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Succor, Lift, and Strengthen: Leadership and Service in the Lord's Way

We are the designers of our lives and destiniesStudents, Faculty members, brothers and sisters, Ohana, Aloha! When they extended me the invitation to give you all this commencement talk my stomach immediately began to feel butterflies. My hands and legs began to shake, and they are shaking still till this day. I am very humble for this amazing opportunity, and I want to thank the leaders of the school for allowing me this great honor. When I was growing up I wanted to become many things. Among those I had the strong desire to become an astronaut. Though I didn’t actually made it to space physically I can still show that I became an astronaut. As a graphic designer, which I’m graduating today, I was able to use designing software that allowed me to create this quick picture. So graduating as a Graphic designer allows me to design about anything But today I won’t talk about Photoshop, InDesign and all the design programs that are out there. Today I want to emphasize in the spiritual designer that is within us. When I was thinking about this idea the words of Abraham came into my head and it says, “Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones" (Abraham 3:22). Brothers and sisters we were all there when that event took place. You and I are the intelligences that Abraham referred to and were formed before this world. We were designed intelligent, noble and great. For me this knowledge is still a learning process and this might be the case for some of you as well. But having the privilege of coming to a university where knowledge is based on spiritual principles has helped me along the way. For many of you getting a higher education required a lot of sacrifice from you or your family. Probably many tears were shed and long goodbyes were said, leaving behind precious family members. For others it may mean long all-nighters finishing homework and studying for a big test. Or for some of us means encountering our own fears. No matter what your past, present or future circumstances may be you are intelligent, noble and great. You have the power to design your own life and destiny. I think of the great help and opportunities that I have received since I got to this special school in this special island in the middle of the pacific. I’ve learned that paradise is not just found in nature, but in the people that live in it. With this I am grateful for every mentor, teacher, instructor, and community member that have influenced my life as well as the example and sacrifice of many people that have made this school experience unique and complete. With this I want to also thank my parents, my family and specially my husband and baby boy for the effort and sacrifice that they all have made for me to accomplish this long goal. Class of 2016 we’ve made it! I congratulate you and those behind you that have help you reach this day. May we all keep on designing our lives and destinies according to the words of Abraham "Intelligently, nobly and greatly."In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.