Chair of the Department of Mathematics Education Blake Peterson encouraged students to “hold fast to the things that you know are true,” in his May 24 devotional address.
Peterson focused his remarks on the question, “Do we really believe?” beginning with an anecdote about his father’s final weeks of life. His father’s coming death troubled Peterson, and Peterson told students he wondered why this was, seeing as he had a personal testimony of the Savior’s Atonement.
Peterson said this was an opportunity for him to test his faith in Jesus Christ’s Atonement and resurrection.
“We don’t truly gain a testimony of the gospel until we exercise faith and apply [it] in our lives,” he said.
Another time Peterson had to ask, “Do I really believe?” was during his time as a bishop. As Peterson helped an individual struggling with pornography, he had to gain a testimony that people can change.
“Do we really believe that people can change? I believe they can,” he said. “If you truly believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ, then you have to believe that people can change.”
Peterson spoke of another belief that may be lacking in individual’s lives: the belief that God will answer prayers as he did with Nephi when he sought earnestly to understand the words of Lehi. Peterson admonished individuals to turn to God and not secular sources for answers to spiritual questions.
Changing the approach to the question, Peterson then asked students to ponder, “Can the people with whom I interact see what I believe by the way I act?”
Peterson said that though his parents rarely had family home evening, family prayer, and family scripture study, he knew by the way his parents lived that they had a testimony of the gospel. Peterson said his mother’s struggle with health never got in the way of her callings, and his father taught Sunday School despite his deteriorating health.
“Are your words consistent with your actions?” Peterson asked.
Peterson advised individuals struggling with unbelief to turn to God for help.
A few weeks following his father’s death, Peterson said he received an answer in Elders Quorum to his struggle. He said D&C 138:28-30, which focuses on the spirit world, comforted him concerning his father’s work in the spirit world.
“I followed my father’s council, held on to what I believed, and the answers did come,” Peterson said.
Click here to watch the full devotional.