Why Giving Matters | Arthur C. Brooks | 2009

Why Giving Matters | Arthur C. Brooks | 2009

It’s an honor for me to be here at Brigham 
Young University, and it’s a delight for me   to be here in beautiful Provo. The last time 
I was here was in the fall of 2007. I have   happy memories of my last visit, and I have great 
anticipation of my next. I’m always delighted   to be here, and I can see why statistics 
show that Utahns are some of the happiest   people in the United States.

It’s quite clear, 
just by looking around, why that would be so.
  I’m going to talk to you today about something 
that you’ve probably given a lot of thought to:   charity. But I want to talk about it in 
a way you maybe haven’t thought about it:   about how you can use it in your lives and in 
the lives of others. I want to talk to you about   how charity can and should prominently 
figure in the lives of Christian people—but   in a way that maybe hasn’t 
quite occurred to you before.   I want to start with a quote from the famous 
industrialist John D.

Rockefeller from 1905.
  Rockefeller was famously quoted in that year as 
saying, “God gave me my money”. Now, that’s sort   of troubling to Christian people. God gave him 
his money? Some have used the quote as evidence   that John D. Rockefeller was a bad man—that he 
believed he deserved to be rich when other people   were poor. But that’s not actually what he meant.
In 1906 Rockefeller went on to tell a newspaper   reporter for the New York American: “I 
believe the power to make money is a gift   from God .

. . to be developed and used to the 
best of our ability for the good of mankind”.
  What Rockefeller meant was this: He believed 
that he made money because he was charged with   helping others with his money, and he honestly 
believed (as he wrote at other times) that if   he stopped giving his money and giving it in the 
right way, then God would take his money away.
  Now, that still might trouble you theologically 
that God would intervene in the direct finances   of John D. Rockefeller, but you have to admit 
that it doesn’t sound so weird at that point.   John D. Rockefeller believed that 
he was rich because he gave so much,   and throughout his life, before he was a rich 
man, he gave a lot. He was a charitable person.
  A lot of entrepreneurs believe that one of the 
reasons that they’re rich is because they give.   Entrepreneurs in this country are some of its most 
charitable citizens. And I’ve always heard this,   because for years I taught in a department of 
entrepreneurship, so I got to know the modern   John D.

Rockefellers who thought that they were 
rich partly because they gave. But, you know,   I never believed it—never believed a word of 
it—because I was trained as an economist.
  A lot of you have taken classes in economics. 
When you walk into your first class in economics,   here’s what the professor doesn’t say: “You want 
to get rich? Give all your money away.” That’s   not the advice you hear. It doesn’t make sense. 
No, you have to have money first, and then you   can give it away. That’s what economists like me 
think. So I set out to test John D. Rockefeller’s   view that he was rich because he—and all the other 
entrepreneurs I talked to—gave.

That way, the next   time I heard somebody say that you could get rich 
by giving your money away, I was going to respond,   “No, you’re wrong. I have the data that say you 
have to have it before you can give it away.”
  Well, I’m going to tell you what I found, and 
in a nutshell what I found was that Rockefeller   was right and I was wrong. I’m going to show 
you the evidence that proves how wrong I was   and tell you how you can use this information 
in your life and how I’m using it in mine.
  But first a little background on charitable giving 
in America: Americans give. Americans give a lot.   In 2006 American citizens privately 
gave about $300 billion away to charity.   Now, $300 billion—is that a lot, or is 
that a little? Who even knows these days?   The president with the stroke of a pen could 
give away three times that to people who   cannot pay their mortgages, for all 
we know. It’s a crazy time out there,   but to put it into perspective, $300 billion is 
more than the entire national income of Sweden.

We   give away to charity more than the whole country 
of Swedes makes in income. That’s a lot of money.   Seventy-five percent of America’s families give 
every year. Fifty percent volunteer their time,   and many Americans give in myriad other 
ways that are not captured in data.
  At one point when I was teaching about 
this subject, I decided to figure out who   in America is the most charitable. I compared 
states, and you are not going to be very   surprised at what I found. The most charitable 
state in the United States, of course, is Utah,   where people give approximately twice as much as 
the second leading state in charitable giving.   So congratulations to you. I’m tempted to 
say that that should make Utahns proud.   But I suppose that’s not the right word.

