LDS Business College Devotional
November 12, 2013
Wow. It’s really great to be with you. It’s exciting to be here. This is a devotional, however, and the word was I was supposed to be myself, so I don’t exactly feel it a conflict, but I hope that in the next few minutes that we do laugh just a little bit, and we have just a little fun together. I won’t say anything that will embarrass anybody, but I just might as well start right now. I did not realize—I didn’t really get the memo—I noticed as I was sitting here and said to … you know, that I was supposed to wear my most professional dress on Tuesday. I didn’t even wear a dress. And you know, I apologize for that. I just didn’t get that message.
I love LDS Business College. I love the students. I love the mission. I love everything about LDS Business College. Part of the reason I love LDS Business College is my mother, more than 90 years ago, was a student at LDS Business College. I don’t even know where the campus was over 90 years ago, but she was a student. And over 22 years ago, my second son, who is here in the audience, was a student here. At that time, as you know, the campus was up on, I believe it was South Temple. And you know, he’s still upset about his time here at LDS Business College. It was good news and bad news about him being here. The good news is he met his wife here, and they are now the proud parents of five boys. And that can happen to you, brothers and sisters, in not too many years. You might be surprised. That’s the good news.
The bad news is he took algebra at least once, maybe twice. And you know, he is still complaining about the fact that—I think he got a C+ rather than a B-. And I think he’s probably already talked to your president about that. That was 22 years ago. I mean, get over it, son. Get over it. You know, there was a time that I was very thankful to get a C+. There really was. As a matter of fact … well, I’ve blown that story, so I won’t tell that one.
But I do love LDS Business College. I love everything about it. I’m proud today—although I didn’t get the memo about the dress—I’m proud today about this tie. You know, it was probably about a decade ago that President Richards—who was not president at that time, was not vice president, I think he was adjunct faculty—gave me this tie. And I use the word “gave” somewhat loosely, so I think I’d put quotes around it. Because you see, the students and the faculty decided they wanted a fund-raising project. And so what they did was they decided they would get all of the students and the faculty to make a donation. Well, President Steve Woodhouse, sicced—I don’t know if you know the word sicced—this student on me and he said, “Would you contribute to the fund-raising?”
You know, this was a weak moment, and I was honored that I was asked, so I said, “I’ll not only contribute”—because I was thinking maybe the students and the faculty would maybe raise like $4,000 or something, but what happened was, in my enthusiasm I said—“I will match the first $10,000.” Yeah. And so, then it got worse. I said, “I’ll double anything between $10,000 and $15,000.” And then I was really weak in this moment, and I said, “I’ll triple anything above $15,000.”
I had no idea—I had no idea of the power of a committed LDS Business College student or the wonderful faculty. And I’m so thankful that the fundraising came to an end. I really am, because the check that I had to write was fairly large. You see, what happened was, as we saw in this last slide just before this one, this sister kind of attached a vacuum cleaner to my wallet and just kept sucking money out of it. And my wallet’s never been the same since. So I have fond memories.
But back to the tie. So I came to be thanked, and what they did was they gave me this tie. This is the most expensive tie that I have ever, ever had. And I’m a little worried because President Richards gave me this pin today, and I don’t know what the pin is going to cost me. So anyway, you can see why I love LDS Business College, even though my wallet is still thinner.
This reminds me of the subject today, and the subject for today—oh, you know, I have to tell you, by the way, that if this vacuum would have sucked much more money, I would have had to sell my car. Isn’t that right, Cathy? I would have had to sell my car, because desperate times call for desperate means. And I would have had to sell my car.
Well anyway, back to the subject: Seven habits of a successful Latter-day Saint. And before I start into that subject, I’d like to ask a personal favor. I know many of you are taking notes. President Richards set the stage so well. I’d like you, as you listen to these seven habits, that you might find one that you would like to personally work on, to develop. Because what happens is a habit is something that you do automatically—isn’t that right, Sister Smith? A habit is something you do automatically, and so when we talk about these seven habits, I hope that you’ll look to a habit that you want to improve on, and then you’ll write it down. And not only that you’ll write it down, but that you will tell somebody else about it within 24 hours. Because when we write down our habits and they become good habits, and we practice them and teach someone else, they become a routine. And there’s great power in routine in changing the way we live our lives. But it all starts with deciding to create a habit.
