General Authority Seventy Elder Peter M. Johnson invited students to yoke themselves to Jesus Christ through covenants, listening and ministering in his devotional address on November 15.
“Every mortal experience that causes us to feel pain, anguish, and disappointment, Christ felt in this very hour. The pain was so great that it caused Jesus to bleed from every pore of His body.”
Elder Johnson spoke about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how it is an eternal truth that can be used to help individuals throughout their lives. He quoted Matthew 11:28-30 and went on to describe the promises that Christ makes.
“Christ invites us to come unto Him with the promise that He will give us rest,” Elder Johnson said. “President Nelson described exactly what this rest is, it is relief and peace … Christ invites us to take His yoke upon us and to learn of Him for He is meek and lowly in heart.”
Elder Johnson described three things everyone can do to more fully come and be yoked unto Him.
Receiving His ordinances and keeping covenants
“The reward for keeping covenants with God is heavenly power — power that strengthens us to withstand our trials, temptations, and heartaches better,” Elder Johnson said.
Elder Johnson shared a story from his time serving as the first African American Stake President in Alabama. He said that a brother in the stake was having a hard time with a person of color serving as Stake President. Two months later Elder and Sister Johnson had dinner at this brother’s house and a deep friendship developed as they were able to understand their priesthood power and the spiritual power that comes from covenants.
Elder Johnson said, “The temple can help us see beyond ourselves, our neighborhoods, and nations. As we truly come to understand the ordinances and covenants of the temple, we come to recognize that the Lord loves diversity.”
Becoming engaged learners
Elder Johnson also spoke about how diving into the scriptures can help individuals become engaged learners. He quoted a talk by President Russell M. Nelson which said, “I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions — every day.”
Ministering to the one
“As we increase our desire to love God with all our hearts by keeping His commandments, the Lord will deepen our ability to love our neighbors and to love ourselves,” Elder Johnson said.
He then shared an experience from his time serving as a mission leader in Manchester, England where he and a sister missionary had opposing viewpoints. After a frustrating interview, he prayed to Heavenly Father and felt that he needed to love her like the Savior would. This led to them having another interview where they had more understanding. He gave her a priesthood blessing which allowed both of them to feel an increase of love from God and for each other.
Elder Johnson assured students that Christ knows each and every one of us, both our strengths and our weaknesses.
“To all, His invitation to act and His promised blessings are uniquely and lovingly intimate and catered specifically to you and carry the same powerful, eternal truth,” Elder Johnson said. He reinforced that all can come unto Christ and give their souls rest.
Elder Johnson concluded by saying, “I leave you with my witness that the words of the Living Christ are true. Come unto Him, be of good cheer, He has overcome the world and with Him so can you.”