IT Platform Services Manager
Randy Beard was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Teton Valley, Idaho. In 1981, he left to serve in the Taiwan Taipei Mission. Randy received an associate degree in data processing from Ricks College in 1984 and a bachelor’s degree from BYU-Idaho in 2008. He has worked for several companies as a computer programmer and has held many IT positions. Randy was hired as a Computer System Manager for Ricks College in 1997 and currently works as the Information Technology Platform Services Manager for BYU-Idaho.
Randy married his wife, Pamela, in 1988, and they have two children and two grandchildren. He enjoys many outdoor activities such as camping, farming, ranching, working with animals, tending to plants, and spending time in nature.
Please respond to the question below on the devotional discussion board:
Our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ hope that each of us will strive to “become” and “be” what and who we should be in this life. They know this will simplify our life, help us have more peace, and prepare us to return to them.
What feelings or thoughts do you have about the concepts of becoming and being?
This past summer, one day as I was home working remotely, I received a call on my cell phone from a local number that I didn’t recognize. I assumed it was another call using a spoofed number from someone making sure my business had been verified with Google, offering me another free trip to the Bahamas, or checking on my car’s extended warranty. If I would have gone with that assumption, pressed the decline button, and placed that number on my “do not call” list, I might not be up here sweating behind this microphone and camera right now. I’ll come back to this later in my talk.
We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, and His hope for us is that we will learn and understand His desires for us and the purpose of this life. He also hopes that we will fulfill that purpose and fill the measure of our creation. To do this, we must become who and what He wants us to be. His hope for us is also that in time our desires will become the same as His. A process of becoming leads us one step at a time to the end goal of being. When I speak of becoming, I’m talking about a transformation inside that makes us a different person, not just saying or doing. A person can say something without believing or meaning it. We can even do the right thing without that action being driven by righteous intent or feelings, but positive outcomes of words and actions will come naturally as we strive to become.
In his October 2000 general conference address, titled “The Challenge to Become,” President Dallin H. Oaks taught us this about becoming:
The Apostle Paul taught that the Lord’s teachings and teachers were given that we may all attain “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). This process requires far more than acquiring knowledge. It is not even enough for us to be convinced of the gospel; we must act and think so that we are converted by it. In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something. 
President Oaks also said,
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become. 
Developing a lifestyle of becoming in your early years can benefit you the most throughout your life. Many of you are in that stage of life now, as you are out on your own, some for the first time, gaining an education, starting careers, starting families, preparing for and serving missions, and determining how you fit in society. Developing this foundation can help you establish a firm footing for your life now and in the future. If you are willing to pursue a life grounded in gospel principles and good citizenship, wherever you live, focusing on who you should become, you can simplify your life. Instead of needing to constantly determine where you stand on each issue and how you will respond, you can allow your reactions to flow naturally from who you are. A life based on being is a proactive life, as opposed to living your life merely reacting. Instead of needing to stop and analyze your position on the moral and ethical issues you encounter, you can react naturally based on the moral compass you have chosen to guide your path. Don’t allow yourself to let situations and circumstances dictate your thoughts, choices, and actions. Instead, let a lifestyle of principles and becoming guide you.
President Ezra Taft Benson described becoming in these words:
Thoughts lead to acts, acts lead to habits, habits lead to character—and our character will determine our eternal destiny. 
In the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus taught us the concept of being. The five wise virgins were prepared but couldn’t share their oil with the others, because their oil represented who they had become—the traits, attributes, beliefs, and principles deep in their hearts. These are things that can be shown to others through example, but not shared or given. 
I enjoyed Sister Kristen Glenn’s devotional address this past week and learned several things about becoming from her. I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen or listened to her address to do so. I loved the words she shared about how the enabling power of the Atonement of Christ can help us become a new creature and a better version of ourselves.
I encourage each of you to develop a list of attributes and qualities you want to make part of who you are and to guide your becoming. I suggest you start with the thirteenth article of faith.
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. 
Note that it says, “We believe in being…”, not that we should just go through the motions, say the right things, make ourselves act like we believe, or just simply do these things. If we believe in “being,” then we should strive to be in the process of “becoming.” I encourage you to prayerfully and thoughtfully add noble traits to your own becoming list. I feel that being optimistic and positive are attributes greatly needed today. Be someone that sees and looks for the good in all things, rather than someone who finds a dark cloud in every silver lining. Cultivate gentleness, be enjoyable to be around, and easy to be entreated. And most importantly, we should try to become closer to and more like our Savior every day.
