Elder Rasband counsels young adults to choose to follow ‘our watchman on the tower’

Of all the things he could address on Sunday night, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said he had just one piece of advice that covers almost any circumstance people may face and will help them stay true to the Lord. 

“Choose to follow God’s living Prophet. He is our watchman on the tower,” said Elder Rasband.

“Let me say that again,” he repeated. “Choose to follow God’s living Prophet and you will never be distanced from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Elder Rasband spoke from the Tabernacle on Temple Square in a devotional broadcast to young adults in the North America Area on Jan. 9. The remarks were also broadcast in ASL.

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

He was joined by his wife, Sister Melanie T. Rasband, and Elder Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy, and his wife, Sister Christine C. Gilbert. The Rasbands’ granddaughter Kylie gave the opening prayer, and their grandson Ammon gave the closing prayer.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife Sister Melanie Rasband speak during a devotional from the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife Sister Melanie Rasband speak during a devotional from the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Establish a pattern of following the prophet

Elder Rasband has shared this message of following God’s living prophet in meetings with youth and young adults all over the world, most recently in a devotional from Johannesburg to the Africa South and Central areas. 

“They, like you, are seeking to become more like Jesus Christ, but are sometimes confounded by the pressures and problems of the world,” he said.

Elder Rasband explained how following the prophet is a pattern to establish in life. He told the young adults that when they hear a living prophet speak, they hear words of revelation.

“I ask you today to align your desires, efforts, activities and personal prayers with the direction given by President Nelson, the Prophet of God on the earth today,” said Elder Rasband.

Young adults are anxious about things like school, jobs, marriage and finances, he acknowledged, and they have many questions. But Elder Rasband promised them that as they heed the counsel of the prophet, they will have patience with their situations and their challenges, and they will be blessed.

The things of the soul

Elder Rasband listed the seven “things of his soul” as he did in October 2021 general conference, and invited the young adults to add their own to the list: 

  • Love God the Father and Jesus Christ, our Savior.
  • Love thy neighbor.
  • Love yourself. 
  • Keep the commandments.
  • Always be worthy to attend the temple.
  • Be joyful and cheerful.
  • Follow God’s living prophet.

Elder Rasband counseled young adults to keep their faith in Jesus Christ strong, so they can defend against attacks upon righteous living and the restored gospel. 

Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife Sister Melanie Rasband and Elder Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy, and his wife Sister Christine Gilbert speak during a devotional from the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his wife Sister Melanie Rasband and Elder Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy, and his wife Sister Christine Gilbert speak during a devotional from the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

“Wherever you go, there will be those who wish to do the Church harm, who hope to dissuade you from truth, who mock faith and challenge doctrine. Determine right now you will not join them, that you will be ‘steadfast and immovable,’” he said.

Elder Rasband shared his testimony of living prophets, including examples of his memories and experiences with previous Church presidents. He spoke about prayerfully seeking his own spiritual witness — and receiving it — when President Russell M. Nelson became the president of the Church in January 2018. He then asked the young adults to diligently acquire their own confirmation.

Sister Melanie Rasband speaks during a devotional from the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
Sister Melanie Rasband speaks during a devotional from the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The prophet points to Christ in tumultuous times

Sister Rasband shared her love for President Nelson, and spoke of his loving kindness and ability to minister individually. She testified how President Nelson has always held up the Lord’s light and led by example. “As we live and serve with a desire to be obedient, we will find protection from the adversary’s enticings, and peace amidst these troubled times, while becoming a holier people prepared to meet our Lord and Savior and Redeemer when He comes again,” she said.

Elder and Sister Gilbert spoke about the protection and strength that people can receive from the Prophet right now. They emphasized President Nelson’s prophetic leadership at this critical time in the Church.

“President Nelson sees our day. He knows of the tumult we face in these latter days, and he knows that each of us will need to anchor our homes as sanctuaries of faith,” Elder Gilbert said. The Gilberts outlined ways to make a home or apartment a sanctuary of faith, to seek personal revelation and to let God prevail.

Sister Gilbert testified, “I know that President Nelson is a Prophet of God and that he is pointing us to Christ in these troubled times.”

Elder Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy, and his wife Sister Christine Gilbert speak during a devotional from the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
Elder Clark G. Gilbert, General Authority Seventy, and his wife Sister Christine Gilbert speak during a devotional from the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Elder Rasband told young adults that the Lord loves them, and so does President Nelson, the First Presidency, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “We are counting on you to be bright lights in a darkening world, to carry in your very countenance, the spiritual strength and confidence that comes from being a disciple of Jesus Christ,” he said.

“Brothers and sisters, this is the Lord’s Church and He calls His prophets, His watchmen on the tower,” testified Elder Rasband in conclusion. He blessed young adults that as they follow the living prophet, and are guided by the things of their souls, they will feel the Spirit with them and recognize the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives.