BYU–IDAHO Spring 2008
a pat t e r n f o r l e a r n i n g Take a glimpse as President Kim B. Clark leads students in a university-wide discussion by using methods of the newly-implemented Learning Model.
8 strengthen faith as you seek knowledge Review with Elder Quentin L. Cook five essential principles to place faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at the center of our lives.
Learning by Faith In the doctrines of the Church, faith and the quest for knowledge are not inconsistent, they are compatible and complementary. Elder Quentin L. Cook
12 learning by heart Feel of the importance of lifelong learning. Sister Susan W. Tanner teaches how learning by our hearts will give us deeper understanding and wisdom.
18 LEARNING FOR LIFE See how the innovative and inspired BYU–Idaho Learning Model is blessing and influencing the lives of today’s students and tomorrow’s teachers and leaders.
22 thoughts on teaching & learning b y fa i t h Gain insights as a BYU–Idaho teacher shares experiences and ideas on helping students focus, love learning, and learn by the Spirit’s voice in the challenging world today.
26 d e pa r t m e n t s 02 Letter from the President 03 News of Note 3 0 Alumni News 3 2 Class Notes
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publisher/alumni association manager
Steven J. Davis ’84 alumni relations officer
Val Carpenter ’72 alumni records
Kathy Coles Godfrey ’89 graduations/reunions
Jeremy Couch Johnson ’00 editor
Merv Brown production manager
LaNae Hammon Poulter ’71 tradition editor
Brett Sampson ’88 art director
Brian Memmott ’92 senior designer
Dear Alumni and Friends, Guided by its divinely appointed mission, Brigham Young University–Idaho is continually working to develop students who are faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and capable leaders in the home, the Church, and the workplace. These students are learning from and mentored by an able faculty and staff—consecrated employees who are committed to doing the Lord’s work. This inspired interaction is centered on the vital educational concept of learning by faith, first given by revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants and later reemphasized in the 1836 dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple: “…seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith” (D&C 109:7).
Tony Carpenter ’05 student designer
Ellen Rogers George photographer
Michael Lewis student photographers
Carolee Coy Tiffany Fife Eric Schwantes contributing writers
Quentin L. Cook Henry J. Eyring Ann Marie Harmon Marc Stevens Susan W. Tanner student copywriter & editor
Tristan Camp advertising sales
Ray Bingham ’66 alumni association president
Dave Thueson ’83
That succinct doctrinal statement, uttered during one of the most glorious events of the Restoration, exactly describes what BYU–Idaho is striving to accomplish today. As president of BYU–Idaho, Elder David A. Bednar envisioned a university where learning by faith is a core characteristic. We must realize that vision by helping students find temporal and spiritual truth through focused study and righteous action based on faith in Jesus Christ. Learning by faith is the theme of this issue of BYU–Idaho magazine. In the following pages, you will find articles that examine how BYU–Idaho is helping students learn by faith and that suggest practical ways we can all obtain greater knowledge by acting on our faith in the Savior. If you would like to stay informed about important changes and developments at BYU–Idaho, I encourage you to visit us often via the Internet at www.byui.edu. As always, thank you for your interest in and support of BYU–Idaho. Best regards,
alumni association president-elect
Ron Klingler ’78 alumni association past president
Trina Billman Landon ’94 emeritus club president
Alyn Andrus ’53 young alumni council president
James Hirrlinger ’96 student alumni association director
Emily Riley alumni council members
Sid ’83 & Ann Wray Ahrendsen ’83 Dale ’81 & Jan Schow Barnes ’81 Louise Blunck Benson ’73 Craig ’79 & Chantal Budge Cobia ’02 Brian ’76 & LaRee Hope Hawkes ’81 Ron ’78 & Nita Bodily Klingler ’00 Allan ’93 & Trina Billman Landon ’94 Sid ’81 & Karen Saxton Muir ’90 Michael ’76 & Carolyn Cortelyou Rowley ’78 David ’83 & Janelle Ihler Thueson ’83 Daris ’97 & Lorraine Stewart Weimer ’89 B Y U – I D A H O magazine is published by the BYU–Idaho Alumni Association twice a year. Editorials and advertising do not necessarily represent the opinion or endorsement of BYU–Idaho.
For advertising information, please call Ray Bingham at 801-451-0970.
Kim B. Clark President, Brigham Young University–Idaho
Send address changes to BYU–Idaho Alumni Ofﬁce, 16 East Main Street, Suite A, Rexburg, ID 83460-0056; call 800-LDS-ALUM; or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Cover: Photo, Michael Lewis
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Member: Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
News of Note
Young Women General President Speaks at Fall Graduation More than 1,000 BYU–Idaho graduates learned about the importance of lifelong learning in an address given by Susan W. Tanner, Young Women general president at fall commencement exercises held December 12, 2007.
Elder Ballard and President Clark applaud winter semester graduates.
Apostle Encourages Graduates to Use Technology to Make a Difference BYU–Idaho winter semester commencement services were held April 11, 2008. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reminded graduates that the world is torn between good and evil. He told them to leverage new communication technologies to make a difference. “Reach out to others in the world to help change the perception and even the hearts of millions of our Heavenly Father’s children by correcting misunderstandings by sharing with them the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Individuals can bypass modern barriers of geography and misconceptions by using Internet, blogs, and e-mail. “You can use your testimonies, education, skills and associations to be a great support,” Elder Ballard said. “Similar to John the Baptist preparing the way for the Savior’s mission, you can help prepare the people to receive the Savior’s full-time missionaries.” “You can make a difference in the world,” Elder Ballard said. “I hope you will enter these conversations, sharing your faith and personal experiences and what you have learned here at BYU–Idaho.” He cautioned, “We know you will never drift over the line to anything on the Internet that is evil or degrading because you love the Lord and you are dedicated to His service.” Of the 1,411 students who received their degrees, 529 are males and 882 are females. The university awarded 1,238 bachelor’s degrees and 174 associate degrees.
ponents: a selfless attitude, and selfless action,” Turley said. He added that true love comes over time after it has been tested for commitment and faithfulness. Referring to Moroni 7:47, Turley pointed out that beauty, health, and prestige may fade but charity, which is the pure love of Christ, endures forever.
Sister Tanner advised graduates to continue to follow the BYU–Idaho Learning Model which states: “Learning to act in accordance with one’s faith in Christ is fundamental to enjoying deep, life-changing learning.” Through this continual learning, Sister Tanner taught, graduates can become of greater service to others and to the Church as a whole. A total of 1,079 students received diplomas. BYU–Idaho students enjoy a moment with President Monson in Salt Lake City. Of those, 441 were males and 638 were females. The university awarded 993 bacheStudents Have a Specific Purpose in lor’s degrees and 105 associate degrees. The Attending BYU–Idaho graduates included 499 who are married “The students who attend BYU–Idaho do and 497 who are returned missionaries. so not only for academic learning, but also for religious education,” President Director of Family and Church History Thomas S. Monson told supporters of Department Teaches about True Love the university who live outside of Idaho Richard E. Turley, Jr., director of the Fam- as they gathered in Salt Lake City for the ily and Church History Department of the BYU–Idaho President’s Club Banquet on Church, spoke to students about true love March 15. He continued, “They want to in a devotional address given October 23. obtain their education in an atmosphere which reflects the teachings of the Gospel Turley taught that although it is normal of Jesus Christ. Their desire is to associate for students to fantasize about what the with those of similar beliefs and value sysfuture will hold, it is often unrealistic. tems. They also find there a legacy of dedi“We sometimes think that being happy cated service and faithful perseverance.” means avoiding all problems, and we may grow disillusioned if our superficial As President Monson directed his comdreams seem to shatter,” he said. ments to students who were in attendance, he encouraged them to learn lessons that Turley said an essential requirement of life will have application throughout their is overcoming challenges, regardless of lives. He suggested following the model of what those challenges may be. He taught lifelong learning exemplified by President the secret is to have true love, not the verKim B. Clark and said, “We become like sion of love “often touted on television and the models we follow and, in turn, there in movies [which] seems to be an endless will be others to follow you.” pursuit of a selfish romantic high.” The audience was also briefed on the “Anyone—regardless of physical appearstatus of the school by President Kim B. ance, emotional appeal, or marital status Clark, and a presentation was given on —can have this true love. It has two comthe Heber J. Grant Scholarship Program B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8
News of Note
which offers assistance and encouragement to students with disadvantages. (Taken from “BYU–Idaho for edification,” Church News, March 22, 2008, 4.)
dean for the College of Performing and Visual Arts and to teach in the Department of Music. Elder Pace Teaches about Preparation In a devotional address given October 16, 2007, Elder Glenn L. Pace, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, encouraged BYU–Idaho students to make the most of their education and time while attending school.
Elder Joe J. Christensen returns to campus to give devotional address.
Elder Pace reminded students of the perilous times we live in and that they are not going to get any better. He encouraged individuals to prepare themselves now.
Elder Joe J. Christensen Encourages Greater Happiness and Success “The truth is, unless you are properly preElder Joe J. Christensen, an emeritus pared, the challenges of your next stage member of the First Quorum of the Sevof life will overshadow the joys associated enty and former president of BYU–Idaho with it. What are some of the conditions (then Ricks College), spoke about workyou will face as you enter the real world? ing toward greater success and happiness The whole world seems to be in commoin a devotional address given February tion. Today’s news is filled with accounts 12, 2008. In the world today, Elder Chrisof large-scale famine, civil unrest, wars tensen said, the good are becoming better, and natural disasters,” he said. and the bad are becoming worse. He gave six specific suggestions to help individuNot to over-emphasize the gloom of modals be their best. First, take advantage ern society, Elder Pace cited Doctrine and of every opportunity to learn the gospel. Covenants 121, repeating the message that Second, take advantage of educational op- “the kingdom is intact,” and the blessing it portunities and do so honestly. Third, live is to live in these times. “We are living in up to the Lord’s commandment to love the greatest and most exciting part of this one another. Fourth, do not become indispensation since the Restoration itself. volved in any type of pornography. Fifth, You will see unbelievable growth in the decide to always remain active in the kingdom. This university experience will Church. Elder Christensen’s final point help you maximize your victories as well was to always be worthy of a temple recas mitigate your defeats,” he said. “The ommend and to use it frequently. Spirit guides us along the way but will not replace the hard work…. This university Conductor of 24 Years Steps Down will help you acquire the intellectual and After 24 years at the baton, BYU–Idaho spiritual skills necessary to receive guidSymphony Orchestra conductor Kevin ance for your journey into the real world.“ Call stepped down following one of the orchestra’s most challenging concerts Admissions Office Reaches Out to where the orchestra performed Gustav Returned Missionaries Mahler’s “Symphony No 3, the Song of In an effort to better serve returning misCreation,” on December 7 and 8. sionaries, the Admissions Office has announced the new Returning Missionary Robert Tueller of Rexburg assumed the Program. “This program was created to position of conductor in Winter Semester assist missionaries in their transition from 2008. Call continues to serve as associate mission life to an academic setting with4
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out losing the level of spirituality gained over two years of missionary service,” said Rob Garrett, director of Admissions at BYU–Idaho. The rm Program allows recently-returned missionaries to apply to BYU–Idaho without the restriction of an application deadline. Those who return from their mission shortly before their designated off-track semester may also appeal to attend that semester in addition to their assigned track, thus giving the student the opportunity to begin school immediately. Due to international student application requirements, the rm Program is only available to United States citizens. For more details about BYU–Idaho’s rm Program, visit www.byui.edu/admissions/ rmprogram.htm.