You 
should be pleased—and determined to keep it up.
  Now, given this, one often asks, How do Americans 
compare in charitable giving with people around   the world? There’s a perception out there, if 
you listen to politicians, that we’re stingy.   Jimmy Carter, the former president of the 
United States, said in a relatively recent   speech that Americans are indifferent to 
the suffering of the poor around the world:   “The problem lies among the people of the U.S.   It’s a different world from ours. And we don’t 
really care about what happens to them”.
  The data say that President Carter is wrong. If we 
look at how much money Americans give per capita   compared to citizens in other countries of the 
world, we will find that the average American   citizen gives away three-and-a-half times as much 
money each year as the average French citizen,   seven times as much as the average German, 
and 14 times as much as the average Italian.
  Now, as an economist I want to know whether 
or not that’s because we are richer.   However, when you correct for income differences 
and tax differences and all the things that make   the United States a different country, you find 
that the gap doesn’t close.

This is an authentic   difference in culture—once again something 
I do believe we can be quite pleased with.   The questions, then, are why does it matter 
and which is pushing and which is pulling?   Is the fact that we’re, generally speaking, a 
richer country the reason that we give so much,   as I’d always thought? Or is what 
John D. Rockefeller would have   said true: that the fact that we give so 
much is one of the secrets to our success?
  That’s what I set out to show. I set 
out to show that Rockefeller was wrong:   that you have to have the money before you give 
it away, that we all need to go to work, and that   we need tax policy that puts plenty of money 
in our pockets—then we’ll help each other.   That’s what I intended to show.
The way I set out to show that   was by gathering data on 30,000 American 
families from all over the country.

Actually,   colleagues at Harvard University collected the 
data in the year 2000. Working from coast to   coast, they collected the data from 41 communities 
big and small and towns north and south. Salt Lake   City was one of the communities we looked 
at. We also looked at Washington, D.C., and   Seattle, Washington (my hometown)—lots of places 
were in there. Thirty thousand families were asked   questions about how much they gave, what they gave 
to, how much money they made, their education,   their family life, and everything in 
between. It was the most comprehensive   look at people’s service behavior and their 
charitable giving that we’ve ever had before,   and I eagerly anticipated these data because 
I was going to show what I’d always thought.   This was going to give me a statistical way to 
show that you have to have the money first.
  So I charted it up and did the statistical 
analysis.

I worked for months with my computer in   my darkened office to get my conclusion. The 
conclusion was, sure enough, that when people   get richer, they tend to give more money away. But 
I also came up with the following counterintuitive   finding: When people give more 
money away, they tend to prosper.
  Specifically, here’s what I found. If 
you have two families that are exactly   identical—in other words, same religion, 
same race, same number of kids, same town,   same level of education, and everything’s the 
same—except that one family gives a hundred   dollars more to charity than the second family, 
then the giving family will earn on average $375   more in income than the nongiving family—and 
that’s statistically attributable to the gift.
  Now, when I got this I was perplexed. I 
was really confused because it didn’t go   with my theory. In psychology this is 
what we call cognitive dissonance—two   competing ideas in conflict with each 
other.

On the one hand I had the theory   that I’d always worked under. On the other hand I 
had data that completely contradicted the theory.   So I did what college professors always 
do in this case: I got rid of the data.   I said, “That can’t be right. I’ve obviously 
messed something up.” I got new software.   I looked for new data. I recrunched the 
numbers. I kept coming up with the same thing.
  I ran the numbers again, and I looked 
at volunteering. I found the same thing:   People who volunteer do better financially. I 
ran the numbers on blood contributions and blood   donations. Think about that—giving blood. You’re 
not going to get richer if you give blood,   are you? Well, yes, you are.
I figured it couldn’t be right,   so I ignored the findings. I didn’t publish them. 
I let them roll around in my head for a long time.   And I thought, you know, I’ve got a better way to 
test this—I’m going to look at the whole United   States.

I wanted to see how charitable giving 
had changed over a 50-year period and compare it   to how income had changed. Then I could see which 
was statistically pushing and which was pulling.
  I examined the average family between 1954 
and 2004 and found (adjusted for inflation)   a 150-percent increase in real purchasing power. 
This is great news. This is actually an amazing   thing worldwide. You simply don’t see growth like 
this in real purchasing power in already rich   countries.

