I am grateful to speak to you today. You are an inspiration to me and to all who know you and know about you. Your desire for education and your willingness to work hard and seize the opportunities the Lord has provided you are remarkable. I love you and pray that what I say today may be helpful to you.I am many years ahead of most of you on the covenant path. When I look back to where you are, I can see that there is ahead of you an eternal family, opportunities for work, additional education, and service in the Church and in your communities. The years ahead will continue to be a time of learning that will lead to righteous growth and change.In fact, this is precisely Heavenly Father’s plan. You and I are here to become more knowledgeable, more capable, more skillful, and more useful. Our Father wants us to learn so that we may and grow and change to act with greater power, wisdom, kindness, and love in serving Him and our brothers and sisters.I know that learning is not easy. You know that too! Life in mortality and the natural man and woman in all of us makes it hard to keep learning. It is hard to stay open to new ideas and new ways of working. Sometimes the Lord’s plan for stretching us and challenging us is hard. It can be hard to stay ready to repent, and grow, and change according to the Father’s plan. In the face of these difficulties it is not surprising that we sometimes think, “There’s no way I can do this.”But there is a way. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is the way! And He has given us the perfect teacher, guide, and companion to help us. Through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ, we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost.Listen to these examples from the scriptures of the gifts and blessings that come through the ministry of the Holy Ghost. If you are true and faithful to your covenants, you will be:
My dear brothers and sisters, the Holy Ghost will help us learn, grow, and change all of our lives.
- Guided into all truth
- Taught all things
- Shown all things what ye should do
- Filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom and understanding
- Filled with power by the Spirit of the Lord
- Given gifts by the Spirit of God: wisdom, knowledge, faith, discernment
- Sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost
- Spiritually born of God, with a mighty change in your heart
I want to share with you an experience I had with the Holy Ghost in an exam I took in my university studies. I took the class from a very prominent professor. I worked hard in that class all semester, prepared for the final exam, and prayed to Heavenly Father for His help.When I opened the exam and read the questions, my heart sank. The professor had picked the kind of exam that usually gave me a lot of trouble. The whole exam was based on reading and analyzing two very complex research reports in a very short period of time. When I had faced that kind of problem before, I had to read and re-read a few times to figure out what to say. That was not going to work in this exam.I went to work and started reading. As I read the first report, something wonderful happened. I could see right away what the issues were and what to write. I finished the report and started writing. I knew exactly what to write. I was blessed with insights and help beyond my own. When I finished, I picked up the second paper and had exactly the same experience.
That was an amazing experience. I was prepared, I had sought the Lord’s help, and I experienced the power of the Holy Ghost. It is now 45 years later, and I can see now the hand of the Lord helping me in ways that had a big impact on my life. I did well on that exam and that professor became a mentor who helped me and opened many doors for me over many years.
With all the energy of my soul, I invite you to rise up to these great privileges the Lord Jesus Christ makes available to you. Here are four things you can do that will help you keep the commandments of the Lord and bring the Spirit into your lives.
- Seek to learn with and through the Holy Ghost. Whether you are studying in PathwayConnect or working on a certificate or a degree, at home in your family, at work, or out in your communities, the Lord will open up opportunities for you to learn deeply through your own study and by the power of the Holy Ghost.
- Pray about your experiences and what you are trying to learn. Ask your Father in Heaven to teach you what He wants you to know. Ask Him to help you become more capable of effective, righteous action. And seek His help to become what He wants you to become.
- Act on the impressions you receive. If you pray with real intent, the Holy Ghost will prompt you with insights and with assignments from the Lord. When you act on them, the Holy Ghost will bless you with spiritual gifts and will magnify your capacity.
- Write those experiences down! Record what you receive at the Lord’s hand and what you learn through the power of the Holy Ghost.
As you do these things over and over again, the spirit of revelation will grow in you and the Holy Ghost will become your companion and your true teacher. There will grow up in your heart and your mind a great spirit of learning. Your desire to learn deeply, to grow and to change, will increase. Through the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ, you will rise up and claim the great blessings your Heavenly Father has prepared for you. I know this is true, of my own experience, and by the witness and power of the Holy Ghost. I so testify and leave you with my love.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.