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Harry Potter and the Five Gospel Truths

I testify to you that there is another, greater One who lived, who walked the dusty roads of Galilee, atoned for our sins, was crucified and resurrected, and lives again. This Jesus is not the central character of some great work of literary fiction; He is the central figure in the great plan of redemption, and, in the words of King Benjamin, “there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ” (Mosiah 3:17).

Why Mountains?

As you face the hard and uphill road ahead, please remember that you are not alone. We all face different and yet similar trails. As a reminder, periodically please remember when you look up at Y Mountain to ask yourself the question “Why Mountains?” My prayer is that you will remember that they are there not to befuddle us but to bless us.

Gathering: Education in a Compact Society

You are not here by accident. You have been gathered here by God. Whatever your background, whatever your talents, whatever your challenges or perceived weaknesses, you are a vital part of this gathering. You have something to gain from and something to offer in your interactions with those around you.

The Ongoing Restoration

The power of the Book of Mormon comes in the mighty change that comes into the lives of those who read it “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ” (Moroni 10:4). I believe this is why the Prophet Joseph Smith defined it as “the keystone of our religion.” The Book of Mormon is the engine that powers conversion and a change of heart, leading us closer to Jesus Christ.

The University and the Kingdom of God

This intellectual and spiritual work can be difficult. It can be exhausting. I know some of you are tired. You are not sure you can keep at it. You go ahead and find some stillness today. Gather your strength today. Rest up today, because tomorrow we ride for Zion. And it is not quite Zion if you are not there.

The Gift of Uncertainty

In this life we know only in part, and in fact the more I learn, the more I see that I do not know. But I also believe that God knows us completely, that in our uncertainty we can accept God’s love for us as certain and constant. We may not know how God will turn our stones to light, but we can have hope that God will turn our stones to light.

Choose to Trust the Lord

In walking my path, I have been given the opportunity to choose to love and obey the Lord, even when I have felt sometimes forsaken. I am learning that my faith in the Lord is not conditioned on getting what I want when I want it. Instead, I have worked to develop trust and love for the Lord that is not transactional, but is relational. I love Him for who He is. I trust Him and His love for me. He is my Creator and Savior.

The Transformative Power of Covenants

No matter where we are on the covenant path, regardless of our pace or progress, God loves us and is not willing for any of us to perish. As we journey on the covenant path, the Lord’s long suffering is evidence of his patience and desire to walk the path with us. We are bound to him and he bound to us.

Looking to the Margins: Creating Belonging

What do we see Christ do with the marginalized? As previously mentioned, He ate with them, He walked with them, He cried with them, He healed them, He validated them, and He listened to them. Most important, Christ taught everyone the doctrine of His Father—the doctrine of ultimate liberation: that in Him and through Him alone we are made free from the bondage of sin and death and that in Him we overcome all things.