Elder David A. Bednar


Brigham Young UniversityIdaho Devotional

September 11, 2001



Brothers and sisters, this has been a most sobering and a most humbling morning for all of us. Let me begin by reading to you a statement from the First Presidency that was issued just a short time ago:

In this hour of sorrow, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints expresses profound sympathy to those whose loved ones, friends, and associates were lost or injured in today's senseless acts of violence. We offer our prayers in behalf of the innocent victims of these vicious attacks. We ask our Heavenly Father to guide President Bush and his advisors as they respond to these devastating incidents.

I would also like to make you aware of the following information concerning missionaries.

As of 12 p.m. Tuesday, the 11th of September, all missionaries in the New York City and Washington, D.C., areas are safely accounted for. Twenty-one missionaries left Salt Lake City early this morning headed for New York City. The plane landed in Denver where they are staying until further notice. Other missionaries who departed from Salt Lake City early this morning have landed safely within the United States. All other missionaries scheduled to leave from Salt Lake City today have returned to the Missionary Training Center until further notice.

There are undoubtedly many within the sound of my voice today who will be grateful to hear that news about the missionaries of the Church.

This morning as I was watching the tragic events unfolding, a scripture came to my mind. The scripture that came to my mind is the second one that will be portrayed on the screen above; but before I read the verse, to place it in a proper context, I need to make reference to another verse. You might want to jot down the reference for these particular verses. They are found in section 45 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

In verse 26 there is a phrase that simply states: ". . . and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men's hearts shall fail them . . . ."

That is the context. The key verse, however, is 32. Please listen carefully, brothers and sisters: "But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved . . . ."

We have received a number of phone calls today in the President's Office: "Are classes cancelled?" The answer is no. "Will devotional continue as planned?" The answer is yes. On this, of all days, we as disciples of the Savior have the opportunity to gather together and stand in holy places. So it was our determination to move forward with classes and with the devotional. Today we are adjusting the format. We will do some things at the end of our meeting that will be a little bit different, i.e., we are going to sing two hymns as we conclude today's devotional. So it is likely the case that we will take a few minutes longer than is normal. Do not be nervous. Everything will be fine in your next scheduled class.

This is a time for us as members of the Church to demonstrate faith in the Savior and unity. It is not a time for fear. This is a time for us as disciples of the Savior to be concerned less with public demonstration and more concerned with personal, private devotion. This is a time for us as disciples of the Savior to carry on, not to halt nor to pause.

Listen carefully to the words of a hymn:

Firm as the mountains around us, Stalwart and brave we stand
On the rock our father's planted For us in the goodly land--
The rock of honor and virtue, Of faith in the living God.
They raised his banner triumphant -- Over the desert sod.

And we hear the desert singing: Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Hills and vales and mountains ringing: Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Holding aloft our colors, We march in the glorious dawn.
O youth of the noble birthright, Carry on, carry on, carry on!

Thus, brothers and sisters, on this campus, in our classes, in this devotional we will carry on. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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