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What Matters Most

Good morning, brothers and sisters and Aloha!

I am so grateful to be here with you this morning. I'm grateful to just take a few minutes before you get to hear from Elder Schmitz today. I want to share my love with you and just a few of my thoughts. Maybe you could say that this is your 'mom wisdom' for the week.

This is such an exciting time in your life. I remember my college days, Elder Schmitz and I went to BYU, and I loved it. Everything was new and everything was exciting. It was a big time of transition for me. And it's a time of transition for you and your lives. Many of you are preparing to be endowed, some of you are recently returned from missions, and some of you might even be recently married. It's a time of change, and it's a time of a lot of important decisions that will affect you now and will definitely affect you in the future. But I want you to know at this point, your potential is unlimited. So don't be worried, don't be frightened. Just go for it.

I know about many of the places where you're from, from firsthand experience. I know about the sacrifices that have been put into place by you- and especially by your family members- to give you the opportunity to attend here at BYU–Hawaii. I hope that you express your appreciation to them and to your Heavenly Father all the time.

I wonder if you've ever thought about why you felt so strongly about coming here. Why did you have to be at this place at this time? I know that many of you probably chose to come to this school because this is a church school where you could learn under religiously structured programs. You've also probably come because there are other like-minded students here that share your same standards and your same goals. But ultimately, I believe that you're here because of what Elder Rasband is famous for talking for: because it's part of God's grand design for your life. [1] There is a purpose for you being here right now- at this time. As I've read over the missions statement for BYU–Hawaii in the last couple of weeks, I think that may be part of your personal purpose here can be found in its words: to prepare students to be lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ and leaders in their families, their communities, their chosen fields, and building the kingdom of God. [2]

As I've read this statement over and over, it's caused me to wonder how would keeping this statement in mind change the way that you approach your time here at BYUH?

Would you become more Christ centered in your thoughts and in your actions?

Would you see yourself differently?

Would your priorities be different?

Would you regularly visit the temple and strive to make and keep your covenants?

How would you observe the Sabbath day?

What would your feelings be as you partake of the sacrament each week?

How would you reach out and care and minister to others?

And how would you strive to be the best student that you can possibly be?

Now, this secular education that you're giving here at BYU–Hawaii is so important. It will be vital to you as you leave these grounds. It'll be vital to you personally. It will be vital to your families that come in the future. But is it really what matters most in your life? It is not. But it is preparatory for you to become what the Lord needs you to become.

Now, in the church, we talk a lot about becoming. Don't we? We hear that phrase quite a bit. We are all on our own journey but our ultimate destination really is the same. It's our desire to return to our Heavenly Father in our heavenly home with He and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

What matters most is really how we use our education to bless the lives of others. It's our relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. It's your willingness to make and keep your covenants. What matters most is really about how you use your education as a true disciple of Jesus Christ. It's the way that you use it to bless your families, your spouses to come, your children to come, for those that you come in contact with, wherever you may be in the world.

Your time is very limited here so enjoy every day. Try not to waste time, study diligently and work hard and also have a lot of fun while you're doing it. Keep your heads up. Keep your eyes focused a little above the world and focused on what your true goals are and what really matters most in your life.

It'll take self-discipline and it takes a lot of effort. But remember that President Nelson is famous for saying that the Lord loves our efforts. [3] Remember that you are a child of God. That He knows you, that He loves you, that you have a Savior, Jesus Christ. Through that, through His great and infinite atonement, that you can become clean again, that you can become better than you are. And that through Him, we can return to our Heavenly Father again. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, has invited us to look into Him in every thought to doubt, not, and to fear or not.

I invite you to do the same and to keep your focus really, on what matters most as you're here as students. I share my love with you of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of its teachings, the reality of a living Father in Heaven and of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

[1] Ronald A. Rasband, By Divine Design, October 2017
[2] BYU–Hawaii Mission and Vision
[3] April 2020 General Conference came from a Q&A video with President Nelson