Elder Kim B. Clark encourages students to fully embrace God’s plan

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(Savannah Hopkinson)
Elder Kim B. Clark speaks on the importance of choices and embracing God’s plan in his Tuesday devotional address. (Savannah Hopkinson)

Elder Kim B. Clark, General Authority Seventy of the LDS Church, addressed students on the importance of fully embracing God’s plan through learning, service and creating an eternal family.

He began by sharing how he’d been diagnosed with kidney disease almost 20 years ago.

“My kidney doctor told me that in 10-12 years I would need to go on dialysis or have a transplant,” Elder Clark said. “In my mind I said to myself, ‘No I won’t. I will be disciplined and diligent and the Lord will bless me. I will die of something else.'”

This plan worked for him for several years, but then his kidneys begin to fail. Elder Clark turned to Heavenly Father for guidance and help and received a clear impression that his plan was not God’s plan. God’s plan included the transplant, so Elder Clark began preparing for it.

Elder Clark’s son Andrew gave him a kidney on August 2, 2011.

“As I prepared for the operation I felt impressed to embrace Heavenly Father’s plan, every bit of it,” Elder Clark said. “Every night I was in the hospital, the nurses woke me several times to give me a shot, check my fluids and vital signs, weigh me or give me medicine … Those nurses helped give me new life. That was the plan, and I embraced it.”

Elder Clark invited students to similarly embrace God’s plan gladly and eagerly, and to adopt it into their lives fully and completely.

“At the very heart of the Father’s plan is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Our Father knew that mortality would be hard and blessed, dangerous and peaceful, full of adversity and glorious opportunities,” Elder Clark said.  

He said the atonement of Jesus Christ makes God’ss plan of happiness a reality. Everyone will be resurrected and those who come unto Christ may receive the great gift of eternal life through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.

“If you act with faith in Jesus Christ to embrace the plan, he will direct your path, open doors for you, put you where he wants you, and give you opportunities to serve him in the greatest of all the causes on the earth, the cause of Christ,” Elder Clark said.

Every opportunity in life comes to one in a crucible of choice. Every crucible contains two things according to Elder Clark: the opportunities created by Heavenly Father’s plan, and opposition.

Elder Clark shared three crucibles of choice essential to eternal life, the first one being learning.

“The power of deep learning has great value in your family, in your service in the Church, in your work and in your community. It also brings great joy,” Elder Clark said.

Elder Clark said the most important knowledge acquired is knowledge of the things of God, thus attaining spiritual knowledge should be a priority.

“Always, always give the glory for all good things that happen in your life to the Lord,” Elder Clark said. “He will help you keep pride out of your heart and your learning deep.”

The second crucible Elder Clark discussed was serving the Lord. He said the crucible of service contains great opportunities and blessings through choosing to be yoked together.

“These experiences also change us. We see our brothers and sisters as the Lord sees them and he helps us love them as he does,” Elder Clark said.

The service Elder Clark focused on was sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Sharing the gospel and helping people to be baptized into the Lord’s church is a wonderful opportunity, but it comes with opposition, especially in the society in which we live,” Elder Clark said.

The final crucible Elder Clark shared was creating an eternal families. He side one’s divine destiny includes creating an eternal family within a celestial marriage. He said ones divine destiny includes creating an eternal family with the celestial marriage.

“Given the marvelous blessings of an eternal family, it is not surprising that the crucible of choice about the eternal family is filled with much opposition and many temptations,” Elder Clark said. “Perhaps the most powerful forces opposing the creation of an eternal family are fear and selfishness.”

Elder Clark said the fear of missing out — FOMO — explains why many young people spend a great amount of time on social media. FOMO also appears to be affecting decisions about marriage, Clark said referencing a survey of young adults.

“The classic FOMO line associated with marriage is: What if I find someone better?” Elder Clark said.

These fears reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of eternal marriage, according to Elder Clark. He said people do not find the perfect partner for an eternal marriage, rather the partnership of an eternal marriage is something built together.

“I know from my own experience that the way to overcome fear and selfishness, the way to the joy of an eternal marriage and family, is to embrace the plan,” Elder Clark said.

Elder Clark told students to embrace the plan of happiness fully, completely, and to always seek to do the will of the Lord.

“My invitation to embrace Heavenly Father’s plan is an invitation to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, with faith in him,” Elder Clark said. “You will learn deeply; you will serve faithfully; and you will have an eternal family.”

The next forum address will be given by social psychologist, author and lecturer Amy Cuddy on Tuesday, March 27.

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