May 9, 2017
Writer: David Payne
During the BYU-Idaho Devotional on May 9, 2017, Sister Cheryl A. Esplin spoke with students about drawing closer to the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sister Esplin began by telling a story of teaching her grandchildren the parable of the ten virgins using some clay replicas a friend had made her. While teaching this lesson she remembered Elder David A. Bednar's talk in General Conference titled "Converted unto the Lord."
She explained that in this talk, Elder Bednar focuses on the Joseph Smith translation. In the original text in Matthew 25 the Savior uses the words, "I know you not." However, the Joseph Smith translation clarifies this phrase "I know you not" to "Ye know me not."
Sister Esplin talked about we can come closer to the Lord through scripture study.
"Coming to know the Lord is the process of a lifetime," Sister Esplin said. "Fortunately, the scriptures are filled with principles to teach us how we are to come to know Him."
Sister Esplin then spoke about an invitation given by President Russell M Nelson to consecrate a portion of time each week to study and learn of Christ to better get to know Him. Sister Esplin took this challenge and wondered how she would find the time but she found courage from President Nelson's promise that anyone who took the challenge would find an increase in love for Jesus Christ and the laws of God.
In an interview, Sister Esplin said scripture study changes each and every day of her life.
"It is just something I look forward to every day," Sister Esplin said. "Not just reading but really searching, studying and pleading with the spirit to teach me and help me to understand and to testify to me that what I am reading is true ".
During the devotional, Sister Esplin invited students to share with one another what they could do to commit to spend some time each week to learn more about the Savior.
Another aspect Sister Esplin talked about in drawing closer to Jesus Christ was being obedient to God's commandments and serving Him.
"One of the surest ways we come to know the Savior," said Sister Esplin," is through serving Him."
Sister Esplin talked about the importance of serving the Lord and serving each other. She invited students to share with one another again, this time about different types of service they have done or could do in the future.
One type of service Sister Esplin mentioned was serving in the temple.
"With our temple callings, my husband and I spend many hours in the Lord's house," said Sister Esplin. "The purpose of the temple and its sacred ordinances is to help us draw near to God and become more like Him."
Sister Esplin finished with her testimony and urged everyone to come to know the Savior, Jesus Christ more in their lives.
"As we consecrate a portion of our study each week to learn all we can of our Savior, Jesus Christ, as we obey His commandments with exactness, as we serve Him diligently, and as we attend the temple, we will come to know Him better than we have ever known Him, we will come to trust in Him more than we have ever trusted in Him, and will love Him more than we have ever loved Him," said Sister Esplin. "We will have the assurance that when He comes again, we will be ready to meet Him and we shall know Him."
Click below to hear Sister Esplin's full devotional address.