How to Overcome our Personal Goliaths
Devotional or Speech given at
Brigham Young University-Hawaii
April 14, 2012
Danielle Rodgers Hitz
Good morning everyone and aloha!
Graduates, I want to congratulate you on getting to this point in your lives. We are so blessed to have had the opportunity to attend this institution, and I know that each and every one of you will go on to bless the lives of many with the education that you have received here at BYU-Hawaii.
I want to take this time to thank our parents, family members, friends, and professors for helping us get to this point. You have been amazing examples to all of us, and you have taught us many principles that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.
We have all learned different lessons and had to face our own trials or "Goliaths," as some prophets have called them, since we came to BYU-Hawaii. I am grateful for the trials and experiences that I have had here as they have taught me important lessons and they have made me a much stronger individual. Today I want to share with you three tools that will help us overcome the inevitable Goliaths that we will have to face in the future, whatever they may be. Hopefully these pointers will bring you confidence and comfort as many of us are facing the future of the unknown.
The first tool is perseverance. James E. Faust said, "Perseverance is demonstrated by those who keep going when the going gets tough, who don't give up even when others say, "It can't be done" ("Perseverance," Ensign, May 2005).
Brothers and sisters, I think it is fair to say that we will never get anywhere in life if we always give up. We need to be willing to do our part in this life, and to seek out opportunities that uplift us and others. For instance, if we are given a phenomenal cookie recipe, nothing is going to happen unless we actually put forth the effort to do something with this recipe. We need to go out and buy the ingredients and put everything together ourselves. This applies to our lives. Life becomes much more fulfilling when we persevere and do our part to make things happen. We need to always do our best to reach our goals in life, no matter what Goliaths may try and prevent us from succeeding.
Joseph B. Wirthlin said: "Perseverance is a positive, active characteristic. It is not idly, passively waiting and hoping for some good thing to happen. It gives us hope by helping us realize that the righteous suffer no failure except in giving up and no longer trying" ("Never Give Up," Ensign, November 1987).
The second tool is potential. We all need to remember that we have great potential, and that we were sent to this earth to succeed, not fail. Do all of you really know who you are and what you are capable of? We are all children of God. We are all divine, and we have so much in store for us. This knowledge gives us the strength and confidence we need to overcome our Goliaths.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said: "You are a child of God. You have His power within you to sustain you. You have the right to call upon God to protect you. Do not let Goliath frighten you. Stand your ground and hold your place, and you will be triumphant" ("Overpowering the Goliaths in Our Lives," Ensign, January 2002).
What a powerful statement. We will be triumphant as we have a divine power about us. I hope and pray that all of you will always remember your potential as sons and daughters of God. We all have remarkable talents and abilities within us. It is up to us to discover our potential, and we can discover this through perseverance and prayer.
This leads to my third and final tool which is the most powerful tool of all; prayer. When Goliaths come our way, when we face the unknown, when we do not know if we can keep moving forward, then this is when we need to humbly kneel and pray to our Father in Heaven. Brothers and sisters, we are never alone. Heavenly Father loves all of us, and He wants us to turn to Him for help. I know that our Heavenly Father will guide us in our endeavors. He has a plan for all of us, and if we put our trust in Him then we will know that everything is going to be ok.
Prayer can help us with the first two tools that I discussed. We can pray to help us remain strong, to remain hopeful, and to have the power to persevere. We can also pray to help us remember who we really are and to recognize the great potential within us.
I know that if we persevere, if we remember our potential, and we if turn to our Heavenly Father in prayer then we can overcome our personal Goliaths. These three tools are keys to success in this life. I know our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, love us more than we can comprehend and they are going to help us with the Goliaths that we will face once we leave BYU-Hawaii.
I'd like to say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.