Gérald Caussé, the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke at Devotional about the potential for the future.

“My young friends, the world would be different if we could see others, including ourselves, as we can become rather than merely as we are today,” Bishop Caussé said. “Everything would be changed for the better if we could look upon ourselves and our fellow men and women with a clear vision of both our earthly and eternal potential.”

Bishop Caussé started by speaking about what students at BYU-Idaho represent.

“I see in each of you enormous potential to be a light, example, and blessing for your generation and the generations that will follow,” Bishop Caussé said.

Bishop Caussé recounted his love story with his wife, detailing how they met in a YSA ward where her father served as the bishop and he was the ward clerk. Following their marriage, he inquired how she fell in love with him, to which she replied that she recognized his potential.

Bishop Caussé then talked about a painting by René Magritte entitled “La Clairvoyance” which depicts an egg on a table and the artist painting a bird. Bishop Caussé made the point that the artist isn’t painting the egg as his subject, but at the potential that the egg has to become something more.

La Clairvoyance by René Magritte from 1936.

La Clairvoyance by René Magritte from 1936. Image credit: Momo.org

Bishop Caussé continued by speaking about understanding our potential by knowing who we truly are.

“The doctrine which affirms the divine nature and destiny of every human being lies at the heart of our Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness and of the gospel Jesus Christ,” Bishop Caussé said. “That is the reason why the adversary unleashes every possible argument to counter it.”

Speaking on receiving sacred ordinances, Bishop Caussé says that Christ’s atonement is needed to achieve our true potential.

“If we rely only on our own talents and personal efforts, our capacity to progress will remain limited and we won’t be able to achieve our eternal goals,” Bishop Caussé said. “However, when we rely upon the Lord and His Atonement, our potential for progression knows no limits.”

To make evident the idea that having the correct circumstances helps us realize our potential, Bishop Caussé gave a story from his own life about his piano instruction.

He had a piano teacher, whom he referred to as Madame M. After giving him a piece of music that he thought was out of his realm, Madame M. wrote negative remarks on his sheet music about how he was not performing to her standards.

Bishop Caussé then stood up and performed this piece that Madame M. had given him to the BYU-I students. After performing this piece, he talked about the discouragement the piece of music had brought him.

He then talked about his next piano teacher who had also given Bishop Bishop Caussé a very hard piece, but instead of criticism, she told him about the confidence she had in him. Bishop Caussé then played a portion of that song to the BYU-I students.

“We all have talents, gifts, and abilities that ask for nothing more than the opportunity to blossom and thrive,” Bishop Caussé said, “Believing in others, helping them discover their potential, and loving them wholeheartedly: this is what should inspire us in our interactions with our fellow sojourners on this earth.”

President and Sister Meredith during devotional at BYU-Idaho.

President and Sister Meredith during devotional at BYU-Idaho. Photo credit: BYU-Idaho photo by Michael Lewis

Students enjoyed Bishop Caussé’s talent on the piano.

“I loved that he played the piano out of nowhere. I think it was a great addition,” said Bethani Thompson, a freshman studying animal science.

Other students like Annabelle Clause, a sophomore studying sociology really liked how Bishop Caussé spoke on the change that seeing others’ eternal potential can bring.

The devotional ended with Bishop Caussé calling on the audience to sing “Happy Birthday” to Sister Meredith.

Devotional can be watched at the I-Center or on the BYU-I website.