President Clark G. Gilbert and his wife, Christine, gave students both temporal and spiritual advice during their last Q&A session on March 9 at BYU-Idaho before they leave to head the new BYU-Pathway Worldwide program.
During the Q&A, students were allowed to ask President and Sister Gilbert questions via social media and also in person.
The session started off with President and Sister Gilbert discussing their feelings on the move to head the new Pathway Worldwide program.
With tears in her eyes, Sister Gilbert expressed how bittersweet this new change will be to her and her family.
“Some advice we’ve had from Elder Bednar from the beginning was to relish every moment of our time here,” Sister Gilberts said with tears in her eyes. “We’ve really tried to do that, both as a couple and as a family. I don’t think our kids have ever been happier.”
President Gilbert said his upcoming position as president of BYU-PW gives him yet another opportunity to rise to the call and serve the Lord.
“I hope as you watch what we are doing with our family and with my work and responsibility in the Church, you’ll see a pattern that we’ve tried to have throughout our life,” President Gilbert said at the Q&A session. “While this is a dramatic and visible assignment, we’ve had assignments to serve in the Young Men’s or to be an early morning seminary teacher.”
He said he hopes BYU-I students are also ready to “rise to the call” whenever the Lord calls upon them.
President Gilbert said he does not believe it was an accident BYU-PW “grew up inside” BYU-I.
“There is a quality in the very nature of this institution here at BYU-Idaho; we often describe it as the Spirit of Ricks,” President Gilbert said.
He said has personally coined BYU-I’s culture as “the pioneer’s heart,” where the institution seeks prophetic counsel, does more for less money and strives to embark on projects that have never been done before.
They also discussed their feelings on the school, students and the faculty as a whole.
President Gilbert said BYU-I is unique because it requires people to make sacrifices, and because the faculty is different by being teaching-oriented and focused on students.
Sister Gilbert said it is possible to maintain the spirit of Ricks after students leave BYU-I by trying to duplicate the feelings they felt and taking the lessons they have learned with them.
President Gilbert said he maintains the spirit of Ricks by asking himself what he has learned here and how it can make him different.
The Gilberts also gave advice to students on maintaining a better college experience during their time at BYU-I.
President Gilbert said students can always be better at following the honor code because it is a commitment to both this university and to all of the people attending it, and this university differentiates itself from other universities through the practice of the honor code.
They also gave students general life advice on relationships, motivation and education. President Gilbert said attending a consistent ward after Sister and himself were married helped them strengthen their marriage and their broader relationship with fellow members which led to fewer issues within their family.
President Gilbert said his biggest motivators are trying to see what the Lord is trying to do, his family and being grateful for the difficult things. Sister Gilbert said her motivators are getting outside herself and being able to serve others.