Follow Savior's example - `Go out and do good' -- Pres. Faust awarded honorary doctorate

Go out and do good, said President Thomas S. Monson to more than 2,600 BYU graduates Aug. 7.

"Of our dear Savior the scriptures record, `and He went about doing good.' Let that be a motto for you and for me," said President Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency.The upward trend in the number of students graduating from BYU continued this commencement as 2,661 students received associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral degrees - almost 100 more than last year and 1,000 more than in 1987.

President Monson presided over the ceremonies, in which President James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, gave the graduation address and received an honorary doctorate. Also in attendance were Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Seventy and BYU president, Elder V. Dallas Merrell of the Seventy, Relief Society Gen. Pres. Mary Ellen Smoot, and Young Women Gen. Pres. Janette Hales Beckham.

Offering brief remarks at the close of commencement, President Monson asked the students not to forget the little things in life.

He said that during a recent trip to Toronto, he visited a woman whose husband had recently passed away. She was ill in the hospital, but looked bright and improved. "By her side was a Brigham Young University student, a returned missionary," he explained.

President Monson asked the young man what brought him to Toronto. "He said, I decided to spend the summer with my grandmother, for I love her so.' The grandmother had a wonderful smile. She said,I feel privileged to be his grandmother.' "

Before his remarks President Monson assisted BYU President Merrill J. Bateman, who conducted the graduation ceremony, in conferring the honorary doctorate on President Faust. He received the honor for "his exemplary contribution to the legal profession, his unstinting public service to municipal, state, and national governments, and his lifetime of sacrifice and devotion to his family, his friends and his Church."

President Faust remarked, "I confess that it is an unexpected privilege to receive an honorary degree from this distinguished university. Though this honor is completely undeserved, I feel somewhat like Jack Benny when he said, `I don't deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don't deserve that either.' "

President Faust, who earned a juris doctor degree from the University of Utah in 1948, told the students to soar to the infinite.

"To look into your faces today is inspiring. You represent well the splendid young people of our Church, and we applaud you."

President Faust explained he recalls his father struggling through law school as a disabled veteran of World War I. He had a wife, who did not work, and three small boys.

"Some years later, when I was a teenager, I recall my father saying something very sobering," President Faust continued. "He thought his graduation from the university would end his troubles, but he learned that the challenges were just beginning."

President Faust said that has been his experience as well. "The years spent in the university are challenging in some ways, but they are also the most rewarding of a lifetime.

"Graduation opens up great challenges, opportunities and blessings far beyond our wildest dreams. You must continually learn to function and live in this increasingly complex world. If you are to soar to the infinite, you will need to work very hard just to keep up with the changes in technology. You will need to be smart. You will need to learn wisdom."

President Faust counseled the graduates to always live so they may enjoy the compensating gift of the Holy Ghost. "In this way you can be liberated from the groveling of this world and soar to the infinite."

The Holy Ghost is a comforter which can bless students with the uncommon human characteristics of moral and intellectual courage.

"This is the courage to never compromise truth with contemporary, political, or social correctness. It is the courage to stand up against criticism, disfavor or derision, always affirming principles, beliefs, and faith.

During the graduation ceremony, a Presidential Citation and Medallion was presented to Mary Peay Jacobs, who, in addition to service in various Church callings, was cited for her love of the arts and financial assistance to BYU. Former BYU faculty member Vernon J. Tipton and his wife, Norma, also received a Presidential Citation for humanitarian service.

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