Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk to the Church’s global cadre of young adults ages 18 to 30 addressed on Sunday night several major concerns that may cause some of them to shy away from a life committed to faith or religious community.
In his evening address, which originated from Utah Valley University in Orem, the apostle said some avoid organized religion because such a commitment would prevent the pursuit of other possibilities in life. This is a natural inclination, he admitted, because everyone wants to choose and experience the best things in life.
“But to delay seemingly forever making a choice or commitment because it might mean missing out on something else, possibly better, is not rational,” Elder Christofferson said. “Every choice forecloses other possibilities. … Unless you make a choice and commit to a certain direction, your life will be pretty erratic, and in the end, you will in fact miss out on most of the very best things.”
Others, he said, choose not to follow the path of faith because of a kind of integrity: They don’t want to make long-term and serious commitments they aren’t sure they will keep. Elder Christofferson reminded this audience of mostly young adult Saints that the essence of a religious life is faith in God — including faith that God will provide constant help along the long road of life.
“We need not live in fear of failure. We are not alone. We are not without help,” he said. “Anyone who truly does commit to Christ, to full discipleship, cannot fail. … [Our God is] actively involved on our side, providing constant help, guidance, and resources, and would probably give us more if we would accept it.”
Elder Christofferson noted that, still, others do not embrace a life devoted to a religious community because the sacrifice required seems too exacting. But the nature of such sacrifice, he said, is that where some doors close, others — more meaningful and more grand — open.
“Rather than fear the sacrifices of discipleship, we should welcome the opportunity to grow in spiritual power, to experience deeper joy, and to find, each of us, real meaning in our life,” the apostle said. “Sacrifice, especially sacrificing in the cause of Christ, denotes seriousness — we truly are going to keep the two great commandments to love God and neighbor. Sacrifice means that we really will do some good in the world.”
Elder Christofferson reminded these Saints of the blessing (both to themselves and to others) of belonging to the body of Christ. He left them with an invitation to follow the way of Jesus Christ, noting that is the most important commitment they can make.
“Truly see those around you and be seen so that yours will be a life well-lived, a life of ministering and blessing and satisfaction, a life blessed and sanctified by the Savior who has overcome all things,” he said. “Mortality is so short. Make this time count so that your eternity will be one of joy, not regret. Do you not feel the Spirit telling you that this is right? Then go forward with confidence.”