So let’s go right to the first habit that we’re going to talk about. And this is evidenced by the story about the tie, because a successful Latter-day Saint, when they make a commitment and a covenant, they keep that covenant. They don’t give up on that covenant. They stick with that particular covenant. And I would like to mention that covenant, as we’re still talking about the first habit.
One of the most serious covenants that we make, brothers and sisters, is the covenants in the temple. And it distresses me, as it does thousands of others, to see how lightly some of those covenants are taken that we make in the temple. Latter-day Saints are not only covenant makers, but they are covenant keepers. And I would hope that, in the way of warning and the way of concern for you, that you will never break the covenants that you make, especially the ones relating to chastity. Because in the heat of the moment, in the darkness of the night, sometimes passions get out of our control, and we break that important covenant. I hope and pray—we pray for the youth of the Church—we hope that you will never break that covenant.
So number one habit of successful Latter-day Saints: make and keep promises and covenants. I have found in my own life that if I make a promise, even though—let’s say I tell somebody I’m going to send them a book, or I’m going to send them an email—I try hard to do this—this is a little tip that I picked up that I’m sharing with you now—if we can keep that promise, and we can’t always do it this way, but if you keep that promise in 24 hours, you’re more likely to deliver on that promise. So that’s just a little tip for you.
If we do keep our promises, we start a second habit. And that second habit is best explained by Nephi when he talks about living “after the manner of happiness.” (2 Nephi 5:27) I believe that, as Latter-day Saints, we should be the happiest people on the earth. I really believe that. So what does it mean to live after the manner of happiness? We’re going to talk about that as we talk about other happiness. But I’ve enjoyed a little bit of happiness by reading the Book of Mormon a second time this year. Now that doesn’t mean that I’ve only read it twice in my life. I’m sorry; I don’t want to confuse you. But I decided I was going to read the Book of Mormon really fast this year, and so by May I finished the Book of Mormon. It was a goal. I was so pleased. In June, we got a new stake president, and he challenged all of us to read the Book of Mormon this year, and so when I say a second time, I took that challenge and, as I read the Book of Mormon I found that I was living after the manner of happiness. I was feeling more happy every day.
One of the things that came to me as I read the Book of Mormon is the fact that it rains both on the righteous and on the unrighteous. Have you ever thought about that? It rains on the righteous and the unrighteous. Earthquakes happen. Storms happen. In my second country, the people that I love so much, the Filipinos—they are righteous people, and some righteous people lost their lives. But also as I read in the Book of Mormon, and this gave me much personal warmth and feeling and happiness, and it says that the Lord favors those who are righteous. (See 1 Nephi 17:35) What a wonderful promise! What a wonderful concept. The Lord favors those who are righteous. It doesn’t mean, brothers and sisters, that it’s not going to rain on us. It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to have earthquakes, that we’re not going to have personal tragedies, that we’re not going to get cancer. But it means that the Lord favors the righteous. And if we remember that, we will live after the manner of happiness.
Now what does it mean, living after the manner of happiness? I think if we go to the third habit, which is we follow the prophet and the prophets, we will be happy. I’m sure that’s true. And why do I say we follow the prophet and the prophets? Sometimes we get a little confused, and we think that we follow the prophet—if President Monson says this, we follow that. But if you listen at general conference—you know this—we raise our hand and sustain the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve as prophets, seers, and revelators. So these prophets give us counsel, they give us commandments, they ask us to do things. And sometimes the things they ask are so simple.
For example, I have absolutely no problem with “thou shalt not kill.” I have no temptation to kill; I have no problem with “thou shalt not kill.” I keep that commandment perfectly. However, what about some other directives? What about reading the scriptures every day? How do I do with that? How about praying every day? How do I do about that? How do I do about watching and attending “R” and “X” rated movies? How do I do about that? What about pornography?
