New BYU–Hawaii Building Bears Name of Heber J. Grant
Contributed By By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer
Noting that “everything we do in the Church pertains to changing people” for the better, Elder Russell M. Nelson on September 8 dedicated the newest building on the campus of Brigham Young University–Hawaii, an institution he, quoting President David O. McKay, said “exists to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.”
The Heber J. Grant Building, named in honor of the seventh President of the Church, “will primarily house the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Business Computing and Government,” Elder Nelson said in his dedicatory address held inside the new building.
“As an ecclesiastical facility, the building will house the ward and stake offices of the Laie Hawaii Young Single Adult 2nd Stake,” added Elder Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Calling the building’s namesake an “amazing man,” Elder Nelson noted that President Grant was reared by his widowed mother, had begun his business career and had been ordained a Seventy in the Church by age 15, was ordained an Apostle at age 25, and became President of the Church at age 62.
In his dedicatory prayer, Elder Nelson said, “Together we are enlisted until the conflict is over. That conflict with sin and error finds us outnumbered throughout the world. Yet we send our very best young men and young women into battle to bring Thy light, hope, and love to a darkened and desperate world.”
Elder Russell M. Nelson speaks at the dedication of the Heber J. Grant Building on September 8 on the BYU–Hawaii campus.
Expressing thanks for the “youth of the noble birthright who will use these premises,” he said that in the future they will lead and direct the affairs of the Church under divine influence.
Earlier in his remarks, Elder Nelson said, “Everything we do in the Church pertains to changing people: changing nonmembers to members, changing members to members worthy to enter into the temple, and to change unendowed people to endowed people, unsealed people to sealed people, so that the glory of God can be realized—namely, immortality and eternal life of His children.”
Also speaking at the dedication service was Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy, the Commissioner of the Church Educational System.
Noting that the facility has been called a multiuse or multipurpose building, Elder Johnson said, “We are multipurpose beings. We weren’t designed for one thing and then have to adapt to do other things.”
President Grant was a family man, a pillar in his community, a Church leader, and business leader, Elder Johnson observed, adding that Elder Nelson, in addition to being a Church leader for many years, has been a world-renowned heart surgeon.
“Whatever we’re called upon to do, we can be useful for multiple purposes in the kingdom of God,” he said.
BYU–Hawaii President Steven C. Wheelwright focused his remarks at the meeting on the building’s foundation. He said when the earliest buildings on the campus were constructed, it was necessary to augment the soil on which they stood with 75,000 cubic yards of coral excavated from behind the campus and crushed. For the Heber J. Grant Building in this day and age, 20,000 cubic yards of fill were placed for months to settle the ground in preparation for its construction. Then, the fill was removed and footings were laid deep into the building pad.
“Such a foundation carefully prepared and created will allow this to fulfill its purposes and remain high above any flood waters for many decades to come,” he said. “For each of us, we know that the only sure foundation we can build our lives on is that of the Savior and His gospel. Only by so doing can we withstand the winds and storms that will come upon us. Indeed, it is only by anchoring our foundation to Him that we cannot fail.”
Max Checketts, vice president for academics at the university, related incidents from the life of President Grant and his father, Jedediah M. Grant, to illustrate that they were outstanding men of integrity.
“May we educate young people to follow in the footsteps of Heber J. Grant and his father, Jedediah, to live lives full of integrity to reach out and build other people, families in the kingdom of God,” he said.
President Phillip McArthur of the Laie Hawaii Young Single Adult 2nd Stake quoted from President Grant’s dedication of the nearby Laie Hawaii Temple in 1919.
“As he dedicated the temple and laid out this great blessing upon that edifice, he also blessed this place, and in that blessing he asked that the Lord would make this place a fruitful land, abundant in health and virility,” President McArthur said.
He added that one passage from the recorded prayer drew his own attention as a current stake president in Hawaii: “He asked a blessing to be upon all the youth that they would be preserved and protected. That blessing I believe echoes to us today as a blessing upon this place and a blessing upon the single adults and the youth.”