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Posted by: Deb ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 05:00PM

Check out the home page, all about the mission being perfection
and eternal life. Ugh. So much for "Harvard of the West.|

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 05:09PM


This is 180 degrees from the previous mission implied by the phrase that used to be a huge on-campus:

"The glory of ghawd is intelligence."

Because using your brains to put facts together, which is a big feature of intelligence, completely conflicts attaining mormon perfection and eternal life.

How the intelligent men and women serving as instructors at the Y, and the other church colleges, compartmentalize what they know to be factual, in order to avoid conflict with what the church teaches them is 'factual', is one of the true mysteries of life. I figure the costs of dismissal, divorce and shunning to be huge factors.

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Posted by: Deb ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 05:29PM

Guess that old slogan is history. And rightly so, it was an oxymoron.

As for the new mission, for the sake of those who are alumni, I wish they'd modify it. OK with lifelong learning and service -but please leave out the perfection and exaltation angle. Ick!

And what's with the whole "You are loved" thing? Is it to combat widespread depression or something? Rather than just telling kids they're loved, how about showing it by treating them more like adults, giving them full academic freedom. Most Catholic universities treat their students with greater flexibility.

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Posted by: Deb ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 05:38PM

Of course being kind and respectful is important for all human beings but should it be on the university's home page? Do their students have difficulty with being kind or respectful?

When I want to look up an academic institution's home page, I think it should be more about academics. Leave teaching about being respectful to the mandatory religion classes.

Am ok with the "Enter to learn, go forth to serve" slogan - that makes sense but just think the mission about perfection and eternal life on the home page is a bit much.

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Posted by: DNA ( )
Date: December 08, 2019 02:23AM

When I went to UVU in the late 90's and early 2,000's, there were a lot of good professors who were pushed out of BYU there.

I'm sure they enjoyed teaching better when they didn't need a temple recommend to teach.

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Posted by: DNA ( )
Date: December 08, 2019 02:26AM

Sounds like they are digging in their heels on the perfection thing.

That idea was already contributing to an epidemic of depression among members in Utah. Having an expectation that you can never live up to is a recipe for depression.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 08, 2019 08:34AM

What fun is being taught to hate if you can’t hate yourself?

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Posted by: Finance Clerk ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 05:24PM

I went to the page and the headline was all about being kind and respectful.

There was a notice of a devotional called "BYU Forum:

Reconstruction, white supremacy and the rise of Jim Crow".
What a venue for this topic!

I'm glad I never went there.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 05:36PM

Being loved by BYU? No thank you. Their brand of love is a little frightening.

Been there. Done that.

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Posted by: Deb ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 06:26PM

Sorry, FC. Meant the "About" page which includes the mission to become perfect. Imagine the ones who wrote it must be such super-TBMs so wrapped up in LDS-ism that they don't see how it looks to others on the outside. Which is anything but an academic org if they keep this up. Maybe they don't care about that.

The "Home" page also leaves a bit to be desired (see above notes). Seems they are using that page as a "teaching" tool for their students rather than to direct prospective and current students to further academic learning. If I wanted to consider go there, I'd want that page to be more academic focused, too - even if it is a church school.

Ironically this is probably their attempt at teaching diversity but it actually shows more of an emphasis on exclusivity. If the school's focus is on teaching perfectionism, then it is not really about accepting differences and diversity, is it?

The admonition to "be perfect" in the Bible is a literal interpretation but most mainstream Christian churches say it's really about being good and doing good, not about making endless demands and pressures. Good God, today's kids have enough worries than to try to achieve perfection! At least I can't imagine any student except maybe a fanatic looking at those pages and saying "Hey, sign me up, I want to be perfect and exalted!”

What am trying to say is that just glancing at those two pages, it totally looks like a cultish place rather than one of academia. From that, it looks like they're not actually mainstreaming or wanting to be academically minded.

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Posted by: Yo-Yo ( )
Date: December 05, 2019 03:02PM

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Posted by: alsd ( )
Date: December 06, 2019 04:02AM

My guess is they would rather be associated with the likes of Liberty University and Oral Roberts University than with the likes of Harvard or Stanford (which is the real "Harvard of the West").

Just a little dig at BYU here, because I have several family members who went there and look down their nose at me because I went to lowly USU, all of the global ranking services place BYU and USU right at about the same level. The four major global ranking services are the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), The QS World University Rankings, The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE), and US News and World Report Best Global University Ranking. Both BYU and USU are placed in the "401-500" category by ARWU. BYU is in the "751-800" category for the QS rankings, while USU is placed in the "801-1000" category. US News ranks USU 678 in its global rankings, and BYU comes in at 692 in that same ranking. Neither BYU or USU warranted a global ranking in the Times (THE) global rankings. So much for being near the same level as Harvard (which ranked first globally in the ARWU and US News rankings, third in the QS rankings, and seventh in the THE rankings).

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2019 04:04AM by alsd.

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Posted by: snagglepuss ( )
Date: December 09, 2019 12:20AM

Add Bob Jones University to that comparison list. In the early '70s the anti-rock "research" from BYU essentially plagiarized David A. Noebel's tracts (COMMUNISM, HYPNOTISM AND THE BEATLES) and BJU professor Frank Garlock's A ROCK BLAST book. Ezra Taft Benson's 1971 anti-rock message was crafted from Richard Nibley's information sourced from the same information.

The Osmond's 1970 bubblegum Motown-influenced success on MGM Records really monkey-wrenched W. Cleon Skousen's influence.

