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BYU Devotional: Enter to learn; Go forth to fight

Elder Carlos A. Godoy, a General Authority Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered Tuesday’s BYU Devotional address. He gave a new spin on BYU’s motto, “Enter to learn; go forth to serve,” by talking about education and fighting against Satan.

Elder Godoy began by explaining that he never expected to give an address like this at BYU. When he received the assignment, however, he found inspiration from the BYU entrance sign and the motto it expressed. He made the expression his own by asserting “Enter to learn; go forth to fight!”

Enter to Learn

To illustrate the mission of “Enter to Learn,” Elder Godoy shared some of his educational experiences.

His first experience at BYU was entering not to obtain a degree, but to learn English. After his mission, he came to the United States hoping he could learn enough that he would no longer be so afraid of this new language. He later returned to BYU for an MBA program.

However, for Elder Godoy, learning in this context did not come easy. While his English ability had improved since his first time on campus, Elder Godoy felt that his skills were not enough to keep up with the people in his class. He received below average grades and was left out of study groups. He took extra English classes just to keep up.

“I know how it is to feel inadequate to do something or to feel frustrated with your own progress. But I want to assure you that you can do it. If I could do it, you can also do it. When we are willing to pay the price, anything is possible,” said Elder Godoy.

After his first year, things started to become easier. His English improved, his grades were up and eventually he received one of the best employment offers of his class.

“This principle can also be applied to your life. This mortal experience is a time for learning and growth, but sometimes it is not easy. Just like in your studies, you might feel inadequate or frustrated with your own personal progress, but I want to assure you that you can do it,” he said.

“It is possible . . . because we have the Savior Jesus Christ and his grace as a resource in times of trouble.”

Go Forth to Fight!

Elder Godoy then transitioned to the second half of his modified motto: “Go forth to fight.” Why should we go forth to fight? Elder Godoy said that understanding comes from the Plan of Salvation. According to Elder Godoy, we are in this life to learn and return to our Heavenly Father.

Each one of us has assignments to fulfill in this life, and our time at BYU “entering to learn” is one resource to fulfill those assignments. However, our common enemy will try and stop us. Elder Godoy said that in the latter days, this fight is becoming even more difficult. To overcome the adversary, “we need counterstrategies and proactive plans.”

Elder Godoy shared that many of President Nelson’s recent teachings are counterstrategies we can employ. He listed three examples:

  1. The new system of ministering
  2. Combining the Melchizedek priesthood quorums
  3. Home-centered and Church-supported gospel learning

To keep fighting, Elder Godoy recommended continuing to follow the prophet and applying his teachings. He also recommended focusing on the temple and serving there as much as possible.
“The Lord is aware of your struggles and your challenges. He knows you, your potential, your dreams. His Atonement is real and can help you become clean. But more than that, His Atonement can give you strength to do better,” said Elder Godoy.

“It doesn’t matter how behind you are in your classes, how bad some of your grades have been. Stand up and fight. You can do it! It doesn’t matter how behind you are in your spiritual life, how many mistakes you have made. Stand up and fight. You can do it!”

Next Devotional: Elder Randall K. Bennett, General Authority Seventy

Elder Randall K. Bennett, a General Authority Seventy of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will deliver the next BYU Devotional on March 19, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.

His remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM and BYUradio.

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