President and Sister Tanner addressed new BYU-Hawaii students in a discussion-based fireside on Sunday, Nov. 6 about learning from the past. Sister Tanner said they chose to have a fireside with a conversational nature because they wanted “this to be a group where we can share and talk with each other.”
Sister Tanner compared when the Lord commanded Nephi to build a ship to embarking on new journeys for the first time, like coming to college. She said doing things for the first time can be scary, and it’s easy for people to assume they can’t do the hard things the Lord wants them to do, but he will provide a way to help people achieve their goals.
Sister Tanner also stressed the importance of finding a quiet place to receive revelation, even though living in the dorms makes it difficult to be alone She shared how she would wake up early and lock herself in the bathroom when she was in college in order to have quiet time to pray and ponder.
David O. Mckay had high hopes for the students of BYUH, according to Sister Tanner. He prophesied the students of this institution would go on to spread the gospel and peace internationally, and would fill the earth with truth and light.
President Tanner continued the fireside with a similar message to new students, telling students they all have been sent here for a reason, have a story, and a specific mission to accomplish. He shared a memory of when he got accepted to UC Berkeley's graduate program but was told that there were no jobs at the institution in the field he wanted to pursue. He and Sister Tanner both believed going to Berkeley was the right thing to do, so they headed into the uncertain future, which ended up being the right choice.
President Tanner encouraged new students to “live up to your privileges” and utilize all this university has to offer. He had students name the privileges they have at BYUH. Students said some of the privileges were having a nearby temple, partaking of the sacrament, having a diverse student population, and having a subsidized education.
President Tanner discussed how hesitant his wife was to write a book on the history of Relief Society when President Hinckley called her to do so because it was something she had never done before. However, she was able to write the book with faith and guidance from the savior, similar to how Nephi built a boat.
“I thought [President Tanner] did a really great job speaking to us, and I loved his main theme about living up to our privileges,” said Mary Parsons, an undeclared freshman from Nevada.
Felecia Werjefelt, an undeclared freshman from Sweden, said, “I liked how President Tanner was so direct in his quotes. He gave us two specific statements to think about and strive for. That’s easier to think about and remember in classes. I was uplifted by it.”