Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to hundreds of Arizona young adults and others gathered Sunday, April 19, for the dedication of the meetinghouse and Institute building on the ASU Polytechnic Campus in Mesa.
ASU President Michael Crow also spoke at the dedication, saying ASU is built around the idea of inclusion of all students and with an interest in their success. With that, he said, “We cannot exclude religious liberty.” Instead, he said, ASU is committed to “comprehensive human development,” including spiritual, moral, technical, philosophical, personal and relational development.
Elder Andersen, too, spoke about education. He congratulated the students for their interest in education, calling it “a way of life” and something members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be engaged in.
However, Elder Andersen said, education is not just for obtaining a degree, “but for building the soul.” He said, “Those things that are not seen are eternal,” and added the Institute building would be a place “where the unseen is taught.”
Elder Andersen’s wife, Kathy, also speaking at the dedication, shared her memories of attending Institute in a small room without good lighting and “that didn’t small very good, but in that very modest, very humble setting, my testimony blossomed of the Savior Jesus Christ,” she said. “Your life and your mind can be illuminated by things you will learn and study here.”
Elder Andersen counseled those in attendance to make the new Institute building a place all students, whether or not they were of the LDS faith, could come and enjoy, to play basketball or to sit quietly in contemplation.
“We are long past the days when we have to be absorbed in our own lives,” said Elder Andersen. “This should not be a cloistered building that we hide from the campus.”
In addition to being open about sharing the building with others, Elder Andersen suggested students share their testimonies as well. He explained that a lot of millennials have no belief or faith in God.
“We have to see our role as much greater. We have to see our role as inviting all to come unto Christ,” Elder Andersen says.
“We know God lives. We know God answers prayers,” he said. “He is no respecter of persons. He loves all His children.”
“Turn your attention to Him in faith,” Elder Andersen said. Next, invite others to do the same, he added.
“This is our role, and it is an increasing role.”
The new facility, located on the northwest corner of Innovation Way North and South Sterling Avenue in Mesa, is constructed of two-tone brick masonry with a flat roof in order to blend in with the other buildings on the campus.
It will be the meetinghouse for three congregations, the Indigo Bay YSA (Young Single Adult), Temple View YSA and Gateway Married Student wards. To accommodate the needs of these wards, the building includes a chapel, a large cultural hall, classrooms and offices.
The building will also function as the ASU Polytechnic Institute. One of the 2,500 LDS Institutes worldwide, the ASU Polytechnic Institute will serve the approximately 1,250 students from ASU Gateway Campus, Chandler Gilbert Community College and ASU Charter School. The Institute offers religious instruction, with classes that are free of charge and open to the general public (age 18 and up). It also provides a place for single and married students to study and relax and opportunities to participate in community service, social events and leadership training.
Visit the Mesa Polytechnic LDS Institute of Religion on Facebook or, for more information: http://institute.lds.org/ or http://ldsces.org/mesapolytechnic.