Friday, March 7, 2014

Go Forth to Serve

As Rob and I are preparing to begin our career in the Air Force, I have been reflecting back on our years here in Provo, UT.  I lived in Oregon all my life until I moved to Provo to attend Brigham Young University.  Education was my primary reason for leaving home.  I dreamed of attending BYU for years, so when I was accepted, I found the courage I needed to leave home and move to a place where I didn't know a single soul.  BYU was my dream because I knew it was a place where I could gain an education AND develop a firm foundation of faith among 30,000 students with similar standards.  I couldn't imagine a better atmosphere for this season of my life.
"Y" Mountain - Provo, UT
One of the greatest draws of a BYU education to LDS members and non-members alike is the HONOR CODE.  "As a matter of personal commitment, faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University... seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will:
Be honest
Live a chaste and virtuous life
Obey the law and all campus policies
Use clean language
Respect others
Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse
Participate regularly in church services
Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards
Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code
The honor code creates an on- and off-campus atmosphere of excellence.  Students do not get drunk on the weekends, use profane language, or dress immodestly.  Instead they are alert, respectful and focused on education and service.  Of course, we're still human, but it is still amazing how the honor code has created a self-policing system of students encouraging each other to have integrity and be clean, conscientious representatives of Christ.  It has also put Brigham Young University in the spotlight, and provided a missionary opportunity for all of its students.  The Princeton Review's list of the top 20 "stone-cold sober" universities has named BYU #1 for the last 16 years!  This year, 3 military academies also made it into the top 10.
Graduation Weekend - April 2013 - "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve"
Free from many of the common "college lifestyle" distractions, I really do believe the Honor Code has helped to create an atmosphere that boosted me toward the realization of the Aims of a BYU Education.  "BYU seeks to develop students of faith, intellect, and character who have the skills and the desire to continue learning and to serve others throughout their lives.  These are the common aims of all education at BYU...  A BYU education should be: 
Spiritually Strengthening
Intellectually Enlarging
Character Building
Leading to Lifelong Learning and Service
I LOVE the phrase printed on the southwest campus welcome sign: "Enter to learn, Go Forth to Serve."  I believe it is a beautiful message.  Students travel from all over the world to attend Brigham Young University.  We come to gain an education and we are encouraged to graduate and once again scatter across the globe in an effort to use our education to make the world a better place.  I'm grateful for the opportunity I have had to gain an education at BYU, and now to move to a new home where I may serve my new community.
The Blue House (East Half) - The Lemme Home from Aug 2012 to Feb 2014
As we're preparing to move away from the place that has been home for nearly 7 years, I'm seeing all the things around me that I'm going to miss so much.  I've always privately made fun of the people who choose to live in Provo permanently, but it really is an amazing place.  The breath-taking mountains, beautiful BYU campus, the amazing atmosphere, the temples, the places I've worked and lived, the incredible people I've met and the beautiful friendships I've gained, and all the wonderful memories that go with it.  I never thought I would say this, but I LOVE Provo!  I will surely miss it.  Here in Provo, Utah I learned how to work and study, how to be self sufficient, how to be a true friend, and how to nurture a personal relationship with my Father in Heaven.  I earned my degree and met my amazing husband here.  Wow, the last 7 years of my life have been so blessed and beautiful!  This season of life will never be forgotten.  Goodbye, Provo!
MOA Memorial Garden - Brigham Young University

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