Merry Christmas from the Brigham Young University Archives

The Karl G. Maeser Building on a snow covered campus.

The Karl G. Maeser Building looks out over a snow covered Brigham Young University campus.

This is a wondrous time of year as we celebrate the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ and begin to prepare for a new year’s dawn. Working and going to school at Brigham Young University is a special privilege in today’s secularized world. In the halls of this beautiful campus the sacred and the secular mingle. It has been this way from the founding of the university as Brigham Young Academy. The following quotes help us understand the purpose of Brigham Young University:

  • “The first task of the future is to preserve at the institution this spirit that comes to us from the past–the true spirit of Brigham Young University. This spirit places character above learning, and indelibly burns into the consciousness of the student the fact that the most enduring joy is dependent on spiritual growth which looks toward eternal progression.” Franklin S. Harris
  • “Brigham Young University is primarily a religious institution. It was established for the sole purpose of associating with the facts of science, art, literature, and philosophy the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” David O. McKay
  • “In practical effect, this means that each of us at BYU should be a living and walking example of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We should strive as mightily as we can to live up to the principles of the Church every day of the week and not just on the Sabbath.” Ernest L. Wilkinson
  • “Such will be your challenge, President Holland. You must fortify yourself to guide this great university by wisdom and inspiration. You will not always be able to see the future, but by drawing close to our Heavenly Father, you will be guided. This is his work. This is his university. You are his servant. You are on his errand.” Spencer W. Kimball

What an enormous task we are engaged in! To leaven the secular with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Much has been, and continues to be, expected of the faculty and students at Brigham Young University. We are to become living exemplars of faithful scholarship.

Christmas is a time to celebrate the good tidings of great joy spoken by the angels at the birth of the Savior. The message of peace and hope that He brought resonates down through the ages and influences all that we do here at Brigham Young University.

Merry Christmas! And as Tiny Tim would say “God bless us. Everyone.”

If you would like to learn more about the mission of Brigham Young University, please contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or

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