BYU students release petition asking BYU to return to a ‘Christ-centered education’

BYU students Hanna Seariac and Tristan Mourier have released a petition asking that BYU return to a “Christ-centered education.”

As of this writing, the petition, which can be signed here, had 667 signatures. Here are some quotations from the petition:

We ask for an assessment of whether or not the University encourages courses, clubs, panels, conferences, events, and activities to align themselves with Latter-day Saint religious values. We write this letter to make the University aware that students and alumni fear that some public and some less-known decisions by the University may have opposed or did not support the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its religious values. The members of the Church deserve to have confidence that they are sending their sons and daughters to BYU to have their faith strengthened, not weakened.

We recognize the faculty’s need for academic freedom, and acknowledge that academic thought does not necessarily constitute personal opinion. At the same time, we recognize the need to, as Wilkinson put it, “place LDS religious values in all of the activities of the institution…to produce students who are fully appreciative of the principles of the Latter-day Saint faith and of their roles in the universe as sacred and independent individuals.”

We do not believe that the University should trade the eternal life of its students for the praise and accolades of modern, secular academia. To do so would be to sell our birthright for a mess of pottage. We are grateful to the University for maintaining the Honor Code, religious education requirements, and other aspects of the University that show commitment to BYU’s mission. However, we ask that the University consider whether correct doctrine is consistently taught in classes, whether the connection to religious knowledge is made clear throughout the entire curriculum and not just within religious education courses, and the University’s commitment to religious standards.  

We along with many other students have felt that the University’s commitment to this has wavered on a practical level and would ask for an assessment of whether or not the University encourages courses, clubs, and activities to align themselves with Latter-day Saint religious values.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

48 thoughts on “BYU students release petition asking BYU to return to a ‘Christ-centered education’

  1. Well said! Thank you! And amen! I would sign as well if i were still a student. So far three of our gown children have graduated and while there i was seriously concerned about the worldly education they received in some classes. Particularly in women’s studies it seemed that the teachings were intended to cause faith to waiver and the professor taught in opposition to correct doctrine. It does cause one to question where the university places value and where as a whole it seeks honor from these days.

  2. I have a freshman starting this year. I am not an alumnus and have no idea what this is protesting. As a rule, I view vaguely worded complaints like this with suspicion. what are the specifics?

  3. It doesn’t matter if you ever attended BYU or not. If you pay tithing you should sign it. If you’re a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you should sign it. If you care about the education your kids are getting at BYU, sign it. Everyone who cares about the future of our youth should sign it.

  4. It’s an excessively vague petition. It could have been written by [redacted], complaining about the Biology department teaching evolution. It could have been written by Heartlanders complaining about the history and Religion departments. It’s too vague to be useful.

  5. I’m interested in what exactly is being criticized here. The petition is vague. Insiders may probably know what this is all about. I do not.

  6. Craig, Seb and anyone else: catch yourself up on what has been going on at BYU

    1. Professors who teach things contrary to the Church, who do not support the brethren.
    2. The Honor Code Office & staff who will not defend the Church and it’s doctrine.
    3. An administration who allowed anti-Church protests on campus earlier this year.
    4. Increasing acceptance of social justice fads which are not inspired or inline with Gospel teachings.

    To be clear, there are a lot of good professors and students at BYU. There are also some very bad apples that are spoiling the barrel. BYU has lost its way in some areas, it’s time for BYU to clean its house and get back to it mission. I hope your Freshman child knows to be wary of wolves in sheeps clothing.

  7. What specifically are the professors teaching that is contrary to the church?

    Exactly what doctrine is the Honor Code Office failing to defend? Is it that they are not expelling students who take Lords name in vain?

    Before I sign something, I need specifics, not generalities.

  8. Joyce,

    Your listing of BYU errors does not come from the petition, but from your own mind. I agree with others that the petition is fundamentally flawed by its purposeful vagueness, so I cannot support the petition even though I appreciate the sincerity of the organizers.

    The university is not and cannot be the church. They should generally support each other, but both need the space to do and say things that the other will not or cannot. I am okay with a little space between them. The university needs to function in the academic world.

