By MEAGAN BRUNSON
President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged students at Tuesday’s Devotional to never become a weak link in the chain of their families’ generations.
“Life is a great chain of generations that we, the church, believe must be linked together,” President Hinckley said.
It is important for BYU students to understand they can pass on without blemish their inheritance of knowledge and their untarnished faith and virtue to future generations, he said.
President Hinckley said BYU students are fortunate to be at a university where they can establish enduring friendships, pursue great knowledge and become the kind of people they ought to be.
He said students are living during an exciting time as one millennium rolls into another.
“It’s a marvelous time in the history of the world,” President Hinckley said.
The 20th century has brought about great wonders such as automobiles, airplanes, computers and the Internet and advances in things such as medicine, President Hinckley said. The restoration of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ is the capping accomplishment of the century, he said.
“You and I are part of the miracle and wonder of this great cause and kingdom which is sweeping over the earth, blessing the lives of people wherever it reaches,” he said.
As students have benefitted from past peoples’ dreams and visions, they can now influence the future, he said.
President Hinckley said for people to stay strong in the church and to not become a weak link between generations, they must serve valiantly in their church callings. The size of the office a person holds is not important, but the spirit in which he serves and how well he applies his talents and resources make the difference, President Hinckley said.
“There is no small or unimportant duty in this — the Church of the kingdom of God,” President Hinckley said.
President Hinckley told a story about Misao Toma, a woman from Okinawa, Japan, who literally saved her family by working around the clock to feed her children after her husband died.
“She nurtured them in faith with prayer and love,” President Hinckley said.
Because she did all that she could, her great offering was certainly acceptable before the Lord, even though she never held a high office in the church, President Hinckley said.
President Hinckley said clean hands and a pure heart are both essential for honorable service in any church calling.
To have the right spirit, church members should have an attitude of thanksgiving and cheerfulness when paying tithes and offerings, he said.
Whether financial contributions to the church are equal to $100 or 1 million dollars, it is the spirit in which the money is given, not the amount, that is important, President Hinckley said.
“Is there gladness in our hearts, joy in our lives, as we reach out to bless others?” President Hinckley asked students.
For students to never become weak links in the chains of their generations, they should do what they are asked with a glad heart, and instead of worrying about the titles of their church positions, they should do those callings with joy and gladness, he said.
“Be faithful. Be true. Be loyal to the great cause of which you are a part,” President Hinckley said. “At the close of each day can we quietly sing — Have I done any good in the world today?”
When BYU President Merrill J. Bateman introduced President Hinckley, he told students this is a unique point in history with incredible opportunities to prepare the earth for the second coming of the Savior.
“This is our day — your day — a day when we can sit and listen to a prophet of the Lord, who will teach us of the Lord’s ways and guide us in his path,” President Bateman said. “I’m so grateful that we have the opportunity today to sit at the feet of a prophet and learn from him.”
Carrie Reeves, 20, a junior from Duarte, Calif., majoring in business said listening to President Hinckley speak always makes her want to be a better person.
“President Hinckley makes me want to try harder,” Reeves said. “He makes me understand that the gospel really is easy to live — you just have to do it.”