Employees of BYU-Idaho are builders of the kingdom, educating the future leaders of the Church. In this year’s annual all-employee meeting, Elder Matthew Carpenter, General Authority Seventy, and his wife Shelly, encouraged employees to look for ways to help students build strong multi-generational families in the Church, and even repair any breaches in their family lines.
To begin his remarks, Elder Carpenter shared Isaiah 58:12:
“And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”
Elder Carpenter continued by reminding employees of their special position to minister to students and help them feel included in the classroom and on campus.
Sister Carpenter joined her husband in reminding employees of their special opportunity to minister and help individuals on campus. “You have a role in shaping what they will experience,” Sister Carpenter said. “What is it you hope for? What do you hope for them? How can you help them have hope?”
In addition, Sister Carpenter emphasized the importance of exercising and teaching hope to the loneliest generation the world has known. As faculty teach this semester, she suggested instructors consider: “What will you do this year to give more hope, to give more friendship, more strength to this incoming class?”
While to many the word “hope” denotes uncertainty, Sister Carpenter said, “In the language of the gospel, the word hope is sure, it is unwavering and active…. The scriptures bring us hope. They are there to bring us solace, and comfort and strength…. As you speak of hope, teach from the scriptures, share what you are learning, give the students hope, and you will feel hope as well.”
To bring greater hope to students, Sister Carpenter taught about the importance of the gathering of Israel, not only a necessary part of the Restoration, but a way for the younger generation to cultivate needed hope.
“The Church is good at gathering…. the more the youth can do this, the less lonely they will feel,” Sister Carpenter said.
Elder Carpenter added that faculty, employees, and staff all need to build up their own spiritual defenses to protect their hope and faith. Just as ancient Israel built up walls in Jerusalem to protect the city from destruction, Elder Carpenter reminded employees to take the precautions they need to withstand the world’s bombardment of messages aimed to destroy their faith.
In order to help themselves and students to maintain a strong spiritual defense and repair the breach when needed, Elder Carpenter emphasized the importance of receiving revelation.
“As you pray and as you seek for revelation, I promise you that the Lord will direct you on what you can specifically teach, and how to do that, to lift and help those who come to your classroom, and He will prepare their hearts to hear your message,” Elder Carpenter said.
Elder Carpenter drew from President Nelson’s talk, “Revelation for the Church, Revelations For Our Lives” and outlined necessary steps to take that will prepare employees for the times when students will come to them in need of spiritual guidance.
“May I recommend that you help them to find a place, a place where they can regularly go. Humble themselves. Pray, pray earnestly pouring out your heart about your weaknesses and about your needs, then listen carefully to the impressions of the Spirit come. Write down those impressions, and then…. act on them. As you repeat this daily, the promise is that you will grow under the principle of revelation,” Elder Carpenter said.
The Carpenters concluded their message by reminding all employees that it is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that repairing the breach is possible.
Sister Carpenter broke the word itself down to at-one-ment, reflecting on the fact that the Atonement has the power to repair the breach and heal cracks to restore a solid foundation.
“As you provide that hope, and provide gathering in your classes, or in your organizations, departments, wherever you work; you gather, you bring friendship, and oneness, and wholeness, you are bringing the at-one-ment, the Atonement, to the lives of these youth,” Sister Carpenter said.