In times of trial, we can rely on prophetic guidance.
Some time ago I had one of those days when nothing seemed to be going right. The issues I was facing as BYU president seemed to have no solutions. No one seemed happy with what was happening, and I was completely unsure why I was in the position that I am in. Fortunately, those kinds of days are rare. But this was one of them. I just wanted to go home and be left alone.
However, several weeks earlier, Peggy and I had made an appointment to attend a temple session that evening. I recall hearing in my head President Russell M. Nelson’s recent urging for us to not only “make an appointment . . . to be in [the Lord’s] holy house” but also to “keep that appointment with exactness and joy.” And I remembered his promise “that the Lord will bring the miracles He knows you need.”¹
So I went to the temple, trying to be joyful and pleading to know what to do and to feel what I needed to feel.
I felt calmer during the endowment session, but I was still somewhat unsettled when the session ended. As Peggy and I spent some time in the celestial room, a young couple came over and introduced themselves as BYU students. They wanted to thank us for all that we did to make BYU a great place. They were full of joy and gratitude; it was clear that BYU had impacted them in a powerful way. This was its own tender mercy—maybe a miracle—to me.
Later, after changing into my street clothes and heading to the lobby to leave, I thought I should add someone’s name to the prayer roll—a practice I usually follow.
At first I thought: “No name comes to mind. Maybe I should just skip it this time.” But then I thought, “Surely someone can use a temple blessing.”
So I went to the area for adding names to the prayer roll. I wrote a name on a slip of paper and put it into the box. I then glanced down at a list of names that had been added by different people on a notepad. I usually pay no attention to that list, but, for some reason, this time I scanned it. Partway down I saw my name: “Kevin Worthen.” I was almost overcome. Someone, maybe one of the students in the celestial room, had added my name to the prayer roll that day. I felt a feeling of complete peace and a deep reassurance that everything would work out. And it did.
Some might think it was just a coincidence that someone wrote my name on the prayer roll list that day, that weeks earlier I had made an appointment to attend the temple on that day, and that on that day I happened to glance at the list. But for me it was a miracle—one God knew that I needed and that, consistent with President Nelson’s promise, God provided.
BYU president Kevin J Worthen gave the campus devotional from which this essay is excerpted and adapted, titled “The Power of Prophetic Promises,” on Jan. 10, 2023. The full text, audio, and video of the address are available at speeches.byu.edu.
Kevin J Worthen is the president of Brigham Young University.
- Russell M. Nelson, “Becoming Exemplary Latter-day Saints,” Ensign, November 2018.