Prophetic counsel leads to divine inspiration, identity

Elder Randall K. Bennett and his wife, Shelley, smile as they await the devotional’s start on March 19 in the Marriott Center. (Arianna Davidson)

Elder Randall K. Bennett, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a BYU devotional address March 19 on divine inspiration, mortal challenges and the resulting blessings from unwavering faith.

Elder Bennett counseled students to follow the prophets and act in faith. He promised those who did so would “be given power to do whatever the Lord needs you to do and to become whatever He needs you to become.”

He shared an experience his wife, Shelley, had with her non-member father. A visiting general authority told her at a youth conference to kiss her father on the cheek and tell him she loved him every night for one full year.

Sister Bennett did as she was instructed, and while her father did not respond positively at first, he eventually reciprocated before suddenly passing away from a heart attack.

Elder Bennett said another general authority later told Sister Bennett she had been asked to kiss her father so his heart could be softened enough to accept the gospel after death. Through this experience, Sister Bennett learned the importance of following counsel from the Lord’s servants.

“Shelley deeply desired to hear her dad tell her that he loved her. She only received that blessing by doing what an Apostle invited her to do,” Elder Bennett said.

He then talked about the roles of identity and purpose on Earth. Elder Bennett quoted President Russell M. Nelson, who listed three aspects that form a divine identity.

“One, you are an elect son or daughter of God. Two, you are created in His image. Three, you were taught in the spirit world to prepare you for anything and everything you would encounter. That teaching endures within you,” President Nelson said.

Elder Bennett said those three things are the entirety of people’s identities despite what the world tends to say about self-worth and purpose.

Elder Bennett invited listeners to ask Heavenly Father how He feels about them and their mission on Earth. Next, he encouraged them to learn all they can about Jesus Christ and follow Him and spend more time where the Spirit is present.

With that, listeners can learn how to hear and follow the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, Elder Bennett said. He added that people should prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day and take time to serve their ancestors and others in the temple.

With those things in mind, Elder Bennett offered parting words of encouragement for those with doubts. He said the Savior’s Atonement is not only universal and infinite; it is also personal and intimate.

“He atoned for you, He knows you and He understands you perfectly. If you will turn to Him, He who keeps His every promise perfectly will help you,” Elder Bennett said.

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