Elder Oaks to graduates: “You should take heart”


Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed BYU’s April 2012 graduating class Thursday afternoon at BYU’s 137th commencement at the Marriott Center.

“You have a mark upon you,” Elder Oaks said. “It will be visible and have an effect on others, but the most important effect is the influence it should have upon you.”

He offered encouragement to the nearly 6,000 graduates.

“Though men’s hearts are failing them, you should take heart. There have always been challenging times,” Elder Oaks said. “The answer to all of these challenges is the same as it has always been. We have a Savior, and He has taught us what we should do.”

[media-credit id=81 align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Thousands of graduates gather in the Marriott Center for commencement on April 19.
In his commencement address, Oaks also spoke about typical trappings of graduation ceremonies, and related a diploma gaffe when conferring an honorary degree on apostle LeGrand Richards in 1974. The diploma was supposed to read, “Doctor of Christian Service.”

“As the program went forward, he quitely handed me the opened folder. I read the beautifully inscribed degree: ‘Doctor of Christian Science,'” Elder Oaks said. “I quietly retained possession of the erroneous document. Perhaps we now will have to endure the publicity we avoided in 1974.”

Elder Oaks also quoted the university’s namesake, Brigham Young, in matters ranging from personal revelation, music and self-reliance.

“‘To ask God to do what I can do for myself is preposterous to my mind,'” Elder Oaks said, quoting the second prophet of the LDS Church.

Before becoming an apostle, Elder Oaks served as president of BYU from 1971 to 1980, establishing the J. Reuben Clark law school during his tenure.

Stephen B. Richards, B.A. in economics, gave the speech from the graduating class, likening the BYU experience to a microcosm of divine or universal nature. “We are in the world and have come to the university so that we ourselves might become microcosms of the divine,” Richard said. “We’ve learned life lessons, not just classroom ones.”

In the President’s Greeting, President Cecil O. Samuelson said BYU is now among the top ten universities that produces graduates that continue on to doctorate or trade programs. Among nearly 6,000 degrees issued Wednesday, 59 were doctorate degrees, as well as many juris doctoral and master’s degrees were presented.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email