BYU-Pathway Worldwide Devotional
“Learners of Divinity”
I am so delighted to be talking to you today from Buenos Aires, Argentina. When I imagine all of you BYU-Pathway students in different parts of the world, I remember my days as a BYU-Pathway student not so long ago. I went to college as a mother of four young children; with great effort and many interruptions, I managed to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English-Spanish translation, and I developed a passion for learning; so, in recent years I decided to join BYU-Pathway and earn a certificate in marriage and family studies, and I hope to continue in the future.
I have come to understand that secular learning as well as spiritual learning is essential in our life journey because everything is spiritual unto the Lord.He said, “Verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal."
One of the purposes of life is to learn and to study in order to know our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so we can become like Them; we do this as we strive to be educated and self-reliant in every aspect of our lives just like They are. We are learners of Divinity: we are learning from Them how to become like Them.
As learners of Divinity, we will be blessed in our divine education as we follow a scriptural pattern known as “the doctrine of Christ.”
We are educated in the things of the Spirit as we apply the doctrine of Christ, which includes: first, faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement; second, repentance; third, making sacred covenants — this begins with baptism by immersion; fourth, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost; and fifth, enduring to the end.
Now, how do we apply the doctrine of Christ to unlock the power of God in our lives?
1. Faith: We begin when we seek to know and learn about Jesus Christ. This requires action, like searching the scriptures, asking, and praying. As we learn, we nurture and grow our faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement.
2. Repentance: As our faith in Jesus Christ increases, we are aware of our imperfections and we have a desire to change and become more like Him. We repent.
3. Baptism: Repentance brings us joy; we want to leave behind our past sins and mistakes and experience a change of heart. We do this by making sacred promises called covenants. It begins with the ordinance of baptism; we renew those promises when we partake of the ordinance of the sacrament and, later, we partake of the ordinances of the temple.
4. The gift of the Holy Ghost: Once we are baptized, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, who, as we strive to be obedient and worthy, will work as a guide and will inspire us to always be true to those covenants. But we are not perfect, and we will make mistakes, so we keep trying, which is:5. Enduring to the end: We do it all over again, every time becoming a little better in a pattern of eternal progression as we seek to endure to the end “in following the example of the Son of the living God."
Likewise, our secular education can follow the same pattern:
1. Faith: When we know Jesus Christ and have faith in Him, we have a clear understanding of our potential, and this infuses the confidence we need to do hard things. We trust that He will help us as we learn, and I am not talking only about learning gospel doctrine; this applies to everything we study, whether it is math, psychology, or any other subject.“For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding."
2. Repentance: When we obtain an education, we are suddenly aware of the things we did not know or that we were doing wrong. We feel the need to change or repent.
I know this from experience! When I was working on my certificate for marriage and family studies, I took classes like “Child Development” and “Parenting.” Even though I loved my classes, sometimes I felt like I was taking a crash course on everything I did wrong as a parent! I constantly wished I could go back to the time when my children were little and apply the things I was learning, but by then my children were all adults. I overcame my sadness and frustration when I realized that I had done my best with the tools and abilities I had at the time, my children were wonderful, and the Lord had blessed me with an amazing family; but I was also grateful to learn there was a better way to do it. I could talk about it with my family, recognize my mistakes, and try to be better. I could still use this knowledge with my adult children and my grandchildren.President Russell M. Nelson said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of repentance. Because of the Savior’s Atonement, His gospel provides an invitation to keep changing, growing, and becoming more pure. It is a gospel of hope, of healing, and of progress."
3. Baptism: Making and keeping covenants, such as baptism and the partaking of the sacrament, can open our eyes to recognize divine influence. When we see divine influence in our lives, we have the strength to do hard things.
I love the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Two disciples were walking on the day of the Resurrection, and they were talking about the recent events, the Crucifixion and all the things that had happened. The Savior appeared to them on the way and walked with them, teaching them and expounding the scriptures unto them, and yet they did not recognize Him. But when they arrived at their destination, they invited Him to “abide with them.”“And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him."
I know that as we invite the Lord to abide with us and as we make and keep sacred covenants, our eyes are opened and we receive revelation — revelation for our life, revelation for our studies, revelation for our divine tutoring.
4. The gift of the Holy Ghost: When we make and keep covenants, we can enjoy the constant company of the Holy Ghost, who brings things to our remembrance and enhances our understanding. The Holy Ghost is a key part of this divine pattern:
John 14:26 says, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance….”
I have felt this in my personal life. I have felt the Spirit helping me remember when my mind and body were too tired. It is not easy to study while raising a young family. I have felt the Spirit lifting me when I lacked the personal motivation to sit and study, and I have received strength that I knew was not my own. I felt how my mind was enlightened to understand difficult texts and how I was personally tutored by the Spirit in the things I needed to learn, not only to pass an exam but to apply them in my personal life.
5. Enduring to the end: This pattern is a process, not an event. As we repeat this process, we gain new divine attributes, and we continue growing and learning all of our lives. It gives me so much peace knowing that I can continue my divine education all my life.
I love that BYU-Pathway has students of every age, because we are always learners of Divinity, regardless of our situation and age. Our education never ends. We are learning how to become like God from birth to death.President Nelson said, “The pure doctrine of Christ is powerful. It changes the life of everyone who understands it and seeks to implement it in his or her life."
When I understood that this doctrine applied to everything I did, I not only enjoyed learning new things but I also embraced change and felt it was possible because I knew I could draw strength from my faith in Jesus Christ. Everything became easier and more doable because I know I am on a journey of growth and progress. I am a student of Divinity, and I am learning from the best Teacher.
I know that when we apply the doctrine of Christ we can all become true learners of Divinity, that we will receive divine power to be self-reliant in every aspect of our lives. We will be tutored by the Spirit, and we will become more like Jesus Christ. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.