President Clark G. Gilbert’s inauguration brought an unexpected number of apostles to BYU-Idaho on Sept. 15.
It was known to most of the student body that President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was going attend the inauguration for the new president.
Edward Doyle, a sophomore studying computer science, said he knew President Uchtdorf would be there but he was not sure if any apostles would be there.
“I’d heard speculation that there would be one or two apostles at the inauguration,” Doyle said.
Doyle said he was excited to be in the same room as an apostle because he always looks forward to the next opportunity to hear what the Apostles have to say.
“There is something really special about being in their presence,” he said.
There were three Apostles who accompanied President Uchtdorf at the inauguration: Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Dallin H. Oaks.
“I did not realize it was such a big deal,” Doyle said.
Doyle said that after learning an Apostle would be at the event, he and his roommates planned to be there two hours early to get good seats.
He said that after receiving a high-quality program, it helped him better understand the importance of the event.
Caitlin Roberson, a freshman studying English education, said that the inauguration was her first devotional ever, so she did not know what to expect at the event.
“It was packed,” Roberson said. “There were no seats available.”
She said that after finding a seat close to the stage, she had some time to anticipate the event’s commencement.
“I sat down and took a moment to myself, and when I looked at the stage, I could tell it was going to be a really big moment, and I felt spiritually uplifted,” she said.
Audience members were asked to be silent and stand as the members who were to be seated on the stand entered the room.
“As people started coming, the excitement in the room was palpable,” Doyle said.
Roberson said she was so focused on the Apostles and other leadership members walking in that she almost did not realize the silence that came over the room.
“I saw the Apostles, and I was very taken aback,” she said.
Roberson said she kept looking at the Apostles on the stand throughout the entire meeting.
Doyle said that he was impressed when President Uchtdorf invited President Gilbert to stand next to him on the stand.
Doyle said he realized that being the president of BYU-I means President Gilbert will have frequent direct relations with the brethren of the Church.
“I had never thought about the significance of that appointment,” he said.
The meeting proceeded with the official ceremonies and a talk given by President Gilbert.
At the end of the meeting, the audience was asked to stand as all those on the stage exited the room.
“I was close to crying as they were leaving,” Roberson said.
She said the Spirit she felt in the room with the Apostles was something hard to come by.
“It’s a spirit you can only feel from being in the presence of those kind of men,” Roberson said.