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“I think that most people don’t fully realize that each of us are gifted with the most powerful, most complex object in the known universe, and that’s the human brain.”

May 23, 2017
Writer: David Payne

During the BYU-Idaho Devotional on May 23, 2017, Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University spoke with students about the most complex object in the universe, the human brain. He also spoke about being unique as individuals and the importance of reaching our full potential.

President Crow is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but was invited by BYU-Idaho President Henry J. Eyring and BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Clark G. Gilbert to speak at devotional.

President Crow said he has had some great experiences with the LDS Church as he has lived in Arizona for the past 15 years.

"I've found that the LDS Church and members that I've interacted with are community leaders and drivers of change," said President Crow. "I've interacted with them at church, I've interacted with them in many meetings, thousands of students at ASU and I find it to be an exciting part of being in Arizona."

In an interview with President Crow, he said he chose to speak on the human brain and individuality.

"I think that most people don't fully realize that each of us is gifted with the most powerful, most complex object in the known universe and that's the human brain," said President Crow. "I hope that students will have an opportunity to look inwardly and ask themselves why are they here, why were they given this opportunity to be on earth and why were they given this unbelievable gift that sits right between their ears."

President Crow said a big reason he chose this topic was so many people go throughout their lives without reaching their full potential.

"For me, it's been the sad case of watching people that I love and care about not reach their full potential and not work towards improvement of the world or improvement of themselves," said President Crow. "I've been motivated my whole life as both a teacher and a university president to create an environment where the full potential of the individual human can be realized. My motivation is driven by so many people that were around me that didn't realize those full potentials and I've seen their life run their entire arch of history and in their arch of history their life has been disappointing to them."

President Crow said it happens more than it ought to and that people need to understand how to use the wonderful gift of the human brain. "They have to find a way to realize the gift that they have been given, this unbelievable asset," said President Crow. "We're all created in the image of God and that transformation into human character then comes with this unbelievable mind."

In his address, President Crow talked about how important it is for us to understand who we are and how our minds work. He said we have more potential than we know.

"Your brain has no limits, just as God has no limits," said President Crow.  

He also taught that BYU-Idaho is a place where we prepare ourselves for continuous learning. 

"This is where you learn how to learn so that you can spend the rest of your life learning," President Crow said. 

At the end of his address, President Crow invited students to come to know how they are unique and to find a way to use the gift of the human brain to continually progress and find their full, unique, potential.

"All individuals are completely unique," said President Crow. "Every aspect of them, even if they come from the same family, they are still unique. What are you doing with your unique existence, with your unique mind, with your unique self, with your unique energy?"

Click below to hear President Michael Crow's full devotional address. You can also click here to watch the video of his talk.