I just listened to this today on my BYU-Idaho Devotional podcast feed. It’s the devotional message that Elder Neil L. Andersen gave at BYU-Idaho last week on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2017. Wow! It was so good!
I almost didn’t listen to it, because I had a thought/heard a voice in my head saying something like, “Pick something more exciting to listen to, this will be boring.” but then I felt the Holy Ghost prompting me to ignore that thought and listen. So I did. I am so glad I did because he shared many things I haven’t heard before and it was anything but boring.
Elder Andersen talks about what an amazing age we live in with all the technology available to us that makes our lives so comfortable and pleasurable. For instance, he shares a story about when he was skiing with his son-in-law recently. His son-in-law said he would get the car ready for them to go home, so he took out his iPhone and by touching the screen, he turned on his car’s heater remotely so it would be toasty warm, with the snow melted off the windows, by the time they go to the car, so they could just hop in and go.
Then he shares that this technological wonder age we live in is in fulfillment of prophecy.”The Lord indicated to the Prophet Joseph Smith that it would not be just a time of spiritual revelations but also a time of understanding and progress in all areas. The Lord promised knowledge ‘that [had] not been revealed since the world was.’ ” (See D&C 121:26)
It’s not just church leaders that confirm that wondrous knowledge started in the days of Joseph Smith. Elder Andersen quotes a non-LDS scholar, William J. Bernstein, who said:
“When we look at the [facts], it becomes crystal clear that something happened … in the early nineteenth century. … [Up] until approximately 1820, per capita world economic growth [the single best way of measuring human material progress] registered near zero. … Then, not long after 1820, prosperity began flowing in an ever-increasing torrent; with each successive generation, the life of the [child] became observably more comfortable, informed, and predictable than that of the father.”
Notice the date “1820”? If you are not LDS, then you won’t know why that date is special. If you are LDS you know that that’s the year that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. Wow!
So then he talked about the challenges we have in this day. In order for us to combat the challenges he repeated a challenge that President/Elder Russell M. Nelson shared last month at the CES Devotional
Elder Andersen also talked about courtship and love, probably because he was giving the speech on Valentine’s Day. If you go here you can see his wedding day picture and read the whole text of the speech. He made several comments about courtship.
To the female college students (which includes my daughter, who was there, although she doesn’t need encouragement in this department, heehee) he said:
There are many traditions that need to be expanded. For example, in our culture it is still the norm that the young men generally invite young women to spend time together, one-on-one. Young women, you may need to step forward and not be afraid of forming a friendship with someone in a classroom or in a ward without pushing it to become more than that. There are many young men who have little history in meeting and forming close friendships with young women one-on-one.
My daughter is definitely comfortable in stepping forward and forming friendships with young men. She’s going on a mission though, so sorry, boys, she will be out of circulation.
To the young men, Elder Andersen said:
You young men may need to push yourselves through uncomfortable feelings to form these friendships. You have to be willing to speak, interact, and enjoy activities, one young woman with one young man.
He also shared humor from Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
I just want to clarify, Elder Andersen and Elder Oaks are talking here about pairing off for college-age students. This doesn’t apply to the under-18 set. For them, it’s group dates all the way! I have strictly enforced that with my kids.
There’s so much more to this talk about courting, with quotes from Elder Robert D. Hales and President David O. McKay, that I encourage you to read it or watch it and share it with your teenage and older single children. I am going to with mine and then we will meet online to discuss it! I can’t wait!
I conclude with the four words that Elder Andersen says that are crucial for flickers of love to grow into a true love story between a man and a woman:
“Complete honesty, unselfish humility.” These four words are so important that Elder Andersen used them as the title for this speech.
Here’s the place to watch it and read the text. Enjoy! I think I will make this an annual tradition to listen to this talk every Valentine’s Day.