Bishop Dean M. Davies teaches on how God uses ordinary people to accomplish His purposes

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Natalie Bothwell
Bishop Dean M. Davies speaks on the role ordinary people play in fulfilling God’s purposes at the Nov. 3, 2015 devotional (Natalie Bothwell).

Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, spoke to BYU students at BYU’s devotional on Nov. 3, 2015.

Davies began by talking about how much he cares for BYU and the many hours he spent as a student cleaning the Marriott Building as a member of the special events clean-up crew.

“I never imagined as I was sweeping this great hall that one day I would be at this pulpit speaking to you,” Davies said.

Davies used this story to introduce the two main topics of his speech. The first was that God will use everybody to accomplish his great works, and the second that God will bless those who allow him to use them for his purposes.

He illustrated these points by discussing how two temples came into fruition.

The first was the Philadelphia Temple. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had managed to secure a plot of land at a reasonable price after a set of miracles.

He explained that shortly after, the city decided that the land would be better put to use as a commercial building.

“I have been in situations where all appears lost, where it seems that nothing you can do or say will make a difference,” Davies said. “What I have learned in these situations is if you are on the Lord’s errand, do all that you can with the talents and abilities God has given you and our beloved Father in Heaven will fight your battles. He will come to your aid.”

Davis said that was exactly what happened for the Philadelphia Temple.

The Lord placed former BYU football player and former Eagles football player, Vai Sikahema, in the position to change the city council’s hearts. He was able to help acquire the plot of land for the temple through his simple testimony of the importance of temples.

“But you might say, ‘I’m no one special. I’m not a football player. I’m average in every way,'” Davies said. “Our Heavenly Father doesn’t need you to be mighty, intelligent, well-dressed, well-spoken or well-inherited. He needs you to incline your hearts to Him and seek to honor Him by serving Him and reaching out in compassion to those around you.”

Davies then explained how the temple in San Salvador, El Salvador came to be. Under the direction of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Davies accompanied several others to acquire land for the temple.

He said they felt as though the temple should be built on a specific plot of land. However, the owners of the land rejected their proposal three times because they didn’t want to destroy their ancestral home.

The spirit filled the room so strongly at one point, that the owners agreed to let them use the land across the street from their ancestral home according to Davies.

The first councelor in the presiding bishopric then explained that God cares about the progress of his children much more than he does about a plot of land and will use ordinary people to accomplish miracles.

“If the Lord cares enough to send His Spirit and make available a site for a temple, do you not suppose that He will send His Spirit and prepare your heart and guide your steps not only this day, but throughout the rest of your life and for the remainder of eternity?” Davies said.

He concluded by urging students to live their lives in a way that God can use them for his purposes and ended with the promise that as they do so, the Lord will bless them.

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