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Is your life’s drill set in reverse? Bishop Budge on why ambitions should be Christlike


When Bishop L. Todd Budge‘s children were young, he and his father set about to build a wooden play structure, complete with swings, a slide and a two-level fort. Though neither of them had much experience with building, the project was progressing smoothly.

That was until they needed to drill some bolt holes. For hours they tried to drill a single hole out of several needed, but they scarcely made any progress. Discouraged, the two took the drill bit back to the hardware store to return it.

The store manager had his doubts, and the drill bit looked perfectly good to him. So he put it in his own drill and effortlessly drilled a hole through a piece of wood.

“He then looked up at us quizzically and asked, ‘You wouldn’t happen to have your drill in reverse, would you?’” Bishop Budge said.

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, shows the forward and reverse toggle on his electric drill, in a BYU Pathway devotional broadcast on July 12, 2022.

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, shows the forward and reverse toggle on his electric drill, in a BYU Pathway devotional broadcast on July 12, 2022.

Credit: Screenshot from BYUPathway.org

He and his father retrieved the drill bit, raced back to their car and burst into laughter. True enough, their drill had been toggled to the reverse setting — a feature Bishop Budge had no idea electric drills possessed.

Bishop Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, explained that the adversary wants everyone to go through life with their drills in reverse, in a BYU Pathway Worldwide devotional broadcast on July 12. “His clever deceptions, referred to as ‘mists of darkness’ (1 Nephi 12:17), twist true principles and reverse our understanding and, ultimately, our progress down the covenant path.”

It makes a big difference when things go in the right direction, Bishop Budge said. For BYU Pathway students, being enrolled in the program has already set them on a direction of bettering their lives and circumstances. “Your ambition to learn and grow is a part of your divine nature and will bless you and your loved ones if your ambition is aligned with a correct understanding of true principles.”

For instance, Jesus Christ’s one ambition was to do the will of Heavenly Father and glorify Him, Bishop Budge said. “He taught that submitting our wills to God’s will is the only true pathway to happiness. Conversely, Satan would have us believe the reverse: that our greatest ambition in life should be to pursue our own selfish self-interest in pursuit of our own glory.”

Both Jesus Christ and Satan were ambitious, but Christ selflessly did the will of the Father no matter the cost, while Satan acted to vainly glorify himself.

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, demonstrates how drilling in reverse results in no progress, in a BYU Pathway devotional broadcast on July 12, 2022.

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, demonstrates how drilling in reverse results in no progress, in a BYU Pathway devotional broadcast on July 12, 2022.

Credit: Screenshot from BYUPathway.org

Bishop Budge asked his listeners whether they have their drills set in forward or reverse. “Are you pursuing your education to enable you to build a life of service to God and others, or merely to achieve your own selfish and vain ambitions?”

While studying hard to get a job that pays well and improves one’s circumstances is not wrong, that alone will not bring lasting happiness and joy “unless they are consecrated to the Lord for His glory,” he said.

When one’s greatest ambition and desire is to love God and one’s fellow man — and be content to do God’s will — life is easier, more joyful and hopeful. “As President Russell M. Nelson teaches, ‘Let God prevail in your lives’” (October 2020 general conference).

God can educate one’s desires and enlighten one’s understanding. “To be taught by the Spirit is perhaps the greatest education of all,” Bishop Budge said. “Heed the Spirit of God, ‘for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not’” (Jacob 4:13).

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, speaks in a BYU Pathway devotional broadcast on July 12, 2022.

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, speaks in a BYU Pathway devotional broadcast on July 12, 2022.

Credit: Screenshot from BYUPathway.org

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