Students and faculty congregated inside the Marriott Center Tuesday morning to hear from Young Women General President Sister Bonnie H. Cordon.
Sister Cordon addressed some common concerns students might be facing, including deep loneliness, anticipation for new adventures and anxiety about carrying burdens. She explained that the answers and comfort students are seeking can be found through prayer with God.
“He will be our guide, our solace and our stay if we go to him in prayer — one of the greatest privileges given to the sons and daughters of God,” Sister Cordon said.
She showed a video depicting various technological developments in communication, from the pony express and the telephone all the way up to modern smartphones and social media. She said humans have always sought love and connection.
Sister Cordon continued by saying that the word “Google” is now in the dictionary as a noun, verb and adjective. She then emphasized the importance of seeking answers through personal revelation instead of online.
“I invite you to take your questions to the divine source that starts with a capital G,” Sister Cordon said. “Prayer may not offer you over 34 million results on a single topic, but you may be blessed with a clearer mind and quicker understanding.”
Sister Cordon shared numerous experiences from her own life and family to demonstrate the principles of prayer and trusting in God.
First, she shared a story from when she was four years old. She said she kept one eye open during a prayer so she could give thanks “for the mashed potatoes, the meat and the corn and each family member by name.”
She laughed as she remembered that despite her mother’s prodding, she refused to give thanks for her older brother, Rodney. She said many individuals in the audience may be struggling to give thanks for difficult things in their lives.
Next, Sister Cordon talked about a recent conversation with a BYU student. The student confided in her that her statistics class was giving her trouble. As they hugged goodbye, Sister Sister Cordon whispered in her ear, “You know, God is really good at stats,” to which the student responded, “I hadn’t even thought to ask.”
Sister Cordon encouraged students to turn to the Lord with all of their struggles and questions.
“If it matters to you, it matters to Him, because you matter to Him,” she said.
She further demonstrated this principle by sharing a story about her daughter-in-law’s missionary service. There was a two-week period where the members served her and her companion nothing but pizza.
“I dropped to my knees and told Heavenly Father I was so thankful for the members’ service, but I couldn’t eat any more pizza,” her daughter-in-law wrote. “A meal of fresh vegetables would be wonderful.”
That night, the member who fed the missionaries served them fresh vegetables. This pattern continued for an entire week, as the sister missionary prayed for a specific meal and the members delivered every night.
“Every joy seems doubled and every sorrow supported when we bring it to God in prayer,” Sister Cordon said. “The true gift of prayer is knowing we are not alone when the world literally brings us to our knees.”
She shared the tragic story of the death of her two-year-old grandson during a family trip. She said prayer during that time brought her “instant peace from God which passeth all understanding.”
Sister Cordon concluded her remarks by encouraging students who have fallen out of the habit of prayer to reconnect with heaven.
Next week’s devotional address will be given by Elder Terence M. Vinson of the Presidency of the Seventy.