Some students may have ambitious goals but feel their potential was capped by prior experiences, BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Clark G. Gilbert said in the opening devotional on Tuesday, Jan. 12. He pointed to his own challenges as a young student and as he struggled academically.
“I am so glad my lifelong potential was not fixed in grade school,” he said.
He pointed to how he worked to develop study skills and academic grit and how he eventually developed more organizational skills. However, the biggest transformation was when he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I soon realized that heaven was expanding my capacity. The Spirit helped me learn at an accelerated pace more than simply relying on my own efforts. I was developing a growth mindset that looked at expanded possibilities, but it was based on something more. It was based on my divine potential and not just my personal efforts,” he said.
President Gilbert offered three suggestions to students: Recognize divine potential, anchor on a higher purpose and look to the Holy Ghost as a true teacher.
President Gilbert said that “the world will try to deny your divine potential.” He cited the experience of Moses’ encounter with Satan in the Pearl of Great Price, and how Moses remembered who he was was.
“As a son or daughter of God, you have divine potential and an ability to become more than the world sees,” President Gilbert said.
The Lord wants His children “to learn and become something more.”
“When you connect your academic studies to God’s purposes, He will amplify your efforts in powerful and lasting ways,” he said.
President Gilbert pointed to the teachings of Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints on learning by the Holy Ghost.
“[T]he Holy Ghost will greatly improve our learning, understanding and recall. It is helpful to pray not only at the beginning, but to plead for understanding as you study,” Elder Bednar taught.
While some of the the most obvious resources available to students are in life and study skills, but there are other spiritual ones available.
“If you look deeper, you will see the ability to realize your divine potential, anchor your learning in a higher cause and draw on the power of the Holy Ghost,” Gilbert said.
The devotional is available online on the BYU-Pathway Facebook page.