Elder Holland Shares How One BYU Grad Saved the University from Closing After a Remarkable Vision

For BYU Commencement Day, BYU Speeches created a remarkable video from a talk Jeffrey R. Holland gave while president of BYU in 1987. Elder Holland told how Alfred Kelly, a student graduation speaker, was given not only the task of speaking at commencement but of helping convince community leaders in attendance to donate money to save the university.

Feeling the pressure of this task, he walked to Temple Hill to receive inspiration. Then, a remarkable vision came. Elder Holland explained: 

"Kelly . . . turned his eyes to view the valley below that was also still in shadow. The light from the rising sun was just beginning to illuminate the western hills back of Utah Lake with an unusual golden glow. As morning came, the light gradually worked down from the hilltops, moved across the valley floor, and slowly advanced to the spot where Kelly stood.
"He said he partially closed his eyes as the light approached and was startled by what he could still see. He stood as if transfixed. In the advancing sunlight everything he saw took on the appearance of people, young people about his age moving toward Temple Hill. He saw hundreds of them, thousands of young people coming into view. He knew they were students, he said, because they carried books in their arms as they came. Then Temple Hill was bathed in sunlight, and the whole of the present campus was illuminated not with one partially completed building, nor with homes in a modern subdivision, but rather what Kelly described to that graduating class as 'temples of learning.'"

Read the full speech here.

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