By Shilo Goodson
At Tuesday?s Devotional, President Cecil O. Samuelson and Sister Sharon Samuelson spoke on being the Lord?s servant through both secular and spiritual experiences.
?Each one of us is valuable in the sight of God,? Sister Samuelson said.
Sister Samuelson spoke on the importance of reading. She said much of our reading at the present time involves textbooks and other required material, but said she hopes each student has the opportunity and desire to do recreational reading as well.
Sister Samuelson spoke about when she was a young girl and developed a love for books by taking her hidden flashlight and reading late into the night, either under the covers or in her closet where her parents would not see the light under her door.
?I believe a book is like a life; it has a beginning, and it has an end,? Sister Samuelson said.
Sister Samuelson spoke about some of her favorite books and said people can often recognize a book when they merely read the first line. She also gave examples of how some people can be recognized in a one-sentence description. She used a few examples including a line that reads if everyone were like Moroni, ?the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever.?
?What sentence would I want to summarize my life story?? Sister Samuelson said for students to ask themselves.
She compared life to a book and said students still have chapters to fill.
?You are in an exciting and very important chapter,? Sister Samuelson said.
President Samuelson used Doctrine and Covenants 6:18 as the basis of his talk. In the scripture, the Lord asks Oliver Cowdery to stand by Joseph Smith.
?What does it mean to stand by Joseph?? President Samuelson said.
He said there are five levels to understanding the gospel and standing by Joseph Smith. He told students to think about which level of understanding they are on personally. The lowest level would be ?recognition.? At this level people recognize Joseph Smith?s name. This is where most people go.
?This group should not include any of us,? President Samuelson said.
?Appreciation? is the second level. At this level, people see the world as a different place because of what Joseph Smith did, President Samuelson said.
?Admiration? came next, he said. This is where people admire what Joseph Smith did.
Both the ?appreciation? and ?admiration? levels have both believers and non-believers in them. At the ?testimony? level, people know the gospel is true, but they do not integrate it into their lives fully. The final level is ?true loyalty.? This is where the person stands by Joseph Smith at all times, he said.
In the beginning of the church, there were individuals who were more faithful than others. President Samuelson used these people as examples in his talk. He said Cowdery never denied his experiences, but he did move away from the church. Since he moved away from the church, Hyrum Smith replaced Cowdery.
?[Hyrum] stood by Joseph and received the blessings,? President Samuelson said.
Of the original 12 apostles in this dispensation, only two, Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young, stood by Joseph Smith at all times.
?The danger to us is great and real should we decide not to stand by Joseph,? President Samuelson said.