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.
Students attending Institute of Religion classes and two Institute instructors were invited to lunch with President and Sister Kusch this month. They were given the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by the Kusches.
Here’s a summary of what transpired in the Q&A luncheon this month:
Question: What’s the best way we can keep up with daily scripture study?
Answer: Most of us are returned missionaries. Remember back to your missions and how you had a couple of hours a day to study the gospel? We don’t have that luxury now. We have to schedule a time to study, and if that time is only 15 minutes because of all our other responsibilities, that’s OK. We ought to pray to Heavenly Father to ask that, even in the small amount of time we have, He would send the Holy Ghost to teach us something new as we study. If we worry about finding balance in our lives we’ll end up feeling guilty. It’s better to realize there’s a time and season for everything and to just do the best we can at any given moment. You shouldn’t count Institute homework as your personal scripture study, because that’s part of your job as a student. Instead, you should set aside a separate time to study, so it’s a free will offering to the Lord. If we study with the desire to learn something new, even in a short amount of time, Heavenly Father, in His time, will bless us with the righteous desires of our hearts.
Q: I appreciate that at LDS Business College we combine secular and spiritual learning. How would you recommend we approach learning so we grow in both ways?
A: First, recognize that all learning is spiritual. We’re taught that “…by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). The Lord doesn’t limit this promise to spiritual things. When we realize that all learning is spiritual, it changes our approach to learning. Next, nothing we learn is wasted knowledge. Whatever “…intelligence we [gain] in this life… will rise with us in the resurrection” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:18). In the eternities, as we become perfect, we’ll need to possess every kind of knowledge. And, if you feel you learn something now and forget it next semester, don’t worry because the Holy Ghost will “…bring all things to your remembrance” (John 14:26). It’s our responsibility to learn all we can so we can become like Heavenly Father. Sister Kusch used the example of quilt making. When she was younger and thought she’d not have much practical use for advanced math, it’s a required skill to lay-out quilt patterns and designs — something she loves to do.
Q: Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by all that I have to do — be a good wife and mother, family member, Church member and student — that it’s easy to become discouraged. Raising a family and being in College is difficult. How do I avoid feeling guilty?
A: Like we’ve already discussed, you can’t focus on finding a perfect balance in your life. Rather, ask Heavenly Father to bless, consecrate and magnify your efforts. When you’re at school, be at school. When you’re at home and with your children, be there. You’ll make fond memories and, in the end, your children won’t feel slighted you didn’t give them all your time. Rather, they’ll understand the importance of hard work and dedication in pursuing an education or career. The Lord will help you so the important things are not left undone. Sister Kusch shared her experience going back to school when her children were older and struggling with a challenging assignment that was due. Her son, who had just returned from his mission, asked her how she was doing and she said she didn’t think she could do all she had to do. He told her, “Mom, I’m here, and I’ll help you.” Sister Kusch felt the Holy Ghost teaching her at that moment that the Lord is always near and will help us if we ask. If we focus on the important things and rely on the Lord, He’ll help us. Faith and trust in the Lord and His timing, when we’re doing all we can do, will help us avoid feelings of guilt. This is where the enabling power of the Savior’s atonement has practical application in our lives.
President Kusch shared that we should pray for specific gifts of the Spirit. The gifts we may receive are as infinite as our needs. For example, an angry person could pray for the gift of charity. When President Kusch had about 200 students his first semester teaching at BYU-Idaho, he wanted to be able to recognize them and call them by name. So, he prayed for the gift of recognizing faces and remembering names. The Lord helped him accomplish it and several students told him later that the fact their professor recognized them and called them by name made a big difference in their college experience.
Q: What’s the potential role of student government at LDS Business College?
A: We believe there’s great potential for student leadership on campus. Tracey Anderson, director of the Student Development Center, is working on initiatives now for student leadership in the coming semester. Students are so capable and can help us accomplish many great things at LDS Business College.
Q: How would you define LDS Business College?
