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by Jessica Lawrence, Church News
Elder Evan A. Schmutz, a General Authority Seventy, taught BYU–Hawaii students about the divine example of the Savior for them to follow, quoting President M. Russell Ballard, interim president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, from 2001 : “Just as the Savior stepped up to fulfill his divine responsibilities, we are challenged and responsible to do the same.” As people accept their own unique responsibilities, Elder Schmutz said, they are promised to become more like the Savior.
“The question I hope to raise in your hearts and minds this morning is whether you will respond when the Spirit calls you saying, ‘Here I am, send me’ (Abraham 3:27). Another way of saying this could be, will they make themselves available to the Lord? he said.
Elder Schmutz reminded attendees that before they came to earth, they were taught how to do this: how to find success in this life and how to return to Heavenly Father’s presence.
He told the students of the potential they have to have a great impact on society if they make the Lord their priority. “By the decisions you make and your willingness to take upon yourself the yoke of the Saviour, you can alter the path of your lives and set the course for your posterity.”
Elder Schmutz spoke to BYU–Hawaii students and faculty members on Tuesday, May 23. He was joined by his wife, Sister Cindy L. Schmutz. They discussed the importance of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints making themselves available to the Lord.
Making time for God requires a conscious effort.
Quoting the late President Spencer W. Kimball, Elder Schmutz reminded students that they were predestined to come to earth at this time. Not only that, but they were given certain tasks that they would eventually be responsible for fulfilling during their lifetime.
He advised how students can do their special assignments. “We just have to be willing to make ourselves available to the Lord, be willing to act when the call or inspiration comes, and be prepared to the best of our ability,” Elder Schmutz said. “But that requires a conscious effort.”
There are blessings for those who make themselves available to the Lord.
“If you always make yourself available to the Lord, He will bless you with courage, and your example will be a source of joy and strength to your children and your children’s children for generations to come,” he said. “Jesus Christ is the great example of this principle.”
God does not look for qualifications, but will
In order to carry out God’s unique plan for His children, Elder Schmutz explained, they must be willing to make themselves available to the Lord.
“Are you willing to make yourself available to God?” he asked. “Are you willing to listen to the whisperings of the Spirit and say, ‘Here I am, send me’?”
Elder Schmutz recognized that sometimes it can be easy to feel unable to serve God. However, he advised the audience that he know that it is not grades that the Lord is looking for, but rather his willingness to give of his time.
“The Lord cares less about our ability and much more about our availability,” he said, and that whoever the Lord calls, he will qualify. So instead of worrying about talent, or lack of talent, ability or lack of ability, God would help his children in whatever capacity they find themselves in. Elder Schmutz encouraged: “The willingness of the heart is more appreciated by the Lord than an impressive resume. ”
How to make time for the Lord
“How do we make ourselves available?” asked Elder Schmutz. “It can be as simple as making room for the Lord in our lives by being where He has called us to be and opening our lives and our spaces to Him.”
Making time for the Lord could be seen as a number of things, such as repenting daily, reflecting frequently on covenants, magnifying Church callings, and making temple worship a priority. But the main way Elder Schmutz told the audience that they can make time for the Lord is by responding to the Lord’s call rather than making excuses.
Being intentional in praying with God is a suggestion offered by Elder Schmutz. “We must be intentional in our prayers to let the Lord know, day after day, with real intent, that we want to serve him, whatever the impulse or assignment,” he said.
“We should try to learn line by line, precept by precept, a little here and a little there what the Lord wants us to do,” Elder Schmutz said, vowing that “if we listen to the counsel of the Lord, we will do it.” learn wisdom.”
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