Menu

Choose Christ ‘today and forever, come what may,’ Elder Eddy says at BYU–Idaho

‘If you feel that your faith is buckling under the weight of an unrelenting and recurring personal weakness, draw strength from the reassuring words of your Redeemer, “be not afraid, only believe.”’

Elder Mark D. Eddy, a General Authority Seventy, explained the importance of transformative faith in Jesus Christ to BYU–Idaho students and faculty on Tuesday, May 9.

“Regardless of whether today is a good day or a difficult day for you, I testify that a transformative faith in Jesus Christ is not only achievable but vital to our spiritual survival,” he said.

A choir of young women wearing blue dresses and young men wearing black suits and singing on stage at the BYU-Idaho devotional
A choir sings before Elder Mark D. Eddy, a General Authority Seventy, speaks at a BYU–Idaho devotional in Rexburg, Idaho, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. | Nicolette Muhlestein, BYU–Idaho

Building a foundation upon Jesus Christ

Elder Eddy, speaking in a weekly campus devotional, emphasized Church President Russell M. Nelson’s warnings about the difficult days that the students will face, saying, “President Nelson has described the days in which we live — your university days — as ‘a most complicated time in the history of the world,’ a time that holds ‘unprecedented challenges.’ He has spoken of ‘forthcoming perils and pressures’ and of the ‘sin-saturated, self-centered and often exhausting world’ in which we live.’”

Despite this hopelessness, however, Elder Eddy assured students, “The Lord has declared that despite today’s unprecedented challenges, those who build their foundations upon Jesus Christ, and have learned to draw upon His power, need not succumb to the unique anxieties of this era.”

Elder Eddy testified the students can build a “foundation upon Jesus Christ by cultivating a faith in Him sufficient to meet the challenges of the latter days.” This can be done through developing transformative faith, the kind of faith that “is unconditional and full-fledged — a faith that says, ‘I choose Him once and for all, today and forever, come what may.’”

Elder Mark D. Eddy, a General Authority Seventy, speaks from the pulpit at a BYU–Idaho devotional
Elder Mark D. Eddy, a General Authority Seventy, speaks at a BYU–Idaho devotional in Rexburg, Idaho, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. | Tanner Brown, BYU–Idaho

The healing of Jarius’ daughter

He invited those in attendance to consider the scriptural example of Jairus in Mark 5 in the New Testament and “find [themselves] in these verses.” 

Jarius’ daughter was “at the point of death” when Jarius fell at Jesus’ feet and asked the Lord to heal his daughter (Mark 5:23).

Elder Eddy asked the students to consider Jarius’ perspective: “His precious, little daughter was moments away from dying. Can you comprehend the urgency and panic of that moment? Can you feel the rush of hope that must have poured into Jairus’ soul when he saw that Jesus was nearby?”

As Jarius led the Savior to his daughter, the woman with an issue of blood reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ robe.

“What could Jairus have been thinking? What might you or I have thought? ... Would we have been tempted to say to the woman: ‘We’ll be right back, but please, for now, let us hurry home. My daughter is dying.’ What impact would this seemingly ill-timed delay have had on our faith in Christ?” Elder Eddy asked the students, then continued: “I am filled with admiration for Jairus’ faith, and for his patience in allowing the Savior to determine the outcome and its timing.”

As the Savior spoke with the woman with an issue of blood, messengers informed Jarius that his daughter had died. Elder Eddy encouraged the students “to go to that place with Jairus, as his brothers and his sisters — to mourn with him and to compassionately consider what he might have experienced and what kind of faith he had to find and exercise in that moment.”

In the scriptural account, Jesus turned to the messengers and said, “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36), which, Elder Eddy explained, reassured Jarius as he “chose to hold fast to his faith in the Lord, come what may.”

A group of students in an auditorium.
Students listen to Elder Mark D. Eddy, a General Authority Seventy, at a BYU–Idaho devotional in Rexburg, Idaho, on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. | Nicolette Muhlestein, BYU–Idaho

Developing transformative faith in the Savior

“While we don’t know the depth of Jairus’ faith when he first approached the Savior,” said Elder Eddy, “it is clear that by this point he exercised more than an introductory faith in the concept of Christ, or a transactional faith which, at times, can be misapplied to focus on a quick response or a favorable answer.”

The general authority challenged listeners to develop a transformative faith in Jesus Christ by choosing “faith during good times and bad; on the tops of hills and at the bottom of the valleys of life; when all is well, and when all seems lost.”

Finally, Elder Eddy counseled: “Please remember, as you struggle with the illogical ironies of mortal experiences, that you are being prepared to be exalted and that Jesus, in His perfect compassion and loving-kindness, is nearby ... And, so, if you feel that your faith is buckling under the weight of an unrelenting and recurring personal weakness, draw strength from the words of your Redeemer, ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’”

Related Stories
‘Deep in my soul’: How an invitation to read the Book of Mormon blessed Elder Mark D. Eddy’s life and testimony
BYU–Idaho president shares President Kimball’s example of persistence despite challenge
By the numbers: More than 11,100 degrees awarded at 4 Church school graduations during spring 2023 commencements
Newsletters
Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed