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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Students begin their walk to the the Tabernacle for LDS Business College commencement exercises Friday, April 11, 2014 in the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Life is what you make it, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the Seventy told LDS Business College graduates during commencement exercises held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on April 11.

“You can write your own story and choose the kind of person you want to be," he said. "Your attitude about every circumstance that confronts you in life will determine just who and what you become. Your life will be exactly what you make it."

Elder Nielsen, who is a former BYU and NFL quarterback, shared four points of advice to assist graduates in their futures.

1. Trust in and love Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

"Do you seek and desire their companionship every day?" he asked. "Kneeling humbly by your bed morning and evening, inviting them into your life, will help you develop a lifelong friendship and association with them that will protect and enable you. Do you invite them into your life in every activity and pursuit? I encourage you to envision them at your side as you text, sit at the computer, watch TV or view a movie."

Elder Nielsen invited graduates to stand in holy places and to create an atmosphere in their lives in which Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost feel completely comfortable.

2. Follow the Lord's chosen leaders.

"We just finished general conference," he said. "What did you learn from our prophets and other leaders? I invite you to study their words. Their counsel will show you where you need to focus your attention. They are in tune with the Lord's mind and will."

3. Pay a full tithe.

"Tithing is the Lord's law of finance, and obedience to His laws brings blessings," he said. "I want you to be happy and successful as eternal beings navigating this temporal world. ... While the blessings promised may not always be strictly temporal, I know that the Lord will keep His end of the bargain. He promises heaven's help, and the Lord's blessings are always far greater than we can comprehend."

4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.

"Keeping the Sabbath holy by reverencing His day and worshipping Him shows our love for the Lord and fortifies us for the six days in between," he taught.

As individuals follow those four points, Elder Nielsen said their lives will become "exactly what you make it — extraordinary! Your story will have a happy ending and you will develop all it takes to triumph over each challenge that confronts you."

Elder Nielsen shared examples of graduates from LDS Business College who, despite difficulties, showed courage and conviction to get to where they are in life.

“No two people are alike, and regardless of our circumstances, each of us has a divine mission to fulfill. ... While it is up to each of us to make our lives what they can become, the Lord has blessed us with many resources and we're truly never alone."

This year's graduating class included 448 students from around the United States and almost 60 countries around the globe. Other speakers included LDS Business College President J. Lawrence Richards and Distinguished Alumnus recipient Randall S. Burgoyne.


The LDS Church News is an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The publication's content supports the doctrines, principles and practices of the Church.