President and Sister Tanner opened the annual campus lighting ceremony by sharing the LDS Church’s Christmas initiative “#LightTheWorld” on Dec. 1. Students were thrilled to see the campus lit up and are excited for the holiday season.
Sister Tanner shared the scripture 3 Nephi 18:24 and challenged the students to “hold up [their] light that it may shine unto the world.”
Robert Oliver, a freshman majoring in biochemistry from Illinois, said he was touched by the Tanner’s opening words. “The Tanners’ opening remarks really helped to set the mood not only for the Christmas lighting, but for the Christmas season as well. I love the cultural experience that I get through celebrating Christmas in Hawaii. Seeing ‘Melekalikimaka’ lit above the school reminds me how blessed I am to go to a university in Hawaii where Christ can be celebrated.
“The originality of the experiences provided at this school are one of a kind and I feel that even more during the Christmas season.”
The students joined President Tanner in a countdown to turn on the lights. The lights are centralized in the Little Circle covering the trees, lampposts, and the star above the David O. McKay Mural. Lights also are strung on the the trees at the entrance of the school from Kulanui St and Naniloa Loop.
Kaitlyn Wilcox, a freshman from Utah, said despite going home for the break, she has felt the Christmas spirit in Hawaii. “I love the giving atmosphere and the extra effort that everyone puts forth to look more outward than inward. I am going home for Christmas but I am so excited to be here at BYU-Hawaii for the first half of December so that I can experience the Christmas season here,” she said.
Madison Morton, a freshman from Idaho majoring in art, shares how excited she is to be experiencing Christmas in a new place. “I really like the Christmas spirit that is present here at school. This has always been my favorite time of year because it is a time where we make an extra effort to focus on Christ. I love the excitement that is in the air that comes from remembering Christ and all that he has done for us.”
President Tanner concluded his address with a quote from President Howard W. Hunter: “Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.” He challenged the students to follow President Hunter’s counsel and make an extra effort to serve others.