Faith in the Lord, Faith in Ourselves

BYU Title IX Coordinator

June 21, 2022

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In order for us to have faith in the Lord, we have to get to know Him. One of the beautiful things I have found while learning about the Lord is that the more I learn about Him, the more I also learn about myself and who I am to Him.

It is such an honor to speak today—and, honestly, it is a little surreal. When I was growing up, I always knew that I wanted to go to BYU. In fact, when I was a sophomore in high school, Mattel came out with a collegiate line of Barbie dolls, and my parents got me the BYU doll because coming here is all I ever talked about! My BYU Barbie sat on a shelf in my bedroom as my “vision board” of sorts, because BYU was always the goal. I am so glad it became a reality for me—both then as a student and now with the opportunity I have to work here on campus. A few years ago, I was going through some old boxes and actually found that Barbie, which now sits in my office. It is amazing how life comes full circle.

BYU has always been part of my story, and it has blessed my life immensely. I am grateful to this university for all that it is, all that it stands for, and all the ways that it has changed me for the better.

One thing I have learned in my life, both when I was a student here at BYU and since, is that life rarely goes as expected. As I mentioned, I always wanted to come to BYU, but an underlying purpose of that—and I’m going to put myself out there a little bit here!—was to get married, not just to get an education. Now before you judge me too harshly, I am pretty sure I am not the only one who has ever had that goal at BYU! In fact, in his 1975 address “The Second Century of Brigham Young University,” President Spencer W. Kimball said this:

We do not apologize for the importance of students searching for eternal companions at the same time that they search the scriptures and search the shelves of libraries for knowledge.1

So I was just doing what President Kimball had suggested!

But when I graduated, I wasn’t married. The Lord had a different plan for me than I had for myself. And, looking back, I have so much gratitude for the prayers He answered—and more importantly, the ones I thought He didn’t.

Despite life’s unexpected twists and turns, the Lord has been there for me unfailingly, and I hope to testify of that in what I share today. I am certainly not a scriptorian or even an academic, as some devotional speakers are. Rather, I am someone who has been blessed by the Lord far more than I deserve and someone who has felt His love throughout my life in a way that makes me want to share that love with everyone I can.

So today I am going to speak from my heart, sharing some experiences I have had as well as insights from the scriptures that have strengthened my faith and reminded me time and time again that the Lord loves us more profoundly than we can even comprehend. I often say that my life motto is “Life is hard, but God is good.” I hope that through what I share today, you can see how good He has been in your life too.

Even though life hasn’t turned out as I expected—having my first marriage annulled and not ­having children until I was almost forty definitely were not in my plans—I can say it has turned out better in every way. And through it all, there are two important ­lessons I have learned that I want to share this morning with the Spirit’s help: first, the importance of having faith in the Lord, and second, the need to have faith in ourselves.

Peace and Light Amidst Darkness

To begin, I would like to share a story about a time in my life when my faith in the Lord and my faith in myself were tested—and ultimately strengthened—as I felt Him by my side.

On a Sunday evening in November 2020, my husband and I were having our regular planning session for the coming week and reviewing our schedules to make sure we were on top of things. At the time, our three children’s ages were two and a half years, eighteen months, and almost six months. We had three babies under three, both my husband and I worked full-time, my husband served in our ward’s bishopric, and both of us were involved in many other community and family activities. All that definitely made for a hectic schedule!

As we talked, we recognized that it was going to be a busy week. But with joint resolve to make our gospel study more of a priority amidst the busyness of our schedules, we decided to start waking up a half hour earlier than our babies so we could begin our days with gospel study instead of trying to fit it in somewhere else.

The next morning, Monday, November 16, we did just that. It was a peaceful morning filled with the Spirit. As I read that week’s Come, Follow Me assignment in Ether 6 about the Jaredites boarding their barges and commending themselves unto the Lord with the hope of reaching the promised land,2 I had some very specific impressions that I felt I needed to record. I am grateful for the Gospel Library app, which makes recording thoughts and promptings so easy!

