Student Address to Graduates
Devotional or Speech given at
Brigham Young University-Hawaii
November 2, 2015
Carianne Hoshiko Hirano
DISCLAIMER: I was trying to think of something funny and clever to say throughout my talk, but then I remembered an apostle would be here. Could you imagine the eternal consequences if a joke had gone awry in the presence of an apostle? SoI thought I’d better not.
Just a quick shout out to my ohana, you know who you are, my co-workers at the Language and Speech Center, my TESOL professors,my good friends, Felicia and Jarene, and Kaho and So,and of course my real family, especially my mother, and my beloved Grandpa Fred and grandmother Hirano.
Aloha Brothers and Sisters.
Look at this huge mass of people, all together in one room. Now imagine countless more sitting together many, many years ago,in a beautiful place we cannot recall. We sat as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of a loving Father and Mother in heaven. Together we sat nervously but excitedly to listen to our individual calls. We were each given special assignments, tasks to be completed when we decided to follow God’s plan and gaina body of flesh and bone in which we would be tried and testedin a place unbeknownst to us. What did we commit to do whenwe accepted that call? Our Heavenly Father’s ultimate plan is tobring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I believe that because we chose to come to earth we committed to help Heavenly Father fulfill his ultimate plan. So how do we go about helping a divine and all-powerful being?
Many of you are already on your way to fulfilling your calling.You have sought higher education and have sharpened natural talents and skills, and perhaps have gained a few more while studying at BYUH. Your desire to help others with your education is already a recognition of your divine call. As recent graduates,some of us may know what our next step is in life. Others, myself included, may feel lost. I am 100% nervous about my future. I have no clue what I want to do with my education or where God needs me to be.
At the beginning of this last semester, I plunged into a deep depression. I was worried about my future and my lack of plans. As a very independent person and one who is used to serving others, I have always cringed at the thought of others helping me. However, I had reached a very low point in my life and knew that I couldn’t take another step without help. During this time,I realized that to not open our mouths about our struggles promotes a sense of pride. Not only do we give others the chance to be charitable when we are open about our struggles, but often-times opportunities arise for others to be open with us if we are open with them first. Since being more open about my personal struggles I have had many sweet, spiritual discussions with others who are facing similar trials. Together we have felt the powerof healing. As individuals we are born with strengths, but we also have weaknesses and I believe we were made this way so we could rely on one another.Some may be weary of the future; I beseech you to turn to the resources you have, including prayer, church attendance, and fasting. One resource that I believe is not emphasized enoughis reading your patriarchal blessing. Patriarchal blessings are direct revelation given to you by God, and are considered as personal scripture. As the beloved Richard G. Scott once said, “Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures islike filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.” As a laurel I had the opportunity of having Sister Elaine S. Dalton come to my stake and address the youth. She talked about her desire to have the power of her patriarchal blessing at her beck and call,so she decided to memorize her blessing. Whenever she went about her day she was able to recall lines from her patriarchal blessing. How reassuring and comforting would words of personal scripture be during times of our own trial and tribulation? As we seek to understand God’s will for us, liahonas like our patriarchal blessings point us to where our true happiness lies.Whatever you decide to do, remember that your ultimate purposein this life is to help Heavenly Father fulfill his plan to bringto pass the immortality and eternal life of man. We are here to serve God until the end of our lives whether we are granted thedesires of our heart or not. I want to leave you with words of one of my favorite hymns:
O’errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall beIn perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.
Remember you have never walked a single step in your life without divine assistance. Jesus Christ suffered for you so that there was a way for you to return back to our Heavenly Father and receive ultimate happiness and joy. May we use the gifts God has given us in the way he asks us to, so that we can help our fellow brothers and sisters return to Him.
We entered to learn my fellow colleagues; now go forth and serve, graduates of Brigham Young University–Hawaii, Fall 2015! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.