Rickelle Richards, an associate professor of nutrition, addressed BYU students on appreciating four specific “beauties of the earth” in her Tuesday Feb. 9, 2016 devotional address. She told students that these four creations are necessary to appreciate in order to find strength and joy in life.
Richards spoke on the importance of getting an education, appreciating God’s creations, studying the scriptures and visiting the Lord’s temples. She also said it is important to realize the surrounding creations because God “wants us to find them and feel gratitude towards them.”
She shared her experience discovering her passion for nutrition and the importance of following the Lord’s will to be where he wanted her to be. She also mentioned the struggles and efforts this university has gone through to help students pursue their career goals, even through the era of the Great Depression.
“If we are willing to do all we can to pursue our dreams and then put our trust in God to take us on the path that He knows will lead to our greatest growth, we will be where God knows we need to be to become the person He intends us to become,” Richards said.
Richards told students that following the Holy Ghost will ensure us joy and strength even when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances. She said it is important to be grateful for all of God’s creations here on earth.
“I have come to better understand that despite what we might consider setbacks or disappointments, God wants us to find joy where we currently are in life, and to recognize that He has a plan tailor-designed just for us,” Richards said.
Richards quoted President Uchtdorf’s talk Grateful in Any Circumstances, and emphasized the importance of asking God’s help to feel an attitude of gratitude.
“We can pray to God for his help in seeing beyond today or a particular moment. We can ask for his help in opening our eyes and hearts to help us to find an attitude of gratitude, so that we can better endure the trials that are bound to come,” Richards said.
She told students studying the standard works has given her a strength and knowledge that would otherwise make her life far more difficult without them. She also said people today are privileged to have easy access to the scriptures and modern words of the prophets today.
“We have a wealth of knowledge and resources literally at our fingertips. We could fill shelves and shelves of bookcases we now hold in the palm of our hand,” Richards said.
Richards quoted scriptures and general authorities to emphasize the responsibility people have to increase their knowledge on a daily basis. She also said reading the scriptures on our own will help us follow God’s will and become the people he intends us to be.
“We have been given to find the truthfulness of the scriptures and prophets for ourselves. We do not need to rely on others to learn of Christ and his teachings,’ Richards said. “We can each learn for ourselves.”
She mentioned as she visited the Provo City Center Temple, she was able to feel the Holy Ghost and a strong desire to feel the power found in these holy temples.
“The work we do in the temple for ourselves and those who have passed for this life is where the true power lies, and is the real intent of building temples,” Richards said.
She advised students to not forget the importance of having two temples so close. She said the Lord has given people the work, “we just need to be willing to give our time.”
Richards emphasized that making time to go to the temple will give students power to endure trials. She also said it is a place to feel God’s love and be reminded of the plan he has for everyone.
“The temple reminds us of who we once were before this life, what our purpose is on this earth, and what the possibilities for our future life can be. It helps us keep the right perspective in life – to not get caught up in the day-to-day difficulties but to remember that this earth life is but a part of God’s plan for us,” Richards said.
She explained these four beauties exist on earth to guide us and give us joy on a daily basis. She said remembering our purpose will remind us why we are here.
“We are reminded that God’s plans for us are much grander. His ultimate goal is for us to become like him,” Richards said.