Seventy Answers 6 Common Questions Posed by College Students
Contributed By Valerie Johnson, Church News staff writer
Elder Larry S. Kacher of the Seventy spoke at a devotional in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on March 3. He answered questions received from LDS Business College students before the devotional. He spoke on six common questions many students had posed. The questions ranged in topic from how to handle complex schedules to how to help less-active and nonmember family members.
1. How can I reach my full potential?
One's full potential, Elder Kacher said, can be found in Matthew 5:48 where the Savior commands His followers to be perfect. In order to achieve that, one must follow what Christ taught in Matthew 18. “It’s pretty simple. The Savior taught unless we become like little children, we cannot enter the kingdom of God,” Elder Kacher said. “In order to achieve peace and happiness in this life, we have to strive to become humble and as a little child.”
Everyone has the potential to become like Heavenly Father, said Elder Kacher. For those who are willing, Heavenly Father will take them by the hand and lead them home. “And that is my desire in this life,” said Elder Kacher. “That’s the desire I have for my children, my grandchildren, my wife. To be worthy to have Heavenly Father’s Spirit to be with me.”
2. How do I balance the crazy schedule I have?
From husbands who work 40 to 55 hours a week while going to school full-time and being devoted to their families, to women who want to gain a higher education and raise families when the two seem to be conflicting priorities, to any number of single parents struggling to juggle all their priorities, finding the time to fit every righteous desire into one's life can be a struggle.
The first thing to remember, Elder Kacher taught, is the directive given in D&C 10:3-4 in which the Savior directed Joseph Smith, “Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength. ...”
Elder Kacher said knowing that can help people struggling to accomplish everything, to be assured that they don’t have to do everything at once. Certain responsibilities, he noted, take priority over others.
Elder Kacher invited his wife, Sister Pauline Kacher, to answer the question about gaining a higher education and raising a family. She earned a degree in modern dance, but when she started a family, she put her career on hold. While raising her children, she kept herself updated in her career field. After her children had been raised, she was offered a position at BYU teaching dance. “One thing I’ve learned,” Sister Kacher said, “Life is really long. It goes fast, but it is long.” In the end, everything can fit, she said.
3. How do I make important decisions?
Choosing between two good options can be a difficult decision, especially in terms of a career. Elder Kacher presented four questions that can be used to evaluate options.
“Will it strengthen or weaken my relationship with Heavenly Father?”
“Will it strengthen or weaken my relationship with my family?”
“Will it strengthen or weaken my ability to serve in the kingdom?”
“Will it help or hurt my ability to provide for my family?”
Using these questions in this order can help keep one focused on the most important things in life, Elder Kacher taught.
4. How do I regain the spirit I felt on my mission?
One problem with this question is the fact that “our mission doesn’t end,” Elder Kacher said. “Too often we think of a mission as ending when really it’s training ground for the rest of our lives.”
The things missionaries learn on their missions, such as fellowshipping and how to share the gospel, are skills that they can use as members of the Church. “We have the same authority to call down the powers of God,” Elder Kacher said.
He related a story of how he felt impressed to invite the husband of a member he home taught to hear the gospel. When he did so, the husband turned him down. Elder Kacher realized that to share the gospel, it must be done in the Lord’s way. He prayed that this man could feel the spirit and accept the gospel. Soon after that, the member’s husband joined the Church, having felt a change of heart.
5. How do I help my less active or non-member family members?
Elder Kacher invited the audience to stand if they have someone in their family who is not a member or is less active. The entire congregation stood.
“We’re all in this together,” he said. “That’s what the gospel is.”
For over 40 years, Elder Kacher is still the only member of his family to have ever joined the Church. Recently, he invited sister missionaries to talk to his mother, but she refused to let them talk or invite them back. However, several months ago, she called him with a message. “Don’t give up on me,” she said.
6. How can I keep the Spirit as my constant companion?
“This is a key question for each one of us,” Elder Kacher said. Recognizing the Spirit, being able to separate it from desires of the natural man, is something everyone must learn. Even those who were strong members of the Church can be fooled and led away by Satan. “Think about where you feel peace,” he advised.
“The Lord has blessed us with agency,” Elder Kacher said. “It separates us from the other third of the host of heaven” that rejected Heavenly Father’s plan and were cast to earth without bodies. Using agency correctly helps us feel the Spirit more. In a slide showing choices of reactions to trials, Elder Kacher showed how those who turn outward and upward become more Christlike, whereas those who turn inward and downward will draw away from Him.
In conclusion, Elder Kacher said to students, “Don’t let the complexity of life confuse you.”
Elder Larry S. Kacher speaks to LDS Business College students during a devotional in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square on Tuesday, March 3. Photo by Valerie Johnson.