Using a New-Net to Become Fishers of Men
Jonathan Johnson, president and executive director of the More Good Foundation, spoke at Devotional on May 15, 2018.
Using a New-Net to Become Fishers of Men
Thank you, wonderful choir, for that tremendous music. I had come and realized in my travel downtown this morning that I had forgotten my handkerchief, and I really regretted that, in the opening song. I love being here. I love and appreciate the invitation that’s been extended, from President Kusch, from the administration and faculty here at LDS Business College. I’ve had a wonderful and warm association and feel a kinship here. But I knew, as soon as “Hope of Israel” was played, that I would have a hard time maintaining my emotion, especially as I—excuse me, brothers and sisters—had the association or the opportunity to associate with a few of you, prior to this devotional beginning.
I find my fuel as I speak comes from my association with you and the energy that you possess, and I feel it now. I so appreciate, as I look out over you, the goodness you possess. I’m grateful for the message of that wonderful song that was sung, and the simple declaration that I know He lives, and that I know He loves me. What tremendous messages are contained in those two most important thoughts. Thank you.
Ruby, where are you? Ruby, thank you. That was just incredible. I appreciated Ruby’s message as well. I think sometimes, if we feel we have made mistakes, or if we have fallen or failed in some way, we are branded, we are labeled, we are broken. And I think sometimes we forget that the only way we grow physiologically is through opposition and through resistance—and at a molecular level, often through tearing is how our muscles rebuild and find the greatest strength. I appreciate Ruby, very much, your inspired words, as a prelude to the thoughts that I wish to share with you.
Every time that I have an opportunity to speak, it’s a little awkward for me, because they insist on reading a bio. I don’t know if you know what it feels like, but it feels like you are attending your own funeral and someone is reading your eulogy. I wonder if it feels that awkward beyond the veil. But I was grateful that this was more of an abbreviated bio. I don’t consider myself, brothers and sisters, anyone of significant consequence any more than I consider you of significant consequence in the Lord’s work. But I do not feel that I am special or unique, except that I have the chance to be with you, and I take seriously the responsibility that is mine today and the obligation that I have. You could be anywhere today, but you are here. I don’t know why you are here, but I am grateful that you are here. I have felt the responsibility of preparing what it is that I might share with you.
I had the opportunity as a missionary in eastern North Carolina to hear from President and Sister Hinckley, when they entered the East Carolina Campus Events Center, where we were eagerly awaiting to hear the prophet and hear from Sister Hinckley. As they walked in, we experienced what you have experienced if you have ever been in the Conference Center before a general conference session or a general priesthood session or women’s conference session—the hush that comes over the crowd, the testimony that a prophet of God has just entered the room. And I looked to my left, and the missionaries were strategically positioned, just right of the stage. I happened to be on the front row as they walked past, and President Hinckley—some of you will remember—carried a cane, and he used that cane as an extension of his hand, and he would wave it like this. He would wave this cane, and as he walked past the missionaries apologetically with his cane, he said, “I’m sorry. I wish I could shake all your hands, but I can’t.” And that was okay with us, because just simply, as my eyes met his, I knew that this was a prophet of God, and I felt as if he had put his arms around me and extended the loving arms of the Savior.
As he took his place on the rostrum, we were eager for the meeting to begin. At the very beginning of his comments, he looked out at the audience and he talked about what an awe-inspiring scene it was for him to see all of these Saints who had come from Virginia and eastern Carolina, who had sacrificed so much for the gospel over such a period of time. Then he turned to the missionaries, and he said, “Look at these missionaries.” And then he singled us, as elders, out and he said, “Elders, you’re not much to look at, but you’re all the Lord has.” That wasn’t what I was expecting, in this build-up to this great event.
You look so beautiful, you young men and young women who are here today. But I want to remind you that you are all the Lord has. As I grew up, I heard what you heard—you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. You have been saved for this day, young sisters and young men. Sometimes, I think that I felt—if I’m honest—that that was overplayed or overstated. And yet, I think it’s never more fitting than it is in this audience this day, that 1) you are all the Lord has, and 2) you are a chosen generation, for this specific time.
