Skips to main content

Elder Edward Dube 

Three Principles for Success

Wow. Thank you. You look great! I have a question for you. Do you feel as great as you look? What a great privilege for me and my wife, Naume, to be with you today. With our two daughters we have our first degrees—both have graduated from BYU. We can look at you with great amazement for the opportunities which lie ahead of you. You, of course—by choosing to be in this consecrated and sacred institution—understand the expected end spoken of by Jeremiah because you have not only sought education, but you have also positioned yourself to seek Him with all your hearts.[1]

As you reflect upon the LDS Business College Honor Code, you, like Solomon of ancient times, ask the Lord for an “understanding heart.”[2] Of all the institutions you could have chosen, you chose to be here. Why? You are aware of the complexity of the world in which you are preparing yourself to fit out there. You are aware of your daily choices. You are aware that these daily choices will have a positive or negative impact, not only to your children, but to your posterity.

Solomon, in resuming his leadership role as a king, acknowledged the complexity of the multitude of people whom he had stewardship over. Solomon asked, “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people.”[3]

Realizing the challenges of navigating your way through this intricate world, you chose to resume your career here. What a great choice. You should feel good! Feel great, right? With these kinds of choices there lies great opportunities ahead of you.

The Lord is pleased with your choices, just as He was pleased with Solomon’s request. He said this to Solomon, which He says to you today: “I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; so that there [is] none like thee.”[4]

You are gaining a balance with your spiritual learning along with your academic training. You will be more equipped to deal with any situation out there. The Lord further said to Solomon, “And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honor: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee, all thy days.”[5]

You grow “line upon line, precept upon precept,”[6] as you keep one eye to your envisioned profession, and the other eye to the scriptures and the ways of the living prophets and apostles.

You realize the Lord’s promise to Joshua when he was faced with uncertainty. Shortly after the death of Moses, Joshua resumed leadership. He was uncertain of what to expect in his new role. Are you uncertain what to expect out there? As you face the unpredictable world, take counsel from the Lord’s promise to Joshua, which, in reality, is a promise to you today:

This book of the [Lord] shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.[7]

President Howard W. Hunter counseled that we study the scriptures:

It is certain that one who studies the scriptures every day accomplishes far more than one who devotes considerable time one day and then lets days go by before continuing. Not only should we study each day, but there should be a regular time set aside when we can concentrate without interference.[8]

So, as we do that, here is my invitation to you, my dear friends: “With all thy getting get understanding.”[9] In getting understanding, there are three definitions I would like to look at. The first one is intelligence, and then discernment, and unity.

So, let’s look, as we listen to President Uchtdorf here talking about intelligence. I would like you to be thinking of these questions: how do I apply my mission experience to this present day? The second one: how do I overcome fear? The third one: How do I make big and small decisions? Fourth: how do I better study and apply the scriptures into our lives.

So, intelligence:

[Video—President Dieter F. Uchtdorf]

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: As a people, we rightfully place high priority on secular learning and vocational development. We want, and we must, excel in scholarship and craftsmanship. I commend you for striving diligently to gain an education and become an expert in your field. I invite you also to become an expert in the doctrines of the gospel.

Young Man’s Voice: The best school on earth—the most important place in my life—is the temple, the House of the Lord.

Okay. I would like to invite you, with the preparation which you have made as you were looking at those pictures, I would like to invite you to participate with me. here. As you participate here is the rule: 30-second responses. If you go beyond, I will help you from here.

Now, share your impressions. As you do that, just listen to what—let me just share this quote from Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He said,

One of the primal purposes of mortality is to learn—to gain knowledge and intelligence. Doctrine and Covenants 93:36 states, “The glory of God is intelligence.” You might think intelligence means being gifted in academic work, but intelligence also means applying the knowledge we obtain for righteous purposes.

Knowledge, both temporal and spiritual, comes in steps. My testimony grew line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little (see Isaiah 28:10)—the way it does for almost all members of the Church. As a boy, I recall my mother reading Book of Mormon and the Church history stories to me. I felt a sweet, peaceful, reassuring feeling that what I was learning was true. This feeling developed into a sincere desire to learn more by studying the scriptures. Nothing has had a greater impact on my life than reading, studying, and searching the scriptures in order to gain more knowledge and intelligence.[10]

Any impressions you would like to share at this time? Anyone?

Zach Johnson: Zach Johnson, Seattle, Washington. I just think that it’s important to always be reading, always be . . . like, have it fresh in your mind. That way, when it’s time to bake a cake, you’re ready to go.

Elder Dube: Please stand up so that they can see you.

Young Woman: In D&C 93, it was basically saying that the knowledge of God is pure intelligence, and if we want to become like God, we have to gain that intelligence for ourselves here in our mortal existence and life.

Elder Dube: Thank you. We also need to act intelligently. Two summers ago during our only summer break in Tamara, the stake president invited us, my wife and I, to their home. This was in a boat—we were going to go in a boat and in a raft. And so, what happened here, I said to my wife, “You know what? You and I, we need to just stay in the boat because the only swimming which we are familiar with is the swimming which we enjoyed when we were young, in streams and puddles—if you call that swimming at all.”

