Cecil O. Samuelson Quotes
Cecil Osborn Samuelson, Jr. (born Aug 1, 1941) was the 12th president of Brigham Young University (BYU) and is an emeritus general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Prior to holding these positions, Samuelson had worked as a professor of medicine and later dean of the school of medicine at the University of Utah, and senior vice president of Intermountain Health Care (IHC). While he was president at BYU, Samuelson pushed professors and students to raise their expectations and encouraged mentored learning. During his presidency, student enrollment limits stayed constant, new sports coaches were hired, new buildings were built, and a hiring freeze during the Great Recession reduced faculty.
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While our institutional mission and destiny are not in doubt, how we each participate and understand our individual responsibilities requires constant attention, effort, and vigilance. BYU will progress and prosper, but our individual success is not guaranteed without our own personal best efforts and worthily received blessings.
We must never forget that BYU is not just another "good" university. It was established by the Lord's servants and continues to be blessed with the direction and support of prophets, seers, and revelators. While we may not understand all of the details, we do know that Brigham Young University occupies a key place in the Lord's plans for the completion of His work in these last days.
We may have much that worries us, and we may find many reasons to be concerned. Yet, as President Spencer W. Kimball observed, peace and the Savior's doctrine of forgiveness are inseparably connected: The essence of forgiveness is that it brings peace to the previously anxious, restless, frustrated, perhaps tormented soul.
I hope each of us realizes, at least in part, what a rich blessing it is to be at BYU. We are better prepared to receive and achieve the wonderful advantages and opportunities that life has yet to offer us because of what has happened to us here.
As we strive to better understand how Jesus sees us and contemplate our own attempts to live as the Redeemer would have us live, let us remember his instructing observations and their universal applications in literally all that we do: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15) and "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Jesus Christ was the only one capable of performing the magnificent Atonement because He was the only perfect man and the Only Begotten Son of God the Father. He received His commission for this essential work from His Father before the world was established. His perfect mortal life devoid of sin, the shedding of His blood, His suffering in the garden and upon the cross, His voluntary death, and the Resurrection of His body from the tomb made possible a full Atonement for people of every generation and time.
Because our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, are perfect, our dearest aspiration is to become like Them and eventually achieve the perfection that is possible and promised, even though each of us has such a long way to go.
When we begin to understand the magnitude of [the Messiah's] sacrifice and service to us individually and collectively, we then cannot consider anything else to be of more importance or to approach His significance in our lives. "For most of us, this understanding does not come all at once and likely will not be fully complete during our mortal sojourn. We do know, however, that as we learn line upon line, our appreciation for the Savior's contributions will increase and our knowledge and assurance of their truthfulness will grow.