When giving his inaugural address Sept. 15, President Clark G. Gilbert said BYU-Idaho’s mission statement is to develop disciple leaders.
“President Kim B. Clark often summarized the mission of BYU-Idaho as developing disciple leaders,” said President Clark G. Gilbert during his inaugural address. “President Eyring has said that every innovation, every change, (should be) measured against this test of the heart.”
Layne Kinghorn, Student Activities director, said the Student Activities program supports this mission statement by helping the students learn skills that are going to help them balance out their life in the industrial world, which creates the beginning for becoming a disciple leader.
Kinghorn said the more students are involved, the more of an increase is shown in maintaining good grades. Kinghorn said it is because students become more busy, and it forces them to learn how to prioritize and get rid of procrastination.
“Our students must understand the principle of moral agency and learn how to act and not be acted upon,” President Gilbert said during his inaugural address. “Finally, disciple leaders will need to understand and apply the Atonement in their lives.”
Jacob Householder, an area director in Student Services and a sophomore studying financial economics, said that a disciple leader is someone who does the right things but also turns outward to help those around them to bring everyone onto a higher plane.
“The number one reason why students are here is to gain a degree,” Kinghorn said. “But if they come here and that is all they leave with, then we haven’t done our job.”
Kinghorn said he believes President Gilbert is one of the greatest disciple leaders that the students and faculty will ever meet. He said President Gilbert is invested in people which helps the him know how to connect with people be an example of disciple leadership.
“To build disciple leaders in the last days, we must help our students have the conviction to stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ,” President Gilbert said. “We must also teach the doctrine of the family with increasing force and application, for ‘marriage is more than something personal — it is a ‘post of responsibility’, an office’ — a disciple’s covenant.”
Kinghorn said that to raise a family in righteousness and goodness, the greatest teaching should happen in the home. He said BYU-I students are the future fathers and mothers for the next generation, which is one of the reasons why BYU-I is interested in creating disciple leaders.
“The day when you get married and you form your family, a husband and a wife who are both disciple leaders, think about the power that comes in raising a family not only in righteousness, but in goodness,” Kinghorn said.
Householder said disciple leaders in Student Support help students focus on what matters most. The Disciple Leadership team is in charge of preparing a Disciple Leader Conference each semester that brings hundreds of students together to learn about what makes BYU-I different from other schools.
“There are plenty of great universities around the country that teach secular education in phenomenal ways, but BYU-I teaches us how to be like Christ in all of the areas of our life,” Householder said. “It teaches us how to be a disciple leader in the work place, community, family and in the Church.”
Householder said people notice if someone is a disciple leader by their behavior, countenance and consistency in their discipleship in all settings.
Householder said what he has learned the most from BYU-I is that people matter most, and that is setting a pattern for the rest of his life.
“These attributes of disciple leadership will increasingly prepare our students to fulfill Jacob Spori’s prophetic vision: ‘The seeds we’re planting today will grow and become mighty oaks, and their branches will run all over the earth,’” said President Gilbert in his inaugural address. “Indeed, BYU-Idaho’s influence on the world will continue unabated through the lives and impact of its graduates.”