My study that morning felt especially powerful for some reason, and I was grateful I had the prompting to record my thoughts. I am a firm believer in the power of recording experiences when we feel the Spirit teaching us, and in this case it would prove especially meaningful in my life.

As my husband, Tom, and I were finishing our study, we heard our sweet babies starting to stir. Our oldest two, Isaac and Zoey, shared a room, and Benny, our youngest, was sleeping in the nursery. Being a little older—and anyone with toddlers can attest to this—Isaac and Zoey had a tendency to get much louder much quicker if we didn’t go get them right away when they woke up, so we went to their room first. We got them dressed, as we normally did, and then I ­finished getting them ready while Tom went to get Benny. A few seconds later, every parent’s worst nightmare became our reality. Benny had stopped breathing as he slept. Despite our most desperate prayers and the heroic efforts of first responders, our angel boy unexpectedly and tragically passed away from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Over the course of the next few days, I recognized that this was an experience where the rubber met the road with my faith. Did I really believe that what I had been teaching my children was true, that families are forever? Did I believe that the Lord could sustain us through what felt like an insurmountable trial and somehow make it be “for [our] good”?3 Did I believe that I could trust the Lord to comfort me in my pain and to wipe away this brokenhearted mother’s tears?4

I did—and I do. In some ways I know it, and in all ways I believe it. This experience strengthened my faith in the Lord in every way and reminded me of the importance of having faith in Him throughout our lives. Because when we do, He “will not leave [us] comfortless.”5 Through Him, we will find “peace . . . which passeth all understanding.”6

That first night after Benny had passed away was without question the darkest night of my life. I couldn’t sleep, so to avoid disturbing my husband, I went out to our family room. I turned on every light in the house because I was afraid that if I didn’t, the darkness would overtake me. I tried everything I could think of to calm my heart, and then I turned to my scriptures, because I knew they always brought me peace and light—and I desperately needed both in those dark moments. I opened up the Gospel Library app, and there, staring back at me from the screen, was not only the story of the Jaredites again7 but also my own thoughts on having faith in and trusting the Lord when times got hard. I would like to share some of those thoughts with you now, thoughts that I had recorded before my world turned upside down but that I now realize were a tender mercy from the Lord to one of His daughters who would soon be in need:

From Ether 6, verse 3: “The Lord doesn’t want us to live in darkness and will do His part to help us live in light, but we have to have faith in Him and do our part.”

From verse 4: “Sometimes I feel like we have to do this in our lives: just commend ourselves to the Lord and take a big leap of faith! It’s reassuring to read scriptural examples of people who did just that.”

From verse 7: “The vessels were so well built that the water couldn’t penetrate them. That didn’t stop the storms, but it did protect the people. We will face rough waters in our lives, but we can build our testimonies such that outside forces can’t penetrate them. It’s up to us.”

From verse 8: “The Lord knew what He was doing. Even though He was sending winds, those winds were getting the people to the promised land. In our lives, trials may seem difficult and sometimes we feel like we’re going to drown, but if we trust the Lord, everything will keep pushing us to where He needs and wants us to be.”

From verses 9 and 10: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the verse about how they couldn’t be broken and how they had light comes after the scripture about how they praised the Lord always. Gratitude is such a game changer!”

Now, none of this was groundbreaking. But reading these thoughts again with the perspective I now had of losing our angel son, I was amazed to think that the Lord loved me so much that He would have the Holy Ghost inspire me to write down thoughts that just moments later would take on new meaning in my life and be an anchor for my faith that I would need in the coming days and months.