As I researched some of the statistics of your recent commencement, I saw what I had forgotten. The last time I had an opportunity of speaking here, I observed the same—the richness of the countries who temporarily call LDS Business College home, the uniqueness of this combined culture that comes together. Right now, there are 36 countries, as I understand it, that are represented at LDS Business College. That is quite remarkable. The only other place where I have had the opportunity of associating with the students where I think there was a similar density of cultural representation was at BYU—Hawaii.
What an opportunity, brothers and sisters! You are here for opportunities, to learn, to grow, to become, to share, and to go out in the world as covenant makers and covenant keepers, to continue to build and defend the kingdom of God throughout the earth. What fodder we have in this room, to extend the hands of the Savior. I wish today to share maybe some unique ways that some of you may have considered as to the how that can be accomplished, and [for] some of you, this may be new.
Behind me is an image, and you may think, “Why two burley men leaning over a boat with a net? Why that, as your backdrop for today’s presentation?” What is happening here, my good sisters and brethren? Let me give you the background. This is representative of the obedience of casting the net to the other side of the ship. What happened before this is the Savior approached his disciples on the shore of Galilee after a night of futile fishing. This was early in the morning. He boarded their boat. He said, “Push off. Cast off into the deep.” That struck me, when I was reading from Luke, chapter 5. “Cast off into the deep.”
Why? Well, in part, where I had heard that before, it was always used with foreboding—foreboding in that Jonah was “cast into the deep” (see Jonah 2:3). It had a negative connotation. But the Savior asked them, He who knew where the fish were, He who could clearly have commanded the fish to come onto or near the shoal, yet told them to cast off into the deep. Obediently, they did. But, if we read into the scriptures as they are recorded, Peter reminds the Savior that they had been drafting, he said, all night long (see Luke 5:5). In other words, they had been fishing throughout the night and had come up empty.
Brothers and sisters, we might just take that superficially and accept that that was all that was intended int hat scripture. But I would submit to you that there is far more, as we examine this scripture, that could be applied to us. Yes, they had been out, futilely fishing all night. But as we see, even after the Master’s passing, there was still a degree of naiveté that existed, or maybe just simple ignorance that this was, in fact, the Son of God, not the son of Joseph the carpenter.
Brothers and sisters, I am in a suit six days out of seven. I get Saturdays off. My brother doesn’t own [a suit]. He is a fisherman. He has made his livelihood through fishing, and he has done well at that. Now I want to paint you a picture. Imagine I boarded my brother’s boat after he had been fishing and had a less than desirable fishing excursion. And I stepped aboard, dressed as I am dressed, and I simply said, “You are doing it all wrong. Just simply do it this way.” Who would he cast off the other side of his boat? He would grab me by my suit and throw me off. “Who are you to tell me how to fish?”
Well, I sense a degree of the humanity of Peter when he says, “Master, this is our work. Sayest thou unto me, Cast the night to the other side?” But then something that I think is quite miraculous occurs. He says, “Not in my name, but in thy name.” Meaning, “I’m not sure I have the faith to trust in the arm of the flesh.” Good for you. But in the name of Christ, he obediently followed the counsel of the Messiah, and what happened to the net? It was overwhelmed, such that it broke the nets. We’re going to explore this a little further.
Shortly after telling them to cast into the deep, the Savior would follow up with the counsel, “Fear not” (Luke 5:10). Wow. We talked about, already, the association of the deep and the fears that may come or have been associated with that. But he then says, “Fear not.” Why? What had they to fear?
Well, he wasn’t through. His next statement to them was, “From henceforth, thou shalt catch men” (Luke 5:10). Or in another of the gospels, he said, “Leave thy nets, and I will make you fishers of men” (see Matthew 4:18-20).
