On Tuesday, May 30 at 11:30 a.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center, Joel Galbraith, the school’s academic support director, gave his devotional talk which he focused on the hardships that individuals face each day and how to endure them amid stressful times. 

He began by likening the struggles of students and others today with the trials that the early pioneers of the restored Church faced when trekking across the country. He mentioned various examples of pioneers, including one of his own ancestors on his father’s side. He stressed the theme of faith that the pioneers had in their lives. 

“So, how does all this remembering of the Lord’s hand in the lives of the early saints and latter-day prophets help us?” Galbraith asked. “I think it is because the pioneers had a way of facing the unknown future with seemingly unwavering faith.”

He continued his talk by sharing an excerpt from President Clark G. Gilbert, a former BYU-Idaho president, in which he invited students to develop spiritual, pioneer-like characteristics such as a spirit of sacrifice, frugality and a longing for prophetic direction. Galbraith then related this to current students and discussed that they can use these characteristics to be more certain about things like grades, serving missions, testimonies, relationships and more. 

“We are all pioneers of our own lives,” Galbraith said. “No one has lived your life, faced your set of challenges, been dealt your hand, been given your exact opportunities. You are the first.”

In closing, Galbraith thanked the pioneers for their faithfulness and exclaimed that he, as well as the rest of the pioneers’ posterity, owe them their lives. Since he knew of the faith of his ancestors, he mentioned that he wanted his posterity to know the same of him.

“I walk knowing that this same covenant path — with the same or similar decisions — has been walked by many saints and pioneers before me,” Galbraith said. “I walk knowing I too can choose to stay faithful. I walk knowing that I have a loving Heavenly Father and that I don’t walk alone.”