Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dedicated BYU’s new Life Sciences Building on Thursday, April 9.
Elder Nelson said buildings on the BYU campus are built to do double duty. “They house church meetings on the sabbath day and academic purposes on the other days of the week,” Elder Nelson said.
He said that as an academic facility, the building will be home for the College of Life Sciences and five of its seven departments. As an ecclesiastical facility, Elder Nelson said, “The building will house one stake and 15 wards.”
The building will be used for biology, health science, microbiology and molecular biology, physiology and developmental biology and plant and wildlife sciences. The Life Sciences Building will provide facilities for the faculty, staff, administrative personnel and more than 5,000 student majors.
“This university is committed to search for truth and teach the truth. All truth is part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether truth comes from a scientific laboratory or by revelation from the Lord, it is all compatible,” Elder Nelson said.
He said all truth is part of the everlasting gospel and that there is no conflict between science and religion. “Conflict only arises from an incomplete knowledge of either science or religion, or both,” Elder Nelson said.
He said that in this facility, the focus will be centered on learning from and about God’s creations. “For students, there is nowhere better to confront the questions shared between science and religion than in the College of Life Sciences at Brigham Young University. What a blessing this building will be,” Elder Nelson said.
Elder Nelson then dedicated the building for use in humble prayer.
“The size and function of the building show how far BYU has come in this academic area,” said BYU President Kevin J Worthen.
President Worthen talked about scientist and apostle John A. Widtsoe, for whom the Widtsoe Building was named, and his contributions to BYU in his two-year tenure, speaking about Widtsoe’s efforts to establish the link between science and the gospel.
“We can, with the right spirit and approach, have a revelatory spiritual experience in this new Science Building, if, as we are directed in Doctrine and Covenants 88: 67, our eye is single to the glory of God,” President Worthen said.
President Worthen quoted Elder Widtsoe’s prophetic vision of and confidence in the future of BYU. “BYU has a great mission in these latter days. I have little fear about its future. The rumblings may always continue, but sooner or later the institution will be so firmly established that even an earthquake cannot undo it,” he said.
President Worthen concluded by saying, “This new Life Sciences Building is seismically much stronger and sounder than the Widtsoe Building it will replace. The spirit with which the faculty and students engage in their work can make it spiritually much stronger and sounder as well.”
The Life Sciences building opened its doors to faculty and students Fall 2014. For more information students can visit the Life Sciences website.