Employee story inspires self-acceptance

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Photo by Juliana Avery -- Scott Hendricks, a janitor at BYU-Idaho frequently shares his story about overcoming his personal trials at devotionals and other forums. Hendricks survived a severe car accident at a young age and grew to have a family and serve a mission.
Photo by Juliana Avery -- Scott Hendricks, a janitor at BYU-Idaho frequently shares his story about overcoming his personal trials at devotionals and other forums. Hendricks survived a severe car accident at a young age and grew  to have a family and serve a mission.
Photo by Juliana Avery — Scott Hendricks, a janitor at BYU-Idaho frequently shares his story about overcoming his personal trials at devotionals and other forums. Hendricks survived a severe car accident at a young age and grew to have a family and serve a mission.

Scott Hendricks, a janitor in the Hyrum Manwaring Student Center since 1980, was hit by a car at age six, presumed dead, and was in a coma for two months.

Hendricks said when the car hit him he landed on his head and suffered a severe blow to the base of his skull, resulting in brain damage.

Hendricks said that in 1960, helmet use was uncommon and he didn’t have that protection, but he did have the power of the priesthood. He was given a blessing, in which he was told he would live, serve a mission, marry and have children. Hendricks said he has been able to do all of these things. His wife Priscilla also works at BYU-Idaho as a secretary in the student sport center. Hendricks said they are the proud parents of two children and four grandchildren.

Hendricks said that in his blessing he was also told he would help many people over the course of his life. Hendricks said he has been able to share his story more than 200 times in the form of talks, devotionals, an EFY speaker and has felt the Spirit powerfully each time he has shared his story. Hendricks said his son surprised him by recording his story on a CD. The CD is called “Positive Thinking” and has sold over 1,000 copies.

Hendricks said on one occasion, he shared his story on campus and that for the next three days, he noticed a boy repeatedly staring at him while he was working. Hendricks said when they finally spoke, the boy told Hendricks he had come to the devotional with a knife in his pocket, and had planned to kill himself. After hearing Hendricks’s talk, the boy changed his mind.

Hendricks said that when David A. Bednar was still president of the university, Hendricks was invited to the President’s luncheon one Tuesday and was presented with an award during devotional. “I was given an exemplary employee award, and Dieter F. Uchtdorf was there. I got to eat dinner with him and his wife and he is just as funny in person,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said junior high school was one of the most difficult times for him—he was constantly teased and made fun of because he talked more slowly and could not control his motor functions.

Blaine M. Yorgason, Hendricks’s junior high school teacher, wrote about Hendricks in his novel, “Others.”

“He recovered, but suffered enough brain damage to permanently damage his motor nerves. His thinking was, if anything, quicker than most others but his speech slurred and his bodily actions [were] jerky,” said Yorgason.

Hendricks said he has received a great deal of sport from his parents and his ward in Hibbert, Idaho. Hendricks said when times got tough, he would look forward to the time when he would be able to serve a mission, and in 1972, he was called to Anaheim, California.

Hendricks said that from the very start of his mission, his mission president became one of his best friends. He was able to memorize the discussions, teach, baptize and even go to Disneyland.

Hendricks said the students who work with him at BYU-I keep him young. “They make me feel like I’m one of them. I’m 59, and I feel like it, but the kids have fun. Sometimes they hide my pop from me,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said he lives by this positive philosophy: “Accept yourself. Say to yourself right now, ‘This is me. This is what I have to work with, and I can and will do a lot with it. There will never be another me … I’m not going to wait: I will develop what I have today and use my ability.’”