By STEPHANIE HALFORD
Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-28 is the basis for Erlend D. Peterson’s speech at Tuesday’s Devotional in the Marriott Center.
“Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves,” the verse says.
Peterson chose this scripture because it is closely related with BYU’s motto of “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve,” a motto to which he said he is deeply committed.
Administering all services related to admissions, advisement, registration, credit evaluation, records and student information are just a few of Peterson’s duties.
Peterson said he hopes to draw from his position as Dean of Admissions and Records to help encourage students to be more serious about their education and obligation to use their talents to build and serve in the kingdom of God.
“During an executive committee meeting of the board, President Hinckley said, ‘The mission of BYU is to produce men and women who will make a significant contribution to society and in the process render faithful service to the Church, and also be a strong influence for the Church in the world.’
“I have given much thought to this charge and it became an insight when we were given the challenge to expand the criteria by which students are admitted to BYU,” Peterson said.
Peterson will talk about the expanded admissions criteria for students as of 1991, which includes objective data, such as grades, and which also considers experiences in service and leadership.
Peterson said service and leadership needed to be considered in the admissions process because the expectation for BYU students is that they continue to give and to serve.
Peterson has held professional positions at BYU since 1964 and was appointed to his current position as dean of Admissions and Records in 1990.
In addition to his administrative work, Peterson is an assistant professor of educational leadership, an associate of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies for Nordic countries, a member of the board of directors for the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority and a board member of the Norwegian-American Historical Association.
Peterson was knighted by king of Norway on Nov. 10, 1997 for his service to the Norwegian government.
Peterson is married to Colleen Dawn Keith and they have six children.