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Elder Claudio R.M. Costa: 'Ships are not to remain in harbor'

An inscription on the bottom of a painting of a sixteenth century ship in a harbor was the theme of a BYU devotional address by Elder Claudio R.M. Costa Nov. 11. It read, "A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."

"The phrase was in my native tongue of Portuguese," said Elder Costa of the Presidency of the Seventy, explaining that in that language, the verb "to be" has two translations: The verb ser refers to something that is fixed or permanent, while estar pertains to something that is transitory.

"The verb used in the inscription on the painting was estar, meaning that the ship — although anchored — was in the harbor temporarily, it will not be there forever," Elder Costa observed. "I was reminded that ships are meant to navigate the oceans and to experience adventure. I was reminded that it is the same with us."

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