Archive for the ‘Devotionals’ Category

Colonel Guy Hollingsworth Devotional – June 30, 2015

Hollingsworth, Guy

Col. Guy Hollingsworth, who teaches courses about Pakistan and the Middle East at BYU-Idaho, spoke to students about consistent spiritual preparation during his devotional address.

He told students about his desire to serve a foreign mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he received his mission call, he was at first disappointed to learn he was called to serve in the Albuquerque New Mexico Mission. He said he offered a halfhearted prayer and asked, “Surely Heavenly Father, there is no one better prepared than me to serve a foreign mission?” He said the scripture in Isaiah 55:8 applied to his situation that day, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” He served the mission and now prays to return there with his wife.

He also spoke of other times he was called to unexpected places or asked to fulfill unexpected duties including the call to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan in difficult assignments. He was also called as a branch president in each country. He counseled the students, “Whether a calling or assignment for you comes to help the many or the one, the time to serve is now, and the preparation that is needed for such a calling is often past.” He asked them, “what did you do to prepare to serve the Lord this morning, or yesterday, or last year? Have you built your testimony and preparation line upon line, so that when the Lord calls on you, in the form of a spotty Middle East Skype call, or in the comfort of your home Bishop’s office, will you have paid the price for that call to duty—regardless of where and what it might be?”

Col. Hollingsworth told a story about the difficult process of finding the right soldiers to serve in his interagency team. He said on paper each candidate looked stellar. When they arrived to join the team he would watch them closely. A couple of times he had to send the soldiers home because what he saw in person did not match what he read on paper. He emphasized the question to students, “Does your spiritual resume match up with your daily thoughts and actions—scripture study, daily prayer, serving others, staying worthy, keeping the commandments? Does your preparation that others see on paper if you will, match up with what the Lord really expects in whatever calling comes your way? Will He have to send you away from a potential assignment at hand? Or will you be able to deliver for Him on a moment’s notice today, tomorrow, next year, or 30 years from now? To answer yes on all accounts, you must truly take on a genuine and ongoing spiritual sense of urgency and a righteous call to duty.”

Kerry Huber Devotional – June 23, 2015

Huber, Kerry

Kerry Huber, a BYU-Idaho faculty member in the Animal and Food Science Department, focused his devotional address on what he called “our Gospel stronghold.”

Huber used the example of how the Nephites, in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, lost many of their lands to their enemies the Lamanites in the book of Alma. The Nephite leader Captain Moroni had fortified the cities, but later lost them because of internal strife. In trying to regain their cities, Moroni first tried to flatly ask the Lamanites to fight them on open ground, which they refused. He then used trickery to entice them out of the stronghold and beat the army and regained the city.

“Do you see the irony here? When directly asked by the Nephites to leave their “stronghold” and come out to battle, they flatly refused!” said Huber. “The Lamanites recognized that they held a definite position of strength over the Nephites, and they were not about to give that up. However, when approached in a slightly different manner, they willingly relinquished their position of strength and abandoned the security of their “stronghold” – to ultimately suffer a disastrous consequence.”

Huber said, like the Lamanites, we need to understand we have a position of strength or a stronghold. The ability to choose for ourselves, the Gospel framework and the power of the Holy Ghost give us the advantage over Satan. Satan tries to dull our ability to listen to the Holy Ghost of the Light of Christ, which puts us in a compromised spiritual state where “we become more vulnerable to being drawn out of our gospel “stronghold” – due to a reduced capacity to discern right from wrong and to obtain guidance from the Holy Ghost,” Huber said.

To keep Satan and his tactics of clouding our judgment or distracting us from living righteous lives Huber says we need to strive to set personal priorities and to not “overlook the ‘little-big’ things – the little things that make the big difference.” Those include personal prayer, daily scripture study, meaningful partaking of the sacrament, Sabbath day observance, temple worship, and service to others. “Acting in these “little things” now prepares us to receive spiritual guidance and have the needed faith to act in the future critical challenges of our lives,” Huber said.

Alan Dutson Devotional – June 16, 2015

Dutson, Alan

Alan Dutson, a BYU-Idaho faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Director of Academic Outcomes and Assessment, talked about becoming more like Jesus Christ during the BYU-Idaho Devotional.

He gave three topics on how to become more like the Savior: our role in the process of becoming, the role of the spirit and obtaining the spirit through the word of God.

“If you do not currently have a habit of regular scripture study, you need to begin. Whatever else you are doing with your time, your efforts to become will be less effective without the spiritual power that is available through the word of God. Exercise faith by making scripture study a priority in your life.”

Elder Michael John U. Teh Devotional – June 9, 2015

Teh Michael bio photo

Elder Michael John U. Teh of the First Quorum of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke to the students at BYU-Idaho about being a choice generation.

Elder Teh talked about receiving revelation, knowing good from evil, finding the right balance and what it means to endure to the end, “It is about continually learning and growing. The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about constant repentance and change. Therefore it is an uphill climb rather than a stroll in the park,” he said.

