On April 11 2023, Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints delivered a devotional at BYU titled Our Own Best Story.
The beginning of the devotional began with an exploration of the widely popularized AI chatbot, ChatGPT. Elder Gong then began discussing the invention of the airplane, and a pattern of transformative changes throughout the world and our lives. His third example was the Panama canal and how it rapidly changed global trade.
“For me, ChatGPT, air and space travel, and the Panama canal dramatically illustrate how physical or digital connection can transform our external environment. Yet, however, much our external environment may change, that which matters most spiritually does not change,” Elder Gong explained.
Elder Gong then taught that to write our own best story, our spirit and our body must be united. Elder Gong compared the scriptures to our own guide, just as the Nephites used the brass plates for their spiritual guidance. “Revelatory experiences with our own brass plates can repeatedly guide our journey to our own promised land,” he said.
He discussed identity in the context of familial blood relations and of being children in Christ. He praised the world wide usage of family search and the wonderful gift it is to see view ancestor’s stories at our fingertips.
In referencing our spiritual identity, Elder Gong quoted President Nelson, saying, “‘Our enduring spiritual identity comes when we see ourselves as a child of God, a child of the covenant, a disciple of Jesus Christ. We understand who we are, when we understand who’s we are.’”
Elder Gong continued talking about the global brother and sisterhood that we all experience only occurs because of the Fatherhood of God.
“Every man-made ‘I choose me’ philosophy pales in comparison to the infinite grand and glorious promise that we can learn to bless those around us as our Savior would and that we can receive all that God our eternal father has, that includes the worlds without number the James Webb Telescope has only begun to discover,” Elder Gong continued.
Elder Gong taught to recognize the Savior’s love and to look for how and when He gives us instruction in our lives.
He then challenged us to implement these prerequisites for learning: Purity of heart, clarity of purpose, humility, wise persistence in prioritized productive effort. He taught, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ makes our individual slices of daily bread into a whole loaf. In all we do, we put Jesus Christ first…as a matter of focus we put Jesus Christ first in each thing we do.”
He ended with a challenge for BYU students. “If I could create a 5 minute time lapse of my life between today April 11 and October 1 2023, how would I write, how would I produce my own best story.” He then encouraged all of us to remember the love of Christ so we can create our own best story as peacemaking disciples of Jesus Christ.
From: Ian Farris
Contributor at the Cougar Chronicle
The Cougar Chronicle is an independent student-run newspaper and is not affiliated with Brigham Young University or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.