“Thy Mind, O Man, Must Stretch”

John W. Welch, the recipient of the 2010-2011 Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award, gave this speech on May 17, 2011, at Brigham Young University. He spoke about the BYU Mission Statement as a guide for infusing an intellectual life with perspective and purpose: students should learn the gospel of Jesus Christ, learn broadly to be able to communicate, learn deeply in one’s chosen field, and serve in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Welch placed emphasis on hard work and keeping an open mind while searching for truth. Mormonism thrives, he said, because it welcomes the idea that the world is fundamentally pluralistic: scriptures, priesthoods, worlds, revelations, covenants, even gods. Mormon thought also brings together rights and duties: with all rights come powers and privileges, and with powers and privileges come duties. Scholars have inherent duties to selflessly serve and teach others, unashamed of the gospel of Christ.

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