  9. Carefully read the petition. Listened to portions of the podcast. Reminded me of my days at BYU long ago, when we were all so ready to make some noise. They simply do not want anyone challenging their views of the Gospel. In my opinion, this is a rather fragile perspective. Not so sure this is what a university education should look like or what a “Gospel-centered education” should look like. I am pleased they are educated enough to recognize that their concerns are at least partially political/ideological. Hope they don’t do anything silly and completely go off the rails.

  10. I would add that the concerns about the lack of specificity and vagueness are spot on.

  11. Joyce,

    you mentioned four points in your post about what is going on at BYU:

    1.Professors who teach things contrary to the Church, who do not support the brethren.

    OK, BYU is a university were a variety of topics is being taught …. liberal arts, social studies and science of course. Of course professors should adhere to the Honor Code and probably should also generally not be anti-church in the sense that they actively try to undermine the church and its leaders.

    That being said professors should also be free to teach and explore their area of expertise. Otherwise you end up with a Madrasa ( So in my opinion professors should be free to teach whatever they deem appropriate with limits set very wide.

    2. The Honor Code Office & staff who will not defend the Church and it’s doctrine.

    What do you mean with “defend”? Certain rules need to be set. Agreed. And students pledge to live up to these standards. That is OK. BYU is a university and not a church. Do you really expect to be held up to the same standards as at church by your bishop? Sorry, but in my opinion you mix up church and a mundane university here. Both are not the same.

    3. An administration who allowed anti-Church protests on campus earlier this year.

    Does BYU receive state or federal grants? If so there is this thing called First Amendment. If they are completely financed by the church and tuition fees they can set stricter rules of course. Otherwise students have of course the right to express their opinions and peacefully assemble on campus – regardless of their opinion.

    Do you really like to attend an institution where students need a permission to express their opinions and will only get it if their opinions align with the opinions of the university?

    4. Increasing acceptance of social justice fads which are not inspired or inline with Gospel teachings.

    Again, BYU is not a church. I agree with your underlying premise here though.

  12. Clearly, some of the people that have made comments have not kept up on the campus pulse. It deserves its own post. If you will bear with me, I will answer your questions in a few days.

  13. “…professors should .. also generally not be anti-church in the sense that they actively try to undermine the church and its leaders.”

    That is pretty weak sauce. Is it too much to ask BYU professors to actually be pro-church and actively support its leaders? Surely there are qualified individuals who could be hired who would happily be supportive of the church that is ultimately employing them.

    Likewise there are plenty of potential applicants to BYU who want to go to a university with a specific religious purpose and mission. There are many universities that have purely secular missions. There are also universities with religious missions. In fact, the oldest universities were established with religious missions in mind.

  14. Leo:
    “Is it too much to ask BYU professors to actually be pro-church and actively support its leaders?”

    BYU is a university not a church. Sorry, but the standards that we hold up at church and hopefully in our own lives does not just apply to mundane institutions. Any university who blends out or outright blocks opposing voices stops being a university altogether. That is how I see it.

    Of course the university has certain standards and should hold their professors accountable to them. So there are limits. A professor who thinks our church worships satan or something like that should ask himself why he teaches at BYU. But in my opinion these limits should be set very broadly to give professors freedom to teach.

  15. Joyce,

    We’re talking about the petition. Your own list of grievances about BYU are irrelevant to the petition.

    My thoughts:

    1. Professors who teach things contrary to the Church, who do not support the brethren.
    I am sure the university has procedures to deal with this, if there is any truth to it. The petition make no allegations of this.

    2. The Honor Code Office & staff who will not defend the Church and it’s doctrine.
    The Honor Code office and staff should uphold the Honor Code. That’s all. The petition does not allege that the Honor Code Office is failing.

    3. An administration who allowed anti-Church protests on campus earlier this year.
    Perhaps firehoses and dogs should have been used to stop the protests? The petition does not allege any disagreement with the protests.

    4. Increasing acceptance of social justice fads which are not inspired or inline with Gospel teachings.
    Times change, and pendulums swing. The petition does not specify any teachings that have occurred that are contrary to Gospel teachings.

