Elder Cook gives 5 principles to help young adults strengthen faith in the Savior

The challenge for young adults is to find the time for spiritual growth while acquiring knowledge and skills to provide for themselves and their families, said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“The choices you will make are the key to your future and your happiness. … I want you to know, and I testify to you, that you will receive guidance from the Lord if you walk in His paths and live His commandments,” he said. 

In a devotional broadcast to young adults in the Europe, Europe East, Africa and Middle East areas on Sunday, Jan. 9, Elder Cook outlined five principles to follow as they place faith in Jesus Christ and seek diligently to acquire skills and knowledge:

  1. Understand that there is truly opposition in all things; the choices you make are critical.
  2. Strengthen your own testimony as a foundation for all of the choices you make.
  3. Seek knowledge diligently, wisely, and with humility.
  4. Follow the Prophet’s counsel as you make your choices.
  5. Live so the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be efficacious in your life.

Elder Cook was joined by his wife, Sister Mary Cook, and three General Authority Seventies: Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy; Elder Marcus B. Nash, former president of the Africa West Area and current executive director of the Missionary Department; and Elder Gary B. Sabin, former president of the Europe Area and current member of the Temple and Family History Department Executive Committee. 

Read more: 6 Apostles speak to young adults across the world on Jan. 9

As Elder Cook discussed principle No. 4, he emphasized President Russell M. Nelson’s urgent appeal to gather Israel on both sides of the veil. Elder Cook invited Elder Nash to share thoughts on the effort to “love, share and invite” and Elder Sabin to talk about temple work. 

Elder Nash shared the experience of his son-in-law Matthew, who as a 24-year-old medical student prayed to know how he could better hold up the gospel’s light. Riding the bus to school one morning, he met a student from Taiwan named Robert. Matthew asked how he was doing, and Robert told him he was feeling alone and down that day. Matthew invited him to church. 

Elder Marcus B. Nash, General Authority Seventy, speaks during a devotional for young adults in the Europe, Africa and Middle East areas, recorded at the Conference Center studio in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, and broadcast Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
Elder Marcus B. Nash, General Authority Seventy, speaks during a devotional for young adults in the Europe, Africa and Middle East areas, recorded at the Conference Center studio in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, and broadcast Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

When Robert came to church the next Sunday, two sister missionaries who spoke Mandarin happened to be visiting. Robert was taught by the missionaries and baptized. When he graduated and returned to his wife in Taiwan, she, too, was baptized. Matthew and his family remain friends with Robert and his family. 

Using this story to illustrate “love, share and invite,” Elder Nash said: “Live your life as a faithful disciple of Christ and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Share it, and invite one other person to join with you. Those you invite will see the light. They will feel its warmth. Many will embrace it — to their eternal joy and blessing, and to your great joy.”

Elder Sabin taught that temples are evidence of God’s love for His children. Years ago, Elder Sabin interviewed his future son-in-law Patrick as he became engaged to his daughter Jennifer. She had undergone a double lung transplant and her future was tenuous. When Elder Sabin asked Patrick if he understood the situation, he replied, “If I have her for a week here it does not matter — as long as I have her forever.”

Elder Sabin told young adults: “What a comfort to know that relationships can be eternal and that everyone can enjoy this blessing, whether in this life or the next, because of the sealing power found in holy temples. … Because of our beloved Heavenly Father and the Savior, we need not fear but can be filled with great hope, even amidst the trials of mortality.”

Elder Gary B. Sabin, General Authority Seventy, speaks during a devotional for young adults in the Europe, Africa and Middle East areas, recorded at the Conference Center studio in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, and broadcast Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
Elder Gary B. Sabin, General Authority Seventy, speaks during a devotional for young adults in the Europe, Africa and Middle East areas, recorded at the Conference Center studio in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, and broadcast Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Following Elder Nash and Elder Sabin’s remarks, Elder Cook concluded with principle No. 5 and his testimony: “I personally testify of the divinity of the Savior and the reality of His Atonement, and I hope that you will prayerfully consider the significant choices that are before you.”

Sister Cook reminded young adults of their divine identity and that each belongs to a family. “In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all are welcome, all are needed, and all belong,” she said.  

She explained that her family situation growing up wasn’t ideal and it wasn’t until several years after she and Elder Cook were married that her father became an active Latter-day Saint. This experience taught her that joy can be found in living the gospel of Jesus Christ, cleaving to covenants and focusing on others. 

“As we live righteously in our families; minister to others; fulfill and magnify our callings; love, share and invite; and take part in temple work and family history, we are engaged in the work of salvation and exaltation,” Sister Cook testified. “We can overcome all of our trials as we focus on His work and keep His commandments.”

Sister Mary Cook speaks during a devotional for young adults in the Europe, Africa and Middle East areas, recorded at the Conference Center studio in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, and broadcast Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
Sister Mary Cook speaks during a devotional for young adults in the Europe, Africa and Middle East areas, recorded at the Conference Center studio in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, and broadcast Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News