Elder Scott counsels graduates to follow Savior's example

Elder Richard G. Scott admonished BYU-Hawaii graduates to use the Savior as an example in their lives, and to serve others as they go forth to build the kingdom of God.

Elder Scott, a member of the Council of the Twelve, was the keynote speaker at BYU-Hawaii's 49th Spring Commencement Exercises, held June 18 in the Cannon Activities Center.Speaking to a graduating class of 193 students from 27 countries, Elder Scott reminded those present of the blessings of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.

"Use Jesus Christ as your example for life. Use His teachings as your handbook and never make exceptions to them," counseled Elder Scott. "When I was your age I tried with all my heart to grow in faith and testimony of Him. What I tell you now is not based on faith - I know He lives."

Elder Scott suggested 10 specific things to the graduating class that would help them be successful in life. His guidelines included: establishing a set of principles and values, developing and maintaining high standards, being loyal, serving others, being worthy of and carrying a current temple recommend and always having a Church assignment.

"You must have high standards," Elder Scott said. "Many people try and compartmentalize their life by having a standard for Church, another for business, and other standards for different aspects of their lives. I strongly counsel you against that. Don't make exceptions to your standards - never compromise them. There really is only one set of standards that makes sense to me - the teachings of Jesus Christ. Success comes when your actions are consistent with the teachings of the Lord."

Elder Scott reiterated by saying: "I know of nowhere in the world, even at other church educational institutions, where the conditions are so extremely right to learn and to grow and to develop. The Lord made it possible for you to come here. Live so that He can guide you where He wants you to serve. Some will return to your native areas where you were born, others will be carried elsewhere. This university is a seed-bed of leadership that we need for the Church to build the kingdom."

At the closing of his commencement address, Elder Scott told the graduating class, faculty and administration: "You will be blessed as you proceed in your life with an ability to sense, more acutely than ever in your life, right from wrong. As you live worthily, you will be directed to know what the Lord will have you do a step at a time in your life."

Outgoing BYU-Hawaii president Alton L. Wade told the graduates: "It is not the destiny of BYU-Hawaii to educate the masses. Our mission is to educate a select few, who, if they remain true, will be prepared to render uncommon service to the masses as the internationalization of the Church continues."

Also during the commencement, newly appointed BYU-Hawaii president Eric B. Shumway conferred the university's highest honors on Diana Wade (wife of President Wade) and on BYU-Hawaii alumnus Young Bo Chang. Sister Wade received the Distinguished Service Award, which is given to a person who has shown remarkable and selfless service, devoting time and talents in service to other people. Brother Chang, who was born in the Republic of Korea, was given the President's Citation for his support of the university.

Kimberly Mills, an elementary education and organizational development major from San Antonio, was the valedictorian, followed closely by her husband, Bob, an accounting major, who graduated third in the class.

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