Dean’s Message

 

Dean James Porter


In the last edition of the Life Sciences magazine, I quoted from President Spencer W. Kimball’s Second Century Address given at Brigham Young University in October of 1975. In this edition, I go back to that address and include a comment the he made specifically to the faculty of BYU. “Your double heritage and dual concerns with the secular and the spiritual require you to be bilingual. As LDS scholars you must speak with authority and excellence to your professional colleagues in the language of scholarship and you must also be literate in the language of spiritual things. We must be more bilingual in that sense to fulfill our promise in the second century of BYU.” Being bilingual in the way President Kimball meant is not always easy. This edition of the BYU College of Life Sciences magazine includes an article dealing with our stewardship responsibilities as inhabitants of the planet earth. It is noteworthy that our professors who are exploring ways to respond to a changing climate (their scholarship) are also guided by admonitions in the scriptures to care for the earth (their faith). Through their faith, they know why Heavenly Father created our earth and through their scholarship, they are discovering how to be better stewards. This scenario of faculty exhibiting their bilingual expertise can be repeated over and over in the College of Life Sciences. I am amazed when I think about how this blesses our students. They are being mentored by faculty who can help them understand the intricacies of life in a way that also builds their love of God.  To our faculty, I say, “Thank you,” and to our students, I say, “Cherish your time at BYU.”