Prepared to Do Great Things


Richard Neitzel Holzapfel

In an early revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord told Sidney Rigdon (a recent convert and former Protestant minister), “I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a greater work. Thou are blessed, for thou shalt do great things” (D&C 35:3).

I noted earlier how Religious Education faculty bless the lives of many people beyond their particular teaching assignments in their departments (see “Being Anxiously Engaged,” BYU Religious Education Review [Fall 2008], 2–3; “Contributions Across Campus,” BYU Religious Education Review [Fall 2009], 2–3). In this issue I want to highlight another way in which Religious Education faculty reach beyond the walls of their offices and classrooms. In this case they leave BYU!

Not all faculty members remain at the university for their entire professional careers. Recently, two of our colleagues, Andrew H. Hedges and Reid L. Neilson, left BYU and are now employed full-time at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. Although they will be greatly missed, sober reflection suggests that their time at BYU was a preparatory period for them to do great things. Reid is now the managing director of the Church History Department. Andy is now a writer-editor in Special Projects at the Church History Library. Both are perfectly suited for their new positions of trust and responsibilities at Church headquarters. Their impact at BYU through their teaching, research, and citizenship was significant. Their new positions will greatly expand their influence to the entire Church—well beyond the BYU campus community.

In June I began a three-year mission assignment, turning over my duties as publications director to Robert L. Millet. I wish him and you, our readers, the very best. I have enjoyed visiting with you twice a year through the BYU Religious Education Review magazine since its publication began in February 2008. It has been a pleasure to help highlight our students, faculty, staff, and administration. Such an undertaking has increased my appreciation for all the contributions, both small and great, made by my friends and colleagues in Religious Education.

Richard Neitzel Holzapfel

Alabama Birmingham Mission