Life is No Spiritual Picnic

Prophet Statesmen, Neil L. Anderson

My beloved brothers and sisters across the world, I express my deep admiration for the faith and courage I see in your lives. We live in a most remarkable time—but a challenging time.

The Lord Alerts Us to Dangers Ahead

The Lord has not left us alone in our quest to return to Him. Listen to His warning words alerting us to the dangers ahead: “Take . . . heed, watch and pray.”1 “Beware lest ye . . . be deceived.”2 “Be watchful and careful.”3 “Beware lest ye also . . . fall from your own stedfastness.”4

No one of us is immune from the influences of the world. The Lord’s counsel keeps us on guard.

You will remember Jesus’s experience in Capernaum as disciples who had followed the Savior would not accept that He was the Son of God. The scripture reads, “From that time many of his disciples . . . walked no more with him.”5

Jesus then turned to the Twelve and asked, “Will ye also go away?”6

Will Ye Also Go Away?

In my own mind I have answered that question many times: “Absolutely not! Not me! I will never leave Him! I am here forever!” I know you have answered the same way.

But the question “Will ye also go away?” makes us think about our own vulnerability. Life is no spiritual picnic. The words of the Apostles from another setting come quietly into our mind: “Lord, is it I?”7

We enter the waters of baptism with joy and anticipation. The Savior beckons, “Come unto me,”8 and we respond, taking His name upon us. Not one of us wants this journey to be a brief flirtation with spirituality or even a notable but finite chapter. The road of discipleship is not for the spiritually faint of heart. Jesus said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”9 “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”10

As we follow the Savior, without question there will be challenges that confront us. Approached with faith, these refining experiences bring a deeper conversion of the Savior’s reality. Approached in a worldly way, these same experiences cloud our view and weaken our resolve. Some we love and admire slip from the strait and narrow path and “[walk] no more with him.”

Source: Neil L. Anderson’s October 2010 General Conference Address, Never Leave Him. Neil L. Anderson is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.