Malo e lelei,
The May 2006 BYU-Hawaii Alumni eNewsletter contains
Shumway stresses personal revelation, gift of the temple
- Elder Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy
praises President Hinckley
- Elder Kikuchi of the Seventy addresses international
Japanese, Korean students
- Prestigious professional society approves BYU-Hawaii
- Women's tennis team recaptures national NCAA II
title, other honors
- Petra Gaspar ('02) named 'most outstanding student
athlete' of the past 25 years
- New coaches named
- Other Association
& Chapter News
- President Shumway explains returnability to international
Student Alumni Association members
- Volunteer chapter leaders sought
- Reminders of upcoming events
stresses the need
for personal revelation, attending the temple
As he often does at the beginning of school terms,
BYU-Hawaii President Eric B. Shumway delivered the first Spring Term
devotional, May 4, 2006, on the need for personal revelation and
attending the temple.
"Aloha. I am deeply grateful to be here with you,
especially with our new students. I love this university beyond words. I
admire the faculty and staff. I feel deep regard for each and every
student. That is because I have a profound testimony of who you are and
your worth to Heavenly Father who has created this university to prepare
you for uncommon service in his kingdom," he said.
President Shumway then quoted the counsel Elder Boyd
K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve, gave in last
December's graduation address: "You are going out into a world that is
different from the world I faced when I was your age... You won't
survive spiritually unless you know how to receive revelation."
"As I have pondered President Packer's talk, I have
realized that as a learning institution, an institution of higher
learning in the Church, if you students learn everything else and not
learn this — how to receive personal revelation — then we have failed in
a significant way. Without this ability, a person will leave crippled
and vulnerable in a world of many strident, often mocking voices; a
world of moral confusion, a world consumed by forces that destroy the
soul — pride, violence, lust, greed, ambition for power, celebrity,
ease, and competing demands for your time, your energy, and
commitments," President Shumway continued.
He defined personal revelation as "divine
communication from a personal, loving, and literal Heavenly Father to
the individual by a power of the Holy Ghost. Through this communication
Heavenly Father bestows understanding, knowledge, understanding,
courage, and a deep sense of his love and caring. Sometimes this
communication will come as a grace, a pure gift or a tender mercy, but
generally it is something we must seek for earnestly.
"President Hinckley offered this insight, 'The trouble
with most of our prayers is that we [offer] them as if we were picking
up the telephone and ordering groceries — we place our order and then
hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying
about and for, and then speak to the Lord as one [person] speaketh to
"That requires a fairly intense involvement of the
imagination to visualize Heavenly Father actually present in the room
with us and our speaking to him, and interacting with him, and listening
as we would in any reverent conversation with another person. President
Hunter taught: "If prayer is only a spasmodic cry in the time of
crisis, then it is utterly selfish, and we come to think of God as a
repairman or a service agency to help us only in our emergencies. We
should remember the Most High day and night — always, not only in times
when all other assistance has failed and we desperately need help."
Sometimes the voice of the Lord will come in the form
of deep throbbing of the heart, a warm and abiding sensation of love and
gratitude. It may come in the middle of a meeting while you are
pondering, during the sacrament; it may come in the form of a testimony
of someone in Relief Society, or in an answer to a question in the
Sunday School class. As President Packer points out, it may frequently
come in the middle of the night. It may be words in your mind, an idea, a
picture, sometimes it's just a sensation of comfort and peace."
President Shumway stressed "Heavenly Father's
eagerness and willingness to answer our prayers, to give revelation and
guidance," but added this is often blocked by barriers, including:
- Noise. "As President Packer points out, we live
noisy lives, the pounding of rock music, the blare of the TV,
preoccupation with entertainment of all kinds. It is a kind of brain
clutter. Even Christ left the company of his disciples and the
multitudes to seek quiet and reverence in the hills of Judea or in quiet
- Sin. "Often secret sin gnaws at us and nags us
into feeling that we can't pray. Sexual sins especially will distance us
immediately. Pornography will drive the spirit from one's life
instantaneously. It is more than a barrier, it's a black hole."
- Anger, smoldering resentment, refusing to
reconcile or make right with a person who has offended you or whom you
have offended. "I have seen individuals consumed by this kind of
resentment that, if not corrected, will lead to loathing and hatred and
- Waiting to pray "until we are too tired. We
don't feel like it. Nephi, in his last sermon, warned that the evil
spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not
- Intense sorrow "will paralyze one's feelings
against prayer. We're too sad to pray. 'My heart's not in it,' one
person was heard to say. What an irony, rejecting the very way and the
very person who can bring healing and comfort."
- Pride. "I can handle this, I have brains, I'll
figure it out, I don't need a blessing, we say."
