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Elder Oaks Encourages BYU Graduates to Serve

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, urged Brigham Young University graduates to use their education to serve others. Elder Oaks spoke during BYU’s commencement exercises Thursday, August 13, 2015, on the Provo, Utah campus.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke during BYU’s summer commencement exercises. Photo courtesy BYU.

“The gaining of knowledge and skills is an incomplete view of the significance of education,” he told the more than 2,000 graduates from 10 colleges in the Marriott Center. “Of even greater importance is the question of how those attainments are to be used.”

“You should remember that those whose sacrifices have supported your education expect you to use that education in the service of your fellowmen and in furtherance of your own becoming what God created you to become,” explained Elder Oaks, who served as BYU's president from 1971 until 1980.

He acknowledged the students were graduating in challenging times. “Selfishness is replacing service. The fundamental freedoms of speech and religion are being questioned.”

President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, BYU President Kevin J Worthen and Elder Dallin H. Oaks participated in summer graduation exercises. Photo courtesy BYU.

President Russell M. Nelson, also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, presided over the afternoon graduation ceremonies, which were conducted by BYU President Kevin J Worthen.

"Strive to devote spiritual attributes of faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility and diligence," President Nelson urged the graduates. "These attributes are difficult to measure, but they constitute the substance of what the Lord hopes for each of you. ... Each day we can become more like Him regardless of our chosen field of occupational endeavor."

Students walk in the processional to the Marriott Center for summer commencement exercises. Photo courtesy BYU.

More than 1,600 students received their bachelor’s degrees, 323 students earned master’s degrees and 52 doctorates were awarded.

The Church places an emphasis on the importance of continued secular and spiritual education. Other campuses include BYU–Idaho, BYU–Hawaii and LDS Business College in Salt Lake City. In addition, seminary courses are offered to teenagers of all faiths and institute classes are available for single and married adults between the ages of 18 and 30.

Read the Church News for additional information on BYU’s August commencement exercises.

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