As part of his keynote address delivered April 15 during the 123rd commencement of LDS Business College in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy encouraged new graduates to remember mentors in their lives and to return the favor to others.
"I think it is safe to say that without the support of the positive role models in our lives, few of us would be in a position to ultimately achieve our personal aspirations and goals," said Elder Maynes, executive director of the Church's Family History Department. "I am sure you have enjoyed the guiding influence and blessings of positive role models in your life.
"You are now at the point in your lives where you should be actively striving to be the positive role model the Lord expects you to be. Through your example, you should be blessing the lives of others as you have been blessed."
He cited former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and Book of Mormon prophet Nephi as two men who exemplified how to positively influence others through their own upstanding behavior.
According to Elder Maynes, society needs more positive role models just as their actual numbers are steadily declining.
"It is getting more and more difficult to find positive role models in today's culture who honor and respect Christ-centered values," he said.
Elder Maynes concluded his remarks by explaining how the road to becoming a positive role model begins and ends with a simple personal decision.
"You don't choose to be a role model," he taught. "You are one. Your choice has to do with the quality of the role model you will be."
LDS Business College President J. Lawrence Richards conducted the commencement ceremony. He called on graduates to transform the preparation they've received throughout college into the performance their futures will demand of them.
"Your destiny is to use your education as preparation to be on the Lord's errand," President Richards said. "That is the grand opportunity beckoning as you stand on the threshold of your tomorrows. … You leave us prepared to begin the process of establishing families, building communities and strengthening the Church."
Also during graduation proceedings, businessman Steven T. Woolley from the Class of 1970 received LDS Business College's 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
The school awarded 278 two-year degrees and 127 certificates in conjunction with the commencement ceremony.