I’m not yet through with expanding this metaphor. The net is a tool of the gathering. Chapter nine in Preach My Gospel is the “finding” chapter that many of you—returned missionaries, I saw, those in your commencement, I believe 222 were returned missionaries—so many of you have spent a lot of time in Chapter Nine, in the finding section (see “How Do I Find People to Teach?”). But I wish today for you to pay attention to the difference and the nuance between finding and gathering, as the House of Israel is gathered, not found. You might say, “Well, Brother Johnson, aren’t they the same?”
They are not. The net gathers. The net doesn’t hook. It doesn’t snag. Now, what is the new net that I would like to refer to today, and how does that apply to you? Well, I believe that this ancient metaphor has a significant application in how the House of Israel will be gathered, and how the gospel will be taken to the four corners of the earth.
Yesterday’s net, and its function—the Savior did not just simply provide fish for them to overwhelm them by His power and majesty. He provided fish for them because these were family men. He provided sustenance for them, such that they could consume, eat, or sell. And it would facilitate their next follow-up or subsequent call to go and feed His sheep and gather them.
Today, to pull a name out of the air, brothers and sisters, what is the equivalent of social media? It’s called social what? Network. Isn’t that convenient for today’s discussion? Social network. Why? Why is it called social network? Because it is a gathering place—a place, believe it or not, brothers and sisters—where your non-member friends like you even though you are a Mormon. Isn’t that amazing? Meaning we have gathered together people where you have broken down barriers that have stood in the way of your finding them in a conventional way, as you looked behind trees and under rocks.
In my mission, our policy, in part, was to speak to everyone we met. I loved that. You can tell how shy I am. I wasn’t afraid of talking to people, until there was a four-lane highway that separated me from the person I needed to talk to. So what was I left to do? Well, I had to set my trajectory; I had to come out with this mathematic formula as to how I was going to accelerate my gait on an angle like this with hers, walking this direction. But then what happened? She turned her head to see me coming, and then her gait accelerated, right? To outpace me in hopes that the fact that I was walking on an angle across the street didn’t mean that I was coming to speak to her.
Brothers and sisters, what a remarkable opportunity you have, because you have gathered in your social networks, or through the internet, people who are seeking the word of the Lord and simply “know not where to find it” (Doctrine and Covenants 123:12).
When preparing to speak here at LDS Business College the last time I had an opportunity, I stumbled onto a talk that was given by President [Spencer W.] Kimball in 1974. Only some of your faculty may remember this, I suspect. In 1974, President Kimball said this. The title of his remarks is “When the World Will Be Converted.” Brothers and sisters, that got my attention! I want to know, when will the world be converted? He said: “I believe the Lord is anxious to put into our hands inventions of which we, as laymen, have hardly had a glimpse” (Ensign, October 1974).
He continues: “When we have used the satellite and related discoveries”—and I would submit to you, sisters and brethren, he’s referring to technology— “to their greatest potential”—he did not suggest, brothers and sisters, that we are going to dabble in this, that we ought to try it out, or let’s scratch the surface. No. He said, “to its greatest potential…then, and not until then, shall we approach the insistence of our Lord and Master to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (“When the World Will Be Converted,” Ensign, October 1974).
Consider, brothers and sisters, in your missions—locked apartments and gated communities, political walls or partitions, or attitudes that stood in the way of your finding those. The truth is, I did as a missionary what Bob Ross did for me as a young art student. He painted happy trees and happy streams. Surely the gospel is about happiness and joy; I had no problem feeling that I was speaking with integrity, when I painted this nice picture as to why their trajectory should shift to mine, and why they should alter their course. But sadly, when the spark plug was removed, they were content, brothers and sisters, on their previous trajectory, when life got in the way.
