Today, Elder William K. Jackson, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to BYU-Idaho students. In his devotional address entitled, “Surviving Opposition,” Jackson shared personal stories and council.  

He began by emphasizing that often trials are not the result of wrongdoing.   

“Opposition and obstacles are not always earned by our actions…,” Jackson said. “Sometimes we reap what we do not sow.” 

Jackson taught that some events are not dictated by God, nor meant to be. Yet, we can persevere with faith and rely on the Savior. Struggles can be opportunities to grow.  

“Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our desires, there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or death. And if these were not, there would be an absence of joy, success, resurrection, eternal life, and Godhood.” 

In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Jackson shared the story of a district president he met while doing church service Thailand. The district president was born with a spinal disease that prevented him from standing. His parents left him on the street, where he grew up begging. Then, as a teen he met two missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He saw his worth and that God loved him. The boy grew up, got an education and got married. When Elder Jackson met him, he also met two of the man’s children, who had graduated from medical school.  

“If you can imagine what maybe this young man was thinking during his early years about his life, and why,” Jackson said.  

The district president has blessed the lives of many.  

“He’s just been this phenomenal example of what staying focused on what’s real, what’s true, what’s important can help us overcome,” Jackson said.  

Jackson concluded by reminding students that with friends, family, leaders and the Savior, they are never truly alone.  

“We have a loving Savior who is aware and who actually understands what we’re going through because He went through it in the garden,” Jackson said.