Marie Wells, who is the University Operations Director of Business Services at BYU-Idaho, gave the BYU-Idaho Devotional address on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. Her address is titled, “Be Aware.”
Wells grew up in Bountiful, Utah. She met her husband on a blind date. When they got married she moved to where he was from, which is Roberts, Idaho.
Before working at BYU-Idaho, Wells worked 10 years for AT&T and US West Telecommunications.
When I asked her what she wanted people to remember from her message, she said she had a friend read over her talk and say, “Now I want to pray before I serve and I think that I understand when I serve, it doesn’t have to be something big.”
Sister Wells says she’s felt reaffirmed to talk about being aware during Nels Hansen’s devotional talk, “The Connection between Ministering and Exaltation” on July 17, 2018.
“Be Aware” is segmented into three parts, specifically being aware of others, ourselves, and the Savior.
Wells tells BYU-Idaho Radio she was inspired by President Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to talk about being aware of others when he announced the “newer, holier approach” of ministering.
"In service to others I think that maybe we've done it quickly and then moved on to what we've got going in our lives,” Wells says. “I just kind of feel like we need to take a step back and say, 'ok, what is this really about and how can I really be of help to somebody else?'”
On the topic of “being aware of ourselves” Wells says sometimes we feel so independent that we don’t allow others to help us.
“As I thought about ministering…the thought kept coming to me, ‘Am I open to being ministered to?’” Wells reflected. “Are others open to that?”
Wells referenced Sister Jean B. Bingham’s talk ‘Ministering as the Savior Does,’ given in the April General Conference where she said the Savior not only atoned for the sins of all mankind, but He also “smiled at, talked with, walked with, listened to, made time for, encouraged, taught, fed, and forgave.” Wells wanted to address the false notions that when we serve it needs to be something profound and heroic.
“I think it’s the little things that are the most important…be kind to each other, talk to each other… be welcoming.” Wells says she thought about the upcoming semester of the new school year and how some people might have a hard time in a new ward where they don’t really know people.
“Maybe they just need somebody to sit by, or somebody to say hi to them, or just smile to them, or make an effort to introduce themselves,” she says.
Wells hopes that people can relate the examples from her talk to themselves. “I try to use some things in my talk and presentations that are everyday things that might then bring to your mind…back to, ‘Oh yeah! I need to start making that a habit in my life…to pay attention, be aware, stay focused,” she says.
You can listen to the interview here.