Elder Neil L. Andersen: Learn lessons from the butterfly

Published: Sunday, Jan. 6 2013 11:44 p.m. MST

Sister Kathy Andersen and her husband, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve, speak Sunday.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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NORTH SALT LAKE — Individuals can learn spiritual lessons from a monarch butterfly, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said during a devotional in the Bountiful Regional Center on Sunday night.

Introduced by his grandson, Clayton Hadlock, a junior at Bountiful High School, Elder Andersen spoke to seminary students in the Bountiful, Utah area.

Recognizing the new year, Elder Andersen began his talk by inviting all of the students to read the Book of Mormon.

"If I could convince you, persuade you, implore you, to on your own — not just with your family, not just in seminary, not because someone ask you to do it but because you wanted to, something you didn't even report to anyone — that if you would actually read the Book of Mormon, it could be a year you would always remember and would set a foundation with you that would stay with you forever."

Elder Andersen invited his wife, Kathy, to share her experience of reading the Book of Mormon six times in one academic year as a tenth grader in high school, and what impact that action has had upon her life ever since.

"I have read this book many, many times since then and bear testimony that this book is true," she said.

Elder Andersen also invited Clayton M. Christensen, Harvard business professor and a well-known expert on innovation and growth, to share his personal experience of gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon while attending Oxford University in England. Christensen spoke of his desire to know if the Book of Mormon was true, so he devoted time and effort to figure out his beliefs.

"If the book was true, I would commit my life to the gospel, and if it was not true, I was going to commit my life to finding what was true," he said.

He said that it was in England that he gained the "most tangible, useful knowledge" he has — to know the Book of Mormon is true.

Elder Andersen added his witness, saying that although there are many purposes of the Book of Mormon, the greatest purpose is to teach individuals that Jesus is the Christ.

Elder Andersen encouraged all to kneel by their bed, alone when no one is looking, and ask for themselves if the book is true.

"That manifestation comes usually line upon line," he said. "My understanding of the Book of Mormon is clear, it is a physical manifestation of God's love for us. That Jesus is the Christ and that he knows us and he has restored this gospel."

After inviting the youth to read the Book of Mormon, Elder Andersen held up a jar with a fake butterfly fluttering around in it. He shared four spiritual lessons individuals can learn from the monarch butterfly.

All are children of God with eternal possibilities available to them.

To become what God would have an individual become, they will need the gifts of the Savior and their own correct choices.

Spiritual gifts and sensitivities are very delicate, and must be refined.

As an individual sees beyond themselves, they begin to see who the Lord would have them become.

Email: mholman@deseretnews.com

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