BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (BYU) NEIL J. ANDERSON
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Professor stresses invitation to "come unto Christ" in devotional address
By Meghan Morgan
9 May 2007
A plan for accepting the Savior's invitation to come to Him was offered by Neil J. Anderson, linguistics and English language professor, at Tuesday's (May 8, 2007) devotional in the de Jong Concert Hall.
"May we come unto Christ through the ordinances and covenants of the gospel, ministering to others with a humble attitude of self evaluation," Anderson said.
His speech was divided into four sections. Each section represented a letter in the word "come."
First was the letter "C," which stands for coming unto Christ.
"Come is a verb of movement," Anderson said. "The use of the word in the context we are examining this morning is as an imperative or command."
He said that while reading the scriptures he has noticed that when Christ extends an invitation to come, there is usually a promise attached.
"If we are to move closer to the Savior Jesus Christ and respond to these invitations, we must yield our whole heart to Heavenly Father," he said. "In this way He will know of our sincere desire to become one with Him and His son."
Anderson noted that we must accept the invitation to come and make the effort to move closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
The letter "O" represents the word "ordinances." He divided his discussion of ordinances into two sections - ordinances of the sacrament and ordinances of the temple.
"When we enter into an ordinance of the gospel, we also make covenants with our Heavenly Father," he said.
He said the sacrament not only reminds us of the covenants we made at baptism, but of the atonement as well.
"Each week we can partake of the sacrament and feel the cleansing power of the atonement in our lives," he said. "By worthily partaking of the sacrament you are responding to the invitation to come."
He said all we do in the church should direct individuals and families to focus on the importance of temple ordinances.
"As we participate in the ordinances of the temple, we receive a gift from our Heavenly Father," he said. "We also learn about our natural capacities. We receive power and Heavenly Father increases our ability."
He challenged those listening to obtain a temple recommend, remain worthy to use it and attend the temple frequently.
"Think about how the ordinances you have participated in draw you close to Jesus Christ," he said. "Think about how you are responding to the invitation to come unto Christ."
The letter "M" represents the phrase "ministering to others."
"As we minister to others we provide service," he said. "It is through service to others that we demonstrate to Heavenly Father the purity of our hearts."
He said meaningful service stretches our souls and strengthens our character. Through serving others we are accepting the Savior's invitation to come.
"E," the final letter of the word "come," stands for "evaluation."
"I have found that three places in particular provide the perfect setting for deep, personal self-evaluation and reflection," he said. "During daily, personal scripture study, while partaking of the sacrament each week in sacrament meeting and in the temple."
He said each person must find the best time and place for daily scripture reading.
"Daily scripture study is one of the best ways I know of to become aware of my strengths and weaknesses," he said.
During the sacrament, he said, there is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon one's life.
"Heavenly Father will bring to our minds the things that we have done that require that we make improvements," he said, in reference to personal pondering during the sacrament. "He will also bring to our minds the peace that will confirm that we are making progress."
As a third place for personal evaluation, he offered the temple.
"The quietness of the temple can provide a refuge from the cares and concerns of the world," he said. "And we can be better prepared to move back into the world and be instruments in our Heavenly Father's hands."
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