On Tuesday, May 30, Joel Galbraith, academic support director, will give his devotional talk which he will focus on doing hard things through the examples and trials of the pioneers of the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

He felt motivation to speak on this topic through the individuals he’s seen in both his family and professional life. He’s noticed a theme of mental health throughout recent devotionals and wanted to speak on how students can have grit in difficult times.

“I guess I felt that with a lot of the mental health emphasis recently, in some ways it feels like a crisis and I kind of feel it shouldn’t be,” Galbraith said. “A million people have gone through life before us and done fine, so what are we missing now? Why are we so fragile?”

To be better prepared to receive his message on Tuesday, Galbraith recommends that students be aware of the signs of struggling from roommates, coworkers and others they surround themselves with on a daily basis. Overall, he wants students to understand that they can do hard things — and they can do those things with the help of others.

“You’re not alone in your wavering or your struggles,” Galbraith said. “People have been there, people are always there. The difference is how you deal with it. Are you going to let go because you’re wavering or are you going to stay faithful? You have to choose. Stay in the boat. Hold to the iron rod and you’ll get through this mist of darkness in challenging times.”

Galbraith grew up in Israel. His first exposure to the United States was Idaho, where he went to school at BYU-Idaho when it was still known as Ricks College. He earned a two-year degree in photography and later studied at BYU. He served his mission speaking German in Switzerland and, in the process, met his wife in the Missionary Training Center in Provo. They have five children together.