Rickelle Richards, BYU Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science associate professor, delivered the Devotional address Tuesday in the Marriott Center.
In her address, Richards suggested that by opening our eyes to the beauty around us, we can learn much and have a fuller life. She outlined four specific beauties that have made an impact in her life and the lives of others.
1. The Beauty of Education: Richards discussed the hardships that BYU experienced in the 1930's. Though the odds were against success, sacrifices were made by students and faculty to keep BYU thriving and from that, it has grown into the university it is today.
"While at BYU, I hope you will cherish the opportunities given to you, which are unique to this university," she said. "I hope you catch the vision of BYU."
As members of the church, we have guidance from the Holy Ghost to keep us on the right path. Richards pointed out the importance of the Comforter and how he can help us make decisions concerning our education and career path.
"The most important educator we have in this life is the Holy Ghost," Richards said. "If we are willing to do all we can to pursue our dreams and then put our trust in God to take us on the path that He knows will lead to our greatest growth, we will be where God knows we need to be to become the person He intends us to become. Sometimes it can be scary to think of what's next, but if we have an open mind and heart, God can lead us to great things."
2. The Beauty of God's Creations: Over the years, Richards has come to stand in awe of God's creations, one specifically being food. She encouraged those listening to rejoice in food and the happiness and strength it gives us. Life is about finding joy in the little things and in our current circumstances, because most of the time our lives don't turn out the way we had planned.
"Despite what we might consider to be setbacks or disappointments, God wants us to find joy where we currently are in life, and to recognize that He has a plan tailor-designed for us," she said. "We can ask for God's help in opening our eyes and hearts to help us find an attitude of gratitude, so that we can better endure the trials that are bound to come."
3. The Beauty of Scriptures and Modern-day Prophets: The scriptures are an aid in our lives. Richards discussed how blessed we are to have them so readily available to us and how they can help prepare us for what God has planned for us. Here's what she said:
"If we allow Him to, God directs our lives and prepares us for what is yet to come.
"We are truly blessed to have access to ancient scriptures but also to living prophets and apostles who teach us God's words every six months. We have a wealth of knowledge and resources literally at our fingertips. What could fill shelves and shelves of bookcases we now hold in the palm of our hand.
"If we sincerely look at the marvelous resources available to us through ancient and modern scriptures, we will find Christ.
"We have been given the opportunity to find the truthfulness of the scriptures and prophets for ourselves. We do not need to rely on others to learn of Christ and His teachings. We have been given a promise that if we 'ask…with a sincere heart [and] with real intent…He will manifest the truth of His words unto [us]' (Moroni 10:4). We can each know for ourselves. That is truly beautiful!"
4. The Beauty of Temples
Temples are all around us. Richards expressed her deep appreciation for the opportunity we have as saints to have temples no more than 200 miles away from our homes. With that blessing come responsibility, said Richards.
"I wonder, too, if our lives become so busy that we forget the great blessing that awaits us just minutes away," she said. "The Lord has a great work for us to do in the temple – we just need to be willing to give our time. As we do that, God will bless us abundantly. Every one of us will experience trials, challenges and heartaches as a part of mortality, but our loving God has given us a place where we can go to leave the world behind and to feel of His love. The temple reminds of us who we once were before this life, what our purpose is on this earth, and what the possibilities for our future life can be."
In closing, Richards said there is beauty all around us, if we try to find it.
"All we have to do is open our eyes to see them or our ears to hear them," she said. "We can ask God to help us find and cherish the beauties found in each of our lives."
Next Forum: Christian Smith, University of Notre Dame
The next Forum address will be held on Tuesday, February 23, at 11:05 a.m., in the Marriott Center. Christian Smith, professor of Sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame will give the Forum address. His remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio.