June 11, 2009
Writer: Writer: Erica Colvin
President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, called the Rexburg Temple and Brigham Young University-Idaho a miracle, at devotional June 9.
Having served as president of Ricks College from 1971-1977, President Eyring said it felt like coming home, but to a home that has been changed for the better. "Of all the improvements, what touched my heart most ... was the sight of the sacred temple on the hill, so close to the university that it seemed a part of it."
President Eyring's address to students and employees focused on the "miracle it is to have both the Lord's house and this university on one hill in Rexburg." He also shared how to recognize and receive the blessings that can flow from it.
"The miracle has at least three parts," he explained. "First, that the temple and the university are side-by-side on one Rexburg hill; second, that the two were created together at this time; and third, that the few but significant differences between the university and the temple should combine so well to accomplish the Lord's purposes."
President Eyring reminded students and employees that the location of the temple and the university is a miracle "because God, not man, revealed new designs for each and placed them here together ... Human judgment could have foreseen neither smaller temples operated primarily by volunteers nor a university capable of serving many students at high quality and low cost."
He shared that while the designs for the university and the temple are recent, the area has been prepared for some time. "Frugality and a spirit of sacrifice were put in place here long ago by a God who saw our time and the future before us. That frugality, among other important spiritual qualities, helped qualify Ricks College to become BYU-Idaho."
With BYU-Idaho developing as a four-year university, President Eyring shared that the temple is similarly a place of learning-both encouraging "faith, hope and humility." He also expressed that the "high standard of personal worthiness" required to enter both structures makes them parallel. Yet, they "must differ because of their distinct purposes." The temple is a place of consistency, never changing. But the university is "charged with continuous change which improves teaching and learning.... The differences in the two places of learning complement each other."
President Eyring shared that such a miracle would truly present positive results. "All of the people who learn and serve here will be changed for the better. Wherever they go they will be more eager to help others, more determined to keep promises, more confident that with God's help we can accomplish hard things, and more inclined to give credit for success to others but mostly to God."
After sharing several personal experiences, President Eyring encouraged students and employees to lift each other because "we cannot truly succeed alone."