The new commissioner of the Church Educational System will deliver a devotional for the first time Tuesday at Brigham Young University, the flagship school of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Clark G. Gilbert became a General Authority Seventy of the church in April 2021 and was named the church commissioner of education in May.

In August, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles charged Elder Gilbert with working alongside BYU President Kevin Worthen to evaluate the university’s progress toward goals set for its second century by late church President Spencer W. Kimball.

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President Kimball delivered the Second Century Address in 1975. BYU will reach its 150th anniversary in 2025.

“Noting that we are just a few years short of halfway through those second hundred years of which President Kimball spoke,” said Elder Holland, a member of BYU’s board of trustees. “I think it would be fascinating to know if we are, in fact, making any headway on the challenges he laid before us ...”

President Kimball described BYU becoming an Educational Everest towering above other universities because of a bilingual ability to synthesize faith and study.

Elder Gilbert’s devotional comes as BYU is seeking to renew its accreditation in April and just two weeks after the church announced that all Latter-day Saints hired at its colleges and universities will be required to hold a temple recommend, which provides entrance into the faith’s temples. To receive a recommend, Latter-day Saints affirm every two years to church leaders that they believe in God, sustain church leaders, actively attend church, pay tithing and live the Word of Wisdom, which proscribes alcohol and coffee.

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BYU also is under investigation by the Department of Education based on an unreleased complaint about its policies regarding LGBTQ students.

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Elder Gilbert is a BYU graduate. He earned a bachelor’s in international relations in 1994. He earned a master’s degree in Asian studies from Stanford University in 1995 and a doctor of business administration degree at Harvard in 2001.

He worked as a professor at Harvard from 2001-06 and then served as associate academic vice president of BYU–Idaho until 2009, when he became the CEO for the Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media.

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Elder Gilbert was the president of BYU–Idaho from 2015-17 and president of BYU–Pathway Worldwide from 2017-21.

Elder Gilbert and his wife, Christine Calder Gilbert, are the parents of eight children.

Tuesday’s devotional will begin at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center on the BYU campus. It will be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYUradio 107.9 FM, and SiriusXM 143.

The devotional will be archived for on-demand viewing immediately on BYUtv.org and video, text and audio will be available later on speeches.byu.edu.

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