“The Lord invites us using various verbs: ‘Come unto me,’ ‘Follow me,’ ‘Walk with me,’ ” said Elder Eduardo Gavarret of the Seventy in the Saturday afternoon session of general conference. “In each case it is not a passive invitation; it is an invitation to act.”
Speaking in his native tongue of Spanish, Elder Gavarret shared a powerful lesson he learned in 1975 as a missionary in the Uruguay Paraguay Mission.
“During my first month in the mission, the zone leaders held an activity to demonstrate a gospel principle,” he said. Each missionary in the zone was blindfolded and told to follow one of many voices to the cultural hall. Elder Gavarret ended up following the wrong voice. “It sounded so much like the right one,” he said.
After making the wrong decision then, Elder Gavarret told himself that he would never again follow the wrong voice. He said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow Thee.”
The invitation to “follow Him” is the most simple, direct, and powerful invitation one can receive. It comes from a clear voice that cannot be confused, said Elder Gavarret.
Telling the story of the rich young ruler, Elder Gavarret spoke about the man's special invitation to follow the Savior. “When he asked what more he could do, he received an answer with a clear invitation: ‘Come follow me.’ However, even though the invitation was simple, it was not without sacrifice. It required effort — coupled with decision and action.”
As people strive to come to Him, they will gain the power to relieve life’s burdens, whether physical or spiritual, and experience a positive inner change that will help them be happier, he said.
“The decision to ‘come unto me’ and ‘follow me’ is personal. When we accept this invitation, our level of commitment is raised, and it is then that we can ‘walk with Him,’ ” Elder Gavarret said.
He then gave five steps to walk with the Lord:
1. “Feed the desire to be a better follower of Christ.”
2. “Pray for this desire that your faith in Him may grow.”
3. “Obtain knowledge from the scriptures, lighting the way and strengthening your desire to change.”
4. “Make the decision today to act and say, ‘Yes Lord, I will follow Thee!’ ”
5. “Persevere in the decision you have made by exercising these principles daily.”