At age seven, Casey Peterson was already learning to rope cattle and learned a valuable life lesson on horseback. He shared some of the lessons he learned about finding anchors to help during turbulent times at the Devotional on Tuesday.
"The saddle becomes an anchor point, which connects to the greater strength of a steady and powerful horse," said Peterson, on the importance of "dallying up," or wrapping a lasso around a saddle horn to better control a roped calf. "The dally transformed my situation of having inadequate personal strength to being able to access a greater power that anchored the turbulent polar forces."
Peterson, associate dean of students, suggested three ways to "dally up" or find strength to better find an anchor when inevitable difficult circumstances arise:
- Strength in service
- Strength in involvement
- Strength in commitments
Calling upon The Book of Mormon prophet Alma's definition of service, Peterson referenced Alma 17:9, emphasizing the importance of becoming "an instrument in the hands of God." Instruments, as opposed to tools that have an inherent power within them, draw their power from the skill of a master.
"One of the most humbling emotions we can experience is feeling God's perfect power and trust working through us, achieving far greater results than we otherwise could imagine," Peterson said.
There are dozens of groups, offices and activities on campus that provide opportunities for students to get involved and serve. Peterson used three parables from the book of Luke in the Bible to illustrate the importance getting involved and serving: the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and prodigal son.
"In one way or another, we all are looking for something better," Peterson said. "It can be challenging to find without a caring shepherd to assist our efforts.
Peterson's role as associate dean of students places him in a unique position to talk about BYU's Honor Code and its true purpose, which some students overlook. The first point of the Honor Code is honesty, and Peterson believes a greater understanding and valuation of this characteristic would lead to a greater commitment to following the Honor Code.
"Based on a foundation of integrity and commitment, individuals will be able to experience elevated learning that helps build testimonies, families, communities, careers and the whole Church," Peterson said.
The popular passage in Ether 12:27 of The Book of Mormon states that God gives "men weakness that they may be humble." Peterson emphasized that the word weakness and the importance of its singular nature instead of plural.
"I learned that exerting my efforts on holding that anchor point strong and tight was manageable to me if my focus was on the connection to the anchor point, not relying on my own inadequate power.
Next Week's Devotional
The next BYU Devotional address will be held on Tuesday, April 12, at 11:05 a.m., in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center. Kerry Muhlestein, BYU associate professor of ancient scripture, will deliver the Devotional address.
Muhlestein's remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio.
After years of teaching the Old Testament and Book of Abraham, Muhlestein believes we are all practicing some forms of idolatry without even realizing it. By exploring trends in both ancient and modern Israel, Muhlestein will help us realize how we are worshipping false gods, how it hurts us and what we should do about it.
Writer: Nate Depperman