It’s an incredible achievement that the 
United States has undertaken. This is a testament   to prosperity that comes from productivity and 
hard work and dedication. This is a good thing.
  Charitable giving also increased over the same 
period per family on average by 190 percent.   And this is an even better story because what 
this says is that we’re getting more prosperous   in this country, but we’re getting even more 
generous over time. I’m pleased with this result.   It tells me once again that what Jimmy 
Carter said about this country is not right.   We’re not a stingy country. Could 
we be more generous? Of course   we could. But we’re not getting stingier.
Here’s the real question: Which is pushing and   which is pulling? Is income driving up donations 
or are donations driving up income or what? And   the answer, once again, is both.

You find that 
when our country gets richer, people do give more   away. And as we give more away, that translates 
into better economic growth for this country.
  Statistically what we find is that if we were to 
increase our private charitable donations by just   1 percent, which is about $2 billion a year—$2 
billion a year from people like you and me writing   checks for our favorite causes: our churches 
and our favorite charities—if we just did that,   that would translate into a gross domestic 
product of about 39 billion new dollars.   That’s a great multiplier.
Now, $39 billion by today’s stakes   is nothing. The president pulls $39 billion from 
behind the cushions of the couch at the White   House. It’s laundry money. It’s three months in 
Iraq. It’s 5 percent of the stimulus package.   It’s nothing. But it’s a great multiplier. If 
I can take your $2 billion in charity and turn   it into $39 billion, then suddenly charitable 
giving is not just a great investment for you.   It’s also a patriotic act for our 
country because it translates into jobs   and growth and opportunity and tax revenues 
and all the stuff that we really like.
  The more I ran the numbers, the more 
I kept getting this crazy result.   I kept getting the same thing over and over and 
over.

Rockefeller was right, but I still refused   to believe it. So in desperation I finally 
went to a colleague who specialized in the   psychology of charitable giving, and I said, 
“I’m getting this result I can’t understand.   It doesn’t make sense. It’s like the hand 
of God or something on the economy, and   I can’t believe it’s true.”
And the first thing he asked was,   “Why don’t you believe it’s true? 
You’re a Christian, aren’t you?”
  This shook me a bit, but just for a second.

“Yeah, 
but I’m a social scientist,” I shot back. “We’re   not supposed to believe those things. 
I need a more earthbound explanation.”
  “Well, I’ll give you one,” he said. “We’ve known 
this for 30 years in the psychology profession.”
  And I said, “Well, tell me, tell me.”
He said, “We haven’t just been talking   about money. You economists—you worry about 
money all the time, and money is boring.   We worry about something that people really 
care about—the currency by which we really   spend our days—and that’s happiness. We’ve 
known for 30 years that people who give   get happier as a result. Can you use that?”
And I said, “Oh, yeah.” Because I know from   teaching at a business school that the best way to 
run a successful business is to hire happy people.   That’s really where the action is.

Some of you 
know that too. If you want to have a productive   business and if you want to be a productive 
person, work on your happiness. Happy people show   up for work more, they work longer hours, they 
work more joyfully, and they’re happier with every   aspect of their productive lives. Happiness is the 
secret to success, and if that’s true, I’ve got   the answer. Charity brings happiness, happiness 
brings success, and now I’m onto something.
  It turns out that the data on happiness and 
charitable giving are beyond dispute. People   who give to charity are 43 percent more likely 
than people who don’t give to say they’re very   happy people. People who give blood are twice 
as likely to say they’re very happy people as   people who don’t give blood. People who 
volunteer are happier. The list goes on.   You simply can’t find any kind of 
service that won’t make you happier.
  Laboratory experiments using human subjects 
find that when people are asked to give to   other people, it elevates their mood.

Furthermore, 
if you increase your level of charitable giving,   you can permanently alter your level of what 
psychologists call positive effect—which is   to say, being in a good mood. You can be a 
happier person that way. It’s the secret,   basically. The real question is not whether 
that’s true; the question is why that’s true.
  There’s a very interesting set of studies that 
tell us why it is that giving will make you into   a happy person. The first has to do with how 
it changes your brain. I’m going to explain   that in a minute. The second is what it does 
to how other people treat you. Let me explain.   The first is that the wiring of our brains is 
conducive to charitable giving, and it works   something like this.

