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 ​professorswho ​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.”

Invitation to CES devotional.

Invitation to CES devotional. Photo credit: Church Educational System


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.”

Attendees waiting in line to meet President and Sister Reese and President and Sister Meredith after the devotional.

Attendees waiting in line to meet President and Sister Reese and President and Sister Meredith after the devotional. Photo credit: Gabriela Fletcher


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.