February 5, 2019
Writer: Virginia Henry

In this day and age, it can be easy to become consumed with appearances and lose our sense of who we truly are. Christian Mawlam, explained that we need to stay rooted in our authentic selves during his BYU-Idaho devotional address.

Mawlam is originally from the United Kingdom and moved to Idaho in 2014 when he began working as a professor at BYU-Idaho in the Communication Department. In his BYU-Idaho devotional address, he warned against the hype of the world.

“The developed world is hugely preoccupied with appearance,” Mawlam said.

Being caught up in the whirlwind of trends doesn’t lead to true success. In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Mawlam elaborated on that idea.

“We want fundamentally, deep down to be accepted, and to be loved and appreciated,” Mawlam explained. “But sometimes I think we chase the wrong idea of what successful actually looks like and successful in the eyes of our heavenly parents is probably closer to what matters most.”

How can we be in tune with what true success is? He gave guidance in his devotional address.

“When we choose to live according to the truths of His restored gospel, we will discover things about ourselves that cannot be learned anywhere else,” he said. “The power of the Restoration can continue to restore us to our true identities as sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents.”

However, Mawlam warns, we can’t become just doers of the word. He explained that often times we do a lot of good in the gospel but don’t actually change to be better ourselves. He shared how he was that way as a youth and young adult. Despite his continual attendance at church and such he felt an emptiness. He took the time to sincerely pray and really mean it.

“I don’t remember stopping praying that night, but I do remember waking up,” he said. “Everything had changed. The gift of the Holy Ghost that I’d received as an eight-year-old was now switched on and I was very much aware. Aware of who I was, as a child of God, and with a first-hand knowledge of the Savior’s power to redeem and bless our lives. I had real identity and purpose.”

The key is to not kid ourselves. We must take the time to honestly examine our lives and not just tell ourselves what we want to hear.

“Real, wholesale, fundamental, transformative, through the power of the Atonement change, is really what the Lord’s looking for,” Mawlam said in his interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, “and auto-pilot I really don’t think will do that. It needs to be real heart felt engagement, being aware of it.”