The Church Educational System held a devotional Sunday evening on the topic “why education matters for your future” in Idaho Falls, featuring various speakers from Church universities.
BYU-Idaho President Alvin F. Meredith III and Sister Jennifer Meredith spoke at the event, sharing a video of the campus and reasons that BYU-I may be a good fit for potential students. During his address, President Meredith shared answers students had given him about what they love about BYU-I.
“Time and time again,” President Meredith said, “they talk about professors who care for them, who are experts in their fields, but are genuinely interested in helping the students be successful… but they’re also very focused on our mission of developing disciples.”
CES commissioner and General Authority Seventy Elder Clark G. Gilbert presided over the meeting and addressed the audience about the benefits of a spiritually-based education and how students can involve the Lord in their learning.
Following Elder Clark, President C. Shane Reese and his wife Wendy Reese of BYU spoke about the quality education offered at the university.
BYU-I alumni and father to a prospective student, Seth Grover, attended the event with his wife and daughter.
“We’ve seen everything so far,” Grover said, ”of President and Sister Meredith is what we saw when we were students there, when President Bednar was the president of the college, which was that there’s a love of education and there’s a love of sharing in spiritual growth… this helped reinforce that for us.”
Olivia Rhodes, a high school senior from Shelley, also attended the event and enjoyed hearing from the university presidents and their wives.
“I really liked how they really focused on the students,” Rhodes said, “and it made me feel more comfortable because I’ve always kind of felt like, ‘Well, what if I’m not going to do well or something?’ But I really liked their goal of doing it in the Lord’s way.”
Following the devotional, attendees were invited to meet President and Sister Reese and President and Sister Meredith on the stand, as well as enjoy light refreshments.
This is the third CES devotional for this group of speakers, with similar events being held in Las Vegas and Boise earlier this year. The Idaho Falls devotional is the last in the series for the year, but they will continue in 2024.
President Meredith shared that speaking at these devotional events has been beneficial in helping people understand what BYU-I is all about.
“BYU-Idaho is such an amazing experience for our students,” President Meredith said, “and the general membership of the church has some misunderstandings about BYU-Idaho. This gives us a great opportunity to emphasize that we’re about developing disciples of Christ, and this is a school where you can get a great education, at the feet of professors who genuinely care about you, at a very affordable price.”