“I see students who have left their homes, their families, their countries, and even their continents,” he said. “I see those who work full time and go to school full time. I see students I know work full time, have part-time jobs, and still come to school. I see those who work and go to school and still make time to serve in the temple, do genealogy, and volunteer with other service groups. You amaze me, students.”
Brother McDougal shared how being a man of value became an even greater goal after he learned from President J. Lawrence Richards the importance of expecting more from his potential. “Recognizing from whom we have descended and our divine lineage, how can we accept the mediocrity with which we sometimes act?” he shared. “I knew I should expect more from myself.”
He then stressed how important it was to know and apply the right principles to make the right decisions. Brother McDougal shared how he and his cousins had tried to parasail with an old parachute. The principles were wrong, and as he almost drowned but luckily made it back to the surface, he learned an important life lesson.
“Sometimes it’s better to know the right way to do things, don’t you think?” he said. “It would have been a much better experience if we had simply known how to do what was needed. Brothers and sisters, we have been given so many ways to know how to do things.”
Brother McDougal called two people to the stage and asked them each to blow up a balloon. As they accomplished this, he explained, “Principles are at play in this life that, if we but know and apply them, our efforts will go so much further. We can be more efficient in our time and our efforts if we will just pay attention to those principles.”
He invited those in the audience to be obedient to God’s commandments. He talked about the different tools available to learn about the commandments. “We can only please God by bending our will to His,” he said. “We have to do it Heavenly Father’s way.”
Focusing on doing God’s will might not be as comfortable or convenient as we would like, said Brother McDougal, but as we set aside the distractions and the things we know we should stop, doing the will of God will become easier. We can choose to do something great with our lives as we obey and live God’s laws. “Do not forget who your Father in Heaven is, and don’t settle for mediocrity,” Brother McDougal concluded.