Life has never gone according to plan for Roy Huff, professor in the religion department at BYU-I.

Huff originally studied accounting, but he graduated with not only a Bachelor’s degree, but a Master’s degree in Russian and German. He earned a Master’s degree in Russian Language Acquisition, and a PhD in Adult Language Learning.

Shortly after, he started teaching Russian. Three years went by and he was asked to teach in the religion department at BYU-I.

What he didn’t ever expect would come next.

In 1999, Huff was asked to take his family with him to BYU-Jerusalem to teach. At the time, his family consisted of his patient wife, his 9-year-old, 11-year-old and 2-year-old children.

“It’s just one of those experiences that is life changing,” Huff said. “I think it’s partially because you … get to see the Savior’s life and everything there.”

Huff taught at the Jerusalem Center for two years, from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2009. Him and his family were sent home due to the Second Intifada. He then returned and was the academic director there for two more years, from 2016-2018.

“The best experience was to see kind of a light turn on with students … ” Huff said. “When we’d take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and we talked about Peter walking on the water, we talked about the tempest and it just made it more (like) ‘these are real people, real places.'”

After his experiences at BYU-Jerusalem, Huff and his wife served in the mission presidency in the Baltic Mission from 2020-2023. He and his wife have been married for more than 36 years and have six children and ten grandchildren.

Life may not have gone according to plan for Huff, but by faith and grasping the opportunities presented to him, it has gone better than he could have ever imagined.