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Elder Richard J. Maynes, General Authority Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke about developing a mindset focused on serving others at this week’s devotional address.

Referencing Brigham Young University’s slogan adopted over 50 years ago, “Enter to Learn; Go Forth to Serve,” Elder Maynes suggested individuals look inward to find success rather than outward.

“Please remember, my young friends, that being the best at something doesn’t make you a good person.” Elder Maynes said. “What you actually do to bless others with your knowledge and talents is what makes you a good person.”

Elder Richard J. Maynes speaks at a BYU Devotional on September 19, 2007
Photo Credit: 
Gabriel Mayberry/ BYU Photo

Elder Maynes said the amount of information individuals can access via smartphones is almost overwhelming. He shared several statistics about how much information is created in just one minute online:

  • 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
  • 448,000 tweet are posted to Twitter
  • 65,000 Instagram photos are posted
  • 3.3 million posts are made on Facebook

“With those alarming statistics in mind, I ask, ‘How are you spending your time?’”

Elder Maynes followed with a second question: “What is my purpose in life?”

“The answer is found within the great plan of salvation, which has been taught by the Savior and His holy prophets throughout history,” Elder Maynes said. “If we are fortunate enough to have a knowledge and a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, we had better take full advantage of that knowledge and testimony and act accordingly.”

He reminded listeners that though “inward” questions regarding the future are important, they’re secondary to some of the most important spiritual questions like, “What can I do to be more Christlike today?” or “Is there someone I can help today?”

After Elder Maynes encouraged attendees to download the JustServe app, a new tool the Church designed to help anyone find opportunities to serve and improve their community, he invited every student in attendance to make their next date a JustServe date.

“The pure love of Christ is a condition of the heart,” Elder Maynes said. “Charity particularly motivates a person to do something that is difficult or maybe even impossible for others to do for themselves.”

Next Forum: Michael Ward, Senior Research Fellow at University of Oxford

The next BYU Forum will be on September 26 at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center. Michael Ward, Senior Research Fellow at University of Oxford and scholar of the work of C.S. Lewis, will deliver the Forum address.