During the BYU-Idaho Devotional on Feb. 21, 2017, Matthew O. Richardson, Advancement Vice President of Brigham Young University, counseled BYU-Idaho students to remember those whose shoulders they've stood on to see the world from a different perspective.
Richardson said all too often, we take full credit for the things we've accomplished, when really, we should be giving credit to those who made advancements before us that enabled our own accomplishments.
"Sadly, we live in a time where many do not make the connection between their opportunities to live in peace, make choices, have educational opportunities, enjoy the freedom to discover, earn a living, recreate and dream, with the contributions of others," Richardson said. "I have come to realize that much of what I see and experience today is possible, in large part, because I am perched atop the accomplishments, hard work, efforts, sacrifices and ideals of those who have gone before me."
He said sometimes those who have impacted us the most are not readily recognized for their efforts from past generations.
"Not long ago, President [Clark G.] Gilbert recognized the shoulders of those upon which you, here at BYU-Idaho, stand," Richardson said. "He said, ‘At BYU-Idaho we draw on that same pioneer's heart, a gift of the early settlers who came to this valley and eventually founded this college.' President Gilbert continued, ‘The pioneer's heart has been preserved by the Lord in the very location of this campus ... ‘for such a time as this' when the Lord would significantly expand His educational gathering across the Church.' With so much happening on this campus, it would be foolish not to stand on the shoulders of those that contributed so much to your success."
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Richardson said his talk, "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants," is really about reminding BYU-Idaho students they're not alone.
"It's this concept of being able to recognize that we are not really alone in either our progression or our accomplishments," Richardson said. "But there have been so many who have come before us, and so many that are with us now and, in truth, I honestly believe there are so many that will be with us in the future that we have the opportunity to really build upon."
Click below to listen to Matthew O. Richardson's full devotional address.