- Worry. "We start praying about our problems then
our problems take over our minds and we forget who we're talking to.
Sometimes, it is clichés and generalities that we can rattle off to
cover everybody and everything. I have found it very useful to target
specifically special needs, exact issues and specific persons by name.
Something wonderful happens when we mention someone's name before
Heavenly Father. You feel better about that person. Especially if that
person is less than perfect. Prayer and revelation sometimes changes our
perspective and attitude toward even an enemy."
- A lack of faith in Christ or confidence in
ourselves that becomes the barrier.
- Not dwelling enough on "the thankful side of
things in our prayers. I remember one speaker at this podium bear
testimony to the power of offering thank you prayers in which you just
say thank you and don't ask for anything, where you simply count
your blessings before the Lord, naming them one by one."
- Quickness to ask for help, "then not listening
for the answer. We forget that prayer is a two-way conversation...[or]
as President Hunter suggests, we treat Heavenly Father as some service
agency to call on when we need help."
"One of the greatest truths about the formula for
sincere prayer and personal revelation, that is, to seek with all of our
heart, to ask, to knock — is that it is similar to the formula we use
in the pursuit of our education and truth in general."
"I've seen revelation in the quiet but humble prayer
of a tender wife seeking to know how to manage a family of energetic
children and a busy husband. I've witnessed revelation in the calling of
stake presidents, in the blessings of babies, in the administration of
the sick," President Shumway continued. "Many times, in just the fervent
and yearning utterance of his name, Heavenly Father, we sense an
immediate warm reassurance of His love and His eagerness to bless.
Sometimes the answer or revelation comes before we even ask."
President Shumway also pointed out the university and
community is blessed "with the inimitable gift of the holy temple which,
by definition, is a house of prayer, and therefore a house of
revelation. One of my biggest heartaches is the number of endowed people
on this campus, and in this community, including returned missionaries,
who do not regularly attend the temple. They fill their lives and their
calendars with study and entertainment, but neglect this opportunity to
encounter Heavenly Father in a special way in His house dedicated for
the salvation of the living and the dead."
"By the same token, one of my greatest joys is to meet
students in the temple, sometimes as temple workers, sometimes sitting
quietly with bowed head in the celestial room. I bear solemn testimony
that you are in the presence of God there."
"Prayer and revelation are at the core of temple
worship," he continued. "Of course, we don't need a temple to pray.
Wherever we are, prayer hallows the spot like unto a temple. But the
temple does provide a priesthood-dedicated place of reverence. It is a
house of learning, a house of order, a house of prayer, a house of
fasting, a house of glory, a house of God [D&C 88:119]."
President Shumway noted that Elder John A. Widstoe
spoke of "the wonderful pedagogy of the temple," where "the endowment is
so richly symbolic...it is packed full of revelation...[it] is given by
revelation [and] can best be understood by revelation and to those who
seek most vigorously with pure hearts, will the revelation be the
"Brothers and Sisters, you who have been endowed but
have not been back to the temple, my plea is for you to prepare yourself
to become worthy to return," he said. "Let your prayers generate the
revelation that you need to put your life in order. Don't wait. Don't
risk the heartache and the remorse that comes from violating temple
covenants. Go back to the temple, but go back worthily."
"I ask Heavenly Father sincerely to bless us all
with the ability, the meekness and the persistence to get revelation;
to be tender and patient with one another, for none of us knows the
burdens each of us carries. I pray the temple will become and continue
to be the focus of our worship, and that our ability to receive
revelation will continue throughout our lives."
Read the complete devotional address...
Elder Rasband of the Seventy
opens BYU-Hawaii Women's Conference
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy paid tribute to
President Gordon B. Hinckley as "the greatest temple builder of all
mankind" in the May 19 keynote address at the BYU-Hawaii CITO Women's
Elder Kikuchi meets with
Japanese, Korean students on campus
Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and
a former president of the Hawaii Honolulu Mission and the Tokyo Temple,
delivered a powerful message to the international Japanese and Korean
students on campus during a special April 20 visit. Speaking first in
English in a separate meeting for the Korean students, then in Japanese
in another session for his compatriots, Elder Kikuchi encouraged them
seek the Lord's help in learning English, to have their "own sacred
grove" experiences, urged the single ones to get married, and return to
their home countries to help build the Church. Read more...
Later in an email to BYU-Hawaii Vice President of
Student Life Isileli Kongaika ('71), who organized the
special meetings, Elder Kikuchi wrote "...many of the Korean and
Japanese students said that they received answer to their prayers," and
stressed that he wants them to "have a higher education before they come
back. I want all of them to come back so they can serve as leaders in
the Church." He cited several examples of those who have done this,
- Seoul Stake President Yoon
Hwan Choi('88, Information Systems), who earned a
master's degree from Utah State University before going to work for the
largest export-import company in Korea. He is now the Church's PBO
manager in Seoul.
