Elder D. Todd Christofferson and his wife, Kathy, spoke at the closing session of BYU Women’s Conference on May 3.
“As we now reach the conclusion, I pray that what I say will add and not detract in any way,” Elder Christofferson said as he began his remarks.
His wife, Kathy, spoke before him. She related a story about visiting the Panama Canal and observing how the waters in the canal carry massive ships with thousands of passengers. Those waters, she said, are made up of tiny droplets that come together.
She then shared a story of a testimony meeting where she said she could not think of anything “particularly remarkable” to say.
But, she said, though she felt embarrassed for not getting up, she “found that it isn’t in great miracles that a testimony is kept vibrant, but in the small day to day affirmations and directions we receive from Heaven as we strive to come unto our Savior (and) keep His commandments.”
Both this testimony meeting and the Panama Canal, she said, reminded her of Alma 37:6 which says small and simple things bring about great things.
These small things, she said, are the basics: prayer, scripture study and following promptings from the Spirit.
“I know that as we strive to stay consistently faithful even in small things, they will flow together to strengthen us spiritually in remarkable ways,” she said.
Elder Christofferson agreed with his wife’s words, giving a loud “amen” at the start of his talk. He focused his remarks on God’s love which he said is universal.
“Not one single human being can ever truthfully claim that he or she is beneath God’s notice or beyond His care, ever,” he said.
Elder Christofferson identified four kinds of help God offers out of care: commandments, grace, truth and gifts.
Joyce Haldeman from Las Vegas, Nevada, has attended Women’s Conference for many years and said she loves hearing Elder Christofferson speak. She said she loved how he shared these four things.
“He is so right. It makes the gospel simple and helpful. When you finish listening to (him) you think, ‘Yeah that makes more sense. I can do this,'” Haldeman said.
He invited Haldeman and the women in attendance to make God’s commandments a priority saying “that which truly matters most will occupy center stage in our lives, and that which doesn’t matter, doesn’t help, or even hurts us, will fall away. Things in our lives will sort into proper priority.”
He identified scripture study as another priority. The scriptures, he said, are a gift from God to help us find truth.
“What a precious gift it is to know what is true and what is not, what is reality and what is not, what is good and what is not, and what leads to happiness and what does not,” he said.
Elder Christofferson said this truth comes with the responsibility to defend it, asking the women if they’ve thought about their role in defending truth.
“Our Heavenly Father is not a ‘helicopter parent,'” he said. “While He does not clear our paths of all obstacles or automatically erase the consequences of our acts or failures to act, God does provide a way for us to recover when we err.”
Elder Christofferson explained God’s arm is outstretched but “He does not generally intervene to protect us from the consequences of our choices. If He routinely acted in that way, our cherished moral agency would become meaningless.”
Christ can give strength and forgiveness and eventually set all things right, he said.
But, he said, “each of us is in charge of developing her or his own spiritual strength and stamina.”