Associate dean encourages students to use influence, strength for good

Julie Valentine, the associate dean of undergraduate studies and research in the College of Nursing, speaks to a BYU audience on Nov. 2. Valentine encouraged students to use their strengths to find ways to serve others. (Addie Blacker)

College of Nursing Associate Dean Julie Valentine encouraged students to use their strength and influence for good in her devotional address on Nov. 2.

Valentine explained that the Young Women program’s Personal Progress book tells young women they have a noble responsibility to use their strength and influence for good. “It is a powerful message not just for young women, but for all of us,” she said.

Valentine divided her address into three sections explaining students’ noble responsibility, their strength and influence, and what “for good” means.

Noble responsibility

Valentine told students and faculty to love their neighbors, live the gospel of Jesus Christ, care for others in need, invite all to receive the gospel and unite families for eternity.

“When we truly understand that we are noble, we should feel capable, inspired and powerful,” she said.

Strength and influence

Valentine explained that strength is necessary for students and faculty to be strong for themselves and others. She listed two steps her audience members can take to feel strong and be stronger — truly internalize their nobility and heritage to God and reach out to the Lord by praying for strength.

“The Lord wants us to be strong to carry out our noble responsibilities, so he stands ready to strengthen us,” Valentine said.

Valentine reminded students and faculty of their profound influence on those around them. “Don’t ever believe that you do not have a profound impact or influence in this world.”

For good

Valentine explained to students and faculty that they get to choose what “for good” means to them. She cited President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency and said students can choose what their “for good” is by understanding what they should prioritize, choose and neglect.

“Be intentional in choosing choosing your priorities, actions and goals,” Valentine said. “Always remember that the world and the Lord need you.”

Valentine works as a forensic nurse and shared that her “for good”is working to decrease sexual and intimate partner violence.

“I am often asked how I can do this difficult work of caring for individuals impacted by violence. My response is ‘how can I not?’ I can do this work because I believe that I have a noble responsibility to use my strength and influence for good,” Valentine said.

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