Thank you, my beloved students and faculty, for such a warm welcome home. We are so happy to be here. I want you to know that you are not fooling me. I know who you came to hear today! And guess what? That is who I came to hear too, so I will be brief, and I will enjoy hearing him.
It is such a thrill for Elder Holland and me to be back on this beautiful campus that we love so much. We spent fifteen wonderful years of our life here. That sounds like a lifetime, but some of us are slower getting through school than others. Most tender of all for me through those years is the fact that we raised our wonderful children on this campus. The old President’s Home across from the Maeser Building is the only real childhood home they knew for nearly a decade. I am grateful for all the wonderful experiences we had during those years and for the wonderful memories we have. It was so handy to have thirty thousand volunteer babysitters on our speed dial!
We know, young friends, that these college years can be very, very difficult, demanding, and stressful for you. You have so many expectations placed upon you, and you have put many expectations on yourselves. Some of the days spent trying to meet those expectations can be painful. They can be lonely. And they can be very frightening. When these days come, I ask you to remember this one truth, a promise from our Heavenly Father that I have held onto desperately even when my own life has been in jeopardy. God, whispering to each of you—to all of us, His children—has said:
I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end [or the “joyful end” He wants for you].
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall . . . pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the Lord.1
I am old enough to bear witness of a God who thinks “peace” regarding us and not “evil,” of a God who will “hearken” unto every single one of us in our times of need. I witness that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son and the Savior of this world, and I will always, always stand as a witness of Him, of His word, and of His promises wherever I am. I have lived too long, I have known too much, and I have seen too much to ever doubt the truth of those things that our prophets and apostles have revealed. I know how much those apostles care for you because I live with one of them. No one will ever know the prayers my husband has offered or the tears he has shed for you and for those like you who may struggle with one kind of challenge or another. He loves you, and I love you. I pray that my testimony and his message today will bring you comfort and strengthen you in good times and in bad. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
© by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. Jeremiah 29:11–14; “Be Still, My Soul,” Hymns, 2002, no. 124.
Patricia T. Holland, wife of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, delivered this devotional address on January 18, 2022.