Beth R. Hendricks
Communication Faculty Member
Graduate of Ricks College. Listed in Who's Who Among Jr. College Students, 1977. Graduate of Brigham Young University. Awarded Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Brigham Young University, 1979. Dean's List, BYU, 1979.
Master's of Business Administration Degree (MBA) from Idaho State University. High honors graduate.
Nominated to Beta Gamma Sigma, the highest scholastic honor a business student may attain.
Member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
Post Secondary Marketing New Teacher of the Year 1998; awarded by the Idaho Division of Professional Technical Educators.
Former DEC (Delta Epsilon Chi) advisor
Consultant on various projects as developer and administrator.
Worked for the Utah Council of Small Business and Utah State Legislative Fiscal Analyst Office.
Currently teaching at BYU-Idaho in the Communication Department; advertising, analytics and media research.
AAF (American Advertising Federation) advisor, BYU-ID college chapter.
BYU-ID Exemplary Faculty Award, 2014
Board Member, Idaho Advertising Federation
Born and raised in Rexburg, Idaho, Beth and her husband, Ted, are parents to three boys. Their youngest son recently returned from a mission in Brazil and will begin school again at BYU-ID in the fall; their oldest son graduated from BYU-ID and Univ. of ID law school and is an Idaho Prosecuting Attorney; and, their middle son also graduated from BYU-ID and is currently attending medical school in Missouri.
As you just heard, I have three sons and one husband so for the last 35 years, I have been the only female in an all-male home. This has made me become an advocate and somewhat expert on men. I love, appreciate, honor and sustain the men in my life. I have also been teaching young adults for about the same amount of years and I have observed some trends and attitudes that I feel need to be addressed.
The data is very clear about boys: They are doing worse in school and are more likely to suffer depression or--between ages 15 and 19--commit suicide. Last year according to the U.S. Department of Education, 140 women graduated with some kind of college degree for every 100 men. And the National Center for Education Statistics projected female college enrollment would grow 16 percent by 2021 while male college enrollment would increase by only 7 percent.1
We all know the importance of fathers in the home and the impact it has on children. Yet, over half of the children born in the U.S. are to single women. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, children who live with their fathers are more likely to have good physical and emotional health, to achieve academically, and to avoid drugs, violence, and delinquent behavior.2 The correlation is very apparent between having a father in the home and the wellbeing of children, especially the impact it has on boys. But the U.S. Government has to spend 100 Billion Dollars every year on programs-such as child support enforcement and anti-poverty efforts-to support father-absent homes.3 That 100 Billion Dollar figure is conservative and does not include secondary costs such as poor outcomes of children from father-absent homes.
Why has it gotten to the point where our current President of the United States, the leader of the free world, is quoted as saying to young men, "Take responsibility for your children."4
Our prophets and apostles have made it clear how to make our families secure and help our children return to live with our Heavenly Father, especially with the issuance of the Proclamation on the Family. I would like to suggest what we, as women and as members of this Church, can do to help our men.
Several young women have told me, "If the bishop or stake president comes to my husband and calls him to a demanding church job, I will just have to be selfish and tell him that I had my husband first and he can't accept any demanding church callings, especially if we have small children."
Sisters, here is the truth: the most selfish thing you can do for yourself and your children is to support your husbands, fathers, sons and brothers in their righteous endeavors. Yes, you heard, me. I said the most selfish thing you can do is support the men in your life in their righteous endeavors.
Now some of you may be saying, "But females have worked so hard to gain our rights, to not be dominated by men and to be equal." Don't get me wrong, I am all for equal rights in the workplace, such as equal pay for equal work. No one has felt the sting of discrimination and bias toward women more than I have, but it seems that our battle to be equal in the workforce has moved to our homes and many women now feel that men aren't needed to father, nurture, or even have contact with their children. When it comes to your family, supporting the men in your life instead of thinking about inequality has far more personal and spiritual consequences.
Let me begin by telling you about my grandmother and how she helped shape my attitude toward this subject. Harriett, everyone called her Hattie, Rigby was barely five feet tall. She married my Grandfather when she was only 18. The day after they were married, my Grandfather left for the Samoan Islands for a three-year mission. Hattie planned on finishing school at Ricks Academy while my Grandfather was on his mission. Grandpa was assigned to the Apollo Island, owned at that time by Germany. He told his German professor that he wished his wife were there because she had studied two years of German. Hattie was called to be a missionary with her husband, which she gladly accepted in 1913. Her father and sister took her to Salt Lake to be set apart as a missionary. She told her father, "They will surely send another lady so I won't have to go alone," but when they assembled in the room where they were to be set apart and receive their instructions, Hattie was the only woman. She wrote, "I felt like going back home with Father, but he assured me I would be all right, which I was, and happy to be the only girl as I got all the attention."
