Note: This is an installment in the Q&A series, reporting in the LDSBC Newsroom on informal meetings held with President and Sister Kusch and members of the College community. During the Q&A sessions, students, faculty and staff are invited to submit questions and engage in conversations with the Kusches about all that’s going on at LDSBC. Check out other Q&A articles here.
Members of the College Enrollment team participated in a luncheon with President and Sister Kusch this month. They were given the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by the Kusches. This article is a report of their conversation, with questions posed and answers provided.
Question: We’d love to hear more about President and Sister Kusch. Please tell us about how you met and what led you to LDS Business College.
Answer: We met in a College singing group where we sang patriotic songs. On our first date, I (President Kusch) actually forgot Sister Kusch’s name when I went to introduce her to a friend. Thankfully, she introduced herself and forgave me. We were married a little less than a year later in the Los Angeles California Temple. I served as a young elders quorum president and then bishop in southern California. Our family spent some time in northern California, then we moved to Rexburg, Idaho and I began teaching at BYU-Idaho. I ended up serving on the administration at BYU-I and as a stake president there. After four years working in the administration, the Church called me to preside over the Mexico Cuernavaca Mission. After our mission, we returned briefly to BYU-Idaho before I accepted the position of the chief academic officer at LDS Business College in 2016.
We’ve always followed the impressions of the Spirit. The Lord has guided us, and we’ve chosen to follow Him and always put Him first in our lives. All of us have watershed moments where we get to choose and prove ourselves to the Lord—prove that we’re on His side. When we do, we’re blessed. If we had said no to moving to Rexburg, we wouldn’t have had the other opportunities we’ve had.
Q: How do we know when we’re on the right path?
A: Occasionally, take stock of your life. Ask yourself, “Am I continuing to have experiences with the Spirit?” If you can answer affirmatively, you’re where the Lord wants you to be and doing what you should be doing. You may not experience something extraordinary, but you’ll receive a confirmation of the Spirit that you’re on the right path. You’re entitled to that confirmation.
Q: What’s your advice for a happy marriage?
A: There are many ways to foster a happy marriage. For us, it has been to stay involved and be active in the Church and to fulfill our callings.
Q: What advice do you have for the College Enrollment team?
A: You, in many ways, are the face of the College to students, and especially to new students. You often work in challenging situations. The way many people will judge us is by the experience they have with you, with transcripts, visas, recruiting, diplomas, etc. You may have answered questions dozens of times, but for the student you’re talking to at the moment, it’s the first time. We need to keep that perspective in mind as we serve students. We also need to prepare to serve more students. We expect enrollment at the College to increase significantly in the coming years. Don’t be bashful about thinking of new ways to do your work. Look to be more efficient, effective and innovative.
Q: We’re noticing a lot of change at the College. Any advice for coping with change?
A: It’s a fact of life that there will be change. And that’s OK. Things will work out. They always do. An unwanted change is not the end of the world. There will still be many ways in which you can be successful.
Sister Kusch mentioned a fortune a student had brought to her class years ago in Rexburg: “Everyone likes progress, but no one likes change.” She said change could be unnerving, but it’s good for us.
President Kusch mentioned conversion and how the scriptures describe a mighty change and that people’s hearts were changed, and noted that if we’re not willing to change, we’re choosing not to progress. He noted a professional experience he had with a company that was in the daisywheel printing business and the CEO’s vision for the company was to remain the best daisywheel printing company and not adapt to new technology. As a result, the company eventually closed, making way for new technology and companies like HP.
President Kusch also pointed to the example of Apple. When President Kusch was living in California, Apple occupied just two buildings in Cupertino. Think about the change and growth that Apple has experienced in recent decades. Also, think about the internet, which has, in the history of the world, been around for just a short while.
You students today are going into a world of change. We’re preparing you to work in industries and jobs that don’t exist yet but will in five to 10 years from now. What you do in five, 10 or 15 years from now will be entirely different from what you’re doing now.
The atonement of Jesus Christ changes us. As we accept the fact that things will change around us, we’re also able to progress and change. As we apply the Savior’s atonement, we’re changed for the better by life’s experiences.
Think about when Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after they had partaken of the forbidden fruit. The question posed to them was about the state or place they were in emotionally and spiritually, not just about their physical location. It’s important for us to think about where we are from all perspectives, temporally and spiritually.
President and Sister Kusch drew upon their experience of studying the Book of Mormon as its presented in the Institute of Religion cornerstone class. They talked about reading the book to identify the Savior’s obedience, the doctrine of Christ in submitting himself to the Father’s will.
President Kusch noted that if we want to be exalted, we have to do what exalted people do. The way we treat people, the way we dress, the way we behave and the media we consume have to be separate from the world. That’s the path to exaltation. These are choices we each have to make.
A student pointed out the Book of Mormon example of brothers Laman and Lemuel who didn’t want to leave Jerusalem and didn’t want to leave their comfort zone. They did so begrudgingly while their younger brother, Nephi, received a testimony that his father, Lehi, was a prophet and choose to follow him.
Sister Kusch noted that it’s difficult to move away from the things that are comfortable. She’s marking her scriptures with a different color to identify how many times the Lord says to ‘remember.’ We can look back and remember and see the Lord’s influence and guidance in our lives. The Savior’s atonement makes it possible and enables us to do things that are challenging and difficult.
Finally, Sister Kusch made an analogy to the world of sports. She noted that we’re all free agents until we sign with a team. Then, once we’ve signed, our options are different. For example, when someone decides to be baptized, this changes their contract. They’re now part of the Lord’s team. They’re all-in, one hundred percent.
All students, faculty and staff are invited to submit questions for President and Sister Kusch here. Those who have provided questions may be asked to future breakfast or lunch Q&A sessions. If you have questions or feedback about Q&A sessions, please contact the College public affairs team.