Archive for the ‘Devotionals’ Category

Gerald Griffin Devotional – February 2, 2016

Griffin, Gerald

Gerald Griffin, a BYU-Idaho faculty member in the Art Department, gave the devotional address Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. He spoke about the influence of culture on our lives, in what we choose and what we contribute.

He used the 13th Article of Faith as the basis of his talk. He focused on the final sentence, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”

“It is the responsibility to seek the best that the world offers us, to surround ourselves with experiences and activities that defy the limits we sometimes feel regarding peer pressure or popular culture,” he said.

He related culture to food. “If we exercise little or no discretion in the choices we make, what we do for entertainment and relaxation can resemble feeding from a barnyard trough—full of things that simply reflect a world of declining morals, harsh attitudes, selfish behaviors and worthless fascination.”

He said if we choose the nourishing food, or uplifting culture we can experience a higher level of consciousness.

He refused to give a list of good movies, music, art or other cultural entertainment to pursue. He did offer three principles to live by: Remember there are those who are only interested in making money, not art. Seek quality in every form of art; take a chance on something good you’ve never experienced before; learn the differences between the subject of movies or music and the messages they send.

Elder Bednar Devotional Report

Bednar, David A

Published January 27, 2016
By Ashley Baker

BYU-Idaho received a special visit from Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Tuesday.

The campus buzzed with anticipation for his devotional address. Students were asked to read passages from Joseph Smith’s history in preparation for the address.

Elder Bednar emphasized the importance of repetition in the teaching of the gospel. He said, “Many times each day and thousands and thousands of times each year. I am blessed to share my apostolic witnesses of these eternal verities. Brothers and sisters, repetition is a vehicle through which the Holy Ghost can influence our hearts and enlarge our understanding.”

He said repetition will enhance our opportunities for revelation. He gave an example of repetition through sacramental prayers. He then repeated a warning and promise he has shared previously at BYU-Idaho.

He said, “If the day ever were to come if intellectual arrogance, a lack of appreciation and a spirit of demanding entitlement were to take root at this campus among the students faculty, employees or at the community. Then on that day the spirit of Ricks will be well on the way to being extinguished and the heavenly influence and blessings that have prospered this institution and the people associated with it will be withdrawn.”

Elder Bednar bore a powerful testimony and shared his special love for BYU-Idaho and its students feelings on BYU-Idaho.  He said, his voice shaking with emotion, “I love you… and I love BYU-Idaho. I invoke the Lord’s blessing upon you, both individually and collectively.”

One student who arrived more than two hours early to make sure she would have a seat shares her thoughts on Elder Bednar and her appreciation for him.

“He’s intense but he is also just powerful,” she said. “Very straight forward, very like, he gets the point across. And he is able to reach people really well about even sensitive topics. Personally, he is my favorite speaker.”

Deseret News Editor Talks About Friendship During BYU-Idaho Devotional

Edwards, Paul

Paul Edwards, the Editor and Publisher for The Deseret News in Salt Lake City, spoke to the students at BYU-Idaho in the weekly devotional about Christ-like friendship.

He outlined the four types of friendships using the Greek words for love: Eros – the sensual, passionate type of love; Agape – abiding non-sexual love early Christians used to describe the love of God; Storge – natural affection or empathy; and Philia – brotherly love. He focused his remarks on the last type love. “This is the kind of deep friendship we see in the scriptures between David and Jonathan, united in their fight against the Philistines,” he said.

Edwards described his friendship with BYU-Idaho President Clark Gilbert using this type of love, “It didn’t take long, however, for us to recognize within one another a shared passion for student achievement, a shared recognition of how poorly contemporary higher education was organized to accelerate that kind of accomplishment, and a shared sense of mission that it was important to dramatically improve that system of higher education. ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one.’”

He emphasized to the students why he chose his topic, “I feel so compelled to have you think about how you invest in your friendships today, because it’s during these college years that you’re provided with unparalleled opportunities in your life for rich and varied companionship that should grow into abundant lifelong friendships.”

Listen to the full devotional broadcast below.

