Even in Tokyo, President Clark's inaugural address grabbed my attention. In October 2005, I was in the final year of a mission. Rexburg's open fields seemed more than a world away from Japan's concrete canyons. But our daughter Emily was a freshman at BYU-Idaho. She called to say, "You've got to read Presdient Clark's talk."
"I believe that at BYU-Idaho we must learn to use new technologies and develop methods, materials, programs, and concepts that not only can be applied to our students on and off our campus, but also can be effectively and efficiently applied by others across the Church and, indeed, across the world. I am convinced that this unversity is in this valley where our pioneer heritage is deeply ingrained, where the people are humble and faithful, so that we can be a proving ground of great fidelity for education that will bless the young people of the Church worldwide."
That image of Primary children all over the world--especially the third world--especially the third world--transported me. My thoughts shifted from the RExburg of my boyhood to a time and place equally far from Japan.
Seen from the Mountain Top: Satellite Dishes in the Slum
In the fall of 1998, I visited South American in search of prospective Master's of Business Administration (MBA) students. Generous donors to BYU's Marriott School of Management had created a special scholarship for applicants who would pledge to return to their home countries after graduating. The program had already produced many such graduates; they, were building up the Church through service not only in wards and stakes but also in prominent positions in business, education, and government.
"The people can lay bricks by themselves, but they have to pay a technician to realign the dish."