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On the Errand of the Lord

On this wonderful day in your lives I want to share with you a story, and two principles. I hope they will be helpful to you.

Here is the story. Sister Clark and I love to meet the graduates of BYU–Idaho all over the world and learn about their impact on the people around them. It is one of the great blessings of our lives. Here is an example. One day Sister Clark and I met a woman who approached us and introduced herself. She told us a story about her 15-year-old son.

There was a time, she said, when she was very worried about him. She worried about his friends, about his attitudes, and about his behavior. Her prayers about him were very simple: “Oh, Heavenly Father, please help me with my son. I don’t know what to do. Everything I try seems to make him draw farther away from me.” 

Meanwhile, a young couple, both of whom had graduated from BYU–Idaho, had moved into that mother’s ward. Within a few weeks the young man from BYU–Idaho was called into the Young Men’s presidency in the ward. Here is how the mother described what happened, through her tears:

The young couple who moved into our ward are amazing. They really live the gospel and they really seem to love the young people in our ward. The bishop called the young man to be in the Young Men’s presidency and he and his wife took an interest in my son. My son started to attend Young Men activities.  I couldn’t believe the change that took place: that couple has a special spirit about them. There is light in their eyes.  My son loves them. That young man from BYU–Idaho has had so much influence on my son that my son now talks with me about wanting to grow up and be just like him. My son is happy and loves to go to church. I thank God for that young man and his wife. They were the answer to my prayers.

Now, here are the principles:

Principle #1: Keep the world out of your heart, and the Holy Ghost in it.

It is very easy for the honors, pleasures, and wealth of the world to get into your hearts. It is very easy for recreational activities, or hobbies, or sports to become so important to you that you neglect your covenants, your callings, your families, and the very things that keep you close to the Lord. 

When the world gets into your heart you end up loving the things of the world more than the things of God. 

I believe the best way to keep the world out of your heart is to keep the Holy Ghost in it. If you will live the plain and simple truths of the gospel, the Holy Ghost will be your companion. He will guide you, protect you, warn you, and bless you.

So, brothers and sisters, please don’t do things, or go places that would drive the Spirit away. And please do the things that will bring the Spirit into your homes and your lives: Always repent of your sins and keep your covenants; pray with faith in Jesus Christ morning and night; read and study the scriptures—especially the Book of Mormon—every day; prayerfully partake of the sacrament every week; worship in the temple as often as you can and serve the Lord. If you only remember one bit of advice from what I say tonight, please remember this: Say your prayers and be in the scriptures every day!

Principle #2: Be the answer to someone’s prayer for help

If you live principle #1, the Lord will trust you and He will send you on His errands to lift and strengthen His children. When those promptings come, please act on them. You will be the answer to the prayer of a bishop, a mother, someone to whom you minister, someone at work, or even one of your own children.

Brothers and sisters, I pray that the Holy Ghost will be in your hearts so that you will bring the love and the light, the healing and redeeming power of Jesus Christ to everyone around you, especially to those who are lost, whose hands hang down, whose knees are weak, and whose hearts are heavy.

I bear witness of Jesus Christ. I know He lives. This is His Church and kingdom on the earth. I testify that there is available to you and all of God's children redemption, happiness, peace, and joy through the marvelous gift of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.