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Posted by: Deb ( )
Date: December 06, 2019 11:18AM

Guess so! The Home page has been updated and looks ok but the About page is totally church focused/cult infused. I guess they want the world to know they are a tightly controlled religious institution aka cult with that kind of a mission statement. If they wanted to be a little more modern -that is more secular and a mix of secular and religious like most catholic universities, they would have played down or left out that statement. Or modified it. You totally get the vibe that it's a bunch of old guys (church leadership) trying to mold youth into what they want them to be. Rather than a place of self discovery, it's about indoctrination to become the a tithe paying perfect-in-every-way Mormon.

The risk I think they run talking about perfection and eternal life is that kids are human and going to fail often both as kids and adults, as that is life. I can think of numerous Y grads who are anything but "perfect" - quite possibly due to the high pressures the church places on them. It seems like they may be setting kids up for future depression IMO by focusing on perfection. If they focus on the perfection angle, they as a college and their grads are going to face much more scrutiny than any other school which could turn around to make it a failed mission. Utah has a high degree of depression and members struggling with it. Not sure the higher ups have given this enough thought.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 06, 2019 11:29AM

How does one tell if one is perfect ?

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 06, 2019 12:09PM

Examine my life!

If you’ve done everything opposite, well then, there you are!

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: December 06, 2019 11:29AM

"The mission of Brigham Young University — founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life. That assistance should provide a period of intensive learning in a stimulating setting where a commitment to excellence is expected and the full realization of human potential is pursued."

Basically, Mormons are on a quest for perfection. And a commitment to the full realization of human potential is expected.

For Mormons it is being demigods. The Mormons who take this to heart and let it drive their lives are going to be insufferable.

Edit: I don't see this mission statement as any less hyperbolic than this statement.

"Contained herein is the anatomy, character and unlimited potentials of a thetan"

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2019 11:36AM by Elder Berry.

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Posted by: Deb ( )
Date: December 07, 2019 10:37AM

Just a tiny beef. (I imagine this one is embarrassing to some alum, whether active or not, former members). Why can't they downplay news of weekly devotionals, speeches by the President's wife, etc. on the site? Am sure she's a nice lady and all but it reduces the academic viability of the place. Unless an Oral Roberts kind of thing is what they're going for!

Yes, it's a church owned school (many U.S. universities are) but do they have to draw so much attention to that kind of thing? Lots of church owned schools do not make their site all about religion (for example Catholic ones). If they're trying to help kids feel like they have a Mommy while away from home, there's probably a place for that kind of info for students e.g. a link to devotional announcements or something like that but making it front and center on their site just seems hokey and very, well, unacademic. The point I'm trying to make is that if one has byu on their resume, and an employer or graduate school goes to the site and sees an overabundance of church this church that on it, then they may question the student's academic or career prep.

By pushing religious info too much they may end up losing more kids than keeping them. At least that's how I used to feel. I always wished they would be more low key. I thought with mainstreaming, that's what they were now aiming for but maybe not.

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Posted by: olderelder ( )
Date: December 07, 2019 10:48AM

BYU exists primarily so Mommy and Daddy Mormon can send their kids somewhere they think is safe from the big bad world, to keep them on track for the proper LDS adult life. Continued attachment to the church is more important to them than the quality of the education.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: December 09, 2019 01:30AM

and hoping against hope that their son / daughter will 'marry up'!

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Posted by: Deb ( )
Date: December 07, 2019 05:08PM

Do some of the hierarchy think it makes them look good to talk about achieving perfection? It seems to do the opposite and demonstrate shallowness instead. It's also not exactly a sign of intelligence for one to claim perfection or seeking of it. As the saying goes, with age and wisdom, the more we realize how much we don't know, not for lack of learning but because there is so much to learn in this big wide universe. Claiming to be able to achieve perfection is pretty presumptuous and egotistical, especially for the intellectually inclined. On top of that, nobody likes a "know it all."

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Posted by: Deb ( )
Date: December 10, 2019 05:45PM

The Y home page (which changes frequently) now has an article all about getting married. This is what I mean - they are using the site as a "teaching tool" for students rather than as a gateway to academia. The main article currently on the home page is basically imploring students that they really should not delay getting married - which I know is Mormon doctrine but something that has no place on a university website or especially main page if they want to be taken academically seriously.

And how about BYU magazine (where the article is from) focusing on things like the benefits of marriage and being all about parenting tips. Really? As an alum, I would much rather see articles about students' successes, academic research, etc. not another Ensign type of publication.

You can really tell it's the mindset of a much older generation running the place. "Gosh, gee our kids are pursuing other goals besides marriage." Well maybe pushing kids in the past worked but I think today, their pushing is likely to backfire. I actually think if they laid off and didn't push it so much, more kids would marry. It seems many Catholic kids get married but not because their church pushes them to but because they are taught to be supportive of one another and to have a Christian mindset, not by constantly nagging. Not saying Catholics are the best or anything but just pointing out that marriage will generally happen naturally without having colleges pushing them to happen. Also haven't they figured out too that pushing marriage too young, too soon also leads to unhappy marriages, depression and dissatisfied members?

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: December 10, 2019 05:50PM

FYI. My wife and I and her father (my parents as well but they don't count) are all BYU alums. We all think BYU has gone down hill to the point of irrelevancy. My children saw this and in looking at BYU and BYUI saw only the most devout and interested in Mormon experiences (read bubble) wanted to go to the church schools.

Luckily all my children don't go to a church school.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/10/2019 05:50PM by Elder Berry.

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Posted by: Deb ( )
Date: December 10, 2019 06:50PM

Well some of the academic programs at byu are quite good but the church seems to get in the way by always making itself front and center above academics. I was hoping that with the "mainstreaming" push of recent years, that could be changed to showing more of an academic front and leaving the church stuff for church activities and meetings etc.

In general, religiosity and education don't go together - unless it's a school that incorporates theological degrees perhaps - but there are some schools which have religious owners and don't push too hard. The best example I can find of ones that don't are many of the Catholic colleges which don't shove it down the kids' throats.

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