March 5, 2019
Writer: J.D. Packer

From Illinois State University, to the University of Nebraska, and now BYU-Idaho, Gary Adna Ames has experience teaching at multiple universities. He never knew he would end up in Southeast Idaho. Ever since joining the BYU-Idaho faculty, Ames told BYU-Idaho Radio he has been happier in his career.

Ames admits the Lord guided him to BYU-Idaho. After teaching at two different universities, he talked about his journey of arriving at BYU-Idaho in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.

“I came out to interview here, I think it was February, the weather was awful, of course, like it often is in Rexburg,” he said. “I called my wife that night and she said, ‘so what do you think?’ I said, ‘I really want this job.’ And she said, ‘why?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, I just like it here.’”

The difference he felt at BYU-Idaho, he later realized, was how students are living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This experience helped him as he prepared his devotional address about the safety in prophetic counsel.

“I was not active in the Church until I was almost 16 and got active,” he told BYU-Idaho Radio. “My life, of course, has been different since then. My topic on following prophetic counsel, I think back to when I was about 18 and President (Spencer W.) Kimball said every worthy young man that is worthy should go on a mission.”

Ames expressed how he wasn’t well grounded in the Gospel, but he knew he had enough of a testimony to go on one. He joked he probably wouldn’t be sent now with how little he knew back then but he thanks the Lord for the experiences and knowledge he learned because he went. From following the prophet’s counsel he was able to receive his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from BYU, and his Ph.D in accounting from the University of Georgia. He also married his sweet wife and had nine children and now has 20 grandchildren.

During his devotional talk Ames expressed the importance of following the prophets in their counsel. He showed video clips of recent counsel from prophets to do family history work and read the Book of Mormon every single day. He then asked a series of questions we should each consider.

“Are we willing to follow prophetic counsel and receive the miracles we need as they have promised?” he asked. “We have been given the tools needed to protect ourselves in these last days. Are we willing to make use of them? Or are we silly enough to think that we sit on our thrones and just expect that God will protect us because of his goodness?”