Law library: `a wonderful resource'

President Howard W. Hunter was a man who loved and respected people, a man of many virtues, and a man with a far-reaching and astute mind, said members of the First Presidency March 21 during dedication ceremonies for the new BYU law library named in honor of the late prophet.

The Howard W. Hunter Law Library is a fitting way to memorialize the life and achievements of President Hunter, explained President Gordon B. Hinckley and his counselors, President Thomas S. Monson and President James E. Faust.President Hinckley, accompanied by his wife, Marjorie, dedicated the library - which combines a new 60,000-square-foot addition and BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School's existing 40,000-square-foot library. President Monson, accompanied by his wife, Frances, and President Faust also spoke during the ceremony.

Other General Authorities in attendance were Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve, and Elder Merrill J. Bateman, a member of the Seventy and BYU president. Also present were members of the Hunter family - including President Hunter's widow, Inis Hunter; donors to the project; and law school faculty, staff and students.

"What a great soul he was," said President Hinckley, speaking of President Hunter, a prominent California attorney prior to his call as a General Authority. "A student, yes. A scholar, yes. A hard worker, yes. But above all a man of great kindness and love and respect and care and thoughtfulness and consideration.

"It was not his brilliance in the law that came through as you knew him. It was his love for humanity which made the big difference in his life."

President Hinckley said that he does not know of a better law library anywhere than the Howard W. Hunter library.

The facility houses more than 400,000 volumes and volume equivalents and provides for more than 20 years of growth. It contains 476 student carrels, 24 study rooms, and three computer labs, and is one of the largest law libraries in the United States.

The addition was built at a cost of $10.4 million - under its original price tag of $11 million - and was paid for entirely by donations.

In the prayer dedicating the law school addition, President Hinckley gave thanks for the new library.

"With its hundreds of thousands of volumes and other materials and facilities, we pray that it will be a wonderful resource to both faculty and students," he said. "It is here to be used, and we pray that it may be a great treasure house of knowledge to the scholars who will partake of its offerings.

"We pray that its unique facilities may provide a place of quiet where the pursuit of knowledge may be experienced in a personal and individual way."

He asked that those who donated funds to make the library possible have satisfaction in the knowledge that it will fill a need and that it will add immeasurably to the stature of the law school.

President Monson said as generations attend the BYU law school and use the facility, many will reflect on the man for whom it was named. He said President Hunter was a legend - even a life - of virtues.

He was a hallmark of courtesy, he said. "Amanda Bradley could well have had Howard W. Hunter in mind when she penned the words, `Someone who takes time to think of other people's needs, and warms so many hearts with gentle words and thoughtful deeds; someone who's so glad to share, so glad to help and give and care, adds something very special to the world.' Howard W. Hunter did."

He had innate humility, President Monson continued. "Never boastful or lifted up with pride, President Hunter spoke often concerning the talents of others and praised their many accomplishments."

He had, among his many virtues, deliberateness, said President Monson. "Others had confidence in the judgment of Howard W. Hunter because he studied out the matter at hand, he weighed it against the never-failing scales of experience and inspiration, and then he clearly presented his opinion."

He was a loving person. President Monson said President Hunter loved children, the poor, the downtrodden and the disadvantaged, and he ministered to them.

He was a scholar, President Monson said. "He adhered to the Lord's counsel, `Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.' "

Finally - but not representing the extent of President Hunter's virtues - would be that of loyalty, President Monson said. "The Scout Oath and Law were always part of Howard W. Hunter's life," he said.

President Monson concluded by asking all that enter the library to "carry the virtues of Howard W. Hunter."

President Faust called the library a fitting way to memorialize President Hunter - whose "aptitude and wisdom were extraordinary."

President Faust noted that the BYU law school is one place where people could study the laws of man in the light of the laws of God. "With this Howard W. Hunter Law Library which houses thousands and thousands of books explaining the laws of man," he said, "I hope that there will be a compensatory study of the laws of God."

He continued that with the legal system being somewhat abused in the United States - where cases are tried in the media as well as in the courts - he believes "the need of a school where the laws of men are taught in the light of the laws of God is greater than ever."

President Faust said President Hunter's life epitomizes the words of Micah: " `. . . and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.' (Micah 6:8.) We loved and admired him so very much, and are grateful that this great library has been built to carry the name of Howard W. Hunter."

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