Elder Scott emphasizes choices based on eternal tr

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    By JARED PRATT

    Elder Richard G. Scott, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke about the reasons to base decisions upon eternal truth and not upon circumstances.

    “Carefully consider your options and make correct choices consistent with the commandments of God and you will be on a secure path,” Elder Scott said.

    Elder Scott chose the experience of President Clinton and the lives of LDS Church presidents to outline “decisions based upon circumstance” and “decisions based upon eternal truth” and their consequences.

    He spoke of President Clinton’s admissions to sexual transgressions and what should be done about the situation.

    “I am not placing myself in a position to exercise judgement on those who are deeply involved in this matter. I simply want to point out what I understand the Lord has said and what the laws of this nation require,” Elder Scott said.

    He encouraged students not to read the “salacious details” of the Clinton controversy and to act as the Lord has commanded.

    “What should you and I do regarding this matter? The Lord has said, ‘I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men,'” Elder Scott said.

    Elder Scott said he has forgiven President Clinton of any personal offense against him.

    “As far as President Clinton is concerned, that process [repentance] has begun and is in the hands of the Congress who has the constitutional responsibility to evaluate it and to take the appropriate action,” Elder Scott said, “Let us pray that all involved in that process will be led to make the correct decision.”

    On the other hand, the lives of the presidents of the Church follow the decision pattern the Lord has established, Elder Scott said.

    “In addition to his own strength and capacity, a prophet enjoys the blessings derived from divine inspiration and power when needed, as do you when you follow the same pattern,” Elder Scott said.

    Elder Scott outlined three levels of learning available at BYU that will help students’ decision-making and lives: formal instruction, social interaction and spiritual direction.

    The first level, formal instruction, is learned in the classroom and can be attained at any university, Elder Scott said.

    Students should work more intelligently by avoiding sporadic study, developing consistent learning habits and by using the next two levels, Elder Scott said.

    The second level, social interaction, is dealing effectively with other people, Elder Scott said.

    “Study how those who make friends easily, who seem to be natural leaders and therefore contribute much,” Elder Scott said.

    Elder Scott said society today has an increasing need for the skill of interacting with others. That can be gained in wards and stakes through service.

    “Learn to serve here, not to be served,” Elder Scott said.

    The third level, spiritual direction, is often “the most rewarding, yet possibly the most difficult initially to feel confident in using,” Elder Scott said.

    BYU students have personal freedom they may have never had before. Freedom can be either a friend or an enemy depending on its use, Elder Scott said.

    “As you augment your learning by what you observe and what you perceive by the Spirit, you will greatly increase your capacity to be successful in life,” Elder Scott said.

    “Your objective is not to get through the university but to absorb and use the experiences that can be acquired here,” Elder Scott said.

    Elder Scott also used President Clinton’s situation as a springboard to discussing the sacred covenant of marriage and the types of relationships that should be kept within that covenant.

    “Do not touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body to stimulate those emotions nor allow anyone to do that with you, with or without clothing. Do not stimulate those emotions in your own body. These things are wrong. Do not do them,” Elder Scott said.

    Elder Scott said the Savior’s atonement is provided to every individual to help rectify mistakes and receive mercy.

    “Mercy does not overcome the demands of justice, but satisfies them through His payment of those demands when earned by our complete, sincere repentance as defined in His teachings,” Elder Scott said.

    Anyone involved in serious transgression must confess all details to a judge of Israel to get the proper help needed in the process of repentance to full forgiveness, Elder Scott said.

    “We grow and learn more rapidly by facing and overcoming challenges. You are here to prove yourself, to develop and to overcome,” Elder Scott said. “However, there are some challenges you never need to encounter. They are those associated with serious transgression.”

    Students were encouraged to chose good friends and remember the sound teachings gathered throughout life to assure resolve to live worthily.

    “Be surrounded by those who are true friends who accept you the way you are and leave you better because of their association,” Elder Scott said.

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