Cars sit bumper to bumper on the streets, waiting to file into parking lots across campus. Students are dressed in their best, flooding into the BYU-Idaho Center as soon as the doors open. 15,000 seats are ready to be filled. Friends and family save seats for one another, waving hands and making phone calls. An apostle has come to visit. Thousands stand as the speaker enters the auditorium, eagerly awaiting the message about to be shared and hoping for spiritual guidance as they listen. Almost every single seat is filled.
Why isn’t every devotional like this?
At the Scroll, we believe that all students should make devotional a regular part of their week.
It’s a sad sight to see when one of our own BYU-I professors, employees or administrators stands to speak at devotional, having prepared and counseled with the Lord for hours upon hours, only to be confronted by a sparsely filled auditorium with students sitting on their phones, having private conversations and finishing homework for their upcoming class.
We should give the same respect to our teachers who care for us, our school administrators who love and pray for us and other campus employees who make it possible for us to attend and learn at this university as we would a general authority.
They are the people that devote their lives and careers to us, the students. They know us personally and interact with us on a daily basis.
Every devotional speaker has something to offer and all deserve to be heard.
The Spirit can be felt and revelation received at every devotional address.
On June 4, BYU-Idaho released a statement to students regarding the upcoming change in the devotional schedule. According to the BYU-Idaho student advisory, “Starting Summer Session 2019, the weekly BYU-Idaho Devotional will start at 11:30 a.m. instead of 2:10 p.m.”
Trish Gannaway, guest housing and institutional events coordinator, made a few statements regarding the devotional schedule change.
She shared that devotional speakers usually put in over 100 hours of work prior to giving their devotional address to students, listening closely to the Spirit in order to know what to share.
“If students were to take to heart the things that they heard and what they were taught by the Spirit at devotionals, their lives would improve so much,” Gannaway said.
According to the BYU-Idaho website, “Devotionals offer the entire BYU-Idaho community an opportunity to rest from the cares of everyday life. When we gather together—whether on campus or online—we may receive significant spiritual blessings.”
Let us gather together every Tuesday and listen to the words so intricately prepared and inspired by each devotional speaker. Let us show that we love and respect them and their efforts.
While visiting campus in 2006, Elder David A. Bednar said, “The gathering of the Lord’s people brings blessings of edification, preservation, and strength … You are richly blessed to be students gathered together on the campus of BYU-Idaho.”
Now, let’s reverently show that we are prepared to be taught.