Elder Neil L. Andersen: 'Preparing for your spiritual destiny'

Using the story of the safe landing of a disabled airliner as a teaching tool during a Church Educational System fireside Sunday, Jan. 10, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve counseled young adults to prepare for their spiritual destiny.

Speaking to a congregation in the BYU Marriott Center and to thousands of other college-age young adults around the world by satellite broadcast and via the Internet, Elder Andersen recounted the story of a potentially disastrous U.S. Air flight on Jan. 15, 2009. Shortly after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport, the jet encountered a flock of geese, many ingested into the engines, stopping them. The plane's pilot, Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, heroically glided the airliner to a safe landing on the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey, saving the lives of 154 passengers and crew members as well as his own life.

Elder Andersen told the young adults their spiritual destiny relates to that flight in three ways. First, he said, the flight's passengers had a life before and after their short, traumatic journey, and "likewise, this mortal life is not where we began nor is it where we will end. We are on a journey. The journey began a very long time ago in a pre-mortal state." He added, "Just as our life began before our birth into mortality, our life does not end with the stopping of a heartbeat. We will continue on. Who you are, you, the distinct individual, you, will always be you."

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