Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Establish set of guiding principles, graduates told

Published: Saturday, June 21, 1997

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Establish a set of guiding principles in your life, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve admonished graduates of LDS Business College June 12.

This counsel was the first in a list of "10 standards for succeeding in life, both in professional life and life as husband, wife, father [or] mother and in every aspect of your life."Speaking to 220 graduates in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, Elder Scott gave the main address for the college's 110th commencement exercises. Also present were BYU Pres. Merrill J. Bateman, who is also a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and his wife, Marilyn. Sister Bateman, an LDS Business College student in 1958, received the 1997 Distinguished Alumnus Award during the program. She had been honored during a dinner at the college the night before.

Conducting graduation exercises was college Pres. Stephen K. Woodhouse. Seated with Pres. Woodhouse on the stand was his wife, Sytske. Following Elder Scott's address, graduates were presented with two-year associate of applied science degrees and/or one-year certificates.

In his remarks, Elder Scott said: "Should there be anyone who makes decisions on the basis of circumstances and the events of the day, may I counsel you how vitally important it is to establish a set of principles that you're determined to live by. There is no better set than the teachings of Jesus Christ and the principles that flow from them.

"As you crystallize guiding principles for life, be honest with yourself and with the Lord. Most of the tragedy and disappointment and lack of attainment in life come when one is dishonest with himself or with the Lord."

Continuing, Elder Scott suggested nine more "standards" by which to live:

- Never compromise your principles. "Difficulties in life start when there are small deviations from our standards that are justified on the basis of circumstance. I've noticed that individuals who live for the moment, who make decisions on the basis of current circumstances or what someone else would lead them to do, eventually are doomed to violate eternal law and to lose the great opportunities of life."

Elder Scott added that when one centers his or her life in truth, he or she is assured success and happiness.

- Have a sense of humor. "Just a thought now and then of a humorous situation is like an escape valve."

- Be loyal. "Give more than the minimum expected. Minimum service is not acceptable for someone of your background. You'll find that by going a little extra mile in your relationships with others and with a growing family, you'll be greatly blessed."

- Decide what success means. "Real success is not found in wealth or position. Success truly comes from filling the conditions of the Lord's plan for happiness - being a good father, or mother, service in His work, making worthwhile professional contributions, consistent with the Lord's standards."

- Serve others. "Service is not only good professionally, it is also a wonderful way to live your personal life and will bring great happiness."

- Smile. "Everyone has problems, but no one wants to hear about them," Elder Scott said, bringing chuckles from the congregation. "Smile, no matter what your problems are. It'll make your professional life easier and life happier."

- Don't complain. "Life isn't always fair. But it is charged with incredible opportunities if you know how to find them. Find the gold nuggets of opportunity and mine them."

- Always have a Church assignment. "Be sure you're available to the presiding leaders and let them know you want to participate, that you're never too busy to serve others in meaningful ways."

- Center your life in Jesus Christ. "Use His teachings as your handbook of life. Use His example as the model for life. Show gratitude for the blessings you have."

In his brief remarks, Pres. Woodhouse spoke of the Mormon pioneers. He told the graduates: "You will open new paths and forge new pioneer trails if you take advantage of every opportunity to learn. You have earned an important degree here, but this is just a beginning of your lifelong education. We expect great things of you, but most of all, we expect you to remain true and faithful in your testimony of the Savior and His restored gospel."

Offering music for graduation exercises was the Institute Choir, with Margot J. Butler directing. Accompanying on the piano was Nilsson Lau, and accompanying on the organ was Linda Margetts. A harp solo was performed by Kimberly Brubaker, one of the graduates. Offering the invocation was Jeffrey L. Swanson, director of the institute of religion at the college; the benediction was given by Christopher Jones, student body president.