The Deans' Office
Message from the Dean
Years ago, President J. Reuben Clark, a member of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered an address entitled "The Charted Course of the Church in Education." Therein he spoke of the "two prime things which may not be overlooked, forgotten, shaded, or discarded" by any member of the Church. They are, "First: That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, the Creator of the world, the Lamb of God, the Sacrifice for the sins of the world, the Atoner for Adam's transgression; that He was crucified; that His spirit left His body....that He was laid away in the tomb; that on the third day His spirit was reunited with His body, which again became a living being; that He was raised from the tomb a resurrected being...and that because of His death and by and through His resurrection every man born into the world since the beginning will be likewise literally resurrected."
The second of the two prime things is "that the Father and Son actually and in truth and very deed appeared to the Prophet Joseph [Smith] in a vision in the woods; that other heavenly visions followed to Joseph and to others; that the Gospel and the holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God were in truth and fact restored to the earth from which they were lost by the apostasy of the Primitive Church; that the Lord again set up His Church, through the agency of Joseph Smith; that the Book of Mormon is just what it professes to be."
These "two prime things" are the very foundation of all we do and teach in Religious Education at Brigham Young University. And because Religious Education is at the heart of what Brigham Young University is and does, the two prime things are foundational to the existence of BYU. As President Clark ultimately said, "There is neither reason nor is there excuse for our Church religious teaching and training facilities and institutions, unless the youth [and Church members] are to be taught and trained in the principles of the Gospel, embracing therein the two great elements that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph was God's prophet."
It is our sincere hope that the experiences and association students have with Religious Education, however great or small, will ultimately strengthen their conviction of these two prime things.