Elder Vern P. Stanfill, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday’s devotional address. He spoke about exemplifying the Beatitudes’ definition of “peacemaker.”
While BYU strives toward high academic goals and applauds career development, Elder Stanfill reminded us to also focus on contributions of eternal worth. After all, university days — especially at BYU — are meant to be transformative.
“When we cross to the other side of the veil, will it matter to us that we have an iPhone 13 or will it be an act of kindness that brought us peace? Those who make a difference change generations by bringing people closer to the Savior — these actions will be eternally remembered.”
Bringing life-changing peace into the lives of others requires more than what we currently are, said Elder Stanfill. We must become consecrated peacemakers, which the Savior describes in His Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Elder Stanfill suggested that peacemakers are not just diplomats or conflict resolvers — they are representatives of the Savior Himself.
“[Christ] is speaking of those who extend the peace that He offers. They act in peace; peace is written on their countenances and they represent the Prince of Peace.”
Elder Stanfill shared examples of two individuals — the biblical woman at the well in Samaria and Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail — to illustrate how Christ can extend peace.
In both stories, the historical figures lacked peace. The Samaritan woman was a social outcast, and Joseph Smith struggled to feel hopeful in his horrible circumstances. Nevertheless, both found sanctuary in the Savior, said Elder Stanfill, and remind us that Christ's peace is always accessible, despite worldly difficulties.
“Perhaps our sincere petitions for the good of those we love seems to be lost and fallen on deaf ears. We seek immediate response, but it does not come to our liking. It is not easy, yet we can find peace when our faith overcomes our fears and doubts. Often this comes as others reach out with love and concern, their faith shoring up our own.”
Elder Stanfill then shared the story of a convert Cuban sister who found faith, strength and peace through the fellowshipping efforts of a Latter-day Saint sister. Using this tender story, Elder Stanfill urged us to become the peacemakers that we ourselves need.
“Each of you may be able to identify individuals in your life who have been true peacemakers — those who have brought you closer to the Savior by caring, loving, inviting and extending the peace that He offers you. I believe these are the peacemakers the Savior blesses. These are the peacemakers the world needs so desperately now, and they will be remembered for all eternity as ‘making a difference.’”
As we become the Savior’s ministering angels and peacemakers, we can feel increased happiness, obtain eternal glory and truly “be called the children of God,” testified Elder Stanfill.
“The attributes of our Heavenly Father and His Son are promised to those who believe in the name of the Savior and who understand, embrace and practice certain principles.”
Next devotional Megan Sanborn Jones, chair of the BYU Theater and Media Arts Department, will deliver the next devotional address on Tuesday, March 8, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.
Her remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM and SiriusXM 143. Video, text and audio are archived on speeches.byu.edu.