A member of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Seventy told the BYU community during Tuesday’s devotional to have courage in both certain and uncertain times.
Elder Stanley G. Ellis said there are many uncertainties in life, and gave examples from his personal life where circumstances came as a surprise. This included his career, the number of children he and his wife had and also his calling to serve as a mission president.
“Brothers and sisters, there are and will be surprises in life,” Elder Ellis said. “There have been in mine, and there will be in yours.”
He said each time he and his wife came to a decision point, they would think it through, counsel together and make a decision. He said prayer was essential in this process.
“On a daily basis we asked in our prayers for the Lord to guide and direct us,” he said. “Sometimes direction would come when we didn’t even realize we were at a decision point.”
Elder Ellis said these experiences taught them that God knows best, and they much prefer to do things the Lord’s way. He said one may question if plans should be made at all.
“On the contrary, we continue to plan ahead for each aspect of our lives and we work diligently to accomplish our goals, but we don’t worry about the changes,” he said.
In order to live with the uncertainty of life, it matters how the temporary situations of life are handled, he said. He echoed counsel given in the Doctrine and Covenants to “act as for years” and said this applies to the temporary situations many students find themselves in.
“To me, the Lord is telling us to be where we are. Have an attitude as for years,” Elder Ellis said. “Accept a calling, make friends, get to know the area. Be there until you’re not.”
He said the alternative attitude of acting like a transient is not good.
“That attitude of being a floater will rob you and your family of much joy and satisfaction,” Elder Ellis said.
Elder Ellis said there are many things in life that are certain and can be prepared for.
“One of the most certain things in the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we will die and there will be a final judgment,” Elder Ellis said.
He said we will be judged for our works and desires, will be accountable for our stewardships and warned that poor choices surround us daily.
“On a daily basis we are sometimes too tired to pray, too busy to study the scriptures, not interested in going to church this Sunday, or rationalize that we can go to the temple anytime because it’s so close,” Elder Ellis said.
He said choosing wisely can have eternal consequences and is a critical part of the plan of happiness.
“May we have the courage to choose wisely, it is a leap of courage and of faith, but I am a witness that it is worth it,” he said.