For devotional this week, BYU-Idaho welcomed Elder K. Brett Nattress of the Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He's the third church leader from Salt Lake City to speak at devotional this semester after Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Sister Neill F. Marriott, the second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency.
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Nattress shared the topic of his address: ‘knowing who we are.’ A native of Pocatello who has served with young people as a ward and
“Young single (and even older adults) can get caught up in the daily routine of thing,” Nattress said. “It’s essential that we always remember who we are from an eternal perspective and that we act accordingly. We can know who we are and we can know who the Savior is. That’s a key doctrine to understand as we make our way through this very difficult world.”
To illustrate the importance of understanding who we are as children of God, Nattress referred to Moses chapter one in the Pearl of Great Price. It's an account of Moses talking face to face with God. In that account, God refers to Moses as “my son,” revealing the important doctrine that God is our Father and we are His children. On the BYU-Idaho devotional discussion board, Nattress invited students to read Moses chapter one and share where they see themselves in the story. He received multiple comments.
Nattress continued by comparing this life to a “personalized perfect championship basketball team.” To the surprise and delight of students, Nattress had prepared photos of BYU-Idaho President Henry J. Eyring playing basketball in a suit and tie (with his endorsement) and doing remarkable feats. In the comparison, this winning team (God’s team) is undefeated. Nattress explained that this life is the only game in which the winner has already been determined.
“The only question is whether or not we will stay on the winning side and stay in the game,” Nattress said. “You may stumble along the way; you might even take a few hard falls. But you must get up every time! And you must not let the adversary entice you to quit and take yourself out of the game!”
Nattress went on to explain that even though we may stumble, fall, and make mistakes, we are never lost. He shared the remarkable conversion story of the Sons of Mosiah, as well as the path of repentance he witnessed in a young single adult at Boise State University. In this instance, the young woman asked tearfully to Nattress, “After falling so far, how does one come back?” Nattress stayed in touch with the young woman and witnessed her conversion and eventual marriage in the Rexburg temple.
In closing, Elder Nattress shared his testimony of our relationship with God and the reality of his plan. "I add my testimony to yours that I know that God is our Eternal Father, that He lives and knows us by name,” Nattress said. “I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. They did in reality speak unto him. I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I know that God has called prophets, seers and revelators; that Russell M. Nelson is the Lord’s chosen prophet on the earth today. Most of all, I know that Jesus is the Living Christ; He is Our Savior and Our Redeemer. I testify that He lives!”
You can listen to the full devotional address below.