I assume you’ve each received spoofed calls like I mentioned in the beginning. Some people believe that deceiving others like that is an acceptable way to make money. In all your being and becoming, make sure you are real, genuine, and trustworthy. Don’t be part of the widespread dishonesty that is part of modern culture. Many things in our world today are not real or genuine. There is deception, deceit, and trickery everywhere. If you’re real and genuine you will stand out among and be valued by your peers. Become someone with a desire to trust others and who can be trusted. Trusting relationships are enjoyable and productive. Be respectful and respectable. Become responsible by taking responsibility for all your choices, words, actions, and situations. Develop integrity deep inside by becoming completely honest in all areas of your life.
A phrase attributed to Confucius embodies the concept and impact of becoming. In Mandarin Chinese it sounds something like “Show Shun, Chi Jaw, Jr Gwo, Ping Tien Shaw.” A rough English translation is, “Cultivate the self, order the home, govern the nation, pacify the world.” 
As we strive to become the best we can be, we naturally help build better families. Good communities consist of good families. Great nations are composed of great communities. Throughout the world’s history, when people and communities have lived like this, they have created the most peaceful and productive societies and nations. By living a life of becoming, we can influence society more than we realize, and reduce the need for governments to solve all problems.
As you obtain an education, you are gaining knowledge and skills for your career and future. If you also become who and what the Lord would have you be, you will be of even greater value to your future employers and society. Becoming knowledgeable and wise will enable you to do much good. Our world is becoming more challenging, but if you become wise, you will be able to make good choices and weather the storms that are in your future. I encourage each of you to seek knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
Jesus taught us many aspects of becoming and being throughout the scriptures.
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 
The scriptures teach us that developing charity is one of the most important things we can do. In the same talk noted earlier, President Oaks taught us about being charitable.
We are challenged to move through a process of conversion toward that status and condition called eternal life. This is achieved not just by doing what is right, but by doing it for the right reason—for the pure love of Christ. The Apostle Paul illustrated this in his famous teaching about the importance of charity (see 1 Cor. 13). The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is that charity, “the pure love of Christ” (Moro. 7:47), is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes. Thus, as Moroni declared, “except men shall have charity they cannot inherit” the place prepared for them in the mansions of the Father (Ether 12:34; emphasis added). 
Developing Christlike traits and qualities will help your life be more peaceful and consistent.
In Doctrine and Covenants 121:45–46 it states,
Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. 
Wouldn’t we all want to have the good things in life and the blessings of heaven flow unto us without compulsory means forever and ever?
What role can challenges play in your quest to become? Will you let your trials help you become gentle, kind, and patient, or will you choose to become bitter, mean, and angry? Difficult times can be a blessing from God if we let them be. They can soften our heart and fill us with understanding and strength. As Sister Glenn shared with us last week, the true measure of a person is not in the conflict but in how a person deals with that conflict. Live a life where your trials help you become who you should be and as time goes by your response to challenges will reveal who you have become. Life’s challenges seem to be increasing constantly. In the past year we have seen our life significantly impacted by a global pandemic, political, civil and social unrest, economic hardship, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and many other challenges. You may also be experiencing personal trials. As we seek shelter from the storms of life, the more our life is anchored in discipleship with Christ, the less we need to fear, worry, and doubt, or heed the many voices of rage and ruin.
As I was growing up in Teton Valley about 60 miles east of Rexburg, most days I would see the Teton Peaks towering over me. They came to represent something strong, stable, and dependable to me. They are always there. They are immovable. For many miles around this area, you can get your bearings if you scan the horizon and find these peaks as they rise higher than all other mountains.
Through becoming and being you can create bearings for your life. But what about when we make mistakes, like we will many times, and find ourselves going in the wrong direction? We need to scan the horizon and find those solid bearings to realign with and correct our course. We might find them in our rearview mirror and it may be time to pull over, turn around, realign our compass, reprogram our GPS, and correct our course back to becoming who we should become. It’s important that we become forgiving, and especially that we learn to forgive ourselves. We will make many mistakes in this process of becoming. We will need to correct and start over many times. Be gentle and forgiving with yourself and others in this process.
