The talks collected in this volume are drawn from John S. Tanner’s later years at Brigham Young University, prior to his appointment as president of BYU–Hawaii. They contain a record of how, as an administrator, he tried to keep the dream of BYU alive. More broadly, they speak to a vision of learning that has been central to Latter-day Saint doctrine and practice from the earliest days of the Church. He calls it learning in the light (see Psalm 36:9).
Bruce C. Hafen observes, Since I began teaching at BYU forty-five years ago, I have heard many talks and read many essays about BYU’s spiritual and intellectual mission. I’ve not heard that mission described more eloquently or with more insight than in John’s work. At his best, he is reminiscent of Elder Neal A. Maxwell, with whom he has much in common—intuitive confidence in gospel premises as the best foundation for sound reasoning; a high degree of awareness about cultural context; equally fluent, even native-tongued, in both the language of the scriptures and the language of liberal education; meek, bright, and empathic.