President Cecil O. Samuelson, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Elder Craig A. Cardon offered advice for April 2014 graduates, faculty and family members on April 24 in the Marriott Center during the 2014 Spring commencement exercises.
President Samuelson conducted his final commencement exercises with remarks of nostalgia and gratitude.
“For Sharon and me, this is a special commencement because it marks not only a change in our ongoing personal activities but also for Brigham Young University,” President Samuelson said. “BYU faces a very bright future with the leadership of President Kevin Worthen. Because we are also leaving, we hope you will not be offended if we consider ourselves to be quasi-members of the class of 2014.”
President Samuelson thanked everyone who had helped and supported him and his wife.
“For the Samuelsons, the list of those who have helped us, supported us, educated us and befriended us is long, but we are confident that those of you who have done so very much for us know who you are and hopefully will remember the special places you will hold in our hearts forever,” President Samuelson said.
He asked the graduates to always be obedient to the commandments.
“Knowing as you all do that repetition is a very powerful pedagogical device, I am impressed that the Lord wants all of us to remember that whatever else we are doing with our lives, our work is to keep the commandments,” President Samuelson said. “We have all learned much at BYU, but none of us knows everything. Thus, it behooves us to listen to and trust the Spirit of the Lord, which will guide and help us in our quests to keep the commandments, do all that our great blessings require that we do and faithfully endure to the end.”
“Teaching is the essence of leadership,” said President Uchtdorf during his address, quoting President Gordon B. Hinckley.
President Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints praised the Samuelsons for their dedicated service to BYU then followed up with a “Whoosh, Cecil!” garnering laughter from the audience.
Elder Cardon, following President Uchtdorf’s remarks, reminded graduates of their unlimited potential and encouraged them to always seek truth.
Cardon is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, serving as the assistant executive director in the church Priesthood Department. He also oversees the publication of church magazines.
Elder Cardon recognized the sacrifices made by graduates and family members in their pursuit of a BYU education.
“I acknowledge the years of commitment, sacrifice and hard work,” Elder Cardon said, “but not only honoring all of your graduates but family members and friends.”
He shared pieces of wisdom with graduates from his life experiences and personal study of the Book of Mormon.
Elder Cardon focused on the phrase used in the Book of Mormon, “And thus we see.”
He urged graduates to be sure the knowledge they gain as they embark on a lifetime of learning is founded in truth and to recognize what will hold them back from progression.
During the course of his address, Elder Cardon advised graduates to resolve hatred and contention among families.
“Rudeness and contention offends conscience,” Elder Cardon said as he spoke about how the 2014 graduates will encounter rude and self-justifying people in the future.
Elder Cardon urged the graduates to see spiritual lessons all around them in order to become “And thus we can see” scholars.
“Make sure you continue to develop a spiritual capacity,” Elder Cardon said. “May the phrase ‘And thus we can see’ remind you of your spiritual capacity.”
Statistics of combined December 2013 and April 2014 graduating classes
5,800 graduates were in attendance on Thursday, April 24. 182 doctor degrees, 690 master degrees and 4928 bachelor degrees earned from a combined December 2013 and April 2014 graduating classes.
55.5 percent of all graduates were male while 44.7 percent of all graduates were female.
Average age of Graduates
The oldest student receiving a bachelor degree is 68.
Graduates come from 49 states, six territories and 62 foreign countries.