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BYU-Pathway Worldwide Devotional

“A World in Commotion”

June 15, 2021
I am so grateful to have this opportunity to address our BYU-Pathway Worldwide students. I am motivated by your determination to reach your goals, even in these difficult and uncertain times. For example, Elizabeth Meeks from Arizona, USA, enrolled in BYU-Pathway to pursue a career change. Soon after the semester started, she contracted a particularly bad case of COVID-19. She wondered how she could keep going in her classes when COVID-19 left her with an inability to focus or think clearly.

Or for Marcus Blanc, a student in Haiti, the pandemic meant unexpectedly returning early from his mission to a country experiencing economic uncertainty, high crime rates, and civil unrest. He struggled with learning English, and had trouble accessing a computer or the internet.

Like both Elizabeth and Marcus, BYU-Pathway students all across the world have seen their lives impacted by the pandemic and have wondered whether they can keep going with the world in such commotion. Does that sound familiar to you?

Elder Neil L. Andersen has said, “[T]he world will not glide calmly toward the Second Coming of the Savior." 1
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Neil L. Andersen, “Spiritual Whirlwinds,” Ensign or Liahona, Apr. 2014
The Doctrine and Covenants states, “And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them…." 2

As BYU-Pathway students, you do not need to fear. Even as turmoil increases in the world, you can have the calming influence of Jesus Christ in your lives. Elder D. Todd Christofferson told BYU-Pathway students, “You need to remember always that you are not alone in this. … [Y]our Heavenly Father and your Savior know you and can and will grant you heavenly help. Make God your partner in BYU-Pathway." 3
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D. Todd Christofferson, “The Will to Prepare” (BYU-Pathway Worldwide devotional, Nov. 12, 2019), byupathway.org/speeches

I love the El Greco painting entitled “The Disrobing of Christ” that hangs in a prominent cathedral in central Spain. In the painting, Jesus is surrounded by an ominous crowd, who seem to press upon Him in the great commotion. Even those attending Him seem to be overcome with the fear from the chaos all around them. But the Savior has a calm to Him that is absent in the rest of the crowd. Look even closer, and you can see that His eyes are fixed on heaven.

When the world is in commotion, we can look to heaven and find peace. Listen to our prophet as he described his experience facing uncertainty and commotion and how his faith, in an eternal perspective, helped him find peace when others around him were overcome with fear.

Remember Elizabeth and Marcus? Like so many BYU-Pathway students, they have exercised their faith in Christ and made God their partner in this process. Elizabeth finished her semester and worked through her health challenges. She said, “I would pray to be able to understand what I was studying, and I would do the work, and I feel at times like angels were guiding my hands to type what I needed to type.”

Marcus also learned to rely on the Lord to help him solve his problems, saying, “It was really, really hard for me, but I prayed, and the Lord listened and helped me. Even if life is hard, keep praying and have faith in Jesus Christ.”

Brothers and sisters, I know this is a challenging time for so many of you. I know you sometimes have fears about completing your schooling amidst a world in commotion. But I testify to you that the Lord is with you, and He will help you find hope and strength in these tumultuous times. We love you, and we pray for you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.