REXBURG, Idaho Elder M. Russell Ballard urged Brigham Young University-Idaho graduates to make their influence felt in the digital world. Elder Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke last Friday at winter commencement exercises.
"Your experience here is not the end of your quest for knowledge," Elder Ballard said. "We are blessed as Latter-day Saints to view the acquisition of knowledge from an eternal perspective. Of all the things you have learned at this institution and during your life so far, the most important is that you know the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith and you know that the church is true. Your knowledge and testimony of this will always be your foundation and your polar star throughout your life."
Elder Ballard told the 1,411 graduates their strength and knowledge are needed in a world torn between good and evil. The evidence of this battle is apparent in popular media, including the Internet.
"While there is so very much good, informative information on the Internet, one of Satan's most seductive efforts is the increasingly present pornography appearing in all kinds of media," he said.
Along with the pornography, the Internet and other media are often used to spread falsehoods, Elder Ballard said.
"Every month there are 60 billion searches for information on the Internet," he said. "Many are seeking information about the church; and while some are finding the truth, others find anti-Mormon sites that mislead them and defame the church."
Elder Ballard urged graduates to use their knowledge and testimony of the gospel to influence seekers of truth. He suggested that graduates join in conversations on the Internet to share the gospel and explain the message of the Restoration in simple, clear terms.
BYU-Idaho President Kim B. Clark also spoke to graduates, urging them to live as disciples of Jesus Christ by standing fast, standing up and standing together.
"In the years ahead we will live in a world of increasing turmoil, growing temptation and gathering wickedness," President Clark said. "Some of what challenges us will be very subtle; some will be very direct and immediate. But no matter the challenge, the disciples of the Savior will be steadfast and immovable in their commitment to him."