By Camilla Hodge
The choices students make today impact who they are now and their future successes, said Elder Donald L. Staheli at the June 14, 2006 Devotional.
“The challenge is to prepare temporally and spiritually,” he said to students in the de Jong Concert Hall. “It is essential to your future that you stay open to the Spirit.”
A personal testimony that is strengthened and nurtured daily will keep students close to the Spirit.
Elder Staheli offered four ways to daily strengthen and nurture a testimony.
Faith is the first sure way to strengthen a testimony, he said. Paraphrasing President Hinckley, Elder Staheli advocated a faith that brings people to their knees, then moves them to get on their feet and get to work. With such faith, students will be better prepared and more committed to make right choices.
Second, avoiding abbreviated prayers and praying consistently will strengthen testimony.
“Nothing you will do in any day of your life can be more important to your temporal success or your eternal progress than consistent, humble, sincere prayer,” he said.
Third, daily scripture study will help students maintain a connection to the sure foundation in a busy life, Elder Staheli said.
Fourth, obedience to the commandments will qualify students to have the influence of the Spirit in daily choices.
In a university education, there are both elective and required courses, Elder Staheli said.
“The same is true of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “But the ultimate success of your choices depends on your diligence … don”t lose focus on those nonnegotiable, non-compromising commandments.”
It is Satan who encourages a causal approach to commandment keeping.
While worldly standards may always be in flux, the Lord”s standards will never change.
That means doing your very best in education, business and spiritual aspects of life, he said.
“The Lord wants to bless you with joy and happiness and success,” he said. But it is important to seek this success in a way that will not supercede the gospel.
Staheli promised students that if they, like Joshua of the Old Testament, were “strong” and “of good courage,” the Lord “will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”