Brian Schmidt encourages students to become actively engaged in learning.
Students Focus on BYU–Idaho Learning Model during Forum The BYU–Idaho Learning Model was the focus of the first University Forum of 2008. Clark Gilbert and Brian Schmidt, both then members of the Student Activities and Peer Instruction staff at the university, were the featured speakers.
In a discussion titled “Peer-to-Peer Learning at BYU–Idaho,” Gilbert and Schmidt helped students gain a better understanding of the new Learning Model by outlining its benefits and effects. As the Learning Model becomes integrated into the classroom, each individual should become personally and actively engaged in the learning process as they 1) exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a prin-
News of Note
ciple of action and power; 2) understand that true teaching is done by and with the Holy Ghost; 3) lay hold upon the word of God—as found in the holy scriptures and in the words of the prophets; 4) act for themselves and accept responsibility for learning and teaching; and 5) love, serve, and teach one another. (For more discussion on the BYU–Idaho Learning Model, see pages 22-25.)
The Rexburg Temple entrance welcomes those who come to worship and learn.
BYU–Idaho President Teaches about the Power of the Temple Elder Kim B. Clark, a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy and president of BYU–Idaho, taught about the importance and power of the temple in the opening devotional of Winter Semester 2008.
Elder Clark described the perilous times in which we live as a great war between good and evil. This war is “a central part of the testing and refining experience of mortal life. It is a spiritual war in which there can be much anxiety and worry, much suffering and pain, much despair and fear,” he said. The Great War, Elder Clark continued, is fought in the hearts of men by the temptations of appetite, pride, and greed. He said of the many tactics of the enemy in this Great War, the most sinister is silence. “The principle of silence, or the code of silence, in the face of evil has been the foundation of secret combinations and the works of darkness since Cain murdered Abel. But silence has also become part of the culture of society,” he said. Elder Clark pleaded with students to nev-
er remain silent when friends and family fall victim to temptation. “If you reach out in a spirit of love and humility, you can help the spiritually wounded find the Savior…. Don’t be silent. Don’t leave the wounded on the battlefield,” he said. To avoid the temptations on the battlefield, Elder Clark taught, we must draw upon the power of temples. “The temple is a house of learning, especially about the plan of salvation. We learn many wonderful things in the temple about our Heavenly Father, about His Only Begotten Son, about the plan of redemption, and about our divine nature and destiny,” he said. Laptop Computer Initiative Introduced In an effort to further increase the quality of the student experience, BYU–Idaho is introducing a new initiative strongly encouraging students to obtain and use a laptop computer. The initiative, which has been under development for more than a year, is designed to provide students with better access to network resources and online learning opportunities.
“Students will be equipped with better tools to learn, communicate, organize, and complete assignments. In addition, expenses will be reduced over the long term as students have more access to less expensive learning material,” said Spalding Jugganaikloo, chief technology officer at BYU–Idaho. “By incorporating the laptop initiative into the learning experience, students will be better prepared for lifelong learning and employment in the information age.” The new program will also help incorporate technology into the BYU–Idaho curriculum. Foundations, the university’s new general education courses, are currently being developed along with other curricula that have a greater emphasis on technology and digital resources. The initiative will also encourage internally developed course materials, reference libraries, and resources. “Faculty will be increasingly encouraged to publish digital
resources to supplement and facilitate learning,” Jugganaikloo said. “In some cases, these resources may entirely or partially replace the need for textbooks. E-textbooks will become an optional replacement for heavy and expensive print versions.” A desktop computer is acceptable for students who already have one or for those who are planning to graduate within a year. For more information about the laptop initiative, visit www.byui.edu/laptop.
Sister Ann Dibb describes characteristics of her father, President Monson.
Young Women General Board Member Shares Insights about President Monson Ann M. Dibb, a member of the Young Women General Board and the daughter of President Thomas S. Monson, spoke to BYU–Idaho students in the February 19, 2008, devotional about the extraordinary characteristics her father exemplifies.
After testifying of President Monson’s recent call to lead the Church, Dibb outlined what a prophet is, quoting True to the Faith: “Like the prophets of old, prophets today testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. They make known God’s will and true character. They speak boldly and clearly, denouncing sin and warning of its consequences.” “I’d like to tell you a little about my father, the prophet,” she continued. “He honored and used his priesthood. He made the choice to keep the Lord’s commandments. Because he did so, he qualified for the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and he received the promised blessings,” she B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8
News of Note
said. Dibb described President Monson as a happy man of great faith who always prays. She testified of her father’s discipleship of Jesus Christ. (BYU–Idaho devotionals are available at www.byui.edu/DevotionalsAndSpeeches and rebroadcast on BYUTV.)
Vice Presidents Garth Hall and James Smyth smile as Fenton Broadhead and Henry Eyring greet each other after announcement of their new positions.
BYU–Idaho Announces Changes to Administrative Structure As part of its continuing course of progress and development, BYU–Idaho announces a number of changes to the administrative structure of the institution.
After more than 25 years at BYU–Idaho, Academic Vice President Max Checketts has moved on to assume the same position at BYU–Hawaii. Selected to fill the vacancy is Fenton L. Broadhead, who previously served as dean of the College of Business and Communication.
Henry J. Eyring, who has served as an associate academic vice president, has been named to the newly created post of advancement vice president. In this capacity, Eyring oversees University Relations, Alumni Relations, and LDS Philanthropies. Eyring was replaced by Clark Gilbert, who has served as managing director of Student Activities and Peer Instruction. Gilbert now oversees online education, curriculum development, Continuing Education, peer instruction, and implementation of the BYU–Idaho Learning Model. Derek Fay, who has served as director of Enrichment Activities in the Student Activities Program, replaced Gilbert. Justin Garner, who served as director of Physical Activities, now serves as director of Activities. Three new college deans also have been named. Glenn Embree, dean of the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, retired in late December 2007 after teaching at BYU–Idaho for 38 years. Kendall Peck has been named the new dean of the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering. Robyn Bergstrom, who has served as associate dean of the College of Business and Communication, will replace Fenton L. Broadhead as dean. John J. Ivers has been named dean of the College
of Language and Letters beginning in August. Ivers replaces Rod Keller.
Collegiate Singers perform with Mormon Tabernacle Choir for broadcast.
BYU–Idaho Collegiate Singers Appear on Music and the Spoken Word On March 16, 2008, the Collegiate Singers appeared with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in their broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. “It is a great honor to be invited,” said Randall Kempton, director.
The group performed two pieces, “Every Time I Feel the Spirit” and “Let Us Go into the House of the Lord.” They also joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the final selection “Sing Praise to Him,” an arrangement composed by Kempton. While in Salt Lake City, the Collegiate Singers also performed at the BYU–Idaho President’s Club Banquet on March 15.
BY U–I DA H O E D U C AT I O N W E E K • J U LY 3 – A U G U S T 2 , 2 0 0 8 •Daily devotionals •Classes for adults & youth •Housing & meal options •300+ classes from more than 40 presenters For more information e-mail email@example.com or visit the web at www.byui.edu/educationweek
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A Pattern for Learning Henry J. Eyring Vice President of Advancement
Anyone who walked unawares into the Hart Auditorium at Brigham Young University–Idaho just after two o’clock on January 24, 2008, would have wondered what was happening. The scene was typical of a university-wide gathering, with thousands of students seated and attentive. But the sound didn’t fit the scene. If you closed your eyes, you felt sure it was a classroom discussion among perhaps 50 students—maybe 80, tops. The discussion leader was President Kim B. Clark. Opening your eyes, you could see his face on the two large monitors at the south end, the ones used for devotional. But, looking away from the screens, it was hard to find him. He wasn’t on the stage or even on a low, ad hoc rostrum on the playing floor. It took a full sweep—or two—of the auditorium to spot him, as he roamed the four corners of the floor and even climbed up among the seats of the lower concourse.
Photography by Michael Lewis, Carolee Coy ’08 and Tiffany Fife ’08
His roaming was purposeful, driven by the search for students who had raised their hands to answer questions. Those students were likewise hard to find, especially the ones standing in the sloping sections of the auditorium, where standing up didn’t make them much more visible. President Clark had help though: a small troop of ushers with colored flags, who spotted the standing students and ran to mark the locations like officials in a shot put competition. Wide aisles and a broad stride allowed President Clark to get to the designated spot quickly. The ensuing discussion was typical of what can be heard in the world’s best classrooms. The students commented confidently, as though speaking from solid preparation. Many used personal experiences to illustrate points pertinent to the discussion; a few even built on the comments of others. President Clark’s assistants at the south end of the auditorium captured each comment on whiteboards, which were displayed on the large screens via closed-circuit tv cameras. The discussion was taut—as soon as one person had finished speaking there was another with a complementary comment. The hour flew, and President Clark had to wrap things up before anyone seemed to want him to. There were at least two learning achievements that day in the Hart. One was deepened understanding about the mission and operating model of BYU–Idaho. As students articulated that LEARNING BY FAITH
mission—or at least heard their peers do so—they learned more deeply than would have been possible in an ordinary discourse from the pulpit. The other learning outcome was more personal: the students enjoyed a unique experience with their university president while he incorporated BYU–Idaho’s new Learning Model into his presentation. As one of them said, “I felt like I was in a classroom with him.”
How It Was Done The curious observer couldn’t help wonder how it was done, how President Clark made thousands—roughly one-fifth of the student body—feel as though they had been with him in a classroom. In fact, the apparent miracle was really only a matter of imaginative innovation, and of building on strengths.
The students enjoyed a unique experience with their university president while he incorporated BYU–Idaho’s new Learning Model into his presentation. For instance, President Clark was able to roam casually through the throng thanks to a nearly invisible traveling microphone, one mounted with small clear tubes around his head and neck. There were also five closed-circuit tv cameras, rather than the usual three used for devotional. The five cameras were strategically placed and artfully operated so that, at any given time, one camera could display his face on the large screen regardless of where he was in the auditorium. In fact, the cameras’ views were so comprehensive that one of them caught a completely unanticipated shot. As President Clark walked an aisle on the main floor, he stopped and said, “Hey, that’s cute. There’s a baby here.” Sure enough, one of the students in attendance was a young mother who had brought her infant in a baby carrier. As President Clark stopped to compliment the mother, a camera with just the right angle captured the baby carrier at her feet.
