Elder Gary E. Stevenson, a member of the Quorom of the Twelve Apostles, gave a devotional at BYU-Hawaii on Sept. 19 about maintaing a balance between school and spiritual life through seeking personal revelation.
Stevenson said, “When you have this gospel perspective, it will give you greater clarity as to the way you think about your life priorities, solve problems, as well as face your personal temptations. This can truly affect your overall approach to your entire life and the various decisions you will make along the way.”
Non-LDS and LDS BYUH students said his talk was timely and helped them understand how to have that balance.
Hiba Arkoh, a junior studying hospitality and tourism management from Ghana who is not a member of the LDS Church, was given the opportunity to sit on the stand with Elder Stevenson, which she said made her feel lucky and excited. “I felt chosen and was so overwhelmed.”
Arkoh said, “It was a short talk but it was a strong lesson. It was straight to the point and really uplifting to me. If God is not a center in one’s life and helping to hold the decisions, the future we want will never happen.”
“It’s all about balancing your spiritual life and managing time. Sometimes, we think reading scriptures is just an assignment for religion classes. I try to set aside a time in the morning to just to get the spiritual boost.”
Katie Edwards, a freshman studying political science from California who is currently preparing to go a mission, said she thought Stevenson gave a great talk because he spoke to her specific generation. “He spoke what is in his heart and what I needed to hear.”
The principle on balance was interesting, said Edwards. She added, “You hear [balance] in the scriptures and it talks about giving your entire life to Jesus Christ. But you don’t want to live too extreme in things. His message changed my gospel perspective.”
Emylynn Walter, a junior studying elementary education from Chuuk, said, “The devotional was exactly what I needed to hear.” She said the part that stuck out to her was the counsel to maintain a balance with the spiritual and school aspect of life. “Maybe I’m struggling with those things, but I have hope that the Lord is helping me, especially in this new semester. I just moved to a new ward so I need to introduce myself to the new bishop.”
Walter said she had been praying and pondering what she needed to do to improve. “I was searching for hope that something he said would resonate with me in my life. I prayed a lot.”
Mikeila Aquino, a junior from California majoring in elementary education, said the devotional helped her receive confirmation from her personal studies that morning. “Before the devotional, I had prayed to understand my heart and the path Heavenly Father desired me to [take]. I had questions from my personal studies and they were answered by the devotional.”
Aquino added how the devotional inspired her to improve in how she approached her education and learning. “I don’t want to be just reading and praying but also seeking with purpose.”