Elder Shayne M. Bowen, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke at Tuesday’s devotional about preparing for life by living with character, honor and integrity.
Elder Bowen began his address with a story about a farmhand who declared to a farmer that he could “sleep when the wind blows.” The farmer was puzzled by the declaration, but trusted something about the boy and hired him anyway.
One night, a storm woke the farmer. He rushed outside to get the farmhand’s help only to find the farmhand sound asleep. As he went around the barn, he realized that the farmhand had prepared the farm for a storm. All the animals and supplies were safe.
The farmhand was able to sleep through the storm because he was prepared. Elder Bowen said that in order for us to “sleep when the wind blows,” we must also be prepared. Preparing for that means living a life of character, honor and integrity.
“In all of your dealings with others, decide today to do the right thing for the right reason. If you wait until the moment of necessity to make that life-changing decision, you will often make the wrong choice,” said Elder Bowen.
“Prepare in times of peace, and you will be prepared for the heat of the battle. In those intense moments, you will act instinctively because that is who you are.”
Elder Bowen then shared a few examples of choices that display character, honor and integrity.
He shared that the BYU Honor Code is an example of those characteristics. BYU students chose to abide by those standards and now must uphold them. He also suggested that for BYU students, having good study habits and a faithfulness to God shows honor and integrity.
Elder Bowen recognized that developing these Christlike attributes is not easy. Sometimes humans let pride guide them and they may shape their lives to meet the expectations of others. In those times, he encouraged attendees to remember that they are sons and daughters of God.
“I can promise you that all who develop in this earthly existence character, honor and integrity, and receive and keep all of the covenants God has made available to His children, will inherit eternal life. This is our end goal. It is also the great test of this life.”
Elder Bowen also shared that the true test of these attributes is how people treat each other. Integrity, he said, is acting with kindness and treating others as the Savior would.
Elder Bowen concluded by looking back at the story of the farmhand who slept through the storm: “And now, returning to our unassuming farm boy, I pray that whatever storms come into your life – and I promise they will come – that you can be a person of character, honor and integrity. And most of all, I pray that you can sleep when the wind blows.”
Next Forum: Christine Porath, McDonough School of Business
Christine Porath, associate professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, will deliver the next BYU Forum address on Tuesday, November 27, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.