    I read somewhere that the real reason behind the petition is the organizers lack of success in finding a faculty member to be the sponsor for a proposed pro-life club. The petition mention clubs more than once, but with no specifics. I’m as true blue a Latter-day Saint as there is, but if I were a faculty member I wouldn’t agree to be the sponsor of the club. I don’t think it is fair to label the church as pro-life. From the church’s newsroom topic on abortion: “The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion.”

  16. Montserrat:

    I have now listend to the podcast at FAIRMON.

    Tristan Mourier makes good points and explains how the general situation at BYU apparently has changed over time.

    I agree that a church-sponsored university should uphold the general doctrines of the church. I also agree that BYU should be distinguishable from a secular university.

    Professors do not have the right to call on students to leave their faith. Tristan mentions such incidents.

    As I mentioned before there are limits to what professors are aloud to teach. Encouraging students to ditch their faith or church is certainly not within those limits.

    However I still belief the petition should be more focused on certain things and how they can be changed for the better. Does this make sense?

  17. ji:
    “The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion.”

    The Church rarely intervenes in politics. And I applaud it for it. The Church is focused on the gospel and in helping members grow spiritually. Politics is not something the Church is interested in.

    But certainly our faith and church doctrines makes us (or most definitely should make us) pro-life. The Plan of Happiness and the very core of our beliefs teach us to value life and family.

    So of course the Church is pro-life. But it will not intervene in politics except for very rare cases.

  18. “BYU is a university not a church. Sorry, but the standards that we hold up at church and hopefully in our own lives does not just apply to mundane institutions.”

    Sorry, I disagree with the premise that the Church’s schools are or should be mundane institutions. If BYU is a mundane institution, then there is no reason for the church to own or sponsor it.

    ” So there are limits. A professor who thinks our church worships satan…” That is a pathetically weak limit.

    “…these limits should be set very broadly to give professors freedom to teach.” Freedom to promote things contrary to the purpose and goals of their employer? Why bother to have a purpose at all if the leaders, i.e., the professors, are free to undermine it?

  19. Leo:
    A university is a place of higher education. BYU mission statement states some goals. Education at BYU should be

    Spiritually Strengthening
    Intellectually Enlarging
    Character Building
    Leading to Lifelong Learning and Service

    That certainly does not mean that every professor has to agree with everything the Church teaches. Professors should adhere to the mission statement and of course the honor code. But of course they can disagree with certain doctrines without censoring themselves in the classroom.

    If a professor can no longer support the mission statement and/or the honor code he or she should leave or should be asked to leave.

    With „mundane“ I was simply referring to the fact that the university is not a church. If you study or teach science you use the scientific method and not theology.

    I do not know where limits of what can be taught and what cannot be taught should be drawn. Professors have to be free in what they teach as long as it does not go against core values of BYU.

  20. Just one person’s opinion as a tithe-payer and somebody who may (or may not) be willing to pay for tuition for my three young men who could potentially go to BYU in the next eight years: I want all administrators and professors and students to be temple-worthy. I don’t care about sports or teaching what the world teaches. If this means that BYU is half or a third of its current size, I don’t care. The temple worthy administration should rigorously look at all curriculum and end all classes and fire all teachers and professors who do not fall in line with Church doctrine. I know this position is scandalous for people in the on-line community who are all heading to their fainting couches right now. But I would estimate that 90 percent of the parents in my ward agree with me and want BYU to be even tougher than I do. There is no reason to send your teenager to a Church-supported school if there is *anything* — and I mean *anything* — that will be taught there that will contradict Church doctrine. And all “woke” garbage needs to be purged from the school immediately. Like this semester. My kids will be adults, and they can choose to go to school wherever they want, but from what I have seen BYU Provo may be the LAST place for which I am willing to pay. From what I have seen, BYU Idaho may still be OK. But I would need to do a lot of due diligence before I would be willing to pay for that also. There have been nearly a dozen of young men and women from my ward who have gone to BYU Provo in the last 15 years or so. ALL of them have left BYU with no testimony of the Church and have become active opponents of the Church. Meanwhile, young men and women who went to BYU Idaho and Utah State seem to do better, for whatever reason. And the people who go to Colorado schools and are active in Institute also seem to do OK. So, yeah, I join Joyce, the petition writers and others in saying that BYU must change. Big time.

