Elder Marcus B. Nash encourages living by faith in devotional address

Elder Marcus B. Nash speaks at the Feb. 2, 2016 devotional at BYU. He emphasized that people should be living off of their faith rather than focusing on doubt. (Natalie Bothwell)

Elder Marcus B. Nash of the Seventy addressed BYU students about strengthening their faith instead of doubts in a devotional address on Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016. He also admonished students to not be distracted by society’s perspectives of how things should be over the Lord’s vision of what’s right.

“If we choose by faith to live according to God’s law despite our human weakness, we will one day receive all that the Father has. Thus, to stand for the Father’s plan is not hatred or bigotry; rather, it is to express God’s love,” Nash said.

Nash said Latter-day Saints need to practice faith in God and His Plan of Salvation today. He said this is especially true because “faith-challenging social issues” have had an impact on this and other generations.

Nash also spoke about current societal concern with regards to equality of men and women. He said the ultimate expression of Priesthood power is in the eternal union of woman and man, and that being mothers and fathers in the eternities will be the most important title anyone will have.

“When we contemplate mortality against the backdrop of eternity, we should remember that the title of our God is not ‘President,’ but ‘Father,'” Nash said. “That alone speaks volumes about the organizational structure that most matters in the Celestial kingdom and eternity.”

The ultimate purpose of the Plan of Salvation is for a husband and wife to be happy at home, sealed for time and eternity so they can receive eternal life, Nash said. The “ultimate equality of woman and man is godhood,” something only possible for them by entering into and living the new and everlasting covenant of marriage together.

Nash briefly mentioned how Satan manages to gain power over the hearts of so many people. He said among the most effective weapons in Satan’s war against faith are sin, fear and doubt. But these things are able to be overcome with true faith.

He used the apostle Peter’s experience of walking on water to illustrate the small falterings of doubt we all experience in life.

Elder Nash hugs a student after his BYU devotional address. He provided the story of the apostle Peter with Christ walking on water as an example of how students should focus on faith, not doubt. (Natalie Bothwell)

“Too many of our members have walked on water spiritually and do not know it. Or, if they did know it once, they—like Peter—have taken their eyes from the Savior, and pay more attention to the doubt suggested by some towering waves of secular thinking,” Nash said.

He said in spite of the millennial generation’s strong desire for speed and efficiency in all things, it is important for students to learn patience, especially in spiritual matters. They must learn to be willing to wait for answers to prayers, and on the Lord’s timing, according to Nash.

Nash said his own faith was strengthened when he prayed as a teenager to know if the Book of Mormon was truly the word of God. He said a sweet outpouring of the Spirit was his confirmation, and he valued those scriptures so much after this experience that he sometimes slept with the Book of Mormon held to his chest as he slept.

He invited students to strengthen their faith, and use the Plan of Salvation as a spiritual GPS to guide them back “home” to live with Heavenly Father in His eternal family.

“We would do well to understand that the key to our success in the pre-mortal life was to support the Father’s plan. And, the key to success in this life is the same: support the Father’s plan,” Nash said.

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