When I was very young, I remember my Aunt Chris teaching me how to swim in my grandparents Arizona backyard swimming pool. I remember the fear of her letting go of me in the water. I knew my life was in her hands and if she didn’t pick me up I was going to drown. She would give me little breaks to catch my breath, and then she would set me back in the water again, telling me to swim to her as she backed away from me. It’s weird because more than anything, I specifically remember those breaks—her standing in the pool holding me, as I would lay my head on her shoulder, and wrap my arms tightly around her neck. I would “cleave” tightly to her on those little breaks, nervously anticipating her letting go of me in the water to swim to her again. You would never know from those early swim lessons, but today I have a great love for being in and around water.
Our theme for the Layton Utah South Stakes Women’s Conference this year comes from Moroni 7:28, “Cleave Unto Every Good Thing”. In learning to swim, my aunt was the “good thing”. And boy, did I cleave to her. Sisters, what good things do you “cleave to”? And what are the “good things” Mormon is referring to in this verse? The word “good” is actually used twenty five times in chapter seven. In the same chapter, Mormon teaches us that “all things which are good cometh of God.” And further we read that “in Christ there should come every good thing.” There are so many good things in this world that we can choose to “lay hold upon”, but the things that involve our Heavenly Father and our Savior are the ones that we need to cleave to—they are the ones that will truly save us and help us make our way in these turbulent times.
God’s prophets speak to us and give us divine guidance. They keep us from getting distracted and loosening our grip on the things that matter most. We have received many prophetic invitations from President Nelson. I believe his invitations help us understand more of what God wants us to “cleave” to in our lives. Just as I cleaved to my aunt for protection and safety as she taught me to swim, it is my prayer that we will cleave to God and His great work—the only work that brings to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. It is a work that can change you and change me.