BYU library director tells students to stand for truth at weekly devotional

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Rick Anderson jokes about his status being the BYU library director. ”I know what you’re thinking: ‘Oh good, the library director. This is going to be gripping,’” he said. (Isaac Rascon)
The choir sang before Anderson gave his remarks. Special musical numbers take place at the beginning of each devotional. (Isaac Rascon)

Rick Anderson, the library director at BYU, encouraged students to stand for truth, relating it to “the tree, the fruit, and the building,” in a campus devotional on April 2.

Anderson began his remarks by stating how he was deeply aware of the unique opportunity he had been given to speak.

“I’ve been anxious to say all the things and only the things that will be most helpful to you during our few moments together,” Anderson said.

Anderson then introduced a classic Book of Mormon allegory: Lehi’s vision of the tree of life. His analysis of the vision focused on three major points: The tree, the fruit and the building.

“In Lehi’s dream, what is the relationship between the great and spacious building and the tree and its joy-giving fruit?” Anderson asked. He said the building represents a platform for people to “mock and scoff” at those following the Savior’s path.

Anderson noted there were people who had partaken of the fruit but had dropped it and walked away “because they were embarrassed.”

“The great and spacious building of Lehi’s vision is a symbol, but the cultural dynamic it represents is very real — and that dynamic shouldn’t surprise us,” Anderson said.

Anderson challenged students to be willing to stand for what they know is true — even if it means standing alone.

Anderson encourages students to stand for truth — even if it means standing alone. He may not be the right messenger, but the message is still true, he said. (Isaac Rascon)

“‘But Rick, it’s easy for you to say this — you’re already a nerd. You’re a professional nerd. Socially, you’ve got nothing to lose by standing up for the gospel!’” Anderson said of himself.

Anderson conceded that he might be an unconventional messenger, but emphasized that the message of the gospel is true regardless.

“It’s also worth noting that the phrase ‘becoming BYU’ contains an admonition as gentle in its formation as it is clear and direct in its implication: we can’t become what we already are,” he said.

Anderson spent the remainder of his talk bearing his testimony of Jesus Christ and the infinite Atonement he wrought on mankind’s behalf.

“Both in Gethsemane and on the cross, by taking upon Himself the guilt for all of our sins and transgressions, thereby giving us the opportunity — if we so choose — to be delivered and cleansed of that guilt through repentance, baptism, and enduring fidelity to sacred covenants with God,” Anderson said.

Students and faculty crowded the Marriott Center to hear the devotional. Devotionals are every Tuesday at 11 a.m. (Isaac Rascon)

Anderson testified of the Church, the importance of the temple and his faith in the restored gospel. He also invited students to come unto Christ.

“If you are struggling, if you’re in despair or confusion, please turn to Him who has promised not to leave you comfortless,” Anderson said.

Rick Anderson gave his remarks at the Marriott Center on Tuesday, April 2, at 11:05 a.m.

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