Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy discussed how members must place Christ at the center of their lives, despite the pressure from the world to abandon morals.
He began his talk by describing how Elder Taiichi Aoba of the Seventy used his talent as a pottery maker to teach a class at youth conference. Elder Aoba showed the students his skills and asked the youth if they wanted to try.
Despite their best efforts, the youth could not successfully shape the clay until Elder Aoba showed them that the clay must be placed in the exact center of the wheel in order for the clay to not fly off the pottery wheel.
“Our core, the center of our lives must be Jesus Christ and his gospel. Living a Christ-centered life means we learn about Jesus Christ and his gospel and then we follow His example and keep his commandments with exactness.”
He then continued by saying that Christ can successfully mold members into what they need to be to enter the Celestial Kingdom.
Elder Maynes described how he was part of a multi-generational LDS family, and that it was not until he was on a full-time mission that he realized the impact of the gospel of Jesus Christ on those who had never experienced it.
He then recounted a story from the Book of Mormon in Alma, Chapter 22, wherein the Lamanite king offers up all of his possessions, including all of his kingdom, to receive the joy of the gospel after being taught by Aaron. This showed a great contrast from an earlier time, when the Lamanite king was only willing to give up half of his kingdom to spare his life, explained Elder Maynes.
He then told how his wife, Nancy Maynes, is a convert to the church and that she has repeatedly expressed the joy she has found in the gospel. Nancy converted to the gospel in her twenties and, in her reflections shared by her husband, described how she had felt like she had a purpose and direction after learning about the plan of happiness.
Elder Maynes also recalled how Nephi and his family, even after all of the trials experienced in their journey to the Promised Land, were still able to live “after the manner of happiness,” because of their Christ-centered living.
“Brothers and Sisters, like the clay on the potter’s wheel, our lives must be centered with exactness in Christ if we are to find true joy and peace in this life.”
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