Archive for the ‘Devotionals’ Category

Samuel Clay Devotional – October 6, 2015

Clay, Samuel

Samuel Clay, a faculty member in the Psychology Department at BYU-Idaho, spoke to the campus about nurturing each other along the path of perfection.

Brother Clay is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He says he joined the Church after he graduated high school. In his talk he described what led to his conversion and the process of change that has happened since he joined the Church. He says he is grateful for the help of family members, friends and members of the Church who have helped him on his path to perfection.

“I testify that we need each other, that we need responsibilities, that we need to be nurtured with the good word of God, as President Hinckley taught; and most importantly, we need the Savior’s atonement, while we deal with life’s challenges as we seek to become more like the Savior and Our Heavenly Father.”

Brian Pyper Devotional – September 29, 2015

Pyper, Brian

Brian Pyper, a BYU-Idaho faculty member in the Physics Department, spoke in the weekly devotional about how all things testify there is a God.

He said he likes to play video games sometimes and likes to find what’s called “Easter Eggs” inside the games. These are additional levels, extra power or other fun changes in the game. He compared these to the “Divine Signatures” God left “creating you, the earth, and everything,” he said. “They’re sometimes big and obvious, where He might even say, ‘For God so loved the world,’ to make it absolutely clear, and sometimes they’re tiny little personal insights, prepared especially for you, a place in the foundation stones of reality where God signed his work then waited patiently and lovingly for you to find it. Each one testifies, not only that God exists, or even just that He was involved in creating that thing, but that He loves you. He loves each of us, not only enough to send His Son to Atone for our sins, but to build into the fabric of creation signatures of His presence and love.”

Some examples he gave include how God designed families to be a window into His love for us. “The things we experience, the signposts and moments of our lives in our families can give us insight on earth into how it is in heaven.”

He also talked about studying rocks and meteorites and how “rocks show unique, handwritten signatures of God’s love for us. He took of those materials, and created an earth upon which we could dwell. Because He loves us, for ‘any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.'”

Elder James J. Hamula Devotional – September 22, 2015

Hamula, James

Elder James J. Hamula, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to the students at BYU-Idaho during the weekly devotional about the importance of the day September 22. It was on that day in 1827 Joseph Smith received the gold plates from the Angel Moroni. He translated those plates into The Book of Mormon.

Elder Hamula also talked about his personal experience learning for himself the truth of the Joseph Smith story and of The Book of Mormon. He said just after he finished reading The Book of Mormon for the first time as a teenager he decided to read Joseph Smith’s story. Reading the story prompted him to sincerely pray to find out if the story was true and if The Book of Mormon is true.

“Almost immediately, I had a feeling come over me that was unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life up to that point,” he said. “It was a feeling of love that entered into my heart and consumed my entire being. With it came an assurance to my mind that infused my whole being with a profound peace. So overwhelmed was I that I began to weep — not out of fear, but out of joy. In this moment, the intense feelings of love and peace that were filling my soul delivered to me knowledge and intelligence that are more deep and enduring than can be obtained through the physical senses alone. Without seeing, touching, or hearing, I knew that there is a God in heaven, that He is my Father, that Jesus Christ is His Son and the Savior of mankind, and that Joseph Smith saw them both, just as he reported.”

Elder Hamula said divine revelation cannot be produced at will, but there are conditions to have in your life to move the Lord to “speak to us, when and as He wishes.” He said there are four conditions: exercise faith in God our Father; sincerely inquire of God; earnestly listen for God’s voice; and act in faith on what you receive.

Euleza Hymas Devotional – September 1, 2015

Hymas, Euleza

Euleza Hymas, the Social Activities Advisor in the Activities Department at BYU-Idaho, spoke to students at BYU-Idaho about potential and perspective during the weekly devotional address.

Hymas told the students how she woke up with a major migraine one morning – she gets chronic migraines – but decided to go to work despite her pain. She said she had a workshop which the school had paid for her to attend. During the workshop she learned about the unique strengths each of us has and how they can be used as tools for good. She said her perceptions of others and herself changed and that that workshop changed her perspective.

“Heavenly Father has sent us all here to be his tools, his hands, and it is up to us to do our part to be allowed to be molded to become and reach our full potential.”

She also talked about the lessons she learned while watching the process of young women in her stake make vases out of clay. “Whether we made choices that took us there or whether we were blessed with a trial to make us stronger. Whichever the case may be we now are a stronger vessel for walking through the experience.”

Kyle Walker Devotional – August 25, 2015

Walker, Kyle

Kyle Walker, a counselor in the Counseling Center at BYU-Idaho, gave a devotional address about enduring trials.

Walker talked about his oldest son Josh, who, as a young boy, had a tumor in his brain. Doctors were able to safely remove it, but it required Josh to go on several medications. Years later, as a junior in high school, doctors found several more tumors in his brain.

Walker says through the whole time of treatment, Josh kept his calm, happy demeanor. “In our experience with Josh he was a great example of enduring cheerfully. He literally never complained once through the whole ordeal.”

Walker says he learned many things during the time his son was in the hospital. He pointed out five: as you go through trials work to be submissive to the will of the Lord; allow others to help you; during trials, grasp the iron rod (word of God) with all your strength; personal prayer is critical; seek to serve others while experiencing trials.

