I debated talking about this at all, but I think it’s an important topic to address. I graduated from Brigham Young University more than a decade ago. My parents attended that same school many years before, but they never pressured any of their children to follow in their footsteps. For me, it was a perfectly fine school that challenged me to do better, kicked me in the pants a few times when I didn’t, and ultimately expanded my horizons. I even met my wife there. So I’m eternally indebted to it.
After I graduated, I didn’t look back. College was just a means to an end for me. There was too much to do to worry about my alma mater. Finding a job, getting married, raising kids, and buying a house became my priorities. BYU is part of my past, and I wanted it to remain there. I currently live just one city away from the Provo campus, though I had intended to live in Washington state. A wise wife has a way of changing a man’s plans.
Sadly, I’ve been hearing rumors that BYU isn’t the same school I once knew. When I was an undergraduate there, they demanded high moral standards of students, the professors could be depended upon to believe basically the same things, and there was no tolerance for subversion of core religious doctrines.
I didn’t like to think that BYU was turning into every other university with a certain political bent and religious disdain. But as the evidence and hearsay mounted, I began to believe the unthinkable could be occurring.
My concerns were addressed in a wonderful talk given by an apostle named Jeffrey R. Holland on August 23, 2021, in which he admonished the leadership of BYU to be wary of discordance creeping into the university. BYU is a church-run school, and that’s the reason why it has historically held its students and staff to such high moral standards to gain admittance.
Like Elder Holland, I don’t want BYU to look and act like every other institution for higher learning. I want it to rise above them all in its unique goodness. To be a city on a hill. Living prophets rarely tell us what we want to hear, as a wise man once said, but we will always end up better off if we follow their counsel. I hope that’s what we will do with Elder Holland’s words.
Hope for the Future
He does a much better job than I can of saying what I yearn to say, so I will let his incisive talk finish this brief article. It’s about 40 minutes long, and it’s worth listening to every second, especially when he gets serious.
I trust that it’s not too late for BYU to right its course and avoid falling into the same trap that so many other pillars of society have gotten caught in by playing a politically correct game they can’t win. Hopefully truth and goodness will prevail at BYU and beyond.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
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