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"If Ye Have Desires to Serve God, Ye are Called to the Work," Graduating Senior Shares Personal Significance to Scripture

Jerry and his wife standing outside in front of sign that reads, "enter to learn, go forth to serve."
Photo by Hai-Wei Qiu

Jui-Hsiu Chiang, or Jerry, is a senior from Hsinchu City, Taiwan, double-majoring in accounting and business finance. After spending seven years at Brigham Young University–Hawaii, he shares countless life-changing experiences he'll always cherish and carry with him.

In 2013, Chiang was the only member of his family baptized in Taiwan. Following that event, Chiang had his first encounter with Brigham Young University–Hawaii when admissions officers visited his home stake. After hearing of the unique campus environment and scholarship opportunities, he applied. Chiang knew that if he were to reach the goal of serving a full-time mission and surround himself in a spiritual environment, it would be crucial to come to BYU–Hawaii. Keeping that same tie the admission officer gifted him that night has reminded him of how blessed he's been to have started this journey in education.

Once here, it only took two semesters before his mission papers were in, Chiang was then called to serve in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission and was even set apart in the Heber J. Grant Building. He recounts the overall experience being "very special," as he served Chinese people in downtown Honolulu and connected to a part of his heritage he hadn't before. Learning the Chinese language also allowed him to work as a Chinese tour guide at the Polynesian Cultural Center following his two-year service.

Jerry standing outside, he is wearing a graduation cap and gown.
Jui-Hsiu Chiang wears the same tie admissions officers gave him years ago as tribute to the blessings he's received while studying at BYUH.
Photo by Hai-Wei Qiu

"Experiences here are a small scope, a small glimpse of how we can pattern our lives in the future," Chiang said when asked about takeaways he's had while studying at BYU–Hawaii. He further explains, "How we pray, how we fast, how we study, how we serve others.., and how we nurture our families, is how we will do it for the rest of our lives" if we allow our decisions today, to impact who we become.

He continues to express his overwhelming gratitude as he reflects upon all that's happened these last several years by saying, "I appreciate the things we learn about diversity and unity." Chiang served as club president for the Taiwan Club. Through this leadership role he learned how to lean on the strength of others to achieve collective success. His perspective has since widened, and his cultural lens forever changed thanks to the diverse student body he became acquainted with. Chiang continues, "A lot of unrepresented cultures and people can be represented here who otherwise wouldn't have been represented at other universities."

His last major takeaway would be serving in the temple. Chiang states, "The temple is a blessing among us." Living only five minutes away from the Laie, Hawaii temple, it's been a tradition for him and his wife to spend time serving there weekly. The temple has been especially significant for them, being they are hours or countries away from the nearest temple back in their home countries.

If Chiang could sum up his BYU–Hawaii experience in one scripture, it would be Doctrine & Covenants 4:3, "Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work." Chiang further explained, "I don't see myself being as smart or intelligent as some people, but this scripture teaches me that God accommodates those willing to serve Him." The scripture holds significance as he's seen how the Lord has blessed him through serving others.

Jerry and his wife hold an ultra-sound indicating that she's expecting.
Photo by Hai-Wei Qiu

Before his chapter at BYU–Hawaii comes to a close, Chiang would like to thank Professor Moana Numanga. As a professor and boss, Chiang has greatly appreciated her leadership and example. She has helped him professionally but also shown him how to be unified with others amidst living in such a diverse environment. "She's shown me that you can be professional and kind to others in the workplace." He also thanks the accounting and business management faculty for preparing students in such a diverse yet academically rigorous environment and preparing students for their future.

Parting advice Chiang leaves to current students is to recognize how influential you are to those around you. "Be kind and share the love of the Lord with others," Chiang exclaimed. "I was here when I decided to serve a mission. I was here during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was here when I decided to get married. One thing that amazed me during these crucial moments was the kindness of those around me. Fellow students and professors have inspired me through these decisions whether they knew it or not," Chiang shared. He adds, "Our choices will impact our future selves. So take advantage of today."

After graduation, Chiang and his family will go to Provo, Utah, this fall as he's been accepted into the Master of Accounting program. He's also eagerly awaiting the addition of his firstborn in a few weeks, as Chiang and his wife are expecting a boy later this month.