Archive | June, 2011

vision & mission

24 Jun

How will you implement the vision in your role?
“As part of a BYU education, the Student Service Association’s vision is to be leaders centered on Jesus Christ, who contribute to the building of Zion communities which are united in heart and mind that there be no intellectually, spiritually, emotionally or physically poor among us.”

I have the opportunity to influence the image of BYUSA on campus, but I really want to make sure that every piece of advertising that is put out is uplifting and inviting and all-inclusive. I want to help my advertising consultants grow intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically as well.
The one implementation that I have the most control over, however, is my own personal application of the vision. I want to grow in every way and constantly push myself out of my comfort zone. Intellectually, I want to learn about myself and about service in a way that allows me to know how to improve every situation and environment that I find myself in. Spiritually, I will grow closer to my Savior and my Heavenly Father by thinking about others on a daily basis and truly striving to bring everyone I meet closer to Christ. I hope that if I serve in that specific capacity, my understanding of the nature of God will increase as well. Emotionally, I want to be stronger for others, and I want to be a person that everyone can rely on, no matter what I am concerned with at the time or what state I might be in. I want to have more control over myself and to be able to be busier and do more without getting as stressed. Physically, I feel like I am already feeling more present, more involved. It’s an incredible feeling to walk across campus and feel like I am truly a part of it. Most of the time I just think about how great it is that I am on this beautiful campus, that really great things have happened here, and that I am walking on sacred ground. Already my mentality is shifting more towards realizing that this is my sacred ground and that I am sharing this time of my life with everyone around me. This is a community, not just a school. This is where I live, work, learn and worship, and it isn’t just a location on a map. It’s meant to be interactive and uplifting.
As I learn and grow in each of these capacities, I am really excited to help others do the same.

Thoughts on the BYUSA mission:
“To attain this vision, our mission is to engage students in opportunities which cultivate a sense of belonging, refined skills and talents, divine-centered leadership, meaningful contributions, a spirit of honor, and a commitment to future service.”

Engage students in opportunities: This is why we have so many activities and events and programs. BYUSA provides opportunities for students to get more out of their time here. Each one is absolutely crucial to carry out well, because one specific event might be the one event that catches a student’s eye, and that may be their one interest, and therefore the only opportunity they take advantage of. If we make sure it is a good experience, they will be more inclined to be excited about being involved.
Cultivate a sense of belonging: This part of the mission is achieved in the diversity of opportunities through BYUSA. I had to explain BYUSA to freshmen at NSO, and I realized that the variety was one of the greatest strengths of the organization because there really is something for everyone.
Refined skills and talents: Continued service in a variety of capacity lends itself to this component of the mission statement. When I consider where I am right now to where I know I will be in a few months, it is clear that there is a measured refining impact that constant involvement has on a person.
Divine-centered leadership: The best way to serve is to act as a conduit to Christ in every single way. Jesus Christ is the perfect leader, and by using Him as the example for my own leadership development, it becomes so much easier to see the divine potential in everyone as well. By acting on fixed principles, being consistent, showing love in everything I do, and walking the walk, I can develop Christlike leadership skills that will also allow me to be of greater use to my fellow men later in life.
Meaningful contributions: Sometimes it feels like the work done in the office is somewhat menial, but if I try to imagine BYU without BYUSA, the campus seems empty. If there were no activities, no clubs, no student leadership program…BYU would lose a critical quality of a Zion community: Friendship. There is also a feeling of “meaningful contribution” when there is something to show for your efforts, and especially when there is something to show on your very campus, where your peers walk every day. It isn’t busy work, and it isn’t fake. There are real contributions and real results, and you can learn so much along the way.
Spirit of honor: Honor is part of everything at this university. It defines who we are, how we act, how we treat others, and how we serve. The Honor Code is not a set of restrictive rules, but a better way of life. I absolutely love that we have an entire area dedicated to advocating for the Honor Code, because I believe that it deserves more respect than it usually gets from students. We sign it and agree to live by it, but do we really adopt it into our lives? The spirit of honor is, in essence, the “higher road.” It is one way to show dedication to the laws and commandments of our Heavenly Father, and it makes life so much less stressful when compared to the stereotypical activities of other college students around the country. It creates a lasting impact everywhere you go when people see that you are a person who is not willing to undermine yourself or your God for anything cheaper than the worth of your soul.
Commitment to future service: The classic “Enter to learn, Go forth to serve” mantra is pounded into our heads throughout the BYU experience, but it doesn’t mean that you have to wait until the day after graduation to serve. There is so much good that can be done within every day. There are countless opportunities to serve that face you each time you interact with someone. It’s a mindset, not a time slot. BYUSA, as a service association, is such a great reinforcement of the motto for students while they are still here. There is so much that can be done to leave this campus better than we found it, and to continue serving, without resting, until we have done all that we can.


remember lot’s wife

21 Jun

“I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently she thought—fatally, as it turned out—that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind.”

