Cheryl A. Esplin: The Abundant Life

Bryan Pearson
Cheryl A. Esplin speaks at BYU Devotional, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2015. (Bryan Pearson)

Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, second counselor in the Primary General Presidency, addressed BYU students Feb. 3 on being mindful of the position the Lord can have in one’s life.

Sister Esplin spoke about how striving to keep the Lord in our troubles, situations and prayers can lead to having the joy of his presence and help in many ways.

She began by recalling a story about how coming to BYU was such a new experience for her. Growing up in a rural farm town in Wyoming, Sister Esplin talked about the joys of being able to meet and date so many new people and to simply enjoy herself in her new surroundings.

As she was coming home from a date with a man she had already gone out with several times before, he asked her if she wanted to “go study together.” After interpreting go study as go steady, Sister Esplin panicked and responded on how she was not ready to date someone steadily and that she came to BYU to date and to not commit to one single person for a long time.

The audience laughed when she described the moment the man told her he said “go study, not go steady.”

She said the story reminded her of how important it is to listen to the Lord. She admonished the BYU students to take the time to listen for the Lord’s response in one’s life and to be ready to follow the promptings the Lord will give.

Sister Esplin then told of a famous writer who had set to travel from California to New York on foot. After describing how the hardest part of the journey for the writer was the sand in his shoes because of the blisters that would form in his feet, Sister Esplin connected the sand to priorities. The sand symbolized the little things that could distract one from his or her major spiritual and secular goals in life.

“Often it is the little things — the little grains of sand — that distract us and keep us from seeing with an eternal perspective,” she said.

She spoke about how important it was that one take the time to empty the sand out of the shoes, or rather, filter out the priorities in his or her life, and to keep the Lord as the first priority.

“Each new day brings with it the opportunity to evaluate where we are in terms of where we are going. Wherever we are on our journey, the Savior has made it possible through his redeeming and enabling power for us to dump the sand from our shoes,” Sister Esplin said.

In the end, she invited BYU students to “look at the big picture” and to remember the little details at the same time. She invited students to recognize how important each student, each person is to the big picture and how God sees that in the most perfect way.

Sister Esplin said, “The abundant life can be ours as we take advantage of these and so many other opportunities that are available to us in this day.”

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