- Akihiko Tanaka ('89,
Accounting) . After graduating from BYU-Hawaii, he earned a master's
degree in California and then went to work for Texas Instruments in
Japan. He is now president of Forever Living in Japan, managing a staff
of about 250 and a network of approximately 150,000 dealerships.
"James" Hayase ('89, Accounting), who has been a bishop
and is now a counselor in the Machida Japan Stake presidency, has a
successful consulting business with clients such as IBM, Microsoft and
other large Japanese corporations. He is also a former Japan Alumni
- Yoshikazu Yokoyama ('72,
Business Management), currently president of the Japan Sapporo Mission
and a former stake president who had a successful computer business in
Tokyo. He was also recently selected as an Alumni "Genuine Gold"
- Akira Yafuso ('64), currently
president of the Japan Hiroshima Mission and a former stake president
with a very successful insurance business.
National ergonomics society
approves BYU-Hawaii student chapter
The prestigious Human Factors and Ergonomics Society has recently
named BYU-Hawaii as only its 40th student chapter in the U.S., based
partially on the outstanding research and analyses BYU-Hawaii students
have done for the university and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Read more...
Women's tennis team claims sixth
NCAA II championship in past eight years, others honored
The BYU-Hawaii women's tennis team recaptured the NCAA II national
championship on May 13 in Kansas City, Missouri, by defeating top-ranked
Armstrong Atlantic University, 5-3. The Ladies' latest win brings their
2006 season to a perfect close, 27-0. This is the team's sixth NCAA II
championship in the past eight years, and their tenth national title
including NAIA championships. Congratulations players and coach, Dr.
David Porter. Read
all about it...
At the opening national tournament, individual
Seasider players also singled out for honors:
- Dillon Porter received the
prestigious Arthur Ashe Award for sportsmanship and leadership in the
- Jakub Huza was named West
Region Player to Watch
- Leon So'onalole received the
West Region Senior Player of the Year award
- Ramona Husaru was named West
Region Rookie of the Year
Alumna tennis star named 'most
outstanding student athlete' of the past 25 years
The NCAA has named Petra Gaspar ('02, Hospitality and
Tourism Management) as the Division II Tennis Most Outstanding
Student-Athlete as part of the organization's 25th anniversary of
women's championships. Gaspar, who led the Lady Seasiders to national
team titles in 1999, 2000 and 2002 (and runner-up in 2001), currently
lives in Budapest, Hungary with her husband and two-year-old son. Read
Alumni named to coach new teams
Jeff Miller ('02, Biological Sciences), a former player and assistant
coach, has been named to head the resurrected men's soccer team; and another
former player, Justin Wagar ('99), has been named to
coach the new women's soccer team. Both teams will take
the field in the 2006-07 school year. For more
BYU-Hawaii sports news...
Association & Chapter
President Shumway explains
returnability to international SAA members
Speaking at a special Student Alumni Association meeting for
international students on May 16, BYU-Hawaii President Eric B. Shumway
stressed that returnability after graduation is a two-way commitment:
"...you have made a promise. The university has also made a promise to
help you get connected back home..." through internships, career
placement and working with alumni. Read his message...
Alumni board seeks volunteer
Following a recent meeting of the Alumni Association board of directors,
volunteers are being sought to serve as potential chapter leaders in
the following areas — some of which are current while others are newly
- Los Angeles, California
- Dallas, Texas
- Houston, Texas
- San Antonio, Texas
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Provo, Utah
- St. George, Utah
- Cook Islands
- Marshall Islands
If you are willing to serve in any of these areas,
please contact Rowena
Reid ('76, Social Work), Alumni Association Executive
Director, or call 808-293-3648.
In case you missed them in a previous issue, or you're new to our Alumni
- The New York chapter is
planning a fireside meeting on June 4 at 7:30
p.m. in the new Harlem chapel featuring the BYU-Hawaii Concert
Choir. The Choir and five other participating ensembles will also
perform on Monday, June 5 at 8 p.m. in Carnegie Hall.
For more information, contact chapter co-chair Katy
Hyett Sutton ('90, English) at 203-798-9194.
