Monday, February 18, 2013


image The talks on Sunday about different aspects of obedience, as well as President Mullen’s concluding comments opened the door for a boarder discussion about the importance of obeying with exactness.

Please note, this post is not intended to drudge up feelings of guilt or to turn roommates against each other in a quest to rid ourselves of sin.

Quite the contrary, this post is designed to create an atmosphere of dialog and to motivate each of us to look inward to see where we can make the necessary course corrections that will better position us to receive God’s blessings.

image You see, this is the whole point of obedience. God, parents, priesthood leaders, or BYU do not give us commandments to make us miserable. Rather, these commandments provide us a means to be happy. Once we make that transition from seeing rule as an irritant to seeing them as a vehicle to find happiness, then we will truly begin to understand that man is that he might have joy.

So, let’s get to it.

image Each of you signed a contract with Centennial to abide by the BYU Honor Code. Because you signed this contract willingly, you are under a legal and moral obligation to abide by these rules. Failure to comply with these rules may put you at risk academically as well as jeopardize your ability to live at this facility.

Here are some of the rules from the BYU Off-Campus Housing site that apply to each of you while at Centennial:

  • Visitors of the opposite sex are permitted in living rooms and kitchens, but not in the bedrooms in off-campus living units.
  • The use of bathroom areas by members of the opposite sex is not appropriate unless emergency or civility dictate otherwise and then only if the safety, privacy, and sensitivity of other residents are not jeopardized.
  • Visiting hours may begin after 9:00 a.m. and extend until 12:00 midnight.
  • Friday night visiting hours may extend until 1:30 a.m.
  • Landlords may establish a shorter visiting period within the time frame stated above if proper notice is given to students. This policy applies to all housing units occupied by single students.
  • All students of university-contracted housing are required to know the BYU dress and grooming standards and abide by them.

image Some may see these rules as arcane and unnecessary. Others may feel that such restrictive policies simply invite rule breaking. Still others may feel that the inability to consistently enforce there rules make them nothing more than a facade.

While these all may be true, but if this is your attitude, you fail to understand two concepts.

First, you signed the contract. That means you committed to follow these rules. Open rebellion against these rules is a breach of contract which represents a lack of personal integrity.

Second, when you choose to live in a community, you have willingly sacrifice some of your personal freedoms. A community cannot exist in anarchy. No one has the right to jeopardize the potential positive experience of another person. Rules violations, at any degree, place you on the path to negatively impact the life of another person.

Let’s be honest. No one ever found greater happiness when they purposely violated any of these rules. No relationship was ever improved by breaking the curfew or by going beyond the boundaries within an apartment. No one ever gained greater respect of their peers by dressing or acting immodestly.

I encourage each of you to do the following:

  • Take the time to personally reflect on your attitudes towards these rules.
  • Discuss as an apartment how to help each other do better to live by these rules
  • Make the necessary course correction to position yourself to receive the joy that comes from obeying with exactness.

I look forward to your comments.