  21. As a staff member of BYU, I signed the petition. As far as I am concerned far too many of the faculty and administration are trying to serve God and Mammon and seeking after the praise of their secular academic peers.

  22. Geoff B.’s comment (Aug 6 at 10:01 AM) about the spiritual failure rate at BYU compared to BYU-I or USU is very disturbing. I hope a larger statistical sample would show a better situation.

    Seb and I agree that there must be limits. Geoff’s comment suggests that BYU needs to step up its game rather than become more lax. When I read “…these limits should be set very broadly…”, I recall the words of the Savior in the Sermon on the Mount, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” (Matt. 7:13) This can apply to the destruction of institutions as well as individuals.

    Professors at BYU are at a pinnacle of the Church’s investment in the education of its precious youth. When the late Professor of Chemistry, Henry Eyring, taught chemistry, there was no doubt about his faithful background and firm testimony, and he taught at the U. and not BYU. We should expect no less from chemistry professors and professors in any discipline at BYU.

    J. Reuben Clark set the Church’s proper expectation:

    “But for you teachers the mere possession of a testimony is not enough. You must have, besides this, one of the rarest and most precious of all the many elements of human character—moral courage. For in the absence of moral courage to declare your testimony, it will reach the students only after such dilution as will make it difficult if not impossible for them to detect it; and the spiritual and psychological effect of a weak and vacillating testimony may well be actually harmful instead of helpful…”

    “You are not, whether high or low, to change the doctrines of the Church or to modify them as they are declared by and in the standard works of the Church and by those whose authority it is to declare the mind and will of the Lord to the Church… “

    “In all this there are for the Church, and for each and all of its members, two prime things which may not be overlooked, forgotten, shaded, or discarded:

    First—that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, the Creator of the world, the Lamb of God, the Sacrifice for the sins of the world, the Atoner for Adam’s transgression; that He was crucified; that His spirit left His body; that He died; that He was laid away in the tomb; that on the third day His spirit was reunited with His body, which again became a living being; that He was raised from the tomb a resurrected being, a perfect Being, the First Fruits of the Resurrection; that He later ascended to the Father; and that because of His death and by and through His resurrection every man born into the world since the beginning will be likewise literally resurrected….

    The second of the two things to which we must all give full faith is that the Father and the Son actually and in truth and very deed appeared to the Prophet Joseph in a vision in the woods; that other heavenly visions followed to Joseph and to others; that the gospel and the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God were in truth and fact restored to the earth from which they were lost by the apostasy of the primitive Church; that the Lord again set up His Church, through the agency of Joseph Smith; that the Book of Mormon is just what it professes to be; that to the Prophet came numerous revelations for the guidance, upbuilding, organization, and encouragement of the Church and its members; that the Prophet’s successors, likewise called of God, have received revelations as the needs of the Church have required, and that they will continue to receive revelations as the Church and its members, living the truth they already have, shall stand in need of more; that this is in truth…”

  23. Leo, I have no idea what the numbers are for other people, but I have heard from friends similar horror stories about their kids going to BYU with firm testimonies and completely losing their testimonies by the time they are sophomores — or a year or two after their missions if they decide to go on missions. Now, to be fair, this is not uncommon among young adults, who often lose their testimonies at that age. My evidence is completely anecdotal, but I can tell you that my bishop in Colorado, a BYU grad, encourages young men and women NOT to go to BYU Provo because he has been alarmed at the trend. Here is what I think has happened: BYU Provo has gotten caught up in being considered an excellent university by the world’s standards. Academics naturally want to be respected by their peers, so this is understandable. And so professors and administrators are hired who put the world’s standards first. Meanwhile, young men and women go to BYU expecting that their mentors will have strong testimonies of the Church, and when they do not, the students begin to see a strong testimony as unnecessary — because it is apparently unnecessary for these professors they admire. It is worse at BYU because the students expect their professors to be both spiritual and intellectual role models. Students going to, say, CSU in Colorado (where my wife went while strengthening her testimony) understand that they are never going to have LDS professors, so they come to expect that their professors will never be spiritual role models. That is my personal and completely anecdotal explanation for why the situation at BYU appears to people in my ward (and to many other friends of mine) to be a bit dangerous for LDS youth.

