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Brother Wilcox offers a 2nd apology for ‘insensitive and hurtful’ comments

Brother Bradley R. Wilcox, second counselor in the Young Men general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, apologized Sunday night for the second time for recent remarks that were “insensitive and hurtful.”

“This has been a hard week for me,” Brother Wilcox said, noting he has been “corrected” and “taught” following comments offered during a devotional in Alpine, Utah, on Sunday, Feb. 6. The day after that presentation, Brother Wilcox apologized in a Facebook post.

His remarks Sunday, Feb. 13, came at the beginning of a devotional broadcast to a group of youth in Edmonton, Alberta. Brother Ahmad S. Corbitt, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, also addressed the youth. Both leaders focused their remarks on the Church’s 2022 youth theme, “Trust in the Lord,” which comes from Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Brother Wilcox began his remarks noting, “This has been one of those weeks when I have needed to trust in the Lord.”

Brother Wilcox said the talk he gave last week to youth from three stakes in Alpine, Utah, was one he had given before. 

“It wasn’t the first time that I’ve used the ideas that I shared or the line of reasoning that I used to try to address some difficult topics,” he said.

Brother Wilcox said last night that he hadn’t previously understood the negative implications of part of his message. 

“In the past, I failed to see how my comments could be seen as insensitive and hurtful. And I’m very grateful for friends — friends like Brother Corbitt — who have helped me and corrected me and taught me. Once again, I apologize. And I’m grateful, more than ever, for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which allows us to trust in the Lord.”

Brother Corbitt, joining the virtual devotional from the campus of BYU–Idaho, shared a message with the youth in Edmonton about trusting in the Lord. 

He was in Rexburg, Idaho, with Elder Ronald A. Rasband for a devotional Elder Rasband, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, delivered to the students of the university Sunday evening.

Prior to starting his remarks, Brother Corbitt mentioned the personal friendship he has with Brother Wilcox. 

“We are brothers, and our wives are friends,” he said. 

The Edmonton devotional was scheduled prior to controversy emerging around Brother Wilcox’s comments last week. 

Rough start in West Philadelphia

Brother Corbitt shared the story of his conversion to the gospel as a teenager. 

“We felt the Lord was calling us as a family,” he said. 

“I knew at that time that I would die an old man in the Church,” he said. “I knew I would.” 

But serving a mission was not the same easy decision. 

He said the idea of being away from his family for two years was hard. 

“Secretly, I was scared to death to go on a mission,” he said. “I didn’t think I could do it.” 

After attending school for a short time at what was then Ricks College, which is now BYU–Idaho, Brother Corbitt’s testimony grew, and he said he felt the desire to serve a mission and trust the Lord in making that decision. 

“I didn’t see how it would be done. I didn’t see how I could do it,” he said. “But I trusted in Him.” 

After some additional preparation spiritually and financially, Brother Corbitt said he was called to serve in Puerto Rico. 

“I couldn’t have made anything better of myself — of my life — if I had tried to do it myself,” he said of his mission experience. “I’m so glad that there was that faith to trust in the Lord.” 

Brother Ahmad S. Corbitt, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, shares a photo of himself as a missionary in Puerto Rico with Frank Hadry at Hadry’s baptism.

Brother Ahmad S. Corbitt, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, shares a photo of himself as a missionary in Puerto Rico with Frank Hadry at Hadry’s baptism.

Credit: Screenshot from broadcast

“For a wise purpose”

Brother Wilcox shared an example from 2 Nephi in the Book of Mormon when Nephi was commanded to begin a second set of plates as a record of his family.

He shared that Nephi wasn’t told about Martin Harris and Joseph Smith and what would happen with their translated pages of Nephi’s first record. 

“The Lord didn’t explain to [Nephi] that Martin Harris was going to make a mistake,” Brother Wilcox said. “He just said ‘for a wise purpose.’”

He gave other examples from his and Brother Corbitt’s lives where the answer was the same that Nephi received.

“‘For a wise purpose,’ I think that’s the answer that we often get,” he said. 

It doesn’t matter what the Lord asks us to do or how hard we think it is, Brother Wilcox said. Each time the Lord urges someone to do something is an opportunity to trust Him. 

“We can trust that, even when we don’t understand, we can trust there is a wise purpose,” he said. 

The topic of trusting in the Lord is the theme for the youth of the Church in 2022.

Brother Wilcox shared the words from the theme song for this year. “Trust in the Lord” was written by Nik Day, who also wrote the words to “Peace in Christ.”

Brother Wilcox closed with his testimony and read the chorus of this year’s theme song. It says:

“Though fires may burn
And storms may rage, 
When darkness comes, 
We’ll find our way back home.
We will trust in the Lord.”

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