January 11, 2023 • Blog Post
Nearly 50 years ago, President Spencer W. Kimball stood at the podium in the still-new BYU Marriott Center and, in his familiar raspy voice, spoke prophetically about the destiny of Brigham Young University.
Three years later, a young BYU student named Kevin J Worthen happened upon the text of President Kimball’s address in the Harold B. Lee Library, and he found that it stirred his soul. “I knew I wanted to be part of what he described,” President Worthen says. “Through the years, I have returned to that speech over and over, discovering that, like scripture, it contains new insights with each reading.”
That speech by President Kimball—“The Second Century of Brigham Young University”—has been printed in a new book titled Envisioning BYU: Foundations and Dreams. Produced for BYU employees, the book includes more than 20 speeches, documents, prophecies, and prayers related to the divine role of BYU. “These perspectives on Brigham Young University,” says President Worthen, “are both inspired and inspiring.”
Edited by John S. Tanner, a former BYU academic vice president and former BYU–Hawaii president, Envisioning BYU will eventually include three volumes. Printed copies of the first volume will be distributed to all nonstudent BYU employees during January 2023. In addition to the printed book, a companion website includes the text and downloadable PDFs of the content, and BYU Speeches as launched a new Envisioning BYU podcast that will share the audio of one chapter per week.
In a note that appears inside the front cover of each copy of the book, President Worthen tells BYU employees, “As we approach the midpoint of our second century, I invite you to read this collection and reflect on the unique light of Brigham Young University and your role in helping BYU reach its prophetically declared destiny. I love you and I bear my witness that this destiny is possible—indeed, inevitable. May we all be blessed to be a part of this soul-stretching, soul-stirring endeavor.”
Note: Books will be delivered to departments across campus for distribution to their employees. If a department does not receive copies of the book, or if there are other questions related to the book, please contact BYU Brand & Creative at firstname.lastname@example.org. The books will not be available for purchase.
Jeffrey S. McClellan is the director of BYU Brand & Creative, where he loves being a part of the team that produces BYU Speeches. He and Christine have two beautiful daughters. In 2018 he shared a part of their family’s journey of faith in a BYU devotional, “Thy Troubles to Bless.”