Read Time: 4 minutes
A few weeks ago, I walked to the devotional on a crisp but bright winter morning. I had allowed myself lots of time to travel from the McKay Building to the Marriott Center, so I wasn’t in my typical rush to get there. The carillon bells were ringing out across campus to the tune of “Come, Come Ye Saints.” Hearing those bells inviting me to “come” took me back many years to the thrill I felt when I first heard those bells ring.
I was a sophomore at BYU. In October 1975, President Spencer W. Kimball delivered an address titled “The Second Century of Brigham Young University” for the weekly devotional as part of the university’s 100-year anniversary celebration. In his prophetic address, President Kimball spoke of Brigham Young University’s unique purposes and destiny during its second century. The importance of BYU in fulfilling the purposes of the Church and blessing the world was made clear as President Kimball talked about BYU educating its students for eternity, helping them be literate in the language of not only scholarship but also of spiritual things, being true and faithful to gospel standards and values, pursuing academic excellence, purposefully selecting quality instructors, being concerned about the spiritual qualities and abilities of those who teach at the university, and the challenges BYU would face in the future. It was truly prophetic for our day and time, and while I am sure that I did not completely understand all that President Kimball said that day, his address has served as direction and comfort in my role as a professor at BYU.
At the conclusion of President Kimball’s address, he offered a dedication of the carillon tower and bells. As an observance of this centennial event, alumni, students, and friends of BYU had funded the Centennial Carillon Bell Tower as a gift to the university. Part of President Kimball’s dedicatory prayer touched my heart:
Father, we thank thee for this institution and what it has meant in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and their posterity, for the truths they have learned here, for the characters that have been built, for the families that have been strengthened here. Let thy spirit continue to be with the president of this institution and his associates, the faculty, the students, alumni, staff, and friends of this University, and their successors that thy Spirit may always abide here and that stalwarts may emerge from this institution to bring glory to thee and blessings to the people of this world.
In the 47 years that have passed since that centennial observance, the carillon bells have rung out to remind us of not just devotionals, but other special events and recognitions on campus. The ringing of the carillon bells that morning a few weeks ago sparked in me a sweet and meaningful memory of that very special event those many years ago and helped me renew my commitment to the destiny of this university by reminding me of BYU’s important purpose.
I will always be thankful for the opportunities I have been given to be a part of BYU, and I know I am blessed to join with you, my colleagues, in working together toward achieving the Lord’s purposes for His university. May you always be blessed.