Archive for the ‘Devotionals’ Category

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.”

Aaron Sanns Devotional – July 7, 2015

Sanns, Aaron

Brother Aaron Sanns, the Director of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at BYU-Idaho, spoke to students during the weekly devotional about a more accurate view of life.

Sanns first talked about the view he and his family create at their home. They plan and design the landscaping, plant trees, remove dead plants and grow pumpkins. Inside the home they place inspirational pictures and sayings on walls and their desks. “Our view on life can be like the views from our homes. The things we choose to surround ourselves with influence how we see the world. This includes printed materials, media and technology,” he said. “We should choose wisely so we don’t plant the spiritual equivalent of skunk cabbage, dandelions and poison ivy. We also don’t want to leave diseased and rotting trees that may fall and cause harm. They need to be hewn down and burned.”

He said it’s easy to feel anxious about the state of world with so much technology at our fingertips and the instant knowledge we can get about events happening around the world. “Everything is breaking news and most news seems to be negative.” Sanns says there is much more good happening around the world. He said we need to create our own views of the world based on reality. “We cannot let the negative and bad things paralyze us into inaction or passivity, waiting for others to act upon us. We cannot sit back and let the world create our view.”

Sanns continued with good, better and best ways to shape your own view of the world. He outlined the many amazing things in the world today like adult stem cell research, bionic limbs and mobile stroke units. He detailed the strength of the Church with its 15 million members, 173 temples and 85,000 missionaries.

He said the best way to create a positive view of reality is to “consider and act upon your knowledge of the grand big picture which is an eternal perspective of God’s Plan of Happiness.”

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.”