In her devotional address on Feb. 4, Melanie Kennelly, online quality assurance director, urged students to access God’s power in their lives and choose to put their faith in Jesus Christ as they follow promptings.
“Making the choice to access God’s power doesn’t guarantee an easy road,” Kennelly said. “As we look to Heavenly Father and access the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, we become the sons and daughters of God and He gives us power to perform miracles, both large and small.”
As Kennelly grew up in Sugar City, Idaho, she felt spiritual promptings guiding her through her educational experience.
Upon graduating high school, Kennelly attended Ricks College and earned her associate’s degree in accounting. With that degree in hand, she planned to attend Utah State University to obtain her bachelor’s degree.
Contrary to her original plan, Kennelly moved to Arizona after finding there were multiple cute guys living there.
“Over the next seven months, I moved to Arizona, started dating and got married,” Kennelly said. “For the next four years, my husband and I lived and worked in Arizona. We had two children and education was put on a back burner.”
While pregnant with her twin boys, she was prompted to finish her degree in math education at BYU-Idaho while focusing on being a mother.
“I knew that when my twins were born my life would not be my own, but I couldn’t shake the feeling,” Kennelly said. “How could I be a wife, a mother, keep up with busy church callings and be a student? Quite frankly, I didn’t know.”
Despite her doubts, Kennelly chose faith over fear and went back to school.
Kennelly shared a quote from Sister Michelle Craig from the October 2019 general conference saying, “Do we miss or dismiss personal errands from the Lord because He has prepared a way different from the one we expect?”
After completing her bachelor’s degree, Kennelly taught part-time in the math department at BYU-I. Not long after receiving her bachelor’s, she felt prompted to receive her master’s degree.
“I began investigating master’s programs in math: it made sense,” Kennelly said. “The twist came when I had a strong feeling to go into a technology field.”
Kennelly described the decision between her own desire and the prompting she received as a wrestle. Ultimately, she humbled herself and decided to put her trust in the Lord.
“I had no idea when I was prompted to go back to school, and then prompted to get a master’s degree, that a few years later I would become a single parent,” Kennelly said. “However, the Lord knew, and in his infinite goodness he provided the safety net that my family needed.”
Kennelly invited students to follow God as He directs their lives so that they can become who he wants them to be.
“I have experienced the joy that comes when I put my faith in the Savior and align my will to His,” Kennelly said. “My situations in life turn out better every time.”
Visit the BYU-Idaho Devotionals page to access Kennelly’s full address or for information on future devotional speakers.