Frequently Asked Questions

How are speakers selected?

All speakers are carefully selected by either the Office of the Academic Vice President (for forum addresses), the Office of the Advancement Vice President (for devotionals given by BYU faculty and staff), or Church leadership (for addresses by Church leaders).

Can I find any of the BYU Speeches in other languages?

Through a partnership with the BYU College of Humanities, BYU Speeches has started translating key BYU speeches and creating video content in other languages. In February 2023, BYU Speeches launched pages for translated content in Spanish and Japanese. In February 2024, BYU Speeches launched pages in French and Portuguese. Additional languages will be made available based on demand and our translating capacity.

Visit our blog post announcing the launch of our translation program for more information and links to social media accounts.

Why does the text of a speech sometimes vary from the audio recording of that speech?

Devotional recordings may vary from published text for a variety of reasons. An editor works closely with each speaker to prepare the talk. References are checked against original sources. If a speech needs to be transcribed, the editor helps to transition it from the spoken word to the written word. All editorial suggestions are shown to the speaker, and during this process speakers sometimes reword portions of their text. Also, speakers who use a prepared manuscript often choose not to incorporate impromptu comments. The text published is what has been approved by the speaker.

Why does it take so long to publish the text of a speech?

Each speech we publish undergoes a thorough editing process in which references are checked against original sources and any changes are reviewed and approved by the speaker. This process can take a few weeks for editors, who are responsible for BYU Speeches and many other publications. However, we strive to have the text of a speech up on our website as soon as possible. If you are looking for a speech that was given over a month ago and the text is still not available, feel free to email us at speeches@byu.edu to ask about its status.

Why are some addresses not published?

Each speaker can release or retain publication rights (audio, video, and/or text). Some forum or other speakers do not always grant permission. We respect those requests.

We prepare text for all devotional addresses and we provide the audio and/or video of forum addresses when granted permission by the speaker. However, because of the thorough editing process required for each speech, we will only produce the text of a forum address for publication if the speaker gives permission, if the forum fits especially well with the aims and mission of BYU, and if there is high demand for the text. If you think a specific speech is an important candidate for text availability, please let us know. Depending on the level of interest, we may edit the text.

Users are welcome to transcribe speeches for their personal use and to share with family and friends. Public distribution must be authorized by the speaker.

Why are some speeches I previously accessed through the BYU Speeches website not available anymore?

Speakers who grant permission for BYU Speeches to publish their remarks (in audio, video, and/or text) retain the rights to their speeches. They may, at any time, request their speech to be removed from the BYU Speeches website. Speeches that were previously on our website but are no longer available have been removed by the request of the speaker.

Can I find speeches from Education Week, Women’s Conference, and other BYU-hosted events here?

The BYU Speeches website mostly distributes university devotional and forum assemblies as well as commencement and university conference addresses. The departments hosting other speaking events, such as Women’s Conference and Education Week, have separate policies and arrangements with the speakers regarding distribution of their material. Still, speeches.byu.edu does on occasion publish BYU speeches from other venues as opportunity and resources allow, such as the 2004 BYU Women’s Conference. For more content from other BYU campus addresses, as well as addresses from other Church-affiliated schools and CES programs, you can visit the following websites:

BYU–Idaho Speeches

BYU–Hawaii Speeches

LDS Business College Speeches

Worldwide Devotionals for Young Adults

Women’s Conference

Kennedy Center Lectures

If I am looking for an older devotional and cannot find it on this website, is there anywhere else I can look?

Most of the text for the BYU Speeches website comes from the Speeches of the Year books that were started in 1972. Many transcripts of devotionals and firesides given prior to 1972 are available from Special Collections in the BYU Harold B. Lee Library. They provide photocopies through regular mail or PDF scans via email, and the cost of the service depends on the length of the speech and the distribution method.

To get information on ordering a photocopy or PDF scan, call Special Collections at 801-422-3175 or send an email to ltpsc.reference@gmail.com.

Where can I find a musical number that was given in a devotional assembly?

Because of copyright issues, BYU Speeches does not have published videos of musical numbers.

Do I need to request permission to quote a devotional address or forum?

The need for permission when quoting material in a publication depends on the length of the individual quotes. Typically, permission is not needed for short quotations from other publications as long as the quotes are matched accurately and completely cited. Permission is required for long excerpts or reproduction of whole works.

For a short quotation (up to a few paragraphs), a citation telling where it came from should be sufficient. Be sure that the portion being quoted is material directly from the speaker and not a quote within the talk. If quoting quoted material, you should reference the original source. In our publications we set up our BYU Speeches citations in this order: speaker, title, talk type, and date (e.g., Kevin J Worthen, “Enduring Joy,” BYU devotional address, 7 January 2020). If a talk is not available on the BYU Speeches website and only appears in a hard-copy publication, we then include a page number along with title of publication, place of printing, publisher name, and date of publication.

People seeking to include quotations longer than a block quote of a few paragraphs would need to obtain permission from the individual speakers, who retain the copyright to their material. BYU does not keep and generally cannot share speakers’ contact information with people interested in obtaining copyright permission to reprint or cite large portions of a talk. Permissions for use of material presented by Church leaders is managed centrally by the Church’s Intellectual Property Office.

How can I report a bug or request a feature on the website?

The BYU Speeches website is the result of thousands of hours of work by our graphic designers and our all-student team of web developers and programmers, as well as many others on the BYU Brand & Creative team. We are always looking for ways to improve the user experience and provide valuable content through useful features on our website.

If you experience technical problems with the website, we advise you first to make sure you are using the most updated version of your browser. If problems persist, please feel free to contact us at speeches@byu.edu so we can help—and be advised of any bugs in our site. As always, we welcome any feedback from our users!

Can I buy a BYU Speeches book in print?

In 1972 BYU Speeches began printing volumes of speeches by academic year. Because of the free online availability of speeches, demand has declined, and we no longer print them. The last volume was 2013–2014 (May–April). Talks can be printed individually in typeset PDF format when text is available for a speech. You are welcome to create and print collections of speeches for your personal use.