Issue 5 - Spring 2014

UPWARD/BYU-Idaho’s Online Update

Devotional Behind the Scenes

Learn the ins and outs of devotional with your VIP backstage pass.

 BYU-Idaho Devotional 
Image of I-center
Devotionals top the charts for important BYU-Idaho events. But how is it pulled off nearly every Tuesday of the year? It takes a lot of planning and a big team of employees and volunteers to make it happen.
Here’s a behind-the-curtain peek at this weekly gathering.


The Board of Trustees approves every speaker.
Up to 18 months in advance, 2 or 3 general authorities are chosen to speak by the Board of Trustees—which includes apostles and the First Presidency of the Church. Yes, it’s that important. The university fills the remaining schedule with other individuals approved by the Board.


See more behind-the-scene photos Image woman on the phone
On the morning of devotional, the guest speaker may participate in a temple session or a tour of campus.
Lexi Beattie, BYU-Idaho’s event coordinator, arranges transportation and hotel accommodations for each speaker. Often, the speaker arrives Monday night to participate in a special Family Home Evening with students and President Clark. Student employees may host the speaker on a tour of campus or arrange a temple session.


See more behind-the-scenes photos Image of Choir performing at I-center
Choirs only have one day to prepare before the first devotional of each semester. How do they do that?
The directors make the hymn part of the choir audition process so that the newly assembled choir is ready to go the next day.


See more behind-the-scenes photos Imgage of President Clark and other people
The green room is a show business term indicating accommodations for performers not yet needed on stage.
The speaker is taken to the “green room” an hour before devotional starts where a student will apply their stage makeup for the cameras. President and Sister Clark visit with the speaker before they enter the stage at 2 p.m.


See more behind-the-scene photos Image of an usher on I-center
Ushers are a pivotal part of helping devotional run smoothly.
While the speaker is preparing in the green room, dozens of volunteer ushers gather together for a brief prayer meeting and mini-devotional to bring the Spirit and prepare them to help anyone needing assistance.


See more behind-the-scene photos Image of two volunteers helping clean the I-center
Volunteers and a few employees eliminate any theater atmosphere by cleaning every seat and picking up every scrap of paper.
Before, during, and after devotional, electricians, plumbers, and custodians monitor the BYU-Idaho Center and take care of every needful thing—from emergency mop-ups to temperature control. Supporting this work are volunteers from local student stakes who clean the building weekly. You may never see these folks in action; that’s how good they are.


See more behind-the-scene photos Image of employers controling the audiovisual equipment
Live streaming devotional over the Internet brings thousands of online students and employees together with those attending in person.
Once the lights dim, Audio Visual Productions—with 20 full-time and student employees—works magic managing the sound booths and five cameras. They produce both the live event and finished recordings for rebroadcast on BYUTV, the web, and BYU-Idaho radio stations.


See more behind-the-scene photos Image of Elder Oaks speaking at Devotional
The speaker is not assigned a specific topic—rather they are asked to speak on any gospel-related subject of their choice.
Would you be surprised to learn that devotional speakers are not assigned specific topics? Each is invited to prayerfully determine what gospel-related subject the Lord would have them share. Many speakers indicate that before they even knew of their invitation to speak, they had received inspiration on the subject of their devotional.

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