Terence M. Vinson pulls gospel message from The Man from Snowy River in devotional

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Elder Terence M. Vinson, a General Authority Seventy, addresses students at the Marriott Center on Tuesday, Feb. 11. (Addie Blacker)

Elder Terence M. Vinson, a General Authority Seventy, addressed students at the Marriott Center Tuesday morning using themes from “The Man from Snowy River” to make a connection about trusting God.

Elder Vinson began his message by making a joke about having a beard as a young man, which would have precluded himself from attending BYU. The jumbotron broadcasted pictures of the General Authority when he was young, including the beard.

He told the story of how he met his wife while they were working for McDonald’s. According to him, she arranged with the manager to always have a closing shift with Elder Vinson, and he would subsequently give her a lift home afterward.

“I would recommend McDonald’s,” he said. “I would recommend a companion that will always love the Lord first.” This was an overarching theme of Elder Vinson’s message.

Another analogous example Elder Vinson made was that of “The Man from Snowy River,” a poem by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson that was later adapted into a film.

In the story, there was a young man from the highest mountain in Australia who had an atypically small and fiery horse. When a horse from a neighbor’s ranch escapes into the bush, all the riders in town gather to go searching for it. In the end, it is this young man with his small horse that is able to capture not just the original lost horse but the whole team of wild horses. This horse succeeds in chasing down the lost horse because his rider does not reign him in.

According to Elder Vinson, this story contains an example of the relationship we should have with God. “We are the riders and God carries us,” he said.

Elder Vinson admits that there were times in his life where he felt like the man from Snowy River must have felt. “There are instances where I felt I was rushing down a mountainside,” he said. At 26 years old, Elder Vinson was called as bishop in his ward. He was a new father and had only been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for three years.

“There there have been many times where all the Lord required of me was to not shift in my seat,” he said.

He finished his message by encouraging students to have the courage, commitment and meekness of the man from Snowy River and stay one with God. Repeating a message he shared in General Conference last October, he said, “There is no treasure, nor any hobby, nor any status, nor any social media, nor any video games, nor any sport, nor any association with a celebrity, nor anything on earth that is more precious than eternal life.”

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