Elder Gong, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, came to Rexburg to give a devotional in the BYU-Idaho Center on Sunday.

The devotional was set to start at 5 p.m. and doors opened an hour before. At 4:30 p.m. the seats in the lower section of the auditorium were already filled with listeners, all awaiting Elder Gong’s presence and message.

Over 120 million people watched the 58th Annual Super Bowl. This year, the Kansas City Chiefs played against the San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff started at 4:30 p.m. in Las Vegas, Nevada, almost the same time as the devotional.

Every student had to decide which option to choose — the devotional or the Super Bowl.

Alexander Turner, a student at BYU-I, chose to go to the devotional.

“I came because I don’t think we realize how special of an opportunity it is to like be this close to hear live from an apostle,” Turner said. “I don’t think we recognize the sacrifice that was made to do that, to set it up, and it’s something you come away from feeling edified and you are gonna feel like you grew.”

Before the devotional started, Elder Gong took the time to walk around the auditorium with President Alvin F. Meredith III, shaking hands and waving to all those who came to hear his message.

After the introduction, given by President Meredith, Sister Gong spoke to the audience. Sister Gong told the audience members that life is a gift. She also reminded them to cherish the relationships in their lives and to cherish the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Elder Gong spoke after his wife. He focused on anchoring faith and life into Jesus Christ. Elder Gong reminded the audience to pray with real intent.

Christina McMahon, who also attended, explained why she chose to do so.

“I came to (devotional) because I think that devotionals are provided for an opportunity to learn from the guidance of our apostles and prophets,” McMahon said. “I know that the message that was shared today was specific to us students.”

Other students chose to watch the Super Bowl. Shaunie Brady was one of them and stayed home with her husband to watch the game.

“We had a long week and we were really tired so we decided to stay home and watch the game and spend time with each other because we had barely seen each other,” Brady said.

Listen to the full devotional with Elder Gong here, or learn about the results of the Super Bowl here.