BYU-Idaho Radio · "Believe in Yourself" a BYU-Idaho Devotional address by Jolene Mickelsen

For many of us, exercising faith and trust in our talents and abilities is not always an easy thing to do.  

During her BYU-Idaho Devotional address, Student Honor Office Assistant Jolene Mickelsen shared how she has drawn reassurance for this problem from an unlikely source: Watty Piper’s classic children’s story The Little Engine That Could 

From this story and other inspirational accounts, Mickelsen has learned anything is possible if you believe in yourself, have courage, and put the needs of others before your own. 

One very important step on the road to believing in yourself is having a clear understanding of who you are as a child of God. 

“The little blue engine had the knowledge of who she was, what her purpose was, and where she was going,” said Mickelsen. “We, too, need to know we have a Heavenly Father who loves us.” 

Sometimes, knowing our divine identity is not enough. Mickelsen shared that we must couple our divine identity with the act of believing in ourselves, then develop courage one task at a time. 

BYU-Idaho Radio · BYU-Idaho Devotional speaker inspires students to believe in themselves

“To develop courage to face hard things, we must fulfill our responsibilities in small things. Each small accomplishment we make builds up our confidence in ourselves so that we can overcome the mountains we face in life,” Mickelsen said.  

In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Mickelsen explained part of being courageous is speaking up and asking help from others, like professionals or trusted loved ones.  

With encouragement from those who have our best interest at heart, we can continue to persist in hard things even when the task seems too difficult to overcome. For Mickelsen, she experienced a time like this when she wanted to give up learning the piano as a young girl. But her piano instructor was patient and refused to let Mickelsen give up.  

When she was older, Mickelsen took a break from playing piano, then later became interested in playing the organ. She credited her ability to play the organ so well because of the consistent practice she had given to piano lessons.   

“From learning the piano, I could at least understand what the organ was about,” she said. “It just took time to learn to sit and be able to play for others in congregations, funerals, whatever the situation was. I was able to share a talent I had increased on.”  

Because of her commitment to “keep trying, even when the task [was] difficult,” Mickelsen has spent over 40 years playing the organ for the congregation and primary children in her ward.  

Looking back on her years as a ward organist, Mickelsen feels grateful she didn’t give up during those early piano lessons and sees how her persistence has become a life-long lesson.  

“You never know what is in the future for you, and you don’t know if you’re going to have more difficult times than the times you’re currently having,” Mickelsen said. “By trying to overcome the difficulties of today, you’ll have the courage to overcome the difficulties [of tomorrow].”