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Meekness vital to inspiring learning, Elder Bednar tells BYU employees

Speaking during a conference for BYU faculty and staff, Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, urged employees to rely on the Holy Ghost and the spiritual gift of revelation.

“In the performance of our university duties, you and I have the responsibility to do nothing that would constrain these heavenly powers from blessing those whom we serve.”

Elder Bednar built upon President Worthen’s 2016 University Conference address where the idea of “Inspiring Learning” was introduced. The blessing of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and the spiritual gift of revelation are central to President Worthen’s divinely-prompted emphasis on inspiring and experiential learning, Elder Bednar said.

Faculty and staff can qualify themselves to receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost as they learn of Christ, listen to His teachings and walk in meekness.

“Meekness is not weak, timid or passive,” said Elder Bednar. “Meekness is the quality of being God-fearing, righteous, teachable, patient in suffering and willing to follow gospel teachings.”

To illustrate his point, Elder Bednar shared two personal examples of meekness.

As the president of BYU-Idaho, Elder Bednar and President Henry B. Eyring, who was Commissioner of Church Education and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve at the time, had differing opinions about how the university was to transition from Ricks College to BYU-Idaho.

The two worked throughout the day to find a resolution but were unsuccessful. The next morning, President Eyring told Elder Bednar that he had been rebuked by the Holy Ghost and indicated that Elder Bednar’s plan for the transition should continue forward.

“He then said to me something I have never forgotten,” Elder Bednar said. “‘President, if you have not been rebuked lately by the Holy Ghost as you are praying, then you need to improve your prayers.’”

His second example happened during a meeting with the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Dallin H. Oaks expressed a strong opinion about a course of action that he believed should be pursued. A less-senior member of the quorum had a reservation about the timing of the action. Rather than counter with a “I know more than you” response, Elder Oaks instead asked for the less-senior apostle to explain his reservation. After listening and pondering on the concern, Elder Oaks acknowledged the reservation was valid and asked to rework the action based on the discussion.

“Brigham Young University will only fulfill its divine mission as all employees on this campus learn of Christ, listen to His words and walk in the meekness of His spirit,” Elder Bednar said. “Each of us should seek continually for heavenly help to avoid and overcome the selfish, negatively competitive and adulation seeking pride that is so common in our contemporary world.”

In closing, Elder Bednar posed four questions to help faculty and staff find meekness:

  1. Is the mission of BYU changing me, or am I trying to change the mission of BYU?
  2. How does walking in the meekness of the Lord’s spirit facilitate inspiring and experiential learning?
  3. What steps should I take to walk more fully in the meekness of the Lord’s spirit?
  4.  What can I do to help students to walk more fully in the meekness of the Lord's spirit?
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