The Power of God is Within Us

Recently I was listening to a talk in which I learned that we can stand strong amidst the social discord and the COVID isolation of our day. We can withstand all of this if we have the Power of Christ to strengthen us. We can actively seek this power. As I thought about this, I considered that not only do we need this power personally, but others in our lives need us to have it as well. One of of the missions of the Marriott School is to build Christlike leaders. If we are Christlike, we will have the power of Christ of which has been spoken.

I’m reminded of a story that I’ve heard repeatedly throughout my life from my mother, who is not a member of any faith. In one of her jobs during her career as a teacher, one of the key leaders of the district was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For decades she has spoken of his competence and kindness and how the effects of these were felt by everyone. My mother at times would teach in troubles places, and she always compared those places to the place where this man of faith had been a leader.

As I look back on my own life and career that spans over a quarter of a century, I see what my mom has experienced over and over. In every walk of society, from construction sites to government to technology startups, there are Christlike people drawing on the Power of Christ and their presence lifts and strengthens and protects everyone around them. Sometimes people don’t have the power on their own, but they benefit from those that do.

I’m going to share a slightly silly example that drives this idea home. Recently, I was playing a video game called Warcraft III. In it, heroes imbued with magical powers roam around with non-magical comrades and fight off evil and oppression. One day I noticed a pattern in the artificial intelligence of the game. Whenever a troop member engaged a group of bad guys, all the bad guys would target their attack on the troop member that first engaged them. If this troop member was non-magical, they would die quickly, even though the rest of the good guys jumped in and joined the fray. On the other hand, if the magical hero initiated the fight, then the bad guys would focus their attack on him or her. With the attack focused on the hero, with a regenerating super power that limited the damage that they took, the supporting troops could safely join the fight and the result was a reliable win.

This pattern in the game reminded me of what my mother observed, that people drawing on the Power of Christ are like tentpoles in a tent–they create the space for victory, they are also a light on a hill that everyone looks to.

Although many young adults at BYU may feel like they are not special, the day will come when they are no longer here, and in whatever role they fill in life, the power that they draw from Christ will make them be a leader. In the every day localized pandemics of the workplace and the community, they will be strong and help others to survive situations that would otherwise be overwhelming.