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The pedagogical innovation wasn’t all “high-tech.” For instance, the assistants who delivered traveling microphones to the students were working with the ordinary, hand-held kind. The colored flags they carried looked as though they might have been hand-crafted from wood dowels and construction paper. It turns out that’s exactly what they were. Probably the most important keys to success weren’t “innovative” at all. One was preparation, the kind that every BYU–Idaho student should do before coming to class. President Clark worked from only a handful of slides, conceptual diagrams of the university’s strategy and the way that it is advancing with time. These slides were available online, just as devotional scriptures are.
Pedagogical innovation, driven by a desire to better serve the students, had brought with it something else—the power of the Spirit. Many of the students also had a natural leg up in terms of preparation for the day’s discussion. At one point, for example, President Clark asked for a show of hands from all who have enjoyed leadership experiences at the university; nearly everyone put a hand up. Many of these students have encountered elements of BYU–Idaho’s mission and strategy as volunteers in sponsored activities such as athletics and academic societies. And nearly everyone present had the benefit of past devotionals in which the same principles of the mission have been taught. Another key to success was President Clark building on his personal teaching strengths. The Harvard Business School, where he taught for 30 years, has all but perfected the art of involving students in classroom discussion. As President Clark paced the Hart, drawing insights from the students and leading a collaborative learning process, he was doing one of the things he does best.
What We Can Learn What can we learn from that experience in the Hart? At first glance, potential applications to the typical classroom seem limited. For instance, class sizes, even for our largest Foundations courses, will be limited to 85; the university’s target for average class size is 30. From that perspective, techniques for teaching 2,400 aren’t obviously useful. And even if they were, few of us can draw from a heritage of discussion management as rich as President Clark’s. And yet, his approach to that day’s throng is full of lessons for all would-be learners. One lesson is the power of adaptation. President Clark had to adapt his usual teaching approach in many ways. For one thing, he was working without a “case,” the foundation of the Harvard Business School classroom discussion. 10
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Rather than receiving a detailed statement of a hypothetical situation and being asked, “What would you do?” the students had to be helped to see their lives as “the case.” The questions posed encouraged them to apply BYU–Idaho’s mission and strategy to themselves. Generating those questions required President Clark to adapt his style, as the Learning Model may often require us to do. The particular adaptation—asking students to “liken” principles to their own lives—can be applied to almost all subjects. The other thing that President Clark had to do was to take the adaptation a step at a time. He didn’t go directly from a traditional classroom. There was an intermediate step, namely an all-employee meeting in which he led a discussion among “just” 1,000 people. In that instance, he had the benefit not only of a smaller group than the 2,400 gathered in the Hart, but also of more careful preparation; the employees had been challenged not only to read a detailed set of materials, but also to prepare for the large meeting via small-group discussion. That intermediate meeting with employees also didn’t require as much calisthenics—rather than running among the throng as he would in the Hart, President Clark stayed on the rostrum of the Taylor Chapel. He did, though, pilot a new approach to capturing the discussion. An assistant transcribed comments, which were displayed via computer on the chapel’s screen; temporarily, it became one of the world’s largest whiteboards. Ironically, that innovation, which worked well in the Taylor Chapel, wasn’t an option in the Hart; the technology there wouldn’t support it. So President Clark had to improvise yet again, with assistants writing on standard whiteboards and those images being projected by the cameras. That worked well, except for one thing: as he raced around the auditorium, President Clark forgot that the whiteboards were there. Using the whiteboards would have helped everyone see how their comments related and built a sum greater than the whole of its parts. But even in this oversight, there’s another lesson: no class is perfect; continuous improvement is part of the game. Perhaps the most important lesson is the one already noted— that the Learning Model enhances what we already do well. That day in the Hart you could see the old Kim B. Clark of the Harvard Business School, walking and talking and listening reflectively. There was no sense that he had, in the course of applying the Learning Model, given up the things he has always done so well. But he was clearly better than before. Pedagogical innovation, driven by a desire to better serve the students, had brought with it something else—the power of the Spirit. He was, in the end, playing not just to his personal strengths, but to the divine source of strength, the one available to us all.
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Strengthen Faith as You Seek Knowledge Elder Quentin L. Cook Adapted from Brigham Young University–Idaho Devotional March 14, 2006
In the doctrines of the Church, faith and the quest for knowledge are not inconsistent, they are compatible and complimentary. When I speak of faith, I am speaking of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members have a doctrinal commitment to education. Studies have indicated that over 50 percent of Latter-day Saint men and 40 percent of Latter-day Saint women have completed four or more years of college. This is among the highest of all religions. In addition, “Mormons with college experience have attendance rates notably higher than any other group.” 1 Faith and knowledge require equal effort and commitment. We cannot expect to have faith at the center of our lives if all of our efforts are expended on knowledge, making money, sports, hobbies, or other pursuits. Elder LeGrand Richards used to tell the story of a man who sold rabbit pies. He had a significant business and produced a large number of pies. At some point people became suspicious that the pies included horse meat. A false advertising charge was made. He initially denied that the pies contained horse meat, but upon questioning admitted that “yes, there was a little horse meat.” Upon further interrogation he finally acknowledged that the pies were half horse and half rabbit. When asked what he meant by half horse and half rabbit, he said one horse and one rabbit. Some of us want faith to be at the center of our lives, but it does not get our attention, it is the rabbit portion of the pie. Let me share with you five principles that I believe are essential as you place faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at the center of your lives as you seek diligently for knowledge.
Photography by Michael Lewis
First, understand that there is truly opposition in all things. The choices you make are critical. Choice is a very loaded word. Most of you are at the stage of life where you have numerous options for some of the most important choices you will ever make: How will you live your life? Will you serve a mission? Who will you marry? Will you be married in the temple? Will you get additional education or training? Where? What kind of employment will you seek? LEARNING BY FAITH
The choices you will make are the key to your future and your happiness. Remember, you are the sum total of every decision you make. The choices you will make are the key to your future and your happiness. Remember, you are the sum total of every decision you make. We live at a time when almost every choice is debated and dissected. Any righteous proposal or principle is almost immediately opposed by many. The prophet Lehi near the end of his life taught, “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.”2 He continues: Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.3 Given the war in heaven over the plan of salvation, it is not surprising that the religious principles that have been taught in this, the last dispensation, are attacked with malignant ferocity. But lest we be discouraged, let us remember the outcome of the war in heaven and the outcome that we know will come to fruition with the Second Coming of Christ. President Gordon B. Hinckley has indicated that the tough decisions today involve individual behavior, and these decisions can be made and followed. But don’t be distracted by rationalization or diversions. A great enemy of good choices is rationalization. Many argue that we are not accountable for our choices. Because of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ we know that we are accountable for our choices 4 and we also know to whom we must account.5 We need to make good choices each day and not rationalize or be diverted. Sometimes the choices that are important are quite simple. B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8
I remember being a new missionary serving in England. My companion and I had the opportunity to go to the temple. [As] we crossed the temple grounds, the temple president, Selwyn Boyer, had come out of the temple and was walking towards us. Seeing our missionary badges, he pointed his finger at us and said: “Matthew 5:48, do you know that scripture?” My senior companion stated, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” President Boyer said, “That is correct.” He then said, “Elders, are you living that commandment?” We started to stammer; we knew we were not perfect! He started to help us. He asked questions starting three days earlier. He asked when we went to bed, when we got up, did we have individual and companion scripture study, did we go out proselyting on time? He then said, “I am sure you are not perfect, but you have made perfect choices for the last three days and that means you are moving in the right direction.” He then left us thinking about the importance of the questions he had asked. My mission president, Elder Marion D. Hanks, taught that it is the small decisions or choices day by day that are important. He introduced me to wonderful advice by Harry Emerson Fosdick: Ah, my soul, look to the road you are walking on! He who picks up one end of a stick picks up the other. He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determines the end. I have found Fosdick’s counsel to be true, and it has been most helpful to me throughout my life. President Hinckley has made this promise to you: Now, here you are on the threshold of your mature lives. You…worry about school. You worry about marriage. You worry about many things. I make you a promise that God will not forsake you if you will walk in His paths with the guidance of His commandments.6 The great prophet Lehi issued the cry about choice, that every righteous father and mother has for their sons and daughters, “And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit.” 7
The second principle is strengthening your own testimony as a foundation for all of the choices you make. The foundation for every important decision and choice you will make is your testimony of Jesus Christ and the restoration of His gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is an essential element of that testimony. [When] President Hinckley challenged all of the members of the Church through14
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out the world to read, or reread, the Book of Mormon, he made the following promise: Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.8 We each need a personal testimony. President Joseph F. Smith said, “One fault to be avoided by the Saints, young and old, is the tendency to live on borrowed light…[and] to permit…the light within them to be reflected, rather than original.”9
The foundation for every important decision and choice you will make is your testimony…. Heber C. Kimball, a counselor to Brigham Young, said it this way: The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself. If you do not have it, how can you stand?… If you don’t have it, you will not stand; therefore seek for the testimony of Jesus and cleave to it, that when the trying time comes you may not stumble and fall.10 Heber C. Kimball gave this message in 1867—23 years after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith. An entire generation had grown up after the death of Joseph. They had not heard Joseph’s personal testimony of the First Vision. Through all of the trials of Kirtland, Missouri, and Nauvoo, Heber had remained faithful to Joseph and to his own testimony of the Savior which had sustained him. The 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants refers to the three degrees of glory and compares the celestial glory to the sun. It then compares the terrestrial glory to the moon. The sun has its own light but the moon is reflected light or “borrowed light.” Speaking of the terrestrial kingdom, it reads, “These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus….” 11 We cannot obtain the celestial kingdom and live with God the Father on borrowed light; we need our own testimony of Jesus. Be grateful if you have had goodly parents who have testimonies. However, you need your own testimony. I realized the significance of a testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the Savior and how it affects your choices
when I was 15 years old. My brother, Joe, was 20 years old. It was during the Korean conflict and only one young man in each ward could go on a mission. The others had to be available to be drafted into the military. A young man in our ward had gone on a mission early in the year; my brother didn’t think he would get the opportunity to serve a mission. Our stake president called my brother in and told him that one of the wards had not used its allotment and he might be able to go. My brother had just filled out his application to apply to medical school. He was a good student. My father, who was not active in the church, had made financial preparations to help him with medical school and was disappointed when he learned of the conversation with the stake president. He counseled him not to go. This was a big issue in our family. That night my brother and I talked about the choice. As we reasoned it out, we concluded: If Jesus Christ was a great man but not divine, if Joseph Smith was a wonderful teacher but not a prophet, or if the Book of Mormon had wonderful counsel but was not the word of God, then Dad was right—it would be better to go to medical school. But, if Jesus Christ is divine, if Joseph Smith is a prophet, and if the Book of Mormon is the word of God—then it would be more important to accept the call and proclaim the gospel. That night, more than ever before, I wanted to know the answers to these questions. I had always believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ. I believed in Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but I wanted confirmation from the Lord. That night, as I prayed, the Spirit bore witness to my soul of the Savior and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. My brother received the same witness and made the choice to serve a mission. Incidentally, when my brother returned from his mission, he went to medical school. Later, my father was happy to see me serve a mission. Paul, Nephi, Alma, Joseph Smith, and others saw angels—such manifestations are rare. The kind of spiritual impressions I experienced when I was 15 are more typical. The impressions made by the Holy Ghost are equally as important as manifestations. President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “the impressions on the soul that come from the Holy Ghost are far more significant than a vision. It is where Spirit speaks to spirit, and the imprint upon the soul is far more difficult to erase.”12 Strengthen your own testimony as a foundation for all of the choices you make.