She traveled to Samoa by ship but the letter notifying my Grandfather that she was coming was on the same ship as she was traveling on. This little 18-year-old got off the ship and no one was there to meet her. After five days, she finally met my Grandpa as he was traveling in a buggy toward town. This was only the beginning of a very difficult two and one-half years but even with the struggles, my grandparents loved their mission and the Samoan people.
A defining experience for Hattie was when her first son, who was born in Samoa, contracted elephantiasis, which is usually fatal to babies. He was covered with oozing sores all over his body and had to be bathed with a disinfectant. Around this same time, my Grandfather's appendix burst sending toxins throughout his body. Hattie was advised to go home to America to receive medical care or her baby would die.
My grandparents were in charge of a church cemetery where there were six elders, a mother and a baby and four small children buried. Hatti went to this cemetery and prayed that if the Lord would spare the lives of her husband and child and she would not have to leave their bodies in this distant land, she would dedicate her life faithfully serving Him. The Lord was good to her and both her husband and son were spared. I can tell you, having lived only one mile from my grandparents, that my Grandmother absolutely spent the rest of her life supporting her husband's righteous endeavors and serving the Lord. Her "selfish support" earned her the love and devotion of seven very righteous sons and daughters and legions of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also earned the respect and love of many community members. Interestingly, her church callings and civic responsibilities throughout her life were more demanding than her husband's but my grandfather supported her 100 percent. He would hitch up the wagon and take her to her many assignments with no resentment.
The other example in my life was my mother. By the time my father graduated from law school, my parents had three children. During law school, they lived in a small two-bedroom apartment and at times, their bathroom was a communal bathroom with other law school families. Before my father had even taken the bar, he was asked to be Madison County's prosecuting attorney. This began a lifetime of civil service. While I was a teenager, my father served as state senator. He would go to Boise during the legislature, come home to Rexburg Friday night, work all day Saturday at his law office and then work all day Sunday as the bishop of our home ward where he served for nine years. He was also a counselor in a bishopric for five years, a Ricks College Stake President and in the presidency of two different Mission Presidencies. During all of this time, my Mother would go alone to church and sit with us, her seven children.
Now most of you are probably saying, "Wow, didn't having your father gone so much and being so busy cause great damage to his children?" Here is my response: First, we, his children, knew without a doubt that our father loved us unconditionally. Secondly, my mother never complained. Yes, I get that response a lot--surely she had to complain about being left with seven children so much, but I can honestly say that I never heard her complain. She was a saint.
What happened because my mother was selfish and supported my father? She had seven righteous and pretty terrific children who absolutely loved her. Because of her support while my father was in school, he loved his job so much that he still goes to work at 92 years of age. This is especially poignant considering a 2013 Gallup State of the American Workplace Report that shows that 70 percent of American workers either hate their jobs or are completely disengaged. I never heard my father complain about going to work.
But more importantly to me was when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and the devotion my father showed her in her illness. As her health deteriorated, I watched my father care for her with the greatest of tenderness and love, he even applied moisturizer to her face daily, something she would always do when she was well. I was with her when she took her last breath and I had this well of gratitude and respect fill my whole soul for the woman she was and the support she gave to all of us.
Now, I am no angel like my grandmother or saint like my mother but because of their example, I have tried to support my own husband's righteous endeavors. I was awarded a teaching assistantship at BYU but gave it up to move to Salt Lake to help my husband complete his degrees at the University of Utah. The other day we were talking to an advisor about our retirement and my husband told him that he would like to work for as long as he can because he really enjoys his job. If you would have known him in his youth, you would have been shocked at his statement because he considered work as a way to make payments-not something rewarding and enjoyable. He will admit that obtaining a degree was very difficult for him, it wasn't in his genetic makeup to go to school so we had to work together to get him through. In fact, he would dictate all of his papers to me and I would type them--on a typewriter. Wow, how selfish of me to support him in his educational pursuits. As a side note, after he completed his degrees and we moved back to Idaho and he began his career, I told him I would like to go back and complete the degree I gave up at BYU. He was 100 percent supportive of me and it actually proved to be a great bonding experience for him with our boys. My classes were mostly at night so on the nights I would be gone, it was a party at our house.