  24. Geoff,

    I totally agree that BYU students have every right to expect that their professors have strong testimonies, live out those testimonies, and don’t hide their testimonies. Failure meet that expectation will naturally leave the student’s wondering where they can find faithful mentors and roll models, if not at BYU. It will leave them wondering if academic excellence and faith are incompatible. They likewise should expect their fellow students to be faithful seekers of both knowledge and faith. This requires care both in selecting and retaining faculty and selection and retaining students.

  25. My son is a high school junior and is looking at schools and I told him that he has two choices if he wants me to pay for it. A state school or BYU.

    What specific things are being taught by BYU professors that are contrary to doctrine?

  26. I’m glad you all pay tithing and think that gives you right to set policy at BYU, but your .0001% contribution to the budget of BYU doesn’t put you on the board of trustees. Tithing is free will offering, what the church does with it doesn’t matter once it’s given.

  27. Leo:
    I agree with what you said in your post on on August 6, 2020 at 1:25 pm. You summarized it beautifully in my opinion.

  28. PassTheChips:
    Certain professions require a university degree, like lawyer, MD and some others. But for the most part in today’s world your son or daughter might be better off going to trade school or looking for an apprenticeship … or even a community college. Not to mention the huge financial savings.

    The culture, the mindset at colleges is toxic. BYU might be an exception – to a certain degree at least. But it only goes so far. So the question is: Is it worth sending your son or daughter to a college well knowing that their is a high probability that they will lose their testimony?

    As a non-US citizen let me tell you that the U.S. is pretty much unique when it comes to 90 % or so of all high school graduates going to college. The numbers in most or all western countries are much, much, much lower.

    I am a German citizen. In Germany maybe 50 to 60 % of high school graduates will attend college. All others will attend trade school or aim for an apprenticeship. And it doesn’t hurt but rather enables their careers.

    Just saying, maybe this is something you might want to consider.

  29. Hi Leo,
    Two of the best professors in my major at BYU were not LDS. One was a political liberal, Jewish, a Harvard Grad and a truly thoughtful human being. The other was a Seventh-day Adventist and excellent writing teacher. Some of my favorite LDS professors included Wilfred Griggs, Hugh Nibley and Wulf Barsch. Griggs was the archaeologist who brought the Ramses exhibit to BYU. Nibley and Barsch were quite liberal politically and made vital connections between LDS teachings and their worldviews. The most intelligent and capable conservative professor I had was a very, VERY young Ralph Hancock. I was an older student and it was his first year at BYU. Several religion professors I had (their names are still on books at Deseret Book) were shallow primadonnas.

    I guess what I am hinting at is that I had quite a full range of worldviews presented to me at BYU. There were and still are devout Latter-day Saints across the political spectrum. So I am troubled that several here still present that some political or cultural perspectives should not be represented at BYU. There was also a lot of rich experience and understanding that came through these professors, which influenced me greatly.

    Hi Seb,
    About 60-70% of U.S. students attempt college. 36% of high school grads go on to earn a four-year degree. If we throw in associates’ degrees, it rises to about 50%.

    I believe the reason that the 16-26 year-old bracket sees so many problems with religiosity is due to “moralistic therapeutic deism” or MTD. But the seeds were planted in the early teens, and LDS practices, including seminary, Sunday School lessons and priesthood lessons do little to combat it. Issues arise in the young adult years which forces one to learn and choose. I would suggest that It just blossoms when students are away from home, when they are away from the influence of family and associates to remind them of the religious/spiritual experiences of their youth and press forward in their spiritual development. Perhaps some BYU students struggle with that. They are literally at one of the finest places for gaining more knowledge about their faith and history, but actually can’t see the forest for the trees.

    I believe we can combat MTD by more closely examining theological and historical issues with greater specificty, but setting aside the simplistic pablum that often passes for religious teaching in church and seminary. If we don’t do it, someone else will and they may have a very different agenda than discovering truth. We need to engage youth in real experiences (I would think challenging service) rather than the manufactured experiences of trek or Book of Mormon recreations. In short, while I try not to negate personal responsibility, I feel that many of our older teens are not fully prepared by us adults for a university or mission experience.