You know, President James E. Faust, who was a member of the First Presidency, said this. He said we should never watch anything that we should not do. I think that’s good advice, brothers and sisters. We should not watch anything we should not do.
So it’s pretty easy to not kill people. But is it so easy—do we still follow the prophets when we get right down to the things they talk about in conference? If we’re concerned about living after the meaning of happiness, we need to follow the prophets.
So, habit number four. I hope you will think about this, because some of you may not agree with this, and you may not agree with five. But I agree with number four, and I hope you will think about it. And that is, we determine our own destiny. You know, in the 1970s, we used to say, “The devil made me do it.” So we blamed the devil for our lack of determination, or determining our own destiny. And now sometimes, when things happen to us, we say, “Well, there must…”—well, we don’t just say “Well,” we say there’s got to be—there was a reason for that.” And sometimes we almost forget that we do determine our own destiny. And most of our destiny is determined by the decisions that we make.
In a few moments I’m going to quote Elder Ballard about decision, but I’d like to give you another one of those little tips, something that has really worked well for Betty and me. When we have a decision to make, we really investigate the decision—the bigger the decision, the more investigation we do. But we investigate, we meditate. Sometimes we pray about it, not always. Sometimes we fast. But once we make that decision, based on gathering all the information, we stick with that decision and we go forward. We press forward. We don’t remake the decision. Sometimes we go out with couples, and when we’re having a meal, sometimes they say, “Well, we shouldn’t have done this,” “We shouldn’t have done that,” or “Don’t you wish we hadn’t done this?” I think it’s a tip to living after the manner of happiness is make a good decision and stick with that decision, and don’t keep remaking that decision. Because when we make a good decision based on investigation, based on feelings, based on prayer, based on using the intellect, that decision usually is valid. Now later on, we may get additional information that may change, and then we can change. But that’s just a little tip that’s led to happiness in our family.
One of the things that Elder Ballard has taught us about as we determine our own destiny, is we have to have balance in our lives. And I hope you’ll read what Elder Ballard says about that. Let’s not go there quite yet, Sister Smith [Note: Sister Cathy Smith is assisting at a computer by placing images on large screen.] Let’s talk about what he talked about. This was in a Seminary and Institute talk that he gave in October 2010. And I love this. I love it because of the analogy and this has to do with balance again. He talked about balancing plates on a stick. You’ve all seen that. You know, I can’t balance one plate on a stick. But his analogy was that if we want balance in our life, we shouldn’t try and get so many plates going on a stick at one time that we’re overwhelmed. Just picture someone trying—think of these plates on a stick as an activity that we’re trying to do, and then think of another one and another one and another one. How many plates can you keep going on a stick? And so when we think about balance, we’ve got to realize that we can only keep so many plates going at a time on a stick. And one of the dangerous things about having too many plates going on a stick—I hope you get the analogy—is that some of these plates are more valuable than others. Sometimes we think, “Well, this is more valuable. My career is more valuable,” or “my education is more valuable.” The most valuable plate that we have on a stick as part of balance is the family. This is not new to you. And unfortunately, some of these plates, if they fall to the ground, shatter. So as we try to keep balance in our lives, we’ve got to realize that the most important plate on a stick that we’re trying to keep balanced is our family. Because if the family breaks down, if that plate breaks, it’s not easy to put that plate together again. So brothers and sisters, as you contemplate—we’re going to keep talking about balance for a few minutes—but as you contemplate balance, remember the most important thing to keep in balance is your own family. That is really, really important.
When Elder Ballard spoke on this talk, he said something that I loved. He said, “You are not a pawn on a chess board.” And then he went on to say, “You are a son or daughter of God, with moral agency, which is the power and capacity to act and not be acted upon. As you strive to live righteously”—here comes a beautiful statement—“as you strive to live righteously and exercise your agency in accordance with truth, God does not move you, but He will guide you.”
