Serve with faith, lead with love, says charge

On behalf of the BYU Board of Trustees and the First Presidency of the Church, President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, officially installed Merrill J. Bateman as president of Brigham Young University. President Monson also issued the formal charge to the university's new leader.

President Monson, before issuing the charge of leadership to BYU's 11th president, commended the life and work of Rex E. Lee, Pres. Bateman's predecessor at BYU. Pres. Lee, who was BYU president from July 1, 1989 - Dec. 31, 1985, died March 11, 1996. (See Church News, March 16 and March 23, 1996.)"We are now to move forward under a new president, to whom the Church Board of Education and Board of Trustees have given total confidence and full support," President Monson said. "President Merrill J. Bateman comes to this new and lofty appointment after a prayerful and diligent search by members of the Board of Trustees. Outstanding in his chosen field, blessed with a brilliant mind, vast experience in academia and the world of business, Pres. Bateman has coupled with his scholarship abiding faith and complete trust in the Lord. The best was sought. The best was found. The inspiration of heaven prompted his appointment."

President Monson's formal charge to President Bateman included:

Serve with faith. "You and your precious eternal companion, Marilyn, are not foreigners or strangers in the sight of Almighty God," President Monson said. "Your very life reflects the fulfillment of the Lord's promise: `I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.' "

Build with purpose. "You fit the mold of presidential stature this institution deserves and with which it has been blessed," President Monson told the new leader. "You are the role model of Brigham Young University. You and Sister Bateman will discover that the faculty and student body will observe your example and will walk in your footsteps. Always be your best self - remembering that an institution is the lengthened shadow of its leader. . . .

"Students taught by the Spirit and motivated by testimony can and should excel. Let those who come under your influence as president of this university expand the borders of their chosen fields, increase the acquisition of knowledge and perfect the ability to live, to love, to serve."

Lead with love. "Divine love marked the way of the Master," President Monson said. "He sought out those who were living below the level of their ability and lifted them to higher plateaus. He showed the way to perfection, He led those who had the wisdom to follow to the heights of their mortal accomplishments. Love was the pattern which marked His success.

"Let open communication prevail among the administration, the faculty and the student body, that unity, achievement, joy and purpose - all underscored with love - may be the hallmarks of your administration.

"Remember your dear wife and your precious family, including grandchildren. They are your eternal treasures; so regard them."

President Monson admonished the new university president: "Go forward with confidence and courage and with our abiding love."

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