'Follow the prophet' Elder Walker tells young adults

By Marianne Holman

Deseret News

Published: Sunday, May 5 2013 11:33 p.m. MDT

REXBURG — Individuals will become more faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ as they emulate the life of President Thomas S. Monson, prophet for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Elder William R. Walker of the Seventy during a Church Educational System devotional on Sunday evening.

The broadcast originated from the BYU-Idaho Center on the Brigham Young University-Idaho campus in Rexburg, Idaho, and was translated into many languages for young adults around the world.

"As [President Monson] has crisscrossed the world, I've been blessed to be there to witness his great love for people — not just members of the Church, but all people," said Elder Walker, who serves as executive director of the Temple Department. "I've witnessed his constant warmth and friendliness, his Christlike tenderness and sensitivity — especially for the children, the aged and the infirm. Many times, as I've watched President Monson, I've had the impression, 'That is the way the Savior would act. That is the way the Savior would treat people.' "

It is the Church leader's never-ending enthusiasm, drive, determination and joy in life that helps him fulfill his assignment to serve the Lord and do as the Savior would have him do as the prophet, said Elder Walker. "He never tires of doing the work of the Lord."

Elder Walker shared five ways individuals can follow the life and teachings of President Monson.

1. Be positive and happy.

"On one occasion, President Monson said: 'We can choose to have a positive attitude. We can't direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. In other words, we can choose to be happy and positive, regardless of what comes our way,' " Elder Walker said.

Even with the weight of the whole Church on his shoulders, President Monson is an example of happiness and always has a positive attitude, he said.

2. Be kind and loving toward children.

"Jesus spoke often of children," Elder Walker said. "His prophet, President Monson, speaks often of children as well, and I've particularly seen at temple dedications how he loves children and, by his example, teaches us how to treat them."

Sharing his experiences of traveling with President Monson to different temple dedications, Elder Walker said the prophet loves to include children in cornerstone ceremonies.

"He makes it fun for them," he said. "He makes it memorable for them. He always has a big smile for them. He encourages and commends them. … His warm greetings to the children include high fives, wiggling of his ears and encouragement to serve missions and marry in the temple. He really enjoys life — and shouldn't we all?"

3. We can follow the promptings of the Spirit, like President Monson.

President Monson is known for his devotion to the Lord and his commitment to following the promptings of the Spirit, Elder Walker said.

Drawing from President Monson's words he said, "'The sweetest experience I know in life is to feel a prompting and act upon it, and later find out that it was the fulfillment of someone's prayer or someone's need. And I always want the Lord to know that if He needs an errand run — Tom Monson will run that errand for Him.' That is a pattern that each of us should want to follow."

4. We can love the temple, as President Monson loves the temple.

"President Monson will go down in history as one of the great temple builders in the history of the Church," Elder Walker said. "Since becoming president of the Church in February 2008, he has continued the great work of building temples. Some of the temples that he has announced have been among the most historic."

Since he was sustained as prophet, President Monson has announced plans to build 33 new temples. Currently there are 141 operating temples, with 29 under construction or in planning stages.

5. We can be kind, considerate and love others, as President Monson does.

"President Monson is a wonderful example of loving others," Elder Walker said. "His entire ministry has been filled with visits to homes, placing his hands on heads and giving blessings, making unexpected phone calls to comfort and encourage, sending letters of commendation and appreciation, visits to hospitals and care centers, and finding the time to go to funerals and viewings despite a very busy schedule."

Just as the Savior would do, President Monson has gone about doing good, blessing and loving others as if that has been the driving force in his life, Elder Walker said.

"President Monson has taught us the way to live our lives with his wonderful and inspiring messages at general conference," he said. "He has taught us how to be followers of Jesus Christ by his remarkable and wonderful personal example. Truly, the Lord has given us a pattern in all things, and one of the patterns that we should seek to follow is that of our beloved prophet."

email: mholman@desnews.com

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