Two days later, Tom and I went to purchase a burial outfit for Benny. As we were standing at the register to pay, I noticed the return-policy sign behind the desk. Tears immediately started flowing as I realized that the return policy didn’t apply to us because this tiny white outfit would be going into the ground to be buried with our son. Not a second later, though, the hymn “Be Still, My Soul” came over the speakers—talk about a tender mercy! The second verse particularly spoke to my heart: “Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake To guide the future as he has the past.”8 I then had this flash moment when I was able to look back on my life and see instance after instance in which the Lord had been there for me and had carried me through. I knew I could trust and have faith that, as this song said, He would undertake to guide my future as He had always guided my past. I could have faith in Him moving forward because I had had so many experiences with Him before. I knew who He was, and I knew that He loved me and was aware of me. Because of that, I knew I could trust Him. My faith was based on who He was, not on who I expected Him to be or even who I thought I needed Him to be as I went through that particular experience.

Looking back, I realize I have had many moments—including the days and weeks after Benny passed away—that I liken to my own walks along the road to Emmaus.9 Just as those disciples later realized that the Lord had been walking with them, I am confident the Lord has always been by my side, even though at times I might not have seen Him—whether that was because I wasn’t looking or because I was expecting something different. I am also grateful that, like those disciples, eventually my eyes have been opened and I have been able to recognize the miracles He has provided along the way. In fact, once I started looking for the wonders the Lord was working in the days and weeks after Benny had passed away, I was simply amazed. There were so many miracles that I started capturing them in an online journal—walkswithbenny.com—because I didn’t ever want to forget how good the Lord was to us. Every miracle brought us closer to Him, and I love looking back on those miracles now; they continue to strengthen my faith in the Lord and in His love.

Faith in Ourselves

In order for us to have faith in the Lord, we have to get to know Him. One of the beautiful things I have found while learning about the Lord is that the more I learn about Him, the more I also learn about myself and who I am to Him. I have had many moments throughout my life—as I am sure we all have—when I definitely haven’t felt worthy of His sacrifice and love. But as I have struggled through those moments, clinging to who I know He is and focusing on my faith in Him, I feel He has also reminded me to have faith in myself.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a devotional Elder L. Tom Perry gave here at BYU in 1974. During this address, titled “Be the Best of Whatever You Are,” Elder Perry said, “One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves.”10 I know this is something I have struggled with in my life; as Elder Perry says, I think it is something we all struggle with from time to time. But as I have thought about this over the years and have considered the importance of having faith in myself as I work through life’s challenges, I have also come to see just how important this is to the Savior. We need to have faith in Him, but He also wants us to have faith in ourselves. Every day I work with individuals facing trauma, and I wish I could speak this truth into their hearts and let them know how much the Lord loves them and wants them to believe in themselves. That knowledge can make a powerful difference in each individual’s healing and growth.

We are all children of God. It is one of the first things we learn in Primary because it is one of the most foundational things we can teach our children—and also remind ourselves. I have been singing “I Am a Child of God”11 to my children since before they were born. Each time I do, I feel a powerful witness that they are indeed children of God and that I, as their mother, have a precious and timely stewardship to help them understand that. In a recent young single adult devotional address, our dear prophet President Russell M. Nelson said:

I believe that if the Lord were speaking to you directly tonight, the first thing He would make sure you understand is your true identity. My dear friends, you are literally spirit children of God.12

Knowing this can help us have faith in ourselves to accomplish great things, so to remind you of that this morning, I want to share a short video. [A video of the speaker’s children singing “I Am a Child of God” was shown.]

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.


Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.13

I realize I may be biased, but I hope those incredibly adorable children helped remind you of your importance as a child of God and that because of His Son, we can withstand the storms of life, accomplish great things, and return “to live with him someday.”

One of my favorite scripture stories is in Matthew 14 in the New Testament. It is a well-known story, but there are some additional insights I have found while studying it in recent years that I would like to share. I believe they illustrate the Savior’s desire for us to have faith in ourselves.

As we know from the writings of Matthew, some of the Savior’s disciples were asleep on a boat when a storm hit. They were afraid until they looked out and noticed the Savior walking toward them on the water. He said, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”14 The Savior knew that by making Himself known to His disciples, their fears would cease and they could be of good cheer. If we have faith in Him, as these disciples did, His counsel can do the same for us in our lives.

