Elder Kent F. Richards

Elder Kent F. Richards, an Emeritus General Authority Seventy was the devotional speaker at BYU-Idaho on June 5.  The title of his talk was “A straw thrown up indicates the direction of the wind.”

He said he chose this title because he shares during his devotional message that he read a letter from his great grandfather’s journal.

“He wrote that very phrase and he went on to talk about how a straw thrown up indicates the direction of the wind, even so the little things in our lives indicate the direction we’re going or our future destiny,” Richards said. “So he was teaching that it’s the little things cumulatively that help us to know that we are making progress in life.”

Richards said the expressions from his great grandfather helped him form the decisions in his life.

He said another reason why he chose to speak on this subject is because he wants individuals to think about the decisions and personal choices they are making and think about what is important to them.

Richards shared how in 1979 President Spencer W. Kimball asked the members of the Church to move forward in individual basic decisions. He said that if it was important for members to step up 40 years ago then to think about how much the Lord has planned in the next 40 years.

“There will be much for you to do,” Richards said.  “Can you feel the Lord’s urgency stirring within you? I believe that you have feelings deep inside that whisper to you of your premortal preparations when you, standing with the ‘noble and great ones . . . were among the many others who received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.’”

Richards said that the message he hopes to share is that it is through the small things in our lives that desires and personal character are formed.

“Each one of us in our own journey of life, and we really can’t compare ourselves with anyone else, we can’t measure our progress against anyone else,” Richards said. “We can only know what the Lord is teaching us by the Spirit, and how we are feeling the Spirit in doing the things we know we should be doing and so we have to ask ourselves constantly the question ‘am I where the Lord wants me to be?’ 

In his devotional, Richards said reading, praying, and obeying and some of the little things we can do every day. He also said by adding anything else that the Spirit prompts you individually to do, then you have a formula where little things help great things come to pass.

“My young brothers and sisters, we become who we will be, by taking daily steps and by little experiences,” Richards said.  

He said something that he hopes those who hear his message take away from it is that life is wonderful and life is to be lived with happiness.

“It is only when we do the things that the Lord taught us each day, that we can be happy and have the Spirit to be with us,” Richards said. “If we do that then he will send his spirit and we can be guided, and we can be happy as we go, and we will find that the Lord is guiding our path, and we will find all the answers to our questions as we go forward if keep our covenants and do the little things.”