Al Maguire, famed college basketball coach and broadcaster said, “Keep it simple. When you get too complex you forget the obvious.”
On that theme, President Russell M. Nelson struck a spiritual chord with me at the recent General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he taught us to “Think Celestial.” These are two simple words that help us stay focused on the Savior when we begin stray from His path.
Elder Gerrit W. Gong simplified our daily interactions by informing us that sometimes we unintentionally separate ourselves from our fellow Christian friends by using words and phrases unique to our culture. “Let us always speak with warm and reverent gratitude for God’s work and glory and the merits, mercy, and grace of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice,” he advised.
The complex task of parental guidance was simplified by Elder Valeri V. Cordón: “Jesus Christ is the center of this gospel culture. Adopting the gospel culture in our families is critical to creating a fertile environment where the seed of faith may flourish.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook taught us to be peaceable followers of Christ. “The scriptures are clear: peaceable followers of Christ who are righteous, follow the Savior, and keep His commandments will be blessed.” He pointed out that King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon promised that those “…who faithfully keep the commandments are blessed in all things in this life and ‘are received into heaven … [and] dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness’” (Mosiah 2:41).
Elder Ulisess Soares clarified how to live our our day-to-day lives by simply accepting all people in a spirit of love and unity. “As disciples of Christ, we are invited to increase our faith in, and love for, our spiritual brother and sisterhood by genuinely knitting our hearts together in unity and love, regardless of our differences, thereby increasing our ability to promote respect for the dignity of all the sons and daughters of God.”
Sister Tamara Runia emphasized the importance of simply thinking of the consequences of our words before speaking. “Before we interact with a loved one, can we ask ourselves the question ‘Is what I’m about to do or say helpful or hurtful?’” She added, “These messages, whether intentional or unintentional, should be hopeful and encouraging.”
I loved how President Nelson teaches us how to keep a simple but eternal perspective as we maneuver our way through life. “When you make choices, I invite you to take the long view — an eternal view. Put Jesus Christ first because your eternal life is dependent upon your faith in Him and in His Atonement.”
Charlie Roberts is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in Stansbury Park.