Yet people are seeking the word of the Lord, and “know not where to find it.” Now, I’ve chosen that image—as I have traveled around the world, I have documented satellite receivers everywhere I go. You think, why? Isn’t that odd? Aren’t there better things you could be taking pictures of? Surely there are, but my mind, when I first stumbled onto this talk, took me to a place where, as a missionary, I thought, “What did Nephi mean? What did Isaiah reference? What was meant that, in the latter days, the sin of man would be revealed from the housetop or the rooftop? Or conversely, that the “book which was sealed,” speaking of the Book of Mormon, would be revealed from the same location? Was I to stand atop my roof with a copy of the Book of Mormon, and a convenient bullhorn, and proclaim the gospel from my rooftop? Is that what was intended?
Well, brothers and sisters, what I found quite remarkable is that, in the prophetic statement of President Kimball, in how the gospel will be taken to the four corners of the earth, he references satellite receivers—which, in 1974, were not on rooftops. Ten years later, they would fill up half of stake center parking lots and say “Scientific Atlanta” on them. And then, fast forward another ten to fifteen, and they are on every rooftop and housetop throughout the world—everywhere, every apartment, every commercial building.
Well, what is this? This is ancient prophetic commentary revealed. “The day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the housetops, and they shall be read by the power of Christ, and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men, which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be, even unto the end of the earth.”
In fulfillment of prophecy, both ancient and modern, there is this connective point, which is atop a roof. Cellphone, relay towers, or transponders, or emitters like this, satellite receivers, now adorn all of these facilities. Historically—and we won’t take the time to go through all of these statements—but behind me are statements from people who have had a significant impact on society, on the development of technology. And yet, these are gross misstatements from them: Socrates saying that “the written word would lead ultimately to a decline in society, that it would melt the brain. We have Charlie Chaplin that said people would never come to the cinema; it would never happen. We have Tom Watson, who spoke of computers and said there would never be a need for more than five. Misstatements that have missed the mark.
I wish to contrast that, sisters and brethren, by comments of prophets and apostles, both ancient and modern, who have spoken to the role—the significant role—that technology will play, and is playing, in both bringing the gospel out of obscurity and out of darkness, in assisting apostles and prophets in carrying out their apostolic responsibility to the world. And you can see some of those.
Now our dear prophet, President [Russell M.] Nelson, said, in 2008, “Our responsibility as apostles is to teach of Jesus Christ to all the world. When the Lord called his twelve apostles, he called them to send them throughout the world, and to preach of him. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. In those days they could talk to a few people here and there. In our time, we… have the internet. And the internet is a very excellent way of promoting the word of God. We have confidence in this medium” (see “Elder Russell M. Nelson Says Use Internet to Promote the Word of God,” LDS Mormon Apps.com).
Brothers and sisters, like you, I recognize that the internet and social media is not just used for good purposes, and that’s why I’m here to speak to you about this today. There is an opportunity for us to realize that you are a chosen generation, that you have, in your hands, devices that you are indigenous to. You have been born into this world—you are not adopted, like I am. I know your behavior goes something like this: before you fall asleep—in other words, before your body finally gives out and you are going to give up the ghost, there is like this, and you are hanging on for dear life, and it falls on your chest. And the first thing in the morning, you are rummaging through your blankets to find your phone, worried about what you missed in the three hours you actually had sleep during the night. Right? We just can’t bear the thought of missing something on Instagram story or a newsfeed or Snapchat, or what did I miss?
I realize that this technology that you have in your hands, you are using in some astonishing ways. But we have an opportunity of using it better.
I want you to think for a moment with me that there are attitudes that exist in our world. It is part of your being indigenous to this world. You don’t even realize, because it’s part of, engrained, in you, the behaviors that you exemplify in your daily activities. How many of you signed up for, or looked at “Rate My Professors” prior to signing up for your course schedule? Most of you did. I find that astonishing because, what you have done, in effect, is you’ve suggested that what is most important to you in your educational path is, is my professor easy, and are they attractive? And I wonder for the future of our world. This is your educational experience, is who is the easiest one and who is the most attractive. And what you’ve done, without even realizing it, is you’ve dismissed the fact that general authorities will interview the faculty who are teaching you, ahead of extending them a job opportunity. There has been a host of due diligence that has gone to qualify the faculty here at LDS Business College, but you don’t care. You’d rather hear from someone who is like you, who could be a terrible student, and discount the rest.
