Justin Collings, professor of law and an associate dean for BYU Faculty and Curriculum, delivered Tuesday’s devotional address. He gave six recommendations for upholding BYU’s special standard.
Like the former president of France Charles de Gaulle, Collings holds a “certain idea” of the community he interacts with — in Collings's case, a certain idea of BYU. Collings perceives BYU as a school uniquely and equally focused on secular and sacred learning, as "a school conceived in revelation and dedicated to the proposition that ‘the glory of God is intelligence.’”
To share this vision and dream, Collings offered six ideals for members of campus to pursue and help BYU maintain a special standard.
1. Seek holiness “I encourage you to focus not only on what you are learning at BYU — what you know — but even more on what you are becoming — who you are. I invite you to strive to become holy — ‘set apart’ for the Lord and His purposes.”
Collings cited President Russell M. Nelson, who suggested that the best way to strengthen our personal holiness and commitment to the Lord’s purposes is to frequently attend the temple.
“Temple worship must never supplant your formal studies," he quoted President Nelson as saying, "but it should always frame and enrich them.”
2. Seek learning Collings referenced several verses from the Doctrine and Covenants to emphasize that the Lord has endorsed learning secular topics, coupled with faith.
“In the Lord’s economy, temple and school cannot be neatly divided. At BYU, we nurture a temple-like school in the shadow of a school-like temple.”
3. Seek revelation “Even more important than seeking wisdom from the best books is seeking inspiration from the Lord Himself,” said Collings.
4. Seek the best gifts Building on ideas from President Spencer W. Kimball’s “The Second Century of Brigham Young University” and “Education for Eternity” addresses Collings insisted that BYU students have the potential to become like great historical figures and use their secular talents to witness of Christ.
“Please don’t think of yourself primarily as a singer or composer or painter or sculptor or poet or writer or scholar or statesman or scientist. Think of yourself as a witness and of your craft as a way to tell the wonders of your Lord.”
5. Seek Christlike exemplars All of BYU's aims, said Collings, can be fulfilled in surrounding yourself with Christlike people.
“You can help fulfill those [institutional] aims by seeking like-minded and like-hearted friends and mentors with whom you can take control of the spiritual and intellectual quality of your own experience. Create your own opportunities to read, discuss, think, pray, ponder and worship together.”
6. Seek the Savior Collings reminded us that while we seek to balance sacred and secular studies, we would benefit greatly from uniting them through forming a foundational focus on Christ.
“‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness,’ the Savior said; 'and all these things shall be added unto you.’”
Implementing these six ideals into your time at BYU, said Collings, will enhance your experiences and help you achieve great things.
“You are in process of performing what only a prophet could dare to dream. But you have miles to go before your rendezvous with destiny, and many mountains yet to climb. So keep striding and keep climbing, until you scale those summits of destiny with the toil and prayer of impossible dreams.”
Next devotional Elder Clark G. Gilbert, a general authority seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Commissioner of the Church Educational System, will deliver the next devotional address on February 8.
His remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM, and SiriusXM 143. Video, text, and audio are archived on speeches.byu.edu.