Elder Lynn G. Robbins speaks at LDS Business College graduation

Wisdom is a heavenly treasure and essential to becoming more like Christ, taught Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy during the LDS Business College commencement held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on April 15.

“During your many years of school you have filled your minds with knowledge and skills to prepare for your future careers and to learn how to make a living,” he said. “Perhaps even more important than making a living — you also want to make a life.”

This year marks the 129th commencement for LDS Business College. During the ceremony the graduates — consisting of students ages 18 to 67 from all of the U.S. states and some 60 foreign countries — earned a total of 567 two-year degrees and 135 certificates.

LDS Business College President J. Lawrence Richards conducted the event and Lynn J. Ames was named the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus.

“As you go forth now to make your mark on the world, remember that fame and fortune should not be your primary motive,” said Elder Robbins.

Speaking on the topic “Knowledge vs. Wisdom,” Elder Robbins shared ways the graduates can combine intelligence and wisdom and become more like Christ. Recognizing that schooling has to be paid for, Elder Robbins noted that wisdom cannot be purchased, and is a heavenly treasure.

“Wisdom is more than knowledge,” he said. “It is also understanding, good judgment, prudence and common sense — which, by the way, isn’t all that common. Some of its antonyms are folly, foolishness, misguided, imprudent, unreasonable, unteachable, stupidity, to name a few.”

Wisdom is a gift of the Spirit and Christ is the perfect example, the LDS leader taught.

“God is the only fountain of true wisdom,” he said.

Citing the scriptures as referencing wisdom at least 378 times, Elder Robbins said many of the references are linked to Christlike virtues.

“In learning of Him, it could be argued that the Savior’s greatest teaching was not in a synagogue, nor at the temple, nor on a mount, but in the way He lived His life,” Elder Robbins said. “His life was His greatest sermon. We are in awe as we contemplate His perfect life and His attributes. And we could also say that the best evidence of our worship and adoration isn’t in a church pew, or by our bedside, or at the temple, as important as those forms of worship are, but in the way we live our lives.”

Rather than focusing on what a person wants to do for a living when they “grow up,” Elder Robbins encouraged listeners to focus on who they want to become.

“The question, ‘What would Jesus do?’ is usually asked when [people find] themselves at a moral fork in the road, or in a spontaneous situation calling for a decision of character,” Elder Robbins said. “It is a very good question, but we don’t need to wait for the spontaneous situation to ask it.”

By developing righteous habits, strong moral character and Christlike attributes, individuals are able to accomplish goals and gain wisdom.

“The more we become as He is, the less necessary the question ‘What would Jesus do?’ will be, because our actions will become more and more instinctive to act as He would act. If a person has a forgiving heart, for example, the decision to forgive is accomplished in advance making the act of forgiving a spiritual reflex — or a habit. … You turn virtues into habits by continually placing action items on your to-do list that strengthen the virtue.”

The refining process of developing a Christlike character will take hard work and will be the work of a lifetime, he said.

“As you go forward, setting more goals for your future, remember that the ultimate objective of every goal is to help you further develop a Christlike character — which is wisdom’s path,” Elder Robbins said.

During the event, President Richards introduced Brother Ames as the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus.

“Each year, the administration of the college selects a former student who earned an outstanding record while at the college and has made exceptional contributions to family, church, profession and community,” said President Richards.

Brother Ames attended the college from 1980-81, and studied in the accounting program. Since that time he has had a successful career as a Certified Public Accountant and has participated in many ways in his church and community.

In brief remarks, Brother Ames shared ways to help individuals find balance between their family, church and work responsibilities.

“It is important for you to know that work life balance is a choice,” Brother Ames said, adding that in life a person must make difficult choices and sacrifices. Crucial to finding a proper balance is including God in the everyday details of life.

“When making priorities and sacrifices sometimes you have to give up good things for the best things,” said Brother Ames.

Two graduates, Giliani Guardia and Mauricio Kiyama, spoke during the event and the BC Choir, conducted by Richard Decker and accompanied by Linda Margetts on the organ, provided musical selections.

[email protected] @marianne_holman