A: This is a question each of you could also answer. From your experience, how would you define the College?
This is a place of learning. It’s a place that supports learning in a flexible way so students can manage family, work and school. This is a different type of education; one that’s focused on job skills and helps us be more employable.
We have amazing teachers and leaders. We’re taught here by the Spirit, which makes a huge difference. We’re next to Church headquarters and benefit from the leadership and testimonies of nearby Church leaders. We’re all in this together.
The College is preparing future leaders — leaders in homes, at work and in the Church. We’ll become spiritual leaders for the world, and we’ll help change the world.
Sister Kusch added that, with so many different countries represented at LDS Business College, students will bless the lives of their families and members of the Church in their home countries all over the world.
President Kusch expressed his conviction that LDS Business College is different, unique and set apart from all other Church educational institutions. At the heart of everything that’s done at LDS Business College is helping students recognize their great potential and helping everyone within the community become more capable and trusted disciples of Jesus Christ. He said he has heard from many students that their experience at the Business College taught them they could do and achieve more than they thought possible. We’re all children of a loving Heavenly Father with divine potential, capacity and capability. We can do anything the Lord asks us to do. We come here every day because we love LDS Business College students. We know of their goodness.
Sister Kusch said that when then-President Uchtdorf called President Kusch to preside over the College, he told them being at LDS Business College would be like a missionary zone conference every day. It is, and the Kusches love it.
Q: What would you say is the focus of LDS Business College?
A: To give you skills so you can get a better job. We practice deep, engaged learning where students help guide curriculum and deliverables. We put students in situations like what they’ll experience in the real world, so when the time comes, they’re able to contribute in the workplace from day one. Many of our students continue their education, and that’s great. Whatever they do after they leave here, they’ll be able to support themselves and their families better.
Did you know that all LDSBC graduates benefit from automatic admission to BYU-Idaho online? This allows our associate degree graduates to work on a bachelor’s degree from anywhere in the world, at a very affordable tuition price. (See the April 23, 2018 Newsroom article here).
Q: What are some of your greatest life challenges and how did you overcome them?
A: First, realize that even after you graduate, you’ll face challenges. We all have our own challenges throughout life. The simple things that bring the Spirit into your lives will help you through any challenge, things like daily scripture study and prayer, attending Sunday meetings — especially sacrament meeting, and attending the temple. Your circumstances may change, but doing these basic things will always help. These things don’t change. Remember what President Nelson recently taught, that regardless of where we are in our journey, we should be found on the covenant path.
President Kusch recounted the time when, with four children at home and while he was serving in a stake presidency, he had a very demanding job in the San Francisco Bay area. He was the only person at work with children and one of the few who was married. His work environment was competitive and he traveled a lot. He felt like a rubber band being stretched too thin. He acknowledged that he occasionally felt that something had to give. The lesson he learned from that experience was to never give up. He learned that as long as his family and his membership and loyalty to the Church were his top priorities, everything else works out.
Each of us has no idea what the Lord has in store for us. We have patriarchal blessings which give us some guidelines, but we don’t know the details. We discover the details as we go about doing our best, letting the Lord lead our lives. Don’t give up. Never give up.
Q: Could you share some major turning points in your life?
A: President Kusch shared four inflection points in his life: 1) When he was a college freshman and lacked direction, 2) His marriage to Sister Kusch, 3) Being called as a bishop at 26 years-old with three young children at home, and 4) Professional challenges that eventually led him and his family to BYU-Idaho.
Through their life’s experiences the Kusches have learned that if you put the Lord first, He’ll make more of your life than you could ever imagine. We all have moments when we get to show the Lord we’re on His side.
President Kusch expressed his love and appreciation to the Institute instructors. He shared that, as a college freshman, Institute saved his spiritual life. He thanked the Institute for the good spirit it brings into the College.
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 Q&A sessions. If you have questions or feedback about Q&A sessions, please contact the College public affairs team.