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President Eyring dedicates two buildings at BYU-Idaho

Published: Friday, Dec. 17 2010 10:58 p.m. MST

The audience fills the 15,000-seat auditorium in the BYU-Idaho Center for its dedication.

Michael Lewis, BYU-Idaho

REXBURG, Idaho — Dedication services for more than 675,000 square feet of new or remodeled facilities on the Brigham Young University-Idaho campus brought two Mormon apostles and a member of the First Presidency to Rexburg on Friday.

The newly dedicated auditorium, named the BYU-Idaho Center, shares a common, smaller resemblance to the Conference Center on Temple Square and seats 15,000, serving as the main gathering place for the students and faculty of the university and community.

The new facility's purpose is to strengthen students spiritually, academically, physically and socially.

The BYU-Idaho Center includes a new auditorium and a multipurpose gymnasium. The gym has room for 10 sports courts and a suspended indoor jogging track. In addition to recreational activities, the gym will serve as a place to gather for service projects, employee gatherings, ecclesiastical meetings, academic projects and any other need. A bridge from the John W. Hart Building on campus has been constructed, connecting students to the new building.

The dedication, which was available online, also included the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center that was built in 1966, after three phases of major renovations to the original building. Those changes include a new University Store and renovations to the kitchen and food court, including an 18,000-square-foot dining area named The Crossroads. A convenience store, dance studio suite and new area for the activities program were also added.

During the dedication, Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Russell M. Nelson, both of the Quorum of the Twelve, and President Henry B. Eyring, of the First Presidency, each spoke.

"It's good to be home," said Elder Bednar, who formerly served as BYU-Idaho president from 1997-2004. "This dedicatory service today truly is historic. You will tell your children and your grandchildren you were present when this remarkable facility was dedicated by President Henry B. Eyring."

Drawing from his talk at the groundbreaking service for the building's construction and the Manwaring building's renovations, Elder Bednar spoke of a warning and a promise he gave on Oct. 31, 2006.

"If the day ever were to come that intellectual arrogance, a lack of appreciation and the spirit of demanding entitlement take root on this campus among the students, faculty, employees, administration or within the community, then in that day the spirit of Ricks will be well on the way to being extinguished," he said. "And the heavenly influence and blessings that have prospered this institution and the people associated with it will be withdrawn."

In contrast, he said, "as long as intellectual modesty, humility, gratitude, obedience and frugality continue to characterize those who learn and serve at and support BYU-Idaho, then this university will shine forth ever brighter as a beacon of righteousness and of inspired educational innovation."

Elder Nelson spoke of the opportunity individuals have at the time of dedication to rededicate their lives to following the Lord Jesus Christ by emulating his example and the example of His servants.

"This institution has had many outstanding presidents," Elder Nelson said. "Since the year 1971 it has been my privilege to work closely with six great men inaugurated as presidents of this institution. … They set examples worthy of our emulation. They come from different backgrounds in life, but they have each been disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Elder Nelson shared four examples of how individuals can emulate the Savior — as well as his servants — as they dedicate their lives to the principles of the gospel. He said that through regular prayer, regarding other people respectfully, studying both spiritual and secular subjects symmetrically and being faithful in the payment of tithes, individuals are blessed. Those actions lead individuals to an unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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