Former Young Women General second counselor urges students to focus on Christ in their daily lives

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Sister Neill F. Marriott, former second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addresses BYU students at the first Spring term 2022 devotional. (BYU Photo/Matthew Norton)

Sister Neill F. Marriott, former second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, encouraged students to focus on Jesus Christ and act on the spiritual strength found through Him.

In the first devotional of the Spring term, Sister Marriott told students they can focus on Christ consistently if they choose to be open to the spirit daily and as they act on promptings and covenants weekly to always remember Him.  

“Do we truly know the Lord, feel His love and trust His almighty capacity to take us to a place of healing, love and progress?” she asked. “If so, do we look to Him steadily?”

She invited students to reflect on the time they make for God in their lives versus the time they are willing to make for the world. 

“If we only depend on the world for our answers, we are going to be disappointed sooner or later,” Sister Marriott said. “Spiritual wisdom, real peace, healing and godly discernment come to us from Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost, not from opinions of the world.”

Sister Marriott shared a conversation she had with Olympic champion Noelle Pikus-Pace, an American skeleton racer who won a silver medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Pikus-Pace related her athletic experiences and mantra, “where you look is where you go,” with her life decisions and spiritual journey. 

“We need help, we need grace and we will have it if we rely on Christ,” Marriott said.

Sister Marriott then shared a personal experience about turning to God after her and her husband David got a call that their 21-year-old daughter was in an accident while they were serving a mission in Brazil. 

While traveling quickly from Brazil to the United States, the couple prayed and hoped God would answer their prayers for their daughter to be okay. She passed away before the plane landed.

“Sometimes we feel overwhelmed with our troubles, but the Lord is stronger than our challenges and gives us strength and inspiration to face them,” Sister Marriott said. “He is the great healer and guide.”

She said the spirit has the ability to remove our “debris” and “deep-seated baggage” that can hold us back. To do this, Sister Marriott told students they can repent and clean up thoughts, actions and relationships.

“May we take time each day to look toward our one source of salvation in healing, our Savior Jesus Christ,” she said. “He will draw us close to Him, will give loving grace in our daily lives and in time bring us back to our Heavenly Parents.”

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