Sikahema encourages students to ?Enter to learn, go forth to serve?


    By Alexis Saint-Jean

    Students should live up to the BYU motto, ?Enter to learn, go forth to serve,? said Vai Sikahema during Tuesday?s devotional.

    ?How many of you remember their first visit to this campus?? he asked. ?For me ? the most lasting memory I have was seeing the sign as we pulled up to campus: ?Enter to Learn, go forth to serve.? Over the years as I return to Provo, I always find myself looking at that sign and ? wondering if my life reflects that model.?

    Sikahema talked about the numerous opportunities he had to serve and to be a representative for the church during his career as a professional football player and sports anchor.

    He said serving in the community and the church while advancing in his career sometimes seemed hard to combine. He spoke of one period in his life when combining the two seemed nearly impossible.

    Shortly after having been promoted as the sports director of the TV station where he was working, the bishop of his ward moved, and a new one had to be chosen. He felt he might be called as the next bishop, but resisted the idea because he thought accepting this calling could jeopardize his whole career.

    ?I attempted to dictate to the Lord what I thought was best for me,? Sikahema said. ?If this call was coming and it seemed to be, I couldn?t think of a worst time to be called as a bishop in my ward.?

    During a visit to the temple, he understood that this situation wasn?t an obstacle but rather an opportunity.

    ?While wrestling with these issues a calm and peace washed over me,? Sikahema said. ?Suddenly it occurred to me that I had it backwards. I had been praying for weeks and pleaded with the Lord to spare me of this call because of my new promotion. A strong impression came that I was being promoted so that I could be the bishop.?

    Sikahema said this experience helped him see things differently, and his new position provided him with opportunities to bring more aspects of the gospel into his work.

    He said other former BYU students who played as professional football players in the NFL had likewise opportunities to stand as examples for the community. Sikahema gave the example of Chad Lewis, the only NFL player fluent in Mandarin because he served a mission in Taiwan, who showed his language skills when he went to China to promote the NFL there.

    Sikahema reported the story, explaining how Lewis learned Mandarin. He said this is one of many events that allowed him to present the church and its mission to his viewers.

    Students should take full advantage of the opportunity they have to study at BYU, Sikahema said. He said he did not take such an advantage because he left the university without graduating to go play for the NFL.

    ?Although I had amazing athletic moments here, life-changing spiritual experiences and was surrounded by great influences, regrettably I did not take full advantage of the education,? Sikahema said. ?In short, I squandered many of my academic opportunities. But life is about second chances.?

    He then explained how, after retiring from the NFL, he went back to BYU and earned a bachelor degree in broadcast journalism.

    Sikahema said there is always room for improvement in our lives.

    ?I?m a work in progress,? he said. ?Like you I?m still learning.?

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