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About Aims

Helpful talks and articles for students thinking of applying to BYU.

The strongest applications come from students whose actions and conduct reflect the Aims of a BYU Education. Being familiar with the Aims will help you decide if you want to apply to BYU.

Applicants should strive to live by the principles and concepts found in this collection of speeches and articles.

Spiritually Strengthening

On Change and Becoming: Thoughts from a Reluctant Grower

Diane Thueson Reich | June 2017
I had always wanted to serve a mission. I grew up in Orem, Utah, and went to college in Arkansas. As I awaited my mission call, I was sure that with all of my language training and with my vocal skills I would be assigned to an exciting, exotic place—maybe even a place where I could make connections to later begin my fabulous ­operatic career!

Spiritual Strength: A Planned Process

Rex W. Allred | February 1977
Our best sources for examples of how to gain spiritual strength are the life of our Savior and the accounts of the lives of our great spiritual leaders.

Intellectually Enlarging

Paired Aspirations

James R. Rasband | August 2017
As far as I could tell, my mom didn’t really need a degree. She was the sort of person who took charge of every meeting and council room into which she walked. But she wanted a degree. She wanted to learn from some of the best minds in the Church.

Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World

Robert D. Hales | October 2015
Education prepares you for better employment opportunities. It puts you in a better position to serve and to bless those around you. It will set you on a path of lifelong learning. It will strengthen you to fight against ignorance and error. As Joseph Smith taught: “Knowledge does away with darkness, suspense and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is. … In knowledge there is power.”

Character Building

Successfully Failing: Pursuing Our Quest for Perfection

Kevin J. Worthen | January 2015
Failing is an essential part of the mortal phase of our quest for perfection. We don’t often think of it that way, but that is only because we tend to focus too much on the word perfection and not enough on the word quest when we read the [BYU] mission statement ( Failure is an inevitable part of the quest. In our quest for perfection, how we respond when we fail will ultimately determine how well we will succeed.

Integrity of Heart

Ronald A. Rasband | March 2018
Many of you will be asked in the years ahead to bend the rules, to grease wheels, to look the other way, to compromise. It may not be a million-dollar deal, and some may assume that is the way things are done. But your integrity will be on the line, and the price will never be worth it.

Lifelong Service and Learning

A Holier Approach to Ministering

Neil L. Anderson | April 2018
At BYU you are surrounded by believers who are in various stages of belief and testimony. I challenge you to strengthen your efforts to spiritually minister to one another. To minister spiritually can begin with baking cookies or playing a basketball game, but eventually this holier way of ministering requires opening your heart and your faith, taking courage in encouraging the positive growth you are seeing in a friend, or expressing concerns about things you see and feel are not consistent with discipleship.

The Needs Before Us

Bonnie L. Oscarson | October 2017
What good does it do to save the world if we neglect the needs of those closest to us and those whom we love the most? How much value is there in fixing the world if the people around us are falling apart and we don’t notice? Heavenly Father may have placed those who need us closest to us, knowing that we are best suited to meet their needs.

Other Materials that Relate to a BYU Way of Life

Inspiring Learning

Kevin J. Worthen | August 2016
Lehi noted three times that the Lord commanded him that he should send his sons back to get the plates, thereby making it clear that Lehi was not supposed to do this himself.

. . . the Lord wanted Nephi and his brethren to have an experiential learning opportunity. It may have been easier and faster for Lehi to get the plates himself, but God was not interested just in getting the plates. He was also interested—more interested—in helping Lehi’s sons in their quest for perfection and eternal life. And He furthered that process by providing those sons with a learning experience that caused at least one of them, Nephi, to receive inspiration.

For the Strength of Youth

The principles contained in For the Strength of Youth are aligned with the aims of a BYU education. If you have modeled your life on the For the Strength of Youth principles, you are already familiar with many of the traits we look for in our students.

BYU: A Unique Kind of Education

Kevin J. Worthen | August 2017
While we are first and foremost committed to our students—and to teaching them in the Lord’s way—we also ask faculty members to reinforce and enhance that primary teaching mission with world-class research.