Trust and accountability are two great words by which members must guide their lives if they are to live beyond themselves and rise to higher planes of service, said President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency.
Speaking to BYU students and faculty at an Oct. 13 devotional, he remarked: "Every one of us who is here has accepted a sacred and compelling trust. With that trust, there must be accountability. That trust involves standards of behavior as well as standards of academic excellence."Speaking in the Marriott Center, President Hinckley represented the First Presidency and the BYU board of trustees. President Ezra Taft Benson serves as chairman of the board and his counselors as vice chairmen. President Hinckley said it has been customary for the chairman of the board to speak at BYU shortly after the opening of fall semester.
"I want to thank you for the strength of your desire to teach and learn with inspiration and knowledge, and for your commitment to live the standards of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for your integrity and your innate goodness.
"I am confident that never in the history of this institution has there been a faculty better qualified professionally nor one more loyal and dedicated to the standards of its sponsoring institution," he added. "Likewise, I am satisfied that there has never been a student body better equipped to learn at the feet of this excellent faculty nor one more prayerful and decent in attitude and action."
President Hinckley commented: "I do not want to infer that this is paradise on earth. You may think it just the opposite as you grind away at your studies. But notwithstanding the rigors of that grind . . . this is a great time to be alive and this is a wonderful place to be.
"This institution is unique. It is remarkable. It is a continuing experiment on a great premise that a large and complex university can be first-class academically while nurturing an environment of faith in God and the practice of Christian principle."
Speaking to the faculty, President Hinckley commended those who have integrity and are committed to building the faith of others, calling them the bone and sinew of the university. For those who are not, "I am confident that in their hearts, they feel ill at ease and uncomfortable, for there can never be peace nor comfort in any element of disloyalty."
He said the trust and accountability given to students and faculty at BYU "carries with it a larger interest than our own interest. It carries with it the interest of the university, and the interest of the Church which must be the interest of each and all of us."
Some students may resent the fact that the board has imposed a code of honor, code of dress and behavior, and feel that they are not being trusted, he continued.
"It is not that we do not trust you," President Hinckley explained. "But we feel that you need reminding of the elements of your contract with those responsible for this institution, and that you may be the stronger in observing that trust because of the commitment which you have made. With every trust there must be accountability, and this is a reminder of that accountability."
It is the same for faculty, he added, who are expected to be "temple recommend worthy" if they are members of the Church. "This does not evidence any lack of trust. It simply represents a standard, a benchmark of belief and action.
"We all need the constant reminder of commitments we have made and standards to which we have subscribed."
President Hinckley said he is confident "the Savior trusts us, and yet He asks that we renew our covenants with Him frequently and before one another by partaking of the sacrament, the emblems of His suffering in our behalf.
"Trust is what makes a government work, and maybe a lack of trust is one of the reasons for the serious problems we are experiencing. Trust is what makes the wheels of commerce turn. It is what makes possible the strength and growth of the Church. It is what makes Brigham Young University work.
"This is, and must ever be, an institution where the soul is nurtured while the intellect is trained," President Hinckley remarked.
"We pray for you as faculty and students. We place upon you a great and sacred charge to excel in the imparting and learning of secular knowledge, while at the same time nurturing the spirit within. I challenge you to stand always on a high plane of moral integrity, of spiritual strength, of professional excellence.
"This is a world class university, a great temple of learning, where a highly qualified faculty instruct a large and eager body of students," President Hinckley concluded. "These teachers impart with skill and dedication the accumulated knowledge of the centuries while at the same time building faith in those eternal verities which are the foundation of civilization.
"Such is our unqualified expectation. Such, I sincerely believe, is the desire of all, perhaps a few accept it. Such, I sincerely hope, will be the resolve of every one."