February 26, 2019
Writer: Virginia Henry

Have you ever wanted to go back in time and give yourself some advice? Unfortunately, none of us will have that opportunity. But we can receive advice from people who have been where we are.

Elder Joaquín E. Costa of the Quorum of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his wife Renée gave advice to college students that they wish they had had.

Elder and Sister Costa spoke at BYU-Idaho’s devotional Tuesday, Feb. 26.

In their address, they explained they have different perspectives from that time in their lives.

“We both have very different backgrounds,” Sister Costa said, “Elder Costa grew up in a very traditional Catholic family and was baptized at the age of 24; and, I was raised in the Church only by my mother who was a convert raising five children alone.”

Together, they show they have the credibility to give advice for this stage of life.

Elder Costa explained there are three things he wishes he had known, and his wife knew due to her membership in the Church.

In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Elder Costa commented that he and Renée were inspired to choose this topic.

“When I was praying, I imagined the faces of the students, even the online students, and then this thought came to me that I wish I had all these beautiful things that BYU-Idaho students have,” he said.

First, Elder Costa explained how wonderful it would have been to have had a bishop to visit and counsel with.

“I did not know then that I could go to visit with my bishop—someone ordained and set apart with special rights to give me counsel and love—to unleash the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ in my life,” he said.

Sister Costa expressed how great a support her bishops had been when she was in college here in the states and back in Argentina.

Second, they exhorted students to take advantage of having a temple so close.

“The temple is the Lord’s classroom. Please, make the temple part of the campus and temple attendance part of your education,” Elder Costa said.

Sister Costa told the story of how she refused Elder Costa’s first marriage proposal because he was not a member.

“It was painful and heartbreaking,” she said. “It was a sacrifice, an act of faith. When he spoke of marriage, I told him about my goals, about how important temple marriage was for me.”

Eventually, Elder Costa met with missionaries, got baptized and Sister Costa finally accepted his proposal.

Third, Elder Costa wishes he had known about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

He talked about the miracle of repentance that is available to us because of the Atonement of Christ.

“I know He is my best friend. I love Jesus,” Elder Costa said.

He invited students and anyone listening to get to know the Savior so their love for Him may grow as well.