Elder Terence M. Vinson, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday’s campus Devotional address. He spoke about meekness and placing our total trust in God.
Elder Vinson shared a poem by Australian bush pilot Benjo Paterson, which was the inspiration for the film "The Man From Snowy River.”
The poem tells the story of a stockman (the Australian version of a cowboy) from Snowy River who came with his horse to help roundup a wild colt that had escaped from a ranch. Because of the dry climate and amount of ground to cover, multiple stockmen arrived with their horses to help the rancher in need. The man from Snowy River and his horse worried the others because they didn’t think the horse or the rider had enough experience.
“Naysayers and doubters are never in short supply — they’re a dime a dozen,” Elder Vinson said. “Similarly, many people today lack confidence in God or in the combination of us with God. But we know that God can make weak things become strong.”
The terrain was rough, steep and dangerous. Even though the other riders didn’t trust the horse’s ability, the man from Snowy River did.
“Herein lies the difference between the man from Snowy River and the others,” Elder Vinson said. “He had absolute faith in his horse. Because they’d worked together for a long time, he knew him perfectly.”
The man from Snowy River didn’t try to lead the horse or tell him how to maneuver the challenges, but held on and gave his trust completely. He knew the horse knew better than he did.
Elder Vinson paralleled this story of trust to our relationship with God.
“We encounter hardships and challenges in life. We can sometimes feel like we are careening out of control down a mountainside, beset with hidden holes,” he said. “But God has been there and done this before. So why not put our trust in him – He knows exactly how to handle it.”
If we are united with God, like the man from Snowy River was united with his horse, God will carry us to our goal. Elder Vincent taught that this unity with God can come through meekness.
According to Elder Vinson, the quality of meekness is best symbolized with a ram’s horn. A ram is an aggressive fighter, but draws strength in its stance, slowly making calculated and smart decisions. With a lowered head, it gains strength and power, much like we do when we bow our head to pray to Heavenly Father.
“When we combine sincere humility and faith with the integrity and strength gained through embracing and living absolute truth, and intimately knowing God, we become meek,” he said. “And those who are meek are anything but weak.”
As we grow closer to God and multiply our experiences with Him, we learn to be humble and submissive and gain strength and power.
Elder Vincent closed by extending a question to ponder to those in attendance at the Marriott Center.
“Will you stay as one with God, as the man from Snowy River did with his horse, by placing your full trust and faith in Him?” he asked. “Or will you, instead, hold back by lacking the courage and commitment, the meekness, to reap the rewards of your lives? Our quest is eternal life, and it’s won by His grace, only when combined with our faith in God and our efforts.”
Next Forum: Marcus Roberts, Jazz Pianist + Greg Clark, BYU English Professor
Marcus Roberts, an American jazz pianist, will deliver the BYU Forum address with Greg Clark, BYU English professor on Tuesday, February 25, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.
Their remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio and will be archived on speeches.byu.edu.