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BYU Devotional: Choosing joy and receiving revelation

President Kevin J Worthen and Sister Peggy S. Worthen welcomed students back to campus with the first devotional of the semester. They shared insights on how students can use their experiences to cultivate joy and to receive revelation.

Sister Peggy S. Worthen

Sister Worthen opened her remarks by sharing 2 Nephi 2:25: “Adam fell that men might be; and men [and women] are, that they might have joy.”

We are all here to have joy, she explained, but joy is often something we have to choose.

To illustrate that choice, she shared a story about a cab driver named Wally. When he first began driving, Wally complained about the work. As he improved his attitude and his service, he became more joyful. His passengers had better experiences and he felt more fulfilled in his work.

“As students at BYU, you will have plenty of experiences and opportunities that will be challenging. These opportunities and experiences can all increase your ability to have joy, if you view them the right way,” she said.

Taking Spanish and Norwegian classes at BYU were challenging experiences for Sister Worthen. She shared that learning the languages was difficult. However, as she focused on the parts of learning that she did enjoy—culture, history, syntax—she found joy in the coursework, even when it was difficult.  

“If we want to choose joy in our lives, it’s important that we don’t give up when we face difficulties,” said Sister Worthen.

Peggy S Worthen Devotional.jpg

President Worthen began by emphasizing the importance of receiving revelation: “Your success at BYU this year and in the coming years, and, more importantly, your eternal destiny, will depend in large part on your ability to recognize, receive and respond to revelation,” he said.

He acknowledged that it isn’t always easy to recognize revelation. In his own life, there were times that he became discouraged with his ability as those around him, like an able mission companion, shared stories of how the Spirit had given them specific direction in dramatic ways. He felt “spiritually tone deaf.”

“None of us is spiritually tone deaf,” he encouraged. “Because all of us are literal spirit children of perfect Heavenly Parents, each of us has the innate potential to receive and recognize revelation.”

In most cases, President Worthen said, we are being guided by the Spirit even when we don’t recognize it. However, we can all strive to do better and increase our capacity for understanding revelation.

He shared several ways to increase our ability to receive and recognize revelation. He advised students to:

  • Understand the revelatory process set forth in Doctrine and Covenants section 8
  • Spiritually prepare for revelation with daily scripture study, daily prayer, Sabbath day observance and regular temple worship
  • Physically prepare for revelation by following the Word of Wisdom, going to bed early and making mornings sacred
  • Set aside time and space to be open to the promptings of the Spirit
  • Learn from previous instances of experience and revelation
  • Trust God more and increase faith in Him

“Please know that even in those times when the heavens seem silent, there are explanations that will become clear over time if we will but trust God,” said President Worthen.
“Revelation will increase as we focus more on Christ, as we follow His direction to look unto Him in every thought.”

President Kevin J Worthen Devotional.jpg

Next Devotional: Carolina Núñez, J. Reuben Clark Law School

Carolina Núñez, associate dean and professor at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, will deliver the next BYU Devotional on Tuesday, September 18, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.

Her 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.

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