Students learned a variety of gospel truths during the BYU-Idaho Devotional August 29, 2017. Andy Bradbury, a counseling center physician at BYU-Idaho, shared some of the truths he's learned in his life's journey. He called his message "A Joyful Meeting."
He used the story of Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah reuniting after 14 years in Alma 17 to set up his talk as a journey that can end with a joyful meeting.
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Bradbury said he learned these truths through his life's experiences, "I feel like my life has been a very bouncy journey and as I started to feel like, 'Gee, I might get asked to speak at devotional some day,' that started to occur to me a year or so ago, 'What would I want to share?' and I'd want to share some of the experiences that I've had, or the lessons that I've learned - there's not really time to relate all the experiences - but I tried to summarize some of the lessons that are important to me," he said.
Some of those truths he shared include understanding our Heavenly Father loves us and by truly understanding we are his children and our eternal nature, we can overcome our trials, "If we can keep this eternal view, then problems become challenges to be learned from rather than mountains of discouragement," he said. "Our brothers and sisters become fellow travelers rather than our competition or our enemies. If we see ourselves in this grand eternal view, then every chance meeting we have, such as this devotional today, is a time for excitement."
He taught we need to allow for each other and ourselves to be imperfect. He shared an analogy of the first time he used a hammer. He could barely lift it, let alone drive a nail. He says his father did not ridicule his weakness, "but cultivated it, knowing one day I would be able to use the tools he had mastered."
He also talked about faith and how it is a choice. He shared Alma's counsel to exercise faith and watch the fruits grow.
"Once we choose faith we make a discovery, that miracles are real and happen all the time," he said. "We just need to look for them."
Other things he taught the audience include the need to stop judging others and ourselves, "When we judge others we forget that our habit of passing judgment may actually be a greater fault than whatever little thing it is we perceive in another."
He said we must also stop the practice of shaming. he called it a "sneaky tool of Satan." He said we need to be the hero who breaks the cycle of shaming in our families. He said it's ok to mess up, it's ok for our children or peers to mess up because he said it's a healthy learning process and "every day and every moment is a new opportunity, a fresh start," he said.
At the end of the journey, he took the audience on he related it back to the atonement of Jesus Christ. "Brothers and sisters, never give up, never think there is no way out," Bradbury said. "Jesus Christ came to earth for exactly this reason, to provide a way out when we cannot find one ourselves. When things are going poorly, when we seem to have made mistakes that can never be undone, these are exactly the times for our greatest growth."
You can listen to his full devotional talk below.