L. Tom Perry, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, counseled Brigham Young University graduates to strive for balance in their personal, professional and financial lives Thursday.
Perry spoke at the university’s 2013 commencement, where more than 6,000 students were awarded degrees.
Perry, a retail executive who has belonged to the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since 1974, first addressed parents. While congratulating them on their children’s success in obtaining their degrees, he warned parents that their grown children need advice now more than ever.
“Your counsel should be inspired and insightful, without judgment or equivocation and be based on the values you hold dear as a follower of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” he said.
To the graduates, Perry quoted former church president Gordon B. Hinckley: “Beware of obsession. Beware of narrowness. Let your interests range over many good fields.”
He encouraged them take good care of themselves physically and emotionally by getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly and praying.
As for spare time, Perry told the crowd to find ways to enrich themselves and their families. “Nothing bothers me more in life than seeing wasted time!” he said.
He also empathized the importance of financial responsibility and warned against overspending.
“My heart aches,” he said, “when I see a young newlywed couple in a larger-than-they-can-afford home with the latest furnishings that borrowed money can buy.”
Finally, he encouraged students to grow in their faith.
“Ensure that as you leave this university and establish yourself, that wherever you may live, the gospel will always be part of your home,” he said. “The home and the family is the fundamental unit of time and all eternity.”
Graduating physics student Conrad Rosenbrock also spoke about growing up in South Africa and the “metamorphosis” of education at BYU. Students Tiffany Delgado and Hilary Mauler played Paganini Variations for Two Pianos by Witold Lutoslawski.