February 4, 2019

A Personal Invitation to Participate in Seminary and Institute

President Russell M. Nelson

My dear young friends, how the Lord loves you! And how I love you!

These are exciting days. The Lord is hastening His work right before our eyes. It is thrilling. It is rigorous. More is required from each of us—more than ever before. And more is being given.

My dear youth, I’ve been thrilled with reports of experiences you have had as you have followed through on my five invitations to you. If you did not participate in the devotional or accept my invitations, I urge you to review that broadcast. Care enough about your life and your future to complete those five invitations now.

And you young adults, your ability to be smarter and wiser and have more impact on the world than any previous generation is completely dependent upon the level of your devotion to Jesus Christ. The more you follow Him, the more successful you will be.

Today my message is to you who are of seminary and institute age. On a personal note, I’ll confess that I like to figure out formulas. I like to figure out key elements of a situation and how to combine them to guarantee success. For example, when I was a young heart surgeon, I learned that one could temporarily stop the human heart by changing the ratio of sodium to potassium in the blood nourishing the heart. Then to start the heart again, we simply restored that sodium/potassium ratio to normal. It works every time. It is one of those many divine laws that doctors learn to obey.

Not all formulas are quite as important as that one. I will confess once more. When I play Scrabble with my wife on our iPad, I’ve figured out a formula that will almost always bring a “bingo”! Notice I said “almost always.” With this formula, there is no guarantee. (Most of the time, she is the winner.)

Well, here’s a formula for your life that will work every time. It is this: The closer you come to your Heavenly Father and to Jesus Christ by obeying Their commandments and by keeping covenants you have made with Them, the happier you will be. As you live by the standards taught in For the Strength of Youth (which are wonderful guidelines for both youth and young adults), the easier it will be for you to distance yourself from extreme fashions, false philosophies, and relentless temptations of the world. Doing these things will enhance your capacity to be a positive influence among your friends, family members, and others. This formula will work every time. Simply stated, the more you follow the example of Jesus Christ, the more successful you will be.

What, then, will help you become such a devout disciple of Jesus Christ? One answer is seminary and institute—not just attending but actively participating in class and faithfully following through with any assignments given.

A few weeks ago, a young man and a young woman each spoke during sacrament meeting of how they now know that they are responsible for their own gospel learning. Their messages moved all who were listening to want to try harder with our own gospel study, gospel teaching, gospel learning, and gospel living.

Seminary and institute can help you with yours. With the new 2019 home-centered, Church-supported curriculum, each of you is responsible to help teach the gospel in your home to those with whom you live.

Seminary and institute will help you remodel your home to become a sanctuary of faith—a place where the gospel of Jesus Christ is taught, learned, lived, and loved. Wherever you live, that dwelling can become a place where true disciples of Jesus Christ reside. There you can seek refuge from the storms of life and increase your love of the Lord and for each other.

My dear brothers and sisters, the “veil o’er the earth”1 is continuing to burst, and one of the deep desires of my heart is for you to receive all that the Lord is ready to reveal to you. Seminary and institute will help you.

Graduating from seminary and institute will increase your ability to excel in the most important things you will ever do in life. True joy will be yours! I so testify, with my expression of love for each of you, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

1 See “The Spirit of God,” Hymns, no. 2.