“When something is over and done with, when it has been repented of as fully as it can be repented of, when life has moved on as it should and a lot of other wonderfully good things have happened since then, it is not right to go back and open up some ancient wound that the Son of God Himself died trying to heal.”

“…what God, our Father in Heaven, pleads for is cleanliness and kindness and happiness and healing.”

“Now, like the Anti-Nephi-Lehies of the Book of Mormon, bury your weapons of war, and leave them buried. Forgive, and do that which is harder than to forgive: Forget. And when it comes to mind again, forget it again.”

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”
-Rabbi Ben Ezra 

“In my best reenactment of Lot’s wife, I said, in effect, ‘Let’s go back. Let’s go home. The future holds nothing for us.’ Then my beloved little bride did what she has done for 45 years since then. She grabbed me by the lapels and said, ‘We are not going back. We are not going home. The future holds everything for us.’

“I knew something of what you were feeling. Some of you were having thoughts such as these: Is there any future for me? What does a new year or a new semester or a new major or a new romance hold for me? Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would it be better to look back, to go back, to go home? To all such of every generation, I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.”

“Keep your eyes on your dreams, however distant and far away. Live to see the miracles of repentance and forgiveness, of trust and divine love that will transform your life today, tomorrow, and forever.”

-Jeffrey R. Holland, “Remember Lot’s Wife” Jan. 13, 2009, BYU Devotional

meekly drenched in destiny

21 Jun

“There would be little reason for speak of meekness…if you were not serious candidates for the celestial kingdom. You live in coarsening times. Times in which meekness is both misunderstood and even despised. Yet meekness has been, is and will remain a non-negotiable dimension of true discipleship. Its development is a remarkable achievement in any age, but especially in this age.

“Furthermore, whether you fully realize it or not, you are a generation drenched in destiny. If you are faithful, you will prove to be a part of the winding-up scenes for this world. And as participants, not merely as spectators. Though, on occasions to come, you might understandably wish it were as spectators only.”

“…God, who has seen billions of spirits pass through His plan of salvation, has told us to be meek in order to enhance our enjoyment of life and our mortal education.”

“We need to learn so much, yet we are free to choose…Since God desired to have us become like Himself, He had to make us free to learn, to choose, and to experience. Hence, our humility and teachability are premier determinants of both our progress and our happiness.”

“Never has one individual offered in so few words to do so much for so many as did Jesus when he meekly offered himself as a ransom for us, billions and billions of us…Meekness, the subtraction of self, reduces the multiplicity of words.”

“Better to save our soul than to save our face.”

-Neal A. Maxwell, “Meekly Drenched in Destiny” Sept. 5, 1982, BYU Devotional

convince or convert?

21 Jun

“You were born in an age lacking stability, torn by a thousand doubts, and urged to go in a hundred different directions. It is as though the earth is trembling beneath your very feet with wars and rumors of wars and changing values and ideals. You are faced with a multitude of threats and dangers. To what can you turn to find stability? Where can you find something to hold to and believe in? I recommend God. And that choice, most of you have already made.

“But how have you chosen? Have you done it by default because you were born in the Church and know nothing else? Have you chosen it because of scripture or because of the testimony of others? Have you chosen it because of a certain unexplained feeling in your heart, or because of the urging of parents, friends or sweethearts? No matter, you have chosen rightly and well.

“Now I want you to do more. Do as Jesus says, “follow me.” Take up the life of a Christian, regardless of what others may say and regardless of what it may cost you in money, in time or in work. Become converted and keep the law, not because you have to, but because you want to.

“…Stay on your knees long enough to do some good for your own soul.”

“…Believe and trust in God because He is God, not because it is expected of you. Know this, that any testimony we have, any faith we possess, must be tested to see if it is real. If faith is nothing more than conviction, it will fail. If you are only convinced, your faith will fail in a time of crisis.”

-Theodore M. Burton, “Convince or Convert?” Oct. 6, 1964, BYU Devotional