tion 93 of our Doctrine and Covenants we are taught that: Truth is independent—it “is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;” 13 “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.” 14 Exercising our agency to find light and truth is essential. In the quest for both faith and knowledge, we also need to maintain humility. Those who have attained significant amounts of specialized knowledge sometimes lose perspective. As “experts,” they elevate knowledge, particularly the knowledge in the area of their expertise to an importance that is not warranted. They become prideful and lose their humility. “O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God….” 15 Paul described it this way to Timothy, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 16 Knowledge is subject to change. I recently had a conversation with my brother, Joe, who, as I indicated, is a medical doctor. He is 70 years old and is about to take the medical recertification exam in his area of expertise for the sixth time. He laughingly indicated that the questions are the same as those presented over 35 years ago, but the answers keep changing. This is true in several fields of knowledge. My friends in certain areas of engineering have said the information one learns today will be obsolete within a few years. Maintaining humility about one’s field of expertise is important. I remember when I was in my first year at Stanford Law School, one of the teachers told us it was important to learn the law and think like a lawyer, but not to memorize the laws. He pointed out that the legislature could change all of the laws in one session and everything memorized would then be wrong. Learning to think like a lawyer would be valuable regardless of what laws exist at any particular time. The foregoing examples are not meant to reduce your commitment to knowledge; knowledge is essential. The scriptures encourage knowledge.
The third principle is to seek knowledge diligently, wisely, and with humility. The fact that you are here attending BYU–Idaho is evidence that you are making a good choice about knowledge. Latter-day Saint doctrine is unique and unequivocal about the role of intelligence and the importance of education and knowledge. In secLEARNING BY FAITH
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Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms.17 Knowledge in all areas is important. Do not underestimate the importance of knowledge which will primarily allow you to raise, teach, and bless your family. We are particularly fortunate to live in an age when the technological revolution is in progress. The Church and the Lord’s work are major beneficiaries of much that is happening. Our youth need to be a part of that, as well as all knowledge. Remember the glory of God is intelligence. Many years ago I was visiting London with my family. We stayed at a hotel in Sloane Square. There is a statue of Sir Hans Sloane in the center of the square. In the mid 1600’s, Hans Sloane became a physician and then developed a strong interest in botany. The 17th century physician used herbal remedies. Prescriptions were primarily herbal and not based on chemistry as they are today. In 1687 Sloane accompanied the Duke of Albemarle to Jamaica as his personal physician. He catalogued the flora and fauna of Jamaica and identified about 800 new species of plants. He collected specimens of animals as well and pickled them or embalmed them. Upon Sloane’s return [to England], he wrote an extensive two volume natural history of Jamaica.18
In your quest for knowledge,…seek it diligently, wisely, and with humility. In Jamaica, Sloane had noticed that the people drank cocoa which he found “nauseous.” Sloane experimented with making medicines acceptable to children by mixing them with milk and honey. He mixed the cocoa with milk and sugar and found that it was delicious. Sloane became very wealthy when he sold his recipe to Cadbury Brothers who manufactured chocolate.19
tory and his role in it. We discussed it for some time, and then Elder Nelson humbly stated, “[H]ow wonderful it is that the Lord who knows all allows us the great joy of discovering certain pieces of knowledge.” 2 Nephi 9:29 reads, “But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.” Knowledge has always been important and today we are at the threshold of new and exciting major technology. Certainly this technology revolution could have enormous benefits for the Church and for your fellow human beings. Knowledge, whether old or new, is important. In your quest for knowledge, I challenge you to seek it diligently, wisely, and with humility.
The fourth principle is to follow the prophet’s counsel as you make your choices. A few years ago, Sister Cook and I were in Vava’u in the Tongan Islands. I had just spoken about following the prophet in the general session of stake conference. At the luncheon following the conference, I sat next to a distinguished elderly patriarch. He indicated how grateful he was to hear what the prophet was teaching. He gave me the following account: Vava’u usually has sufficient rain, but periodically there are severe droughts. The island has long inlets or bays which curl into the island below steep hills. When drought conditions left the village without water, there was only one way they could obtain fresh water and stay alive. Over the centuries, they had found that fresh water traveled down through rock formations inside the mountains and came up in a few spots in the sea. The Tongan men would set off in their small boats with a wise elder standing at one end of the boat looking for just the right spot. The strong young men in the boat stood ready with containers to dive deep into the sea water. When they reached the appropriate spot, the wise man would raise both arms to heaven. That was the signal. The strong young men would dive as deep as they could and fill the containers with fresh spring water.
Sloane used most of that money to collect botanical and other specimens that had intrigued him as a young physician. He bought specimens from all over the world and put together an enormous collection. When he died, he donated it to the British nation. The beginning of the British Museum was because of the great desire for knowledge of that incredible man, Hans Sloane.
This old patriarch likened this life-saving tradition to the living waters of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the wise man to God’s prophet here on earth. He noted that the water was pure, fresh, and in their drought condition—life saving. But it was not easy to find. It was not visible to the untrained eye. This patriarch wanted to know everything the prophet was teaching.
This account exemplifies the love of learning and the synergism of knowledge. Elder Russell M. Nelson was a pioneer in the development of open heart surgery which has significantly blessed those who live at this time. I asked him about that incredible his-
We live in a precarious time. The world is in desperate need of the fresh spring water, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The spiritual war for the souls of men is raging and there are diminishing numbers of people who support our position.
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President Hinckley [recently] said: No one need tell you that we are living in a very difficult season in the history of the world. Standards are dropping everywhere. Nothing seems to be sacred anymore…. I do not know that things were worse in the times of Sodom and Gomorrah…. I think our Father must weep as He looks down upon His wayward sons and daughters.20 As is characteristic of President Hinckley’s positive leadership, he went on to say, “We must not give up. We must not become discouraged. We must never surrender to the forces of evil…. If it means standing alone, we must do it. But we shall not be alone.”21 We must listen intently to the prophet as we make our choices. Commit yourself to following all of his counsel. Later in your lives you will see how following the teachings of the prophet saved your generation, as it has past generations. If we follow the prophet, we can look to the future with great optimism. As I look at President Hinckley’s ministry, I think there is good reason for us to be optimistic. When President Hinckley was a new General Authority, there were approximately 1.5 million members; today there are over 12 million members. When he first became president of the Church, there were 47 temples operating; today there are  in operation. Doctrine and Covenants 1 verse 30 makes it clear that one of the objectives of the leadership of the Church is to bring it out of obscurity. Think of all that President Hinckley has done to accomplish this. President Hinckley is the great leader for our generation. He is our “prophet,” but we need to follow his teaching. We need to understand how difficult the war for the souls of men has become and recommit ourselves to follow his counsel.
The fifth principle is to live so that the Atonement can be fully efficacious in your life. Rationalization for bad choices will not be effective, but repentance will. Those who repent will be particularly blessed by the Atonement.22 Without the Atonement the eternal principle of justice would require punishment. Because of the Atonement, mercy can prevail for those who have repented and allow them to return to the presence of God.23 I first understood the full significance of the Atonement when my grandfather was dying. I was studying for the California bar exam when my mother called and said if I wanted to see my grandfather before he died, I better come to Utah. My grandfather, who was 86 years old, was very ill. He was so pleased to see me and shared his testimony.
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There were three concerns that he had: 1) He loved his ten children very much. He wanted them all to be temple worthy. 2) His father had died when my grandfather was three years old, and he looked forward to seeing him and hoped his father and other family members would approve of his life. 3) Finally, and most importantly, he told me how he looked forward to meeting the Savior. He hoped he had been sufficiently repentant to qualify for the Savior’s mercy. All of us have sinned, and it is only through the Atonement that we can obtain mercy and live with God. I can remember to this day the great love that grandfather had for the Savior and the appreciation he had for the Atonement. President Hinckley has taught, “When all is said and done, when all of history is examined, when the deepest depths of the human mind have been explored, there is nothing so wonderful, so majestic, so tremendous as this act of grace.”24 I have reviewed five significant principles to follow as you place faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at the center of your lives and seek diligently for knowledge: 1) understand that there is truly opposition in all things; the choices you make are critical. 2) strengthen your own testimony as a foundation for all of the choices you make. 3) seek knowledge diligently, wisely, and with humility. 4) follow the prophet’s counsel as you make your choices. And 5) live so the Atonement can be efficacious in your life. I testify of the divinity of the Savior and the reality of the Atonement. I hope you will prayerfully consider the significant choices that are before you. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Notes: 1 Stan L. Albrecht & Tim B. Heaton, “Secularization, Higher Education, and Religiosity,” lds Social Life Social Research on the lds Church and its Members, edited by James T. Duke, 302 and 304. 2 2 Nephi 2:11 3 2 Nephi 2:27 4 Doctrine and Covenants 72:3 5 2 Nephi 9:41 6 Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” New Era, January 2001, 4. 7 2 Nephi 2:28 8 Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Testimony Vibrant and True,” Ensign, August 2005, 3. 9 Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, vol. 8, 1904-5, 60-62. 10 Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 450. 11 Doctrine and Covenants 76:79 12 Joseph Fielding Smith, “Priesthood in Relation to History,” Seek Ye Earnestly, 214. 13 Doctrine and Covenants 93:24 14 Doctrine and Covenants 93:36 15 2 Nephi 9:28 16 2 Timothy 3:7 17 Doctrine and Covenants 88:79; see also Doctrine and Covenants 93:53 18 www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Sloane 19 www.nhm.ac.wk/research-curation/projects/sloane-herbarium/hanssloane.htm 20 Gordon B. Hinckley, “Standing Strong and Immovable,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, January 10, 2004, 20. 21 Gordon B. Hinckley, “Standing Strong and Immovable,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, January 10, 2004, 20. 22 “The Atonement,” Gospel Principles, 75; see also “Atonement of Jesus Christ,” True to the Faith, A Gospel Reference, 14. 23 Alma 42:15 24 Gordon B. Hinckley, “Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 28. B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8
Learning by Heart Susan W. Tanner Brigham Young University–Idaho Commencement December 14, 2007
Christmas is coming and I haven’t done much shopping, but I am well on my way to being prepared with my gift for my husband John. The gifts that we as a family give him are memorizations. For as long as I can remember John has discouraged buying store-bought presents to celebrate his holidays. Instead, he has asked that we memorize a poem, song, or scriptural passage to recite for him. This way our offerings could be described the same as William Shakespeare describes mercy: “It is twice blessed; it blesses him that gives and him that takes” (The Merchant of Venice, 4.1.186-87). I know this passage because I once memorized it for John. He has always felt that memorization gives our children and me a chance to give him something that we can also keep for ourselves. It is a gift from the heart when we learn things by heart. I like the phrase “learning by heart.” In contrast to “learning by rote,” to learn by heart is to commit things to memory so deeply and richly that they sink deep into the soul.
