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Inaugural Charge to President Henry J. Eyring

Inauguration of President Henry J. Eyring

These exercises are designed to mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Brigham Young University-Idaho. Today, on behalf of the board of trustees and the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I install you, Henry Johnson Eyring, as president of Brigham Young University-Idaho and confer upon you the authority, the rights, the responsibilities, and the challenges associated with this office.

As is the custom, I deliver to you, President Eyring, a formal charge to guide your service.  

First, you are to place the Lord Jesus Christ, whose school this is, at the heart of your service. His purposes are to be yours, as nearly as you can discern them; His light, the beacon to guide your feet; and His love, your source of courage, confidence, and motivation.   

Second, you are to serve and guide all who teach, lead, learn, and labor here by acknowledging and treating them as children of a loving Heavenly Father, with the divine potential to become like Him. He loves and values each equally. He admitted each into His school of mortality with hope that he or she will discover divine capacity and the pathway to becoming His rightful heir. Your charge is to help as many of them as you can walk that challenging journey back home.  

Third, your charge is to find ways to infuse the Spirit of God into the experiences of all who learn and serve in this university. That Spirit will be a key to their success in the strenuous effort they must make to learn and so rise to their potential. President Brigham Young gave a charge to Karl G. Maeser that is also a promise: "You ought not to teach even the alphabet or the multiplication tables without the Spirit of God."[1] The promise is that it can be done.  

Fourth, you are to take full advantage of the Lord's promise that He will direct the path of His faithful servants. You must study and pray to know what you are to do. You must counsel with others and study whatever facts you can gather. When you then pray and ask in faith, you may expect to receive inspiration. When the path you feel inspired to pursue would in any way diverge from that which has been previously approved by the board of trustees, you are to prepare and present a recommendation to that board. Your purpose will be not to win agreement but to welcome confirmation and correction equally. The board, with a prophet at its head, will point the way to safety.   

Fifth, you are to demonstrate and teach gratitude for those who have preceded you in the Lord's work of building this university from its humble beginnings toward its divine destiny. They each gave enough and sacrificed enough to qualify for His pouring out blessings upon this school, both spiritual and temporal --blessings beyond what they could foresee. The Lord did not make growth easy for them, nor will He for you. He did not make destiny clear for them, but He revealed the next step as He inspired the taking of it. He went before their faces, and He will go before yours. Your charge is to preserve and increase gratitude to the Lord for this university and those who have served Him here.  

Finally, you are charged to exemplify in your life and family the gospel ideals of Christlike love and perfect fidelity. You are to treat your family members as your most precious treasure. You will, by placing them above all earthly achievements, inspire for good all who are blessed to come within the power of your example and influence.   

We will now be pleased to hear a response from President Henry J. Eyring.


[1] Brigham Young, in Reinhard Maeser, Karl G. Maeser: A Biography (Provo: Brigham Young University, 1928), p. 79

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