With so many responsibilities students face in their lives with limited time to take care of family, jobs and Church activities, taking part in a higher education program can look like an insurmountable task.
In a BYU–Pathway Worldwide devotional broadcast on Tuesday, March 1, Brother Milton Camargo, first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, taught some principles and practices found in the scriptures that can help students persevere in their studies.
The first two principles come from the Old Testament and Pearl of Great Price accounts of the Creation. “God, our Father, and His Son Jesus Christ created this whole earth in six days. Even considering that Their days were calculated differently than ours, that was an enormous project They undertook,” Brother Camargo said.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ approached this task by planning it out first, as stated in Moses 3:5: “For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.”
“If I can apply that learning to your life, let me suggest you also plan your whole week, Monday through Sunday, before it starts,” Brother Camargo said. “You might consider this the spiritual creation of your week.”
After the creation was planned, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ brought it to pass. “Follow Their example: After you finish the plan for your week, do your best to bring to pass the creation of your schedule according to your plan,” Brother Camargo said.
The Lord wants BYU–Pathway students to persevere and succeed in their studies, so He should be included in their efforts, he said.
He quoted 2 Nephi 32:9: “Ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.”
Brother Camargo said studies of scriptures or for courses should start with prayer. “Ask Heavenly Father to inspire you, to illuminate your mind to understand His will and learn what you have to learn. Soon you will discover that the Holy Ghost indeed reveals to you the ‘mysteries of God’ (1 Nephi 10:19) and enlightens your mind.”
Despite how well laid a plan may be, some things will usually go amiss. Therefore, students should be willing to make adjustments to their plans.
For example, Nephi needed the Lord’s help from time to time when building the ship that would take him and his family to the promised land. Nephi went “into the mount oft, and … did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto [him] great things” (1 Nephi 18:3).
Brother Camargo said: “After some weeks of doing your best to effectively execute your plan, you might see a need for some revision and adjustments. Don’t be discouraged by that, and continue to seek the Lord’s guidance, as Nephi did.”
Additionally, students can seek help from family members, Church leaders, friends, tutors, mentors and BYU–Pathway instructors if they are feeling overwhelmed. “And, of course, the Lord Himself always stands ready to comfort and strengthen you,” Brother Camargo said.
When needing a boost of hope and strength, first look to the future with faith, envisioning the big picture of completing a course or obtaining a certificate or degree. Second, focus attention and energy on the next step or task of the day.
“Dear BYU–Pathway students, this is the Lord’s work,” Brother Camargo said in closing. “You are not just getting an education. You are getting an education coupled with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”