Archive for the ‘Devotionals’ Category

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.

President Clark Gilbert, Christine Gilbert Devotional – April 21, 2015

President Clark Gilbert, Sister Christine Gilbert
BYU-Idaho President Clark Gilbert and his wife Christine gave the devotional address Tuesday, April 21, 2015. They spoke together and called their talk “Rise to the Call.”

They introduced themselves to the students of BYU-Idaho. They told them how they met at Brigham Young University and married. They eventually had eight children. During their talk they shared personal pictures of their family, youth they served in the church in Boston, Mass., and students they worked with at Harvard Business College.

They also showed the painting “Calling of St. Matthew,” by the early Baroque painter Carravagio. The painting shows Christ calling Matthew to follow him and be a disciple. Sister Gilbert explained the pattern learned from Matthew’s call: look up and accept the call, let go of things that may hold you back, seek the enabling power from the Lord, and be humble and recognize where the power comes from.

“Whether it was the young Joseph Smith called to restore the gospel, David to defeat Goliath, or Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, it is not the greatness of the man or woman, but their willingness to rise to the call that leads to power in the Lord. When we look up and truly understand the call the Lord is extending and let go of our self-focus, the Lord will empower us and make us mighty in His hands,” she said.

The Gilberts shared personal stories of when they rose to callings in the church, in their work and personal life including the path to Rexburg the first time, “We learned then, and we continue to realize, that when we rise to the calls the Lord presents to us, He blesses us in ways that are powerful and permanent,” President Gilbert said.

They finished their talk with a challenge to the students of BYU-Idaho, “Sister Gilbert and I invite each of you to share with others how you will rise up to the calls in your life. Rise up and accept the call the Lord has for you and seek for His power in magnifying your assignments. When you are on His errand, He will make you mighty in His hands,” President Clark said.

Listen to the full devotional.

President Kim Clark, Sue Clark Devotional – March 31, 2015

Pres & Sis Clark
President Kim Clark and Sister Sue Clark gave their farewell devotional addresses March 31, 2015.

Sister Clark taught the students an important lesson she learned while she was a student at Brigham Young University: “Be where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there.” She also said you need to be prepared to be there too.

She shared stories from her time at BYU including working as an early morning custodian and making the choice to go to class even if she was tired, going to church every week and participating in Family Home Evening group meetings and activities, “I can tell you that habit had a direct positive impact on my life and the lives of my children—literally. It was in my home evening group that I found their dad—my true love,” she said. “Where would our children be today if I had skipped out on home evening? Because I was following the pattern at that time in my life, I was also prepared to be sealed with him in the House of the Lord.”

President Clark shared the things he’s learned from the many devotional talks he’s given over the nearly 10 years serving as president of BYU-Idaho. He grouped what he learned into four themes: the redeeming and strengthening power of the atonement of Christ, acting with faith in Christ, obedience of the heart and soul and the eternal family.

He told the story of his son Michael who left on his mission only to come home a week later. He had some things he needed to work through before returning on his mission. President Clark said the Savior’s atonement changed his son over the weeks until he was a mighty elder in Israel and was able to return on his mission, “If you turn to Christ and repent of your sins, He will forgive you and cleanse you and change your heart. This is the redeeming power of the Atonement. If you turn to Christ when you face challenges and need capacity beyond your own, He can strengthen you and magnify your capacity. This is the strengthening power of the Atonement.”

President Clark invited his children, their spouses and their children onto the stage as President Clark finished his talk with his testimony. After the devotional was over, the choir sang “God Be With You ‘Till We Meet Again” while President and Sister Clark looked on into the crowd.

Shaun Orr Devotional – March 24, 2015

Orr, Shaun

Shaun Orr, the director of the BYU-Idaho Student Health Center, spoke to students about being faithful and praying always.  He recounted his memory of when the Teton Dam broke when he was just seven years old.  He was in a grocery store when the wave of water hit Rexburg.  He says he watched the water rise in the store and he thought he was going to die until he prayed to live. “As soon as the words left my mouth, I immediately felt the peace and comfort of the Holy Ghost. I had the feeling that everything would be OK. I knew that my loving Heavenly Father heard and answered my simple and heart-felt prayer. My loneliness and thoughts of despair were instantly, instantly replaced with love. I no longer feared my life would be taken.”

Elder Wilford W. Andersen Devotional – March 17, 2015

Andersen, Wilford

Elder Wilford W. Andersen, a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to students at BYU-Idaho about the faith to reap.  Using examples from the Book of Mormon, Elder Andersen showed the differences between the faith to try and the faith to do.

Steven Winkel Devotional – March 3, 2015

Winkel, Steve
Steven Winkel, a faculty member in the Animal and Food Science Department at BYU-Idaho, spoke to students, faculty and staff at BYU-Idaho about recognizing and receiving God given gifts. Among the gifts he outlined were prayer, scriptures and commandments with their promised blessings.

Listen to devotional talk