Elder D. Todd Christofferson, his wife, Katherine Jacob Christofferson, Elder Michael M. Packer of the Seventy, his wife, Shannon Packer, and Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong of the Seventy spoke to nine young single adult stakes at the BYU-Idaho Center on Saturday, Sept. 17.
The I-Center buzzed with excitement as students gathered together to hear the words of an Apostle and four additional church leaders.
Elder Packer of the Seventy
Elder Packer opened up the meeting with his thoughts about Russell M. Nelson’s talk titled “The Power of Spiritual Momentum” from the April 2022 general conference.
“I marvel at President Nelson,” Elder Packer said. “You can feel his spiritual momentum.”
He specifically highlighted President Nelson’s third point: “Learn about God and how He works.” Elder Packer felt that one way he feels the closest to God is through expressing gratitude.
“God grants us spiritual power when we are grateful,” Elder Packer said.
Sister Packer compared our lives to line segments. She explained that we are all at point A, striving to get to point B, and gave examples like how starting as a freshman in college is point A and graduating is point B. However, life is not always a straight line. It curves, it twists and maybe our point B may look different than what we originally thought.
Sister Packer illustrated this by sharing a personal experience in school. She loved music and wanted to perform her best, but she did not feel confident and really struggled with the material. Her point A was going to school. Point B, she thought, was everything coming easy to her.
“I put my faith on the line and asked God for help,” Sister Packer said.
She was so nervous before a big recital but knew God was on her side.
“The spirit of calm swept over me and I played my best,” Sister Packer said. “God was with me.”
Elder Wong of the Seventy
“I am nervous,” Elder Wong humbly opened his message.
Elder Wong talked about his time going to school at BYU-Hawaii. He told the audience that he only went to the beach a handful of times during his college career and spent most of his time studying and working instead.
“Laie, Hawaii, is a sacred place,” Elder Wong said. “I had to rely on God because I had no money. I didn’t speak the language. Rexburg, Idaho, will be a sacred place for you too.”
Elder Wong then suggested ways that students can stay strong in the Atonement and their schoolwork alike by reading the Book of Mormon every day.
“Increase your power to receive a higher education,” Elder Wong said. “The Book of Mormon will help you. I know it will help you overcome the challenges of the world.”
He also talked about attending the temple and told the students how lucky they are to have one so close and another temple being built in the same city.
Elder Wong closed his message with his testimony of the importance of covenants and remembering Jesus Christ and His Atonement.
“When you come out of the temple, you will be a better person,” Elder Wong said.
Sister Christofferson based her message around the idea of a marathon. In order to run a marathon, one must train and prepare. Sister Christofferson shared some tips we could use to train and prepare for the life we are living.
She first suggested stretching just like how we stretch before running a marathon. Sister Christofferson described that we can spiritually stretch to help us achieve our goals. She recommended that a way we can do just that is by praying and asking for help, “What lack I yet?”
Then, she said to stay in motion — meaning staying steadfast and getting rid of things that are not for our best good.
You need nourishment in a fast-paced marathon and Sister Christofferson suggested that we also need nourishment for our spirit. Two ways she said will help are reading your patriarchal blessing and reading the Book of Mormon.
“The marathon of life will go on and on,” Sister Christofferson said. “You are going towards a wonderful destination.”
Elder Christofferson first expressed his love for the students here at BYU-I, President Nelson and Jesus Christ. He then gave tips on how to further understand repentance.
“For many, there is a sense to be perfect,” Elder Christofferson said. “Don’t be afraid of a mistake. We need to be striving. We are on a way that leads to God and his perfection, but we aren’t there yet.”
This point really stood out to Asa Hatch, a sophomore studying computer science.
“One thing I learned was that the Lord does not put a quota on repentance,” Hatch said. “I really took this one to heart because my idea of repentance as a kid was that it was scary. It’s not. I have come to appreciate repentance as a whole.”
Elder Christofferson then shared Mosiah 26:30, which reminded everyone that God’s forgiveness doesn’t run out and that He is always there.
“He is with you,” Elder Christofferson said. “He loves you. You are perfectly known. None of us are beyond the reach of your Heavenly Father.”
Elder Christofferson closed his message with love, blessings and his special witness of Jesus Christ.
“I feel like after listening to this, we can change our lives, but we are the agents of change,” Hatch said.
This devotional was not filmed or broadcast, but those who are interested can hear more of Elder Christofferson’s messages on the church website and at the general conference on Oct. 1-2.