  30. Old Man, I agree with your post, though I don’t know what moralistic therapeutic deism is.

    Yet, I think your two examples are not what the petitioners nor Geoff are concerned about.

    While politically liberal, Nibley was a staunch defender of the restoration.

    I would also think non-LDS profs would remain aloof about apologetics, and LDS-specific spiritual matters, and intentionally avoid criticizing
    the church as a matter of job preservation, if not out of plain civility by virtue being a guest.

    But it’s the member-prof, with insider experience, insider-cred, and more of a mantle of at least implied authority, who can more easily penetrate whatever defense a student may have against heterodoxy.

    And I’m not saying that the influence has to be intentional. Attitudes just
    naturally leak out. “Attitudes are contagious” as the saying goes.

    The latter might be similar to how some LDS parents worry more about negative influence coming from their children’s LDS peers than from non-member peers.

    Pressure/influence from inside whatever group is harder to prepare against and defend against than obvious outside influence.

  31. I think one of the greatest dangers to college students today, particularly at the elite institutions, is the unconscionable levels of debt that students are often saddled with. Fortunately, Church schools have made a serious effort to make a quality education in a Church setting affordable.

  32. I am okay that the petition organizers were unsuccessful in finding a BYU faculty sponsor for their desired pro-life club. I’m a fully-committed and fully-faithful Latter-day Saint, but I wouldn’t agree to be the club sponsor if I were a faculty member. I support the faculty members in this matter. Organizing a vague petition without revealing the real reason is disingenuous and maybe even dishonest on the part of the petition organizers, or so it seems to me.

    Some have said here that the Church itself and all its members are or must be pro-life. I disagree. One can be hopeful to reduce the occurrence of abortion in our society without adopting the pro-life political label — and that’s what it is, a political label.

    The Church teaches it members to avoid abortion as a general rule, but allows for exceptions. Regarding non-members, we read on the church’s newsroom topic on abortion: “The Church has not favored or opposed legislative proposals or public demonstrations concerning abortion.”. So really, the Church itself is not pro-life in the sense implied by the political label. The Church teaches correct principles to its members but is silent on the practices of non-members in our communities.

    I support the Church’s approach. I respectfully disagree with other members who tell me the Church is pro-life and that I must also be pro-life to be a faithful member. I do not endorse the pro-life political label and platform. I also do not endorse the pro-choice political label and platform.

  33. Seems still a lot of vague allusions to liberal professors ruining students faith. BYU professors are expected to abide by, support and uphold the honor code. I don’t think this is the problem. They aren’t teaching contrary to doctrine and already have high moral and philosophical standards to uphold to support the church. It is a university though not EFY.

  34. ji:
    The Church does not usually participate in political discussions or endorse certain political agendas. Of course, there are some exceptions.

    If you define being pro-life as having a political label of some sort applied to you, well, then I agree – you don’t need to be pro-life to be a faithful member of the Church.

    If you however define being pro-life as valuing and protecting all children of God in all stages of life, then I don’t know how a faithful member could possibly not be pro-life.

  35. Seb,

    Good, and thank you — one need not be pro-life (as that label is understood in our society) to be a faithful member of the Church. Regarding your “however” statement that you “don’t know how a faithful member could possibly not be pro-life”: avoiding the use of labels will help the dissonance disappear.


    This might be better background on the real but hidden reason for the petition:

  36. Ivan, thanks for the link. I’m familiar with the concept; just didn’t know that was the label.

  37. ji:
    I’m not sure if not finding a sponsor for a club is really the reason or underlying cause for the petition. I feel it has been more or less the one straw that broke the camel’s back. That at least is the impression I got after listening to the podcast. But I could be wrong of course.

    But yes, if at BYU no faculty member is willing to sponsor a Family Proclamation club and/or a pro-life club than something is not quite right. This is like attending a catholic university and no professor is willing to sponsor a rosary club or something like that.

  38. Reading through all the comments here, it’s obvious to this outside observer (I have zero connections or emotional attachments to BYU) that many of you are missing the point of the petition.

