Skip to main content

Our Educational Stewardship

What an honor it is for Christine and me to be with Elder and Sister Cook and President and Sister Kauwe today as we join in celebrating the tremendous milestone of your graduation. Congratulations to each of you and to your loved ones who are so proud of you and have cheered you on as you have progressed toward this accomplishment.

At times like this it is also important to reflect on how you will use your education to bless others going forward. I’d like to show you a picture of four BYU–Hawaii students I had the opportunity to meet earlier this year. I marveled as I visited with these students and realized that they all shared two things in common. First, each of them began their studies in BYU–Pathway Worldwide in a different country and then later matriculated to BYU–Hawaii. Starting on the left is Enkhchimeg Zorigt from Mongolia, then Rei Hattori from Japan, Reina Noble is from the Philippines, and Tuiaki He Lotu Kau is from Tonga. Second, while each of their stories was unique and equally inspiring, they all came to this campus with a deep sense of gratitude, and even more importantly, a spiritual sense of stewardship for the education they are receiving here in this special place.

As graduates of BYU–Hawaii, you now carry a stewardship of education. I hope today that between all the celebration and commemoration that is appropriate for a milestone such as this, you will also pause to think about what it means to leave here not only with a degree but with a stewardship to the Lord.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we are introduced to the Savior’s teaching of the parable of the talents. “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability.” [1] Each of you, by virtue of the fact that you are here in this auditorium is the recipient of a large talent portion from the Lord. Recall from the parable, it wasn’t how many talents the servants returned, but whether they returned what they received with increase.

How will you use your educational talent to provide increase in your own life, in your family, and in the Church?

The famous teaching on marriage of the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer could be applied similarly to your educational stewardship and how education goes far beyond your own benefit: “In [your education] you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind.” [2]

In fact, the mission of the Church Educational System is to develop disciples of Jesus Christ who can lead in their homes, in the Church, and in their communities. President Nelson has taught that “In the Church, obtaining an education and getting knowledge are a religious responsibility. We educate our minds so that one day we can render service of worth to somebody else.” [3] Again, there is the idea that our educational stewardship is not just for ourselves, but for others.

How will you use your education to help bless your future family, the Church, and your community? I promise you that if you will continue to make the Lord your partner in your future development—the same way you have involved him in your educational development—he will amplify and strengthen you in ways you can hardly believe. I so testify in His name, even Jesus Christ, amen.

[1] Matthew 25:15
[2] Reference Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and papers from Prison, ed. Eberhard Bethge (1953), 42-42
[3] Focus on Values,” New Era, February 2013