President Cecil O. and Sister Sharon Samuelson started the new year by offering words of advice and praise to the BYU community in the first devotional of the semester Tuesday in the Marriott Center.
Sister Samuelson spoke first and advised students to treasure each day of their university experience.
"Each day can provide experiences that can make your time at BYU the means to achieving your goals and righteous desires of your heart," she said.
Noting the temptation to "live for the weekend," Sister Samuelson encouraged students to be grateful for every day they are given and to be fully aware of the things that make up the 24 hours in a day. She also recognized that though there can be difficult days, they are necessary for eternal progression.
"When your days are filled with lessons, activities, friends, the gospel and a multitude of opportunities to serve and bless the lives of others, you can appreciate and treasure each day whether that day is one of happiness and success or sadness and failure," Sister Samuelson told students.
Sister Samuelson urged students to be aware of the many doors and opportunities open to them and to trust in the Lord even when it seems like a door or opportunity they want isn't opening.
"Enjoy life," she said. "Be happy; have fun; be productive; give service and love to others; and especially, be faithful."
Following Sister Samuelson's words of advice, President Samuelson praised the many unsung heroes that serve on BYU's campus.
In the campus community, President Samuelson said, there are many who rarely receive, but strongly deserve recognition and acclaim for the service they give. They are people who have made "their service and assistance to others the central component of their assignments at Brigham Young University."
President Samuelson explained that these heroes each exhibit seven admirable characteristics.
Heroes are nice people who treat others with respect and courtesy. Heroes are people of high professional competence and are self starters. They do their jobs with excellence and without being ordered or asked. They love BYU and are committed to the success of the university. They are authentic people in the way they live and serve. They have generously made their careers at BYU despite opportunities elsewhere; and finally, they know that the compensation that matters most does not come in the form of money, but from the satisfaction of improving the lives of others.
"I am grateful for the privilege we have at BYU to be surrounded by wonderful and authentic heroes," President Samuelson in conclusion. "I am so appreciative to be able to share and declare with them our testimonies that God lives, Jesus is the Christ and that we are all blessed to have the opportunities to act in ways that might also qualify us to be heroes for someone else."
Writer: Alexis Plowman