In many ways the construction of the Rexburg Temple has paralleled my education at Brigham Young University–Idaho. Ground was broken and foundations were laid during my freshman year. As a sophomore I noted daily progress as the temple’s framework was erected and the exterior walls were put in place. I stood amidst a crowd of thousands one cold and rainy morning in my junior year to watch the Angel Moroni ascend to the top of the temple spire. Two months after graduation, I sat just inside the temple doors to witness its dedication. Since then, I have had occasion to reflect on my extraordinary experience at BYU–Idaho.
At the temple’s groundbreaking ceremony, those present were counseled to build their lives so as to be worthy to enter the temple and receive its blessings. The image of building lives resonated powerfully with me; it seemed to capture the essence of who we are and what BYU–Idaho is trying to accomplish. I believe the way we build our lives should be a reflection of the way we build our temples, and that such a vital construction project cannot be accomplished without the spirit of consecration.
Elder David A. Bednar has called this university a “temple of learning” and a “Disciple Preparation Center,”¹ in which students and faculty are engaged in learning how to become more Christ-like. As a freshman, I was excited by the possibility of relating gospel principles to mathematics, and although such occasions did arise once or twice, I soon found that studying math at BYU–Idaho consisted primarily of studying math. We didn’t talk much about the gospel in many of my other classes either, yet all the while, my testimony grew.
Henry J. Eyring has compared devoted teachers whose love of learning transforms the lives of their students to missionaries bringing “good tidings” to humble seekers of truth.2 Just as dedication transforms a fine building into a temple, so can consecration transform a task into an offering, a job into a vocation, a well-lived life into the life of a disciple.
The spirit of consecration is central to temple construction and to the building of Christ-like lives. Each of us has had the opportunity to respond joyfully to the call to “consecrate his service ... unto the Lord” (1 Chronicles 29:5), not only in the building and continued operation of the Rexburg Temple, but in our work and in our studies, in our homes and in our community. These offerings are not of gold, silver, and precious ores, but of our time, talents, and means.
1David A. Bednar, “Brigham Young University–Idaho: A Disciple Preparation Center (DPC),” BYU–Idaho Devotional, 31 August 2004. 2Henry J. Eyring, “How Beautiful Upon the Mountains.” Perspective 8.1(2008): 46-50.