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Devotional: Things I believe

Gus Hart, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, delivered Tuesday’s devotional address. He shared six core beliefs he gained through his life experiences.

Photo by Joey Garrison/BYU

1. Our Heavenly Father is patient
Hart compared the Earth's history to a four-volume set, with each page representing one million years. He pointed out that human civilization, encapsulating its entire existence, would compress into a single line found at the very end of Earth’s vast timeline.

The Lord’s willingness to take such time to arrange the Earth for His children demonstrates His patience, an attribute Hart believes all must emulate.

“Our Heavenly Father is patient; he is playing the long game. From this view, my impatience with Him in granting things I ask for seems especially acute.”

2. God’s plans are better than our own
Growing up, Hart was not a fan of trying new foods, nor of learning languages other than English. So naturally, when the time came to submit his mission papers, Japan was a country he had little desire to be called to.

However, his two years in the Kobe, Japan, mission provided Hart with a plethora of connections and experiences that set the course of his life, including living in Japan later with his wife.

Many other experiences like this one solidified Hart’s belief that “God's plans are better than my plans. I believe he knows better than I do what will make me happy, what will bring me peace, what will be best for me.”

3. Each of us has divine gifts
Hart passionately told the audience of the incredible potential each student has to make an impact on the world. He explained that since the brain is elastic, it has the ability to grow, change and become amazing at something.

While not every singer will perform on Broadway and not every writer will win the Newbery award, Hart fully believes that everyone has passions, skills and even struggles that can bless the world.

“Please don't leave this Earth having passed up the joy of becoming amazing at something. Believe you can achieve. Believe it is never too late to learn something new! You can't do everything. But do do something!”

Photo by Joey Garrison/BYU

4. Progress is incremental
During his initial attempts to learn the guitar, Hart didn't practice regularly, resulting in minimal improvement. However, after 30 years, he felt a spiritual nudge to finally pursue guitar playing. By dedicating just a few minutes each day to practice for five years, Hart not only experienced increased joy but also noticeable improvement.

Learning a new skill can be overwhelming, and as Hart learned through his experience, consistency can be difficult. He believes that deliberate practice applied little by little yields progress.

“Progress is incremental, line upon line, precept on precept. Consistency pays off.”

5. People can bounce back spiritually
It can be daunting to live in a time that seems to have so much tension and social conflict, Hart said. Many of our brothers and sisters are leaving the faith, and it can be easy for us all to stumble along on the covenant path.

However, no matter what choices we or our loved ones have made, Jesus Christ can heal and transform us if we turn back to Him.

“I believe people can always bounce back spiritually. That they can overcome the consequences of poor choices, that they can always return to the joy of living in harmony with their Heavenly Father's will.”

6. There is great power in a smile
While serving as a bishop, Hart struggled with worry and the weight of the calling. During a dark morning, a simple message from God to "smile" changed his perspective, allowing him to focus on the positive aspects rather than the burdens.

“Instead of focusing on the dark, cold morning, I could focus on the bright, happy faces of those serving with me. Instead of thinking about the struggles people faced, I could focus on their efforts, their examples, their faith and their progress.”

By Kailey Marshall, June 13, 2023

Media Contact: Aaron Sorenson