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BYU-Pathway Worldwide Devotional

"Prosper in the Land"

February 13, 2024
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Dear brothers and sisters, what a privilege and a blessing it is for me to have the opportunity to share a message with all of you. It is amazing that we have this opportunity to be in different countries and speak different languages around the world.I have an especial love for all of you and the efforts that you are putting in to get a degree through BYU-Pathway Worldwide. I remember many years ago, when BYU-Pathway first launched in Chile, Sister Giménez took English classes and then continued to BYU-Pathway to work toward a BYU-Idaho degree online.

I have seen, through her, the efforts and challenges that some — maybe most of you — are facing to start or continue your studies. I witnessed her feelings of “This is too much for me” or “I want to quit.” But with faith in the Savior, personal effort, and relying on the merits of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice, I know that she and you can do this. You’ve got this! No matter where you are in the world, if your country (like mine) is not a first-world country, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the same, and His promises are the same for all of us.

Through the covenants that we make and our sincere efforts to honor them, we have received promises that can help us to keep moving forward, to learn, and even to earn a degree. King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon taught, “All that [the Lord] requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments, ye should prosper in the land.” 1 In that same verse, King Benjamin assures that we can trust in this promise: “[The Lord] never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments, he doth bless you and prosper you.” 2

I understand that sometimes we think that prosperity is only related to material things. We sincerely desire to provide a better quality of life for our family and even for ourselves, but the prosperity that the Lord is promising goes far beyond our efforts to improve the comfort in our lives.

The verse we just read says the Lord will prosper you. But maybe you are thinking, how will the Lord prosper me? In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord said, “Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.” 3

Everything we find in this world belongs to our Creator, and He can help us with all these things according to our needs and His will because they belong to Him. But please, notice that He separates things that are in this world with what He refers to as “riches of eternity.”

Sister Giménez and I learned this lesson after sacrificing a lot to buy our first car. After parking it on the street, one day we found out another car had hit it. We thought, “But we are keeping the commandments! Why is the Lord not prospering us?” Then the answer came and helped us to understand that we were enjoying the blessings of good health, beautiful children, and, most importantly, the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.

When we obey the commandments and keep our covenants, the Lord will bless us with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. With the help of His guidance, we will be able to make better decisions, understand what we can do to keep progressing here on earth, and receive extra help in our studies. Yes, the Holy Ghost will help you to prosper in your efforts to understand what you are learning in your classes and to complete your degree. It does not mean that we will be free of challenges or opposition, but we will receive the strength that we need to keep moving forward.

Elder Parley P. Pratt, one of the original members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the latter days, said, “The gift of the Holy Ghost … quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.” 4
Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, 9th ed. (1965), 101
The glorious blessings described by Elder Pratt are available to all members of the Lord’s restored Church who modestly, humbly, and meekly desire to “lay hold upon every good gift” and strive to “be perfected in [Christ].” 5
Striving to live worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost and to be perfected in Christ means we seek to follow His doctrine and teachings: “The first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins; And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love.” 6 The Comforter will help us to prosper if we have His constant companionship.

My dear brothers and sisters, I hope you can see the direct relation between keeping the commandments and prospering in the land. Yes, regardless of our country, nation, culture, or language, always remember that prospering means more than just receiving material things. I invite you to study the first four chapters of the book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon and find out how many times King Benjamin reminds us to keep the commandments. You will find that Mosiah, chapter 2, verse 22 mentions the phrase “keep his commandments” three times in that verse alone.

If we keep the Lord’s commandments, we will prosper in the land, enjoying the benefits and blessings of having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. In the words of King Benjamin, “I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they [might] dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.” 7 I bear witness that Heavenly Father loves you, and He is in the details of your life. He knows you. He knows who you are and where you are. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and Savior, and He wants to bless you and help you. We just need to show Him our love by keeping His commandments. 8
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.