In the late 1980s there 
was a famous study of charitable giving that   looked at how people reacted with respect to the 
endorphins that they experienced. Endorphins are   neurochemicals that make you feel a sort 
of euphoria. If you like to run marathons,   it’s probably because afterward you feel really 
good—you feel sort of high in a way. Psychologists   came forth with studies that showed that when 
people volunteer to help other people, they get   what they call “the helper’s high.” Volunteering 
actually gives people a mild sense of euphoria.
  I think that’s an interesting study, 
but it doesn’t help me explain   prosperity.

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The helper’s high doesn’t 
get me there, and the reason is this.   When I was in high school I went to school with 
a lot of kids who specialized in getting high.   And it turns out that that 
was not a secret to success.   Now that I’m 44 years old and keeping in touch 
with a couple of people from high school,   I can assure you that the pathway they 
took was not the one to great prosperity.   So it’s interesting that 
you get this helper’s high,   but it doesn’t help us explain all this worldly 
prosperity that I keep finding in my data.
  Later studies of the brain came up with a more 
compelling explanation.

These studies showed   that when people give, it lowers their levels of 
stress. This is really important to understand in   prosperity because one thing that we know is that 
people who do their jobs with less stress tend to   be more productive and more successful than 
those who perform it with more stress. You’ll   find throughout your lives that if you can find 
ways to relax, you will profit from this level   of relaxation. Studies have shown that charitable 
giving will objectively lower the stress levels   that people feel in their everyday lives.
There is one famous study from the Duke   Medical School in 1996. It’s a study that I 
love because it’s so strange. Senior citizens   were asked in an experiment to give massages to 
infants, to little babies—which is a funny thing.   It just goes to show you that in the university 
community you can get tenure for doing anything.   Of these senior citizens, half of them gave 
massages to infants and the other half didn’t.   The researchers monitored the stress hormones in 
the senior citizens’ brains to see what happened.
  There are three stress hormones, for your 
information.

(This is the kind of thing that,   when you’re like me and write books for a living, 
you find out about.) What are the three stress   hormones? They’re called cortisol, epinephrine, 
and norepinephrine. When somebody cuts you off   in traffic or insults you or you get a D on an 
exam or something like that, those chemicals are   lighting up your brain like a Christmas tree, and 
you’re unhappy as a result because you’re stressed   out. What you want to do is go through life with 
less cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine   in your day-to-day life. And what they 
found in the study of the senior citizens   was that those who gave the massages to the 
babies cut their stress hormones in half.   Big finding! Their interpretation was that this 
is great advice for people who want to be more   effective, and this tells us something about why 
people who give a lot as part of their regular   lifestyles are going to be more successful.
The second set of studies has to   do not with what happens in your brain when 
you give but with what happens in other   people’s brains when you give.

A study from 
the University of Kent in southern England   was dedicated to figuring out how people see 
others who are givers. There is an experiment   called a cooperation game in which people are 
gathered in a large room, given a little bit of   money, and asked to contribute to a common fund. 
Then the researchers look in the common fund,   double it, and pass it out equally among the 
participants. If you think about that game,   the best thing for everybody to do is to put 
in all of their money and have it doubled.   But if you’re crafty, what you want to do is hold 
back all your money when everybody else puts in   theirs and don’t cooperate. That way you get your 
own money and a chunk of everybody else’s. That’s   the idea.
  Now, researchers have been studying this kind of 
thing for years.

What made it interesting when the   University of Kent studied it was this. There 
was a second phase in which people in the game   who had witnessed each other cooperating in giving 
to each other were asked to break up into teams   and elect leaders. What they found was that in 82 
percent of the cases, the leaders who were elected   were the biggest givers from the first phase.
Their conclusion, a conclusion that has been   verified in subsequent experiments, is that 
when people see strangers giving charitably,   they recognize a leadership quality in those 
strangers. If people witness you as a giver,   they will see a leader. Servant leadership is 
no joke, and it’s a secret to success, whether   you’re looking for success or not. When people 
see you giving and cooperating and serving others,   they will see in you a leader, or a future 
leader, and they cannot help but help you.
  There are many other studies that show 
that givers have better health and that   givers are better citizens.

It goes 
on and on. The bottom line is this:   Givers are healthier, happier, and richer in 
this country—and probably around the world. It   gives us stronger communities; indeed, 
it gives us a more prosperous nation.
  The question for me now is this: Who gives the 
most? And who’s getting all this benefit—wonderful   benefit—for themselves and for their 
communities? Well, I told you before:   people from Utah. But that doesn’t get me far 
enough, because if you move across the border from   Idaho you are not suddenly going to start coughing 
up to charity. You’re just not going to do it.
  There is something else going on, and you know 
what it is. It’s practicing faith. The number-one   characteristic of those who give in this country 
is that they practice a faith.

