Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, emphasized the importance of following Christ to students and faculty at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Tuesday morning.
“When you choose to follow Christ, you choose to be changed,” he said, paraphrasing Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th president of the Church. “The world will shape human nature, but Christ can change human nature, and changed men and women can change the world.”
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President Monson went on to share a story of two individuals who changed one woman’s perception of the Church.
“Several years ago I received a letter from a lady … concerning the example of two members of the Church who had an influence for good in her life,” said President Monson.
The author of the letter wrote that though she initially had a negative impression of the Church, when she got to know Church members Rick and Dan Macintosh, her perception changed.
“Last year my sister’s husband, Tom Brown, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and was given one year to live. He passed away last week,” the woman relayed in the letter to President Monson. “For the past year, Rick, who is the bishop of the ward, … and Dan have spent countless hours with my sister and her family. They’ve prayed numerous times for Tom, and their wives have brought food to the house; they shoveled the walks in the winter, and each time they came they asked my sister if there was anything they needed that they could do, and they meant it. It was not important to them that my family was not LDS. … These two men truly live their faith, and I feel deeply moved by their compassion and example.”
The woman further explained, “I’m writing this letter to tell you that [because of] the example of these two men not only will I never again criticize the LDS faith, but I will not allow it to be criticized in front of me. Your Church has my deepest respect.”
President Monson reiterated that as members choose to follow the example of the Savior Jesus Christ, opportunities to serve are limitless.
He admonished listeners, “Remember who you are. You are a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father. … Live in such a way that you are an example of the believers and a true light to the world. … May this be your blessing as you nurture your testimony and as you follow the example set for you and for all of us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the true light which lighteth every man and woman that cometh into the world.”
For students at BYU it is a pleasure to hear from President Thomas S. Monson.
"I like how he talked about being a light to the world. The story he shared really helped me to want to become a better person," said Tanner Watkins, a sophomore from Akron, Ohio. "President Monson is a great example of Christlike service."