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David A. Bednar
Works at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Attended Brigham Young University
Lives in Salt Lake City, UT
7,533 followers|522,227 views


David A. Bednar

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You and I are here upon the earth to prepare for eternity, to learn how to learn, to learn things that are temporally important and eternally essential, and to assist others in learning wisdom and truth (see D&C 97:1).

Understanding who we are, where we came from, and why we are upon the earth places upon each of us a great responsibility both to learn how to learn and to learn to love learning.

Learning to love learning equips us for an ever-changing and unpredictable future. Knowing how to learn prepares us to discern and act upon opportunities that others may not readily recognize. I am confident you will pass the test of learning what to do when you do not know what to do or how to proceed. I pray your love of learning will grow ever deeper, ever richer, and ever more complete. 

David A. Bednar

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During my recent assignment in Spain and Portugal, I again was reminded that faithful disciples of Christ in all parts of the world are blessed and strengthened as they diligently strive to live His gospel and honor their covenants.

In both countries, I was inspired by the devotion of men, women, and children who are committed to follow the Master. Because the standards and beliefs of these disciples often are not understood or are mocked by many people, the depth of their conversion sustains them in a powerful way. Even as they face personal challenges and adversity, they are happy and joyful living the gospel. They know who they are as children of God and whom they serve.

As members of the Church, we are a peculiar people—exactly as described in 1 Peter 2:9. Our example can be a beacon of light in a world that often lacks direction, precisely because we understand and follow God’s plan for His children.

The devotion, service, and sacrifice of Latter-day Saints in all parts of the world is a miraculous thing to behold—a marvelous work and a wonder only God could perform.

David A. Bednar

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Have you ever heard a Sunday School teacher introduce the topic for a lesson and thought, “I already know about this subject”? 

Have you ever heard a speaker in sacrament meeting identify the theme about which he or she will speak and responded, “Not again”?

Have you ever wondered, “Why do Church leaders always address the same basic doctrine and principles in general conference?” 

Have you ever “checked out” mentally and spiritually because you anticipated an episode of repetitious teaching?  

We all have, of course. And we need to repent for doing so and more fully appreciate the value of repetition as a means of facilitating revelation. 

Repetitious learning and teaching as a line upon line and precept upon precept pattern of revelation can invite the Holy Ghost to renew, enrich, and enlarge the knowledge we already have obtained; it also can bring new knowledge and understanding into our minds and hearts.

David A. Bednar

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This is an individual work. The Savior knows His people by name and He knows their exact circumstances. He guides His Apostles to bless the lives of individuals. We are very ordinary men, and we rely on Him every day. It is ultimately His direction that enables us to accomplish what He needs to have done.

I witness and testify that He lives. I know He knows us by name and is concerned about us in our individual circumstances. I witness that He is resurrected. It is the joy of my life to know that I will spend my life declaring that witness all over the world.

David A. Bednar

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During my address during this year's #ChristmasDevo, I emphasized the truth that Jesus Christ is the “light and the life of the world.”

Many of our memorable and enduring Christmas traditions include different kinds of lights—lights on trees, lights in and on our homes, candles on our tables. May the beautiful lights of every holiday season remind us of Him who is the source of all light.  

And in every season of our lives, in all of the circumstances we may encounter, and in each challenge we may face, may we remember that Jesus Christ is the light that dispels fear, provides assurance and direction, and engenders enduring peace and joy.  

I witness that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, triumphantly fulfilled His mortal mission and ministry, and as our resurrected Lord, He lives today.

David A. Bednar

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As you use technology each day, you potentially expose yourself to good and evil. Every tool created for good ultimately is co-opted by the devil for evil. You should seek to use technology to “[do] truth [and come] into the light” (John 3:21) in your daily labors.

Remember that the only filter that successfully can overcome and avoid evil resides in the heart and mind of a faithful disciple of Christ. Only the companionship of the Holy Ghost can fortify sufficiently against “the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16).

David A. Bednar

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The Lord declared, “And this gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (D&C 133:37). That commission could seem heavy or overwhelming unless we understand the principle of ministering “one by one.” Let me share an example.

While serving as the president of Brigham Young University–Idaho, my wife and I spoke to a group of over 200 student-leaders at a retreat on a Friday night. The following week Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was scheduled to speak at our weekly devotional. I asked these students, “Are you willing to prepare to receive instruction from an Apostle of the Lord?” They readily indicated their willingness. 

I said, “Please do whatever is necessary to prepare yourself to learn from a true servant of the Lord by the power of the Holy Ghost. I next asked the students to join me in an experiment—and encouraged each of them to invite one other student to do the same, who would invite one additional student, who would invite one more student. Interestingly, the vast majority of the students on the campus received and responded to this invitation to be spiritually prepared, one by one. The results were amazing and awe-inspiring.   

