Devotional cover: Retaining honor in tough times

President Henry J. Eyring and his wife, Kelly C. Eyring speak about honor in troubling times. Photo courtesy of BYU-Idaho

President Henry J. Eyring and his wife, Kelly C. Eyring, framed their devotional message around the importance of honoring Heavenly Father by being kind and uplifting others.

“You will have roommates, classmates and people you will pass in the halls as your neighbors,” said Sister Eyring. “We are a family here at BYU-Idaho. I hope you will be watching out for each other, looking for opportunities to smile or lift one another. That is a way we can honor our Heavenly Father.”

Sister Eyring shared a short summary of one of her favorite children’s picture books “Peach and Blue” written by Sarah S. Kilborne with paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.

A blue-bellied toad, Blue, encounters a ripe peach called “Peach.” Peach has a desire to see the world and with the help of Blue and his 13 brothers, they are able to make Peach’s dream become a reality.

Peach and Blue work together and find joy, despite their differences.

Sister Eyring compared this story to how students should treat one another this semester. She encouraged students to see past differences and help others see the world in new ways.

She closed her message by enlisting the campus to join her in seeking joy while honoring God and the Savior.

President Eyring began his message by pointing out how much hardship is around us yet how much joy and strength we can receive.

To illustrate this, he shared a story of him as a child moving from Palo Alto, California, to “Rexburg, Iowa,” as he announced in his second grade class. Moving brought lots of bullying and pain. He learned how to honor himself and stand up for what he believed.

Another way President Eyring learned about honor was through the COVID-19 pandemic conditions and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Recently, many of us have given deep thought to issues of honor due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” President Eyring said. “With few exceptions, the university’s students and employees have been encouraged but not required to be vaccinated. Yet the vast majority have voluntarily gotten two or more shots. Their personal choices have, collectively, allowed us to gather face-to-face again.”

President Eyring reminds students that conditions and safety guidelines may change so they must be aware and ready to act accordingly.

Even if one disagrees with another, President Eyring encourages students to be kind and act as disciples of Jesus Christ.

He closed his testimony by telling the story of his friendship with former apostle Elder Robert D. Hales who passed away five years ago. Elder Hales fought hard for years in the military and fought hard for a degree from Harvard University. Even with his physical health declining, he stayed strong and knew how important it was to keep going.

Elder Hales gave his all, and President Eyring encourages the students at BYU-I to do the same this upcoming semester.