President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged students to cultivate the values of the thirteenth article of faith during Tuesday's Homecoming week devotional in the Marriott Center.
His talk will be televised again on BYU Television several times in coming weeks, beginning Monday, Sept. 24, at 8 a.m.
President Hinckley began by congratulating students on receiving, for the 10th year in a row, the ranking of most "stone-cold sober" university from the Princeton Review. "How proud you ought to feel about this designation," he said. "You are living up to the honor code of this institution. You will be blessed for doing so." President Hinckley highlighted the Marriott Business School's recent ranking of number one among regional business schools and recognized BYU as a leader, both spiritually and academically.
"The byproduct of your academic achievement will be a bundle of ethical, moral and spiritual values," he said. These values are summarized by the thirteenth article of faith: "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men," (Articles of Faith 1:13). He thenexplained how each principle can be applied personally.
A person must decide to be "scrupulously honest" in all aspects of life. "In matters of honesty, there are no shortcuts," said President Hinckley. There is only "the simple, honest truth spoken in total candor." President Hinckley explained that being true is different than being honest. Being true means "that we stand tall, look the world straight in the eye, and march forward. It means that we are true to the faith of our fathers."
President Hinckley emphasized to students the importance of remaining chaste. "Do not sell yourself short by compromising your commitment to morality," he said. "Your body is sacred. It is the temple of your spirit. Do not defile it with sin." He then told students that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, one could become clean and new again.
President Hinckley defined benevolence as doing good. "It means that we are kind, thoughtful, reaching out to those in need at all times." He continued, "[It] denotes reaching out to those in distress and need and assisting them in any way possible." He reminded students that their education was in large part subsidized by the "benevolent and faithful donations of tithepayers around the world."
Virtue, in the case of the thirteenth article of faith, President Hinckley explained, means having the strength to do what is needed. "Great virtue comes in doing well and consistently the everyday, often rather tedious tasks of life." Virtue will come to those who deliberately practice and faithfully observe the commandments of God.
Finally, we must do good to all men. "This is no easy thing. It requires mercy, self discipline and determination." President Hinckley emphasized that all people were deserving of consideration. "All men deserve our respect," he said. "Love and mercy must be the foundation principles of our relationships."
Writer: Alexis Plowman