The Heber J. Grant Building Dedication: Elder Nelson to visit BYU-Hawaii and dedicate the new Grant building

Written by: 
Alyssa Walhood~Multimedia Journalist

Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will be dedicating the Heber J. Grant Building on Sept. 8. The dedication will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the new building. An invitation or a ticket is required to attend the event, said Michael Johanson, the University Communications director.

“Tickets to the live dedication in the Grant Building chapel will be distributed [to] different groups, such as faculty, staff from the accounting and business management departments, contractors who worked on the building, and members of the Laie Hawaii Young Single Adult Second Stake,” said Johanson.

A ticket is not required to watch the live broadcast of the dedication at the Cannon Activities Center, he said.

Before the live broadcast of the dedication, there will be a CES Devotional at 2 p.m. in the CAC. Those invited to the live dedication will also attend the CES devotional. Elder Nelson and party will move to the Heber J. Grant Building afterwards. Those attending the Devotional will stay there for the dedication broadcast. Faculty, students, and community members are encouraged to come and celebrate the dedication of the Heber J. Grant Building, Johanson said. Sunday dress is required.

Elder Nelson was chosen as the speaker for the dedication “because Elder Nelson is a member of the Church Educational System Board. We are blessed to have an apostle come to our campus and participate in this special event,” commented Johanson. Elder Paul V. Johnson, the CES Commissioner will accompany Elder Nelson.

Athena Galgiani, an elementary education major from California, said, “Elder Nelson is a famous surgeon.” He is an “internationally renowned surgeon and medical researcher,” according to the LDS Church Website. “I do remember once hearing a talk by him and really enjoying it,” Galgiani said.

Ally Johnson, from Utah and an elementary education major, said, “My favorite story about Elder Nelson is a time when him and his family were rafting down the Colorado River. They started going down a really strong current. Elder Nelson put one arm around his wife and the other around his daughter who was 7 years old at the time and tried to hold them close. Elder Nelson then found himself spinning into the air and landing in the rapids. After nearly drowning, he finally found the side of the raft and rose to the surface. The lesson from Elder Nelson’s story is to cling to the Savior and the iron rod of the gospel just like we would hang tightly to the ropes of the raft on top of the water.”

The dedication of the Heber J. Grant Building is an event where students and the community have the opportunity to hear from Elder Nelson.

Johanson said about the upcoming dedication, “It is a wonderful blessing for all our students and campus community to have the CES Devotional go out to the world live from our campus, and to have a beautiful new building to help further the mission of the university ‘to integrate spiritual and secular learning.’ Anyone who attends these two events will likely remember them for the rest of their lives.”

On the day of the dedication Elder Nelson’s wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, will hold a women’s fireside at 7 p.m. at the Stake Center. The Deseret Book website says, “Wendy Watson Nelson holds a Ph.D. in family therapy and gerontology. Prior to her marriage to Elder Russell M. Nelson, she was a professor of marriage and family therapy for twenty-five years. Sister Nelson has served as a stake Relief Society president, stake Primary president, and chaired the BYU Women’s Conference. Currently, she is an institute instructor and visiting teacher.”