When my youngest was 18 months, my husband was called to serve with a wonderful Stake President, President Stanley, in one of BYU-ID's stakes. I would sit by myself in our home ward with my three rambunctious boys in the pew right next to the exit door. In fact, no one would ever try to sit on that bench because the ward knew this was my bench. Many times sacrament meeting ended with me having vomit in my hair and smashed Cheerios on the floor. In fact, after my husband served here on campus for four years, he came back to the home ward and the Sunday School president asked me to introduce my "guest." She must have thought I was a single mother because I was always alone with my boys. The stake president would call me about every six months and ask how I was doing. I would tell him to "just leave my husband where he" was, he was a better man, husband and father because of his service and the association he had with the President and the other men in the stake.
I marvel at women like Emma and Lucy Mack Smith and their level of support for the Prophet Joseph Smith. He and Emma had eleven children, two were adopted, but six children died in infancy--five biological children and one adopted son. The adopted son died of exposure after a mob attacked the family. Emma gave birth to their last child five months after the Prophet's death. Lucy Mack Smith, Mother of the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote this about Emma:
"I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which [Emma Smith] has ever done . . . she has been tossed upon the ocean of uncertainty--she has breasted the storms of persecution, and buffeted the rage of men and devils, which would have borne down almost any other woman."
You wouldn't be sitting on this beautiful campus and in this building today if it weren't for Joseph Smith. Do you ever consider the part Emma played in the restoration? What if she had not supported Joseph in his efforts to organize the Church or translate the Book of Mormon? What if she had made demands on Joseph so that her life would have been easier and without the turmoil caused by the persecutions? Sitting in church by yourself while your husband serves in a church position pales to the level of support shown by women like Emma.
Well sisters, if you aren't convinced by my examples, turn with me to the scriptures and let's read what has happened historically about supporting our men in their righteous endeavors and how it will make them better men--better fathers, husbands, sons and members of His church and kingdom.
In Alma 44:5, remember that Moroni is demanding the Lamanites to make a covenant of peace or be destroyed. Notice what Moroni says about the source of his army's strength and power:
"And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us."
Notice too the phrase Moroni uses about gaining power "by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children." It doesn't sound like Moroni would be costing the government any part of the 100 Billion dollars we spend today for father-absent homes. He sounds like he and his army felt it to be sacred, a source of happiness and almost a privilege to support their wives and children, but how did Captain Moroni and his army get to this level of commitment? Did their wives and children have anything to do with it? We don't know anything about Mrs. Captain Mornoni but could we assume that she supported her husband in all of his righteous endeavors?
I had a young man in my class, we will call him Johnny to protect his identity. Johnny was failing my class. Yet, it was almost weekly that he would come to me and say that he needed to miss my class because of something to do with his wife. Finally, one day I said to him. "Johnny you are failing my class. Is your wife in the hospital?" He replied, "No." "Is she sick or are your children sick?" "No, we don't have any children yet and no she isn't sick." "Well, then why are you missing class?" "Because she thinks she is going to get sick." I never saw Johnny's name on our graduation list, I'm not sure he ever graduated but I don't know how he could have because his wife wasn't selfish enough to support his efforts in school.
We had another young man come to our home to help with some work we needed done. He had a young family and had just bought a home and needed some extra cash to buy items for the home. As we were working, however, he would have to stop every 20 to 30 minutes to answer his phone because his wife would call and ask him the same questions, "Yes, we are still working," and "Yes, we will be done about 4:30 and then I will be home." I wanted to take his phone and talk to this young woman but you don't want to know what I would have said to her. We finally had to tell this young man to just go home because it was too difficult for him to work without being interrupted. Now if there had been a crisis or some special circumstances at home then it would have been understandable but there wasn't a crisis and there weren't any special circumstances. Again, how sad that this young woman wasn't more selfish and didn't support her ambitious husband's efforts to earn some extra money to help buy necessities for their home.
