BYU: Fortified by Faith
by the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In our service together as the Presiding Bishopric, we have seen kindness and charity throughout the world. We are grateful to participate with you in the Lord’s work. You support many good causes, and we thank you for your kind donations to Brigham Young University.
President Kevin J Worthen has given renewed emphasis to the university’s mission “to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life.” Like you, we are inspired by this vision, and we are grateful to play a supporting role in fulfilling it.
Guided by the First Presidency, which also chairs the BYU Board of Trustees, we help provide needed resources for the university. One of the ways we do that is through encouraging philanthropic support. More than 40 years ago, the First Presidency organized what is now LDS Philanthropies, a Church department that reports through our office. LDS Philanthropies has staff who support each of the Church Educational System’s institutions of higher education, including BYU. LDS Philanthropies assists donors who wish to support these schools and other Church causes.
BYU is a kingdom-building entity, part of the ongoing work of the Restoration. The outstanding faculty expands knowledge and strengthens faith. The students’ bright countenances and sharp minds bode well for the future. Their time on campus prepares them intellectually and spiritually to be of service to their fellowman. The university itself has been and is being built and fortified by the faith and efforts of people like them and you.
Latter-day Saints Doing Good
Helping others has always been at the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Nauvoo, the Saints lived and worked with the Prophet Joseph Smith. One young man recorded a lesson he learned from the Prophet: “I was at Joseph’s house; he was there, and several men were sitting on the fence. Joseph came out and spoke to us all. Pretty soon a man came up and said that a poor brother who lived out some distance from town had had his house burned down the night before. Nearly all of the men said they felt sorry for the man. Joseph put his hand in his pocket, took out five dollars and said, ‘I feel sorry for this brother to the amount of five dollars; how much do you all feel sorry?’”
Generations later, Joseph Smith’s generous legacy continues. Today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is known throughout the world for the giving nature of its members. You give without expectation of recompense or need for acclaim. You give because Jesus Christ gave. You love others because God loves you. You lift others because it is an integral part of your faith.
The Presiding Bishopric, under the First Presidency’s direction, manages the temporal affairs of the Church. We oversee the Church’s disaster relief efforts and the Church’s humanitarian work worldwide. Daily, we see the effects of Church members’ goodness.
We are humbled to witness your generosity—whether you are assisting earthquake victims, refugees, or single parents seeking an education. Seeing this has magnified our faith.
Helping BYU Do More
At BYU, donations bless students with expanded educational opportunities. Donors have created thousands of scholarships, helped build more than 20 buildings, and launched scores of programs that are in real ways changing the world for the better. In short, donors help the university do more, be better, and move faster.
One example is the new Engineering Building, which is currently under construction. All of the funds to build it were donated; more than 18,000 alumni and friends of the university contributed. When the building opens in 2018, it will quickly begin to improve the educational experience of thousands of students, and that good will be compounded over many years as students go forth to serve and new students take their places on campus.
Donations move the Lord’s work forward, including in the lives of the donors themselves. As we follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, by giving to others, we change and become more like Him. We become more understanding and caring, more forgiving and loving.
You are making a positive difference in the lives of students and the work of the university. We know that the influence of your support will be felt by students and their families as well as by you and your family. May you be blessed for your generosity.