An Interview with the Deseret News Editor Before Devotional

Edwards, Paul

By Nina Janne

Today BYU-Idaho Radio had a chance to talk with Paul Edwards the editor and publisher for Deseret News about his devotional address on becoming a more Christ-like friend. We asked him what he thinks students should do if they struggle to develop friendships. He referenced the For Strength of the Youth when answering the question. “To have a friend be a friend. Sometimes those modest efforts to be a friend aren’t always reciprocated and that can hurt. I know it’s tough for introverts but it’s important develop the courage to extend a hand.”

We also asked him if there was anything he couldn’t include in his devotional that he would like to tell BYU-Idaho Students. “I allude to this in my talk but marital love really is, in my mind, a friendship. Often times marriage is romanticized in our culture. Those aspects are so wonderful but they are only a portion and a compliment to the daily interactions that have to be based on friendship. It’s a deep and abiding friendship that is warm rather than hot.”

photo (2)

Student reporter Nina Janne takes a selfie with Paul Edwards

During the interview he talked about his experiences being a friend and working with BYU-Idaho President Clark Gilbert at Deseret News. “He was really a wonderful person to work with,” Edwards said. “What I learned from President Gilbert was how important it was to bring passion to one’s work. I appreciated working with someone who takes their mission and vision so seriously.”

We also talked about how things are progressing with Deseret News. “We’ve had to do a lot of adaptation in the digital age to make ourselves as relevant and as widely available as possible,” Edwards explained. “People from all over the world go to the Deseret News as an authoritative source for news concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s just a very unique voice in the media that is getting traction with millions of visitors from all over the world.”

President & Sister Gilbert Talk About Families During First 2016 BYU-Idaho Devotional

President Clark G. Gilbert and His wife Christine. The 16th President of Brigham Young University-Idaho.

President Clark G. Gilbert and His wife Christine. The 16th President of Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Published January 12, 2016

During the opening BYU-Idaho devotional for 2016 BYU-Idaho President Clark Gilbert and Christine Gilbert talked about happiness in the family.

They spoke together and often referred to “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” document The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released in 1995.

They emphasized the importance of both mothers and fathers in the family and how the media and the world have distorted that importance. President Gilbert shared a story about a student he had while in his first year teaching at the Harvard Business School. She asked him for advice about having a baby.

“I responded carefully: ‘Claire, you are so talented and have wonderful opportunities ahead of you. But for both of us, no one will care in 25 years whether we went to the Harvard Business School, but rather whether we made a difference in the lives of our families.’ She immediately responded, ‘I knew it!’ Claire and her husband had a baby the next fall. I’ve reflected on that exchange many times. What became clear was that everywhere Claire looked—her peers, her work, and the world around her—the role of motherhood was devalued. In some ways I believe the reason she reached out to me was because I could validate an answer she already knew in her heart.”

Gilbert Family New

The Gilberts also shared some family patterns that have blessed their home including taking advantage of “transition moments,” like bedtime or when their children come home from school, to teach their children. They also have nightly scripture reading where each person in the family has time to quietly read and share individual insights.

Before the devotional, the Gilberts sat down with BYU-Idaho Radio to share additional insights about their devotional and their family.  Listen to that interview here.

Derick Rhoton Devotional – December 8, 2015

Rhoton, Derick

Derick Rhoton, a BYU-Idaho Business Management Department faculty member, spoke in the weekly devotional about honoring our father and mother regardless of our age and what to do when you’re home for Christmas.

Rhoton has 11 children and talked about some experiences he’s had with them when they have chosen to ask him for guidance and counsel, including one instance a couple of weeks ago, “I was riding in the car with one of my sons and he turned and asked me, ‘Dad, what do you think I need to do to be a better man?’ I was humbled and was grateful that my son was asking for my advice and counsel. I was honored that he was following the pattern of Nephi in asking me, his Father, what I thought he should do. As I gave him advice and counsel, as a Father, I felt an overwhelming responsibly to follow the promptings of the spirit as we counseled together about his life.”

He also gave three steps to follow as you try to honor your parents: pray for them, forgive them and proactively show them love and respect.

“If you will purposefully and prayerfully, ponder and act on these three steps, I know that you will be guided on how you can act individually, whatever your circumstance may be. Each of us can honor our fathers and mothers,” he said.

