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Audio: "C.A.N."
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Welcome back to campus! We extend a special welcome to our new students and those who have been off-track.

Last semester, I invited each of us to schedule time with the Master every day, to learn from Him and with Him. As you continue to make Him a priority in your life, I would like to share an additional insight that has helped me remember Him and keep Him the priority.

Almost eight years ago, our family moved to Singapore and learned to love so much about that country. It is clean, safe, beautiful, the people are polite, and, fortunately for us, everyone speaks English!

One of the things I quickly noticed was that when you asked a yes/no question, Singaporeans would usually respond with “can” or “cannot.” Do you sell adapters? “Can.” Does your store have parking? “Cannot.” My favorite Singaporean word quickly became “can.”

Perhaps because I appreciated hearing “can,” I soon started noticing this tiny three-letter word throughout the scriptures . . . especially in connection with the Savior.

Many fellow Christians often quote the Apostle Paul teaching, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” [1]

Christ Himself reminds us that He is the vine, we are the branches, and “he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” [2]

Today, I would like to share with you a few of the Book of Mormon scriptures and words of living prophets that have defined what the three letters “C,” “A,” and “N,” help me remember.

First, “C” reminds me of Christ; a reminder to follow Him and the words of His living prophets.

King Benjamin taught his people “that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.” [3]

Years ago, my doctor ordered an MRI, which is a scan of the body through a long, narrow metal tube. The technician pointed out an angled mirror above my eyes where I would be able to see him at all times through a window in an adjacent room. I was strapped from my head to my feet onto a bed and rolled through the narrow tube for 45 minutes. The space between my body and the tube was mere inches. It never occurred to me that I could be claustrophobic until that moment! I tried to keep my eyes closed to distract myself. I prayed that Heavenly Father would calm me. At one point, I opened my eyes and realized that the technician had stepped away. Fortunately, I also noticed his coworker’s computer with an image of Christ as the screen saver. That image rotated to other images, most of which we see in our Gospel Library. I watched Christ teaching in the temple, walking on water, calling His Apostles from the Sea of Galilee, healing the blind, and teaching His Sermon on the Mount. I couldn’t move, but the tears flowed. Focusing on Christ, I could keep my eyes wide open and felt complete peace. At that point, I didn’t want the technician to return because he would have blocked my view. The 45-minute scan finally passed, and the technician seemed surprised when I asked him to thank his coworker for having such a beautiful screensaver of Jesus Christ. It was a tangible blessing that day!

When we choose to always remember Christ and to follow Him, He will bring us peace on our journey back to our Heavenly Father.

Second, “A” reminds me of the Atonement of Christ and that following Christ includes applying His gift in our lives.

Alma, while teaching the poor Zoramites, taught that “there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world.”[4] Nephi taught the importance of teaching of Christ and His Atonement when he said, “We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” [5]

Before he died, Lehi taught Jacob the importance of Christ’s Atonement: “Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.” [6]

In President Russell M. Nelson’s recent address, “Think Celestial!” he shared, “As I have wrestled with the intense pain caused by my recent injury, I have felt even deeper appreciation for Jesus Christ and the incomprehensible gift of His Atonement. Think of it! The Savior suffered ‘pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind’ so that He can comfort us, heal us, rescue us in times of need." [7]

In April, President Nelson reminded us, “Because of Jesus Christ, we can repent and be forgiven of our sins.” [8] He reflected on the Savior’s invitation to repent given to the Nephites, who had just survived massive destruction and three days of darkness prior to his visit:

Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ extends that same invitation to you today. I plead with you to come unto Him so that He can heal you! He will heal you from sin as you repent. He will heal you from sadness and fear. He will heal you from the wounds of this world. [9]

President Dallin H. Oaks recently echoed that same truth, “Because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, when we fall short in this life, we can repent and rejoin the covenant path that leads to what our Heavenly Father desires for us.” [10]

Third, “N” reminds me of “New.”

After family and friends fasted and prayed for two days and nights, Alma the Younger received strength and stood to teach us all what the Lord taught him: “Marvel not that all mankind . . . must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.” [11]

President Henry B. Eyring once taught the following:

King Benjamin makes it clear how . . . we find the way in this life to have our natures changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That is the only way we can build on the sure foundation and so stand firm in righteousness during the storms of temptation.

King Benjamin describes that change with a beautiful comparison, used by prophets for millennia and by the Lord Himself. It is this: that we can, and we must, become as a child—a little child.

I bear you my witness that the Savior lives and that He is the sure foundation. I know that by acting on our faith in Him we can be cleansed and changed to become pure and strong, as a little child. [12]

My very favorite “can” scripture is from Alma 26:12. In this scripture, Ammon shares a very insightful testimony at the conclusion of his 14-year mission, “I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.” [13]

In what ways can we make Christ the focus of our lives and use the gift of the Atonement of Christ in order to change and become new, like a little child?

Dear friends, as we begin this new year and this new semester together, the point is simply this: we can! We can do well in our classes. We can heal a rift. We can be comforted in times of grief. We can be mindful of the words we speak. We can repent. We can overcome weaknesses and stretch ourselves in ways far beyond what we think is possible. Through Christ and the blessings of the Atonement of Christ, we can become new creatures. I testify that what Moroni taught in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon is true: “If ye have faith ye can do all things.” [14] In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


[1] Philippians 4:13

[2] John 15:5

[3] Mosiah 3:17

[4] Alma 34:12

[5] 2 Nephi 25:23–26

[6] 2 Nephi 2:6–9

[7] Russell M. Nelson, “Think Celestial!,” Liahona, November 2023

[8] Russell M. Nelson, “The Answer is Always Jesus Christ,” Liahona, May 2023

[9] Ibid

[10] Dallin H. Oaks, “Kingdoms of Glory,” Liahona, November 2023

[11] Mosiah 27:25–26

[12] Henry B. Eyring, "As a Child," Ensign or Liahona, May 2006

[13] Alma 26:12, emphasis added

[14] Moroni 10:23