Elder Cook speaks about faith, truth, prophetic guidance during devotional

Elder Quentin L. Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve addressed devotional participants. (Bryan Barba Salazar)

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve addressed the BYU community on Nov. 14 and spoke on faith and challenges, love and belonging, life planning and balance, standing for truth and prophetic guidance.

At the beginning of the devotional, Elder Cook acknowledged President M. Russell Ballard’s passing and offered condolences to his family.

Elder Cook was joined on the stand by his wife, Sister Mary Cook, as well as Elder Clark G. Gilbert of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Christine Gilbert.

Elder Cook and Sister Cook at Tuesday’s devotional. Sister Cook answered some questions during the devotional. (Bryan Barba Salazar)
Sister Gilbert and Elder Gilbert. The Gilberts participated in the devotional when talking about balancing life and standing for truth. (Bryan Barba Salazar)

Elder Cook answered questions grouped into five topics: Facing life and faith challenges, love and belonging, life planning and life balance, standing for truth and receiving personal revelation and prophetic guidance.

During the first half of the devotional, Elder Cook allowed time for Sister Cook and the Gilberts to address some of the outlined questions.

Elder Gilbert offered advice in relation to finding balance in life.

“Certain commitments need to be non-negotiable in your life,” Elder Gilbert said.

He went on to explain some of the non-negotiables in his family, which include church attendance on Sundays, weekly family home evening and time with his wife each week.

The Gilberts then discussed how to stand for the truth during a time of great confusion.

Elder Gilbert highlighted how the Cooks are role models of disciples who stand for the truth. They lived in the San Francisco Bay area for much of their professional lives, where they worked and associated with colleagues with different values while always building bridges of understanding.

In the last part of the devotional, Elder Cook took the pulpit to address the final question, which he deemed doctrinal and profound — “How am I blessed by personal revelation and prophetic guidance?”

Elder Cook referred to Lehi’s vision as a representation of the challenge to faith that exists in our day and the divide between those who love and obey God and those who do not.

The Savior, Elder Cook said, embodies personal revelation, and His example can help members as they strive to increase their commitment to obtain personal revelation.

“The message, ministry, and atonement of Jesus Christ, our Savior, is our essential curriculum for receiving personal revelation,” Elder Cook said.

A testimony of the truth of the restored gospel must be obtained with faith and through the Holy Ghost, Elder Cook taught.

“The Holy Ghost is the revealer and testifies of all truth, especially of the Savior for our day. That revelatory guidance is essential,” Elder Cook said.

Audience at the devotional. Devotional-goers heard not only from Elder Cook but also Sister Cook and Elder and Sister Gilbert. (Bryan Barba Salazar)

Elder Cook then reminded viewers of President Russel M. Nelson’s prophetic advice about the Holy Ghost’s crucial role in our lives to spiritually survive.

“Each of us must realize that when one is tone deaf to the music of faith, he or she is out of tune with the Spirit,” Elder Cook said.

When troubled with an inability to listen to the Spirit, Elder Cook reminded the audience that the scriptures teach the Holy Ghost can communicate in many ways.

“Sometimes he speaks peace to your mind. Sometimes he prompts thoughts or ideas that occupy your mind. Sometimes he enlightens your mind. Sometimes he causes your heart to be filled with joy,” Elder Cook said.

Elder Cook, who has served as an apostle under three different prophets — President Gordon B. Hinckley, President Thomas S. Monson and President Russell M. Nelson — testified that all of them have received revelation to guide the Lord’s church.

“I assure you that revelatory guidance can be received by each of us as we labor in the Lord’s vineyard. Most of our guidance comes from the Holy Ghost. Sometimes, and for some purposes, it comes directly from the Lord. I personally testify that this is true,” Elder Cook said.

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