Church Leaders Speak at Commencements in Hawaii, Idaho, Utah


Church leaders traveled to Church schools in Hawaii, Idaho, and Utah, USA, during April to give words of advice to graduates leaving the college and university setting to pursue careers.

At Brigham Young University–Idaho on April 7, 2012, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled students to “replace fear with faith.”

“I believe we are standing on the threshold of a new era of growth, prosperity, and abundance,” he said. “I urge you to make a commitment to yourself and to Heavenly Father to dedicate your life and consecrate your time and talents to the building up of the Church of Jesus Christ in anticipation of the Savior’s Second Coming.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, Utah, on April 13, 2012, to deliver the commencement address to graduating students from all 50 US states and 67 countries.

He stressed the need for students to give service throughout their lives. “Service will be your antidote against selfishness and the sense of entitlement that more and more afflict societies around the world. … Your service will bless others, but it will also protect you,” he said.

The next day, Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president, gave these words of advice to students at BYU–Hawaii: “Remember who you are.” “Work hard.” “Train for adversity.” “Dream big.” “Winners do not always finish first.”

“Run into your marathon of faith and life,” she said. “Don’t get discouraged by the hills, but see the opportunity in adversity. Go with a sure foot and a sure knowledge that you are never alone. … I truly believe that one virtuous young man or young woman led by the Spirit can change the world.”

On April 19, 2012, graduating students at BYU in Provo, Utah, listened to Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who spoke of the challenges of the world—wars, natural and financial disasters, and the regression of moral standards—but told graduates to look to the future with faith.

“Though men’s hearts are failing them, you should take heart. There have always been challenging times,” Elder Oaks said. “We, the generations of your predecessors, have survived daunting challenges and so will you. The answer to all of these challenges is the same as it has always been. We have a Savior, and He has taught us what we should do.”

For more on this story and on other messages from Church leaders, visit the Prophets and Apostles Speak Today site at prophets.lds.org.