It was my freshman year. I had never been to anything like a university before, and the sheer amount of choice staggered me. I found myself going to official functions, one after another.
It was at one of these official pieces that the BYUSA president gave a rousing speech about “Cougars don’t cut corners”. He discussed walking on the corners of the grass, and that each year the university spent $16,000 replacing the corners of grass where students walked.
The he compared it to cutting corners in our jobs, and the rest of our life. He asked us to each promise we’d never cut corners at the school, and that it would be a reminder to not cut corners later in life.
I was young, I was impressionable. I spent the fall dutifully not stepping on corners and judging the people who did.
Then, winter happened. It always does in Utah. And out came the snowplows. Every one of them zipping with poor turn radius, cutting the corners and plowing up grass along with snow. I watched two snow plows tear up ever corner in the Quad (Between the library and the Administration building) and realized I’d been had. The leadership hadn’t left their ivory tower long enough to realize the actual cause of the damage and they were burdening the students with guilt trips to try and correct it.
Of course, I ascribed it to “Imperfect men” at the time, but now I realize that honestly it’s a pretty good metaphor for the church as a whole.
TL;DR: Snowplows were tearing up the grass. BYU leadership placed blame and guilt on students, works as metaphor for the church