On Oct. 22, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles accompanied by his wife, Ruth Renlund, visited BYU-Idaho to share thoughts about sacrifice and covenants.
As the BYU-I Auditorium filled, Elder Renlund walked around, meeting and shaking hands with as many students as he could before the Devotional began.
BYU-I President Alvin F. Meredith III conducted the meeting. He introduced Elder and Sister Renlund with kind anecdotes, as a young Church leader, he accompanied Elder Renlund on assignments in Texas and Tennessee.
After spending time with Elder Renlund, President Meredith recounted the feelings he had while on assignment.
“I felt better about myself after spending time with (Elder Renlund),” President Meredith said.
He also told stories of Sister Renlund and described her as a warm, engaging master teacher.
President Meredith invited students to focus on what they learn and feel during the Devotional and invited students to act on their promptings.
Sister Renlund began her remarks by telling the story of her second great-grandmother, Nettie, from Oslo, Norway. Nettie joined the Church when she was 10 years old. Sister Renlund spoke about the difficult trip Nettie took as she moved to Salt Lake City by herself — sailing to Boston, riding a train to Nebraska and walking the last thousand miles to the valley.
Nettie arrived in Salt Lake City, walking the last 700 miles without shoes, only with stockings to cover her feet. She met a man who helped her find work and learn English. A man she would eventually marry. She died, having a strong testimony in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Her sacrifices built her faith, and she was faithful until the end,” Sister Renlund said.
Sister Renlund asked the congregation, what were they willing to sacrifice. She gave examples of sacrifices that students would make, as they sacrificed willing obedience, humility and repentant hearts.
“Choose Christ and His gospel and all the glorious truths it contains,” Sister Renlund said.
Elder Renlund reminded students that the phrase, “covenant path,” means a series of covenants.
“God intended for covenants to be a critical part of our lives,” Elder Renlund said.
He explained the ordinances involved in making covenants, like baptism, endowment and sealing. He continued, stating that covenants are not sequential but additive and synergistic. Each covenant bonds people closer to God.
Elder Renlund taught chemistry, comparing molecular bonds to covenants, which make the relationship between God and His child stronger.
He continued by teaching statistics, talking about risk factors. Elder Renlund explained these factors are not determinative but can be mitigated. He compared this to the risk factors involved in not making covenants.
Elder Renlund went into detail about each covenant’s promises and the importance of making and keeping these promises.
“God established covenants to bless us,” Elder Renlund said.