You are not a pawn on a chess board. That means someone else is not moving you. God will not move you in most cases. Occasionally He will, but generally He will not move you. But you make those decisions yourself and He will guide you. What a beautiful promise! And I love parts of the Old Testament because it talks about—and you find this also in the Book of Mormon—where the Lord says, “I will go before you.” (See, for example, Isaiah 52:12, Deuteronomy 31:3, 3 Nephi 20:42) Wow! Being favored of the Lord, living after the manner of happiness. Can you see how it all comes together?
When I speak about balance, often I am speaking about financial matters, talking to students. And they—one of the most often asked questions, they say, “How do you keep balance?” And I heard in a … well, I’ll just say that I want to talk about that for a moment, because many of you are thinking about your career. And I heard from a podium—I don’t want to be more specific than that—where someone said, “You should not focus on making money.” It was not a prophet that said that, by the way. “You should not focus on making money; you should only focus on doing God’s will.”
It appeared as the person made that statement that they felt there was some conflict between doing God’s will and making money. And so when I answer students who are in financial services majors, we talk about that. I think it’s important to realize that there is no conflict between God’s will and making money. But since you are all working on careers, let me just say that some careers have a better financial payoff than others. But there are lots of other kinds of payoffs besides financial. You may choose to be a teacher, and so you may not make a lot of money in that. But there are many great rewards of teaching. You may choose something in the arts, dancing, music and so forth. There’s no question, those make a contribution, but it might not be a financial one. But then again, if you choose some professions—the medical . . . real estate development, or perhaps car dealerships as Elder Ballard has done so well in, or Larry H. Miller. Those particular career choices have a financial payoff. Whatever you choose, we want you to be a success in it. But success is not measured by money. Success is measured by doing the very best you can in whatever career you choose.
My point is that there is no conflict—in my mind—between making money and in doing God’s will. I think you can do God’s will and I think you can be successful financially. As a matter of fact, I would like—we have a slide that says “There’s no conflict.” And that slide talks about why I feel so strongly that way, because I go to Jacob 2:19. It talks about if you have a hope in Christ and seek riches for the right reason, and then it explains what the right reasons are to seek for riches—to do good, to clothe those who have no clothes, to feed those who have no food, to liberate those who are captive. And that’s a phrase that means a lot to Betty and [me], because the poor in the world are held captive by their financial circumstances. And so again, I see no conflict and I feel no conflict as I read Jacob 2:19. We seek for riches after we have a hope in Christ. I have a hope in Christ. I bear testimony of that hope and that promise that Christ gives us.
One of the things He gave us, in relationship to Elder Ballard’s great quote that we had, is in Nephi it states that man, because of the Atonement—men and women, because of the Atonement, can act for themselves, and don’t have to be acted upon. The devil won’t make you do it, God won’t make you do it; you determine your own destiny by the decisions you make and by the habits you form.
So I want to also say, in working with the poor, that I think more damage—I have no academic credentials to say this—but I think I’ve observed more misery, more health problems, more premature death, more lack of education among the poor…more misery in some cases, among the poor…than I have ever observed among those who have been blessed financially.
I’ve got a couple of quotes that I think I should share with you from Brigham Young. I think the first one won’t make you feel as uncomfortable as the second one, but they are what they are.
Brigham Young, in 1877—you know, Brigham Young joined the Church in, I think, 1835, was the president of the Church for probably 30 years. One of his greatest and best discussions he ever made was a conference talk in 1877 when he spoke on equality. And this is what he said, while speaking of the poor. And this sounds like [what] President Hinckley said in 2001 when he introduced us to the Perpetual Education Fund. “That for the lack of opportunity, they are not able”—speaking of the poor—“they are not able to develop the talents and abilities that are within them. This is the condition of the people of most of the nations of the earth.” (“The United Order,” Journal of Discourses, p. 354, http://jod.mrm.org/18/353.)
Now many of you come from 60 countries besides the United States—18 percent of you are in the international world and the international place, and you’ve seen the poverty that is prevalent because of lack of opportunity. So who is going to do something about it? This is what Brigham Young says, still speaking: Jesus “requires, absolutely requires, of us to take these people who have named his name through baptism, and teach them how to live, and how to become”—are you ready for this?—“healthy, wealthy, and wise.” (“The United Order,” Journal of Discourses, p. 354, http://jod.mrm.org/18/353.)