When Elder Eyring entered the Hart Auditorium to speak, he immediately discerned the sincerity of their reverence and felt the power of their personal preparation. He turned to me and said, “What is this?” I responded, “Elder Eyring, we are prepared to learn, and this is our invitation to be taught.” And the eagerness of the students to learn helped to invite a powerful spirit into that devotional assembly.

I testify that the Lord accomplishes His work one by one, one soul at a time. 

David A. Bednar

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Our world tends to be drawn to promises of big results that occur quickly and all at once. In contrast, the Lord typically ministers one by one. Part of the majesty and beauty of the gospel is that the Lord knows and sees each of His children as an individual, as a “one.”

Many people inside and outside of the Church see the members of the Quorum of the Twelve and associate us with speaking in general conference or presiding in large meetings, and certainly we do that. But the ministry of an Apostle is to minister one by one—to find the one. 

I was again reminded of this principle while on assignment in South America recently. Whether meeting with youth, young single adults, missionaries, stake and ward leaders, or members, I found myself asking, “Who am I supposed to find and influence appropriately and righteously—or to provide comfort or counsel—or to help them do something that is hard?” My love and admiration for these faithful people grew as I was guided to many “ones.” 

David A. Bednar

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My wife, Susan, and I have learned a remarkable revelatory lesson during my years of service in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  

As we travel and serve together around the world, Susan records simple notes about the places we visit, the people we meet, and the topics we teach. She has become adept at noticing in various venues the things that are dissimilar in my explanations of the same gospel principles. Susan listens for the statements I have never used before, changes in an explanation, or refinements in the answer to a question. Interestingly, the messages always are the same and always are different.
We have learned to treasure the spiritual gems that are revealed through repetition. The distinctive nuggets of inspiration and spiritual knowledge that flow into our minds and hearts as we repeatedly teach and testify of gospel truths are the product of a line upon line and precept upon precept pattern of revelation. Repetition is a vehicle through which the Holy Ghost can enlighten our minds, influence our hearts, and enlarge our understanding.  

David A. Bednar

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I invite you to find time today to pause and assess your own personal conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

There is a difference between having a testimony and being converted. Testimony alone is not and will not be enough to protect us in the latter-day storm of darkness and evil in which we are living. Your testimony is important and necessary but not sufficient to provide the spiritual strength and protection you need in this day. 

Remember that your testimony is spiritual knowledge of truth obtained by the power of the Holy Ghost. Continuing conversion is constant devotion to the revealed truth we have received—with a heart that is willing and for righteous reasons. I hope each of you will recognize the consistent, devoted effort needed to be converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

David A. Bednar

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A number of years ago, our family learned a meaningful lesson on gratitude that we have never forgotten. 

While I was serving at Brigham Young University–Idaho, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited our home. Earlier in the day Sister Bednar and I had been informed about the unexpected death of a dear friend, and our immediate desire was to pray for the surviving spouse and children. 

As I invited my wife to offer the prayer, the member of the Twelve, unaware of the tragedy, graciously suggested that in the prayer Sister Bednar express only appreciation for blessings received and ask for nothing. 

Sister Bednar responded in faith to the direction she received. She thanked Heavenly Father for meaningful and memorable experiences with this dear friend. She communicated sincere gratitude for the Holy Ghost as the Comforter and for the gifts of the Spirit that enable us to face adversity and to serve others. Most importantly, she expressed appreciation for the plan of salvation, for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, for His Resurrection, and for the ordinances and covenants of the restored gospel which make it possible for families to be together forever.

Our family learned from that experience a great lesson about the power of thankfulness in meaningful prayer. Because of and through that prayer, our family was blessed with inspiration about a number of issues that were pressing upon our minds and stirring in our hearts. 

The most meaningful and spiritual prayers I have experienced contained many expressions of thanks and few, if any, requests. Let me recommend that periodically you and I offer a prayer in which we only give thanks and express gratitude. Ask for nothing; simply let our souls rejoice and strive to communicate appreciation with all the energy of our hearts.

David A. Bednar

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We should remember that most typically revelations are “conclusions” and not “explanations.” When we receive revelation for ourselves, we discover what God would have us do. He rarely provides a reason for why we should do what was revealed. Rather, He trusts us to be obedient to the revelation He has given us.
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

David A. Bednar was ordained and set apart as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 7, 2004. Prior to his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Bednar served as an Area Seventy, Area Authority Seventy, regional representative, twice as a stake president, and as a bishop.

Elder Bednar was born on June 15, 1952, in Oakland, California. He served as a full-time missionary in Southern Germany and then attended Brigham Young University, where he received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. He also received a doctoral degree in organizational behavior from Purdue University.

After completing his education, Elder Bednar was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and at the University of Arkansas. He then served as the president of Brigham Young University–Idaho (formerly Ricks College) from 1997-2004.

Elder Bednar married Susan Kae Robinson in the Salt Lake Temple on March 20, 1975, and they are the parents of three sons.

  • Brigham Young University
  • Purdue University
    Doctoral in Organizational Behavior
Basic Information
June 15, 1952
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 2004 - present
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Salt Lake City, UT