Susan and John Tanner discuss ‘Fulfilling the BYU Mission’

Susan and John Tanner sitting on the pulpit. The Tanners were accompanied by BYU President Shane Reese and his wife Wendy Reese. (Angie Hernandez)

Former Young Women’s President Susan Tanner and her husband, former BYU-Hawaii President John S. Tanner, addressed the BYU community about “Fulfilling the Dream” of BYU in a forum on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Throughout their address, the Tanners focused on the mission of BYU and the foundation it was built upon.

John Tanner emphasized the importance of the desire to engage in education, especially for students who choose to attend BYU.

“We challenge you, our beloved BYU community, to be ‘faithful, true, and bold’ in pursuing the mission of BYU. For if BYU is to realize its full potential and become the BYU of prophecy, as President Reese invited us to become in his stirring inaugural address, we must be ‘faithful, true, and bold’ in fulfilling the dream of BYU,” John Tanner said.

As students strive to live up to their potential, the Tanners emphasized how Jesus Christ can help them reach their goals.

Susan and John Tanner addressed BYU students at a forum Tuesday, Oct. 31. Both John and Susan came to the pulpit together. (Angie Hernandez)

Susan Tanner shared how Jesus Christ is the true center of a BYU education, and said by having that knowledge, students are able to feel inspired to do the Lord’s work and help those around them. 

“Jesus Christ himself has a care over this school. And why? Because it is a place where the children of the covenant are being prepared for future usefulness in the kingdom of God. I wish that every student and all others who walk this campus would keep the words ‘Christ Himself has a care over this school’ running through their minds,” Susan Tanner said. 

When students know Jesus Christ is at the center of a BYU education, Susan Tanner said students are reminded of the mission of BYU “to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.” 

As students remind themselves that Christ has a care over BYU, Susan Tanner said she hopes each student would feel a sense of gratitude.

“I think it would inspire gratitude for the opportunity to study in a place that is cared for by Christ himself and would prompt them to ask themselves, ‘What is my role and responsibility in helping this school reach its destiny, and what can I do to live up to the privilege of being here? How can I fulfill the dream of BYU?” Susan Tanner said.

In closing, John Tanner shared his experience with the BYU Carillon Bells. The bells were dedicated by President Spencer W. Kimball in 1975.  

John Tanner speaking at the pulpit. John Tanner is the former president of BYU-Hawaii. (Angie Hernandez)

“Every time I hear the bells I remember what he said when he dedicated them: ‘Just as these bells will lift the hearts of the hearers, … let the morality of the graduates of this university provide the music of hope for the inhabitants of this planet’ … This is our dream to fulfill,” John Tanner said.

Students were invited to recognize the sounds of the bells and remember what they mean when they hear them.

“The bells call you and me to be faithful, true, and bold as we pursue the dream of BYU,” John Tanner concluded.

Students and faculty gather to hear the BYU Forum Tuesday, Oct. 31. All BYU students and faculty are welcome to attend forums and listen to the weekly devotional and forum addresses. (Angie Hernandez)

All BYU students and faculty are invited to attend devotional and forum addresses every Tuesday at 11 a.m. Information regarding BYU forums and devotionals can be found here

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