Devotional cover: Simplicity, the act of doing

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Mike Whitworth speaks at devotional Photo credit: BYU-Idaho

On Aug. 3, Mike Whitworth, BYU-Idaho’s pre-media coordinator, gave his devotional address,”Simplicity, the Act of Doing.”

In his address, Whitworth discussed God’s infinite love for all of His children, and His desire to have each one of them return to live with Him again after this life. He described how God’s plan is inclusive to all people.

“Not just a few, but all can be saved through our Savior,” Whitworth said. “We can each be saved. Your Father in Heaven loves every one of you … (and) wants all of His children to return to Him.”

Whitworth explained that the gospel is simple, but not easy. He stressed the importance of focusing on Jesus Christ.

“To me, the gospel is a simple thing,” Whitworth said. “We came to earth to get a body, to grow and to return home. There are many ways to gain experiences. When I am doing what I know to be right, I truly feel joy and happiness. Keeping our focus on the Savior and following His example is key to our happiness.”

Whitworth described faith as an action word. He also discussed how trials are a way to strengthen one’s faith and connection with heaven.

“The best way that I learn is from doing,” Whitworth said. “If we have faith, to show that faith, we act. We learn by doing, facing challenges, overcoming them and becoming who we can be. Each and every challenge you face and conquer will help you to be stronger. Each time we fail or think we failed it becomes part of who we are and gives us understanding so we can become more like our Savior.”

As a new missionary in the Anchorage Alaska Mission in 1980, Whitworth helped local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints build church meetinghouses because, at the time, there were no dedicated church buildings. They faced difficulties in the construction processes due to the cold weather, but they had faith and acted on that faith.

Whitworth’s mission president at the time, Douglas T. Snarr, prayed and asked for rain instead of snow, and his prayer was answered. It rained everyday, but the snow stopped, so they were able to continue the construction of the buildings.

“Building the chapel in the winter really was the talk of the small community,” Whitworth said. “It didn’t build itself. It was built through the faith and actions of the members of Sitka. Each time there were setbacks and challenges, prayers were offered and then action was taken to overcome each one … The Lord listens to all who call upon him no matter what their calling is, He is there for each one of us.”

Whitworth encouraged students to remember that they are children of God, to pray for help when facing obstacles and to keep Christ at the center of their lives.

“I challenge you to remember who you are and what you are doing here, learning, acting and becoming disciples of Jesus Christ,” Whitworth said. “When faced with the obstacles that seem difficult to overcome, (class assignments, tests, getting along with roommates … ) remember to simply stop and pray for guidance. Please keep your life simple and drive the speed that you can with your Savior at your side.”