BYU Title IX coordinator Tiffany Turley Bowcut taught students how to have faith in themselves and in the Lord and shared three ways she does so in her own life in her devotional address on June 21.
Bowcut said although her life hasn’t gone according to her own plans, she learned that having faith in the Lord and in herself were important, especially during difficult times in her life.
In November 2020, Bowcut said she and her husband chose to wake up early one morning to do scripture study before their children woke up. After what Bowcut said was an “especially meaningful” study, she and her husband went to wake up their children and found that their 6-month-old child had stopped breathing.
Despite what Bowcut said were desperate prayers and heroic efforts of first responders, their son Benny had passed away due to SIDS.
Bowcut said two days after the passing of her son, she and her husband went to purchase a burial outfit and noticed a return policy sign.
“Tears immediately started flowing as I realized that return policy didn’t apply to us,” Bowcut said. “This tiny white outfit would be going into the ground to be buried with our son.”
Bowcut said not a moment later, the song “Be Still My Soul” began to play over the speakers and the lyrics of the second verse touched her heart.
“I knew I could trust and have faith that, as the song said, He would undertake to guide my future as He’d always guided my past,” Bowcut said.
Bowcut said it’s important for individuals to have faith in the Lord, but also to have faith in themselves. “Every day I work with individuals facing trauma and I wish I could speak that truth into their hearts and let them know how much the Lord loves them and wants them to believe in themselves,” Bowcut said.
Bowcut then shared the example of the apostle Peter walking on water when he began to sink and reached out for the Lord’s hand saying, “Lord, save me.” She then emphasized the Lord’s response, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
“I don’t necessarily think the Lord is chastising Peter for lacking faith in Him,” Bowcut said. “Who Peter seemed to doubt was himself. I’m grateful for the what seems to be a reminder here that the Lord has faith in us and we need to have faith in ourselves.”
Bowcut then shared her three suggestions with the audience for increasing faith in the Lord and themselves which were: (1) preparing for miracles, (2) being surrounded by good people, (3) partaking in the power of praise.
Bowcut said she loved the story in the New Testament about Christ raising Lazarus from the dead. She focused on the Savior’s decision to ask the people to roll the stone away from the tomb before he told Lazarus to come forth. Bowcut said this was His way of teaching the people to prepare for miracles.
“If we want to see miracles in our lives, what preparations are we making to that end?” Bowcut said. “Once we’re willing to do something and prepare the way for the Lord, our faith in Him will increase.”
Bowcut then said she has been blessed with incredible people in her life, including good friends who can bring individuals closer to the Lord.
In sharing the story of the leper who was brought to the Lord by his friends to be healed, Bowcut emphasized the verse which said the Lord saw “their faith,” the faith of the man’s friends.
“By surrounding himself with good people, this man was brought to the Lord and miraculously cured of his leprosy,” Bowcut said. “Surrounding ourselves with good people can help bring us closer to Christ in ways that ultimately will increase our faith in Him and in ourselves.”
Finally, Bowcut relayed a personal experience about the power of praise. On the day of her son Benny’s funeral in November 2020, President Russell M. Nelson shared a message with the world about the healing power of praise and gratitude.
“As with any prescription, the power of praise cannot be accessed unless we’re willing to actively partake of it,” Bowcut said. “If we’re willing to exercise gratitude and be active in our efforts to praise the Lord, that is when the power will manifest in our lives.”
Above all, Bowcut said she hoped the audience had been able to feel of the Lord’s love for them and His desire for them to have faith in themselves.
“My friends, each of you is here on this earth for a reason, a reason designed by loving Heavenly Parents. They have a great work for you to do,” Bowcut said. “In order to do that work, you need to be prepared with a solid foundation of faith in the Lord and in yourself.”