Illustration by Wade Huntsman ’91
I have learned that there can be many benefits to learning things “by heart.” For me personally, to commit a passage to memory deepens my understanding of the passage and fixes it in my heart. As I go over and over a passage in my mind, I think about it again and again. The richness of the words—the way they are put together, the possible symbolism, the clever use of literary devices, and new meanings that I may never have noticed or understood before—all become apparent in the process of memorizing. Memorizing can become a rich way of studying—a way of studying things out in my mind, then letting them sink deep into my heart. Learning by heart (which may be somewhat of a dying tradition) means to learn something so deeply that it becomes part of our core; it fills us; it changes us. This type of learning by heart prepares our minds and hearts for revelation and witnessing from the Holy Ghost. Joseph Fielding Smith said, “Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten” (Doctrines of Salvations, Vol. 1, p. 48). Often my heart has been filled with the Spirit during early morning runs as I have gone over in my mind “The Proclamation on the Family,” “The Living Christ,” or some scripture or poem I was memorizing. I had read the “Proclamation on the Family” many times and felt love and appreciation for it, but memorizing it forced me to linger over and repeat each word and sentence. LEARNING BY FAITH
As I did so, my mind and heart were prepared to be taught by the Holy Ghost. I began to see how the Proclamation spoke in detail to each of the cultural ills that plagues our society. I felt hope that the eternal truths taught in the Proclamation could arm me as I faced current and difficult moral issues. I began to feel greater affirmation from apostles and prophets and from the Lord for the family choices I had made over a lifetime. I was comforted by the knowledge that we had a Father in Heaven who has an unfailing plan for us. I felt His matchless love and goodness. I felt as it explains in Proverbs that “the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding” and…“wisdom entereth into thine heart” (Proverbs 2:6, 10). My heart was filled with knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and love which encouraged gratitude, personal improvement, and the desire to strengthen others. This tradition of memorizing and reciting has allowed us as parents additional glimpses into the hearts of our children, to come to know them better. As they choose their own passages we often discover what challenges or joys they are experiencing. We also learn of their wisdom and sometimes of their sense of humor. I remember on John’s 40th birthday when our then fifteen-yearold daughter presented a poem by Lewis Carroll: “You are old Father William,” the young man said “And your hair has become very white. And yet you incessantly stand on your head. Do you think that at your age it is right?” My husband forgot his dismay at his passing years as he delighted in our daughter’s sense of humor. Another time a daughter chose to recite Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29, “When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state.” This came at a time when she was feeling inadequate and friendless. One child chose a love poem when he was feeling heady and in love. Another memorized section 4 of the Doctrine and Covenants and announced to us that she had decided to serve a mission. What they learn by heart and share with their father becomes an expression of their own heartfelt emotions. Learning by heart is a rich phrase. Think about the word “heart.” We all know that our hearts are central to life. Physically the heart is the life-sustaining organ of our bodies. Likewise, “heart” is used to describe the essential, most vital part of our spiritual B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8
We are to learn spiritual truth by heart and then retain in remembrance what we have placed deep in our hearts. being; one’s innermost character, feelings or inclinations. In a gospel sense, the heart is our spiritual core. Hence, the scriptures teach that “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he” (Proverbs 23:7) and that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). The gospel must be “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone; but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3). Over and over in the scriptures, prophets remind us, as Alma tells his son, to “let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever” (Alma 37:36). Learning by heart in its richest sense is a gospel duty. It is a twin commandment to remembering. We are to learn spiritual truth by heart and then retain in remembrance what we have placed deep in our hearts. Many of you here today have spent several years at this wonderful university to become educated. What have you learned by heart? Some of what you have learned by heart is factual or informational. Such learning is useful. It helps us solve daily problems and meet immediate needs. Dr. Todd Britsch, former academic vice president of BYU, observed that in this world where we have ready access electronically to information, it is still important to have some information stored in our mind so we aren’t dependent on being plugged in to access it. He said, “We remember some data that helps us solve a problem, we direct someone to a particular location, we discuss a painting without a copy of it in front of us, we order a part for a computer without a catalog at hand. In each case we have memorized something that helps us shorten the process of dealing with daily experience. Without this storehouse of facts and data, we would be helpless.” Other things we learn by heart serve even more profound ends, as Dr. Britsch goes on to describe: “A scripture that aids in counseling a sorrowing friend; a hymn whose words and music express our most profound religious feelings when we are struggling with a matter of faith…a technical point that helps us defend a position that is important for us, our family, or our community.” Have you deposited rich and worthwhile learning into your memory bank so that when you need to make a withdrawal there will be abundant treasures of knowledge and wisdom available to you? Have you acquired the skill of learning how to learn so that you can continue throughout your life to fill your bank? 20
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In Preach My Gospel it says, “While learning from a good teacher is very important it is more important for you to have meaningful learning experiences on your own” (PMG, 2004, p.17). Recently I saw some young women learn how to find answers for themselves to their burning gospel questions. A Young Women president called our presidency and said that her girls had a question for us. The question was, “What is the Church’s stand on wearing two-piece swimming suits?” As a presidency we discussed their question and then continued talking about it with our General Board members. Then we returned the call to the Young Women president and said, “Although we have lots of thoughts about this topic, we don’t feel we should give an answer for you. Instead, we would like your young women, under your guidance, to study this question, reading everything they can in the scriptures and from Church leaders, including listening to general conference with their question in mind. Then in a couple of months we would like them to come report their findings to us.” We just recently had that meeting. It was clear that these girls had not only learned answers to their question, but had learned how to learn answers to future questions. As it states in [BYU–Idaho’s] Learning Model, “when learners and teachers exercise agency by acting in accordance with correct principles, they open their hearts to the Holy Ghost and invite His teaching.” Now these young women have found their own answers which will stay with them at their very core, in their hearts, and they will know how to continue to deposit treasures of knowledge in their hearts. Learning by heart enables us to pursue lifelong learning more fully “by study and also by faith.” Your Learning Model also states: “Learning to act in accordance with one’s faith in Christ is fundamental to enjoying deep, life-changing learning. The power we access by acting in faith that is focused on the Savior allows us to exceed our natural limits and learn beyond our natural capabilities.” That type of education will stretch us and make us more fit for the kingdom—more serviceable to others. Brigham Young stated: “We might ask, when shall we cease to learn? I will give you my opinion about it; never, never” (Journal of Discourses 3:203). He also taught: “Our education should be such as to improve our minds and fit us for increased usefulness; to make us of greater service to the human family” (ibid., 14:83). I am grateful for powerful examples in my life of people who assume the responsibility to continually learn and serve, thus making the world a better place by their vibrant, faithful minds and hearts. John’s eighty-seven-year-old mother is one such example. It is always fun to talk to her because there is such excitement in her voice about each personal new discovery, be it about literature,
history, culture, language, the scriptures, or any other topic. She has taught herself to speak several languages to be more useful in her temple service. She is the mother of thirteen children who follow her example in hungering for knowledge and sacrificing to serve. She is someone who has taken learning to heart. I, likewise, saw a pattern of learning by heart with my dad. As a young man he served a mission in Czechoslovakia. At that time there was no MTC to train him in the language. He had to learn it as he went. He established a habit of studying both the scriptures and the language diligently early every morning. In 1990 when that country was again opened to the Gospel, he was called back to be the mission president. He continued that early morning study of the language each day of his mission, and thus he became quite proficient in it. Several years after his return from the second mission, he was called to be a patriarch to the Czech people so that, in the words of President Boyd K. Packer, “they can receive this personal blessing and message from God in their native language.” Studying and memorizing the language, in his mind and in his heart, prepared my father to be a more useful servant in our Heavenly Father’s kingdom. One of the many things I love about our dear prophet, President Hinckley, is his bright mind and his love for learning. At the dedication of a campus library, there was much talk about the vast technology that had been acquired that would help people access information from the great collection of books. President Hinckley was grateful for that, but then he tenderly held a beautiful book in his hands. He talked of his great love for the heft and feel of a book, that nothing surpassed the pleasure of holding it and reading from its pages. He inherited a vast library of books from his father, and he knew its contents. Books have become part of him. His daughter, Virginia Pearce, said of him, “He frequently quotes Shakespeare. He quotes Kipling. Passages of great literature are just floating around in his head” (quoted in Jake Parkinson, “U. Endowment Expands,” Deseret News, 6 April 2003, a7). This is because he memorized them in his youth and sometimes recited them to his parents, as our children have done for us. My husband and I have heard lots of other relevant information just seem to “pop out” at the appropriate times, as we had the opportunity to take two ambassadors to visit him, one from the Czech Republic and one from China. In each case we were astounded as to the depth of his knowledge of the historical and political events of those lands. He is well read. He is a good thinker. He has a good memory and is wise in his ability to assimilate and utilize his knowledge. This lifelong learning has allowed him to be much more serviceable in the kingdom. He is able to draw treasures of wisdom out of the abundance of a mind and a heart well stocked with knowledge.
LEARNING BY FAITH
A combination of well-developed faith, intellect, and character prepares students for a lifetime of service. I memorized a poem by George Elliot that speaks eloquently about developing ourselves so that we may become one of the “choir invisible” whose lives “bring strength to others”: Oh, may I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence… –be to other souls The cup of strength in some great agony, Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love, Beget the smiles that have no cruelty, Be the sweet presence of a good diffused, And in diffusion ever more intense! So shall I join the choir invisible Whose music is the gladness of the world. By lifelong learning and service, we may join the choir invisible “whose music is the gladness of the world.” As graduates of BYU–Idaho, you have a special duty so to live. As President Kimball said of the university graduates in our Church: you “provide the music of hope for the inhabitants of this planet.”
