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BYU-Pathway Worldwide Devotional

“Trusting Ourselves to the Lord”

March 05, 2019
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My dear brothers and sisters, what a delight to be with you. I’m picturing you all over the world in your individual homes and gatherings. I congratulate you, for your faith in pursuing your education as BYU-Pathway Worldwide students. I urge you to keep going! I know the Lord wants you to succeed, and so do I!

I love a quote by Corrie ten Boom: “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future only He can see.” 1
  • Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place (1974)

Think about that as I introduce you to Miriam. She was a ten-year-old American girl who was living in Korea with her family, where my husband and I were serving a mission. She was the first to stand and share her testimony when I visited her English branch.

She said something like this, “My parents had this crazy idea to put me and my siblings into regular Korean schools — and none of us even know any Korean! On really hard days, I find a quiet place and I think about my favorite scripture and hymn.”

She then quoted both by heart: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2
  • 2 Timothy 1:7

“He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears.

He lives to calm my troubled heart. He lives all blessings to impart.” 3
  • Hymns, 136, verse 2

I was deeply touched and knew Heavenly Father put Miriam in my path that day “for a future only He could see.” We were in the middle of a difficult time on our mission. Our missionaries felt discouraged. We wanted desperately to help them increase their faith in Jesus Christ.

That week, I began inviting them to find one scripture and hymn they could memorize, the way Miriam did, to strengthen them on difficult days. I promised them that if they would share their scriptures and hymns with me, I would memorize all of them before I die!

I typed a stack of cards containing the scriptures and hymns each missionary shared with me. As I have memorized them, I have seen the faces of our missionaries and remember their faith in Jesus Christ which continues to strengthen me again and again.

I am quite sure Miriam’s parents must have prayerfully considered their decision to put their children in Korean schools. They prepared their children to do this difficult thing by giving them tools like prayer, scriptures, and hymns. Like King Mosiah, they “trusted [their children] to the Lord.” 4
Alma 19:23

Similarly, you and I have been sent here to Earth, away from the warm familiarity of our Heavenly Father. He sees your future and knows what you are capable of becoming and wants to help you. You will influence others with your unique experiences, gifts, and talents.

BYU-Pathway is a gift and tool to help you become what Heavenly Father knows you can be. In the same way the scriptures and hymns helped Miriam and our missionaries, you have your gathering and people to help you. I would also encourage you to prayerfully ponder whom you can help during your educational journey.

I love Ether 6 in the Book of Mormon. Obediently, the Jaredites built barges to sail across the ocean to the promised land. The story illustrates their willingness to “[trust] themselves to the Lord.”

As BYU-Pathway students, you are building your own “barges” to help you progress on your journey toward your promised land.

“[W]hen they were encompassed about by many waters, they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters…. and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them.” 5
  • Ether 6:7

Do you sometimes feel like this? Trust that He will save you from the monsters of life’s challenges that you feel might swallow you up. The scripture in Ether continues:

“[The Jaredites] did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water.” 6
  • Ether 6:10
Jesus Christ lit the way for the Jaredites and, if you put your trust in Him, He will light your way, too. You will find as they did that “the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land.” 7
  • Ether 6:8,10

Here’s a glimpse of what it might be like for you as you keep going:

“[A]nd when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land, they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of His tender mercies over them.” 8
  • Ether 6:12

My beloved brothers and sisters, I know this journey is not easy. You may feel continuing your education is too hard, especially right now. But I also know that Heavenly Father knows what He wants you to become and who He needs you to influence and bless. Please trust yourselves to His tender loving care. Remember, He sent His Son to stand by your side and help you finish strong!

I add my plea to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s who said, “Don’t give up…. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying.… Trust God and believe in good things to come.” 9 That is my heartfelt prayer for you. And I offer it humbly and in the name of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.