“Keeping Faith in Provo”


At BYU, looking northward


A really important essay by my friend and colleague Ralph Hancock:




I imagine — and hope — that it will generate considerable discussion.


Posted from Ka’anapali,  Maui, Hawai’i



  • Phil

    WARNING: A subscription is required to read the entire article.

  • Brock Lesnar

    Interesting article, Dan (at least the first half, which was free, because I was too cheap to spring for the $1.99 to read the rest of the article.)

    I graduated from BYU and my son is currently attending. In addition, my father and two of my brothers graduated from BYU. So I think I’m qualified to offer a few thoughts on the matter.

    The unique relationship between BYU and the Church will always preclude BYU from becoming an entirely secular institution. You have to remember, BYU’s board of trustees is composed almost entirely of Apostles and General Authorities, actively involved in almost every single operation of BYU. They ensure that the management of BYU proceeds in ways that accommodate the mission of the Church as the primary focus. BYU’s academic mission is secondary to the Church’s mission.

    This arrangement has worked relatively well for over 100 years. However, there
    are conflicts occasionally between the secular mission and the Church mission,
    but these conflicts are always resolved in favor of the Church.

    I personally wouldn’t mind seeing BYU become a little more secular. Focusing on the length of student’s pants, facial hair, censorship and dealing with the religious thought police undermine the school’s mission as an institute of higher learning.

    Whatever academic prestige BYU enjoys nationally and internationally comes from its faculty and students, not its affiliation with the Church. The credibility of BYU in the academic community flows directly from the research and publications of its scholars and the accomplishments of the students who leave the university and achieve great success.

    In contrast, BYU’s religion faculty, while fulfilling the faith-promoting goals of the church, for the most part is not comprised of a prestigious group of thinkers/academics.

    So, in the end, it’s a fine line BYU has to walk. If they stress too much on
    the secular, then the religious aspect suffers. If BYU focuses too much on the
    religious, then their academics suffer.

    I think the Church leadership has done an admirable job of walking this tightrope. I think they will continue to do so.

    Now, if BYU’s sports team could just join the PAC 12……………..