Elder Neil L. Andersen calls BYU an oasis of righteousness


Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve visited an anxious audience at the Marriott Center Tuesday where he spoke to thousands of students and faculty members about the importance of honesty.

After expressing the love of President Thomas S. Monson, the First Presidency and the rest of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Andersen expressed his love for BYU and for its power to bring the Spirit into students’ lives.

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Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve addresses students during the Devotional on Tuesday morning.
“For a young man or women desiring a university education, [Brigham Young University] is an oasis of righteousness,” Elder Andersen said.



Elder Andersen introduced the paramount importance that honesty plays in the lives of BYU students and prefaced his address with a promise, explaining his topic was nothing new to anyone.

“I promise if you will think about it more intently, pray about it more specifically, and embrace it more fully, it will bring an abundance of blessings to you now, and throughout your life,” he said.

Elder Andersen said honesty describes the character of God and therefore, honesty is at the very heart of our spiritual growth and spiritual gifts. He said honesty is the first virtue listed in the Honor C ode and the two go hand in hand. To better illustrate his point he related President Karl G. Maeser’s famous quote, “Circle of Honor.”

According to Elder Andersen, honesty is described as being completely truthful, upright and just. He also explained it involves having the moral courage to make actions consistent with the knowledge of right and wrong.

Elder Andersen confirmed a plea President Monson made in April’s General Conference to be in the world and not of the world.

“We can be in the world and not of the world as we reject false concepts and false teachings and remain true to that which God has commanded,” he said.

Elder Andersen reiterated the blessing to be in such a place as BYU, where the Spirit of the Lord is so readily available to those who are desirous. He also admonished students to strive to receive the spirit of truth by being completely honest in all their doings.

“To constantly receive His spirit of truth, our lives must be filled with truth and honesty,” he said. “As we become completely honest, our spiritual eyes will open to increased enlightenment.”

One challenge he gave was to follow President Brigham Young’s counsel.

“Be righteous in the dark,” he said.

Elder Andersen said students will be faced with pressure even after graduating from BYU and they must continue to be honest in all their doings. He promised times when students will be tempted to break their word of honor. He said students must learn now to keep their word and promised the Lord will help if they would do so.

“I promise you that will have greater power come into your life,” he said. “You will feel the grace of the Savior as he leads you along to ever greater honesty. I assure you of His love and approval. I assure you as you make an effort to be honest you will will feel his love and approval and you will know that he is aware of you, that he knows the details of your life and that he will bless you above all else as you seek to be like him.”

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