How many of you have purchased something on Amazon, without reading reviews? Very few of us, unless we are already comfortable with the product that we are interested in. We are looking for—the positive review? Or are we looking for the negative review? More often than not, we are more interested in the negative review than the positive review. Something has already taken us to the product, and brothers and sisters, what has happened in our world today is the authoritative messages of yesterday—i.e. the government, higher education, the media, and religion—are what today? Laughable. They are laughable in your eyes. Those sources of trusted messaging and media from just fifteen or twenty years ago, now you don’t trust at all. You discount them. And those who are yesterday’s non-authority, which is all of you in this room, are today’s what? Yin has split to Yang. You are today’s authority, and that is kind of scary. Right?
You, right here, brothers and sisters, are the authority on every topic, including the one that is most near and dear to our hearts—at least, that we profess is. And yet, how many of you are active participants in the discussion? How many of you are actively participating in sharing your beliefs? In paving our way? Or are you rather just simply playing catch-up? See, the problem is, we go out as missionaries, and it’s a wonderful thing, and we quote 2 Corinthians 13:1, that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses”—what? “Every word [shall] be established.” As if that only works for us.
And yet, I found myself, and I would submit, errantly—I’m a bit lazy with respect to trying to go to a dictionary to try to spell a word. Am I going to really go to a dictionary if I don’t know how to spell a word? What am I going to do? I’m going to just key it in to the Google search bar, the word I’m not sure how to spell, and then, what am I looking for? I’m looking for the usage of that word below. And if I find consensus, what? I accept it. That must be how it’s spelled. If I find two or three people saying, “this is how it’s spelled” and I see that, that must be how it is spelled. And brothers and sisters, I’ve realized I’m foolhardy to a degree, because with respect to our faith, there are many who are finding consensus online who are identifying your beliefs—errantly, but can we fault those who are seeking with accepting this must be what you believe?
Brothers and sisters, we have a covenant responsibility. Many of you have served missions. We have this affectionate little group that we identify and often sing “The Armies of Helaman,” have some association with these stripling sons. It’s great! It’s wonderful! However, I want to, for a moment, share with you the consequential nature, or lack thereof, of our total missionary force in the world.
How many missionaries do we have in the world, do you know? There are currently 63,000 missionaries who are serving. The world is 197 million square miles. There are 7.5 billion people. We have 63,000 missionaries and 16 million members, of which a fraction are active. So that you can understand, because I like to deal in reality, the consequential nature of our missionaries, I wanted to import our missionaries into a software tool that would give me a pie chart that would reflect our total missionary populace in the world. It is the one that’s on the right. You cannot see a visual rendering—it’s impossible for this tool to give a visual rendering of the total consequential nature of our missionaries throughout the world. I don’t mean to downplay. I love the fact that we have 63,000 missionaries. I wish every young person would serve a mission. However, you could drop all 63,000 missionaries in Mumbai or Taipei or Tokyo or a host—Beijing—of other global cities, and they would effectively evaporate.
My point is, brothers and sisters, while we have this wonderful army, the army needs an air force. They need someone to assist them—someone who is engaged in the same message that they are engaged in, but on the airwaves. Someone who can protect them from the onslaught that they receive in the finding pattern that they are deploying, only to find that, once they introduce the gospel to them, almost every time the social pattern of our day is, when we are introduced to anything new, including religion, we go to the internet. We go to others. We look for reviews.
Brothers and sisters, even with all 16 million, we are only the left image. It barely gives a visual rendering, as if it’s a monofilament fishing line. Yet, these technologies, as has been stated by prophets both old and new, have reminded us that this is the way we can reach the world—but only with your help.
