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A Tremendous Advantage


Elder and Sister Meredith, Brother and Sister Browning, parents, family, friends: it’s a great pleasure to be with you. And graduates—you graduates—you look wonderful! Congratulations! Everyone here is thrilled for you! While studying at BYU-Idaho, you have, as implored by the Savior, Himself, learned “of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass.” [1] One of those things that will shortly come to pass is that today, you are finally graduating, and President Henry B. Eyring has made you a promise.

“In the years ahead, whatever difficulties may come, whatever opportunities are there, God will provide a living prophet. If you will listen, listen and believe like a child …whatever the transitions are in your life, you will not only retain the goodness that God has been so helpful in building into you, it will be enhanced.” [2]

A Prophetic Compass

It is my pleasure today to represent BYU-Idaho’s Board of Trustees. Speaking at President Meredith’s inauguration, Elder Ronald A. Rasband said that BYU‒Idaho “operates under the guidance of a unique and distinctive Board of Trustees. . . .BYU‒Idaho’s Board is led by the First Presidency, with President Russell M. Nelson serving as Chairman . . . [BYU‒Idaho’s] governance structure creates a tremendous advantage for BYU‒Idaho, its president, the work of its faculty and staff, and the spiritual development of its students." [3]

This prophetic leadership provides BYU-Idaho crystal clear direction in an oftentimes confusing wilderness. Imagine our future if you and I will “listen and believe like a child” [4] to the Savior and His Apostles.

There is a line in the Book of Mormon that always leaves me just a bit puzzled. Lehi and his family have left their house, their gold, and their precious things and have taken nothing but a few provisions. [5] They’re headed into the wilderness without a mobile device, a GPS service, or a map. For those of your generation who’ve never seen a map, that’s like a paper printout of the directions your phone gives you when you say, “Hey Siri, take me to the Grand Tetons.”

Because of his faithfulness, Lehi wakes up one morning to find a round ball [6] with, can we say, the ultimate GPS upgrades! If they simply follow the directions, it will tell them where to go. And did I mention, they’re in the wilderness?

And now, here is the line, “They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith . . . Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness.[7]

They forgot? Really? I guess I can imagine you and me struggling to muster faith to move a mountain. But forgetting to use the map app on your phone—when you’re in the wilderness! The only thing worse, I suppose, would be to choose to ignore the compass.

Remember, Remember

Graduates, you are commencing from a university that has the distinct advantage of being directly led by those we sustained this past weekend as prophets, seers, and revelators. Five years from now you may not remember your way around the periodic table of elements or how to solve for imaginary numbers. But in the days ahead, “remember, remember” [8] the legacy you’ve gained at Brigham Young University-Idaho. I testify that intentionally and undauntingly choosing to follow the Savior and His fifteen living Apostles is the path of safety and will endow you with answers, confidence, healing, and direction in the wilderness. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


[1] Doctrine and Covenants 88:79.

[2] Henry B. Eyring, “A Steady, Upward Course,” BYU-Idaho Speeches, Sept. 18, 2001.

[3] Ronald A. Rasband, “Inaugural Address,” BYU-Idaho Speeches, Oct. 10, 2023,

[4] Henry B. Eyring, “A Steady, Upward Course.”

[5] Nephi 2:4.

[6] 1 Nephi 16:10.

[7] Alma 37:41–42.

[8] Helaman 5:12; see also David A. Bednar, “Be Sill, and Know That I Am God,” Liahona, May 2024.