My Manifesto


We are in the knowledge business.  Consequently, we are quite prone to pride.  As Joseph Smith said:

"If we get puffed up by thinking that we have much knowledge, we are apt to get a contentious spirit."

More recently, "It seems that far too many people have become almost obsessed with fault finding, back biting, criticizing, contending one against another, and in general making sure that "an eye for an eye" is never replaced by the golden rule." -- Stanley Peterson, Contention is Not of Me

I am a firm believer in the golden rule.  It will be practiced "religiously" by me and, it is hoped, by you!  By the way -- what is the reason for the golden rule? Why is it so important? (Read Luke 6:27-38 and then D&C 1, and see if you can find the one verse in Section 1 where the Lord implicitly endorses this "quid pro quo".)

Remember the fourfold mission of BYU-Idaho, aka Temple of Learning, aka Disciple Preparation Center:

  1. build testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and encourage living its principles;
  2. provide a quality education for students of diverse interests and abilities;
  3. prepare students for lifelong learning, for employment, and for their roles as citizens and parents; and
  4. maintain a wholesome academic, cultural, social, and spiritual environment.
I support this mission wholeheartedly, and expect you to too.  I'm with the Psalmist:

"With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments." Psalms 119:10

Elder David A. Bednar, our beloved former president and now Apostle of the Lord, said that there are two things he hopes everyone at BYU-Idaho will learn:
  1. It is a privilege to be here.
  2. The importance of acting rather than being acted upon.

I don't know the source of this next saying, but it rings absolutely true: All things are difficult before they are easy.  I will ask you to do difficult things -- things you may have never done before.  I will ask you to explore unfamiliar terrain, to probe deeply into the unknown in order to extract some gems of knowledge.  Be patient and persevere, and you will prevail!

As we go on our mutual learning adventure, I will make frequent reference to something I call the gersy principle.  What this means is for you to discover along the way, but to prime the pump I will say that it has something to do with eagerness to learn and easiness to teach.

We say the words "learn how to learn" a lot around here.  There's a reason for that, especially in the ever-changing field of Computer Science.  Learning the specifics of a programming language syntax is not permanently valuable, but learning how to learn a new programming language or design methodology is.

Listen, read and analyze carefully.  Allow that there is more than one way to say the same thing. Don't be confused by alternative phraseology, but learn the words and the wording used in this field of study. Be assiduous. Be very assiduous! (And be sure to ask about my Pentad of Imperatives.)

Practice President Thomas S. Monson's "Formula W":

  Work Will Win When Wishy Washy Wishing Won't!

Finally, don't forget those ten little two-letter words:

  IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME

This is ambiguous, of course.  The truth of it depends on what "IT" is!  When the subject is salvation, My Story tells the truth of the first principles of the gospel in plainness and simplicity (see D&C 133:57) -- note that the message of this song is endorsed with apostolic authority by Elder Richard G. Scott, who said:

"Each one of us is commanded to both repent and to call upon God continually throughout life. That pattern allows each day to be an unspoiled page in the book of life, a new, fresh opportunity." -- The Path to Peace and Joy

May we all help each other travel the path to peace and joy with fresh new daily opportunities at this heaven-blessed Disciple Preparation Center!


Rick Neff
BYU-Idaho
AUS 216H
Rexburg, ID 83460-1015
NeffR@byui.edu
208-496-7611 voice
208-496-5893 fax