Church News and Events

Elder Scott Shares Pattern for Successful and Happy Living

Contributed By Hikari Loftus, Church News and Events

  • 29 April 2011

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addressed students and their families during the Brigham Young University commencement on April 21, 2011, speaking “plainly from his heart” about a pattern for a successful and happy life. 

“God has given you the capacity to exercise faith so that you may find peace, joy, and purpose in life,” Elder Scott said. He then identified some of the principles upon which faith is based: 

  • A trust in God and in His desire to provide help when needed, no matter how challenging the circumstances.
  • Obedience to His commandments and a life that demonstrates He can trust you.
  • Sensitivity to the quiet prompting of the Spirit and courageous implementation of the resulting impressions.
  • Patience and understanding when God lets you struggle to grow and answers come a piece at a time over an extended period.

First, however, Elder Scott noted that understanding the interaction of faith and character would be helpful. 

 “God uses your faith to mold your character,” he said. “Character is woven patiently from threads of doctrine, principle, and obedience. Character is the manifestation of what you are becoming. Your character will be the yardstick that God will use to determine how well you have used your mortal life. Strong moral character results from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life.”

Elder Scott reminded graduates that even when we exhibit the strongest faith, “God will not always reward [us] immediately according to [our] desires. Rather, He will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for [us] a piece at a time.”

Elder Scott also emphasized that character is not developed in moments of challenge or temptation; rather, that is when it is used. 

“Strong character is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what goals you have accomplished,” he said. “Your consistent exercise of faith builds strong character. In turn, fortified character expands your ability to exercise faith, thereby enhancing your capacity and confidence in conquering the trials of life. This strengthening cycle continues. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to exercise the power of faith.”

Later, Elder Scott introduced two types of decisions in life: decisions based on circumstance and those based on eternal truth.  

“Satan encourages choices to be made according to circumstance, that is: What are others doing? What seems to be socially or politically acceptable? What will bring the quickest, most satisfying response? ... The pattern of the Lord is for His children to make decisions based upon eternal truth,” Elder Scott said. 

In closing Elder Scott shared 10 specific things that allow for success following the Lord’s plan.  

  1. 1. Establish a set of principles by which you will guide every aspect of your life. 
  2. 2. Don’t make exceptions to your standards. 
  3. 3. Be loyal.
  4. 4. Live so the Lord can guide you to where He wants you to serve. 
  5. 5. Serve others.
  6. 6. Smile.
  7. 7. Don’t complain.
  8. 8. Always have a Church assignment.
  9. 9. Go to the temple.
  10. 10. Use the Savior Jesus Christ as an example for life.

He closed by sharing an insight based on his personal experience:

“There have been times when my choice to stand for principle against strong forces implied that there would be significant personal loss. But that did not deter me,” Elder Scott said. “I was determined to do what was right. The anticipated loss, however, never came. Somehow, doing what was right in time opened far greater and more meaningful opportunities. I testify that you will never go wrong when you trust in the Lord and in His promises no matter how severe the challenge.”