Nathan Meeker

Nathan Meeker, the department chair of the Sociology and Social Work Department at BYU-Idaho will be the devotional speaker for this week.

The title of his talk is “Purpose and Blessing of Failure."

In an interview with BYU-Idaho radio, he wanted to talk about this subject because he felt he is somewhat of an expert in this topic and in his department, the faculty will come together each semester and discuss ways on how to help students who are struggling.


“[This topic] was on my mind when I was asked to give this talk,” Meeker said. “I thought if there was something I could share from my own failures in my own life to help students who may be experiencing failures at this point in their college careers.”

He shared an example of when he attended Ricks College and explained how he failed in some of his classes, but because of those failures he was able to learn from them and grow stronger spiritually.

“I registered for a 7 a.m. racquetball class, which was way too early for my first semester,” Meeker said. “I ended up failing that class actually, and I had another class were I missed the final exam and did really poorly in that class.”

He said how although he failed that semester academically, that experience was able to lay a foundation for success in future semester.

Meeker said in his devotional talk that there is a direct link between failure and success.

“Success is often the outcome of experiencing failure.” Meeker said. “Having success in anything requires trying to do something and frequently and consistently “almost doing something” or failing.”

He mentioned a talk from Sister Sharon Eubank from the October 2017 General Conference and he explained why the phrase “innovation and creation are spiritual gifts” stood out to him.

“I think another purpose of failure is that it almost requires that we be creative and be innovative in our circumstances,” Meeker said. “If you’re failing in a class, you’ve failed an exam, failed in a marriage relationship or committing sin, then you have to do something different if you’re going to learn and change from that and that requires creativity and innovation.”

Meeker said his message to those who are dealing with trials is to keep going.

“Don’t give up,” Meeker said. “You will receive blessings at some point along the way and you will be able to, at one point in your life, look back and see why you had to go through that.”