Relief Society

Come Unto Christ-Living as Latter-Day Saints

Conference Talk Study Guide – From Sis. Ostler

Come Unto Christ-Living as Latter-Day Saints
Elder John A. McCune 

Sisters, preparing this study guide has been so helpful for myself.  My testimony of our Savior’s love for us has been strengthened.  The knowledge that They know us, love us personally, and REALLY want to be a part of our lives, guiding us, has been strengthened deep in my heart. 

As I began studying, I loved that he compared and contrasted Joseph Smith’s experiences and Nephi’s experiences.  He said, “Nephi knew that if he continued to stay focused on the Lord, he would be successful in fulfilling what the Lord commanded him. He remained focused on the Savior throughout his life even though he suffered temptations, physical trials, and even the betrayal of some in his immediate family… Nephi knew in Whom he could trust.”

Sisters, do you KNOW in Whom you can trust?  Do you know deep down that you can trust our Savior?  Our Father in Heaven?  How do we learn and assuredly know in Whom we can trust?

Elder McCune goes on to say, “As followers of Christ, we are not spared challenges and trials in our lives. We are often required to do difficult things that, if attempted alone, would be overwhelming and maybe impossible.”

How many trials and challenges have you faced alone?  Have you ever had an experience where you really tapped into the power of the Atonement and found strength and reassurance through that power?  Which is easier?  Facing it alone?  Or facing it with Christ, and our Father in Heaven, and our earthly and heavenly angel army by our side?  I testify to you that our Heavenly Parents did not plan for us to do this life alone.  They have provided so many tools for us to go through the good times and the more challenging times, always intending on us to feel of Their love and concern.  We must seek it out and find it.  

Elder McCune told us that “As we accept the Savior’s invitation to ‘come unto me,’ He will provide:

1: Support

2: Comfort

3: Peace 

…that are necessary just as He did for Nephi and Jospeh.  Even(and I crossed this out and wrote ESPECIALLY) in our deepest trials, we CAN feel the warm embrace of His love as we trust Him and accept His will.  We CAN experience the joy reserved for His faithful disciples, for ‘Christ is JOY.’”

He does not tell us we WILL experience the warm embrace of His love or we WILL experience joy.  The word CAN expresses that it is a choice we make.  How are we going to respond to the trials and heartache presented to us in life?  Will we turn to Him so we CAN feel the warmth and joy, or will we rely on ourselves to get through?  

Sisters, I testify to you, by turning to our Heavenly Army, especially in our deepest trials, we can feel His warm embrace and His love.  We do have to TRUST Him, and when we do, we can find joy, even in the darkest of times. 

He spoke of a trial he and his family experienced while they were serving as Mission President, that of his son having and accident and not knowing if his son would make it through the night.  “We did know very clearly that his life was in God’s hands and the results, FROM AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE, would work out for his and our good.”  

I was lucky to have been raised by two amazing parents.  My angel mother always encouraged me to look at a situation from an eternal perspective.  Even in the day to day trials, taking a step back and thinking to yourself, “Where does this fit in the grand scheme of things?  Is this a NOW problem, or and eternal problem?”  And then take it to the Lord.  This has helped me on MULTIPLE occasions and has really helped me decide that the bowl of spilled cereal is not worth damaging my 3 year olds spirit over. 

On he goes, “We understand clearly that not every trial we face will have a result we wish for.  However, as we remain FOCUSED ON CHRIST, we will 1: Feel peace and 2: See God’s miracles, whatever they may be, in HIS TIME, and in HIS WAY.”  

“There may be times that the ONLY hope we have IS in Jesus Christ.  What a blessing to have that hope and trust in Him.  CHRIST IS THE ONE WHO WILL ALWAYS KEEP HIS PROMISES.  His rest is assured for ALL who come unto Him.”

Elder McCune refers to President Nelson’s invitation to the world(for everyone on both sides of the veil): 

1: Come unto the Savior

2: Receive the blessings of the Holy Temple

3: Have enduring joy

4: QUALIFY for eternal life

He talks about how that invitation is more specific for those of us who are members of Christ’s true church because we have been Spiritually begotten and have made covenants with Him.  He explores the partnership that we have with Christ and this part really hit home to me this week.  “We have… been given the opportunity to LABOR WITH THE LORD in inviting others to come to Him.  As we LABOR WITH CHRIST, our most deeply focused efforts should be within our own home.”  This statement came as an immediate answer to prayers and the Spirit was able to continue to guide me to personal inspiration from just this quote.  

Sisters, this is why I testify to you, our Heavenly Parents WANT to be a part of our daily lives and They have given us tools.  As we partner with Christ, our prayers are answered through the Spirit, and through our heavenly and earthly angels.  Their promises are sure.  

He transitions to our responsibility, as we partner with Christ.  “Our ability to help others come unto Christ OR RETURN to Christ will largely be determined by the example we set through our own personal commitment to stay on the covenant path.  If our true desire is to rescue those we love, we ourselves must stay firmly with Christ by embracing His Church and the fullness of His gospel.”  

He then goes on to talk about Nephi’s story and the story of the tree of life.  He talks about how Lehi was at the tree and when he saw Sariah, Same, and Nephi standing there, not knowing where to go, Lehi NEVER left the tree to go and guide them there.  “Please note that Lehi did not leave the tree of life.  He stayed spiritually WITH THE LORD and invited his family to COME where HE WAS to partake of the fruit.”  What a beautiful example.

He then expresses some of the blessings of the restoration of Christ’s true church.  Through Christ’s Church we:

1: Receive strength through our experiences as a community of Saints.

2: Hear His voice through His prophets, seers, and revelators

3: {Most importantly}, Are provided with ALL THE ESSENTIAL BLESSINGS of Christ’s Atonement that can be realized only through participation in sacred ordinances

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ’s Church on the earth, restored in these latter days for the benefit of ALL OF GOD’S CHILDREN.” 

Sisters, his closing promise is so valuable and powerful.  He says, “I bear witness that as we come unto Christ and live as Latter-day Saints, we will be blessed with an added measure of His love, His joy, and His peace.”  Don’t we all need that, no matter what each of us are going through.  And then, “Like Nephi, we can do difficult things and help others do the same, because we know in whom we can trust.18 Christ is our light, our life, and our salvation.”  

I testify to you, that these things are true.  No matter what we are enduring, His grace is sufficient, His peace is there.  We just need to seek it out, turn to Him, and He will provide a way.  

MacKenzie Ostler, RS Teacher

 

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