BYU-Idaho graduation: There is hope for difficult times ahead
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There is hope for difficult times ahead as individuals plan and pray and work, Elder Richard G. Hinckley of the Seventy said during BYU-Idaho's commencement exercises on Friday, July 23, in Rexburg, Idaho.
"I know many of you are faced with uncertainty," Elder Hinckley said. "Most of you hope to find employment in what is a very difficult job market. Others of you will go on to pursue other degrees at this or other institutions. Still others will settle in to building a home life and raising children. In every case, you will be better off for having completed your degree here."
This year's spring 2010 graduating class included 1,305 degrees — 967 bachelor's degrees and 355 associate's degrees.
For the first time, family members and friends and others unable to physically attend commencement exercises at the campus in Rexburg, Idaho, were able to view proceedings through Internet video streaming of graduation. Commencement exercises began at 6:30 p.m. in the John W. Hart Auditorium, and were then broadcast later that evening via the Internet through the BYU-Idaho website.
During his address, Elder Hinckley gave four pieces of advice to help individuals as they look to the future with hope, despite economic and morally difficult times.
Sharing an example of his father, the late President Gordon B. Hinckley, and the tough economic times he experienced during the Great Depression, Elder Hinckley spoke of the importance of staying positive, even when times are hard.
"Times are tough, but you can still do the best of things," Elder Hinckley said. "There is no reason for pessimism; there is every reason for hope and optimism. … What values will you take away from today's recession? Just determine to make the best of every circumstance. Be optimistic."
"There simply is no substitute for goals, planning and steady, focused, directed application; that is, work," Elder Hinckley said. "Those who live productive lives work hard. I am satisfied that is the case. They discipline themselves. And success doesn't come overnight."
Elder Hinckley spoke of the daily application of work and the satisfaction that comes from it.
"Life has taught me that working through a problem, completing a task, grinding through a mound of paperwork, even repairing a broken appliance or lawn mower, can bring me much more satisfaction than going to a movie or watching a television show."
"Now probably is not the time in your lives to be buying the fanciest [electronic device], the biggest truck or the most expensive flat-screen television," he said. "Those can come later, when you are on a secure financial footing, and they should never be facilitated by high-interest consumer debt.
"I am convinced that the best way to begin cultivating a proper attitude toward spending is to pay your tithing. The Lord has promised that He will open the windows of heaven to those who observe this great commandment."
Don't take shortcuts
Drawing from examples in his own life, Elder Hinckley spoke of the need to avoid unnecessary hardship.
"Stay on the beaten path; hold firm to the tested and true; don't stray into dangerous territory against the warning voices of the prophets, your parents and your true friends. Don't seek shortcuts in life that may be dead ends that sap your strength, that weaken your resolve, that rob you of precious years and that subject you to the powers of destruction. There really are no shortcuts in life worth taking."
It is through being optimistic, applying oneself, denying oneself and not taking shortcuts that individuals can progress, Elder Hinckley said.
"May God bless you as you now 'commence' a new and exciting life," he said. "May you stay close to the Church, for it is your best friend. May you determine to live the gospel and remain true to your covenants. May you live happy and productive lives. And may it be said of you one day, as it was of of Sir Robert Shirley, that you did the 'best of things in the worst of times and hoped them in the most calamitous.' "
Other speakers included Elder Paul V. Johnson, of the Seventy and commissioner of the Church Educational System, and BYU-Idaho President Kim B. Clark.