On Tuesday, Elder Alvin F. Meredith replaced Henry J. Eyring as the president of BYU-Idaho. His first action was to lead the summer devotional in the Gordon B. Hinckley chapel.

“It’s my first day of school,” President Meredith said to a chuckling crowd.

Meredith is a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is now the 18th president of BYU-I.

After Meredith introduced himself, Nate Watson, student support coordinator at BYU-I, gave a devotional about temple work.

“If you don’t yet love to attend the temple, go more often — not less,” Watson said. “I promise you that over time, the temple will become a place of safety, solace and revelation.”

Watson shared the story of Roselinda Godi,  a convert to the Church from Zimbabwe. With her closest temple being a two-day trip away, Godi promised to faithfully make the journey. Each time she attempted to go, she encountered obstacles: border delays, tire mishaps, and health issues.

After a five-year wait, Godi made it to the Johannesburg South Africa Temple in 2011.

“(The temple) is the place where (Godi) can properly hear Him, unburden, and let Him work miracles in her life,” Watson said. “It’s this feeling that keeps her seeking to go to the temple and she has never looked back.”

This story reminded Watson of a quote from President Thomas S. Monson.

“Why are so many willing to give so much in order to receive the blessings of the temple?” President Monson said in the spring general conference of 2011. “They understand that the saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship.”

Summer devotionals are held in the Gordon B. Hinkley chapel at 11:30 a.m. Photo credit: Isabelle Justice.

Seven years after Godi first went to the South Africa temple, President Russel M. Nelson spoke to members in Harare, Zimbabwe.

“You deserve a temple here in Harare because that’s where we get the highest of all the blessings that God can give to His faithful children,” President Nelson said. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”

Watson encouraged students at BYU-I to recognize the blessings of having a temple close to campus.

“Do you realize what you can feel and learn by just going to the temple?” Watson said. “Whether going to the temple to participate in temple ordinances or simply just visiting the temple grounds, we can feel our Savior’s love and we can be taught truths about the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Devotional ended with the congregation singing the hymn I Love to See the Temple.

Summer devotionals are held every Tuesday in the Gordon B. Hinckley chapel at 11:30 a.m. Previous devotional livestreams are available on the BYU-I website.