Since I no longer am at BYU, I probably missed the stir that the BYU student who went on that MTV program caused. However, when I read the article about Jesika Henderson, I could not help but think about the contrasts between these two women.
I saw an interview with the MTV-student (whose name I can’t recall), where they asked her about the BYU honor code and the problems arising from her cohabitation. Her answer to the question, “Will you go back to BYU?” was “I’ll go where I am welcome.” I was incensed at this response, because the obvious implication was that BYU had done something to make her unwelcome, whereas the truth is that she did something by herself that made her unwelcome.
Her willingness to compromise her standards and the Honor Code for a more inclusive and worldly sensibility put her relative commitment to the gospel up against principles of ethics and integrity, and all for the “glory of men.”
I compared this to Ms. Henderson, who has caused no furor over her views, because she seems to be living a life in concert with the principles taught by the Lord. The comments made about her by the people in the Junior Miss program bear out the fact that she is an example for good, rather than the rather poor example set by the MTV woman.
People I speak with say BYU students are automatons and that BYU brainwashes us.
I say it is just glorious coincidence that so many people are willing to live in one place and try to live the gospel.
Just the other day I was flipping through radio stations and happened across the Howard Stern program. I heard “BYU” and stopped, wondering why the name of my alma mater would be uttered on such a base radio program. They were maligning BYU for its brainwashing of its students and the “grief” they were giving this MTV woman. Initially, I was angry, but after a moment or two I thought to myself that the condemnation of the likes of Howard Stern is one of the best compliments BYU could receive. It’s like being called a jerk by Satan.
Thank you for publishing the article about Ms. Henderson, since it exemplifies what a positive influence BYU students can and do have in the world, especially when compared to some who have really lost the spirit of what BYU is all about.
Darin A Merrill