Pursue Greatest Goals, Elder Nelson Urges Business College Graduates

  • 15 April 2011

On Thursday, April 14, 2011, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addressed LDS Business College’s graduating class on goals of “great, greater, and greatest” importance.

Article Highlights

  • Great goals concern temporal attainment, like achieving a diploma, Elder Nelson said.
  • Greater goals, he said, relate to developing good character.
  • Eternal life, Elder Nelson said, is the greatest of all goals.

“This is a perfect time to set your priorities and make certain that you move in the right direction. You do not want to be like the man who climbed the ladder of success only to find that it was leaning against the wrong wall!”

—Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Addressing some 400 students during Thursday’s commencement exercises for LDS Business College, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles urged graduates to commence the rest of their lives by pursuing goals of “great, greater, and greatest” importance.

From the Tabernacle on Temple Square, Elder Nelson told graduates their efforts to do tasks, while important, were less meaningful than their efforts to become something.

“This is a perfect time to set your priorities and make certain that you move in the right direction,” he stressed. “You do not want to be like the man who climbed the ladder of success only to find that it was leaning against the wrong wall!”

Goals of temporal attainment, such as earning a diploma, are great and should continue, Elder Nelson said.

Greater goals relate to developing good character attributes such as love, gratitude, integrity, and wisdom, he said.

Elder Nelson encouraged pursuing good marriages and families now, acknowledging blessings, being honest in all things, and learning and applying the principles of the gospel.

Eternal life—“the greatest of all the gifts of God” (1 Nephi 15:36)—Elder Nelson said, depends upon our keeping the commandments of God and enduring to the end and should become our greatest goal.

“Pursue your goals—great, greater, and greatest—to the end that you may qualify for exaltation and eternal life in the presence of your Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ with your families,” Elder Nelson told graduates.

Elder Nelson closed by pronouncing an apostolic blessing on the graduates.

“I bless you with desire to be devoted disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said. “I bless you with a desire to feast upon His words and apply His teachings in your lives. I bless you with health and strength that will allow you to fulfill the measure of your creation. I bless you with ability to achieve all of your goals—great, greater, and greatest.”

Following his address, Elder Nelson received the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award, the college’s highest honor. He attended LDS Business College in 1941 to learn shorthand to improve his note-taking for medical school, although he did not earn a diploma there.

“So you graduates are ahead of me,” he told a laughing crowd.

Approximately 485 two-year degrees and 125 certificates were issued during the ceremony.

LDS Business College is a Church-owned academic institution located in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, that offers two-year degrees in several fields. Later this year, the school will celebrate 125 years since its founding.