Deanna Hovey

Deanna Hovey was the devotional speaker at BYU-Idaho on July 3. The title of her talk was “Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones: Ways to Step a Little Higher."

She said she wanted to speak on this topic based on an experience and after a student of hers had given a devotional in young women’s.

“Before I was ever asked to speak in devotional, I had a student named Courtney who gave a devotional and her quote was ‘the difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how high you lift your foot,’ and that just stuck with me,” Hovey said.

After her students lesson, Hovey said she began to look for things in her life about how she could lift her foot higher.

She based her devotional talk on four lessons she has been able to learn about turning mistakes and difficult moments into stepping stones.

The four lessons were: We must put in some extra effort to step higher, We must be humble enough to allow others to help us, We should look for opportunities to help others step higher, and Christ will lift and guide us.

For the first lesson Hovey shared how one of her favorite heroes, George Washington, was a great example of how putting extra effort to step higher has rewards.

“Through all his education, Washington benefited from one of his rules: Accept correction with thankfulness,” Hovey said. “George’s father taught him with love, patience, personal leadership, but also with strict expectation of obedience. Lift your foot higher to move from stumbling block to stepping stone. Expect excellence and keep working toward it even if that excellence is not reached immediately.”

For the second lesson, she used her father as an example to demonstrate how we should be humble enough to allow others to help us.

She shared an experience of her learning to drive and how her father comforted through a hard experience but still made her drive the car.

“I felt like my dad was forcing me to lift my foot higher than I was capable by making me go around and around the railroad tracks, but I knew in my head it was for my good,” Hovey said. “I needed to be humbled and accept the help, advice, and required practice from my father.”

For the third lesson, Hovey used two members from her Idaho Falls stake to demonstrate how we should look for ways to help others.

“Be tactful and loving as you extend the walking stick or your hand and give them strength to step higher,” Hovey said.

In the final lesson she used a painting of Christ by artist, Greg Olson. She shared how this painting shows how the Savior knows her and is there to help.

“When we have mountains in our lives or streams too deep to cross that present stumbling blocks, our Savior is there to help us along the way,” Hovey said. “His grace is sufficient to help us.”

Hovey said the main take way she hopes those who listen to her devotional is that you can make it.

 “We can make it,” Hovey said. “Brother Christopherson in the Hinckley building has a sign outside of his office that says, ‘Spoiler alert. It all turns out fine,’ and if we have that kind of attitude that we are going to face challenges and yes, it may be hard getting through it but it’s all going to turn out.”

Listen to the full devotional talk below.