Skip to main content

O Be Wise

Book of Mormon prophet, Jacob, counseled the people of his time and our time: “O be wise, what can I say more?”

Wisdom is obtained from experience combined with knowledge and good judgment. Sometimes obtaining wisdom is a personal experience. For example, as a young girl I was preparing to cook some taro. My father knew I had a habit of eating things raw and he warned me to cook it first.

But curiosity got the best of me and I took a big bite of raw taro thinking it wouldn’t hurt. I soon learned my father’s warning was meant to spare me the discomfort of the compound calcium oxylate, or the sense of tiny knives in your throat and the numbness in your mouth. I have never made that error in judgment since and am quick to extend the wise warning to others.

Sometimes wisdom is obtained from the observation of choices and the associated consequences others experience. I knew my grandparents went to the temple every Friday afternoon. By their countenance they seemed to enjoy their temple experience. They served together in the Laie Hawaii Temple as ordinance workers for 32 years. Their example steered choices I would make in my later years guiding me to the temple over and over and over again.

You are nearly two weeks into the semester and no doubt already have a full load anxiously awaiting your attention. Keep at the fore front of your mind your primary purpose for being at Brigham Young University–Hawaii Campus is to gain the “highest” not just a higher, but the “highest” education.

As David O. McKay pronounced in the groundbreaking ceremony on February 12, 1955, “the purpose for which it [meaning this college/university] is being built, [is] first, the things pertaining to God and His kingdom...secondly, [to become] those noble men and women the world needs”. He continues to describe nobility as “men [and women] who cannot be bought or sold, men who will scorn to violate truth, genuine gold”.

Use your time here at BYU–Hawaii wisely to develop a love of God and His purposes, to be men and women of unquestionable integrity. Everything else will fall into its proper place.

Reflecting on the wonderful young men and women I associated with as a student here at BYU–Hawaii confirms the reality of that prophetic vision. Many who were my classmates, workmates, dorm mates continue to be a strength in the Church, in their homes, in their work place and in the community.

Brother Taeoalii and I support you in your wise efforts to grow spiritually, physically, emotionally and socially. We were once where you are and it is all worth it. In his current calling as Area Seventy he has the marvelous opportunity to associate with you here at BYU–Hawaii.

May God bless you in your righteous endeavors and may you strive to be wise in your choices and decisions.

In the name of Jesus Christ. amen.