So, we decided we would sit on the boat, and Sister Jensen, the wife of the stake president, said, “Well, good luck with my husband, because he is very persuasive.” So, we watched our three daughters—Rose, Rachel, and Edith—go into this raft, and they were really having a great time. Also, with persuasion from President Jensen and his wife, I thought after a while and I said, “You know what? I think I can try it.” So, look at what happened. I got in! I got on this raft. It wasn’t funny.

Now, I got as comfortable as you can be when you find out you are not comfortable, all you can do is raise your hand. I was trying to raise my hand, but at the same time, I was holding on for dear life. That was not an intelligent action, but a foolish action. It was important for me to consider what my limitations were, and the consequences of taking that step.

In the Old Testament, Saul felt pressured. The responsibility of leadership fell heavily on his shoulders. He knew very well that he should have waited for Samuel. When Samuel did not arrive after seven days, which was the time appointed, Saul decided to make a rash decision. He decided to present an offering to God himself, something which he was not entitled to do.

Upon Samuel’s arrival, which was shortly after Saul had offered the burnt offering, Samuel was shocked. Samuel asked Saul, “What hast thou done?”[11] Saul fumbled for words in justifying his actions:

Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.[12]

This decision really cost Saul dearly. He went into depression, turned to a fortune teller for help, attempted murder, and in the end, took his own life. His decision to act hastily cost him dearly. Patience, knowledge, and preparation is the key to success and happiness. That’s right! Your effort and diligence in getting understanding will help you to know the mysteries of God, and as you continue in the path of discipleship, you will be given the greater portion of the word until it is given unto you to know the mysteries of God.

Any impressions? Anyone? Please.

Jesse Christensen: Jesse Christensen, Laguna Beach, California: I actually thought it was somewhat interesting you brought up, where you said, just wait. Be patient. On my mission, my mission president quoted me—the circumstance came for a bad reason, but—it can wait. We can be patient. And we need to be obedient, just kind of how the prophet Samuel was with Saul.

Elder Dube: Thank you. Any impressions? How does this—what we are talking about—really help us to overcome fear? Any impressions on that? Please.

Karanda: Hi, my name is Karanda, and I’m from Payson, Utah. I think that just being patient in general helps us to overcome fear because sometimes we rush into things, and we have these blinders on. We know what we need to do, just like Saul—he knew what the end goal was—but sometimes we forget the processes along the way. And that’s where Heavenly Father takes the time to teach us, in step by small step.

Elder Dube: Thank you. Please.

Jason Martinez: Jason Martinez from Mexico. I really like what you said about patience. I believe that the Lord, He knows what we need. And if we have patience, we will find happiness along the way and the Lord will give us at the right time what we need.

Elder Dube: Thank you. Any impressions? Remember those four questions again as you share your impressions. You remember: can I take my mission experience with me here? How do I overcome fear? What’s the other one? I need your help. I’m stuck. Do you remember the other two? How do I make small and big decisions? Okay, one more. How do I apply the scriptures? So please, share those impressions. Thank you for coming to my rescue.

Please. There is a sister there; would you stand so they can see you, those with the mics? Please, sister.

Woman: Hi. So, I was thinking of all the things, and oftentimes the adversary likes to makes us focus on the things hedging our way and blocking our road. And I think as we put on the lenses of the scriptures, and we start each day with the scriptures, it allows us to see the path that our Heavenly Father would show us, that He wants us to see. And it gives us the way to apply things in our lives. So instead of focusing on things that block our way, as we apply the scriptures in our lives, we can see the clear route.

Elder Dube: Thank you. Okay, one more. There was a sister there.

Woman: I just thought of my mission and how—sorry, I’m nervous—it took time for me to get understanding on my mission. When I first went to the field, it was hard to grasp all the concepts on my mission. And it’s just like here at college—I’m doing accounting. It doesn’t come easy for me. It’s hard to get that intelligence and apply it. But with patience and continued studying and faith, we can get the understanding that we need.

Elder Dube: Thank you. Okay, let’s watch this as we think of discernment. Let’s watch Elder and Sister Bednar here.


Moderator: This question comes from a young man in New Zealand, and just came in. And he says the following: “I find it hard to talk to my parents about situations that I have been in. I don’t want them to be disappointed with me or angry that I couldn’t cope with peer pressure. What advice do you have?”

Elder Bednar: This is a question where we have to be wise in how we answer this. It would be easy to say, “Well, just talk to your parents,” but this may be a case where parents possibly could be abusive, and that’s why he’s afraid to talk. So there is a lot that we don’t know, and we don’t want to give some generic answer that may not be appropriate to the specific circumstances of this young man.

So here’s a principle can help this young man come to the answer to his question. The spiritual gift of discernment is the ability to see not just with natural eyes, but with spiritual eyes; to hear not just with natural ears, but with spiritual ears. This young man needs to learn about the spiritual gift of discernment so it can operate in his life.

