A member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spent a night with BYU-Idaho students sharing answers to their questions about life, spirituality and their education.
Elder Ulisses Soares and his wife Rosana spoke in the BYU-Idaho devotional live from the Church Office Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. They gathered with about 60 people, including BYU-Idaho students who live in the area.
The couple answered questions about prayer, making choices, forgiveness, living the gospel fully and enduring life’s challenges. In answer to one of the questions, he counseled students they should not sacrifice their character in the pressure of social media.
“If we let what others think of us define who we are, or cause any negative effect on us, we are going to be hurt by the road and our character will be affected. So, let us choose to live based on who we are and make our choices in life in our discipleship, we are children of Heavenly Father with promises,” he said.
Elder Soares also invited a pair of BYU-Idaho students to share their stories about overcoming life’s challenges. Their stories were told through two videos. Yocely Rodriguez, an International Studies major from Hendersonville, Tennessee, told a story about initially straying from the church, and how she found her way back to ultimately serving a mission in Provo, Utah.
“Before I was empty and I was lonely and I didn’t have anyone to share that burden with, to carry that burden with me. But now, I have it. I have Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father there with me all the time and I don’t want to leave that ever again,” she said in the video.
The second video was with Mason Powell, a Political Science major from San Tan Valley, Arizona. He shared a story about getting a traumatic brain injury while playing high school football. He said his brain injury changed his life. He couldn’t remember things very well and had to drop out of his sports teams and advanced classes.
Powell said he changed his friend groups, joined ballroom dance and choir and decided to go on a mission. He went to the Canada Edmonton Mission where he said he didn’t have any issues with his memory during his mission.
“This brain injury has helped me gain a much closer relationship to my Heavenly Father. I spend a lot more time on my knees praying, than I did before and it’s helped me to see that I’m not alone and that none of us are alone through our trials that there is always someone there even if we feel like there isn’t and we always have someone to turn to,” he said in the video.
Elder Soares also prepared some remarks in which he made a promise to the students.
“I promise you as an apostle of Jesus Christ, that as you turn to Him, to His doctrine, in times of doubt, difficulty and confusion, you'll be blessed with the answers and the assurance, we all need, answers that are specific and specific to all of us individually,” he said.
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Elder Soares said he enjoyed preparing for this devotional. He said it was meant to be more engaging, with questions, music and stories, “I am having a lot of fun as I am preparing for that,” he said.