Current BYUH chaplain, former Hong Kong Mission president gives four steps on how to become successful

Written by: 
Jordan Cortez

With the goal of sharing a message and vision for students was to go forth and serve all over the world, Elder Charles Goo, spoke at the BYUH Devotional on Tuesday, Nov. 7.


Goo said, “You are special and belong to this chosen generation. You will be the future leaders of the church worldwide. God has brought you to this school to prepare. ‘Enter to learn, go forth to serve.’


“Someday, when you leave this campus, I hope you don’t just take a degree, but specific experiences of service and leadership that you can take with you, and spread throughout the world.”


Goo is also the chaplain on campus, he said, and as chaplain, his main purpose is to help the non-members who want to attend BYUH, or are already attending, know the school’s expectations.


With the Athletics program ending last year, Goo said the number of non-members attending BYUH has decreased from 60 students to about 30.


“The school wants to ensure that they understand the Honor Code and are okay with keeping it,” said Goo. “To help, I conduct interviews with applying students. Some applicants have two interviews, one with their geographical bishop back home, and then one with me.”


For Goo, his role as chaplain is not his first major church calling. He previously served as a stake president in Laie, mission president in the Hong Kong China Mission, and temple president for the Hong Kong Temple.


Lok Him Rhine Woo, a junior studying applied mathematics from Hong Kong who knew Elder Goo, said, “President Goo is one of the pioneers for the people in Hong Kong. He is a servant of the Lord who helped build up Zion there.”


When speaking of the ‘Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve’ sign at the entrance of the school, Goo said, “The Lord did not put it there for looks, but as a reminder of our responsibility.”


Goo left students with four ways to prepare to ‘go forth to serve.’ He said his original plan was to share 12 ways, “but my wife kindly told me that was too many, so I cut it down to four.”


His four ideas his shared at devotional to prepare students to go out and serve included:

Temple Attendance

Take Advantage of the Education here at BYUH

Young Men, Serve a Mission

Find Opportunities to Serve Others


Goo said any major decision he made as a stake president, mission president, or temple president was always made with regular temple attendance. “Being in the temple always reminds me of my eternal perspective and helps me make decisions.”


According to Goo, education not only helps when looking for a promotion, but it also helps to “develop skills, broaden horizons and think outside the box.” His advice is to spend two hours outside of class, for every hour spent in class that week.


Goo also pleads with young men who have not yet served a mission to begin planning now to serve. It was as a young missionary in Hong Kong that he made the lifelong commitment to always be a consecrated member of the church and accept any calling that came his way.


This commitment came after seeing many homeless, helpless people in Hong Kong and after his mission president helped him see how he could help. His president shared Doctrine and Covenants 82:3, “For of him unto whom much is given much is required.”


Goo said, “My mission set forth the foundation for the rest of my life and has blessed me in all my callings.”


Goo also stated that finding opportunities to serve others can be simple and impactful. He said it starts with praying for the Spirit to guide you to those in need and following the subtle promptings that come.


Bryce Coleman, a sophomore studying international cultural studies from Arizona, said, “Elder Goo’s devotional was one of my favorites because he was so missionary oriented. I loved it.”



Timeline of Charles Goo’s Life & Service


1945 Born in Honolulu Hawaii. Raised in Laie since 1954.

1965-1968 Served in Southern Far East Mission, Hong Kong Headquarters, Cantonese Speaking.

1970 Graduated from BYU at Provo with a degree in Statistics.

1970-1973 First Lieutenant in Army assigned to the finance office in Germany.

1973 Began at BYU-Hawaii in Registrar’s Office

1981-1986 Assistant Dean of Students (admissions, financial aid, registrar).

•   Earned Doctorate of Educational Administration in 1982.

1986-1989 Mission President for Hong Kong China Mission

1989-2007 Associate Dean of Student Life (career service, international student services, counseling services).

1997-2005 Honolulu Hawaii Mission Presidency

•   Served under 4 Presidents - Dee F. Andersen, H. Ross Workman, Mark Hinckley Willes and Ronald K. Hawkins

•1991-1997 Stake President of BYU First Stake.

2005-2007 High Council of Laie Hawaii North Stake.

2007-2010 Hong Kong Temple President.

2014-2016 Senior couple in New York, New York North Mission for the China Town Ward as member and leadership support.

2017 Now serves as BYU-Hawaii Chaplain.

Date Published: 
Monday, December 11, 2017
Last Edited: 
Monday, December 11, 2017

NOTE: This story's publicationw as delayed because it was featured in the Dec. 2017 print issue.