By Alexis Tanner
As Spring brings blossoms, green grass, and warmer weather, it also brings a new group of young adults graduating from universities and colleges who are ready to take on the world. As they come together to graduate, they listen to their school’s commencement speeches filled with guidance and advice from people with a little more life experience. The commencement speech at Brigham Young University this year was given by Elder S. Mark Palmer, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder Palmer’s speech was about creating a solid foundation in Jesus Christ through focusing, centering, and recentering just as you would in photography. One of the things he told the graduates was to create a Christ-centered life by being faithful to covenants. He also said to “recenter” your lives on Christ by attending the temple often.
Another speaker at the BYU commencement was undergraduate Emilee L. Carr who encouraged her fellow graduates to aid each other on the covenant path. BYU president Kevin J. Worthen talked about the importance of relationships and told graduates to draw closer to the Savior. He said, “The Lord’s promise that as we draw closer to Him, He will draw closer to us seems to extend beyond mere perception of closeness to Him.”
I find it interesting that as the speakers gave the graduates council for the future, they talked about covenant keeping, temple attendance, and creating a close relationship with the Savior. Of all the advice they could give about careers, their future, their new journey they’re about to take, they chose to focus on Christ and the temple as the foundation of the life they choose to live.
Surround Yourself With Reminders
One great way to make sure we are leading a Christ-centered life is to surround ourselves with words of the prophets and pictures of the temple. In my home, I have The Living Christ and The Family: A Proclamation to the World hanging on the wall in our kitchen so each of my family members see them every day. I love these LDS proclamation signs!
Recenter Through Appointments with the Lord
In a talk by President Russell M. Nelson called “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” he talked about making an appointment with the Lord. President Nelson said, “If you have reasonable access to a temple, I urge you to find a way to make an appointment regularly with the Lord—to be in His holy house—then keep that appointment with exactness and joy. I promise you that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need as you make sacrifices to serve and worship in His temples.” Attending the temple helps us recenter our lives on Christ just as Elder Palmer talked about.
Stay on the Covenant Path
I love that in Emilee Carr’s speech, she didn’t just encourage everyone to make sure they stayed on the covenant path, but that we also help each other stay on the path. In the March 2015 Ensign, an article was shared about being on the covenant path. It talked about our responsibility as members of The Church and said, “For each of us, as we live the gospel, a desire will grow within us for others to be blessed by the gospel, especially members of our family.” Eternal exaltation isn’t just for individuals, it’s for families and loved ones. Our goal should be to bring as many people as we can with us back to our Heavenly Parents’ presence and we can do that by encouraging each other to stay on the covenant path.
Whatever path you’re on, whether you’re just starting out or have journeyed quite far, as we remember to focus our lives on the Savior and stay on the covenant path, we have been promised that our life will be directed and full of joy.
Alexis Tanner is a mother of five, podcaster, and writer. She loves reading, family history work, taking her kids on adventures, and podcasting with her husband at the Parenting In Real Life Podcast. You can find Alexis on Instagram @parentingIRLpodcast.