Michael Orme, the general counsel assistant to President Kevin J Worthen, began his devotional address by highlighting Brigham Young University’s unique mission statement, approved by Church prophets, seers and revelators in 1981:
“The mission of Brigham Young University—founded, supported, and guided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.”
Thus, Orme said, students at BYU should not be solely focused on their academic lives, but also on the spiritual dimension of their daily studies.
“In no stage of life is the need for heavenly direction more important than in the formative college and young single adult years, particularly in those first few years spent living away from home and family,” Orme said.
Many foundational questions will likely confront young single adults during this time of life, Orme said. They will have to consider what their fundamental standards, values and beliefs are. They will need to determine what kind of person they will marry and partner with. And they will decide what their life’s work and contribution to society will be.
Luckily for members of the church, Orme said, they can have the assistance of the Holy Ghost in finding the answers to those questions.
The Holy Ghost can also answer other questions and will speak to the hearts of those who seek to know truth, according to Orme. In his freshman year, he had a transformative experience with the Spirit testifying of the truth of the Book of Mormon.
“I now knew for myself that the Book of Mormon was the word of God; that Joseph Smith was a prophet through whom God brought forth the Book of Mormon; that the restoration of the gospel had occurred; that I probably had a role to play in the unfolding of the gospel; and, most importantly, that Jesus Christ was really alive and that his Atonement was real.”
Even though we can have such impactful spiritual experiences, Orme said, the adversary wants us to act opposite to the knowledge that we’ve received. That’s why, Orme said, “in these times of testing we need to be intellectually honest with ourselves and consciously remember the authentic spiritual experiences we have had.”
According to Orme, Brigham Young University is a “hotbed of conservative calm, traditional values” that allows students to hold to the spiritual truths that they have received. While he was a student in the late 60s, extreme student unrest rocked many universities across America, mostly in opposition to the war in Vietnam. Orme noted that as his life has progressed, he has grown more appreciative of the protective environment BYU offers.
The next BYU devotional will be on Tuesday, June 12th at 11:00 a.m. by Beth Luthy, professor of nursing.