Elder Bassett encourages students to ‘take heed’ unto themselves, gospel doctrine

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Elder W. Mark Bassett of the Quorum of the Seventy speaks to a BYU audience during his devotional address on Nov. 16. Elder Bassett encouraged students to follow the apostle Paul’s advice and “take heed” unto themselves and the gospel doctrine. (Addie Blacker)

General Authority Seventy Elder W. Mark Bassett encouraged students to follow the apostle Paul’s advice and “take heed” unto themselves and the gospel doctrine during his devotional address on Nov. 16.

Bassett emphasized the uniqueness of a BYU education and its focus on both the temporal and spiritual welfare of its students.

“Brigham Young University is focused on the whole of its students, not only in this life but the life to come. How unique is that? That’s what makes this place special, even sacred, to me,” Bassett said.

Bassett shared the Savior’s words from John when He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

In order to obtain the abundant life, Bassett referred to two pieces of advice the apostle Paul shared in the book of Timothy: “take heed unto yourself and take heed unto the doctrine.”

‘Take heed unto yourself’

“First, to take heed unto yourself would be to take care of yourself. Take advantage of every resource and do your best to keep your spirit, your body and your mind strong,” Bassett said.

As a means of taking care of physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual well-being, Bassett encouraged students to study The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Adjusting to Missionary Life” manual. This booklet offers resources, solutions and counsel for a variety of difficulties. Bassett taught that it is meant for everyone and not just missionaries.

“Read it substituting words like ‘missionary and companion’ with words like ‘student and roommates.’ See if this doesn’t help you reset your personal care awareness once in a while,” Bassett said.

Another way individuals can take heed for themselves is by spending time with God in prayer and fasting. Christ set the perfect example of taking heed for Himself as he prepared for his earthly ministry by fasting and praying for 40 days in the wilderness.

Christ also took heed unto Himself as He studied the words of the prophets in the scriptures.

“You and I, now and for the rest of our lives, will best take heed unto ourselves by offering regular, even constant and sincere prayer, along with making time for diligent daily study of the word of God, found both in scripture and in the words of God’s living
prophets,” Bassett taught.

Take heed unto the doctrine:

In this past October General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson asked those watching to listen for “pure truth, the pure doctrine of Christ, and pure revelation.” Elder Bassett shared four pieces of “pure truth” he gained from conference.

  1. God and Christ know and love everyone, and They hear prayers
  2. All must repent to receive God’s blessings
  3. Christ forgives and through His Atonement, He saves the penitent
  4. God’s commands are loving and intended to bring immediate and eternal blessings

“Can we not see the great love of God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, in these simple and beautiful truths and doctrine, spoken by a living prophet of God?” Bassett asked. “Let us, indeed, take heed unto the pure doctrine.”

In seeking pure truth and doctrine, Bassett emphasized how important it is to seek information from trustworthy and reliable sources so that one’s knowledge may be as pure as possible.

Bassett shared the transformation story of Saul. He invited students to follow his example of asking the Lord, “what wilt thou have me to do.” He also discussed the necessity of being humble and teachable as individuals take heed of themselves and the doctrine. As individuals humbly do this, they will be better equipped to help others.

Bassett concluded by saying, “As you take heed unto yourself and take heed unto the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the sponsors of this sacred institution — I know you will both save yourself and ‘ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto many others.’”

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