Education Week Brad Wilcox capped off Education Week in August. 19 with a thought-provoking and inspiring speech about the importance to follow Jesus Christ in one’s life.
Wilcox a BYU religion teacher and Second Counselor for the Young General Presidency for Men from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints started his lecture by handing the fake diplomas of graduation to all Education Week participants who had been able to attend the final lecture. He thanked them for their perseverance.
To end the week with a bang, Wilcox dove into a myriad of stories from his personal life.
“I grew up with all boys and my brothers would torture me with stories of zombies and dead bodies,” Wilcox told me. “They always scared me as a kid.”
He explained that when his brothers went off to return from missionary duties while his father was becoming old. When Wilcox returned from his mission his father died at peace, and he was within the room.
“There I was, with my worst childhood fear, a dead body,” Wilcox stated. “But all I could feel was peace.”
Wilcox later recalled his brothers and him waking his mother up, and telling his mother the news, to which she responded, “All is well, all is well.”
While Wilcox was moving between his legs, the story engulfed the room with a smoky peace. People who were sitting back were seated and the constant chatter from the back row was now quiet.
“How could such a trial be so peaceful and sweet?” Wilcox asked. “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ offers life amidst trials.”
Then, Wilcox shared her interaction with a student at his Missionary Training Center who was struggling to master Spanish and was grieving about his difficulties just three weeks into the process of learning it.
“Why has God abandoned me? Is there God?” the boy requested in an e-mail.
“God lives in the MTC!” Wilcox stated after receiving a huge laugh from the crowd.
Wilcox continued to discuss why the boy was looking for a “Harry Potter-like” change, as it is an evolution that takes place throughout.
In addition to the stories of Wilcox’s journey, Wilcox painted a picture of his experiences in Chile. According to Wilcox during his time in Chile, there was not a single person who would have wanted to hear his thoughts. He also mentioned a situation when he was spraying with an irrigation hose to remove the lawn of someone else.
In the following instance when he was with his partner, he said, “I think I lost my testimony today,” and his friend was astonished and burst into laughter.
While allowing his audience to laugh with Brad Wilcox, Brad Wilcox quickly got serious once more.
“Later that night I asked, ‘God are you there?’ and my room suddenly filled with light, and then the car passed,” Wilcox told me.
He went on to describe how he buried doubts as he moved to a different city in Chile. It was at this point that he was finally asked whether there existed a God and if God had a relationship with him and was fond of him.
The mission’s president responded to every question he asked quickly and concisely assuring Wilcox and bolstering his credibility.
“If any of you have questions or doubts, I will be the one to say yes,” Wilcox declared at the end of his lecture.
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