July 27, 2010
Writer: Tori Bowman

Elder Richard G. Hinckley, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed 1,305 graduates at the Brigham Young University-Idaho Spring Commencement last Friday evening.

"I have decided to talk to you about these times in which we live," Elder Hinckley said, "which are both difficult economically and morally, and how you might approach them, and to give you hope that things will work out for you if you plan and pray and work."

Hinckley encouraged students to do four things: be optimistic, apply themselves, deny themselves and eliminate shortcuts.

He related some of the trials that his father, former Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, faced as a recent graduate. His father was in charge of the family farm and the home and was trying to make ends meet on an income of $100 each month.

"We have no such trials today," Hinckley said. "And there is no reason for pessimism; but there is every reason for optimism and hope. Remember, that in a country of 10 percent unemployment, there is 90 percent employment. Most indicators point to economic recovery and job creation. The question is: What values will you take away from today's recession? Just determine to make the best of every circumstance. Be optimistic."

Hinckley encouraged students to pursue worthwhile goals, to discipline themselves, and to remember that success doesn't come overnight. He cautioned students to not take shortcuts, saying that real success, happiness and progress still require commitment, effort and self-discipline.

Paul V. Johnson, commissioner of the Church Educational System, addressed the students as well. "If you use the knowledge you have obtained here at BYU-Idaho, ... and if you live your life the way you have been taught to live it, you will have blessings come to you that you can't comprehend now.... I can also predict that the Lord will use you to help build the kingdom."

BYU-Idaho President Kim B. Clark also spoke, advising graduates to keep the world out of their hearts and to serve the Lord. He concluded, "You have a marvelous destiny and a great work to do in the [Lord's] kingdom."