Senior associate athletic director Liz Darger invited the BYU campus community to receive, covenant and minister during her devotional address on May 18.
Darger shared a scripture from D&C 21:4-6 and said “as people receive prophetic counsel as if from the Savior’s own mouth in patience and faith, the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before us.”
She said anyone and everyone can obtain this blessing as long as they take the time to receive the prophetic counsel in patience and with faith.
Darger also shared a story of ninth grader Morgan Bailey, a shy basketball player she coached when she was a guidance counselor and high school basketball coach.
Bailey wasn’t particularly athletic or skilled, but with immense resilience and consistent practice she was able to play the post position in high school. Eventually Bailey went to play basketball at BYU, earning West Coast Conference Player of the Year and All-America honors.
Darger tied this story with being a disciple of Jesus Christ. She said receiving revelation, blessings, spiritual gifts and specific ordinances will come as Church members continually prepare and practice.
Bailey used the same amount of practice and preparation for receiving her endowments. By preparing and practicing to make sacred covenants, Bailey saw many blessings and received a strong testimony of God’s plan and the Savior’s atonement.
Darger shared her own testimony of keeping covenants with Heavenly Father.
“I have come to better understand my identity as a daughter of heavenly parents, and my purpose as a disciple of Jesus Christ who has been endowed with the right to access God’s priesthood power as I keep my covenants with Him,” she said.
“I have felt remarkable confidence in teaching and testifying of truth. The confidence I feel is real because God is real. His power is real.”
Speaking about creating a “home-court advantage,” Darger said it is the covenant responsibility of everyone to have hearts knit together in unity and love towards one another.
Darger spoke about the athletic department and their devotion in uniting fans to support BYU athletic teams. Through organizing pep rallies, producing media and coordinating cheers, they create an atmosphere of unity and support.
She placed an importance on individual efforts and how they must be matched to organizational efforts in order to create a “home-court advantage” for every member of the campus community.
“We need real people who will reach out to other real people. This is a one-on-one, personal, individual ministry and we need everyone,” Darger said.
She said that as everyone becomes personal ministers, they can create a home-court advantage for every member of the BYU campus community. “Look for the good. Show up early and often. And cheer hard.”
Darger shared her personal experiences with the NCAA Common Ground Initiative, which seeks to establish inclusive and respectful athletics environments for participants of all sexual orientations, gender identities and religious beliefs.
Through the NCAA Common Ground Initiative, she learned that “as we sincerely express love and listen, we can build strong relationships of trust that yield opportunities to share perspectives in an environment of respect.”
Darger reminded the audience that BYU’s mission, supported and guided by the Church, is “to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.”
To achieve this mission, she invited everyone to do a self assessment of individual efforts in supporting the people around them.
Darger concluded with her testimony of the intense love Heavenly Father has for all of His precious children.
“As we strive to become trusted receivers and personal ministers, we can truly become a community of covenant keepers,” she said.