Now, I want you for a second, with me—at the height, we had nearly 90,000 missionaries. When I did this originally, there were 74,000 missionaries, which was a nice round fraction. The last thing that I wish to leave with you is that our total missionary population, when we had 74,500, was one one-thousandth of one percent of the global populace. A thousandth of one percent. We need you. You have been prepared. You hold in your hands inventions of which we, as laymen, have hardly had a glimpse. Now, the responsibility—if you are not already—is to begin to deploy them, for the purposes that you have come to this campus.
As I have traveled, I mentioned, I like to take pictures of these things. That one is in Korea. I had a chance to go there, and my son was with me as we traveled, and we spent three weeks in the north Asia area, and our host took us to this UNESCO World Heritage site. My son spied the satellite receiver before I did. This was a place where they were supposed to live like they had lived for thousands of years, except satellite receivers, I suppose. And we found one even there. Church steeples with cellphone transmitters—this one is in Mumbai, India. Even at yurts in Mongolia. There is no place that we can not reach, and no place that we cannot be found. Yet, as I shared before, in Amos 8:12, it says, “They shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.”
Brothers and sisters, if we look at this as the net that it is, are we missing, are our sinews missing from this net, leaving gaping holes or other messages to gather those who are seeking to be found? We touched on these. What an opportunity we have to discover, grow, and become. That is straight from your mission statement. This is precisely what people are trying to do online. They are trying to discover, they are seeking to grow and become. It fits so well. And they desire to be trusted disciples of Jesus Christ.
Here are a few statements of people who have come to our various channels. Organizationally, we assist the Church in their reputation management and in digital strategy and media, and then we use our organization in collaborative ways. This is from one of our channels, from unique people who are seeking, who found something that encouraged them to go on. The one that’s on the right mentioned that he desired to go to church. He had been investigating the Church and found our free Mormons channel on YouTube, and then binge-watched. And that’s a common theme. We hear stories every single day of people who are studying the gospel on YouTube, and it causes me to shudder. And yet, what an opportunity. They find this content, find it engaging, find it entertaining, they watch all 120 episodes that we have created over the last year and a half, and they’re pursuing their investigation into the Church.
But he said, “I needed confidence to go to the church for the first time.” Brothers and sisters, if we remove ourselves from that which is familiar to us and imagine it being foreign, you have an opportunity to help people. There are people who are watching you every single day in your social media. There are some who, if you are attentive, when you have shared gospel messaging, have even liked, commented, shared, or left you a question, effectively opening their mouth. You were opening yours, and never considered it. As a result, you may be talking past one another. Brothers and sisters, what an opportunity to talk with one another, a pre-qualified audience of people who have come together.
He mentioned that that which he had learned in this environment prepared him—not just for his missionary discussions which he would pursue—but he said it also prepared him to share the gospel with his friends. You have this opportunity with you daily.
I’d like to share this video from Elder David A. Bednar. David A. Bednar gave this at BYU Education Week, and it’s entitled “Sweep the Earth as If with a Flood.”
I love that, and I love Elder Bednar and am grateful for his apostolic witness in this regard. This gathering place—brothers and sisters, I grew up in a church where, in fact, my third great-grandfather enjoyed companionship and missionary work with Wilford Woodruff and John Taylor in England. He was from England and Scotland, and you have heard the stories that I have heard of the Church of the Brethren, and this large group who had been prepared to join the Church through their ministries. I felt to investigate, as marvelous and miraculous as this was. I grew up hearing how these people had been prepared, and while they—I believe—had been prepared, brothers and sisters, I wondered. Was there something they did that we could learn from?
Upon investigation, to discover that, in fact, there most certainly was. Wilford Woodruff, when he had met with the Benbows, he started in places where people were gathered together. And John Taylor, the same. They went home—not home to England—they went home home, where extended family existed, who saw the blessings of the gospel in their lives, where trust was established. They went to their social network, and that group was connected to other groups who had been gathered, just like the Church of the Brethren. And this group, which was a primitive Methodist background, were seeking for more. But because they were gathered together, wonderful things occurred.
