November 1, 2016
Writer: Myles Primm
Elder Alan C Batt, an Area Seventy General Authority spoke on the campus of BYU-Idaho about how we have agency and therefore can make choices.
He started out his talk with a story about how one woman decided to call the shots.
"A story is told of a large banquet held in the state capital. Those in attendance were in a line being served their dinner. A woman who was serving gave each one in line a piece of chicken. One man came by and said, 'I'd like two pieces of chicken' She said to him 'I'm sorry, but it's just one piece of chicken per person.' He said, 'I don't think you understand who I am. I'm the governor of this state and I want two pieces of chicken.' She replied, 'I don't think you understand who I am. I'm the lady in charge of the chicken.'"
"Brothers and sisters we are in charge of the chicken," said Elder Batt. "We determine who we become."
He then shared of a time when a cow fell out of a mans trailer and he followed behind him all the way to his house because the driver was ignoring the signals and hand waving. When he caught up to the man Elder Batt told him he lost a cow and before he could tell him where the cow fell out the man said, "'Was it where you started honking your horn and waving at me?'"
He explained how there are people that want to help us but with all of the distractions in the world, we can miss opportunities to receive help. The distractions could lead us away from Heavenly Father which is why we need to take responsibility for our own actions.
Elder Batt then described three choices we can make in our lives"
Choose to share the Gospel.
"Sharing the gospel will bring a sweet spirit into our lives. When we testify of the truth our testimonies are strengthened," said Elder Batt. "Sometimes we get discouraged because every experience doesn't end with what we see as success."
He shared an experience he had while on an airplane and he invited a German man to church while he was visiting the United States. The man agreed and went to church the next day.
"I don't know what will ever happen with him, I don't know that he will change or accept the gospel," said Elder Batt in an interview. "But I do know that someday if a set of missionaries knocked on his door, I think he would let them in."
2. Choose to be Clean.
Elder Batt spoke of the redemptive power of the Atonement and how it can bless our lives and help us if we do not feel clean or worthy. He then shared a story about when he was watching pigs with his friend he observed them eat stale donuts and expired Twinkies. Over time, he and his friend realized the Twinkies were still good after their expiration date and therefore could still be eaten, so he and his friend raked some out of the pigpen and ate them.
"Isn't this exactly how Satan works?" said Elder Batt. "He takes something that is dirty, foul and disgusting and over time we start to accept it as entertaining, desirable and good."
3. Choose to be happy.
Elder Batt reminded there are setbacks in life but it is up to us to decide how we will endure them and what choices we make as we can still be happy.
"Happiness does not come from what we have, what world status we might attain, or having all go as planned," said Elder Batt. "It comes from listening to those who build, lift, and encourage us so we can understand better our divine nature."
He ended with a story about how a missionary came into the mission where he was presiding and he told that missionary he believed in him. Later in his service as a Mission President after their mission had split he met that Elders new Mission President. The new President told Elder Batt how great the missionary was and he was happy to have him in the field with them.
You listen to the devotional below or click here for the video or read the full transcript.