Meeting the Prophet Taught me to Stop Overthinking the Gospel

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Digital Only: Young Adults

Meeting the Prophet Taught Me to Stop Overthinking the Gospel

We tend to complicate the gospel so much, when it’s actually really simple.

The author lives in New South Wales, Australia.

Australia: Pacific ministry tour - Youth Meeting

Australian young adults pose for a photograph with President and Sister Nelson and President and Sister Haleck.

As a young person trying to find God, it was really hard to believe we had prophets living on the earth today. It felt so complicated and confusing. But almost two years later, as a committed convert to the Church, I found it even harder to believe that I was one of the 15 young adults in Sydney, Australia, chosen to meet with President Russell M. Nelson for a question-and-answer session.

It was an experience that will always bring a smile to my face and tears of joy every time I flashback to it.

We were all anxious to meet him and even more nervous to hear what he had to say to us as young adults. I imagined the answers he would give to our questions to be deep and elaborate, and I wondered if I was ready to hear and understand his words. With the amount of nerves flowing through us, we all decided to say a prayer to help us be more at ease and to invite the Spirit.

The moment when President Nelson walked into the room was so surreal. We have always been taught that prophets receive revelation from God and share it with the world, helping everyone to come unto Christ. We see them speak at general conference. But seeing and speaking with him in person is a different experience.

Here he was—a humble, loving prophet of God. The Spirit he brought into the room was so powerful. We all stood in silence, hesitant to smile or speak, but as he walked over with a huge grin and told us how happy he was to meet us, we were all filled with so much joy and peace. I could feel his sincere humility and the love he had for each of us as he shook our hands and gave us all a tender smile.

We began asking him questions about young adults in the Church, and one particular question stood out to me the most. We asked, “As young adults, we often struggle to encourage our families and friends to take part in the gospel. How can we do better at sharing the gospel with them?” President Nelson took a moment to think and then said two words: ”Be attractive.” And he went on: “Be an example and be faithful.”

That was it—a simple yet thoughtful and true message. His simple words were deeply imprinted on our minds and hearts. I realized in that moment that as young single adults, we tend to complicate and overthink the gospel so much, when truly the guidelines from the Spirit and from our prophets are simple, straightforward, and they hold so many promises of blessings.

I realized in that moment how President Nelson had become so humble and spiritual: from constantly practicing living the gospel of Jesus Christ. And all we have to do is the same. Do those little things each day that draw us closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ: attending church and the temple, reading the scriptures, praying with a sincere heart, and ultimately being kind and loving toward everyone we meet. Those small, everyday acts are the keys to mastering the art of becoming true disciples of Christ, strengthening our bond with Him, and sharing His truth with others.

We should simply strive be the best version of ourselves, and those small simple things will lead to big results. Yes, the world is complicated, and yes, it’s easy to overthink so many things in life, but God’s plan is simple, and when we follow it, it makes life more simple. By taking the prophet’s guidance to heart and doing our best to become like our Savior Jesus Christ each day, our mere examples of faith will change the lives around us.