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LDS Church News

BYU-Hawaii: 'In His strength I can do all things'

By Marianne Holman Prescott

LDS Church News

Published: Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:23 a.m. MDT

Brigham Young University-Hawaii president Steven C. Wheelwright along with Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy lead the procession prior to commencement exercises on April 12.

Monique Saenz, BYU-Hawaii University Communications

LAIE, HAWAII

As individuals trust in the Lord and in Heavenly Father, they are able to do anything required of them, Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy told 460 Brigham Young University-Hawaii graduates during commencement exercises on April 12.

“While Satan may be intensifying his efforts, God is literally hastening His holy work. … An essential element of God hastening His work was to send you to earth at this time and in these circumstances,” he said. “He knew the conditions in which you would grow up, and He sent you here now because He saw in you the spiritual gifts and attributes that would be needed in these latter days."

It is important for individuals to remember their divine potential, to expand their vision, have a willingness to change and to trust in God, he taught.

“Heavenly Father knows who you are and what you can become. He sent you to earth with specific talents and gifts — including talents and gifts you haven’t even discovered yet. He has big plans for you, but don’t be surprised if His plans aren’t exactly the same as the plans you have made for yourself. Our Heavenly Father sees more in you than you see in yourself, and His vision for you is greater than you can even imagine.”

Elder Christensen encouraged graduates to think of themselves in terms of service to others, rather than thinking of themselves in terms of their chosen field of study.

“Instead of focusing on just a career, focus on your contribution to the great work of Heavenly Father, who is bringing to pass the immorality and eternal life of His children through every possible means, including you,” he said. “To the extent you willingly engage in the Lord’s work, He will make more out of you than you can ever make of yourself. The fact is that we really cannot comprehend what the Lord has in mind for us. That’s why we have to trust Him — be open to His guidance, to His will, even if it surprises us.”

As disciples of Christ, individuals have the opportunity to experience great spiritual feasts and incomparable adventures in the Lord’s service. They also have the ability to change, and become better.

“Perhaps the most important expression of our faith in Jesus Christ is our willingness to change, to improve, and to aim for things that we have never achieved before,” he said. “Whenever we, as true believers, strive for greatness that seems to be well beyond our powers, we are implicitly saying, ‘I know I can’t do this on my own, but I’m doing it anyway. Why? Because I know that I am not on my own. God is with me. And with Him, nothing shall be impossible.’ ”

As individuals trust in the vision, inspiration and direction that comes from Heavenly Father and His servants, they are able to accomplish all of the great things He has in store for them, he said.

“God will lead you along if you will put your trust in Him,” he said.

Other speakers include Roger G. Christensen, assistant to the commissioner of the Church Educational System and BYU-Hawaii President Steven C. Wheelwright.

mholman@desnews.com