Brigham Young said we have a responsibility, those of us that are Latter-day Saints, to help those who are baptized to become healthy, wealthy, and wise. That’s one of the reasons that Betty and I, for 14 years, have been very involved, and we’re excited about continuing to be involved as long as we can breathe, in helping to teach others how to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Now this next quote might make some of you uncomfortable. I’m sorry; I don’t apologize for it. Brigham Young said, “If we are the people of God, we are to be the richest people on the earth…. I am ashamed to see the poverty that exists among the Latter-day Saints. They ought to be worth millions and millions.” (“Cease to Bring In,” Journal of Discourses, p. 44, http://jod.mrm.org/17/36.)
One of the greatest tools of course, to becoming successful—whether it’s financially or in a chosen profession, a wonderful profession that financial rewards don’t follow—one of the great tools to self-reliance we are going to talk about. I believe it’s the greatest habit to success there is. But as I talk to you about it—hang on—as I talk to you about this tool, I have to warn you because you’ve heard of this tool so, so many times. Some of you may be sick and tired of hearing about this tool. But I’m going to tell you about it anyway. And before I tell you about it, I think it’s appropriate that I turn to one of Betty’s and my favorite songs, found on [Hymns] page 301. You don’t have to turn to it; you know it. You know this song just like you know about this habit that I’m kind of dancing around a bit, but we’ll get to in a moment.
This story about Sister [Naomi] Randall illustrates why knowing about something is not enough. Many of you have heard this story. One of our favorite songs is called “I Am a Child of God.” I’ll bet everyone hear can sing every word of that song, in many different languages. But let me just tell you about one of my favorite lines in this song, and I sing it wrong almost every time. And the reason I sing it wrong is Sister Randall wrote this song, presented it to President Spencer W. Kimball. He loves the song, but you know he changed one word. So let me tell you how I used to sing it, and now how I sing it.
I’m not going to sing it, so relax—especially my children and my wife. But this is the way I sing it: “Teach me all that I must know.” But wait a minute. That’s not what this says. You see, Sister Randall originally wrote this phrase as “Teach me all that I must know.” President Kimball in his wisdom, said “No, no. It’s not what you know. Teach me all that I must do.”
So brothers and sisters, you know about this next habit, habit number five. But what you may not know is that it’s not the knowing; it’s the doing of habit number five. So as I introduce habit number five, just remember “teach me all that I must do.” It’s not what you know, brothers and sisters; it’s what you do. [Story is told in Garrett H. Garff, “Spencer W. Kimball: Man of Action,” Ensign, January 2007, https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/01/spencer-w-kimball-man-of-action?lang=eng.)
Habit number five—where’s the organ music?—successful Latter-day Saints are excellent goal setters. See? I told you you’d be tired of hearing about goals. I’m sorry. Well, I’m not sorry; I don’t apologize for the fact that goal setting is one of the most powerful tools to gaining success, both in this life and, I believe, in the life to come. But setting goals is sort of like knowing but not doing.
Let’s turn to Elder Ballard and see what Elder Ballard says about goal setting. “I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life”—setting goals—“and learn how to master the technique of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age”—a ripe old age, right here—“we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential.” (“Go for It!” New Era, Mar. 2004, https://www.lds.org/new-era/2004/03/go-for-it?lang=eng.)
Wow! That’s a pretty strong endorsement of goal setting. Elder Ballard says if we don’t set goals and obtain these goals, when we look back over our life, we’re going to see that we didn’t reach our full potential. Would you like to reach your full potential? I want you to. I want to reach my full potential. To do that, we’ve got to adopt goal setting, and we’ve got to learn about goal setting, and we’ve got to make it a habit. And many successful Latter-day Saints make it a habit.