But that is not where the story ends. Peter then indicated his desire to walk on the water and go toward the Lord. I think Peter sometimes gets a bad rap for this, but I actually admire his desire to get out of the boat and move toward the Lord. It took faith in both the Lord and in himself to even attempt to walk on water—and Peter did it. He experienced a miracle, as long as he kept his eyes focused on the Lord.

But then we learn that “when [Peter] saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid,”15 which caused him to sink. When he started to sink, he looked up and said, “Lord, save me.”16 I love the next verse: “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.”17 The Lord is always right there as soon as we are willing to look to Him and believe.

The Lord then said to Peter, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”18 While many have taken this as referring to Peter doubting the Lord, I think this story might have a deeper meaning that the Lord was trying to teach us. In my mind, Peter didn’t doubt the Lord. In fact, Peter trusted and had such faith in the Lord that when he started to sink, he knew the Lord could—and would—save him. What I think the Lord might be saying here is, “Peter, why did you doubt yourself?” I think the Lord’s comment was a reminder to Peter of his own strength and ability to experience miracles, as shown by Peter walking on the water as far as he had. I don’t necessarily think the Lord was chastising Peter for lacking faith in Him, because Peter’s faith seemed pretty clear when he reached up, asking to be saved. Who Peter doubted was himself, and I think that is an important lesson that has the potential to be overlooked in this story. The story has taken on new meaning for me as I have approached it this way, and I am grateful for what seems to be a reminder here that the Lord has faith in us, and we need to have faith in ourselves.

Now the Lord didn’t tell Peter he should only have faith in himself. Peter couldn’t do it alone. Rather, I think the Lord was reminding Peter that together they could do anything. With the Lord’s help and his belief in himself, Peter walked on water. David slew Goliath.19 Moses parted the Red Sea.20 Nephi obtained the brass plates.21 Noah built an ark.22 Esther saved a nation.23 If we are willing to trust the Lord and have faith in ourselves, as the heroes in these examples did, there is no limit to the miracles we can be part of in this life. The Lord didn’t give up on Peter when he started to sink, and He doesn’t give up on us. The Lord said, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”24 Knowing the Lord is with us can give us the strength and courage to have faith in ourselves and to accomplish great things, even when times get tough.

Another thing I have found impactful in Peter’s story is the fact that it was seeing “the wind boisterous” that caused Peter to fall. He took his eyes off the Lord when he saw the wind blowing, and that is when he began to sink. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know that I have ever actually seen wind. Can wind be seen? I suppose you can see whatever the wind kicks up, but you can’t necessarily see the wind itself. And yet Matthew noted that it was seeing the wind that caused Peter to fall. I think in our lives—and I have found this in my own life—it is often the unseen things the adversary tries to get us to “see” that lead to us doubting ourselves and figuratively sinking away from the Lord. Those unseen things get stuck in our heads and make us, like Peter, doubt. But if we are willing to focus on the Lord and see Him—as Peter did initially—we can withstand the storms of life and accomplish great things. The Lord will consistently remind us of our worth to Him, and as we remember that, we will have the faith in ourselves to accomplish the work that He has for us to do.

Another example from the scriptures through which I believe the Savior reminded us of our worth came in the days after He was crucified. We read that Mary Magdalene went to Christ’s tomb and was heartbroken when she found that the Savior’s body wasn’t there.25 The Savior appeared to her, but she did not initially recognize Him because of her grief. Then the Savior called her by her name and said, “Mary,”26 which caused her to turn and recognize who He was: the risen Lord. The Savior could have said to her, “It’s me,” but instead of calling attention to who He was, He reminded her of who she was. By remembering our worth and who we are, we are more able to see Him for who He is and who we are to Him.

