Dr. Tom Morris of the Department of Geological Sciences spoke to students and faculty in the first Devotional of Spring term. Morris played baseball at BYU while getting his undergraduate degree and later received graduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin.
Morris’ talk focused on the use of time and how three heroes in his life have taught him lessons about the principle. His heroes come from different areas in his life including spiritual, professional and personal.
From the Book of Mormon, Morris highlighted King Benjamin as a personal hero because of how he spent his time serving his people and laboring among them.
“[He] used his time to serve others, and thereby his God by word and action,” Morris said. “His many acts of service led to the strengths of his words.”
King Benjamin taught his people of the glory of God and reminded them that without Him they are nothing.
Another of Morris’ heroes is Milutin Milanković, a Serbian scientist who theorized that fossil fuels were affected by different ice ages throughout time. When World War II broke out, Milanković was captured and thrown into jail for six months. Instead of delving in self pity, Milanković’s mind turned to his work and he spent the time fine tuning his theory.
When Milanković died in 1958 his theory was mocked by his colleagues; but 30 years later, thanks to advances in technology, his theory was proved to be true and is now a fundamental practice to find fossil fuels.
“Milanković was focused in his life’s work,” Morris said. “He found little time to despair. He plowed forward, sometimes with delight, even under seemingly dire circumstance.”
Morris’ third hero is his own son Connor who was born with down syndrome. Morris caught himself wishing he could go back in time and not have the doctor say those words. After praying for comfort and guidance he received comfort in the counsel to take it moment by moment.
“Connor has taught me that life comes to us one day at a time,” Morris said. “He taught me not to become overwhelmed with problems that might happen in the future, but instead use our gifts and talents from moment to moment, and savor our precious time together.”
Morris counseled students and faculty to use their time wisely to benefit all of God’s children.
“Our life on earth may be our best chance to prove our medal,” Morris said. “It comes to us one day at a time. What will we do in this life? This year? This day? This moment?”
Morris closed his remarks with hopes that he, and those in the audience, would have wisdom and purpose in their earthly lives.
“May we reflect often and prioritize our time,” Morris said. “For time is a precious commodity, a finite resource.”