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In expanded devotional, Elder Uchtdorf guides LDS young single adults in 'adventure of mortality'

SALT LAKE CITY — Now is the time to commit to follow Jesus Christ, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told the faith’s young adults Sunday night, giving them five points to remember as they journey on what he termed “the adventure of mortality.”

In what was labeled as a worldwide devotional but was more than a typical evening meeting, the 77-year-old apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered with young adults ages 18 to 30 in the LDS Conference Center, with the proceedings broadcast around the globe.

Meant to be an opportunity to share messages of goodness, the event included activities on Temple Square prior to the devotional, with the young single adults invited to participate on social media sites by sharing positive messages of hope and encouragement. Also, Christmas lights on Temple Square were turned again for the event.

Elder Uchtdorf’s wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf also spoke, and a combined choir of young adults from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah performed.

A capacity congregation filled the Conference Center and overflow locations for the devotional, held just two days after the funeral for President Thomas S. Monson. During his remarks, Elder Uchtdorf — President Monson’s second counselor in the First Presidency who returned to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles when the First Presidency was dissolved after the prophet’s death — spoke of the late LDS Church president in his remarks.

“I miss President Thomas S. Monson,” he said. “He was my cherished and treasured friend, tutor and mentor. But I can assure you, the Lord himself is at the head of his church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lord has provided a divine plan so that his church is always led by prophets, seers and revelators.”

Elder Uchtdorf then listed his “adventure of mortality” five points.

“First, know that God’s answers to your most profound questions may take a little time and they may come in ways you hadn’t expected,” he said. “God’s answers are of eternal value. They are worth the wait.”

Second is to “have a little faith.”

“Incline your hearts to God,” he said. “Believe that you are important to God, and trust he will make more of you than you can possibly make of yourself. Learn of him. Love him. Believe him. Speak with him. Listen for his voice.”

Third, Elder Uchtdorf encouraged listeners to “walk as best you can on the path of discipleship.”

“Don’t get overwhelmed,” he said. “Just do the small things as perfectly as you can, and the big things will fall in place.”

Fourth, don’t let discouraging voices “dissuade you from your journey of faith.”

“Remember, you don’t answer to your critics. You answer to your father in heaven. His values count.”

Fifth, “make the best decisions you can.”

“Follow the promptings that come to your heart and mind. Use both. Give your best efforts to follow through. Have faith, and God will consecrate your honest efforts for your eternal good. Do this and, in the end, all will be well.”

Elder Uchtdorf promised listeners that as they earnestly strive to know God, their faith will increase, and as they strive to follow the Savior, their confidence will grow.

“You will look back on this cherished and exciting adventure of mortality, and you will understand,” he said. “You will see that the dots really did connect into a beautiful pattern, more sublime than you ever could have imagined. With unspeakable gratitude, you will see that God himself, in his abounding love, grace and compassion, was always there watching over you, blessing you and guiding your steps as you walked toward him.”

In one of the few addresses she has given to a worldwide audience, Sister Uchtdorf said she enjoyed being with the young adults as well as her “favorite apostle.”

“I know, we shouldn’t have favorites,” she said. “But in my case, it seems OK — because I am married to him.”

Sister Uchtdorf reminded young adults they “are representing the church of Jesus Christ, and you are powerful leaders in proclaiming the gospel message by your good life and courageous testimony.”

Reflecting on the time when she was a young girl watching as her father was sick and then later died, Sister Uchtdorf shared how her home became a place of suffering, sadness and hopelessness.

It wasn’t until eight months after her father had passed away that two American missionaries knocked on her door in Frankfurt.

“As we embraced the Book of Mormon, it calmed our heartache and healed the despair and sadness caused by the death of my father.”