BYU Easter Conference: “Walking in the Light of His Love”
Contributed By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer
- One can come to know Christ through emulating the Savior and observing God’s covenants.
- We can emulate the life of the Master by doing ordinary things with great intent.
“When we hold our character to the light of the Son, He will show us the truth of who we are and correct our course so we can make adjustments to more accurately reflect His light.” —Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt, BYU assistant professor
Approaching Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt after a class at Brigham Young University on the New Testament, a student expressed concern that he not be among “the very elect” deceived in the last days as stated in Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:22.
“How will I know Him?” the student asked.
Sister Platt asked, “Do you know Him now? Is He familiar to you?”
“His eyes filled with tears,” she recounted in her address at the 2015 Easter Conference at BYU on March 27. She said the student responded that he didn’t think he knew the Savior as he should. “Please teach me how I can come to recognize Him,” was his request.
“His honest inquiry is reflective of every disciple’s desire,” remarked Sister Platt, a visiting assistant professor of ancient scripture at BYU. “How can a sincere seeker of truth come to know and recognize Jesus Christ so he or she is not deceived?”
She gave the answer: “Simply stated, those that emulate the Savior by walking in the light of His love, observe God’s covenants with real intent, and follow the Holy Ghost with humility will be protected from deception. The Savior establishes a pattern of obedience for us to follow.”
She told of Edward LeRoy Hart’s reminiscence about writing the text for the hymn “Our Savior’s Love.” His inspiration came from observing shoppers assess the true color of a piece of fabric by holding it up to sunlight.
“Likewise, the most accurate assessment of whether something is true or not is in the light of our Savior’s love,” she said. “When we hold our character to the light of the Son, He will show us the truth of who we are and correct our course so we can make adjustments to more accurately reflect His light.”
She added that the challenge is to prioritize one’s time to form works in the natural light of the Lord rather than in artificial light of the adversary. “As we seek daily to walk in the light of His love, we come to recognize Him, know Him, and pattern our lives after His works, while becoming worthy receptacles of His light.”
Responding to an invitation given in general conference by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Sister Platt began to study the missionary guide Preach My Gospel. Chapter 6, “How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes?” invites the reader to reflect upon one’s fallen nature and ponder how to conquer the natural man through the Atonement of Christ by seeking to acquire His attributes.
“Through my study of attributes such as faith, charity, humility, and hope, I recognize the intentionality of the Savior in His teachings,” she said. “While being deliberate and purposeful is not one of the listed attributes in the manual, I believe the attribute of being intentional shapes all other Christlike attributes.”
Sister Platt said that bringing meaning to day-to-day tasks helps one to walk in the light of Christ’s love. “Consider a ritual as performing an act with sacredness by seeking for symbolic meaning,” she said. “Seeking for meaning in rituals helps us to internalize the intent of Christ’s message. Rituals lead us to conversion. Converted disciples walk in Christ’s light and are not deceived.”
Quoting human development scholar Barbara Fiese, Sister Platt said a ritual has three separate parts: preparation, participation, and reminiscence.
“Any ordinary occurrence can become sacred when the act is planned for, participated in with purpose, and then reminisced,” she said. “This can be applied to making your bed, driving the carpool, studying for an exam, eating a meal with a loved one, studying the scriptures, praying—everything we do. We can emulate the life of the Master by doing ordinary things with great intent.”
She explored the events of the final hours of Christ’s life. “The sacrament is our reminder of His sacrifice as we renew our covenantal commitment to walk with Him,” she said. “How can we approach this invitation to the Lord’s supper with greater intention, performing it as a sacred ritual, rich in symbolic meaning? First we must come to understand the richness of its meaning.”