Many universities build a chapel on campus for the occasional religious service. At BYU the entire campus becomes a chapel every week.
Visitors to BYU are often astonished at what happens to the campus on Sundays. Lecture halls are transformed into chapels, labs become Sunday school classrooms, and thousands of students — dressed in their Sunday best — hurry across campus to attend one of approximately 200 student wards. There is nothing quite like campus wards and stakes; nor is any part of the BYU experience more critical than participation in student wards.
But some students fail to get involved. They find reasons to stay on the sidelines of their campus wards. This is a big mistake.
New students often feel detached from BYU and overwhelmed by its scale until they get fully involved with their campus ward. There, they find a community built on a scale that allows them to know and be known, to serve and be served. Commit yourself to becoming actively engaged in your student ward, and then keep your commitment religiously.
You will find that your student ward provides unique opportunities for service and growth. In freshman wards, it is not uncommon for newly ordained young men to be asked to serve in an elder’s quorum presidency or to give priesthood blessings. Likewise, it’s typical for the same age woman to serve in a Relief Society presidency or to teach gospel doctrine classes.
Campus wards will engage you in activities, firesides and service projects; organize you into home evening groups; assign you to serve each other as home teachers and visiting teachers; and, most importantly, bring you together to partake of the sacrament and share testimonies.
Central to all of these experiences is your campus bishop. Often your bishop has a more profound and lasting influence than any person you’ll meet during your freshman year. Get to know him quickly. He can help you in ways no one else can.
Also, don’t miss the weekly campus Devotionals or the monthly Church Educational System firesides. These events are in the Marriott Center Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and fast Sundays at 7 p.m., respectively.
These powerful gatherings provide regular opportunities to be taught by the general authorities of the church, including the prophet and other inspiring speakers.
It’s sort of like having an hour of general conference each week. Make a habit of going. You will find that what you learn and feel at these meetings will influence you throughout your life.
One of the chief aims of BYU is to provide a spiritually strengthening education. BYU takes this aspiration seriously. It shapes what happens on campus during the weekdays as well as Sundays.