June 11, 2019
Writer: Jaime Strobel

At BYU-Idaho’s devotional, students were invited to think and write down an experience when they’ve felt God’s love.

“Our Heavenly Father loves us,” Arnold Thiebaud, devotional speaker and marketing and channel data manager at BYU-Idaho said. “He wants us to be happy. He has given us so many ways to feel His love. So, how can we have a better relationship with Him?”

He offered four suggestions on how we can improve our relationship with God.

First, we must listen and obey. He shared the story of Peter walking on water. When Peter fixed his eyes on the Savior, listened, and followed His instruction, Peter’s faith kept him walking on water. It wasn’t until he looked away, doubted, and didn’t heed the Savior that he began to sink.

“Like Peter, we all struggle at times to look up, but we need to keep going in faith,” Thiebaud said.

Second, we must love others. He shared an experience from his mission where he felt Heavenly Father’s love for a particular individual. He knew God put him and his companion in her path to relay that message to her.

Third, we must serve others. In his interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, he explained how it’s important to look up and capture someone’s attention by smiling and saying hi. This allows people to connect with others and it can help them get out of their shell.

Lastly, we must repent. One of the greatest ways we feel God’s love is through repentance, he said. He quoted President Russell M. Nelson who said, “When we choose to repent, we choose to change! We allow the Savior to transform us into the best version of ourselves. We choose to grow spiritually and receive joy- the joy of redemption in Him. When we choose to repent, we choose to become more like Jesus Christ!”

With so many loud voices and competing technology, it can be difficult to remember how God feels about us. Thiebaud knew this is something many people struggle with, which inspired him to talk about God’s love for His children.

In his interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, he said to students who may feel a disconnect with God, “Don’t stop trying. There’s always a bright light at the end of the tunnel. There’s always something there that will come again, and just to keep having faith.”

For those who want to recognize the Spirit more frequently and clearly in their lives, he said it takes diligent effort and energy. He related it to a school exam. If we want to do well, we need to study for it and put a lot of work into it. Rarely will we get an “A” if we haven’t done our part. The same happens for us spiritually. If we don’t do our part to have the Spirit, we are less likely to have and feel His influence.

At the end of his devotional address, Thiebaud invited students to act on any promptings they felt.

“Consider recording an experience in your journal of when you have felt our Savior’s love, choosing a way to serve someone around you, or repenting of something that has kept you from feeling at peace….He truly loves you and desires for you to choose to come to Him,” he said.