Sister Browning speaks on how to preserve relationships with Christ

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Sister Browning shares ways we can preserve our relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. (BYU Universe via Youtube)

Sister Tracy Y. Browning, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, spoke to the BYU community on Feb. 14 about putting Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in a “prevailing position” on their list of values.

Sister Browning described how the Lord can guide individuals in the pursuit of learning.

“First, He arouses or awakens our attention to a principle or concept. Then, we start to notice that principle in multiple places, often where we hadn’t noticed it before, and next, we recognize purpose, meaning, or a possible message in our experience,” Sister Browning said.

She spoke about having this experience with the word preserve. “He wanted me to assess, before all else, how can I preserve my faith in Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ and my relationship with Them?” Sister Browning said.

She continued by mentioning that this question led her to determine if she had placed Them in a “prevailing position” to let everything else flow from this most important relationship.

“Their place in our lives helps us safeguard all our other relationships. Preserving our relationship with Jesus Christ helps us know how to apply righteous virtues in our pursuit of divine kinship with all of God’s children, making them more Christ-centered,” Sister Browning said.

Just as individuals work to preserve their relationship with Them, Sister Browning said They work to preserve their relationship with everyone. She shared a scripture from Moses 1:39 which says, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

Sister Browning shared four ways God works to preserve his relationship with His children.

God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for the world

“A loving and wise Father sent us Jesus Christ to redeem us from the effects of sin, ensuring that we would not be left in a perpetual state of estrangement from God,” she said. She posed a question: “What, then, would we do to preserve a relationship with Him, who so powerfully demonstrated what He was willing to do for us?”

Some of the questions Sister Browning offered to prompt self-reflection included: “Will we be better disciples? Will we take his name more fully upon us? Will we be more accountable and repent when we fall short?”

God has sent His word through scriptures and modern-day prophets and apostles

The preserving and protecting power of His word, Sister Browning says, is a clean sign of God’s love for everyone. “God’s word can cut through any of our natural inclination toward worldly ‘culture, habits, biases, preconceptions, and doubts.’ His word can speak directly to ‘the innermost part’ of our hearts, regardless of our level of righteousness,” Sister Browning said.

Some of the ways one can preserve their faith in God’s word includes intentionally hearkening to their teachings and “holding fast” to God’s word when the temptations and trials come, Sister Browning said.

God has offered a deepened relationship and salvation through covenants with Him

“The most important promises we make with God are the ones we make through covenant. These sacred agreements are the way God has worked with His children since the beginning of time,” Sister Browning said.

She then asked this self-reflecting question: “What, then, can we do to preserve our relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as we seek to honor our covenants with Them?” Some of the ideas mentioned included seeking more joy in covenants and taking the sacrament weekly.

God sent His Spirit to be with us

“The Holy Ghost is the source of personal testimony and revelation,” Sister Browning said. “He can guide us in our decisions and protect us from physical and spiritual danger.”

The Lord has given the gift of the Spirit to help all remember Him, Sister Browning said. “Remembering the Lord allows us to see His hand more clearly in our lives, leading us away from the perils and insecurity of forgetting God.”

Sister Browning concluded her address by testifying that God is trying to talk to individuals even if they do not always realize it.

“Most often, He’s trying to tell you He loves you. And that you are His priority. He has and will continue to provide many countless ways to demonstrate our value and priority. Let us joyfully return His love by making Him the prevailing priority in our life,” Sister Browning said.

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