Elder Terence M. Vinson: 'Drawing Closer to God'
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Elder Terence M. Vinson of the Seventy began his remarks Sunday afternoon by quoting his 6-year-old grandson, Oli, who said, "Poppy loves me and is one of my best friends, and he takes care of me!"
Elder Vinson said as he has become acquainted with miraculous things that have occurred in the lives of faithful Saints, he agrees with Oli. "I think it's because those faithful people feel the same way about Heavenly Father and the Savior as Oli feels about me. They love God as a close friend, and He takes care of them."
"God should be the center of our universe — our literal focal point," Elder Vinson said. He then asked, "Is He … sometimes far from the thoughts and intents of our hearts?"
Elder Vinson explained that one of the ways the Lord helps individuals remember Him is through adversity. "As I look back at the trials I have faced, it is clear that they have resulted in my growth, understanding and empathy. They have drawn me closer to my Heavenly Father and His Son, with experiences and refining engraved into my heart."
Using the example of the brother of Jared who was faced with the challenge of providing fresh air and light in the barges he built, Elder Vinson pointed out that the Lord not only left the challenge temporarily unsolved but made clear that He would allow the trials that necessitated its solving. The Lord would send forth the winds, the rains and the floods (Ether 2:20-24).
"And why does He warn any of us to remove ourselves from a source of danger when He could simply stop the danger from happening?" Elder Vinson asked.
He then explained that the Lord, rather than solve the problem Himself, wants individuals to develop the faith to rely on Him in solving problems. "Then we can feel His love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him and we can become more like Him. For us to be like Him, is His goal. In fact, it is His glory as well as His work" (Moses 1:39).
"Our Savior wants us to really love Him to the point that we want to align our will with His. We can then feel His love and know His glory. Then He can bless us as He wants to."