For devotional this week, BYU-Idaho faculty member and accounting professor, Rob Clarke, identified an interestingly common sentiment that is expressed in church culture pertaining to worthiness. He noticed that many church members lack confidence in or feel unsure of their salvation and exaltation. As part of the preparation for this devotional, he shared with BYU-Idaho Radio that he was inspired to take advantage of his accounting class and interview students for their thoughts. He was surprised at the response.
“I just felt really strongly that my students have a lot to offer,” Clarke said. “I invited them to participate and was surprised by how many students really wanted to.”
During devotional, a series of these short interviews were played addressing questions surrounding who we are, how we relate to Heavenly Father, and how we can return back to Him. These questions tied back to the main question and the title of his devotional address: ‘Do You Consider Yourself Worthy?’
“That’s a question that as members of the Church we get asked a lot,” Clarke said. “I’m occasionally in the position to be asking that question, and a lot of people when they respond will respond with something like, ‘I hope so.’ As I’ve thought about that, I think the Lord expects us to know where we stand with him, not hope that we know where we stand with him.”
On the topic of worthiness and feelings of worthiness, Clarke shared his baptismal experience at age eight in Hawaii. On that same day, he recalled making a mistake and feeling that he had already lost his chance. He later came to realize that the process of worthiness and following the Holy Ghost also involved repentance and that the Lord is patient with us as we stumble, make mistakes and learn.
“I think it is important to understand our relationship to Heavenly Father and our relationship with Heavenly Father,” Clarke said. He shared that while we have been commanded to be perfect (Matthew 5:48), perfection doesn’t happen all at once. When asked about their feelings of perfection, the students in Clarke’s accounting class all expressed that while they do not feel perfect, they are hopeful in Heavenly Father’s plan to make them perfect. Clarke shared how this hopefulness and faith is key.
In closing, Clarke shared his testimony, “Brothers and Sisters, Heavenly Father loves you. He sent His Only Begotten Son who suffered and died for you and for me. If you and I exercise faith in Him and repent, we will be worthy and we can know that we are worthy.”
You can listen to the full devotional talk below or click this link for the video and transcript.