BYU Education Week began in 1922 and is one of the largest continuing education programs of its type. Held on Brigham Young University campus each August, it offers more than 1,000 classes on a variety of subjects including education, religion, marriage and family, the arts, history, communication and more.
As part of Education Week, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visited campus and delivered a message of universal hope.
Inspiration for Elder Uchtdorf’s topic came from his decades of experience as an Apostle of the Lord. From his global ministry efforts, Elder Uchtdorf realized that "though our circumstances may be different, our hearts are not. For this reason, there are certain messages that all of God’s children need to hear."
1. Move toward the light Before becoming an Apostle, Elder Uchtdorf’s career was spent flying commercial airplanes. From his time as an airline captain, Elder Uchtdorf explained the sensation of prolonged daylight when flying west. Similarly, he learned that his “access to...warmth and light depended on [his] location, direction and speed.”
“God is in His heavens. He never changes. He never retreats. He does not alter His course.”
Like the sun, Elder Uchtdorf explained that God does not change course.
However, we do. In periods of darkness, we must remember to keep moving towards the truest source of light.
2. You are better than you think you are Through examples from the lives and careers of Fred Astaire, Walt Disney, Vincent Van Gogh and ancient and modern prophets, Elder Uchtdorf powerfully reminded us that “the Lord often accomplishes the most with those who feel the least accomplished.”
3. Learn to love God and your neighbor “When we wonder where we should put our focus as parents, siblings, church leaders, ministering brothers and sisters,” said Elder Uchtdorf, “it is already decided: Love God. Love others.”
“This is the bullseye of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he stated.
Living these two great commandments will help us focus our lives and spiritual efforts on what matters most.
4. Conflict is inevitable, but contention is a choice Referencing the life of the Savior, Elder Uchtdorf asserted that contention will always exist.
“When others throw insults at us, do we return fire?” he asked. No: “There is a better way, the Lord’s way!”
Handling conflict in a Christlike manner will vary. “To some, we say nothing. To others, we state with quiet dignity who we are, what we believe and why we believe,” Elder Uchtdorf said.
But no matter the response, “we stand confident in our faith in God, trusting that He will uphold us in our trials.”
5. Our Heavenly Father is a God of new beginnings As we learn to let go of our sins and take full advantage of Christ’s Atonement, we invite God to create new growth in our life.
“Every day, every hour can be a fresh start — an opportunity to renew ourselves in the Holy Spirit and become better at walking as true and faithful disciples of the Savior,” Elder Uchtdorf said.
Elder Uchtdorf affirmed that these five messages will help God’s children receive strength and encouragement.
“Like you,” Elder Uchtdorf stated, “I am a poor pilgrim who strives imperfectly to walk the path of discipleship.”
However, as we give our imperfect efforts to God’s perfect work, we can eventually “return to Him and live ‘in a state of never-ending happiness.’”
Next Devotional President Kevin J Worthen and Sister Peggy S. Worthen will deliver the next devotional address on Tuesday, September 7, at 11:05 a.m.
The address will be available for in-person attendance at the Marriott Center and via livestream on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM and SiriusXM 143.