And what discernment ultimately means is not just recognizing between good and bad, but discernment is the capacity, the spiritual gift, to see the good in someone else that that individual perhaps has not recognized. And it’s also the ability to help them develop it.[13]

Okay, any impressions as we tie in any of those questions to discernment? Yes, those 30-second responses, please. Thank you.

Young Man: I would think that, as Elder Bednar said to see the good in other people, I think that can apply to ourselves as well. Sometimes we tend to see our faults more than our strengths.

Young Man: I would also say that the spirit of discernment really helps us to see not only the good in people, but really helps us understand how Heavenly Father sees us and how He can see others as well. Because as we discern, we discern their feelings, sometimes their thoughts. And that allows us a better understanding of how to help those individuals.

Young Woman: I think we have discernment as well when you are looking and seeing with spiritual eyes, and you can see how you can help people and know what you need to read in the scriptures. And that can help, as well, when you are struggling through things.

Elder Dube: Thank you. We’ll come back to the impressions. Let me just jump into the first principle. Remember, we said intelligence, discernment, and unity. Now, how do we bring all that together?

As I think of unity, I am reminded of my experience as a newly-called member of the Seventy in 2012, as I got into the Church Office Building in the auditorium hall. I got in there with these leaders from different parts of the world, and as I walked nervously, trying to find my way somewhere to sit—very, very nervous—Elder Holland spotted me. He came to me with a big smile, and said, “Edward, it is good to see you here!” Then he started playing with my cheeks! I felt like a baby.

You know, I noticed the following day, in the very same building, Elder Holland playing with Elder Oaks’—his senior—cheeks! And I just was amazed. I mean, to feel this love and unity. To feel the love and unity among the Brethren, but also to feel how this connects us with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Is this the love and unity which Heavenly Father recorded in John, when He said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”[14]

Or this same love, Elder Holland said this about Heavenly Father’s love for us in sending His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, to come and sacrifice for us. Elder Holland said this:

It is the grand truth that in all that Jesus came to say and do, including and especially in His atoning suffering and sacrifice, He was showing us who and what God our Eternal Father is like, how completely devoted He is to His children in every age and nation. In word and in deed Jesus was trying to reveal and make personal to us the true nature of His Father, our Father in Heaven.[15]

I just want you to know that, as you look at these principles closely in seeking understanding— “With all thy getting get understanding”[16]—in intelligence, in discernment, and in unity, you will find success.

I said I am going to ask you for impressions, so 30 seconds. Actually, we are going to 20 seconds now. How does this discussion relate to applying my mission experience to what I am doing now? Anyone? Please, sister, right here.

Stephanie Brown: My name is Stephanie Brown. I’m from West Valley, Utah. I didn’t go on a mission, but I was married the first time when I was 19, and I have four children. Three of my four are inactive, and I have found that the more I’ve been able to study myself and to be able to better myself as a person, it has spilled over into my children’s lives for the better.

Elder Dube: Thank you. The second question—how does this relate to making big and small decisions? Please.

Diandra: My name is Diandra. I’m from Indonesia. I think that making big and small decisions takes lot of patience, lots of thinking, and with intelligence. And thinking about how our decisions affect other people is going to be very helpful because every decision that we make in our lives is not just going to affect our life; it’s going to affect our family or future family.

Elder Dube: Thank you. You’re right. Next question—we discussed about this overcoming fear, right? The fourth one—how does this discussion relate to receiving revelation and guidance for a career? Please.

Young Man: I think that when we read the scriptures, it helps us to look through proper lenses, like, with spiritual lenses, so we are able to see what the best opportunities, the best plan that our Heavenly Father has for us in careers or our education, that we may be trying to achieve.

Elder Dube: Thank you. Brothers and sisters, my dear friends, I know that as you take time to study those scriptures and think about them, and as you listen to the impressions—note what I said, maybe the impressions when we listen to the choir, or . . . I know that everything, all the preparations which were made for this devotional, it helped you to be taught. My invitation to you—will you act upon those impressions? I want you to know that as you act upon those impressions, you will find the success which you are seeking.

The Lord Jesus Christ lives today. I know He does through those 15 men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators. I so testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


[1] See Jeremiah 29:31.

[2] 1 Kings 3:9.

[3] 1 Kings 3:9.

[4] 1 Kings 3:12.

[5] 1 Kings 3:13.

[6] Isaiah 28:13; 2 Nephi 28:30, D&C 98:12, 128:21. See Isaiah 28:10.

[7] Joshua 1:8.

[8] Howard W. Hunter, “Reading the Scriptures,” Oct. 1979 General Conference.

[9] Proverbs 4:7.

[10] David A. Bednar, “The Glory of God Is Intelligence,” Liahona, Oct. 2007.

[11] 1 Samuel 13:11.

[12] 1 Samuel 13:11.

[13] “Face to Face with Elder and Sister Bednar,” May 12, 2015,

[14] John 3:16.

[15] Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Grandeur of God,” Oct. 2003 General Conference.

[16] Proverbs 4:7.


Close Modal