- The Alaska Chapter will
hold a college scholarship fundraiser dinner and show,
featuring Polynesian dancers, for Alaskan Seminary graduates on Saturday,
June 3, from 5:30 p.m. at Wendler Jr. High at Northern Lights and Lake
Otis in Anchorage. Tickets are now available by calling
332-2005 or 240-8382; or contact chapter chair Carolyn
Fautanu ('89, Mathematics Education). The cost is $15 each
for ages 14 and up, $10 each for ages 8-13, and children under 8 are
1950s & 60s
Keala Jr. ('57, Business) and his wife, Florence
Kamauoha Keala ('57) recently said their "most memorable
experience at CCH [where David was king of the Aloha Ball] was meeting
each other." After graduating with an associate's degree, he earned a
bachelor's degree in business from Provo, and then returned to Hawaii as
a teacher and eventually became principal of Molokai High. Both are
currently involved in the Native Hawaiian Island Council, and are
especially proud of their alumni son, David
Keala ('87, Travel, Hotel and Restaurant Management) —
BYU-Hawaii Director of Food Services — and three granddaughters who are
After leaving CCH, Helen
Kuoha-Torco ('64) joined Sterling Mossman's Hawaiian
group, and went on to become a flight attendant. She earned a master's
degree from UH and later a doctorate in education in Florida. She's a
retired professor from the UH Community College system where she taught
for 30 years, and is currently a substitute teacher for the Honolulu
School District. She is also currently a "double star" Mary Kay
In Memoriam: Lela Dalton,
who passed away on May 22. She served a teaching mission in Tonga in
the 1950s with her husband, Pat, who later joined the original Church
College of Hawaii faculty (he retired in 1988) while she worked in a
variety of positions. In the 1960s the Daltons returned to Tonga where
he was mission president, and in 1989 they were called as president and
matron of the Tonga Temple. In 2000 the Daltons also served a senior
mission at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
In Memoriam: Sunny Taosoga
('67) worked as an educator and held many Church positions in both
Samoa and American Samoa. Two of his children — Edith
('99, Business Management) and Nathan
Taosoga ('01, EXS) graduated from BYUH, and Agalelei is
Uale ('79, Political Science) earlier this month was a
guest speaker at the American Samoa Community College 2006 commencement.
Schwenke ('81, Business Management, and '82, Accounting)
is general manager for Polynesian Airlines in American Samoa.
Cowell ('82, Business Management and Accounting) recently
helped organize a Pacific Islands festival in Foster City, California.
In Memoriam: Si'ilata Lokeni
('87), worked for the Church Education System in Samoa before coming
to BYU-Hawaii. He also worked for the Polynesian Cultural Center.
In Memoriam: Nelson Tu'ua,
who along with his wife, Lata, served as resident managers of Temple
View Apartments until they retired. Originally from Samoa, Tu'ua moved
to New Zealand where he met his wife, and the couple eventually moved to
Hawaii. Four of their nine children have attended BYU-Hawaii.
Okonkwo ('93, Art), the former 6'9" Seasider basketball
player originally from Nigeria, and his wife, Deidra Young
Okonkwo ('90, Accounting), who went on to earn a master's in
accounting from BYU, now live in Orem, Utah. He recently had one of his
sculptures on display in an annual exhibit in Summerville, South
Carolina, near Charleston.
Dr. William L. Phillips, chair of the
Department of Special Education and Director of the International
Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at BYU-Hawaii from 1994-99, has been
named the new dean of the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky
University. After leaving Laie, Dr. Phillips served as Dean of the
College of Education and Human Services at Lock Haven University in
Parks ('96, International Business Management) and his
wife, Lori Bishop Parks ('96, Accounting) recently moved from Denver,
Colorado, to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he is vice president of marketing
for Pulte Homes/Del Webb. He writes: "We love the desert! I have
worked for Pulte Homes/Del Webb in Marketing for the past two years.
Prior to Pulte I worked at Ford Motor Company in Detroit and Denver. We
have two little girls, ages 5 and 2, and we are a happy little family.
I miss Bill Neal and his compassion for his students. His example of
humility, leadership and commitment to continuous improvement still
guides me today."
Editor's Note: President Shumway is truly
eloquent, and we are so fortunate to frequently hear and read his words.
Normally in putting together newsletters and other publications, an
editor would not lead off with the same speaker three months in a row,
but President Shumway's words are so inspirational and timely that I
hope you agree with our recent issue content management. We are also
blessed to read messages in this issue from two General Authorities,
Elders Rasband and Kikuchi of the Seventy, who recently visited our
campus. Finally, as you can see, we only received a few "personal
updates" from alumni this issue. I know it's a popular part of the
newsletter, according to feedback, so if you want to read more...send in
your comments. We also need your help in hearing about fellow alumni in
your respective areas who have passed away. Aloha,
Foley ('70, TESL), Editor
The BYU-Hawaii Alumni Newsletter is published
by the University Advancement office, under the direction of Napua
Baker ['59-61 and '70-72], Vice President; Duane
Roberts, Director of Communications
& Public Relations; and Rowena
Reid ['76, Social Work], Alumni Relations Executive
Brigham Young University Hawaii Campus is a four-year comprehensive
institution sponsored by The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About 2,400
from over 70 nations are currently enrolled.
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