Returning to his home of 37 years, Elder Larry Y. Wilson of the Seventy spoke to more than 1,000 young single adults from the San Francisco area on Nov. 4 about "having an eternal perspective."
The devotional was held at the East Bay Interstake Center at Temple Hill in Oakland. Attending single adults came from wards throughout the Bay Area, such as the university wards in San Francisco and Berkeley and the young single adult wards in Walnut Creek and Livermore.
Elder Wilson's talk was preceded by short messages from Elder Robert N. Packer, an Area Seventy, and his wife, Shelley.
Elder Packer talked about the importance of realizing that the Atonement of Jesus Christ allows people's burdens to be lifted, and that they can get through trials by knowing that the Savior is their companion.
Sister Packer used a story about her son to explain that although Church members cannot always see their destination, others — such as priesthood leaders and, most important, the Savior — can.
During his remarks, Elder Wilson explained, as Amulek said in Alma 34:33, that mortal life "is given us to prepare for eternity."
Understanding this, Elder Wilson added, is crucial to making correct decisions now. "If you do not have that perspective, to prepare for eternity, then you will not get it right."
Elder Wilson said there are three ingredients in an eternal perspective: gratitude and a positive attitude toward the misfortunes of life; understanding the basis upon which people will be judged; and having an accurate view of the purposes of this life.
He told the young single adults that by cultivating an eternal perspective, they can successfully navigate the trials of life and prepare for what comes after it.
Citing two different scientific studies, Elder Wilson explained that part of having an eternal perspective is to have a "growth mindset" rather than a "fixed mindset."
He also emphasized the importance of recognizing that "mistakes are just another way to learn."
"You need to know that the Lord loves you and is very pleased with your efforts to live good lives, and that when you make mistakes and have failures, you can learn from those and become stronger," he said, noting that a person's eternity is not defined by what they were born with, but by what they choose to do with it.
Elder Wilson concluded by encouraging those present to cultivate an eternal perspective and to remember that love is the most important lesson they can learn.
After the devotional, the young single adults had the option to attend the Oakland California Temple or visit the Family History Library, both of which were kept open late to accommodate them.