What have you learned by heart? For our lives to become the music of hope for the world, our learning must be heart-deep; it must reach our very core. We must be able not only to access information but to understand; we must acquire not only knowledge but wisdom. In this day and age, we can look up anything, but it can only change us if we know it in our hearts. T. S. Eliot said, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” “O remember, remember” Alma said to each of his sons. Let us “treasure up wisdom” in our hearts (D&C 38:30) by appreciating in our hearts our blessings of protection, comfort, and peace; by pondering in our hearts moments of inspiration and revelation received from the Holy Ghost; and above all, by remembering, remembering in our hearts that we are covenant children of Heavenly Father. We must engrave our covenants in the fleshy tables of our hearts. It is my hope and my prayer that, as Jeremiah says, God will put his law in our “inward parts and write it in [our] hearts” (Jeremiah 31:33). May we learn by heart those things that will continually fill our memory banks with wisdom and then use that wisdom in His service. © 2007 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Thoughts on Teaching & Learning by Faith Ann Marie Harmon Department of Mathematics
Like young people everywhere, students at Brigham Young University–Idaho live in a world where noise and distractions constantly pull on their best intentions, where iPods and cell phones and video games lure them away from reality, and where time for reflection and pondering is sucked away without their realization of its loss. The media they ingest, the affluence many experience, and the instability of many families and institutions make their world as different from ours as ours was from our parents. How can we, as teachers, meet the challenges of reaching today’s youth? How can we teach them to focus in a learning environment and that so doing is interesting and useful to their eternal progression? How can we help them learn to learn and to develop a love for learning? How can we help them discover learning by the Spirit so that they may learn to hear His voice? Elder David A. Bednar’s CES talk in February of 2006 is a profound statement on learning and teaching by faith. He describes learning that “reaches far beyond mere cogni-
tive comprehension and the retaining and recalling of information…. Learning by faith requires both ‘the heart and a willing mind’. [It] is the result of the Holy Ghost carrying the power of the word of God both unto and into the heart…a student must exercise faith and act in order to obtain the knowledge for himself or herself.”1
Photography by Michael Lewis
Today’s young people have so much potential. We have the opportunity to help them develop that innate desire to grow and excel, which in many cases has been sadly neglected in the secondary schools. We must encourage them to become active learners, acting for themselves and not merely being acted upon. We must facilitate active learning by providing opportunities to practice learning by study and by faith with the help of the Spirit. My own experience with learning by faith is still fresh in my mind and heart after many, many years. Three years after my third child was born, I found myself a single mother. I prayed long and hard and decided that I should go back to school and finish my graduate degrees so that I might obtain a position at a university. After many struggles, I packed up the kids and drove across the country to attend Utah State University. I had never really studied as an undergraduate, and I was terrified of failing while 2,500 miles from home with three kids in tow. I have no doubts about how I passed my exams and obtained my degree. It was by the grace of a loving Heavenly Father and the worn knees of many pleadings and prayers. During this time, I learned to study and learned how to study. I learned to prepare with enough time to let the ideas coalesce before I tried to use them. I learned to be patient with myself and to read and reread material until I understood. I learned not to trust in my own understanding but to rely on His understanding and His willingness to help me achieve my goals. I learned to call on the Lord in mighty prayer to teach me through His Spirit and to help me keep my wits about me when I was too tired to go on. I have an undeniable testimony of the love of our Heavenly Father and his great desire to help us succeed in our righteous endeavors if we will humbly seek his help. I cherish this encounter with God in academia in which I learned in part what it means to learn by faith. Recently a new learning model has been introduced here at BYU–Idaho. We are trying to implement effective and innovative ways of teaching and learning by faith. This new system is centered on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the gifts of the Holy Ghost, a commitment to the restored gospel, and our effort to build a Zion learning community. Since its introduction, I have been seriously considering what I can do to encourage my students to learn by faith and be active learners. These are a few ideas I have been trying. Help students understand the essential nature and necessity of humility. We can stress the importance of humility in seeking LEARNING BY FAITH
answers to life’s problems in and out of the classroom. “Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear” (Doctrine & Covenants 136:32). Students cannot focus or concentrate, much less hear the still, small voice of the Spirit if they are constantly talking on cell phones or listening to music. We might suggest that our students reflect on the number of minutes per day that they have external noise in their heads and suggest that they try to decrease those minutes little by little throughout the semester. We can share our own experiences of gaining insights while walking or driving without the radio on. Students can be weaned from these distracting devices if we continue to remind them and give them a reason to change their behaviors. One cannot partner with the Spirit if one never has quiet time to hear His voice.
We must facilitate active learning by providing opportunities to practice learning by study and by faith with the help of the Spirit. Have students read and ponder Elder Bednar’s talk before they come to class and start the first class with a discussion of how that talk will influence their work in class. What precepts would the students gain if they read this talk several times each semester? My guess is that students would pick up more and more of the truth contained therein with each pass. How much could we accelerate the learning curve if we brought these principles to their (and our own) attention on an ongoing basis! After four years of studying that talk, they would be far along the path to becoming lifelong learners by faith and by the Spirit. Help students develop the insight to know what they as individuals need to do to succeed in their endeavors. We are not allowing them to grow intellectually when we provide everything they need. For example, I have a standing assignment to do as many homework problems as a student might need to do to succeed. Ultimately, the responsibility for figuring out how much homework to do is the student’s. I spend valuable time the first day talking about a student’s success being a very personal endeavor. The problems one student needs to do are not necessarily the problems another needs to do. A life skill is learning how many problems “I” must to do to succeed. Students won’t do that if the assignment is handed to them. Often they will do, at most, just what is assigned. For most assignments and most students, homework assignments are either busy work or not enough work to solidify the ideas. We must teach the students to enlist their own intellects as well as the Spirit in determining B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8
how much homework they need to do for their own success. This concept ties directly into the notions of learning by faith and learning to act and not be acted upon. Remind the students that we expect them to be industrious. Students have learned in high school that school work is done in the classroom and life happens outside the school. At BYU–Idaho, we hope that “life” happens in the classroom, in the library, in the dorms and apartments, and that it consists of many things including school work. We can help them understand that a fulltime student’s “job” is studying and that whatever else may have to be done in a day, a student must plan some time for study each day. Stewardship reviews can help a student focus on managing his time and priorities. Questions that ask, “Grade yourself on your stewardship last week in this class from 1-10, with 10 being your best effort and 1 being no effort at all,” are often answered erroneously, though I don’t believe maliciously. They don’t realize that looking at the book for 10 minutes a week and coming to class doesn’t constitute a valiant effort. We must ask students to assess their work with more meaningful questions. Bishops and stake presidents don’t ask us to rate our behavior on a scale from 1 to 10 to get a temple recommend. The questions they ask are pointed and searching and set a standard for behavior that is well known and understood.
We have an obligation to strengthen our students learning skills so that they may learn to learn by the still, small voice of the Spirit in all that they do. Resist the temptation to provide all the tools and answers for the students. Students are accountable for their learning. My students would prefer that I provide study guides for tests, but I don’t. There is a great deal of learning to be had in studying for a test and in reviewing it after it is returned. It is critically important to help students learn to prioritize and categorize the information they are studying; they can’t do that if I prepare a study guide that does it for them. I try to guide students as they prepare for exams with questions like, “What do you think are the big ideas for this section and why?” Such discussions help students to pick out important topics and categorize the information in sections under those topics. Structure their learning environment in a way that provides a secure and inviting atmosphere. Students must know that they are loved by us when they come into the classroom, not because of the great grades they get or wonderful discussion points they bring up, but just because they are who they are. The most striking thing about this campus when I first came here to teach was the extraordinary friendliness of the faculty and students. The 28
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kind and gentle spirits of many of our instructors and students touched my heart immediately and caused me to wonder about the goodness around me. I hope my students wonder about the love they feel in my presence. I hope they feel kindness and goodness when they are around me. I hope they contemplate that I care for them and that I am seeking for their success as much as they are. I hope they can understand the Father’s ways better because of being associated with me. We must pray for our students like we have never prayed for them before. Many of them have tremendous problems that affect their abilities to progress not only in school, but also in the gospel and in life in general. Though I am not qualified to meet the needs of such a student, I can pray for him with real intent. I can pray for my classes as a whole and for individual students who need extra support. I can pray for insight into how to teach most effectively. I have felt the presence of the Spirit much more strongly in those classes for which I have taken the time to pray sincerely on a continual basis. We have an obligation to strengthen our students’ learning skills so that they may learn to learn by the still, small voice of the Spirit in all that they do. As we prepare them for life outside academia, knowing how to hear the Spirit’s answers to perplexing questions is invaluable. Elder Bednar reiterates the importance of being able to recognize the voice of the Spirit: As we look to the future and anticipate the ever more confused and turbulent world in which we will live, I believe that it will be essential for all of us to increase our capacity to seek learning by faith…. [W]e can and will receive the blessings of spiritual strength, direction, and protection as we seek learning by faith to obtain and apply spiritual knowledge.2 We are blessed to be at this university and we have a charge by the President to “work beyond our capacities,” so that we require the support of the Holy Ghost and the power of the Atonement to accomplish our tasks. As we and our students seek learning by faith, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished on this campus. Notes: 1 David A. Bednar, “Seek Learning By Faith,” Address to ces Religious Educators, Jordan Institute of Religion, February 3, 2006, 3. 2 Ibid., 1. This article by Ann Marie Harmon is a revision of a publication with the same title originally appearing in Perspective, vol 7, no. 1, Spring 2007.
Dr. Kevin Call enjoys a light moment at the Orchestra Reunion.