Choices of Faith

Prior to our experience of losing Benny, there was another particularly difficult time in my life when my faith and belief in myself were tested. One night I found myself praying to the Lord that He would bring me home. Life was hard, but I knew the Lord loved me. I felt that if I could return to His presence, everything would somehow be okay. This is now a prayer I am incredibly grateful the Lord didn’t answer in the way I had hoped at the time. In that moment, instead of calling me home, the Lord touched my heart with the closest thing I have ever had to a vision—a vision that changed my perspective and that has buoyed me up as challenges have come into my life, including losing our sweet Benny.

As I prayed that night all those years ago, I felt the Lord give me perspective about my choice to come here. This certainly isn’t doctrine, but I share this personal and meaningful experience in the hope that it may be meaningful for you in some way too.

In this vision I felt I could see the War in Heaven. I don’t know about you, but for some reason the War in Heaven had always felt very impersonal to me—like we were all up in heaven together, standing around in an almost pep-rally-type way as teams were being picked. We had to choose our team in this very loud and chaotic scene. I am not sure why this had always been my thought on the War in Heaven—maybe because we refer to it as a war, which would imply some sort of chaos.

But this night I had a very different perspective. Instead of being amidst a crowd, I pictured a very personal experience with a loving Father in Heaven. I pictured Him sitting me down individually and presenting to me the plan to follow His Son, which would include coming to earth, getting a body, and facing the inevitable difficulties of life.

In all of my premortal and angelic exuberance, I saw myself saying, “Yes, yes! Of course that is what I want! I know I can do it! Send me down!”

But then I pictured a wise and kind Father gently putting His arm around me and in a calm voice saying, “But Tiff, it is going to be hard. Life isn’t going to be easy. When you are twenty, your first marriage is going to end. At thirty, you are going to face the reality of being a victim of sexual violence. At forty, you are going to lose Benny. Are you sure this is what you want to do?”

I then pictured myself taking a moment, looking at this plan that the Lord had designed just for me, and then, with all the faith my eternal self could muster, even more resolutely saying, “Yes, of course that is what I want. I know I can do it.”

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of the core tenets of our faith is the gift of agency. We believe that our agency existed before we came to earth and that we made the choice to keep our first estate and come here. In thinking about that choice—and having the perspective that I believe the Lord blessed me with during that particularly challenging time in my life—I realize that if all that life was meant to be was hard, I wouldn’t have signed up for it! I don’t think any of us would have. But when I made this choice—when we made this choice—I believe we had an eternal perspective that helped us to understand that the eternal joy available in and through the Savior far exceeded any earthly pain or struggle we would face.

Yes, I believe we knew life would be hard—to what extent I am not sure—but I also believe that our eternal selves believed in the Lord and believed in our ability to face this earth life and come out on top. Whenever my mortal mind starts to doubt, I remind myself of this ­experience, and I trust the “eternal Tiffany” who, with a grander perspective, believed she could withstand the storms of life with the Lord’s help.

I would now like to offer three suggestions that I believe will help us increase our faith in the Lord and in ourselves: first, we can prepare for miracles; second, we can surround ourselves with good people; and third, we can partake of the power of praise.

Prepare for Miracles

Another story I love in the New Testament is that of the Savior raising Lazarus from the dead.27 There are so many things to love about this story, such as the fact that the Savior wept with Mary and Martha and perfectly empathized with them in their grief. But as I have been studying this story in recent months, there is another aspect that I find powerful. When the Savior arrived at the tomb where Lazarus was buried, there was a big stone in front of the entrance. We read that Christ asked the people to take away the stone before He told Lazarus to come forth.28 I initially wondered why the Savior didn’t just remove the stone Himself. We know He could have. But instead the Savior required the people to do something as a witness of their faith. He was about to perform a miracle, but the people had to roll away the stone—they had to prepare the way. Christ didn’t need them to do it, but He knew they needed to do it.

What stones are in our lives that keep us from the Savior’s miracles? As I mentioned earlier, what unseen winds are making us doubt and keeping us from getting closer to the Lord? Are there preparations in our lives that, if we made them, would allow for miracles? As with anything—such as taking a college exam—preparation typically precedes success. Sure, we can hope for a miracle, but the likelihood of getting an A on a test you didn’t prepare for is probably fairly low. On the flip side, if we prepare and roll away the barriers, miracles can become our reality.