Of people who   practice their faith regularly—which is to 
say, they attend worship services every week—91   percent give to charity each year. Of people 
who don’t attend every week, 66 percent do.   This translates into millions and millions of 
people who are healthier, happier, and more   prosperous than their neighbors, and it charts 
back to a lot of their religious experiences.
  There are two ways to explain this link 
between God and giving.

Explanation number one:   You’re better people. That’s not 
a very Christian explanation.   Explanation number two: You’ve 
been given a special gift—the   gift of giving. Now I’m going to ask you to 
take a pretty sophisticated understanding here   of charitable giving. As Christian people we are 
taught that giving is important to help others.   I’m telling you that the data say giving 
helps you, so if you want to help others,   don’t just give to them—think about what you 
can do today to help somebody else to give.   The main beneficiary of a charitable 
gift is the giver him- or herself.
  Let me summarize that.

What do the 
data tell me as a Christian man?   They tell me that I am the big beneficiary 
of my own giving, that people similar to me   who take their faith seriously are the 
beneficiaries because we tend to give a lot.   We’ve been taught to do what is right, and we 
are reaping the reward. So how can we, given this   fact, reinterpret the scriptures about charitable 
giving? How can we take it to the next level?
  Consider Mosiah 4:21:
And now, if God, who has created you, on whom   you are dependent for your lives and for all that 
ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever   ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that 
ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart   of the substance that ye have one to another.
The traditional interpretation of this passage,   which is similar to passages in any sacred text, 
is basically this: “Give more to other people.   You have so much; give more.” Take it to the next 
level. Take it to the source of the prosperity.   You have been given the gift of giving. Help 
others by giving them the gift of giving.
  How are you going to do that? How are you 
going to help somebody to give more today?   There are a lot of ways to do it.

Let 
me tell you how you’ve done it for me.
  Let me tell you a quick story about a briefcase. 
I know it’s a weird subject for a story,   but it’s actually a magic briefcase. It’s 
my magic Brigham Young University briefcase.   I visited here in the fall of 2007 for 
the first time—I’d never been here before.   My friend Gary Cornia, who is 
the dean of the business school,   gave me a beautiful briefcase that said 
“Brigham Young University” on it. I took it   home and put it away because I already had 
a briefcase, and I didn’t think about it.
  About a month later my briefcase broke, and 
I was complaining to my wife, and I said,   “The handle’s broken. It’s very inconvenient.”
And she said, “What about that BYU briefcase   you brought home? Why don’t you carry that?”
And I said, “Oh.

Okay. That’s a good idea.”
  So I took all my stuff and put it in the BYU 
briefcase, and I started carrying it around.
  At the time, my research assistant at 
Syracuse University, Nick Bailey (he’s   here—he actually works at BYU now), noticed, 
and he said, “You’re carrying a BYU briefcase.”
  I said, “Yeah, it’s great. It’s an 
Italian briefcase. It’s very nice.”
  I travel a lot, and one of the funny things 
I noticed is that when you are out in public   carrying a briefcase that says something on it, 
the first thing people you don’t know do is read   the briefcase and then look at you. It occurred to 
me that people were thinking, “He’s a Mormon guy.”   And that’s actually sort of false religious 
advertising because I’m a Roman Catholic.   I take my faith seriously, but no 
matter how seriously I take my faith,   technically that still doesn’t make me a Mormon.
So I was walking around saying, basically,   “I’m a Mormon,” and the funny thing is that it 
was changing my personality.

And the reason it   was changing my personality was because I was 
mortified by the idea that somebody would say,   “You know, I was in the airport, and I saw 
this Mormon guy, and he was being a real jerk.”   I wanted to live up to 
someone else’s reputation, and   it was making me into a better 
person. It was a magic briefcase.
  So what’s the implication of this story? Well, 
obviously it might just be that I’m trying to   get a new briefcase right now.

