Brother Jan E. Newman teaches students to navigate priorities, magnify time 

Brother Jan E. Newman addresses the BYU student body. He emphasized the importance of decision-making, seeking spiritual guidance and managing life’s priorities. (Image courtesy of BYUtv)

Brother Jan E. Newman, second counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, addressed the student body on Tuesday, Feb. 6, underscoring the significance of faith, decision-making and managing life’s priorities.

Brother Newman expressed gratitude for the privilege of being associated with the university. He highlighted the impact of his missionary service, which he said solidified his commitment to the Church and set him on a covenant path.

He reminisced about meeting his wife, Lucia, during his time as an undergraduate French teacher. The audience laughed as he told about reaching over rows of students to sign Lucia’s class card — a moment that marked the beginning of their journey together.

Jan E. Newman and his wife, Lucia. Newman shared a memory about meeting his wife during the devotional. (Image courtesy of BYUtv)

A pivotal moment in Brother Newman’s life came when he faced a major decision about his career path, he said. Though he initially pursued teaching, he said a prompting led him to consider computer science, which profoundly influenced his life and career.

Brother Newman urged students to seek guidance from the Lord, emphasizing that revelation often comes as we move forward with faith.

“I prayed and pondered and still had no idea what to do. Is God willing to give us guidance about something like what to study in college? I believe He is,” Brother Newman said.

Brother Newman debunked the myth of balance. Instead, he encouraged students to focus on the most important aspects of life: the Lord, family and work.

It is essential to protect blocks of time for crucial priorities, he said. He acknowledged that some sacrifice would be necessary.

Jan E. Newman holds a bachelor’s degree in French from BYU. He shifted to a career in the software industry and currently serves as a partner at SageCreek in Lehi, Utah. (BYU Speeches)

“Quit worrying about it. There is no such thing as balance,” Brother Newman said. “Not all aspects of our lives deserve an equal amount.”

Brother Newman’s told a personal story about sacrificing his passion for hunting. He spoke candidly about how the Holy Ghost intervened during a hunting trip, prompting him to reevaluate his priorities and put aside certain pursuits for the sake of his family and spiritual well-being.

He concluded by urging students to make time for the Lord and “think celestial.” He warned against the distracting influence of social media, referring to it humorously as the “Dead See Scroll.” 

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing,” Brother Newman said.

Brother Newman emphasized the importance of discernment and making time for the Lord, and he concluded with a heartfelt testimony of the Savior’s mercy and the blessings of the Holy Ghost.

“As you effectively manage your allotted time here on earth, you will be able to play a powerful role in the building of His kingdom,” he said.

For upcoming devotional schedules, students can find more information on the university’s official devotional page.

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