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BYU-Pathway Worldwide Devotional

"Cheerfully Do All Things in Our Power"

December 05, 2023
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Some months ago, I was riding a train and met the conductor. He was warm and confident, helpful to all. A returned missionary, he said he was the youngest conductor on the train. He’s supporting his family. He’s actively serving in the Church. He’s progressing in his career. 

“I studied with BYU-Pathway,” he said. “Now I have a good job and a bright future.” He added modestly, “I trust my Heavenly Father. I am diligent and honest. I do my best to improve every day.” 

I was happy for and proud of this young man. He’s a good husband, a good father. He’s a valiant disciple of Jesus Christ. He is a leader in his home, in the Church, and in his community. Through faith in Jesus Christ, he’s becoming spiritually and temporally self-reliant. The light of this BYU-Pathway student shines bright. 

Recent Church assignments have taken me to Mexico; the Ivory Coast in Africa; Thailand; and, with leaders from Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras. I have also had recent Church assignments in Utah, Oregon, Texas, and California. 

In each place I love meeting the remarkable young adults of the Church. I love the hope and promise of gathering places — places where young adults can regularly meet, learn, serve, and access BYU-Pathway Worldwide. 

In Doctrine and Covenants, section 123, verse 17, the Lord teaches an important principle and offers a remarkable promise. 

The important principle the Lord teaches is this: “Cheerfully do all things that lie in our power.” 1 This is a principle of faith and action. Cheerfulness and gratitude go together. Cheerfulness and service go together. Doing all things that lie in our power helps us receive God’s help and inspiration. Our best efforts and God’s help go together. 

Like the young train conductor, we can cheerfully do all we can with what we have. We do our best each day. Some things lie beyond our control. But small and simple things, done with faith and diligence each day, bring great things. 

Each day we can study our assignments, practice what we are learning, and creatively apply the principles our classes teach. 

Each day we can pray, study, and ponder the Lord’s word in scripture, especially the Book of Mormon. We can serve with kindness and thoughtfulness. As we seek to bless others, the Lord’s Spirit will help and guide us, including with our BYU-Pathway studies. 

In the second part of Doctrine and Covenants, section 123, verse 17, the Lord also offers a remarkable promise. As we “cheerfully do all things that lie in our power,” the Lord promises that then we can “stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.” 2

Please live with faith and your best diligent efforts. Develop righteous habits each day. Always be truthful and honest. Do not lie or steal, even if you think you need something or think something should be yours. 

Worship the Lord on the Sabbath day. Faithfully pay your tithes and offerings. Bless your family, and serve in the Church. Faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to Him bring the Spirit and spiritual growth. Then we can have confidence to stand still and feel the Lord’s peace, assurance, and blessings — in His time and way. 

Sometimes what we hope and pray for does not come immediately. Sometimes we have to wait upon the Lord. As we wait with faith upon the Lord, please remember His promise: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” 3 

Please remember, waiting upon the Lord is not simply waiting. When we cheerfully do all we can within our power, we move forward each day. Faithful diligence means working hard and working smart. It means working with faith in Jesus Christ and giving kindness to others. It includes keeping our mind and heart open to inspiration as we do our best with faith in every footstep. 

I’ve had many experiences to know we all need inspiration and guidance as we make our best choices for our education and profession. Often inspiration and guidance come “line upon line, ... here a little … there a little.” 4 

Long before I was a General Authority, I worked in Washington, D.C. While there, I was warmly invited to apply to work at a major philanthropic foundation. My job, I was told, would be to decide which worthwhile projects to support with hundreds of thousands of dollars. I was told I’d even be given a foundation checkbook and have personal authority with my signature to write checks for tens of thousands of dollars to help important charitable efforts. 

But as I researched the job, I felt it was not where I should be. So, I worked in a different job, which blessed my life and my family. Truly, as we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all needful things shall be added unto us. 5

God lives. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ’s Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been restored. We are led by a living prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. The leaders of the Church love you. We have confidence in you. We are proud of you. In the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.