On Tuesday Elder Juan Pablo Villar of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Carola Cristina Barrios de Villar, spoke at BYU-Idaho Devotional.

Elder Villar talked about education and leadership. He encouraged the audience to embrace new experiences and chances for growth.

“Education means acting,” Elder Villar said. “Education expands our capacities with tangible effects, and it expands our capacity to grow and understand both temporal and spiritual things.”

He urged each student to be a leader in attitude and action. He emphasized President Russell M. Nelson’s recent invitation to be peacemakers.

Elder Villar talked about education and leadership on Sept. 19 in the BYU-Idaho Center.

Elder Villar talked about education and leadership on Sept. 19 in the BYU-Idaho Center. Photo credit: Katia Brown

“Let us be the ones who remain calm and encourage peace when conversations or tempers get heated,” Elder Villar said. “Let us strive to create an environment where we can all share our opinions and both feel and show respect. This is precisely what Christlike leaders do.”

Sister Villar began her address by asking two questions, “What are your goals? What are your plans for today and the future?”

Her talk centered on focusing on the things that last — Jesus Christ and coming closer to God. She shared a story about her daughter to illustrate her point. Elder and Sister Villar promised their daughter tickets to a concert for the boy band, One Direction, if she worked on keeping her room clean and getting good grades. She accomplished her goal and saw One Direction live.

“The following day, (our daughter) cried all day long; even though she had a wonderful time, she was sad and felt empty,” Sister Villar said. “What she had worked hard for was now over.”

Sister Villar explained that when goals are centered on coming closer to God, lasting joy is found.

Levi Nelson, a freshman studying computer information technology, appreciated Sister Villar’s remarks and story about her daughter.

“Happiness is only lasting through the gospel and true joy is found through Jesus Christ,” Nelson said.

Michaela Wegener, a senior studying childhood development, took note of Elder Villar’s message to push through trials and challenges when situations change.

“If we just push forward and focus on Christ, everything will be okay,” Wegener said.

On Sept. 26, Jason Williams, dean of the College of Language and Letters, will speak at Devotional.