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Georgi Lukov urges students to exercise their agency righteously and to persevere despite failures

Georgi Lukov stands at the podium in a lei during the devotional

How people exercise their agency determines the person they will become, according to Georgi Lukov, an associate professor in the Faculty of Sciences who gave the BYU–Hawaii devotional on Feb. 4 in the Cannon Activities Center. Lukov’s wife and three daughters, who are all students at BYUH, were also involved in the program.

“If you leave here today with a renewed desire to continue moving forward, striving to do your best in making good decisions, while seeking the guidance of our Heavenly Father, and then acting accordingly, it will fulfill the purpose of my devotional,” noted Lukov.

Georgi Lukov’s daughters closed and opened his remarks with prayers and a scripture reference. BYU–Hawaii President John S. Tanner said it was special and unique for the Lukov Family to provide the services for the meeting.

Tatyana Lukov, adjunct faculty in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, introduced her husband by recounting the story of how the couple met and came to BYUH.

“It is all because we tried to keep the commandments and obey the law wherever we lived,” Tatyana Lukov shared.

Nizhoni Sutter, a freshman studying biology from Washington, said Georgi Lukov’s words about agency and freedom had a profound affect on her. “We are truly blessed to have that knowledge. Not everybody has access to the gospel, or they don’t know that Christ atoned for their sins.”

Georgi Lukov expressed the essence of who people are is based on the bad or good decisions they decide to make. “Our choices represent our desires. They demonstrate what we want, what we like, what we value in life, how decisive we are, how patient we are, how do we express love, how do we express anger, how much do we love ourselves and those around us…

“Are we honest, do our actions follow our words or are they different? These and many other characteristics define who we are and who we want to be.”

Georgi Lukov said he did not want students to be discouraged if their choices have led them to an unwanted path. “Failure is needed so we can understand and appreciate success.

“The only way to understand that something was a failure is for us to have a proper understanding of what is right and wrong, in other words, for us to have proper standards and controls.”

Sutter shared how she connected to the sentiment of perseverance amid failure. “Sometimes what I want is not the best way, and the Lord knows the whole plan for me. I need to keep an eternal perspective and put my faith and trust in Him. He will never lead me astray.”

Georgi Lukov testified of the surety of basing agency upon gospel principles. “Everyone is free to choose how they want to get from one point to another, but if you want to go the shortest way, you have to choose a straight line.

“We are all free to choose our actions, which is the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we cannot choose the consequences of our actions.”