Elder Ojediran extends 4 invitations to BYUH students using the acronym of their school

Establish priorities and patterns academically as well as spiritually, Elder Ojediran counsels students

On May 15, 2022, President Russell M. Nelson told Latter-day Saint young adults during a worldwide devotional that now is the time to establish “priorities and patterns that will dramatically affect not just your mortal life but also your eternal life.”

In speaking to students of Brigham Young University–Hawaii during a campus devotional Tuesday, May 21, Elder Adeyinka A. Ojediran, a General Authority Seventy, shared the Prophet’s words and related how it applied to his own education.

Due to his family’s “humble background” in Ibadan, Nigeria, his parents made sacrifices to help him get an education. There were times, he said, where there was a lack of food and he could not afford textbooks.

As a 23-year-old college student, however, he was taught the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“One of the priorities and patterns I established was to build my spiritual foundation on the rock of our Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ. That made it easy for me to succeed in my academics as other priorities were laid as building blocks on this foundation over which the devil’s mighty winds, shafts in the whirlwind and storm have no power” (see Helaman 5:12), Elder Ojediran related.

From left: Sister Olufunmilayo Omolola Ojediran, Elder Adeyinka A. Ojediran, BYU–Hawaii President John S.K. Kauwe III, and Sister Monica Kauwe pose for a photo following campus devotional.
From left: Sister Olufunmilayo Omolola Ojediran, Elder Adeyinka A. Ojediran, BYU–Hawaii President John S.K. Kauwe III and Sister Monica Kauwe pose for a photo following a BYU–Hawaii campus devotional in the Cannon Activities Center in Laie, Hawaii, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. | Bilguun Enkhbaatar, BYU–Hawaii

Noting BYU–Hawaii’s beautiful beaches and mountains and temperate climate, Elder Ojediran advised students to establish their own academic priorities and patterns to help them keep focused on their educational and career goals and not become distracted by “the fun things” in their environment.

While establishing priorities and patterns to navigate mortality is as important as establishing them academically, spiritual priorities are even more important, he continued, “because they have eternal consequences.”

The Lord created “all things both spiritual and temporal” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:31), and while academic success and career are “wonderful and desirable” the benefits are ultimately mostly personal and temporal.

However, engaging in God’s work coupled with academic and career accomplishments “combines temporal and spiritual efforts that positively impact all of God’s children in this life and assures joy in eternity,” Elder Ojediran said.

He then extended four invitations using the acronym of the name of the school — BYUH.

B — ‘Believe you can become’

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, taught: “In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something. … It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. … What is important in the end is what we have become by our labors” (“The Challenge To Become,” October 2000 general conference).

Elder Ojediran invited students to avoid the temptation to just go through the motions. “Take up the challenge to become like the Savior by your labor of love and commitment to living the doctrine of Christ. I promise you that the Savior Himself will hold you by the hand, walk with you and guide you in this journey of becoming like Him as you continually abide in Him. I promise you that as you walk with Christ, you will receive His light, and as you continue in God, His light will grow brighter and brighter in you, until the perfect day.”

Elder Adeyinka A. Ojediran, a General Authority Seventy, speaks during a campus devotional held in the Cannon Activities Center in Laie, Hawaii, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024.
Elder Adeyinka A. Ojediran, a General Authority Seventy, speaks during a BYU–Hawaii campus devotional held in the Cannon Activities Center in Laie, Hawaii, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. | Monique Saenz, BYU–Hawaii

Y — ‘Yield to the enticings of the Spirit’

The Holy Ghost can be a constant companion to lead, guide, direct and abide with those on the covenant path, Elder Ojediran said.

President Nelson taught, “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting and constant influence of the Holy Ghost” (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” April 2018 general conference).

Elder Ojediran told students: “As we strive to stay on the path, which is the only way that leads to eternal life, the Holy Ghost can guide us in our decisions and protect us from physical and spiritual danger. The Holy Ghost will guide you in your academics, your career and in all decisions you make that have temporal and eternal consequences.”

U — ‘Understand the why of covenants’

Covenants mark the path back to God and are evidence of connection to God and Jesus Christ, Elder Ojediran taught.

“Our faithfulness to covenants qualifies us to receive blessings of love, strength, power beyond our own, peace, joy and happiness that are required to navigate through mortality and enjoy eternal life.”

Elder Ojediran taught that covenants create an everlasting relationship with God. “That relationship began before the world was and shall continue in the next life as we stay faithful and let God prevail in our lives.”

President Nelson taught: “Once we make a covenant with God, we leave neutral ground forever. God will not abandon His relationship with those who have forged such a bond with Him. In fact, all those who have made a covenant with God have access to a special kind of love and mercy.”

H — ‘Honor your covenants’

Calling listeners his “dear friends,” Elder Ojediran spoke of the importance of honoring covenants made with God and Jesus Christ.

“Honoring covenants blesses us with an extra measure of love and mercy. It affects who we are and how God will help us become what we can become. We become God’s peculiar treasures. Honoring the covenants we make at baptism, priesthood ordination and in the temple as we receive our own endowment and sealing require the performance of obligations on our part and qualifies us for promised blessings, the ultimate of which is eternal glory.”

In closing, Elder Ojediran testified that all things are spiritual and temporal. “We have been brought to mortality for experiences that are necessary for our salvation and exaltation. Mortality is an important epoch in the plan of salvation and essential for us to receive ordinances and covenants that bind us to God and Jesus Christ.”

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