March, 30, 2016

A Thought from Principal Maeser


By Chris Kinghorn

One of my favorite quotes in the gallery is by Karl G. Maeser. He says, “Knowledge is not power unless sustained by a character.” I believe this is one of the major themes of the gallery. If we are to become like our Heavenly Father, the acquisition of knowledge is not sufficient. It must be supplemented by character. I had the chance to look up the full quote in order to get a little more context behind it. Here is the full quote –

“We are not here merely to gain knowledge, but the object of visitors, seniors, etc. is the training and molding of our character.

“Knowledge is not power unless sustained by a character.  The character makes the man and woman.

“Whenever you hear of a man who has been successful in life, respected and honored by those with whom he came in contact he had a good character. Persons who float with every stream amount to nothing.

“Choose the noblest principles you can find and you will (be) triumphant.”

Karl G. Maeser, BY Academy domestic department minutes. Feb. 14, 1889

We are so blessed here at BYU to have a university that has been built up by many amazing and inspired leaders, including the founding principal- Karl G. Maeser. It always fascinated me that many of the principles he established for the school have withstood the test of time and are still an integral part of the four aims BYU establishes for students today. Let us all heed the council of Principle Maeser and build a strong character while we attend this wonderful university.