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Faith + Works Lecture Series: Professor Kris Boyle Shares How to Harness Heavenly Help

Kris Boyle walked students and faculty through a few of life’s crucial moments he has faced and how the Lord has been alongside him through it all

Third-generation BYU cougar Kris Boyle recently shared what “Harnessing the Power of the Lord in Our Educational Journey” has meant to him at the college Faith + Works Lecture Series on February 3.

Boyle looked back on the challenges and opportunities life offered him, which led to his appreciation for the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 101:16. This verse contains the two-word command to “be still,” a “phrase [that] has stuck with [him] first as a student, then as a journalist and now as an educator.”

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Boyle speaks at the Faith + Works Lecture, Photo: Mandi Robins

Boyle found that by encompassing the attributes of faith, action, sacrifice and love, we are enabled to access the power of God in the work we do. During the lecture, he expounded on how these characteristics have played a major role in the different circumstances he has faced.

The first story he shared took place in the spring of 2019 when he and fellow School of Communications professor Ed Carter led students on a trip to the Colombian island of San Andrés for cultural preservation purposes. They hoped to document after-school programs and capture the unique influence of American sports on the island.

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Boyle explained that while the group did not know fully what to expect, it took faith and action from both the professors and students alike to journey to an unknown place with very few connections and try to accomplish their goals. He added that their sacrifice of time to be there allowed for a “spirit of love” to be shared among the youth with whom they worked.

A later situation where the Lord’s hand was evident was when Boyle worked with other professors and students to celebrate the anniversary of the First Vision in upstate New York. They thought about pushing back the trip in order to have better weather, considering they were traveling in February, but something inside Boyle said they should move forward with the original plans.

Boyle told himself that if this is what the Lord wanted them to do, they should do it. In faith, they took action. Ironically, the worst snowstorm of the year hit while the group was there, but miracles along the way proved they were right where they were supposed to be.

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The group made the trek, snow and all, to follow through with their First Vision project in New York, Photo: Courtesy of Kris Boyle

Because of the intense weather, there was hardly anyone on site at their interview location, allowing for hours of work without disruption. They met a couple who were some of their most compelling interviewees. The lack of population also allowed for a time of personal spirituality when Boyle got up early to visit the Sacred Grove on his own. He said, “to have that Sacred Grove experience is something I will never, ever forget.”

Upon reflection, Boyle realized that had the group decided to push their trip back, the work and preparation for the project may have been for naught, because the COVID-19 pandemic hit soon after and most likely would have made the trip impossible.

Boyle continued with the final example of how he has witnessed the Lord’s hand in his life. He explained the miracles he and family identified despite the immense sorrow they felt after his father’s death from a bike accident. He said, “While losing Dad was so difficult…, I’m grateful that as I look back, I am able to identify several ways the Lord was preparing us for this trial.”

In retrospect, Boyle has been able to recognize that despite the heartache, there have been blessings that have come of it. Boyle’s mother’s college car, Mustang Sally, is one that his father cherished and worked on extensively before he passed. While it had not run for 40 years, the car finally started weeks before his father’s death.

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Boyle explains the meaning behind Mustang Sally, Photo: Mandi Robins

Boyle felt that the Lord knew his father’s time on earth was limited and wanted him to finish the car repair as “a gift of love for his sweetheart,” allowing Boyle’s mother to drive Mustang Sally to the funeral.

Another tender mercy came when family members received a letter from a man named Emmanuel, who was the recipient of Boyle’s father’s kidneys. Much like Boyle’s father, Emmanuel’s passions included swimming, running and biking. Reflecting on the experience, Boyle noted, “this was the work of the Creator.” While the family prayed for a miracle for Boyle’s father to recover, Boyle understood that “this was the miracle.”

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Family members gather in the hospital around Boyle’s father in prayer, Photo: Courtesy of Kris Boyle

Boyle concluded with his testimony that Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. “As we are willing to do the Lord’s work at BYU, He will make it so we will not be weary. He will make it so we will not faint.”

Again emphasizing the importance of accessing heavenly help, Boyle said that through faith, action, sacrifice and love, the power of God is accessible. He said, “On occasion, we don’t have all the answers. We won’t be able to see the end from the beginning.” Boyle continued, “Instead, we need to step out of the light into the darkness, trusting that He will be there to guide us.”

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