“I hope that we can view our trials not as irritants or a time to ask “why me?”, but rather as an opportunity to deepen our discipleship and draw close to our Heavenly Father,” he said.

Dawn Shirley Devotional – August 18, 2015

Shirley, Dawn

Dawn Shirley, the BYU-Idaho Purchasing Card/Travel Specialist, gave a devotional address about being ready for what comes in life.

She told a story about flying a plane with her husband Tod to help her brother pick up a car he purchased. On their way home to Rexburg, cloud cover made it difficult to see and they had to call for help.

With some help from another plane they were able to safely land. Two other planes had also called for help. One of them crashed into a mountain, killing everyone aboard. The other made an emergency landing and the people aboard were hurt. Shirley and her family were able to eventually get home safely.

“Letting fear, having no motivation, and not willing to challenge yourself, can only eliminate talents and opportunities that our Heavenly father has in store for you,” she said. “No one is ever too old, or too young – to learn, be prepared, or to be ready.”

Derik Taylor Devotional – August 11, 2015

Taylor, Derik

Derik Taylor, the activities resources manager in the Student Activities Department at BYU-Idaho, talked to students about creating a family legacy.

Taylor has been married to his wife Amanda for 15 years. He said when they were first married they talked about having children and how important it was for them. “It became very clear to us then that what we wanted more than a promising career in business was to raise a righteous family and that we didn’t want to wait until we completed our schooling,” he said.

They tried unsuccessfully for six years before they adopted their first son. They now have two boys.

Taylor said he loves being a father, but feels pressure to raise his sons righteously. He recalls teaching moments he had as a child with the righteous members of his family. He shared some of those moments with the students, including the lessons of hard work, being reliable and what your name represents. “I know with all of my heart what a blessing it is to be raised in the gospel by wonderful parents that taught me to love the Lord and to recognize Him often. I am also well aware that not everyone has had the same opportunity. With or without a strong upbringing in the gospel, we have the chance to set our legacy now and determine the path that will lead our families back to our Heavenly Father.”

Mike Thueson Devotional – August 4, 2015

Thueson, Mike

BYU-Idaho’s purchasing and travel director, Mike Thueson, spoke to the students at BYU-Idaho August 4, 2015 about becoming spiritually conscious and relying wholly on Jesus Christ.

He shared personal stories of times in his life when he felt completely helpless. One of those was when his daughter, Jessica, was involved in an accident and died. At the same time, his wife had a baby eight weeks premature. He said he felt like Jairus from the eighth chapter in the book of Luke in the Bible. His daughter died and he turned to Jesus for help. Jesus rose the little girl from the dead.

“In our despair, we became completely aware of our need for the Savior and we obtained a greater understanding of the plan of salvation,” said Thueson. “I still think of Jessica every day. Now her memory is a constant reminder of wonderful days to come. Because of Jesus Christ, the daughter of Jairus lives and so does Jessica.”

Thueson said after you rely on Jesus Christ, you must bind yourself to him by entering covenants and ordinances performed by the holy priesthood.

“I have an invitation for each of us. Heed those uncomfortable suggestions from the Spirit,” he said. “Judiciously evaluate your relationship with Christ. Commit more fully to keep your covenants. I promise you that over time improvements in just one these things will help you win important victories and gain spiritual high ground.”


Brian Howard Devotional – July 28, 2015

Howard, Brian

Brian Howard, a BYU-Idaho faculty member in the Communications Department, gave the weekly devotional address at BYU-Idaho July 28, 2015. He talked about the role of media in hastening the work of God.

He outlined some of the technological advances throughout history, most of which didn’t happen until after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in 1830. He talked about his fascination with radio as a child and how that led him into a career in television and as a teacher at BYU-Idaho.

He cautioned students about the use of social media. He challenged them to take an inventory of how much time they spend with media every day. “Although the media journal project is not meant to be an ‘intervention’, some students are very surprised and sometimes embarrassed at what they discover when they take a serious look at their media use. I would invite all of us to examine our media consumption. Take the time to review how much time we are spending on our smart phones and other devices and for what purpose.”

Sharon Eubank Devotional – July 14, 2015

Eubank, Sharon

Sharon Eubank, the executive director of LDS Charities – the humanitarian organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a devotional address at BYU-Idaho on July 14, 2015.

She talked about what she calls a “liahona of learning.” She explained the Lord guides us like the liahona guided Lehi and his family in “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

She said sticky questions are ones that keep returning to your mind. She says the Lord will lead you to answers, but not always as quickly as you want. That’s what can lead to what she calls spiritual panicking. “This is the idea that when things don’t go right within a day or two of our praying for them or if we have been working on something for 1-2 weeks and we don’t feel God is responding to our requests, we panic. We freak. We believe our prayer isn’t being heard or that the Father is deaf to us or we aren’t somehow righteous enough. We start taking things into our own hands and forgetting or ignoring that we asked him to intervene in his own time. We put the burden of the thing back on our own shoulders. All because we have about a 2 week window before we start to panic.”

She said if you wait on the Lord, you’ll find the right questions and will be led to the answers. “The questions that will guide you are scattered everywhere. In class. In a conversation with a friend. In your mind as you jog. In the scriptures when you study. But once they stick to you and you start to truly consider them, the Lord starts guiding you step by step until you get to a new place.”