REXBURG, Idaho Using the analogy of graduation and the Israelites as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, Elder Monte J. Brough of the Presidency of the Seventy addressed graduates of BYU-Idaho during fall commencement Dec. 17.
In the book of Numbers, Moses sends a group of men to scout the land of Canaan, Elder Brough related. Among these are Joshua, the son of Nun, and Caleb, son of Jephunneh. Upon returning, Joshua and Caleb were the only two who were positive about the land of Canaan. The other scouts claimed that Canaan was "too tough, and (the Children of Israel) could not succeed."
Joshua and Caleb remained optimistic, saying, "Give us the mountain."
Elder Brough told graduates that the world is more of a mountain than a lush valley. "Because of the complexity and importance of their condition, Moses gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments. I assert that every person in this room will benefit by knowing Caleb's Ten Suggestions."
These "Ten Suggestions" are as follows:
Elder Brough concluded, "We congratulate you, we honor you, we are proud of you. I speak for the university, the Church, your families, and I say to you wonderful graduates, go climb your mountain!"
In his remarks, BYU-Idaho President Kim B. Clark said that the university has sought to prepare its students to be both disciples of Christ and leaders, roles that depend on agency and adherence to the principles of the gospel.
Character, competence and confidence are "three principles that will help you realize the great promise in your discipleship and leadership," said President Clark.
During fall commencement, 758 bachelors degrees were awarded to BYU-Idaho students, 35 percent more than last year's fall graduation. The increase in students receiving bachelors degrees was mirrored by a decreased number of associate degrees; 283 were awarded as opposed to 355 last year.