Most of you are probably thinking, "Oh that Sister Hendricks. She is so old-fashioned. She doesn't understand that these are different times and things have changed," but let me ask you, "Do you think that Mrs. Captain Moroni would be calling or texting her husband every 20 minutes to see when he would be home? Or telling him she needed him because she thinks she may become sick? From the scripture we just read, would Captain Moroni feel the sacred responsibility for his wife and children if they had not shown him the same sacred responsibility to support him and his righteous endeavors? I know this for a fact: The Captain Moroni's of the world never go out of style and will never be considered old fashioned.
This doesn't mean, however, that you young men can do as you please without recognizing the support of the women in your life. I am not suggesting that you have unlimited time playing video games.
In a Conference address entitled, "Let Us Be Men", Elder D. Todd Christofferson challenged men to emulate the Savior. "He gave His life to redeem mankind. Surely we can accept responsibility for those He entrusts to our care. Brethren, let us be men, even as He is. We who hold the priesthood of God ... must arise from the dust of self-indulgence and be men!"
In the October 2008 Priesthood session, Elder Richard G. Scott said:
". . . as a husband or son, express gratitude for what your wife and mother do for you. Express your love and gratitude often. That will make life far richer, more pleasant and purposeful for many of the daughters of Father in Heaven who seldom hear a complimentary comment and are not thanked for the multitude of things they do. As a husband, when you sense that your wife needs lifting, hold her in your arms and tell her how much you love her. May each of us ever be tender and appreciative of the special women who enrich our lives. God will hold us accountable for how we treat His precious daughters. . . . I pray that the Lord will guide us to be more inspired, sensitive, and productive with the priesthood we hold, especially with His daughters."
Now, I left my last example for the end of my talk because it is very difficult for me to tell.
About two and a half years ago, our middle son became very ill. He couldn't climb up the stairs in our home without being completely winded. He would pass out when he would try to physically exert himself. By the time we got him to specialists in San Diego, who were among only a few doctors in the world who could perform a specialized operation on lungs, our son Burke was in heart failure. My husband was with him for a week of tests while I was here teaching classes. I kept hoping that the doctors would be able to just give him some kind of pill or breathing therapy that would heal his condition but my husband called me and told me that I should come quickly because they would be operating the next day. Burke had blood clots that hit his lungs and caused so much scar tissue to build up in his lungs that he only had 10 percent lung capacity. Because he couldn't breath, his heart was working so hard that it had enlarged and he was in heart failure. The procedure the doctors would perform on him was more invasive than open-heart surgery because the doctor would have to cool Burke's body to the lowest point a human body can go and still be revived, move his heart to get to his lungs, then slowly remove the scar tissue from his lungs. After his body is cooled, the doctor only has 20 minutes to clear the scar tissue before they would have to revive Burke, stabilize his vitals and then start over again. The doctor did this three times over the course of ten hours.
Here was one of our precious sons looking literally at the chance of death. I was having a difficult time grappling with the idea that such a great young man who had faithfully and fully served a mission, fulfilled his church callings, and obeyed the word of wisdom would have these health problems. Why would Heavenly Father allow this to happen?
When I arrived at the hospital, the attendants were prepping Burke for surgery. There was a short lull in the flurry of activity and my husband suggested we pull the curtains closed around Burke and he would give him a blessing. I can tell you that never before in my life have I so appreciated that my husband was worthy enough to give our son a priesthood blessing. Never before have I been so grateful that my husband's faith had grown because of all of his past callings and experiences in the Church. Never before was I in such need to have a priesthood holder lay his hands upon my son and call upon the powers of heaven to bless him and give him comfort. I know Burke was the benefactor of many healing gifts because of the faith of his father.
Sisters, let's show the nation and even the world how to heal so many of its social ills by being selfish and supporting the men in our lives. Young men, be men and honor your priesthood and honor the women who support you. Gain power through God and faith and reverse the current trends we are seeing in young men. Gain power with a shovel instead of a TV remote. Gain power by righteously nurturing a child instead of a video game. Gain power through a textbook and a formal education instead of some type of pornographic or mind-wasting media. Become our modern-day Captain Moroni(es).
I pray for these things in the name of the man who has been by my side through my best and my darkest days, my brother and the redeemer of all of our sins, the son of God and Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, amen.
1 A Hope for Fathers, Deseret News, Feb. 23, 20142 The Importance of Fathers, page 133 National Fatherhood Initiative, $100 Billion Dollar Man, www.fatherhood.org/one-hundred-billion-dollar-man4 Parade Magazine June 22, 2014