Over 400 students and faculty gathered to hear BYU-Idaho’s lead data analyst, Daniel Balls, speak Tuesday. Balls spoke about overcoming trials and finding strength through Jesus Christ. 

Balls said that sometimes burdens make people feel like a poorly put away rope ladders — knotted, frustrated and hopeless. He invited the audience to ponder the question, “How has Heavenly Father come to your aid during difficult times?”

Quoting General Relief Society President Camille M. Johnson, Balls shared that life’s burdens typically come in three different forms: burdens that come from sin, trials as consequences of others’ poor decisions and hardships that stem from living in a fallen world. 

Balls talked about the different types of trials people may face and what they can remember and do to overcome. He urged the crowd to remember how much God loves them, and that God’s mercy and grace are extended to all, regardless of what they may have done. 

“I testify that the divine mercy and grace of Jesus Christ are available to each one of us,” Balls said. “We need not be buried by shame nor deceived into believing that we have lost our eternal value as sons and daughters of God because of our poor choices.” 

Speaking about burdens that come from others’ poor decisions and the conditions of living on Earth, Balls encouraged listeners to let hard experiences refine them. He shared that, as a child, he lost vision in one of his eyes due to a BB-gun accident. He prayed and asked God to heal him, but to this day, he still cannot see through that eye. He explained that even though he never regained his sight, God strengthened him in other ways. 

“When life doesn’t seem to be working out as we had hoped, we’ve got to move forward,” Balls said. “We can focus on making the best of those aspects of our lives that are within our power to influence. And for everything else, we simply wait patiently and “cast our burden upon the Lord.'”

At the end of his remarks, Balls spoke about peace. He said that God will give everyone the peace they need, as they involve Jesus Christ in their lives. 

Balls’ address can be viewed on the BYU-I website or YouTube channel. 

On Tuesday, Aug. 22, Heather Carter, instructor manager at BYU-Idaho Online, will speak at devotional.