Elder Clark G. Gilbert: ‘Becoming More in Christ: The Parable of the Slope’

Elder Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy, spoke during the Saturday morning session of October 2021 general conference. He testified that it is not where one starts, but where one is headed, that matters most. The following is a summary of what he said.

Notable quotes from Elder Gilbert

“In the Lord’s timing, it is not where we start but where we are headed that matters most.”
“In the Lord’s calculus, He will do everything He can to help us turn our slopes toward heaven.”
“One of the miracles of this, the Lord’s Church, is that each of us can become something more in Christ.”

Summary of Elder Gilbert’s talk

Just like the mathematical formula for a line, all have different intercepts, or starting points, in life — some are born with high intercepts, full of opportunity. Others face challenges that can seem unfair. However, “our future will be determined far less by our starting point and much more by our slope.”

To those facing difficult starting circumstances: “First, focus on where you are headed and not where you began.” Don’t ignore circumstances “but overfocusing on a difficult starting point can cause it to define you and even constrain your ability to choose.”

Also, “involve the Lord in the process of lifting your slope.”

To those with elevated starting points: “First, can we show some humility for circumstances we may not have created ourselves?”

Second, don’t focus on a high starting point and let the slope go stagnant. “Even when things appear to be going well, we must seek out opportunities to improve through prayerful petition.”

One of the miracles of the Lord’s Church is that each can become something more in Christ. “Whether we start in difficult or abundant spiritual circumstances, let us keep our sights and our slopes pointed heavenward. As we do, Christ will lift us to a higher place.”

About Elder Gilbert

  • Elder Clark G. Gilbert was born in Oakland, California, on June 18, 1970, the oldest of Paul Ensign Gilbert and Susan Carlson Gilbert’s four children.
  • After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree from Stanford University, he earned a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Harvard University. He is a former president of BYU-Pathway Worldwide.
  • He met Christine Calder, who was roommates with his sister, while the two were attending BYU. They were married on Feb. 5, 1994, in the Salt Lake Temple and are the parents of eight children.

Read more October 2021 general conference coverage