Elder William R. Walker Devotional – June 2, 2015

walker, william r

Elder William R. Walker, an Emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to the campus of BYU-Idaho about the importance of the temple to every Latter-day Saint.

He taught that God gave us temples as a means to find our way back to God and they can bless each member of our families, including our children. He said children innately feel close to God, “Things of a spiritual nature are not so far removed from us in our early years. Children, who are not yet affected by worldly things, are more sensitive to the things of the Spirit. Think how often Jesus taught that we must become as children.”

He also counseled for members to always have a current temple recommend, “Those who stay worthy of the temple, and who participate in Temple worship regularly, are far more likely to stay spiritually balanced and live in harmony with the Teaching of Jesus Christ.”

Marilyn Nelson Devotional – May 26, 2015

Nelson, Marilyn

Marilyn Richins Nelson, an accounts specialist in the Accounting Services Department at BYU-Idaho, spoke to students about holding onto the Lord’s hand during times of trial.

Sister Nelson told the story of growing up with a mother who had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She says her mother was so afraid of germs she developed rigorous patterns of cleaning, would only let Sister Nelson touch certain things in the house and made her stay in her bedroom in the dim basement. As she got older, the condition worsened. Sister Nelson’s neighbors took her to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She went to Primary and to Young Womens where she learned the Lord was with her during her times of darkness.

“Brothers and sisters, I am standing here today as a witness that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, does visit and strengthen his people in their afflictions and in their victories and everything in between,” she said. “I know He lives and His Atonement is real.”

Her mother and father, who were members of the LDS Church, became active in the church later in life. Her mother had a stroke which required her to let people take care of her. She eventually allowed herself to receive treatment for her disorder.

Art Ericson Devotional – May 19, 2015

Ericson Art

Art Ericson, a BYU-Idaho faculty member in the Information Technologies department, gave a devotional address about letting your light shine. He taught that light comes from Jesus Christ and to gain it you must do five things: keep the commandments faithfully, feast in the scriptures daily, express gratitude in prayer, bear your testimony of the Son of God as the Savior of the world and lift and serve others.

“As we receive God’s light and continue to practice these small daily tasks, we will receive more light until our body is filled with light and we will comprehend all things,” Ericson said. “However, if we do not study, keep the commandments and diligently seek to know truth this light will cease.”

Elder Daniel L. Johnson, Sister Johnson Devotional – May 12, 2015

Johnson, Daniel

Elder Daniel L. Johnson, 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 holding continually to the iron rod.

He talked about the vision of the tree of life recorded in the book of First Nephi in the Book of Mormon. He said there were four different groups of people in the vision, including the group that continually held onto the rod and fell down when they reached the tree of life. He explained what it means to continually hold to the rod of iron, “I would suggest that you start your day, every day, with the scriptures. I would suggest that prayer and studying the scriptures go hand in hand. They are inseparable companions. Constant prayer will lead you to the scriptures and continual scripture study will lead you to prayer. Both of them keep you focused on the Savior and give you access to revelation and to that peace that can only come by continually holding fast to the Rod of Iron.”

Sister Johnson related that her most treasured knowledge is knowing she is a daughter of God and one of the greatest blessings God has given are the commandments. She said when we obey his commandments “he will bless us with more commandments to tell us how to be happy, and how to have joy and how to have peace.”

Mike Sessions Devotional – May 5, 2015

Sessions, Mike

Mike Sessions, a BYU-Idaho faculty member in the Design and Construction Management Department, spoke to the students in the weekly devotional Tuesday, May 5.

He used a story from his childhood about a rattle snake inside his dining room to illustrate what it’s like to have sin in our lives. He taught our lives are like a house, “Built on sand or on stone, a holy temple or an unholy temple. If we leave the wrong door open, and the snake of sin enters our life, we make our self a place where the Spirit can not dwell , where Jesus can not come.”

Richard Clifford Devotional – April 28, 2015

Clifford, Richard

Richard Clifford, a faculty member in BYU-Idaho’s Department of Theatre & Dance and Associate Dean in the College of Performing & Visual Arts, spoke to students at BYU-Idaho about spiritual rebirth.

He used the example of Nicodemus in the New Testament, who went to Jesus at night to ask him questions. Jesus told him he mush be born again. Brother Clifford is an actor and portrayed Nicodemus in the Bible Videos series The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produced. He said he portrayed Nicodemus as having courage when he approached the Savior.

“Like Nicodemus there are great personal risks for you and me when we fully commit to a spiritual rebirth. And there are great spiritual fruits in store when you and I put off the natural man and yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit.”

He said there are fruits of spiritual vulnerability: increased gratitude, confidence that leads to whole-hearted obedience and service, increased desire to willfully repent, increased empathy and charity for others and an increased wonder in the Atonement of Christ.