To those who lose their focus and drift away, Elder Ned B. Roueche said Saturday afternoon, "Sometimes we have our feelings hurt or some other problem occurs. It all ends up the same and we fail to claim the blessings that can be ours.
"Pride, distrust, deceit, discouragement and many kinds of sin can be removed by a change in our hearts and by following the path that the Savior has shown us," Elder Roueche of the Seventy continued.
Forgiveness is a key part of returning to happiness, he said. "At one time or another we may become offended or wronged and this can become a stumbling block that may take us away from our eternal goal, which is to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. . . . When we forgive and let go of that which has weighed heavily on our hearts and taken us off the path, a great burden is lifted from our soul and we are free. Free to move forward and progress in our pursuit of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with an increase of love in our heart."
It takes courage to come back, Elder Roueche said. "I promise you that when you exercise that courage and take the steps necessary you will find that there will be an outpouring of love. There are many who will rejoice with you and the hand of fellowship will be extended. You will be nurtured and your heart will be filled with joy."
Reminding the congregation that all are brothers and sisters, "children of our Heavenly Father," Elder Roueche declared: "We must reach out to those that for some reason have forgotten the path. We love you and invite you to come to the table and share in the spiritual banquet that the Lord has prepared for your joy and happiness. You will know of our Heavenly Father's love as you come with a heart that is willing, obedient and ready to partake and serve.
"He knows you, He knows your needs, and what faces you in the future. He has a perfect understanding of the feelings, suffering, trials of each one of us. Because of that, and the infinite atonement of His son Jesus Christ, you will be able to face every challenge that comes to you in your sojourn here in this life.
"We all have a great responsibility that has been placed upon our shoulders by the Savior," Elder Roueche added. "He said, 'Feed my sheep' (John 21:17). That includes searching out those who are not with us and extend to them our love and fellowship."