A Model to Follow

Dedication of the Gordon B. Hinckley Building

Address and Dedicatory Prayer

President Thomas S. Monson


Brigham Young UniversityIdaho

October 22, 2002



As we approached this beautiful campus today, as we observed the manicured lawns and gardens, and as we beheld the eager students within and without this magnificent structure, the words of the Apostle Peter, spoken to the Lord Jesus Christ at an earlier time and in a far-away place, described the feelings of my heart: "Lord, it is good for us to be here." 

Our opportunity today is to give to this multi-purpose and sparkling new building a name and to offer a prayer of dedication. I am honored by President Gordon B. Hinckley to have this singular privilege. 

During the earthly mission of the Lord, He frequently spoke of house building. He declared, "A house divided against itself shall not stand." Later He cautioned, "Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion." 

In a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith at Kirtland, Ohio, on December 27, 1832, the Master counseled, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing: and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." 

Well could it be said today that this house, this structure in which we meet, has been completed following such a blueprint which outlines its very purpose. 

The words of the Apostle Paul, spoken to the Corinthians, lifts all of us to an even higher plateau of thinking: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you." 

All that has gone into the planning and completion of this structure is guided by this very purpose -- the acquiring of a firm testimony of the Gospel and living the teachings of our Lord and Savior. It was said of Him that he "increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." Another passage gives us a never-failing guide: He "went about doing good, for God was with him." 

With these thoughts coursing through our minds, it is fitting that the structure will now bear the name, "Gordon B. Hinckley Building." It is a comfortable fit -- for President Hinckley is a man of prayer, a man of fasting, a man of faith, a man of learning, a man of glory, a man of order, a man of God. He too has devoted his long and fruitful life to doing good, and God is surely with him. 

In your studies, you may learn of one Sir Thomas More, an English statesman and author of an earlier period who was steadfast in cleaving unto his beliefs. A book and a film tell the story of his life. It is entitled "A Man for All Seasons." Today, amidst the conflicts of our time and the turbulence of our seasons, we reach out for one such. Our Heavenly Father, knowing our need, has provided for us "a man for all seasons." His name is President Gordon B. Hinckley. He is our prophet, seer and revelator. He is an island of calm in a sea of storm. He is as a lighthouse to the mariner who is lost. He is your friend and my friend. 

A hero in the life of President Hinckley is his father, Bryant S. Hinckley. I became acquainted with Bryant S. Hinckley when he authored a classic volume, "Faith of Our Pioneer Fathers." I was involved in its printing. As with his father before him, President Hinckley reflects the title of this splendid book and exemplifies the faith of his pioneer fathers and mothers. 

It was my privilege to know and love President Hinckley long before either of us was called to the Council of the Twelve, where through the years I sat next to him, served with him and learned from him. I am a witness to his prophetic calling. 

This campus, this faculty, this student body, this community, and this church are blessed to have this building and the name it bears. Fitting is its location, on an eminence seen from a distance. It beckons, "Come and learn. Come and learn to serve. Come to learn and serve and to love the Lord our God and our neighbor as ourselves." 

Time does not permit more than a mention of President Hinckley's numerous accomplishments. But a capsule view of his presidency reveals: A worldwide expansion of Church membership; temples which dot the lands and bless the people; the magnificent Conference Center; humanitarian efforts which relieve hunger, poverty, and suffering; and the Perpetual Education Fund, which enables young people to break the cycle of poverty from whence they come. 

Since all who would wish to greet President Hinckley personally cannot come to him, President Hinckley goes worldwide to them. He is a prophet to the people. Not neglected are the children who flock to his side, nor does he neglect the parents of these precious ones. And the best is yet to come, for under President Hinckley's direction, the technology of our age will be utilized to permit millions throughout the world to hear his words, see his countenance, receive his teachings and feel his spirit. 

I express appreciation to President Hinckley for the privilege to serve with him and with President Faust in the First Presidency. I am so grateful that Marjorie Pay Hinckley, President Hinckley's eternal companion, and many of their family members are present here today. It is a day of rejoicing; it is a day ever to be remembered; it is a day of dedication. 

Long years ago I read and remembered a line which appealed to me and which I share with you today: "What the world needs are fewer critics and more models to follow." Such a model God has provided us for our day and for our time -- even President Gordon B. Hinckley. Let us follow him, for I know he follows our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. 

As we now bow our heads and close our eyes, I will offer the dedicatory prayer: 

Prayer of Dedication

Our beloved Father in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. We assemble before Thee this day for the purpose of expressing our gratitude to Thee for this beautiful edifice of learning and worship and all that it means to Thy children who will study to gain knowledge and who will worship that they may be close to Thee and Thy beloved Son. Let those who shall teach here do so with Thy guiding spirit as a constant companion. May doubt be dispelled. May faith provide that shining light which will fill minds and souls with truth eternal. 

Please bless the administration, the faculty, the students and all who contribute in their respective ways to Brigham Young University- Idaho. 

May all recognize that they walk on hallowed ground when entering this building. May each one appreciate the past, contemplate the future, and work diligently in the present to Thy name's honor and glory. 

May Thy holy hand protect these facilities, that no untoward incident may deface or destroy. 

Heavenly Father, we invoke Thy blessings to attend President Gordon B. Hinckley, whose name this building will bear. We know that he is a prophet for our time. His entire life has prepared him for this dynamic period of worldwide growth of the Church. He is a man of gifted intellect, a man of capacity, a man of compassion. His life itself is a legacy to the world. 

With gratitude in our hearts, we dedicate this, the Gordon B. Hinckley Building, including the chapel, gymnasium, multi-purpose area, the kitchens and the numerous classrooms. We dedicate the grounds which enhance the building's beauty and which reflect Thy handiwork. 

The words of Thy prophet President Hinckley seem appropriate as part of this prayer of dedication. He said, "What is really important is that this is the work of the Master, and our work is to go about doing good, as did He." 

May we do as Thy prophet has asked, dear Father, is our united prayer, which I offer through the authority of the Holy Priesthood and in the name of Thy beloved Son, even Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer, in His holy name -- the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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