Neil L. Andersen
The Liahona Magazine

“Come unto Me”: The Spiritual Quest of All Our Lives

Learning to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ continues throughout all of your life.
Christ calling Peter and Andrew

As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we rejoice in His invitation: “Come unto me.” He invites us to take His “yoke upon [us], and learn of [Him]” (Matthew 11:28–29). This means we believe in Him and gladly embrace His name, His teachings, and His commandments.

We all come to earth with different talents and qualities, and we all have unique life experiences. But for all of us, placing Jesus Christ first in our lives is the quest of all our lives. Through a lifetime of faith, study, prayer, and repentance, we come to know and love Him more and more.

We live in this world full of challenges and distractions. To keep our focus on eternal things, to live a life of faith in Jesus Christ, and to experience continual conversion through the many decades of life requires our courage and commitment, along with help from heaven.

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Find Strength in Ordinances and Covenants

A major help from heaven comes in the form of temple ordinances and covenants that keep us “grounded, rooted, established, and settled”1 in our quest to come unto the Savior.

President Russell M. Nelson has taught that “entering into a covenant relationship with God binds us to Him in a way that makes everything about life easier.” He did not say that making covenants makes life easy, “but yoking yourself with the Savior means you have access to His strength and redeeming power.”2

Some may wonder why the Lord directs His prophet to build and dedicate so many temples across the earth. In this increasingly chaotic world, the safety and reminders of our ordinances and covenants are essential. They will keep us moving forward on what we now call the covenant path.

President Nelson said: “The ordinances of the temple and the covenants you make there are key to strengthening your life, your marriage and family, and your ability to resist the attacks of the adversary. Your worship in the temple … will fortify your commitment to stay on the covenant path.”3

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Live Worthy of the Holy Ghost

I have always loved these words from the Apostle Paul written almost 2,000 years ago but still incredibly true today:

“The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

“Now we have received … the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

“Which things … the Holy Ghost teacheth. …

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:11–14).

Spiritual truths and guidance from the Holy Ghost cannot be fully described in words. They are “the deep things of God”(verse 10), “prepared for them that love him” (verse 9).

As we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost at baptism, we must strive to live worthy of its constant influence by watching what we do, what we say, and with whom we share our time. In doing so, spiritual light will come with more sureness to our souls, allowing us to “not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (verse 5).

President Nelson has counseled us to choose “to refrain from anything that drives the Spirit away”4 and “to do the spiritual work required to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and hear the voice of the Spirit more frequently and more clearly.”5

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Hold On to Spiritual Experiences

When Paul recalled his powerful conversion while traveling to Damascus, he said, “Suddenly there shone from heaven a great light” (Acts 22:6)—so bright that he was blinded—and he heard the Lord’s voice.

Interestingly, those with Paul also saw the light but did not hear the voice (see Acts 22:9). Why not? Did they believe Paul, or did they attempt to convince him that he had imagined the experience?

After special spiritual experiences, some may question, “Did I really feel that?” or “Might I just be imagining it?” But those who are wise, like Paul, do not forget or set aside spiritual experiences. They hold on to them and keep them close to their memory.

In the years following the First Vision, the Prophet Joseph Smith faced frequent opposition and persecution, yet he continued to boldly testify that the Father and the Son had appeared to him. “I knew it,” Joseph said, “and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it” (Joseph Smith—History 1:25).

Joseph never forgot or denied his spiritual experiences. He held on to them all his life. In difficult times, his memory would reach back to those moments to reassure him of God’s love and strengthen him in the work the Lord had given him to do.

We may never see a heavenly vision or physically hear the Lord’s voice, but spiritual experiences do come. We must hold on to them. They strengthen us in our quest to come unto Christ, and our conversion continues.

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Choose Faith

As a mission president, when missionaries would come and tell me that things were hard, I would often share with them the difficulties of the Apostle Paul and what we can learn from his trials.

Paul tells us that five times he was beaten with stripes and three times with rods. He was stoned once and experienced three shipwrecks (see 2 Corinthians 11:24–25). In his journeyings, Paul confronted “perils of waters, … perils of robbers,” and “perils by [his] own countrymen, … by the heathen,” and even by “false brethren.” He was driven out of cities, imprisoned, and suffered “weariness and painfulness,” “hunger and thirst,” and “cold and nakedness” (2 Corinthians 11:26–27).

Few people will have trials as intense as Paul’s, but we will all have them. No one is immune. And often trials come when we least expect them. How did Paul hold on through the “afflictions,” “distresses,” “tumults,” and “labours” he endured? (2 Corinthians 6:4–5). Paul could be “sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing,” and “[have] nothing, and yet [possess] all things” (2 Corinthians 6:10), because he chose faith in Jesus Christ.

It is not so difficult to choose faith in Jesus Christ when we feel spiritually energized, but we must also choose faith when life becomes difficult. We will find that the Savior does not stand at the end of our quest and simply wait for us to come unto Him. Rather, He stands beside us and points the way. Indeed, He is the way (see John 14:6). President Nelson has said, “The Savior liftsus above the pull of this fallen world by blessing us with greater charity, humility, generosity, kindness, self-discipline, peace, and rest.”6

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His Promises Will Be Fulfilled

I am grateful for my sure knowledge that Jesus is the Christ. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our beloved Friend, and our Advocate. Throughout my life, I have increasingly come to feel of His love and of His living reality. I testify that coming to know and love Him is a sacred privilege of mortality.

When we come unto Jesus Christ, He promises us a remission of our sins, a “newness of life” (Romans 6:4), and “rest unto [our] souls” (Matthew 11:29). Ultimately, He promises us eternal life with Him, His Father, His devoted disciples, and our righteous family members forever.

In a future day, we will kneel at His feet. On that day, our souls will rejoice when He fulfills all His promises to those who have come unto Him with “full purpose of heart” (3 Nephi 18:32), grown in their love for Him, and sought to feel His divine presence throughout their lives.

It will be a most holy, crowning moment on our spiritual journey!

Discover More

You can find more articles like this in the August 2023 Liahona.


1.nullNeal A. Maxwell, “Overcome … Even As I Also Overcame,” Ensign, May 1987, 70; see also Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 1:23; 2:7; 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Peter 1:12.
2. Russell M. Nelson, “Overcome the World and Find Rest,” Liahona, Nov. 2022, 97.
3. Russell M. Nelson, “As We Go Forward Together,” Liahona, Apr. 2018, 7.
4. Russell M. Nelson, “Overcome the World and Find Rest,” 96.
5.nullRussell M. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” Liahona, May 2018, 96.
6. Russell M. Nelson, “Overcome the World and Find Rest,” 97.

Neil L. Andersen
Neil L. Andersen
Neil L. Andersen was called as an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 4, 2009.