Brigham Young University-Idaho Vice President James R. Smyth, set to retire Nov. 20, shared his final message to the campus Nov. 17, at Tuesday's devotional.
His message centered around two words: order and security. He explained, "By our very nature, we both crave and seek a sense of order and security in our lives." From that definition, he developed his address by examining Jesus Christ's pattern, which He gives to "help us avoid being deceived by Satan and...have order and security in our lives."
Smyth warned students and employees, "We can be misled in how we view righteousness verses how we view wickedness. We can easily come to the erroneous conclusion that if something is not wicked then it must be okay." He recommended honest, personal reflection and a deeper look at underlying attitudes to avoid the distractions and traps laid by the adversary.
Contrasting Satan's pattern of distraction and temptation with the Lord's pattern of order and security, Smyth said: "We can recognize [the Lord's pattern] by the feelings of calm it brings to our lives.... We can also recognize the Lord's pattern by the responsibility it brings. It requires something from us. It requires effort and commitment."
Smyth then explained that the Lord's pattern also teaches us to serve one another and to reverence and honor sacred things.
However, he explained that the "greater task is to internalize all that we have been given. This task of internalizing the gospel ... is where we increasingly need to be putting faithful and consistent effort all the days of our lives."
Finally, Smyth incorporated a study of the temple to help us understand how to obtain order and security in this life. "The temple provides us a vista where we might see, and where we might hear, and where we might feel the calm, the peace and the promise of eternity."
Smyth asked students and employees to work toward maintaining the pattern set by temple workers and by absorbing these attributes, they can strive to be "better roommates, friends, husbands and wives, more effective parents and more dedicated teachers and leaders."
He also shared that keeping the covenants made in the temple "will, line-upon-line, allow us the expanding privilege and blessing of seeing what God sees, knowing what He knows and feeling what He feels. It is truly the path of becoming."
In closing, he challenged students and employees to build homes and "settings where the Holy Ghost is ever invited and ever included. It is our right and our privilege to experience these things."