“Teaching here is a sacred and spiritual endeavor,” said President Richards, who taught for 15 years at the College before serving as its president. He reinforced how important it was for faculty to help students strengthen their testimonies as they learned secular principles.
President Richards also presented the following four tips that would help students make the most of their time at LDS Business College.
1. “These are your days,” he said. “I pray that you seize them. For whatever reason you have come to the College, I pray earnestly and sincerely that you will recognize the Lord has something more for you here, in addition to whatever reason you thought you came. That something is here for you, and it is important to you. It is important to you now, it is important to your family, and it is important to the work of the kingdom of God.”
2. “I pray that you will have an insatiable desire to learn,” he said. “I pray that you will seek God’s hand in the world around you and daily in your life.”
3. “Life is meant to be a challenge,” he continued. “I pray that you will understand the purposes of the challenges you face. This is a place to take an intellectual risk. It’s a place to explore your talents and to try them out, to fail. What better place to fail in trying something new that is worthy and uplifting than here in a temple of learning where we are brothers and sisters in the gospel of Jesus Christ?”
4. “Last,” he said, “I pray you will be faithful to what you know is true. Brothers and sisters, you are here to be stretched, to feel the weight a little. But if you have a vision of who you are, what you can become, and what God in heaven would have you do, the weight will be borne and you will scurry about building what Heavenly Father wants you to build in your life.”
He counseled students to choose their friends and associates well. “True love comes from those who seek your eternal well-being,” he said. “They would never ask you to compromise your standards or weaken your testimony, or do anything like it.”
President Richards said he would never forget how attending the BC had changed the lives of thousands of students. He recalled a student with a really good pancake recipe she wanted to sell. Her greatest obstacle was that she lacked confidence in herself and her potential after being mistreated so many times in her life.
As faculty helped the student learn how to pitch her recipe, she found the confidence she needed in her talents. She found success as she launched her business.
“Find the pancake woman in your classes,” President Richards told faculty. He encouraged them to empower those students who lacked confidence and just needed support and an extra push. One of his own professors had done that for him when he lacked confidence at school.
“Every student that comes here deserves your very best,” he said. “Every student counts. Every interaction counts. Every day here counts because, believe me, it will come to an end—your time here—sooner than you hope, sooner than you desire. Trust me, especially if your heart is consecrated to this work.”
President Richards shared his appreciation for the administration. He said he loved each person he had worked with. He recalled how President Henry B. Erying had called LDSBC “a gem in the crown of Church education.” He praised the commitment he had observed. “You have exhibited remarkable ability to do more with less and accomplish great things that have moved this temple of learning forward to position it for the next chapter in this College’s long history,” he said.
“How I love you, my brothers and sisters in this great cause,” concluded President Richards. “I love you for what you have become, and I love you for what you are becoming. That is the great work of our Savior, Jesus Christ—your becoming. I pray the blessings of heaven upon you as I express my love to you and now bid you farewell, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.”