    The purpose isn’t to turn BYU into some version of EFY. The point is to highlight that for many years now, a Fifth Column has quietly and surreptitiously infiltrated both the professor ranks and the bureaucracy of Brigham Young University. I think this reality is beyond rational dispute. The light came on for me when I saw graffiti spray painted on the Brigham Young statue on campus.

    Cultural neo-Marxism permeates higher education, whether its adherents are cognizant of that fact or not. And while on balance it hasn’t destroyed BYU (yet), like any cancerous growth, it needs to be bombarded with chemotherapy or surgery so that the patient can live.

    I grow tired of seeing all the “but this is supposed to be a university” cant. It’s supposed to a special *kind* of university. And it’s losing its character and mission right before our eyes.

    I have a daughter who attends BYU-Idaho, and she says that there is none of this nonsense there. A few complainers and dissidents, yes. But BYU-Idaho has its act together.

    I suppose I could say more, but I don’t really have a bone to pick in this argument. It just irks me to see so many people here doubting that there is, in fact, a crisis at BYU. Open your eyes and get your heads out of the dark crevices of posteriors, please. We live in perilous times spiritually speaking. Wake up.

  39. Hi, Michael,

    You might be right that “…a Fifth Column has quietly and surreptitiously infiltrated both the professor ranks and the bureaucracy of Brigham Young University…”. I don’t know, as I live far away. But, the petition doesn’t make this assertion — the petition is purposefully vague, so that is why I think it is flawed. It seems to me that the petition itself should be naming names and providing specific instances or examples — then, facts can be discerned and remedial steps can be taken. But broad allegations without specific assertions are merely smears, and smears are not charitable. That’s why I do not support the petition.

  40. Ji and others, I just want to point out that the petition writers have said publicly several times that they wanted the petition to be deliberately vague so as not to call out and embarrass specific professors and administrators. I am not sure if that was the best strategy or not, but the intention — not embarrassing certain people — is certainly honorable. Meanwhile, the petition has nearly 2500 signatures, which I think is pretty remarkable.

  41. Michael:
    I agree with you … BYU should be a special kind of university. If you see what is happening at almost all other colleges and universities, BYU is or should be the last man standing … so to speak.

    But I do not see how the petition can change anything or what for this matter. So while I can understand why the petition is vague I just don’t see what it really wants the leadership to change. And you can be more specific without „outing“ certain professors.

    So do you have ideas or suggestion what specifically should change?

  42. Instead of “certainly” honorable, can we agree on “possibly” or even “most likely” honorable? After all, I said in my first posting that I admire their sincerity.

  43. I think it goes like this:

    If a Bishop hears something from more than 1 set of parents, he tells the Stake Pres.

    If a stake pres hears something from more than one bishop, he tells his AA-70.

    If an AA-70 hears it from 2 or more stake pres…

    if the area pres (a GA 70) hears it from 2 or more aa-70s, then he takes it to the Q-12. (Maybe insert Presidency of the 70’s here.)

    If the Q-12 hears the same thing from 2 or more Area Presidents, then they are aware of the situation.

    The petitioners apparently want to
    make sure the Brethren are aware, and want to get across their message without layers of filtering.

    I’ve been impressed how the upper layers of leadership have been keeping a finger on the pulse of the rank-and-file with formal individual level surveys of opinions/observations, if that’s what they are called. Such has been reported on, in this blog if not other blogs.

    There also seems to be more bottom-up communication at ward-to-stake level and stake-upward, with much less reluctance to be bearers of less-than-good news.

    The Brethren and the GA’s are known to read blogs, social media, and even respond to blog level hot-topics at Gen Conf. (Elder Christofferson’s reference to “exegesis” in a talk years ago.)

    Since 2002’s Raise-the-bar, extra attention has been paid to youth and young adults, with a lot of improvements in programs, and curriculum. Last year the whole youth system was revamped.

    So my belief is that the Brethren are already well aware of the petitioners’ intended message, regardless of how vaguely it was publicly stated.

    For all we know, one of the GA’s has privately contacted the petitioners’ local leaders with counsel/instruction.

    When the Brethren know something, they take it to the Lord. So if no visible action has been taken, I would suppose either behind-the-scenes action is going on, or the Lord has deemed “not yet.”

    I assume it’s a matter of “not yet.”

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