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Elder and Sister Jaggi teach BYU–Hawaii graduates about becoming ‘modern-day rocks’ and leaders


The six largest Hawaiian Islands were formed as the Pacific Plate slid over a plume of molten rock, which punctured the earth’s crust.

In the premortal life, “we raised our arms high and said, ‘We will find Him and we will learn of the rock, even the rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ,’ ” Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi, a General Authority Seventy, said during the BYU–Hawaii commencement services on Saturday, April 16. 

“As these beautiful islands continue to grow and develop,” Elder Jaggi’s wife, Sister Amy Jaggi, told the graduates, “each of us continues to grow and develop in our trials.”

When molten rock has been liquefied by intense heat and pressure, then cools to a solid state, it forms an igneous rock. 

Elder Jaggi explained how “core liquefaction” can occur in one’s life through difficult trials. “Through the trial, and after the trial, your core was changed, even molded in a new and different way.”

Formative learning and growth opportunities come from turning to Christ through difficulties that are an inherent part of life on earth, or “the refiner’s fire.”

Sedimentary rocks, or types of rock that are formed by the accumulation of minerals at the Earth’s surface over thousands and even millions of years, are shaped over time. 

BYU–Hawaii President John S.K. Kauwe III and his wife, Sister Monica Kauwe, left, pose for photo with Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi, a General Authority Seventy, and his wife, Sister Amy Jaggi, right, at the BYU–Hawaii commencement ceremony on April 16, 2022.

BYU–Hawaii President John S.K. Kauwe III and his wife, Sister Monica Kauwe, left, pose for photo with Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi, a General Authority Seventy, and his wife, Sister Amy Jaggi, right, at the BYU–Hawaii commencement ceremony on April 16, 2022.

Credit: Monique Saenz, BYU–Hawaii

Everything we do has an impact on who we are, Elder Jaggi said, quoting the words of Elder Bruce R. McConkie, the late member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who said that “every thought, word, and deed has an [effect] on the human body; all these leave their marks, marks which can be read by Him who is Eternal as easily as the words in a book can be read.”

The internet also records desires, expressed in the form of searches and clicks. “As we take selfies, click on certain pics and articles or videos, you leave tracks. … As in life, over time, these apps will give us more and more of what we seek.”

President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring each have received “deposits from heaven” over the last 90-plus years, Sister Jaggi said.

The third type of rock is a metamorphic rock, which is formed when other rocks are affected by great temperatures and especially pressure.

Uncertainty and questions about the future are pressures of life that will be faced by graduates, Sister Jaggi said. “To overcome the pressures of life, the prophet has also invited us to ‘ignite our spiritual momentum.’ “

She testified that “the temple is where we truly come to know our Savior, build our lives upon His rock, and come to know our God and His plan of salvation and happiness for us.”

Elder Jaggi called graduates “modern-day rocks, even leaders of this generation.”

“You, the graduates of Brigham Young University–Hawaii, have been shaped and molded by fire, by time and by pressure,” he said.

Graduates clap during the BYU–Hawaii commencement ceremony on April 16, 2022.

Graduates clap during the BYU–Hawaii commencement ceremony on April 16, 2022.

Credit: Monique Saenz, BYU–Hawaii

In his remarks, BYU–Hawaii President John S.K. Kauwe III told graduates that he believes that “the Lord recognizes this accomplishment as evidence of your capacity to love and serve as His covenant people.”

The graduates’ years at BYU–Hawaii have been a “wonderful opportunity to learn about covenants, to make covenants, to keep covenants, and to experience the blessings of being one of the Lord’s covenant people.”

Like Joseph of Egypt, “you can trust that the Lord will be with you as you honor your covenants. And when you do, like Joseph, you will experience miracles as the Lord works to love, serve, and save your family and your community through you,” he said.

R. Kelly Haws, assistant to the commissioner of the Church Educational System, addresses graduates during the BYU–Hawaii commencement ceremony on April 16, 2022.

R. Kelly Haws, assistant to the commissioner of the Church Educational System, addresses graduates during the BYU–Hawaii commencement ceremony on April 16, 2022.

Credit: Monique Saenz, BYU–Hawaii

R. Kelly Haws, assistant to the commissioner of the Church Educational System, said that the graduates have learned that “the professors you choose matter.”

“Next week, you’ll wake up and realize the Lord has more classes for you to take,” he told graduates.

“As you begin the curriculum which the Lord has selected for you, can you imagine letting someone else select your professors?” he asked. “If you’re not careful, the world will select professors for you, and they will be polished and convincing.”

The Lord has already chosen professors for the Lord’s customized curriculum: “Two weeks ago, we sustained His professors as prophets, seers, and revelators.”

He promised graduates that they would be “happier and more successful if you choose the Lord’s prophets, seers, and revelators as your professors.”

Regardless of their backgrounds, they have been called by and speak for “the Only Professor who really does know all the answers, the only One who knows all there is to know on every subject,” Haws said.

Saturday’s ceremony recognized 270 graduates — 255 bachelor’s degrees and 15 associate degrees — from 32 different countries and ranged in age from 19 years old to 58 years old.

Lei-laden graduates pose for a photo after the BYU–Hawaii commencement ceremony on April 16, 2022.

Lei-laden graduates pose for a photo after the BYU–Hawaii commencement ceremony on April 16, 2022.

Credit: Monique Saenz, BYU–Hawaii

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