Elder Carlos A. Godoy of the Quorum of the Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found it a pleasure as a former BYU student and “cougar fan” to speak to BYU students in a campus-wide devotional address.
“When I first stepped onto this campus more than 30 years ago as an English-as-a-second-language student, I would never have imagined that one day I would be invited to speak at the BYU Devotional,” he said.
In describing the theme of his address, Elder Godoy changed the BYU slogan and titled his message “Enter to learn, go forth to fight.”
Godoy came to the United States to attend school after serving a mission. As an ESL student at BYU, his only objective was to learn English, but he soon fell in love with the university’s environment.
“I remember how impressed I was with the beauty of the mountains, with the greatness of the campus, with the student’s lifestyle, the sports activities, the weekend parties,” Godoy said. “I was amazed with the idea of how nice it would be to be a student here.”
Despite his love for the campus, Godoy learned English and had to return to Brazil with hopes he could one day return to BYU.
After ten years completing a degree in Economics and Political Science at the São Paulo Pontifical Catholic University in 1987, Godoy returned to BYU as an MBA student in the Marriott School.
Godoy shared, however, he had to study for the GMAT for three years before his acceptance. Godoy stated he “knows the feeling” of being left behind in school.
“I know how it is to feel inadequate to do something or to feel frustrated with your own progress, but I want to assure you that you can do it,” Godoy said. “If I could do it, you can also do it. When we are willing to pay the price, anything is possible.”
Godoy empathized with students going through difficult times and encouraged them to recognize the importance of achieving good grades and working hard in school.
“I remember passing many nights awake studying for tests, case presentations or writing papers, watching the snow fall through my bedroom window,” Godoy said. “There is always a price to be paid when we are looking for better results and a better future.”
According to Godoy, the main reason difficult things are made possible is because of the Savior Jesus Christ. With a bigger picture in mind, individuals can choose an appropriate direction for their lives, Godoy said.
“Each one of us has assignments to fulfill in this life just like the apostles and prophets do, and your time here at BYU as an undergraduate or graduate student, majoring in X or Z, should be considered as part of your preparation, as a resource to get there,” Godoy said.
Godoy also emphasized the importance of home-centered and Church-supported gospel learning for both families and individuals.
“This is not something just for families,” Godoy said. “It also applies to you, especially as you are away from your family. You need to protect your home. The enemy wants to enter in your dorm, in your building, with your roommates.”
Godoy encouraged students to take advantage of their time at BYU to strengthen their testimonies and arm themselves with knowledge, especially as they grow to be an increasingly larger target to Satan.
Godoy concluded by encouraging students to fight through their struggles and pursue their dreams.
“It doesn’t matter how behind you are in your classes, how bad some of your grades have been,” Godoy said. “Stand up and fight.”