We Recognize Your Potential

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President James E. Faust

"We believe in you because we recognize your strength and capacity. As a boy working on a farm, I learned that all kinds of devices can give you power to do things you cannot accomplish with your own strength. In those days we had to move big boulders by hand. We would get a long pole and put the strong end of the pole under the rock we wanted to move. Then, resting the pole on a smaller rock close by the big rock, we would pull down on the small end of the pole, which would cause the big rock to move. The longer the pole, the more leverage and the easier it was to move the big rock.

We have progressed from poles to power machinery. Today you have computers with the Internet and e-mail to increase and expand your capacity. But you will need to gain certain skills to keep up with modern technology. For example, when I was in college we wrote papers by hand, but now they are expected to be typed, usually on a computer. Computers even have a spellchecker! With the development of power machinery, the rise in technology, and better health habits, the world is getting more competitive. A few years ago an ACT score in the twenties could secure a scholarship, but now a score in the thirties is required. Similarly, a 3.5 GPA used to be worth an academic scholarship, but a higher GPA is needed today. Records in sports are now higher; this pushes achievement levels higher in that area as well.

So to achieve your potential, you will not only have to work hard, but you will also have to work smart to employ all the leverage you can. As I visit our universities from time to time, I am impressed by our young people who are working early and late at menial jobs to help them stay in school. An education will give you great leverage, which is why you must get all of the education you can.

The greatest leverage for good, however, is on the spiritual level. This will come as you use your spiritual gifts to enhance your 
natural gifts and abilities. This spiritual leverage can be diminished or even destroyed if you get too close to the Devil's Throat. For example, I warn you against the dangers that lurk in the Internet, movies, and books which lead away from your destiny. Daily study of the scriptures is an excellent way to keep your spirituality safe from the Devil's Throat."

Excerpt from "We Believe in You" - James E. Faust - BYU Dev. - Nov. 1, 1998