Elder K. Brett Nattress of the Seventy spoke to students and faculty about building their faith in Jesus Christ in a campus-wide devotional on Jan. 16.
Elder Nattress started his address by sharing a decision his young son made several years ago that resulted in a slight injury. Elder Nattress likened this decision to decisions we make in our lives that result in both physical and spiritual injury.
“We live in a fast-paced world full of distractions and deceptions that can hurt us. We also live at a time of great opportunity! This is a time that has been prophesied and anticipated by biblical prophets throughout the history of the world,” he said.
It is through Jesus Christ and His Atonement that those who experience this pain and sorrow can be healed, he said. According to Elder Nattress, the way to access Christ’s power is by “thinking celestially,” as President Russell M. Nelson has said.
“We will find peace and safety as we choose to think celestially. This is the key to receiving spiritual power from on high,” he said.
Elder Nattress spoke of the Abol family, whom he met in the Wadi branch of Papua New Guinea. The family waited for the Church for several years before being baptized and are now waiting for an opportunity to be sealed in the temple. They walk four hours one way to attend sacrament meeting each week, he said.
“There is only one explanation why these saints endure so much and sacrifice so much each week. It is because they know that the gospel is true! They choose to always remember Him. They strive to think celestially,” he said.
Elder Nattress shared three daily actions and a weekly action, taught by prophets and apostles, that he said will “make an eternal difference in your life.” The three actions are to 1) pray every day, 2) read the Book of Mormon every day and 3) find someone to serve every day.
The weekly action is to partake of the sacrament, according to Elder Nattress.
“Remember ‘by small and simple things are great things brought to pass,’” he said, quoting Book of Mormon prophet Alma. He then promised blessings if students and faculty follow his counsel and take action.
“I know these measures sound simple and easy to do, but I promise that if we are faithful in these simple measures, we will find great joy and will be blessed with an increase of His Spirit to be with us,” he said.
Before closing his remarks, Elder Nattress shared a story of he and his wife serving as mission leaders in the Arizona Gilbert Mission. During their second year, Sister Nattress was suddenly diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
While the experience was challenging for them, Elder Nattress said the Lord sent them an “angel” named Raquel, a member of the Church who was similarly suffering in the hospital.
“Over the next several months, Raquel became a close friend to Shawna … She would hold her hand, share her testimony, share her love and her time. She provided meals to our family and brought her daughters over to clean our house,” Elder Nattress said.
Elder Nattress said Raquel was “thinking celestially” and had a grateful attitude toward God that was an inspiration to both him and Sister Nattress. He also shared Raquel was in attendance at the devotional and continues to be a light to those around her.
Elder Nattress reiterated the four actions he shared and closed with his testimony of the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for their children.