Devotional speakers in 2018 shared ways we can better love those around us along with personal stories of loss, fear, and renewed faith. Hundreds of thousands read their words and resonated with their counsel. Below are excerpts from and links to the 10 most-viewed speeches given in 2018.
10) Beth Luthy, “The Faith to Do His Will,” June 12
“When things are going well and we are enjoying the magnificent view from the top of a mountain, we have more perspective, and we understand that the long and maybe dangerous climb up the trail to the top was all worth it. The problem is, no one can stay on the top of the mountain for long; eventually all of us must walk down off the mountain and into a deep valley. We have all been there—or will all be there. During those painful times—the times we spend deep in the valley—remember the promise in Psalm 104:10, which reads, “He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.” Think about it: the life-sustaining water is not found on the mountaintop; it is found in the valley.”
9) Ronald A. Rasband, “Integrity of Heart,” March 13
“These are just a few ways you can spot-check your personal integrity. When you leave this sacred school setting, what will you be known for? The time to decide your epitaph is not at the end of your career but at the beginning. Right now. Will you be moral, ethical, and honest?
In Proverbs we read, ‘The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.’ Integrity shapes a legacy, a path for others to follow.
“I remember standing on the cusp of a professional life. Today you are putting down your foundation of a great work—your life. It is up to you to exercise a sense of duty, a recognition of God’s will in your life, and the character best exemplified by the Lord Jesus Christ. Be students of the scriptures and you will discern what the Lord has in mind for you. Apply His word and your life will speak of integrity without duplicity of attitudes or actions.”
8) Kim B. Clark, “Embrace the Plan,” March 20
“Each of you has been given a combination of personality, gifts and talents, experiences, and capacities that is unique in God’s universe. There is no one else like you, and the Lord has a special place in His plan for you.
“If you act with faith in Jesus Christ to embrace the plan, He will direct your path, open doors for you, put you where He wants you, and give you opportunities to serve Him in the greatest of all the causes on the earth—the cause of Christ. You will be the means of bringing hope, joy, happiness, and salvation to your family, to your friends and loved ones, and to literally thousands of God’s children.”
7) Benjamin Ogles, “Agency, Accountability, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” January 30
“To those who have had traumatic experiences, please know there are people—many people—who are concerned for your welfare and many people who have experienced on a personal level what you have experienced. You are not alone. We know that you were unjustly harmed and that you may continue to have negative thoughts and feelings. We know that your view of your own safety and the predictability of the world and people in the world has likely changed. You may feel frightened, damaged, unworthy, ashamed, or helpless at times. Some of you are already on the road to recovery and are beginning to understand that you were not responsible when someone violated your agency and that you are not damaged or worth less because of the incident. You are children of God, and He stands ready to assist you. You are certainly deserving of the title ‘survivor.’ Your healing can occur either with or without professional help, depending on your circumstances. Yet we know the road you now travel is often filled with suffering and doubt, and we are ready to help.”
6) Jeffrey R. Holland, “Banishing All Shadows,” April 26
“So go out there and light a candle. Be a ray of light. Be your best self and let your character shine. Cherish the gospel of Jesus Christ and live it. The world needs you, and surely your Father in Heaven needs you if His blessed purposes for His children are to prevail. You have entered to learn. Now go forth to serve and strengthen. If correcting all the world’s ills seems a daunting task, so be it. Go out there and be undaunted. If we cannot look to you to change the world, tell me to whom we should look.”
5) Sharon Eubank, “Turning Enemies into Friends,” January 23
“If we change our perspective so that caring for the poor and the needy is less about giving stuff away and more about filling the hunger for human contact, providing meaningful conversation, and creating rich and positive relationships, then the Lord can send us someplace. Every single person can do this on his or her own. You don’t need a fund, but it is going to take some commitment. Some people are not going to respond positively, and others are going to put out toxic energy, which just means they are not yet ready for your relationship. There are always humanitarian places that we can’t yet reach. But there are plenty that we can reach.”
4) Jeffrey S. McClellan, “Thy Troubles to Bless,” July 10
“Imperfect faith is still faith. By very definition, faith is incomplete, so if you feel you lack clarity and a sure knowledge, that is okay. That is faith. Be patient with the imperfection of your faith. The incompleteness gives faith its power.
“Faith is a courageous, optimistic response to the ambiguity and adversity of this world. Faith is a choice to believe based on an incomplete and ever-changing body of data. Faith is saying, ‘Even though I am in pain, even though I am confused, even though I don’t hear God’s voice clearly, I still choose to believe. I will wait on the Lord.’
“Patience is hard, especially when we find the waters deep and the night dark. But remember what Moroni said: ‘Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith’ (Ether 12:6, emphasis added). The ‘after’ means we must wait.”
3) Joy D. Jones, “Look unto Him in Every Thought,” August 21
“When enticements come, and they will, Jacob is effectively saying, ‘Be happy! You have agency and you can choose your reaction to everything coming your way’—whether it is the bad driver in front of you, the teenager who comes home after curfew, the police officer who gives you a ticket, the bills that keep piling up and becoming overdue, the pneumonia that just won’t go away, the rebellious big brothers who treat you terribly, the spouse who won’t understand your situation, the washing machine that just quit working, or your daughter who just flunked her history test because she seldom attended class. They are all there for our spiritual growth, if we can see them for what they really are—and then be grateful.”
2) Eric D. Huntsman “Hard Sayings and Safe Spaces,” August 7
“This is the day that the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
We lift our voices in higher praise;
We sing glory, sing glory to God.
We sing glory, sing glory to God.
Hallelujah, we sing the highest praise;
Lord, you’re worthy and we praise your name;
From the rising of your Son,
He’s the only one
That can save us all from sin,
If we let him in.
We sing glory, sing glory to God.
We sing glory, we sing glory,
We sing glory, glory unto God!
[Tony Dyson and Richard Gibbs, “We Sing Glory”; see Be One: A Celebration of the Revelation on the Priesthood, LDS Media Library, 50:15–54:25, arranged by Xavier O’Connor and directed by Gladys Knight.]
“Before we reach such mornings of rejoicing, we must help each other through nights of struggle. We need to love one another as Jesus loves us! Without diluting the doctrine or compromising our standards, we must open our hearts wider, reach out farther, and love more loudly. We must make space for struggle and faith as we await the final victory, which is assured if we come to Jesus Christ.”
1) Neil L. Andersen, “A Holier Approach to Ministering,” April 10
“Unlike changing a flat tire, just one experience rarely fixes a spiritual problem. It takes time, conversations, and encouraging experiences that will help rebuild faith. It comes more like the dew from heaven than a one-time blast from a firehose. You have to minister again and again as you help someone turn back to God and again rely on the Savior and His Atonement.
“To minister in the Lord’s way, we need the help of the Holy Ghost. President Nelson spoke powerfully on this subject in general conference: “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”