One of the problems about being your age is Brother Ballard says you look back. Well, at 18, 19, 20, 22 you look back and there’s not too much to look back at. When you get to my age there is a lot to look back at. As a matter of fact, President Boyd K. Packer stole one of my favorite quotes. I didn’t originate it, but he said this. He said, “Young men speak of the future because they have no past, and old men speak of the past because they have no future.” (“Counsel to Young Men,” April 2009 General Conference, https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/04/counsel-to-young-men?lang=eng.)
Well, I’m blessed to not be young, but not old. So I can look backwards and forwards both. I have a future and I have a past. So Brother Ballard teaches us that goal setting is important. He also continued and said this: “When you learn to master the principle of setting a goal, you will then be able to make a great difference in the results you obtain in your life.” Wow! You’ll be able to make a great difference in the results you attain in this life.” (“Go for It!”New Era, Mar. 2004, https://www.lds.org/new-era/2004/03/go-for-it?lang=eng.)
I’m going to tell you a quick story, and then I’m going to have to pick up the pace, because I have a couple more habits to talk about. There is someone in this audience—I won’t embarrass him, but you’ve got a 50 percent chance of being right, because we know he’s a male, if you know this young man. He came from a country of poverty. He came from a country of corruption, and he came from a country of drug lords. He could have gone that way. But he served a mission, and on that mission he decided that he wanted to attend LDS Business College. I don’t know how he heard about it, but he decided that he wanted to attend LDS Business College.
After his mission, he was fortunate enough to get a job. It was a well-paying job, and at this job he met his lovely wife. And together, before they got married, they talked about his goal of coming to LDS Business College. She agreed on that goal; she said let’s work together to achieve that goal.
Some thought it would be impossible to get the money to come here. Others thought it would be impossible to get a visa to come here. But he’s now in his second year, and we’re very proud of him. He certainly gets grades better than I ever did in college. But we’re not only proud of him for that, but we’re proud because he understands the power of setting goals, writing them down, reviewing them often, and being very intent on reaching those goals. And you know, he’s got another goal and I respect him for this goal. He says, “When I graduate from LDS Business College, I’m going back to my country and I’m going to be a success. And I’m going to teach other young men and young women how to set goals.” I love this young man and his lovely wife.
I could tell you about our habit for many years of setting goals on New Year’s Eve. Instead of going to—well, before we went to the New Year’s Eve parties, we would rent a motel. It started out with Motel 6, then Super 8, and over the years we now sometimes stay at the Marriott, and we left our children at home—they were always glad when we left, they really loved vacations when we would go away for several days. Anyway, on New Year’s Eve we would go away and check into a motel, we’d review our list of goals—last year, how did we do? And it’s not the first time we reviewed them. We reviewed them often during the year. We’d set new goals; we’d go to a party. We wouldn’t stay out too late, because the next morning we’d get up early and work on our goals.
And then the first Monday of the New Year, we’d gather our family together and explain the power of goal setting. They’d go off in their rooms, and they’d come back a little later and discuss their goals that they had for the whole next year. And I’m thrilled and excited that some of them are still doing that with their children.
We need to move on quickly. President Thomas S. Monson gave us a clue on setting goals. He talked about performance being measured. Before we go to that—I’m sorry, this is a quote but let’s forget that one, because that’s me. Let’s go to Thomas S. Monson. He talks about the fact that when we set goals, we have to measure our performance on that goal. He says that if we measure our progress, our performance improves. But if we measure our progress and give feedback, that improvement speeds up and goes faster. I know that because now Betty and I are measuring our progress on an instrument called a scale. And we get on the scale every morning and we record it. And then she tells me what a great job I’m doing on finally losing all of this weight that I’ve been carrying, and I tell her what a great job she’s doing at maintaining the perfect weight that she’s had for 50 years. So the progress is going along.
Well, let’s see where we’re going to move along here. I think we need to move to give you a quick idea about the next habit. And that habit is being lifelong learners. As Latter-day Saints, we are lifelong learners. And I have a great little video; let’s hope it goes. It tells about being stuck in the past. And some of you may get stuck in the past. Some of you—your only spiritual experience you’re ever going to have you had on your mission, and you’ve been home for 30 years, and that’s all you talk about. We don’t want to get stuck in the past, brothers and sisters. We want to move forward.
