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Elder and Sister Stevenson Teach Young Adult Saints How to Find Vision and Balance in Life

The couple speaks from This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City

The location was part of the message at a worldwide devotional for young adults on Sunday, May 2, 2021.

Elder Gary E. Stevenson and his wife, Lesa, spoke from the new Pioneer Center at This Is the Place Heritage Park at the foot of the mountains to the east in Salt Lake City. As they began their message to those ages 18 to 30 from a spot that honors the earliest members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Stevenson turned the sights seen through the vaulted glass that overlooks the park’s central pioneer monument into a metaphor.

“This elevated view, coupled with our understanding of the past, expands and informs our perspective of the vision of the pioneers,” said Elder Stevenson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “It can also serve as a metaphor to help deepen our personal gospel vision and guide us as we face the decisions and challenges in our lives.”

Sister Stevenson told young adults that their vision for life should be shaped the way it was for those early Church members in Utah—namely, by what the teachings of Jesus Christ tell them about life’s purpose. “You are blessed with a gospel perspective. Your advantage is to see your mortal journey with a view that is literally heavenly,” she said.

Elder Stevenson encouraged listeners to carefully consider where they have been and where they are headed in life. He said his life as a businessman taught him the importance of adapting along the way.

“Vision needs to be adjusted regularly and routinely,” said the Apostle, whose own career began as an importer of brass giftware and later as a large provider of fitness products. “[Success in our business] required a lot of luck and adjustment to our vision in between. Abandoning and creating a new plan, reinvention and adjustment is a strength, not a weakness.”

Elder Stevenson, quoting a well-known teaching from former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), said balance in life comes through a measured focus on home and family, education and employment, God and church, and oneself.

Home and Family

“It is important that you not neglect family,” Sister Stevenson said. Quoting President Hinckley, she added, “Nothing you have is more precious. It is the family relationship which you will take into the life beyond.”

She also pointed to recent counsel from Church President Russell M. Nelson to “diligently work to remodel our homes into a center of gospel learning.”

Education and Employment

“Education, of course, enhances your employability. Work allows you to care for yourself, your family and others,” Elder Stevenson said. “Employment leads to self-reliance, both temporal and spiritual. In your work environment you have an obligation to your employer to be honest and loyal, to provide expected results for which you are compensated. You strive to be your very best in your job or profession.”

“To be the best for you and your family, it helps to be the best at your job,” Sister Stevenson added. “Both are linked together closely, and balance between the two is critical. More and more employers, sociologists and business consultants are recognizing the benefits of work-life balance.”

God and Church

“This is one of the main purposes of why we each came to earth,” Elder Stevenson said. “We are here to love, honor, obey and serve Him and our Heavenly Father’s children, our brothers and sisters throughout the world. The Lord needs our efforts and talents to build His kingdom.”

“Lay leadership and service are two of the distinguishing elements of the restored Church of Jesus Christ,” Sister Stevenson said. “Each of you will be asked to contribute to the kingdom in various ways. The calls which come to you and others in your family, may come at times which may not seem convenient. Nevertheless, ‘if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work’” (Doctrine and Covenants 4:3).

Oneself

“Life can be so busy,” Sister Stevenson said. “It’s important that we slow down at times to recharge and take a closer look at our own personal needs, like rest, exercise, recreation and personal spiritual development.”

“It seems that taking time for ourselves is often the most difficult, and yet it is very important,” Elder Stevenson added. “I have heard it described as pausing long enough in the busy work of sawing to sharpen the saw blade.”

Elder Stevenson shared recent counsel from fellow Apostle Elder David A. Bednar that warns people against achieving “a perfect equilibrium” among competing priorities. “As we pray sincerely for God’s help to identify what matters most, He will guide and assist us to focus our efforts day by day,” Elder Bednar wrote on social media.

To this, Sister Stevenson added that “you will most likely still have a few failures. You are going to take a few scrapes and bruises. There may be times when your vision seems obscured by a foggy path or you may lose your balance.

“But here is the good news,” she continued. “You are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. The scriptures teach us, ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power . . . and of a sound mind’ (2 Timothy 1:7). And don’t forget this important counsel from the Lord Himself: ‘Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I The Lord am with you and will stand by you’ (Doctrine and Covenants 68:6). And so, you have a constant, divine source of strength in our beloved Savior — even Jesus Christ.”

Elder Stevenson concluded by extending three invitations to young adult Latter-day Saints everywhere.

“I invite you to first, consider how your gospel vision assures and confirms your identity as a daughter of God and a son of God,” he said. “Second, consider how you address your fourfold responsibility to home and family, to education and employment, to the church, and to yourself. Third, find a quiet place and write down some impressions you have felt during this devotional. Remember, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, each of you are gifted with the companionship of the Holy Ghost.”

“As you act on the invitations from Elder Stevenson,” Sister Stevenson said, “don’t forget about the pioneers that came before us, those who we spoke of who settled this valley, as well as those in each of your respective families and home countries. Their pioneer spirit and example of doing hard things can give you the confidence to do hard things as well. I offer my testimony that you can obtain that perfect brightness of hope, that Heavenly Father knows each of you by name, and that He loves you. I offer my witness of Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of the living God.”

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