When President [Gordon B.] Hinckley went to Hyde Park in London, he went there because people had gathered themselves together. There is a gathering that’s occurring. We are seeing it in your behavior. We are seeing it even with family history, DNA, and other things. This gathering place is here, here, and there. Here, within your social platforms, as we talked about. Facebook—1.4 billion daily are on Facebook. Instagram—nearly 60% of your age group is on Instagram. Eighty percent live outside the United States. Yes, and it fits so well with this audience. What an opportunity for you to share the gospel in meaningful ways.
One person who has an average of two social platforms—and we’ll just, for the sake of discussion today, use Facebook and Instagram—who has an average of 500 friends, now has the compounding effect. You’re familiar with the compounding rate of interest, if you’ve studied finance. This has a remarkable ability to build. It parlays upon itself, and parlays upon itself. But if you share something that is then shared again, it shares again and again and again. You can suddenly reach a world of 7.5 billion people. And it lives into perpetuity.
This is a picture of my family. I wish my life was here. We were both dealing with a sick daughter last night, and she is home taking care of her. But she did wish to express her adoration for you, and admiration for you. I wish she were here. You can see how much cuter she is than I am. I love and am proud of my family, but the reason I am using this slide is that we can do simple things. This does not need to be more complex than it has to be. I’m not suggesting to you, brothers and sisters, that you become a Bible-thumping social zealot; rather, that you be authentic, as Elder Bednar counseled, by simply including your faith, not omitting your faith. So here, I have included in the “About Me” section that I am a member of the Mormon church, with a link to a Mormon.org profile.
I’ve included here. This gathering, as I talked about, is occurring also through DNA—wonderful opportunities for us to come together, to feel a kinship with one another.
In closing, brothers and sisters, the purpose that you have come here is—there are a variety of reasons that have brought you to LDS Business College, but there are also some similarities, and I think they are summed up in your mission statement. You have come here to discover—to discover what? Whatever is required for you to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Grow how? However the Lord would see fit. The beauty is the Lord sees us beyond our ability to see ourselves. And you’re doing that and experiencing that, but don’t limit your experience just to the Wasatch Front, to the shadows of the everlasting hills. You are here so the gospel can go back out to the four corners of the earth. And then Become disciples of Jesus Christ.
Brothers and sisters, I am grateful to live in this day, to watch you as a chosen generation who have been saved or reserved for this day, assist in the hastening of His work, assist in the gathering of Israel, reach, for the first time, the four corners of the earth. It is wonderful to be an observer and a participant in these latter days, to be led by a prophet, to be a part of the living Church. Marvelous things!
I know that God lives. I know that Jesus lives, and I know that they love me, and I know that they love you. I’m grateful to have spent this time with you, and I bear this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Jonathan Johnson is the father of four beautiful children, Brigham, Chanel, Max and Holland, and is married to the wonderful Heather Armstrong. Jonathan served a full-time mission in the North Carolina Raleigh Mission.
Jonathan is the president of the More Good Foundation, an organization that supports The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in digital messaging and reputation management. He is also involved in corporate consulting. Jonathan has been highlighted as one of 50 fabulous people in Utah Valley and as one of 40 entrepreneurs to watch under 40 years old.
Jonathan has spoken at devotionals and forums and has guest lectured at BYU, LDS Business College, BYU-Hawaii, BYU-Idaho, various Institutes of Religion, and has spoken in firesides, youth conferences and secular conferences in more than 10 countries. In June of 2017, Brother Johnson was invited to present the keynote address at the National Congress of Journalism in The Dominican Republic.
Jonathan’s LDS Church service includes being a primary teacher, young men’s president, gospel doctrine instructor, early morning seminary teacher, counselor in bishoprics, high councilor, second counselor in a stake presidency, and he currently serves as a bishop.