President and Sister Samuelson speak on character and ‘dragons’

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BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson and Sister Sharon Samuelson spoke to students about character and spiritual dragons at the Tuesday morning devotional in the Marriott Center.

Both the importance of character and staying clear of spiritual dragons were talked about in the devotional relating to students being mindful of their personal character and avoiding the things in life that are spiritually harming to themselves and those around them.

In regards to the beginning of the semester and focusing on maintaining good character President Samuelson said, “If we are not careful, papers, presentations, examinations and other expectations will crowd out the higher or greater purposes for which BYU was established and for which we each decided to come and devote our time and energy.”

Many students believed this to have been a key point in helping them have a successful semester.

Emily Tracy, a freshman majoring in pre-industrial design said, “It’s good to remember the spiritual side because I feel like we can get too caught up in our education, which is why we’re here but it’s good to keep things in perspective.”

President Samuelson’s talk was filled with advice and examples for students on how they can stay focused on this principle. He shared stories and quotes from James E. Talmage and David O. Mckay to help illustrate this.

Referring to what she liked most about the devotional, Lindsey Font, a pre-industrial design major from Lincoln, NB, said “I really liked how he spoke about the three pillars, specifically character, and how it’s important to keep a strong character to do all that we can to protect our integrity and character.”

Sister Samuelson also helped paint a mental image for students when she used the example of medieval European mapmakers placing the phrase “Here Be Dragons” on maps to represent uncharted territory, and in what students can do to stay focused on their character and avoid the spiritual dragons that are all around.

Speaking of avoiding spiritual dragons and maintaining our character, Sister Samuelson said “Remember the thought, ‘Here Be Dragons’ when you enter the realm where choices can lead to a path of dishonesty and lack of integrity. You have made covenants with your Heavenly Father.”

She went on to describe some of these dragons as being the Internet, music and immorality and how we can avoid these spiritual pitfalls.

For more information on BYU forums and devotionals visit unicomm.byu.edu/devotional