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"Everything the Father and the Son do is about the individual, first, last, and always and the Plan of Salvation in large part hinges on the idea that each of us must rely on the Savior and on one another."

February 13, 2018
Writer: Brandon Isle

During his devotional address, BYU-Idaho's academic vice president talked about the worth of souls and how the ordinary people at BYU-Idaho are doing extraordinary things.

Brother Kelly Burgener taught that the students at BYU-Idaho right now are the seeds Jacob Spori, the first principal of BYU-Idaho's forerunner, talked about when he said he saw seeds becoming mighty oaks across the world. He said the early leaders of this school were focused on the individual students. That focus continues today. He quoted President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who gave the inaugural charge to his son as he installed him as president of BYU-Idaho, "Henry and each of us are to acknowledge and treat all who teach, lead, learn, and labor here as 'children of a loving Heavenly Father, with the divine potential to become like Him.'"

Burgener said he loves to watch people just like his mother. He enjoys seeing the pictures of the people who attend General Conference. "These images are a testimony almost as powerful as the words of the sermons themselves," he said. "As you look into these adorable faces, the Savior's love for each one is revealed, isn't it? Truly, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."

To prepare for this devotional, Burgener said he interviewed many people. He talked to them about the Spirit of Ricks or the Spirit of BYU-Idaho. Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church and former president of BYU-Idaho, simply calls it the Holy Ghost. His stories shared how special BYU-Idaho is to so many people. They love this university because of the people.

He also reflected on the hardships of life and how we can overcome our struggles with help from a loving Heavenly Father who sends people to give us a hand. "This great University is based on the value of service," he said. "In your classrooms and online courses, the Learning Model calls us as both learners and teachers to lift one another. You serve in your wards as home and visiting teachers and you give hours upon hours of service in your callings. And almost everyone I talk to has an awareness of and a desire for a personal ministry, a bone-deep desire to be just a little more like Jesus Christ. Taken together, these everyday experiences are powerful ways we build and strengthen one another in the Spirit of BYU-Idaho!"

You can listen to his full devotional address below.