BYU-Idaho President Alvin F. Meredith III and Sister Jennifer Meredith announced a campuswide date night event at Tuesday’s devotional before delivering their devotional addresses.

President Meredith encouraged students to mark their calendars for a free date night event at the BYU-Idaho Center on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. as he and Sister Meredith spoke on the importance of dating. They also confirmed that various universities and institutes in the Church Educational System will be holding a similar date night at their respective facilities.

President and Sister Meredith address the students of Brigham Young University- Idaho in the I-Center for devotional.

President and Sister Meredith address the students of Brigham Young University- Idaho in the I-Center for devotional. Photo credit: BYU-Idaho photo by Tanner Brown

President Meredith began devotional by sharing his testimony of the Book of Mormon and encouraged students to be intentional in reading and studying it daily.

He quoted President Russell M. Nelson’s promise in his October 2017 General Conference address:

“I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day…”

Following the opening prayer and musical numbers, Sister Meredith began her devotional address by recalling her family’s experience living in Singapore, where it was typical for people to say “can” or “cannot” in place of “yes” or “no.” The word took on new meaning for Sister Meredith as she noticed its role and importance in gospel teachings.

She shared that the letters C-A-N helped her remember Christ, the Atonement of Christ and “new.”

“Dear friends, as we begin this new year and this new semester together, the point is simply this: we can,” Sister Meredith said. “Through Christ and the blessings of the Atonement of Christ, we can become new creatures.”

President and Sister Meredith speak at the first devotional of the Winter 2024 semester.

President and Sister Meredith speak at the first devotional of the Winter 2024 semester. Photo credit: BYU-Idaho

President Meredith delivered his devotional address inspired by President Nelson’s recent invitation to “think celestial” and his BYU speech from 1984 titled “Begin with the End in Mind.” President Meredith emphasized that beginning with the end in mind applies to being a leader and being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

He invited the audience to picture themselves sitting in a rowboat in the middle of calm water and to imagine how fast they would row if there were no sign of land in any direction. Then, he asked how fast they would row if they could see land on the horizon.

“Great leaders have a clear vision of the end of any endeavor—the potential of what can be accomplished,” President Meredith said. “In other words, they understand what they want to accomplishWithout that vision, other things are of little consequence and can, in fact, distract and misdirect one’s journey.”

To demonstrate the importance of looking ahead as a disciple of Christ, especially amid temptation, President Meredith shared a story from his teen years. When he was 15, his father was teaching him how to drive. He believed he was driving cautiously, but his father noticed he was swerving all over the road because he was looking at what was directly in front of the vehicle rather than down the road where they were headed.

As we travel on the road of our lives, one reason we may swerve or veer from the straight and narrow path is that we get too myopic and just look at what is immediately in front of us,” President Meredith said.We will make better choices if we lift our eyes up regularly to ensure we are headed in the right direction.”

Devotional is every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in the BYU-Idaho center or can be streamed from the BYU-I website.