General Authority Seventy urges all to give up distractions in life

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General Authority Seventy Elder Kelly R. Johnson encouraged students in his March 15 devotional to avoid distractions in life by making time for the Lord and following Christ. (Kelsey Nield)

General Authority Seventy Elder Kelly R. Johnson encouraged students in his March 15 devotional to avoid distractions in life by making time for the Lord and following Christ.

Elder Johnson shared a personal story of when he played in a basketball game. After accidentally shooting at the wrong basket, he learned an important lesson about distractions and remaining focused on what really matters.

“If we are not careful, we can easily get distracted and divert our energies to less important things,” Elder Johnson said.

He said Satan often distracts individuals with “seemingly good things” that keep them from the best things in life. These distractions can include social media, school and work schedules, Church callings and family obligations.

“A distraction doesn’t have to be evil to be effective,” Elder Johnson said. 

To combat the overwhelming and chaotic nature of life, Elder Johnson explained the theory of “fractals” and how it can be applied in personal lives.

Elder Johnson presented a figure of a fractal triangle, which is a large triangle that fits smaller triangles inside. Each triangle listed a step to achieving eternal life: Christlike life, covenants and ordinances, keeping the commandments and enduring to the end.

He further expounded on a “Christlike life” with another example of a fractal triangle that included qualities needed to become like Christ: charity, patience, knowledge and obedience.

Elder Johnson emphasized the two invitations given in the phrase, “Come, follow me.”

“The first invitation is to come to Christ, and the second is to follow Him. We have to come to Him before we can follow Him,” he said.

To come unto Christ and follow Him, Elder Johnson said people would need to be willing to give up anything that may come between them and Christ.

“So it is with invitations we receive from the prophet or from the Savior,” he said. “We can’t pick and choose.”

After sharing several Biblical stories about following Christ and those trying to “pick and choose,” Elder Johnson closed by inviting students to ponder on their direction of life. He counseled everyone to determine what will lead to eternal life and what distractions need to be given up.

“Then do those things,” Elder Johnson said, “and I testify that as you do them daily, you will achieve all that God wants you to achieve.”

Elder Kelly R. Johnson greets students after the devotional. (BYU Photo)
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