How the Wheatley Institution Can Help Students Strengthen Their Values

BYU students understand what it’s like to stand up for their beliefs. Living the Honor Code and church standards makes the lifestyle of BYU students different from other young adults their age. But they are not left to stand and defend their values on their own. The BYU Wheatley Institution works to help students have a gospel-centered education that helps them have the knowledge, insights, and skills necessary to successfully implement world-changing improvements. In a society that measures success and value by money and fame, Jack Robert Wheatley, co-founder of the Institution with his wife Mary Lois, counsels that we “weigh success not in gain, but in improvements to the world.”

Courtesy of the BYU Wheatley Institution

Celebrating a decade of enhancing “the academic climate and scholarly reputation of BYU” and “enrich[ing] faculty and student experiences,” the Institution celebrated its tenth birthday this fall with lectures by Princeton University professor Robert P. George and Sir Paul Coleridge, a former judge for the British High Court of Justice, on topics such “The Constitution, Political Culture, and Civic Virtue” and marriage in the UK. In addition to those lectures, BYU students were able to participate in an essay contest where they defended and expounded upon their’s and BYU’s values and beliefs.

How does the Wheatley Institution connect with the Family, Home and Social Sciences?

Focusing on the patterns of human behavior and the family as the basic unity of society, the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences shares many of the key scholarship interests that the Wheatley Institution emphasizes, as seen in the topics focused on in the Wheatley’s anniversary celebration lectures and the fact that many of our current and past faculty members serve as fellows of the Institution and deliver lectures on current societal and cultural issues (such as past School of Family Life professor Jenet Erickson’s presentation on what it means to be a children in today’s culture). Both organizations conduct unique collaborative research experiences to expound on ideas that can create practical solutions and insights for real societal issues. More important than that, however, is the quest to provide students with the tools they need to develop, strengthen, and defend their own beliefs.

Unaware of that quest, many students find themselves worrying more about their grade point average than the opportunities available to them that can help them develop the skills and testimony that are needed when GPA’s become irrelevant. “Enter to learn, go forth to serve” is a daunting phrase when you do not have the understanding of personal values and testimony you need to succeed and make a difference in the world.

A Call to Action – How the Wheatley Institution Can Help Students

Coutesy of

Well, Cougars, the time to act is now.

Attend Wheatley Institution lectures, such as the Reason for Hope conference November 16th, and enrich your BYU experience with more than your course load of required classes.

In a 1976 New Era magazine, Sylvia Willich share the following poem:

Until now
I merely
On the
With my nose
Against the
Window of life,
Looking in.
I had often
Of how it
Would be,
How it
Could be,
If I were to
Become a part
Of it.
Opened the door
And invited
To join.


In the past several years, church leaders have called upon the rising generation, including BYU students, to strengthen their beliefs and protect religious freedom. By becoming more involved in extracurricular organizations and groups at BYU, you can further develop the knowledge and skills you already have to make positive change in he world while strengthening your core values and testimony.

How will you enhance your education and strengthen your testimony this week?


Leave a Reply