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January 11, 2021

Magnifying Our Abilities

Pursuing education makes us more effective tools in the Lord’s hands

In President Russell M. Nelson’s devotional message “The Love and Laws of God,” given at BYU, he reflected on his time as a medical student. His schooling and dedication to education prepared him to be a tool in the Lord’s hands — both as a surgeon and a prophet.

Similarly, you are preparing yourself to help others through your education. The Lord has many opportunities in store for you to bless others with the knowledge and experiences you are gaining.  

Feeling love through learning

President Nelson has pursued education throughout his life, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a PhD, and a residency in surgery. After completing his PhD, he continued to study.

Education can help you see God’s love for you.

President Nelson explained that studying the laws of the heart and human body gave him a greater understanding of God’s love. “Because the Father and the Son love us with infinite, perfect love, and because They know we cannot see everything They see, They have given us laws that will guide and protect us,” he said.

Just like President Nelson, you can gain a better understanding of God’s infinite love for you. Through your BYU-Pathway courses, your understanding of divine truth can increase, helping you grow academically and spiritually. President Nelson said, “I bless you with greater capacity to receive revelation and … to be able to feel the infinite reach of God’s perfect love for you.

For many people, pursuing higher education may seem scary or even impossible. However, by making your education a priority, you are strengthening your relationship with Heavenly Father and acquiring knowledge He will use to bless your life and the lives of others. 

President Nelson performs open-heart surgery.

A tool in the Lord’s hands

Through hard work and diligent study, President Nelson became a world-renowned heart surgeon. He helped engineer the first heart-lung machine, a groundbreaking development in cardiopulmonary surgery, and successfully performed the first open-heart surgery in Utah. He even operated on Spencer W. Kimball’s heart,1 which saved President Kimball’s life and made it possible for him to serve as a prophet.

When you are humble and seek to learn all you can, the Lord will use the knowledge and skills you gain to work miracles. They may not be as tangible as performing open-heart surgery, but they will be just as significant in the lives of those you serve.

Saved for the final battle

Receiving education and learning to discern truth is more essential than ever. “God chose [us] to be part of His battalion during this great climax in the longstanding battle between good and evil — between truth and error,” President Nelson said. 

Learning truth and obeying the Lord’s commandments will help you become the best warrior you can be in this ongoing battle. We are taught that “if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience…, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.”2

Enabled through Christ

Whatever your dreams are, whatever your passion is, Heavenly Father can use it to bless and help others. In fact, He will magnify your abilities to help you reach your full potential. Keep working toward your educational goals, even when it gets hard, and rely on the help Jesus Christ offers us.

Christ can provide comfort and strength.

President Nelson promised, “The godly power available to all who love and follow Jesus Christ is the power to heal us, strengthen us, cleanse us from sin, and magnify us to do things we could never do on our own.” As you follow the Savior’s example of learning and love, you can be His hands here on earth.

What opportunities have you had to serve others because of your education? Comment below!


1. ˆ Sarah Petersen and Alex Johnson, “11 interesting facts about President Russell M.  Nelson,” Deseret News, Sep. 8, 2015
2. ˆ Doctrine & Covenants 130:19

Comments on "Magnifying Our Abilities"

Jayme L Adams says:

I didn’t realize that my going to school would have an impact on someone else. However, this semester a friend of mine decided to start the certificate program. She said that I inspired her. It kind of blew me away because I don’t see myself as inspiring anyone. It shows what God can do even when you are not aware that He is doing it.

Emanuele Cascone says:

I’ve had the opportunity to better help my kids do their homework and share some good principles and knowledge with my colleagues at work.

Sister Woodall says:

I am still thankful for President Nelson’s special broadcast. He flipped my world right side up in a snap of his fingers with his special prayer!

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