Karla LaOrange Devotional – December 1, 2015

LaOrange, Karla

Karla LaOrange, the Teacher Education Department Chair at BYU-Idaho, spoke about the courage to become what God wants you to become during the weekly devotional at BYU-Idaho.

She told a story about getting thrown into the Salmon River during a rafting trip and struggling to hang on to a rock so she could be rescued. She likened her river trip to our lives where we come to earth and experience unexpected things “that alter our plans, sometimes dramatically,” she said.

“As we anchor ourselves to the safety of the gospel, holding onto what we know to be true, we will be able to withstand the currents around us with courage and strength,” she said.

Sister LaOrange talked about her youngest daughter Ashlyn, who at age 15 started to spend more time at home, away from her friends. She said at first it was nice to spend more time with her daughter, but was concerned when the days became weeks, became months. Finally, she learned her daughter was choosing to spend time away from her friends who were making choices not in keeping with the gospel.

“Through her efforts to ponder her life, Ashlyn discovered her testimony of our Savior and began to define how she would live her life, setting a goal to serve a mission and marry in the temple,” she said. “And, now a junior in high school, she has been blessed with friends who honor her choices and value her as a daughter of our Heavenly Father.”

Sister LaOrange said we develop courage and strength through our experiences. They are not something just given to us. “Courage is not something that some people have and others don’t. It is not a gift that you can unwrap and suddenly own. Courage is gained as we trust in the Lord at all times and in all places. Courage is developed line upon line. It is earned through experience and strengthened as we turn to our Father in Heaven and hold to the gospel.”

Steven Rigby Devotional – November 24, 2015

Rigby Steven

Steven Rigby, the Computer Information Technology Department Chair at BYU-Idaho, spoke to students about ways to stay safe in a world of sin.

Rigby taught just as there are physical fortifications for buildings, cities and nations, we must increase our spiritual fortifications through prayer, studying the scriptures, following the prophets and giving service.

He said with these defenses we can withstand Satan and his tactics which include the “massive attack,” “Laying siege” or a “backdoor attack.” He explained a backdoor attack includes gaming, social media and our cellphones.

“You can bet Satan has a plan on how to use this device to sneak past all of your defenses. Do we have a plan on how to keep these backdoors shut? Is it written down and reviewed frequently? By one click of a button or link, Satan can bypass all of your fortifications and slip you into sinning within seconds,” he said.

Eda Ashby Devotional – November 17, 2015

Ashby, Eda

Sister Eda Ashby, a Music Department faculty member at BYU-Idaho, spoke at the weekly devotional about what it takes to become a Zion-like person.

She said everyone is entitled to gain a testimony of Jesus Christ, His Atonement, The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and the restored gospel. She quoted Doctrine and Covenants 133:17 “For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of His coming is nigh.” She said those who gain a testimony and join the latter-day restoration are on God’s path-straightening crew to prepare the way of the Lord.

But, she said, we must also clear the path to our hearts, “We must clear away the piles of worldly trash, non-heavenly entertainment, false precepts, destructive emotions, and sins, so they don’t block the path of the light- and so they don’t take up space in our hearts that would instead be filled COMPLETELY with the Spirit of God.”

She said as we become a Zion-like people she imagines looking down on the earth from space and “seeing a light in Rexburg, and many little lights in other places, dotting the earth, where people are striving to do the will of God. I imagine faithful people going out from here into the world, and new lights or stronger lights springing up where they settle. Gradually, the lights brighten and multiply.”

Elder Mervyn B. Arnold Devotional – November 10, 2015

Arnold, Mervyn

Elder Mervyn B. Arnold 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 increasing in Christ as you receive his image in your countenance.

He said during a training session of the General Authorities of the Church days before General Conference, President Henry B. Eyring invited those attending to experience an increase of the Savior’s image. Elder Arnold extended the same invitation, “By heeding the words of the Savior, the scriptures, and modern-day prophets, we can learn how to increase in Christ, integrating the Savior’s teachings into our very beings by doing what He did, becoming more like Him each day, and decreasing the natural man within ourselves over time.”