Dear Alumni and Friends,
When I return to the BYU–Idaho campus, I have this incredible desire to either walk through the Manwaring Student Center to exchange hellos or go to the library to sift through all the knowledge that seems to flow around campus. I first discovered these feelings when I would return for Education Week at BYU–Idaho. I found myself trotting between classes with a feeling of exhilaration, anxious to hear and learn in an atmosphere where others seem to be feeling the same way. The new things I was learning seemed to enlighten my soul regardless of the subject matter. While pondering over the reasons why I felt this way, I remembered an experience in the Missionary Training Center in Provo 25 years earlier. I had been struggling to memorize, and my instructor noticed I was having trouble. He asked me if I was reading the Book of Mormon. I replied, “No, I cannot even keep up with my assignments.” He said, “Wait, that’s not the way it works. If you read the scriptures with real intent, you will feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and you will then be able to learn and memorize better.” I was elated with the results and the experiences that I had once I began to understand how the Holy Ghost and learning are related. The scriptures teach that “God shall give unto you the knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 121:26). It has been my experience at BYU–Idaho, both as a student and as an alumni guest, that this remarkable and set-apart university facilitates this kind of learning and knowledge. This is made possible because of classes beginning with prayer, the standards the faculty and students live by, and a desire for learning which results in enlightenment. Remember the Savior said “by my spirit will I enlighten them” (D&C 76:10). It is no wonder unknown people on this campus greet you with a smile and bright countenance as you pass by—it just feels good! I hope you have the opportunity to once again come and visit both to feel the Spirit of Ricks and to experience again inspired learning and teaching. Sincerely,
David J. Thueson ’83 BYU–Idaho Alumni Association President 30
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Symphony Orchestra Reunion Around 900 alumni and family members returned to campus for the 2007 Symphony Orchestra Reunion. Activities included a special reunion Halloween Concert, campus tours, and a banquet hosted by current and former conductors Kevin Call, Kendell Nielsen, and LaMar Barrus. New Alumni Leaders Named
The Alumni Association announces the following changes in leadership: Dale Barnes ’81 is the new Alumni Association president-elect. He will assume responsibilities as Alumni Association president in April 2009. He and his wife Jane Schow Barnes ’81 have been serving on the Alumni Council for the past year. Riana Jevne ’04 will assume the role of president of the Young Alumni Council in April 2008. Lynn Smith will assume leadership of the Emeritus Board this spring. Lynn and his wife, Ann Laker Smith, have been active on the Emeritus Board for the past four years. Changes to Alumni Relations Staff Jeremy Couch Johnson has joined the Alumni Relations Staff. She previously worked as a news reporter for KPVI Television in Pocatello, Idaho. Jeremy has degrees in communication and broadcasting from both Ricks College and BYU. Jeremy manages Alumni Relations events and cultivation activities.
Alumni reunion in fall of 2008 will celebrate women.
Valkyries, Lambda Delta Sigma, and Associated Women to ‘Celebrate Women’ at Fall 2008 Reunion The BYU–Idaho Alumni Association will host a reunion to celebrate women’s groups at Ricks College and BYU–Idaho. Alumni from Valkyries, Lambda Delta Sigma, and Associated Women’s Students (AWS) will be invited to return and participate in reunion activities and the fall Mother’s Weekend. A special reunion banquet will be held Friday, October 10, and a reception on Saturday, October 11. If you are an alumna from one of these groups, please keep contact information updated by registering for Alumni Connections at www.byui.edu/alumni. Personal invitations will be mailed. Class of 1957 Fifty-Year Reunion Several members of the Ricks College Class of 1957 returned to campus for a 50-year class reunion held in conjunction with the Fall Emeritus Breakfast. These newest members of the Emeritus Club enjoyed this semi-annual event, which also celebrates the school’s Founders’ Day (November 12, 1888). Activities included a special “Reflections” presented by Eldred Stephenson and the presentation of the Distinguished Emeritus Service Awards. Our next 50-year reunion will welcome back to campus the class of 1958 and will be held as part of the Emeritus Breakfast on November 15, 2008. Alumni Ambassadors helping Prospective Students Nearly 800 Alumni Ambassadors serving in the United States and several foreign countries are making a real difference in the lives of current and prospective
Alumni Ambassadors from San Jose are a positive influence for students.
BYU–Idaho students. Our San Jose area Ambassadors are just one example of how our Alumni Association volunteers are sharing the Spirit of Ricks. In the past few months Ernie and Maren Lopez, Francisco and Christine Velasco, and Chet and Marilyn Harmer have hosted a “get connected” evening with current and prospective students, helped students at the BYU–Idaho regional music scholarship auditions, and identified prospective *Heber J. Grant scholarship recipients. We thank them and all of our Alumni Ambassadors for their service to BYU–Idaho and the Alumni Association. If you are interested in serving as an Alumni Ambassador in your stake, please call 1-800-537-2586 (1-800-LDS-Alum) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To see a current listing of Alumni Ambassadors and the stakes they represent, visit www.byui.edu. *The Heber J. Grant Scholarship Program is a student-led organization that identifies and assists individuals in their efforts to overcome disadvantaged backgrounds. (See www.byui.edu/HeberJGrant) Distinguished Emeritus Service Award Recipients Honored Kenneth J. Brown ’52 attended Ricks College from 1949 through 1952 after serving in the Western States Mission and as a Marine in World War II. He graduated with honors and with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and an Idaho teaching certificate. He received a master’s degree in sociology and Church history and a doctorate in religious education both from BYU. Kenneth worked in Church Education as a religious educator from 1952 to 1989,
Kenneth J. Brown & Oliver Parson receive Distinguished Emeritus Service Awards.
including 19 years on the religion faculty at Ricks College. He was the department chair from 1986-1989. Kenneth has been married to Jean Clark for 57 years. They have seven children, 16 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They have served as couple missionaries in Jacksonville, Fla., and Rexburg, Idaho. Kenneth has also served as a teacher, bishopric counselor, bishop, and in a mission presidency. Oliver Parson earned degrees from Weber State College and the University of Utah. He received additional art training from BYU; Colorado State; Banff; Utah State University; New York Academy of Fine Arts; New York Art Students League; and California State, Fullerton. He also served in World War II in the Army, including time in the entertainment department. Oliver taught at Springville High School and was curator at the Springville National Art Gallery. During this time President Hyrum Manwaring offered him a position to teach at Ricks which began his 25-year career on the art faculty including 16 years as chair. He served as the president of the Idaho Art Association for two years. Oliver married Myra Baker, and they are the parents of nine children. Oliver and Myra served a mission to Canada. After the passing of Myra, Oliver married Arvilla Cook in 1985; they have served in the Hill Cumorah Mission. Oliver also has served as a Sunday School teacher, scout master, in the elders quorum presidency, and as a stake missionary. Oliver has 53 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren. B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8
And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God. Alma 18:35
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Alumni News / Class Notes
Ricks College Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
Brian D. Orme ’62 retired from United Airlines in 2001 after 33 years. He finished his career flying a Boeing 777 to London, Paris, Hawaii, and New Zealand. Brian has spent the last two years flying a Hawker 800xp for Net Jets.
Greg Clark, Danny Bower, Jared Lee, and Lori Woodland
Holly Steed, Steve Deming, David Lauder, Ben Cahoon, and Diane Creamer
Ramon C. Garcia ’72 retired from the United States Army after 20 years of service. He has traveled to Panama, Korea, Germany, Spain, and the Middle East.
A former coach and eight former athletes have been inducted into the Ricks College Athletic Hall of Fame at BYU–Idaho.
nationals, placing third individually. In 1994, she finished second in the NJCAA championships and the team placed second. Diane holds the school record in the 5,000 meter run.
Perry O’Neal Rush ’73, an award-winning chiropractor, has been invited to lecture on chiropractic specialty in Argentina and Japan during 2008. He and his wife Vicki live in Boiling Springs, S.C.
Holly Peterson Steed ’97 excelled to All American status in cross-country and track. At the NJCAA finals, she finished sixth as a freshman and third as a sophomore. Her team won nationals both years. She took first in the 10,000 meter.
Colleen Hadley Ferguson ’74, the associate director of Continuing Education at Texas Woman’s University, has been selected as one of ConventionSouth magazine’s professionals to watch in 2008.
Lori Woodland coached women’s basketball at Ricks College for 14 seasons, beginning in 1985. Lady Viking basketball became the dominant program in Region 18 including five region championships and five trips to nationals. Coach Woodland’s record stands at 307 wins and 120 losses, a winning percentage of 72 percent. Danny Bower ’97 became the leading Vikings basketball scorer his freshman year. In 1996-97, he was named All Region First Team and All American. He was an Academic All American. Danny went on to play at BYU. Greg Clark ’94 was a tight end with the Vikings. He was Second Team All League as a freshman and earned First Team All League and All American status as a sophomore. Greg went on to start at Stanford University and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. Jared Lee ’99 led the Viking football team to a 10-1 record in 1998 and a WSFL championship. A defensive back, he was named team captain, All American, All Conference, and Academic All American. He went on to play at BYU. Diane Wilson Creamer ’95 led the 1993 Ricks women’s cross-country team to a region championship and second place at 32
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Steve Deming ’97 won the pole vaulting NJCAA outdoor championship and earned All American status in 1992 as a freshman and again in 1996 as a sophomore. He holds the Ricks indoor pole vault record. He went on to compete for Idaho State University and was a 2004 usa Olympic Trials Qualifier. David Lauder ’92 was named First Team All League and All American as a freshman in 1988 and again as a sophomore in 1991. He holds records for most pat’s attempted, most pat’s converted, and best average kickoff yardage in a game, season, and career. He continued playing at BYU. Ben Cahoon ’94 was a Viking wide receiver in 1993 and 1994. He holds records for most passes caught and most receiving yards in a season and in a career. In 1994, he ranked second in the nation in receptions. He continued at BYU and is entering his 11th year with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
John D. Gentry, Jr. ’75 retired from the United States Air Force after 20 years of service. He has since been an office manager for Hawk Builders in Woods Cross, Utah, and worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Salt Lake City and Idaho Falls. John is married to Nila Piquet ’74. Alma J. Wilkinson ’76 has been a second and first lieutenant for the United States Army Chemical Corps, a radiation control technician on the Nevada nuclear test site, and a captain in the United States Army Reserve in Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. Nancy Ridings McBride ’79 graduated from BYU in recreation therapy. She has worked part-time for the recreation department in Loveland, Colo., and is now a certified pharmacy technician for Walgreens in Greeley, Colo. She is married to V. Alan McBride and has two sons.
Deborah Ollerton Lichfield ’80 teaches high school show choir and chorale, mid-
dle school early-risers choir, and general music for grades 4-6. Laurence M. Jr. ’82 and Maria Silva Nelson ’81 have five children and live in South Ogden, Utah. Lance recently returned from a tour in Iraq, serving as a flight surgeon and member of the head and neck trauma team in Balad. He is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and serves on the board of directors for Tanner Clinic in Layton, Utah.
Greg ’91 and Kim Hales ’91 have three children and live in Far West, Utah. Greg coached football at Eastern Oregon University and at Fremont High School in Plain City, Utah. He has spent the past seven years in pharmaceutical sales. Jerott ’91 and Teresa Brown Rudd ’91 have five children. Teresa published a tole painting book and is a designer for rubber stamp graphics. Jerott received his degree in international business from Corvallis Oregon University. David ’93 and Leah Evans Rahm ’95 have two children and live in Visalia, Calif. Leah is a real estate agent. David is working in the construction industry and is attending California State University, Fresno. Stephen Reg Anderson ’94 serves on the jazz studies and composition faculty in the Department of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is publishing jazz and classical music CDs. Gregory W. Lassen ’94 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs at University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a regional sales manager for AT&T. He is married to Amy Perkins, and they have three daughters.
Autumn Hall Kezerrian ’95 received a master’s degree in education from the University of Phoenix in 2003. She now teaches middle school English.
