First Person

Devotionals that Made a Difference


By E. Liza Richards, ’02, Editorial Intern

For some reason I felt drawn to the devotional that Tuesday in March 2001. I needed to cram for a test in my next class, but my mind was racing and I couldn’t concentrate. Bombarded from every angle with conflicting messages about my role as a woman, I was beginning to think the world’s argument sounded more convincing than the one I was taught at Church. When the speaker, Elder M. Russell Ballard, announced that he intended to speak about womanhood, my ears pricked up. “[Satan] is the author of mass confusion about the value, the role, the contribution, and the unique nature of women,” he said. Tears filled my eyes as I listened to Elder Ballard affirm the need for “women who rejoice in their womanhood and have a spiritual confirmation of their identity, their value, and their eternal destiny.” Although thousands of people listened to the Apostle that day, his words seemed to be written specifically for me. Elder Ballard concluded, “You need never wonder again if you have worth in the sight of the Lord and to the Brethren in the presiding councils of the Church.”

Since the founding of Brigham Young Academy, devotionals, firesides, and forums have strengthened students’ conviction and inspired them to action. Please send your stories of devotionals that made a difference to First Person, BYU Magazine, 209 UPB, Provo, UT 84602 (e-mail: firstperson@byu.edu; fax: 801-378-5669).

Coming for summer:¬†For most students, coming to BYU means braving the uncertain waters of independence for the first time. It’s a harsh new world, but with six hours of sleep a night, a pantry well stocked with Top Ramen, and regular, frantic phone calls home for advice, students somehow get by. We want to hear your student survival stories.