This post inaugurates a new series at Times & Seasons. We have decided to post discussions of and links to great sermons. While I have received suggestions from several of my T&S colleagues, I decided to start the series with a sermon that moved me during my early days in the Church: The Inconvenient Messiah by Jeffrey Holland.
If listing my Top 10 LDS sermons, I would name Elder Holland more than once. This sermon was delivered at a BYU Devotional on February 2, 1982, when Elder Holland was President (of BYU) Holland. That devotional was held just a few months after I joined the Church, and because I was a BYU student at the time, I was able to attend.
In this sermon, President Holland uses the temptations of Jesus to teach the value of obedience. At that time in my life, this was a welcome message. I was in the process of changing my lifestyle dramatically, and President Holland’s words seemed to validate my efforts. Even now, however, over 20 years removed, I am still fortified by Jesus’ refusal to succumb to Satan’s offers, captured through President Holland’s imagination in the refrain, “Yes, but not this way.”
This sermon seemed especially appropriate for me today, when my church meetings seemed to revolve around the theme of living faithfully through adversity. Although I was unable to locate a video or audio recording of the fireside, [you can find an MP3 recording here, thanks to Jason in the comments, and] you can read President Holland’s text here. This talk would make a nice Family Home Evening lesson, for those of you who are still searching for one this week.