BYU-Pathway Worldwide Devotional
Hello, brothers and sisters. It’s such a pleasure to be with you here today. We come together in a season of rejoicing. The holiday season is upon us now. We’re all looking forward to the celebration of Christmas, and I am just so delighted to be able to be here with you today.
Here we have assembled students from BYU-Pathway Worldwide. Many of you from the continent of Africa, many in the Southern Hemisphere, and in Latin American countries — Mexico, Brazil — the Pacific area, in Asia. 50,000 students who belong to BYU-Pathway from 150 countries around the world. And you come from a very, very diverse demographic.
Now we know that a lot of you are working full-time. We know that many of you are married. Many of you have served missions. And you’re all united together with a common goal, and we’re so grateful for that common goal that brings you together. We’ve had emphasis from the prophets for many, many years to continue our education, to find opportunities to advance our education. And as we do this, it creates temporal self-reliance and it adds to our spiritual self-reliance. You’re literally following the words of the prophets as you are engaged in this endeavor. And so, I encourage you. We of the Twelve and the First Presidency are so aware of you and are aware of what you’re trying to do, what you’re trying to accomplish. We pray for you. We sustain you. We’re grateful for you.
Well, today, I’d like to begin the devotional with a short clip from President Nelson.
Now President Nelson just introduced for us the importance of the words that came from God the Father to His children to hear the voice of our Savior Jesus Christ. Now we have some examples in the scriptures of God the Father speaking to His children as He introduced Jesus Christ to them.The first example we have here is the Mount of Transfiguration. And we read from the Book of Matthew, “Behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.’"
Now it’s not common for us to find accounts in the scriptures where God the Father is speaking directly to us, but in the accounts that we find where this is happening, it is the Father introducing the Son to us with commandment — with direct words to us to hear Him. Let’s just read one or listen to one more account that came in this dispensation as the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored.
So, brothers and sisters, what I’d like to have you do is to think about what you might do to hear Him in the way that the Father directs each of us. Now, recently, Lesa and I had the opportunity to conduct a single adult devotional and asked them what are the things that they have done to more fully hear the voice of the Savior Jesus Christ in their lives?
“I hear Him as I humble myself enough to accept His will, whatever that may be.”
“I hear Him as I spend time near His holy temples, even if I can’t go inside right now.” Well, we can all be prepared to enter the temple by holding a current temple recommend.
“I feel the Spirit through my intuition. When I pray, I have thoughts come to me. They sound like my own thoughts, but I know it’s the Spirit because my attitude changes and becomes more positive.”
“I hear Him when I follow the invitations given by the prophets and apostles.”
Well, we think that you, too, have heard Him as you have taken this major step — for many of you, the first in your family — to be able to step into a process where you’re seeking higher education. Some of you are in PathwayConnect. Some of you have gone from PathwayConnect, now looking toward certificates and graduations. And we commend each and every one of you for what you’re doing to strive to follow invitations given by prophets and apostles. And so please know that you have the prayers of the First Presidency and the Twelve always with you.
“I hear Him when I serve those around me. When I give myself to others, I find a peace and joy within me. I find my social anxiety lessens as I serve my friends and I can hear Him as my mind becomes calm through service.”
Brothers and sisters, this is my message to you — that if you hear Him, if you listen to the voice of the Lord and listen to the promptings that the Lord is giving you, that you will be blessed.
Now I’d like you now to think about how you hear Him. Consider the ways that you can continue to grow, and develop, and grow spiritually, and help your family and your loved ones. You might want to write down some of the things that you will do to more fully hear the voice of the Lord. So, I promise you that, as you do that — as you more fully strive to listen and to follow the promptings that you receive — you will be blessed. I once again express my gratitude for you on behalf of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve for what you’re doing that brings you together here today as the student body of BYU-Pathway. We’re proud of you, we’re grateful for you, and we bless you.
Now I’d like to close with my testimony to you. I bear witness to you that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith just exactly the way that he said They did, just exactly the way that it was depicted in that beautiful clip of Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove — that the words were uttered in this dispensation by the Father to Joseph Smith, recognizing that Jesus Christ is His Beloved Son and that we should hear Him.
I bear witness of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, our advocate with the Father, our connection with the Father, our pathway to be able to glorify the Father by returning to Him. It is through his infinite Atonement. This is the pathway for us back to our Heavenly Parents — through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the one who intercedes on our behalf. I bear witness of Him. I bear witness that He is the Only Begotten Son of our loving Heavenly Father. I bear testimony of His Atonement. I bear witness of His role as our Savior and our Redeemer, and I do that in His name, the name of Jesus Christ, amen.