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Elder Kyungu tells BYU-Idaho students what he learned from an unexpected life turn


When Elder Alfred Kyungu, General Authority Seventy, was 16 years old, his father fell ill and was no longer able to work and provide for his family. As a result, Elder Kyungu was unable to attend school for two years.

“All my dreams seemed to end and my whole future became dark. I had lost hope for a better future,” he told BYU-Idaho students during a devotional on March 22, 2022. 

He asked his father if he would have the opportunity to return to continue his studies. His father told him that the family would need to work hard to save money for him to go back to school and continue his education.

For the next two years, Elder Kyungu and his family worked hard to farm and cultivate crops in their fields in order to save money. 

“It was a very difficult job and my body was not used to this kind of heavy work,” he recalled. “So I suffered from it in the first days. My hands were wounded and bleeding. I wanted to give up everything, but because I knew the goal I had to work hard for, I didn’t stop trying.”

This experience taught Elder Kyungu several lessons and principles that “can also help you in this life on earth as a child of God,” he said.

Elder Alfred Kyungu, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, speaks at the BYU-Idaho devotional on March 22, 2022.

Elder Alfred Kyungu, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, speaks at the BYU-Idaho devotional on March 22, 2022.

Credit: Katelyn Brown

“As I did with my father Kyungu, you can also approach your Heavenly Father and talk to him. Express your feelings, needs, difficulties and your plans. The best way to do this is through a prayer of faith, with honesty, sincerity, and a real intention.”

Praying with real intent, Elder Kyungu explained, means committing to act on the response that is received.

Another principle that he learned from farming for two years instead of going to school is how goals take work to achieve.

“Our goal for all of us is to return to Heavenly Father and become like Him,” he said. “To achieve this, we must work for our own salvation and the salvation of your family.”

To do this, he suggested studying and pondering the scriptures diligently, using agency to choose to serve God, putting “effort and constancy into service to the Lord, carrying out your ministering “with joy and enthusiasm,” sharing the gospel with others, doing family history, and going to the temple regularly.

“Put together your own work plan and get it done,” Elder Kyungu said.

Elder Alfred Kyungu, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, speaks at the BYU-Idaho devotional on March 22, 2022.

Elder Alfred Kyungu, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, speaks at the BYU-Idaho devotional on March 22, 2022.

Credit: Katelyn Brown

He invited students to remember who they are and where they are going: “You are sons and daughters of Heavenly Father, created in His image and likeness. You belong to Him, and He wants you back in His presence safe and sound.”

“Remember the covenants you made with Heavenly Father and honor them. Choose which images to watch and what conversations to have with others,” he said. “Cast out of your life thoughts and actions — all impure things or things that would take you away from your eternal destiny.”

As he concluded, Elder Kyungu told students how proud he is of them. “You know where to turn when going through hard moments in your life. You are aware of the resources. You know what to do and how to proceed.”

“As you know the things you must remember and the things you must do,” he said, “Go remember and do, and the Lord is with you.”

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