If we want to see miracles in our lives, what preparations are we making to that end? The amazing thing is that once we are willing to do something and prepare the way for the Lord—from getting out of the boat and walking on water to rolling away a stone—our faith in Him will increase as we witness the incredible miracles He brings into our lives. And our faith in ourselves will increase as we recognize our own strength, willingness, and ability to take action.

Surround Yourself with Good People

I have been blessed with so many incredible people in my life: the family I was born into, the friends who have become family, my incredible husband, the family I married into, the family I have helped create, and the incredible friends in my neighborhood, wards, and work. I know I wouldn’t be here if not for the good people around me. Good friends remind us to believe in ourselves, even when we don’t. Good friends allow us to lean on their faith when our own faith may feel weak. Good friends bring us closer to the Lord in a way that strengthens and uplifts us. Good friends can bring miracles into our lives—such as in the story we find in Luke 5.

This story tells of a man with palsy who was surrounded by good people. This man had a group of friends who brought him to the Savior to be healed. When they realized they couldn’t bring him into the home where the Savior was because there were too many people crowding the doorway, the friends climbed up on the roof, removed it, and lowered the man down to the Savior to be healed.29 Talk about effort—couldn’t we all use friends like that? I love that “when [Jesus] saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.”30 Christ saw the faith of this man’s friends. Because the palsied man surrounded himself with good people, he was brought to the Lord and miraculously cured of his palsy. Surrounding ourselves with good people can help bring us closer to Christ in ways that will ultimately increase our faith in Him and in ourselves.

In a devotional given earlier this spring, Sister Neill F. Marriott spoke about this principle. Quoting from Hebrews 12, she referred to the good people around us as our “cloud of witnesses.”31 She shared that in the “race of life [we need to] have a cloud of witnesses to point our souls to the finish line and to our Author and Finisher, Jesus Christ.”32 Sister Marriott stated, “When life is full of concerns, let’s look to the witnesses of the Lord all around us.”33 When we surround ourselves with good people, our faith in the Lord is strengthened as those people point us to Him, and our faith in ourselves is strengthened as they remind us of our worth.

Partake of the Power of Praise

As I mentioned earlier, in my study of the Jaredites, I read how the people sang praises unto the Lord all day and all night while journeying to the promised land: “They did not cease to praise the Lord.”34 The next verse then says that “no monster of the sea could break them.”35 The Jaredites eventually made it to the promised land, where they again praised the Lord for His goodness.36 As I noted when I studied these verses, I don’t think it was a coincidence that a verse about the Jaredites’ strength came after a verse about their praise.

In November 2020, President Nelson shared a video message with the world about the healing power of praise and gratitude. This worldwide message just happened to occur on the day of our sweet Benny’s funeral, and because of that, the words of our dear prophet resonated with my husband and me in a way they may not have otherwise. President Nelson said, “No matter our situation, showing gratitude for our privileges is a unique, fast-acting, and long-lasting spiritual prescription.”37

As with any prescription, though, the power of praise cannot be accessed unless we are willing to actively partake of it. If we are willing to exercise gratitude and be active in our efforts to praise the Lord, that power will manifest in our lives. There is great power and healing in praise, as President Nelson wisely counseled and as the scriptures repeatedly teach—a power and healing that strengthen our faith in the Lord as we acknowledge His presence and His work in our lives. Additionally, when we actively partake of the power of praise, we can more easily recognize our own worth as God’s children, upon whom He so abundantly pours His blessings and abidingly shows His love.

