You Are Not Your Past Self, Elder Cardon Tells BYU–Hawaii Students
Contributed By Marianne Holman Prescott, Church News staff writer
- Recognize your own gifts and find joy in them rather than comparing yourself to others.
- Don’t confine your present self to your past self—you know more than you used to.
- Don’t pretend life is something it’s not, but continue in faith no matter your current reality.
“Determine now that the sacred record of your testimony will not be lost to future generations.” —Elder Craig A. Cardon, General Authority Seventy
“Determine now that you will be a faithful link in your family’s multigenerational commitment to the Lord and His restored gospel,” Elder Craig A. Cardon, General Authority Seventy, told Brigham Young University–Hawaii students during a campus devotional on October 3.
Sharing an experience he had with his college-age grandchildren during a special family meeting, Elder Cardon spoke of the challenges facing young adults today and offered three prevalent, summary statements, followed by a few comments and observations that came as a result of counseling with his grandchildren.
Elder Cardon shared the items of counsel—in both the practical and doctrinal context—as a way to help BYU–Hawaii students as they face challenges today.
1. “Don’t compare yourself to others”
“You have been blessed with qualities, talents, and gifts particular to you,” he said. “Learn to recognize them and find joy in them.”
Elder Cardon said that each individual follows a unique timetable and path.
“Spiritual and temporal blessings will come at different times and in different ways, so gain confidence in that reality and don’t compare yourself to others,” he said. “Realize that what the Lord wants you to do at this time may not be what others are doing at the same point in their lives. Yes, there are basic principles to be followed, but learn to trust the Lord and rely on His timetable for you.”
Pointing out that no one excels at every subject or skill in life, Elder Cardon encouraged listeners to “do what you can do, given the circumstances you are in.” He also reminded listeners that every person has the potential to become like Heavenly Father.
“Your measure is not against others, but against your developing self, including your faithfulness in acting upon the direction the Lord gives you,” he said.
Elder Craig A. Cardon, General Authority Seventy, speaks during a campus devotional at Brigham Young University–Hawaii on October 3. Photo by Monique Saenz.
2. “Don’t limit your present self to your past self”
“If we are not careful, we allow the adversary to convince us we are someone we are not, somehow causing us to believe that we cannot progress and are incapable of following God’s laws and receiving His blessings,” he said. “The adversary may even try to convince you that you cannot or should not go beyond your family’s past levels of education or spiritual awareness or economic horizons.”
As a person learns, matures, and improves as he or she progresses through life, the Lord will bless them with new opportunities.
“You are now more able to face challenges and questions than you were in the past,” he said. “You don’t know it all, but you know more than you used to know. Your minds and your abilities to reason, analyze, and make decisions are increasing, just as your capacities to spiritually recognize the voice of the Lord and to respond to His direction are increasing.”
Elder Cardon encouraged listeners to “be cautious,” as they move forward with increased understanding.
“The secular worlds will try to convince you there is no absolute truth,” he said. “But there is. Heavenly Father has revealed His divine truth and His plan of happiness.”
Brigham Young University–Hawaii students gather for a campus devotional on October 3. Photo by Monique Saenz.
3. “Acknowledgement of a reality”
Using depression as an example, Elder Cardon encouraged listeners to recognize the realities of a situation but to still continue in faith.
“Because there are many things beyond our control, you find joy not from controlling the circumstances, but from relying on the Lord, knowing there will be moments of joy and affirmation from Him,” he said. “One of our granddaughters said that when she sometimes feels depressed, she says to herself, ‘Everything will be OK in the end, and things are not OK now, so it is not the end.’ Just remember to keep doing the ‘little things’ and know that joy will come. …
“To have strength in times of trial and wisdom in times of uncertainty, you must do as the Lord invites you to do and read your scriptures every day and say your prayers every day. There are no substitutes.”
Elder Cardon encouraged listeners to continue in faith in their position and role in their own multigenerational families.
“Whether you are the only recipient of the gospel in your family, a first-generation gospel recipient, like Alma, or whether you are further down the multigenerational chain, like Nephi, the son of Nephi; whether you are currently single or married, whether you have children or have none, determine now that you will be a faithful link in your family’s multigenerational commitment to the Lord and His restored gospel. …
“Determine now that the sacred record of your testimony will not be lost to future generations. Determine now that no matter the challenges that will befall you, you will remain faithful to the Lord, ‘saviors on Mount Zion’ to past generations, and a beacon of truth and light to future generations.”
Sister Deborah Cardon introduces her husband, Elder Craig A. Cardon, prior to his address during the campus devotional at Brigham Young University–Hawaii on October 3. Photo by Monique Saenz.