(Maybe the greatest 
kind of evangelization that the LDS Church could   undertake would be to buy 300 million briefcases 
and give them out to all Americans.) But the   bigger point here is that carrying the briefcase 
was actually making my life better. I was happier;   things were going really well for me as I was 
carrying that briefcase. And the reason is that   the service for which Mormons have become 
justifiably famous was infecting my life.   It was making me better as a person. It 
was helping me. And I thank you for that.
  So how else (besides accidentally buying 
somebody a briefcase) can you help other   people give more today? First, you can help 
to dispel some myths about charitable giving.
  Myth number one: Giving makes us poorer. 
You hear this all the time. This is what   the economist like me thinks. It’s wrong; you 
have to fight thinking that way. And there are   arguments that say the way it works is not 
just the hand of God—at least not directly   the hand of God. Instead, maybe it’s the hand 
of God through our neurochemistry, having to   do with the structure of our brains. But there 
are good explanations for why this is not true.
  Myth number two: People are naturally 
selfish.

I hear this constantly:   “They are not going to give. People are just 
selfish.” People are selfish, it’s true,   but they’re not naturally selfish; people are 
unnaturally selfish. When we are our best selves,   when we are in equilibrium, when we are 
where we’re supposed to be cognitively,   neurochemically, and spiritually, 
then we are giving people.
  Myth number three: Giving is a luxury. It’s 
not. It’s a necessity—the first 10 percent, not   the last 10 percent.

And the reason is that 
if we want to be better, we have to give.
  Myth number four: This is 
not a public policy lecture,   but I’m a public policy professional, so I’m 
going to make one public policy point here today.   You will hear in the coming days and weeks and 
months that if our country were doing what it   should be doing for people in need, then we 
wouldn’t need private giving, that the government   would be taking care of people who need it, and 
that we would not need you to step in to provide   needs. Having looked at the data, I am here to 
tell you today that the day the government takes   over for you in your private charity is the day 
we get poorer, unhappier, and unhealthier.

The   process starts right now on the day the government 
crowds us out. We must demand to take our place as   givers and to support our communities of need and 
people who need the services that we can provide.
  Second, how else can we help others 
give more? Well, by teaching.   We’re teachers. I’m a teacher. You’re a 
teacher. We’re leaders in our communities.   Everything we do demonstrates what we believe. 
People mimic those who are successful, happy, and   well adjusted.

You’ve heard many times throughout 
your training in church and in school that you’re   never really alone. Somebody is always watching 
you. You’re always creating an example, and, as   such, you’re a teacher. What you do today people 
will see. Make sure that it’s clear that you’re a   charitable giver—and they will emulate you.
And third, how can we bring our creativity   to bear more in our families, in our 
churches? How can we create a curriculum   where giving is a core competency? We’re very 
good at teaching reading and writing—well,   we’re not that good at that either, but in theory 
we’re pretty good at teaching reading and writing.   We’re not very good at taking teaching giving 
seriously, yet this is a core competency for   successful citizenship and a happy life. 
We need to be better about teaching this.
  What I charge you with today is what I charge 
myself with, which is to discover more creative   solutions to working these concepts into our 
everyday lives.

You can tell this has changed my   life a lot. I hope you can tell that it really 
has. When I was working on this research four   years ago, I came home with a chapter from a 
book that showed these data analyses, and my   wife read it. She reads everything I write. She 
tells me pretty honestly when it’s not so good.   She read the chapter and said, “I think this 
is really something. I think we can use this.”
  “Yeah, we should give more,” I answered. 
“We should write bigger checks. We should   take this seriously.”
She said, “No, no, no.   I think we should do something bigger. 
I think we should adopt a baby.”
  And I said, “Sweetheart, it’s only a book.
  But I had no argument.

We had to do it. 
And we did it. It was the best thing we   ever did. And that changed our lives even more.
As for your money being cheerfully refunded, I   can’t guarantee that, but I promise you that this 
stuff really works. It works—if you want—because   of God in heaven, or it works—if you want—because 
of your neurochemistry, but it really works,   and I leave you with that and one more thought.
As an American citizen and as a person with great   delight to be here at BYU and living in this great 
country, one of the things that I’ve learned as   a result of my research is that I’m a happy 
prosperous person because I live in a country   with people who serve. Because you give to your 
churches and the causes that you care about here   in Utah, I have a richer, happier, and healthier 
life even though I live in Washington, D.C. So   for all that you do between your student life and 
your giving and your missions and everything else   that characterizes your life of service that helps 
me so much, my last words to you are thank you.

As found on YouTube

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