‘Are we making ourselves available to the Lord?’ asks Elder Schmutz at BYU–Hawaii

‘If you will always make yourself available to the Lord, you will learn again and again that God has a plan for you and will use you for His purposes in the lives of others,’ said Elder Evan A. Schmutz

Teaching BYU–Hawaii students about the Savior’s divine example for them to follow, Elder Evan A. Schmutz, General Authority Seventy, quoted President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, from 2001: “Just as the Savior stepped forward to fulfill his divine responsibilities, we have the challenge and responsibility to do likewise.” As people accept their own unique responsibilities, said Elder Schmutz, they are promised to become more like the Savior. 

“The question I hope to raise in your hearts and minds this morning is whether you will respond when the Spirit calls, by saying, ‘Here am I, send me’ (Abraham 3:27). Another way of saying this might be, will you make yourselves available to the Lord?” he said.

Elder Schmutz reminded those in attendance that before they came to earth, they were taught how to do this — how to find success in this life and how to return back to Heavenly Father’s presence.

He told students of the potential they have to make a great impact on society if they make the Lord their priority. “By the decisions you make and your willingness to take the Savior’s yoke upon you, you can alter the path of your lives and set the course for your posterity.”

Elder Schmutz spoke to students and faculty members at BYU–Hawaii on Tuesday, May 23. He was joined by his wife, Sister Cindy L. Schmutz. They spoke about the importance of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints making themselves available to the Lord.

Two men in suits and two women in dresses standing outside in front of red and green trees and smiling at the camera.
Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a General Authority Seventy, second from right, and his wife, Sister Cindy L. Schmutz, stand with BYU–Hawaii President John S.K. Kauwe III, second from left, and his wife, Sister Monica Kauwe, about BYU–Hawaii on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. | Monique Saenz, BYU–Hawaii

Making time for God requires conscious effort

Quoting the late President Spencer W. Kimball, Elder Schmutz reminded students that they were foreordained to come to earth at this time. Not only that, but they were given certain assignments that they would eventually be held accountable for fulfilling during their life. 

He counseled how students can realize their special assignments. “We just need to be willing to make ourselves available to the Lord, be willing to act when the call or prompting comes and be prepared as best we can be,” Elder Schmutz said. “But that takes conscious effort.”

There are blessings for those who make themselves available to the Lord.

“If you will always make yourself available to the Lord, He will bless you with courage, and your example will be a source of joy and strength to your children and your children’s children for generations to come,” he said. “Jesus Christ is the great example of this principle.”

Sister Schmutz, a woman wearing a white blazer and necklace of flowers, speaking at a pulpit.
Sister Cindy L. Schmutz, wife of Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a General Authority Seventy, speaks at a BYU–Hawaii devotional on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, in Laie, Hawaii. | Monique Saenz, BYU–Hawaii

God does not look for qualifications, but willingness

In order to realize God’s unique plan for His children, Elder Schmutz explained, they need to be willing to make themselves available to the Lord.

“Are you willing to make yourselves available to God?” he asked. “Are you willing to listen for the promptings of the Spirit and say, ‘Here am I, send me’?”

Elder Schmutz acknowledged that at times, it can be easy to feel unqualified to serve God. However, he counseled the audience to know that it is not qualifications that the Lord looks for, but their willingness to give Him their time. 

“The Lord is concerned less about our ability and much more about our availability,” he said, and that whom the Lord calls, He will qualify. So instead of being worried about talent, or lack of talent, ability or lack of ability, God would help His children in whatever capacity they are in. Elder Schmutz encouraged, “Willingness of heart is more prized by the Lord than an impressive resume.”

Elder Schmutz, a man wearing a black suit coat and necklace of flowers, shaking hands with a young man in a green shirt.
Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a General Authority Seventy; and his wife, Sister Cindy L. Schmutz, meet BYU–Hawaii students and faculty after a devotional on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, in Laie, Hawaii. | Monique Saenz, BYU–Hawaii

How to make time for the Lord

“How do we make ourselves available?” Elder Schmutz asked. “It can be as simple as giving place to the Lord in our lives by being where He has called us to be and opening our lives and our spaces to Him.” 

Making time for the Lord could look like a number of things, such as repenting daily, reflecting often on covenants, magnifying Church callings and making temple worship a priority. But the main way Elder Schmutz told the audience they can make time for the Lord is by responding to the Lord’s call rather than give excuses.

Being intentional in prayers with God is one suggestion Elder Schmutz offered. “We should be intentional in our prayers to inform the Lord, day after day, with real intent, that we desire to serve Him, whatever the prompting or assignment may be,” he said. 

“We must seek to learn line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little what the Lord would have us do,” Elder Schmutz said, promising that “if we will hearken to the counsel of the Lord, we shall learn wisdom.”

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