Letter carriers aren't the only people undeterred by rain, wind and snow.
About 12,000 people braved all three types of weather Thursday afternoon to attend the spring commencement exercises of Brigham Young University's 1991 graduating class.BYU President Rex E. Lee and Academic Vice President Stan Albrecht conferred degrees on 3,086 graduating students: 2,499 bachelor's degrees, 408 master's degrees, 163 doctoral degrees and 16 associate degrees.
Former BYU President Jeffrey R. Holland, now a member of the First Quorum of Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was featured speaker and shared some "Graduation Gifts from the Grave."
Quoting from some of England's greatest literary masters, Elder Holland, who also received an honorary doctorate in humanities at the commencement, passed on counsel from those masters to this year's graduating class.
The first thought came from Thomas Wolsey, who was on trial for treason against England for failing to secure Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
Elder Holland asked the students if any sadder words could come from any man's mouth, even "from the lips of a BYU graduate 50 or 60 or 70 years from today."
Wolsey said, "Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my king (or my company or my country club, added Elder Holland), he would not in mine age have left me naked to my enemies."
"In the years ahead," Elder Holland said, "neither your self-esteem nor your standing before God will hinge on being at the top of the corporate pyramid. . . . God will be looking only for clean hands, not full ones."
The second bit of counsel came from Rudyard Kipling's "Recessional.""The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget."
People must be reminded of what has been given them, Elder Holland said. "Almost all of us ought to be more thankful than we are, and we ought to express our gratitude much more often than we do."
The third counsel came from English poet John Donne, who said, "We ask our daily bread and God never says, `You should have come yesterday.' He never says, `You must come again tomorrow.' "
Elder Holland said that in a world that can bring disappointment and sorrow, students should remember that "all occasions invite divine mercy, and in heaven it is always harvest time."
God will always be able to give when there is a need, he said.
Lee encouraged the students to keep giving to BYU, not just monetarily but also in helping to create an image for BYU that brings respect.
Receiving Presidential Citations were Elder Victor L. Brown, an emeritus general authority of the LDS Church; and civic leaders Charles E. and Harriet Peterson, Provo, both retired business owners. Charles Peterson is a state legislator.