Pres. Monson issues charge to new president of college
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President Thomas S. Monson issued a four-pronged charge to Stephen K. Woodhouse, who formally took the reins of responsibility as president of LDS Business College Nov. 14.
President Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, presided over and conducted the inaugural proceedings in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square and represented the Church Board of Education in issuing the charge to the college's 12th president. (See related article on this page.)The charge was:
Prepare with prayer. "In this fast-changing world in which we live, where competing voices call out to each student and long-accepted standards of conduct are under attack, heavenly help will be a prerequisite for your success," President Monson told the new president. "You and your administrative team, along with the faculty, are provided the privilege to train, to teach, to enlighten and to lift the precious students who will eagerly await your inspired counsel. Remember the Lord's promise: `The Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith.' " (D&C 42:14.)
Teach with testimony. "This institution is one of the few bastions where truth can be taught, aided by testimony," President Monson noted. "Yours is the privilege to impart knowledge, to develop skills, to shape attitudes and to open eager minds and tender hearts to their full potential. Long after your students leave this campus in the heart of Salt Lake City, they may, contrary to your fond hopes, forget some of the lectures you gave, but they will ever remember your influence for good and the love of truth that you conveyed to them."
Compete with competence. President Monson said that worn-out theories, dog-eared lecture notes and obsolete skills have no place in the classrooms of LDS Business College. "The lives of your students are too precious in the sight of God and in the hearts of their parents and loved ones to waste their time and efforts in a quagmire of obsolescence," he observed. To the question, "How precious are students?" President Monson said the words of the Lord tell that "the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." (D&C 18:10.) He quoted one who, in describing the human potential, likened the worth of souls as "the capacity to become as God."
President Monson quoted a statement he saw inscribed on a piece of machinery: "You can't do today's work on yesterday's machines if you expect to be in business tomorrow." The truth of that adage, he said, applies to the college's curriculum and the equipment used to teach and train students. "Competition in today's market leaves no room for error or incompetence," President Monson advised. "The best is demanded. State-of-the-art technology is mandated."
Lead with love. President Monson reminded the new college president that no two students are alike, that each has come from a different environment, and their capacity to learn and their ability to retain will not be the same. "Your ready smile, your genuine concern, your patient nature, your innate kindness, to say nothing of your superb training and experience, qualify you for your task," President Monson told the school's new leader.
President Monson recited English essayist John Ruskin's words that were written to describe dedication and inspire care in those who build with stone and mortar. He said Ruskin's essay applies to teachers and administrators at LDS Business College who are shaping the eternal lives of God's children:
" `Wherefore, when we build let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred, because our hands have touched them. And men will say, as they look upon the labour and wrought substances of them: See, this our fathers did for us.' " (John Ruskin, Seven Lamps of Architecture.)
Earlier in his remarks, President Monson expressed appreciation to Kenneth H. Beesley, former president of LDS Business College. "He cannot be with us today for these ceremonies, for Ken and Donna [Pres. Beesley's wifeT are far away in a distant land - Mongolia - breaking new ground for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," President Monson said. "He has left his mark of excellence with the college and, with his vision, spirit and courage, will attain success on the larger campus to which he and Donna have gone."
President Monson noted that the date of the inauguration of the college's new president also was Pres. Beesley's birthday. - Gerry Avant