LAIE, Hawaii Become men and women of integrity, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve counseled the largest graduating class in the history of BYU-Hawaii at the June 2000 graduation commencement.
Speaking June 27 on the Laie, Hawaii, campus, Elder Wirthlin told the students that integrity was a common characteristic of every great and good man and woman. He gave several examples of integrity, from Molly Pitcher to Abraham Lincoln to Job and asked the graduates to take a simple integrity test: "Do you know what is right? Do you do what is right?"
He said Mormon gives light on the first question and shows how to know what is right. "For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge: for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God." (Moroni 7:16.)
Continuing, Elder Wirthlin said: "These inspired words provide us a template with which we can judge our thoughts and actions. First, we must follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Then, we judge our actions by asking, 'Will this motivate us to follow the teachings and example of the Savior?' If so, it is right. That which distances us from the Savior and from His teachings is not.
"Once we truly know what is right, do we do it? The Savior taught, 'Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.' " (Matthew 7:21.)
Elder Wirthlin taught, "Men and women of integrity know what is right and do what is right. Always."
Toward the end of his address, the apostle added: "If we wish to acquire a quality of habit, practice as though we already had it and eventually, it will become second nature."
The record class consisted of 318 bachelor's degree recipients, 20 associate degree winners, seven executive management interns and one teacher certification recipient.
BYU-Hawaii President Eric B. Shumway presented the school's June 2000 Distinguished Service Award to Wylie W. Swapp, one of the original faculty members when the school opened as the Church College of Hawaii in 1955. Brother Swapp served on the faculty for 33 years and is still very active in the Laie and university communities. As an instructor in the art department, he was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Polynesian Cultural Center and helped revive the male hula tradition in Hawaii.