Clint T. Gilmore ’ 96 is a deputy city prosecutor in West Valley City, Utah, a special deputy district attorney for Salt Lake County, and a special assistant U.S. attorney for the district of Utah. He recently received a national award from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Joshua J. Clevenger ’97 owns an all-star cheerleading gym in Las Vegas, Nev., and works in recreation for Clark County, Nev. He is married to Nicole Wilcox ’95. Aaron ’97 and Melissa Parson Kibler ’97 are the parents of five children. Aaron is in the United States Air Force and is working on his master’s degree in nurse anesthesia. Melissa teaches music lessons. Chad E. Greathouse ’98 graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. He is an outside sales representative for an international sign and digital graphics supplier. David S. Titus ’98 is the chief of cardiovascular perfusion at Ogden Regional Medical Center in Ogden, Utah. Travis W. ’99 and Lindsay S. Palmer ’99 have three children and live in the Boise, Idaho, area. Travis received his doctorate from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He works at Altitude Physical Therapy.
Christopher E. Hemming ’00 oversees Colorado’s largest VIP organization of C-level executives. He is involved in the BYU– Idaho Internship Program representing companies in Colorado by introducing senior level executives to students. Christopher is married to Alison Delaney ’00.
John King ’01 is a dentist for the United States Army stationed in Germany. He is married to Allison Coiteux ’02. They have two daughters. Amelia E. Daniels ’02 teaches private piano, viola, and violin lessons and orchestra at an elementary school in Arizona. She also provides music therapy services. Stuart C. Edgin ’02 is working with a property management firm out of Fountain Green, Utah. He graduated from BYU with a major in Latin American studies and a minor in business management. Camy Stoddard ’03 is a teacher and director over athletics at a boot camp for troubled teens in Missouri. She has also taught kindergarten in Idaho. Camy lives in Orem, Utah, and works in the processing department of a mortgage company. Fred O. ’05 and Melissa Jones Bamfo ’05 recently returned from being stationed with the military in Seoul, Korea. Fred served in the United States Army for two years and is now working on his master’s degree in public health. Melissa teaches voice lessons and tutors. They have one daughter. Corbett L. Jackson ’05 is working at Sutter Health in Sacramento, Calif., in a leadership development program for health care administrators. He and his wife Christina ’05 have one son. Stuart B. Breinholt ’07 is an advisor in a nationally recognized real estate firm. He is also a part of a group of real estate agents that deals in ranch and recreational properties, with ties to Cabela’s in three states including Utah, Idaho, and Nevada.
KE E P U S I N F OR M ED Contributing to Class Notes is a great way to stay connected. You too can share your personal updates on job changes, relocations, or promotions with fellow alumni. Additional entries are posted on the Web. Submissions for consideration of publication in the next edition of BYU–Idaho may be submitted online at www.byui.edu/alumni. B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8
Continuing The Tradition
Learning for Life The Innovative BYU–Idaho Learning Model Brett Sampson ’88
“The challenge before us is to create even more powerful and effective learning experiences in which students learn by faith. This requires, but is more than, teaching by the Spirit. To learn by faith, students need opportunities to take action…. Some of [those opportunities] will come in the classroom, where prepared students, exercising faith, step out beyond the light they already possess, to speak, to contribute, and to teach one another…. It is in that moment that the Spirit teaches.
To create that kind of classroom, with that kind of learning, will require more than
new methods and approaches to teaching. It will require new learning experiences based on the creative development of new materials and new courses. I see ahead a great season of creativity and innovation, a season of powerful new ideas and new curricula all across this campus.”— President Kim B. Clark, “Inaugural Response,” October 11, 2005
We are all familiar with the usual college experience of
settling into an arm-desk chair and listening wide-eyed to an information-packed lecture. Many of my university courses followed this long-standing educational standard. I expect yours did too. Not until attending some upperdivision and graduate school courses was I regularly challenged to participate more meaningfully than by taking notes and tests. But this is the level of expectation students now consistently face at BYU–Idaho as undergraduates.
Although typical, Elder Richard G. Scott calls lectures the “talking head” approach, and says it is “the weakest form of class instruction.” He counsels that teachers should “assure that there is abundant participation because that use of agency by a student authorizes the Holy Ghost to instruct.”1
Photography by Michael Lewis
A New Approach to Learning and Teaching The BYU–Idaho Learning Model, the latest innovation on campus, certainly answers Elder Scott’s charge to have abundant participation among students and authorize the instruction of the Holy Ghost. This inspired and inspiring approach to teaching and learning is already blessing lives, and will have an even greater influence as today’s LEARNING BY FAITH
students become the teachers and leaders of tomorrow—in graduate schools, companies, homes, communities, and stakes of Zion. To understand the scope of the Learning Model and how it differs from traditional modes of education, it is important to recognize the guiding principles upon which this model is based. Learners and teachers at BYU–Idaho: 1. Exercise faith in Christ as a principle of action and power; 2. Understand that true teaching is done by and with the Holy Ghost; 3. Lay hold upon the word of God—as found in the holy scriptures and in the words of the prophets—in all disciplines; 4. Act for themselves and accept responsibility for learning and teaching; 5. Love, serve, and teach one another.2 Putting these gospel-centered principles into action as university students generally entails completing assignments before coming to class ready to actively participate B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8
Continuing The Tradition
and engage in challenging discussions and projects. It is more than lectures and note-taking. It is higher education. And it takes increased effort on the part of students and faculty. While students exert honest effort before, during, and after class, teachers are required to reconstruct lesson plans and prepare for much more flexibility in the classroom. It takes instructors who are well-prepared to orchestrate, facilitate, and allow the Spirit to guide a class of eager participants. There are no spectators or sleepy heads in the corners of the classrooms. In applying the Learning Model, one teacher might choose to notify students that the following week he will randomly call on a member of class to initiate a discussion by sharing an analysis of an assigned reading. In another class, the instructor might organize students into small groups, and assign them to deliberate opposing perspectives of a case study and report their conclusions back to the class. In every appropriate scenario, teachers prayerfully engineer and guide while students step up with faith. Based on the traditional methods of teaching and learning I was used to, I have to wonder how well I would do with the rigor of the new Learning Model if I were a student at BYU–Idaho today. The young people who are now being led to attend BYU–Idaho are remarkably prepared and respond well to the inherent, participatory demands of the Learning Model. 24
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Building Up Every Student But what of the faithful young men and women who are just a little shy or who are not used to speaking up in group settings? A friend of mine, Mark Orchard, is a teacher in the Department of Agribusiness, Plant and Animal Science at BYU–Idaho. He applies the Learning Model in his classrooms by having students plan to discuss and even teach concepts if called upon. As encouraged by the administration, he also incorporates a student’s level of class participation in final assessments and grades. Mark says it is not unusual to have a student who isn’t comfortable speaking in front of others; but the Learning Model provides a guide for him in helping every student along. Recently, for example, he became aware of a student who seemed a little insecure. Mark discreetly invited her to visit with him in his office before the next class time. In that one-on-one appointment, he asked the student questions about her thoughts on the subject matter, and she more freely shared her insights. Together they came up with something she could prepare to say in the next class discussion. To struggling students, Mark extends a hand, builds them up, and allows them to rise to the occasion with emerging confidence. Compassionate, student-teacher experiences have been funda-
Continuing The Tradition
mental to the learning experience at this institution for a long time. Now, through the implementation of the BYU–Idaho Learning Model, teachers are helping students take greater personal responsibility for meeting even more rigorous academic expectations.
Learning throughout Life In his visits with alumni and friends across the country, David G. Richards, an alumnus and LDS Philanthropies administrator at BYU–Idaho, compares the Learning Model to preparing for Sunday meetings. He says, “It reminds me of the difference it makes when I personally study my church manuals before going to church. Putting in that time and effort helps prepare me to be part of meaningful discussions and be taught by the Spirit.” Most of us can relate to this example of personally gaining understanding by following essentially the same principles as the Learning Model. Acting in order to obtain knowledge is in fact learning by faith, and is something we can all do regardless of age or stage in life. In his counsel to all Latter-day Saints, Elder David A. Bednar said: Learning by faith requires spiritual, mental, and physical exertion and not just passive reception…. [It] cannot be transferred from an instructor to a student through a lecture, a demonstration, or an experiential exercise; rather, a student must exercise faith and act in order to obtain the knowledge for himself or herself…. This is an increasingly serious and important responsibility in the world in which we do now and will yet live.3 There would certainly be a lot of happy Sunday School, elders quorum, and Relief Society presidents out there if we all followed this inspired model of learning and came to church armed with personal insights and even ready to teach if necessary. Consider the power of parents and youth leaders who have learned and applied these principles in their own lives and know how to help young people do the same. And imagine BYU–Idaho alumni beginning their post-graduate education having already defended their formulated positions in front of their peers. Preparing students to be that kind of disciple-leader is in actuality the mission of BYU–Idaho.
Legendary Innovation and Influence Back in September 2001, I was sitting in the Hart Building when Elder Henry B. Eyring told the BYU–Idaho students: I’ll make you a prophesy. We will have a spiritual outpouring, because of your faith and the faith of the faculty and those LEARNING BY FAITH
who lead here, that will lead us to be legendary in terms of our capacity to teach and to learn and in our capacity to innovate…. And that’s going to follow you everywhere you go.4 President Eyring’s prophesy regarding BYU–Idaho students’ capacities for good and President Clark’s vision of “a season of powerful new ideas and new curricula all across this campus”5 are being fulfilled, at least in part, through the BYU–Idaho Learning Model.
Acting in order to obtain knowledge is in fact learning by faith, and is something we can all do regardless of age or stage in life. As teachers and students participate in this new yet familiar teaching and learning process, the Holy Ghost administers to and assists them in becoming men and women of faith and influence throughout the world. In fact, all of us can benefit from the advancements of BYU–Idaho and the students of today by following the principles of the Learning Model and living lives of service wherever we are.• Notes: 1 Richard G. Scott, CES Religious Educators Address, “To Understand and Live Truth,” February 4, 2005, Jordan Institute of Religion. 2 “Learning Model, September 2007,” BYU–Idaho, retrieved February 22, 2008, http://www.byui.edu/academicoffice/BYUI%20learning%20modelSEP.pdf. 3 David A. Bednar, “Seek Learning by Faith,” Ensign, September 2007, 60–68. 4 Henry B. Eyring, BYU–Idaho devotional message, “A Steady, Upward Course,” September 18, 2001. 5 Kim B. Clark, “Inaugural Response,” October 11, 2005.
Supporting the Learning Model The Learning Model is a philanthropic priority at BYU–Idaho. The Board of Trustees has approved the university’s efforts to raise funds supporting the further development and implementation of the BYU–Idaho Learning Model. If you would like to know more about the program or participate by contributing, please contact LDS Philanthropies at: LDS Philanthropies 800-227-4257 www.byui.edu/giving The students thank you; and we thank you. Please send comments about this article to email@example.com. B Y U –I D A H O S P R I N G 2 0 0 8