Elder Paul B. Pieper, a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered Tuesday's devotional address. He spoke on the spirit of BYU and how we can contribute to the campus’s uniqueness and unity.
He taught that as we seek the presence of the Holy Ghost, foster trust and respect others, we can create an environment of scholarly and spiritual achievements at BYU.
It is these principles – and others provided by the Restoration – that preserve the spiritually uplifting and academically enriching education of BYU. “The Spirit of God accelerates learning, and obedience to God supports learning,” Elder Pieper said.
However, maintaining this special balance takes effort and spiritual consistency; maintaining that community “requires sustained effort, time, sacrifice and work — and in the case of the BYU community, divine assistance.”
We can obtain heavenly help to guide our time at BYU and preserve its unique community by practicing three principles.
1. Seek the daily presence of the Holy Ghost
Having the Holy Ghost as our constant companion will help us bring additional light, knowledge and understanding into our lives on and off campus.
As we involve the Spirit in our secular studies, we can experience educational success and discover deeper knowledge because “inviting the Holy Ghost to be part of our learning experience increases and enhances our capacities.”
2. Build and show trust in each other
“Trust is essential in building unity and cohesiveness within a community. High trust leads to greater effectiveness in achieving personal and institutional objectives,” said Elder Pieper.
Trust is a precious commodity in the 21st century. Egotistical and mocking cultural trends, online falsehoods and social media self-promotion and character attacks make trusting others difficult.
Elder Pieper urged audience members to recognize the true source that corrodes trust: the adversary.
“I implore you not to be sucked into Satan’s trust-destroying tactics just because that’s what the rest of the world around us is doing,” he pleaded. “Especially against fellow members of the BYU community! Disciples of Jesus Christ use His means to accomplish His ends,” not worldly means.
3. Help each member of the BYU community feel respected
Respect, said Elder Pieper, is a learned attribute. We can’t accidentally create a healthy sense of respect for ourselves and others.
“In your present life stage, most of you need to intentionally develop the ability to respect others in the community,” he stated.
“The truth that we are all children of God is the foundation for respect, for all are supported by the Savior’s admonition to love our brothers and sisters as ourselves.”
Elder Pieper has great trust in the members of this campus. “I can feel the goodness of your lives, the energy of your spirits and your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His restored Church,” he insisted.
Next Forum: Martin Luther King III, lawyer and American human rights activist, will deliver the next forum address on Tuesday, September 28, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.
King's remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM and SiriusXM 143.