General Conference From the Past: “Look to God and Live”

In October 1978, Elder Carlos E. Asay of the Quorum of the Seventy gave a talk entitled “Look to God and Live.” In this talk, he described the importance of keeping our gaze focused on Christ. In doing so, we, too, might look to our Father in Heaven and receive eternal life.

Elder Asay provides various stories, in and out of the scriptures. He begins by speaking of a man who had sunk low. Involved in drinking and in drugs, this man always kept his head low, focused on the feet of those around him. Said Elder Asay, “this alcoholic would stagger off the path or into the gutter, for that was the direction of his look.” Then, a miraculous transformation is described. True friends helped this man to redirect his life. He began to look, not down at the ground, but up towards God. His direction changed.

A story is then related of a conversation Elder Asay had with a man who was not doing his best in his calling. After describing the need for service and appealing to a sense of duty both failed, Elder Asay asked in a frustrated voice in the man was waiting for a voice from Heaven or a burning bush. To his surprise, that was exactly what the man desired. He helped this man to realize that the scriptures are the will and voice of God, and that as we study them, we can direct our lives towards our Father in Heaven.

Next, Elder Asay relates some scriptural instances where the people looked to God. He describes the purpose of the liahona, and its symbolism to Lehi and his family. “I fear that many of us rush about from day to day taking for granted the holy scriptures. We scramble to honor appointments with physicians, lawyers, and businessmen. Yet we think nothing of postponing interviews with Deity—postponing scripture study.” He then notes that such disregard causes us to lose our direction in our lives.

Another story from the scriptures is related: that of the Israelites and the fiery serpents sent among them to plague them. Moses erected a fiery serpent, and to be healed, the people had only to look. Yet many did not, disdaining the idea of looking as “too easy.” What, then, of us? Do we think that the advice to read the scriptures is “too easy”? To we take for granted the writings of these holy prophets?

As I studied this talk, I remembered again how blessed we are on the earth today. It wasn’t too long ago, in the history of mankind, that the common people were dependent on churches to learn the scriptures. Today we have multiple copies in our homes. We have living prophets to counsel us as we walk this modern road. Their recommendations are the same as always: study the scriptures.

It is easy, in the hustle and the bustle of the world, to let scripture study fall by the wayside. We forget, perhaps, that study of these sacred words is the best way back to Christ. In them, we learn of what He would desire us to do; we develop a closer relationship to Heavenly Father, and we become more susceptible to promptings of the Spirit. Let us, then, look to the word of God and gain eternal life.

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