The Cannon Activities Center was filled during the devotional on Jan. 28 as Elder Russell and Sister Lola Osguthorpe said finding the way back to one’s heavenly home is through learning, having proper motives and drawing on the Atonement.
Elder and Sister Osguthorpe shared the experiences of serving two previous missions before being called to the Hawaii Honolulu Mission. Elder Osguthorpe commented, “Both of our previous missions shaped us and taught us about the sacred principles of the Lord’s plan for us. Everything seems to point to the temple and how we must learn to return to our Heavenly Father.”
To further discuss the importance of returning to our heavenly home, Sister Osguthorpe shared a story about a young neighborhood girl who one day lost her way home from school. In the story, as the girl began to turn to look around, a female jogger noticed the young girl’s tears and stopped to help.
Sister Osguthorpe continued, “While sobbing in the arms of the … Lisi [the little girl] burst out, ‘I can’t remember my address, but if you can get me to the temple, I can find my way home.’ The jogger walked her to the temple, and sure enough, Lisi knew how to find her way home.”
Elder Osguthorpe commented on the story by sharing, “We are all like Lisi. We all want to find our way back home one day to live together as families eternally. This is the ultimate purpose of our earthly existence: to learn all that we need to learn to find our way back to our heavenly parents.”
Through this example, Elder and Sister Osguthorpe taught the real definition of learning is to become like God. They continued by explaining any new truth we learn helps individuals come closer to God and more like Him. They continued by proposing the question, “How do we learn to become more like Him?” They answered, “We learn by drawing upon His grace, His strengthening power.”
The natural man, the rebel, and the hypocrite
Elder Osguthorpe said, “We are not talking only about how to learn new facts, we are talking about learning how to be more obedient, how to stay close to the Lord, and how to repent. We are really talking about what it means to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. But discipleship, that’s a lifelong commitment.”
Cris Putong, a sophomore from the Philippines majoring in business management, shared how something which specifically stood out to him was when the Osguthorpes discussed how learning means to become like God. He said, “The topic was about going home [to] the Celestial Kingdom, and that is becoming like God. That is the reason why we need to learn in school and in church.”
Elder and Sister Osguthorpe then discussed three areas of challenges individuals face while on the path to discipleship. The challenges being the natural man, the rebel, and the hypocrite.
They went on to say, “The natural man’s tendencies lead us to make mistakes we need to correct by repenting, so we can learn how not to keep making the same mistake again and again. Yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and put off the natural man.”
Elder Osguthorpe described “the rebel” as being “the one who commits sin intentionally and is proud of it. The one who is not interested at all in repenting.”
Finally, he shared how those make up the hypocrite, the pretenders, and the imposters. “On the outside they look good, but deep in their hearts, they are not committed at all.
“So, we’ve got three things that we don’t want to be: the natural man, the rebel, and the hypocrite. But we haven’t mentioned the place where we want to be. If we are going to learn our way back home, we need to become true disciples of the Savior.”
Jillian Ruby, a sophomore from Colorado double majoring in psychology and elementary education, commented on becoming a disciple through sharing a principle Elder and Sister Osguthorpe covered. She explained, “They politely reminded us about how being on our devices can hinder us from feeling the Spirit and having experiences to get to know other people.”
Elder and Sister Osguthorpe then discussed the importance of having pure motives. They first introduced this by saying, “When our motives are impure, there is always deception.”
Putong described the way he views motives towards future goals. He shared, “I need to think of my motive in anything that I do. It always needs to be a righteous motive. For example, if you do not like a class and your motive is to become like God, God is perfect and is good at everything. If your motive is to become like Him, you can be good at everything that is good.”
Elder Osguthorpe stated, “Whenever we find ourselves in any one of the three negative boxes … we need to draw heavily upon the redeeming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
Elder and Sister Osguthorpe emphasized the importance of the temple and the role it plays to help individuals draw upon the redeeming power of the Atonement. They stated, “The overarching purpose of temple worship is to help us learn our way back home.”