So let’s move forward with this quick video and then we’ll wind this up.
1st voice: Back in ’82, I used to be able to throw a pitch 94 miles an hour.
2nd voice: Are you serious?
1st voice: I’m dead serious. Watch this. (Sound of throwing, thud?)
2nd voice: Uhh. What the heck are you doing?
1st voice: That’s what I’m talking about.
That’s what I’m talking about. He’s still stuck in ’82. In high school, no less. All right. Uncle Rico—one of your favorite characters, right? From one of your favorite movies—“Napoleon Dynamite.”
Well, let’s move along quickly. Latter-day Saints believe in having fun. We adopt what it says in Ecclesiastes: There’s a time to cry, there’s a time to weep, there’s a time to mourn, and there’s a time to dance. As Latter-day Saints we believe in having fun; we enjoy dancing. If you’re not enjoying fun, you need to tweak something. Maybe that’s a habit you need to develop.
Brothers and sisters, I want to just say that [President] Uchtdorf spoke about happiness one time recently, and he said, you know, if we live after the meaning of happiness, we’re going to live happily ever after. And then he said, you know, living happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It can be true and it can be reality. (See “Your Happily Ever After,” Liahona, May 2010, http://www.lds.org/liahona/2010/05/your-happily-ever-after?lang=eng.)
Brothers and sisters, it’s my hope that you’ll adopt, and if you’ve adopted then you’ll zero in on one of these habits of successful Latter-day Saints, that you’ll make it part of your life, so that you can live happily ever after. I promise you if you will do these habits, you will continue to have success in your life. And I make this promise to you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Introduction: President J. Lawrence Richards
We welcome today Brother Stephen W. Gibson and his wife Betty, who are seated on the stand, and two of his children who are in the audience…Let me introduce to you Brother Gibson. Brother Gibson has created over a dozen entrepreneurial businesses. He has been the entrepreneur in residence at BYU—Provo for 15 years, and a visiting professor of business at BYU—Hawaii for 10 months.
Brother Gibson earned his bachelor’s degree in communications in 1966 from Brigham Young University. His personal philosophy is this: It’s not the dollars we stack up, but the lives we lift that give us the greatest joy in this life and in the life to come.
One of the businesses that Brother Gibson created was Barclay’s Oxygen Home Care, which was named one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. by Ink magazine. He is also a co-founder of Utah Angels, an investor group which has provided well over 20 million dollars in financing to Utah entrepreneurs. Brother Gibson has authored more than 150 articles on entrepreneurial topics for the Deseret News, and received the Small Business Administration Award from Utah Media of the Year.
Brother Gibson is also heavily involved in microenterprise work for the poor. He and his wife, Betty, founded the Academy for Creating Enterprise in the Philippines. The Academy is a school that is designed to teach microenterprise development among Filipino returned missionaries. Nearly 1,500 missionaries have been trained in an eight-week residential program. The Academy has now taught nearly 6000 returned missionaries in the Philippines, in Mexico, in Zimbabwe, Brazil, Peru, and Indonesia. The curriculum that has been used in the course has been used in at least a dozen other countries to teach Latter-day Saints how to become self-reliant.
At the College, Brother Gibson is the donor of the Christus statue that sits in our lobby, and he has been the sponsor for the last 20 years of our entrepreneurship scholarship. A central focus of his life and that of his wonderful bride has been alleviating poverty among families. His favorite scripture is Mosiah 2:24 which reads: “And ye are still indebted unto him, and will be forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?”
His hobbies and other interests include travel and cruising, writing, teaching, and mentoring. His favorite book was written by O.C. Tanner, titled Christ’s Ideals for Living. The Gibsons have four children—two of them you have met today—and 13 grandchildren.
Now on a personal note, this is a great man and a wonderful supporting wife. Their lives are consecrated to the kingdom. You see it in their humility; you see it in their actions. They have been a blessing to the College; they have been a blessing to me personally, for which I am grateful. And we are very pleased to have Brother Gibson speak to us today.