The Lord loves each of us and patiently waits through our becoming. He teaches this in the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. 
Why would the master of the vineyard pay each laborer the same wage regardless of the time of day they started working or how long they had worked? I believe the Lord isn’t interested in a quota, but he is interested in what we have become. He cares about what is in our hearts.
Hopefully we are all somewhere on this path of becoming. If you don’t feel that you are, then I encourage you to prayerfully and humbly start. We may all be at different points along this path and moving at different speeds. Some have the capacity and ability to move forward firmly and quickly. For others it’s a slower pace. God isn’t concerned about our speed, but He does care about our direction. He wants us to do our best, move forward, and make progress. When we have gone the wrong way, He wants us to turn around and start again. You may feel incapable of progress due to your circumstances, past events, or choices, but regardless of these things, you are a child of God with great potential to become. You can be in the driver’s seat, with God as your navigator. Hopefully, who we want to become and who Heavenly Father wants us to be, eventually becomes the same thing.
Deciding who we should be is a lifelong quest, but the sooner we get started, the better. Make it a matter of prayer, fasting, service, and contemplation in the temple, and scripture study. Allow Heavenly Father to teach you who He wants you to become. He will guide you in this process and give you strength and wisdom. Impressions come slowly over time, a little here and a little there. When He tells us, we need to be humble enough to accept it. If we earnestly seek understanding, the answers and feelings will slowly sink deep into our hearts, and we will learn who we should become and the road we should take. Seek advice from parents, leaders, and other mentors. They can guide you. We can learn about becoming from many inspirational sources, including each other. I have learned several new ideas about this as I have read your comments on the discussion board. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I was taught more about the grace and patience of Christ, accepting the guidance of the Spirit, becoming the best versions of ourselves, and several other concepts.
Becoming is about making choices, learning from bad choices, and then making better choices. It isn’t about earning money, accomplishing things, or accumulating material possessions. It's about reading the scriptures, pondering their meaning, and learning how they apply to your life. It’s about being a steady, stable, faithful follower of Christ. This is not about the degree you choose to pursue, your career, or where you live, although these things may support or detract from who you should become. We can learn who our Heavenly Father would have us be through our patriarchal blessing. This special personal revelation gives us insights into our future and uniqueness in God’s plan. If you have not received your blessing, I encourage you to do so. Study it and let it guide your life. My blessing has been a significant guide in my life. Read your blessing often, ponder it, and make it part of who you are.
Please listen to these words from Sister Michelle D. Craig from this past general conference:
Perhaps the most important things for us to see clearly are who God is and who we really are—sons and daughters of heavenly parents, with a “divine nature and eternal destiny.” Ask God to reveal these truths to you, along with how He feels about you. The more you understand your true identity and purpose, soul deep, the more it will influence everything in your life. 
Be patient in your becoming. Experience life and be present in your experiences to gain all you can from them. Correct your mistakes, improve, try new things, repent, change, and develop. Just get started and go forward. Don’t be afraid to learn new things and adjust your perspective as you experience and learn. Have faith and accept the Lord’s timeline for you. Don’t fear, doubt or try to steady the ark. If you've made mistakes and need to start over, do it. If you feel you are lost or drifting, humbly correct your course. As we were recently counseled by President Russell M. Nelson, let God prevail in your life.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to prepare this message and learn ways to improve my becoming. I sincerely encourage each of you to use this time in your life to establish a personal culture of becoming who your Heavenly Father wants you to be. I leave this message with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
 Dallin H. Oaks, “The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, Nov. 2000.
 Ezra Taft Benson, “Think on Christ”, Ensign, Mar 1989.
 See Matthew 25:1–13.
 Articles of Faith 1:13.
 Analects of Confucius, 修身·齐家·治国·平天下.
 Matthew 18:2–4.
 Dallin H. Oaks, “The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, Nov. 2000.
 Doctrine and Covenants 121:45–46.
 See Matthew 20:1–16.
 Michelle D. Craig, “Eyes to See,” Ensign, Nov. 2020.
Audio of Randy Beard's BYU-Idaho devotional address, fall 2020