able to find safety.

At times, the prophet may say things a person does not like or contradicts their political views. It is then that a person must listen “as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, with patience and faith.”

“The promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you,’ ” said Sister Wixom, again quoting President Lee.

Sister Wixom told a story shared by President Lee of a man traveling on the Baltic Sea. The boat on which he was traveling wound on a seemingly aimless course through thousands of islands, making the man question the boat’s captain until he saw the broom handle markers sticking out of the water. At that point the man realized that, “Someone had carefully explored these channels and had charted the safest course.”

“When we follow the prophet, our course will lead us safely back home,” Sister Wixom said. Again quoting President Lee, she said, “God’s engineers, by following a blueprint made in heaven, have charted the course for safest and happiest passage and have forewarned us of the danger areas.”

‘Forget yourself and find someone to serve’

Sister Wixom shared a few examples of people who, despite difficult or imperfect circumstances, look for ways to serve others.

“To forget yourself and find someone to serve is a recipe for joy on this journey,” stated Sister Wixom.

Whether it was a plate of cookies or taking the time to talk with someone, finding simple ways to serve helps others feel Heavenly Father’s love.

“But what if … we do not live a perfect life?” asked Sister Wixom. “This is the Father’s plan— not that we would come and be perfect people on this earth but that we could become perfect someday only through Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. … Perhaps in our quest to point our lives in the right direction, each of us will come to know the real secret to achieving that goal.”

The secret, she said, is service. “The more we love, serve and bless the individual people on our daily path, the more we become like the Savior, Whose only goal is to do the Father’s will and bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

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