BYU-Hawaii graduates told to share peace

"Lasting peace across the world will not come until the hearts of all the people are changed," Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Seventy told graduates of BYU-Hawaii on June 19. "That will come when all people have enough faith in Jesus Christ, and feel enough of the love of God, for the Atonement of Jesus Christ to work in them to change their hearts."

Speaking during the school's graduation ceremonies, Elder Eyring, who is also Church Commissioner of Education, admonished the 250 graduates from 30 countries and 16 states of the United States: "Personal peace in this life is rare. But there can and will be peace among groups of people, and even very diverse people, across this troubled world."You know that because you have seen and felt it here, in this place, where there is remarkable diversity of nationalities, cultures and languages. All of you had some part in making that happen; and some of you had a great part in it. It was possible because of you. And it can happen again, wherever you go, be it to some group of workers, or among family members in your home, or in another group of students on another campus."

Elder Eyring quoted Church President David O. McKay, who, during groundbreaking ceremonies for the college in 1955, said, "You mark my word, from this school, I tell you, will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good towards the establishment of peace internationally."

"This is the destiny of this school," Elder Eyring added.

Continuing, he explained: "Being an influence for peace doesn't mean being soft; in fact, it will usually require great strength. It may take bravery to do what must be done to influence those around you to live by the rules which bring happiness.

"Peace is far more than the absence of war. It is the condition of people, just a few or many, who are united in their choice to live according to the rules which bring happiness."

Elder Eyring related to the graduates that there are four reasons for this unity. "The first is that there is moral law, a law about which you must do and not do to find happiness, a law not invented by anyone, and not adjustable to fit anyone's tastes or anyone's argument or reasoning.

"It is simply there, and happiness comes only from conforming to that moral law, and misery must in time follow breaking it."

Continuing, he said, the second reason is "that nothing is more valuable than to find and follow authority which teaches and itself conforms to that moral law.

"The third is that any human being has unlimited potential to grow in happiness if [he or she conformsT to that moral law.

"And the fourth and last is that anyone who follows that moral law becomes obligated to serve others by influencing them to choose freely to live it and therefore to choose the path which leads to happiness," Elder Eyring added.

He asked, "How will you be an influence for good to encourage peace internationally?

"First, you will always be a learner. Much of you now know of the laws of happiness; most of it you have yet to learn," he counseled. "You've been blessed to know that authority will be your greatest help in that learning. Unlike so many of those you will meet, you know that the scriptures are the word of God. You know that there are living prophets, as there have been since the creation of the world. When they speak under inspiration, that, too, can be as sure as if you have been taught by God."

Continuing, he exhorted the graduates to always be a teacher. "You will always be a teacher, in your family, among your friends, and, where you can, among all with whom you associate. You will teach all that you know is true.

"You will try to serve all around you," Elder Eyring said. "You will try to give them what they want; but even more you will try to serve them by helping them gain what they need to be happy."

BYU-Hawaii Pres. Alton L. Wade shared a few remarks at the close of the graduation ceremony. He spoke of the international diversity in this graduating class and the graduates' potential for good as they return home. He ended his remarks by quoting 18th century Clergyman William Law: "If you have not chosen the kingdom of God, it will make, in the end, no difference what you have chosen instead."

Lynne Waihee, wife of Hawaii's governor, John D. Waihee, was honored during the ceremonies with a Distinguished Service Award for her many significant contributions to literacy and to reading programs throughout the state.

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