Elder José A. Teixeira, General Authority Seventy and member of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke at Tuesday’s devotional about finding joy and fulfillment through making inspired decisions and setting wise priorities.
Elder Teixeira began his address by sharing some of the many places he and his family have lived. He and his wife were both born in Portugal, but have spent much of their lives living elsewhere, including Germany, France and Switzerland.
Through their experiences living different places, they faced decisions about how to set priorities that would lead to joy and fulfillment. Like Elder Teixeira and his family, he said that we will also face decisions that will shape our lives.
“Your priorities of today will be your joy and fulfillment of tomorrow,” he said.
Prioritize returning to Heavenly Father
To illustrate his first lesson, Elder Teixeira shared an experience from Sister Teixeira’s life. Although she was born in Portugal, she spent a great part of her childhood in Angola, Africa. When her family moved, they left behind homes, art pieces and one of the largest private collections of books in Angola. After joyful experiences in Africa, a war broke out and the family suddenly had to move back to Portugal.
As they were putting their priorities back in order after the tumult of war, Sister Teixeira’s family met the missionaries. They were baptized and later traveled to Switzerland to be sealed in the temple. They made those actions a priority in their lives because they wanted to return to Heavenly Father.
“Our most important priority will always be to do those things that will enable us to return to our Heavenly Father,” said Elder Teixeira.
Do what is right
For his second lesson, Elder Teixeira shared experiences from his own life growing up in Portugal. His family lived close to the university. In the summertime, he read books in the university library, including some of his favorite comic books. Not far from the university was a cathedral, where he followed tradition and gained a religious education.
When he was sixteen, his family also met the missionaries. His family’s desire to join the Church was met with fierce opposition from close friends. However, their testimonies of the gospel changed their perspective and they decided to be baptized and sealed as a family.
“Popular views or the conduct of others should not deter or constrain us from doing what we know is right,” said Elder Teixeira.
“Our choice to believe in Christ and the priorities we set to live according to his teachings are central to a life replete with joy and fulfillment.”
Keep all your feathers
Elder Teixeira taught his last lesson with a fable about a bird and a traveling man.
In the fable, a bird sees a traveling man with fresh worms. When he asks the man for a worm, the man offers a trade: a worm for a feather. This trade continued every day until the bird only had one feather left. When he traded his last feather for a worm, the bird became the man’s prisoner because he could no longer fly.
“The things we believe to be true are the precious feathers that will allow us to reach our divine potential,” said Elder Teixeira. “If flight feathers are damaged or lost, a bird cannot fly. Likewise, if we trade our beliefs for worldly pleasures, we jeopardize our capacity to ‘fly.’”
Elder Teixeira concluded by saying, “When we love God and put Him first in our lives, everything else falls into place. When we extend that love to those around us, we find joy and fulfillment.”
Next Devotional: Elder Shayne M. Bowen, General Authority Seventy
Elder Shayne M. Bowen, a General Authority Seventy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will deliver the next BYU Devotional on Tuesday, November 13, 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 BYU Radio.