I hope that through what I have shared this morning you have been able to feel of the Lord’s love for you and His desire for you to have faith in yourself. If you walk away with anything today, I really hope that is it. I hope you have also felt a desire to strengthen your faith in Him, as doing so will lead to confidence and peace in our increasingly difficult world. I don’t know about you, but for me, any increase in confidence and peace right now definitely feels welcome. By focusing on the three suggestions that I have mentioned—­preparation, people, and praise (I love that they all start with the letter p because hopefully that makes them easier to remember!)—our faith in the Lord will increase and, in turn, our faith in ourselves will increase.

To end, I want to share one of my favorite quotes:

To every man [and I would add woman] there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and ­fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for that which would be his finest hour.

My friends, each of you is here on this earth for a reason—a reason designed by loving heavenly parents. You will be given opportunities in your life to do very special things unique to the abilities and talents that were given to you by those loving heavenly parents. They made you individually and intentionally, and they have a great work for you to do. But in order to do that work, to embrace your finest hour, you need to be prepared with a solid foundation of faith in the Lord and in yourself.

And finally, I want to close with a scripture:

And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.38

Like Mormon, I don’t know all things. I can’t even pretend to know all things. In fact, the older I get, the more I realize how little I know! But, like Mormon, I trust in the Lord and hope that He will work in me to do His will. On this campus I see examples every day of the good He is working through all of you, and I thank you for the strength, goodness, and light you share. Each of you was made for great things. I assure you that as you put your faith in the Lord and have the courage to believe in yourself—as He believes in you—there is no limit to the amount of good you can do and the positive impact you will have on this world as you go forth to serve.

I say these things in the name of Him on whom my faith rests, even Jesus Christ, amen.

© Brigham Young University. All rights reserved. 


1. Spencer W. Kimball, “The Second Century of Brigham Young University,” BYU devotional address, 10 October 1975.

2. See “November 16–22: Ether 6–11,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon, 2020 (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2019), 178–81. See also Ether 6:1–13.

3. Doctrine and Covenants 90:24.

4. See Isaiah 25:8.

5. John 14:18.

6. Philippians 4:7.

7. See Ether 6:1–13.

8. “Be Still, My Soul,” Hymns, 2002, no. 124.

9. See Luke 24:13–32.

10. L. Tom Perry, “Be the Best of Whatever You Are,” BYU devotional address, 12 March 1974.

11. See “I Am a Child of God,” Songbook, 2–3.

12. Russell M. Nelson, “Choices for Eternity,” worldwide devotional for young adults, 15 May 2022; see 3 Nephi 20:25; Acts 3:25.

13. “I Am a Child of God.”

14. Matthew 14:27.

15. Matthew 14:30.

16. Matthew 14:30.

17. Matthew 14:31.

18. Matthew 14:31.

19. See 1 Samuel 17:1–54.

20. See Exodus 14.

21. See 1 Nephi 3–4.

22. See Genesis 6:5–22.

23. See Esther 3–8.

24. Joshua 1:9.

25. See John 20:11–13.

26. John 20:16; see also verses 14–16.

27. See John 11:1–45.

28. See John 11:38–44.

29. See Luke 5:17–20.

30. Luke 5:20.

31. Neill F. Marriott, “Pointing Our Souls to Christ,” BYU devotional address, 3 May 2022; quoting Hebrews 12:1.

32. Marriott, “Pointing Our Souls”; referring to Hebrews 12:1, 2.

33. Marriott, “Pointing Our Souls.”

34. Ether 6:9.

35. Ether 6:10.

36. See Ether 6:11–12.

37. Russell M. Nelson, “The Story Behind My Global Prayer of Gratitude,” Inspiration (blog), 20 November 2020, Church of Jesus Christ, churchofjesuschrist.org/inspiration/the-story-behind-my-global-prayer-of-gratitude. See also Nelson, “The Healing Power of Gratitude,” transcript of video message shared on social media, Church of Jesus Christ, 20 November 2020.

38. Words of Mormon 1:7.

See the complete list of abbreviations here

Tiffany Turley Bowcut

Tiffany Turley Bowcut, BYU Title IX coordinator, delivered this devotional address on June 21, 2022.