Keeping the Lord in Your Sights; A Welcome Back Forum with the Cordons

President Bonnie H. Cordon

To kick-off the new semester, the Southern Virginia University community gathered on Jan. 12 for a welcome back forum with President Bonnie H. Cordon and Derek Cordon. Together, the Cordon’s spoke on the importance of keeping a narrow focus on the prophets and the Lord, having intentional prayer, and finding ways to serve others.

“As you start this new semester, I invite you to think about this: What is it that is going to help you be the most successful human being?” said Derek. “While there can be many things, I promise that if you focus on the prophet, the Lord, and the temple, you’ll be successful.”

To highlight the blessings of keeping a narrow focus on the Lord and His prophets, Derek shared the story of King Benjamin’s final address to his people from The Book of Mormon. To best receive the prophet’s message, the people turned their tents to face him, keeping their focus narrow and intentional.

Derek Cordon

“They came prepared to hear the words of their prophet, and he taught them to keep the commandments of God,” said Derek. “Here’s the blessing, and it’s a blessing each of you can have as well. As you focus on the prophet and keep Christ in your life, you will be filled with rejoicing and love towards God and all men.”

Reflecting on her time as a college student, President Cordon shared a powerful lesson she learned about serving others. On a day where nothing seemed to be going right, she and her roommate were asked to serve a young woman they had never met who was also having a bad day.

“I was amazed at what happened to us after we left that young woman’s house,” said President Cordon. “All of our worries and frustrations just melted away. I don’t think our feet hit the ground as we went home. Helping somebody else and making a small difference actually lifted our spirits and changed our lens, and it will do the same for you.”

When recently asked by a friend about her New Year’s Resolutions, President Cordon remembered President Russell M. Nelson’s General Conference invitation to make personal prayers a living discussion with the Lord, and decided to make that her focus.

“I’ve been learning so much by making the effort to have living discussions and taking time to listen to the Lord,” said President Cordon. “I invite you, if you need a new New Year’s resolution, or you want to add one to your list, to try having living discussions with your Heavenly Father as well. We can do this journey together.”

“And as we go forward into the semester, I pray that you realize that you do not have to do this alone,” President Cordon continued. “Look at the people around you. These are people that will help you. I want to testify that we are disciples of Christ, and as we follow him, we will have increased clarity and find joy in all things.”

During forum, the campus community joined in singing “All Creatures of Our God and King,” and ended the event with the traditional singing of “Love One Another.”