By Study and by Faith

Featuring devotionals that blend disciplines with discipleship, the scholarly with the sacred

  • Accounting (1)

    • Good morning. I am thankful for the prayer that has been given and for the beautiful music. I pray that the Spirit of the Lord will continue to be with us. My Dad I would like to begin with a personal story. In 1988 I was visiting with my brothers and sisters when the conversation drifted to our father, who had passed away many years earlier. We shared our memories of Dad: his ways of doing things, his favorite sayings, our fishing trips (where all he did was bait hooks), and so forth. After enjoying the discussion for 10 or 15 minutes, I was surprised when my youngest sister
  • Africa (1)

  • Agriculture (2)

    • This is a magnificent building constructed to further the study of the life sciences. The size and function of the building show how far BYU has come in this academic area. What is now the College of Life Sciences first became a separate college at BYU in 1954 with the formation of the College of Biological and Agricultural Sciences. The first dean of the college was Clarence Cottam, who served as dean for only one year before accepting a position at a wildlife refuge in Texas.1 It is clear that Cottam left, in part, because his expectations for the new college were not being met
    • Looking out over this group, I am reminded of a BYU devotional that I attended back when I was a freshman. President Ernest L. Wilkinson was conducting. Just like today, we were on the verge of spring. “Ah, spring!” President Wilkinson said. “What a wonderful season! Spring is that time when a young man’s thoughts turn to that which a young woman has been thinking about all winter long.” As you learned from my introduction, I am an agronomist. A considerable part of my career has been devoted to improving the production of corn. I begin my remarks with an insight that I have gained from my
  • America (13)

  • Art (2)

    • I am very grateful for the privilege to be with you today. It is a great opportunity to speak to a very special and unique group of people like you. It is truly a blessing to study at this university, a place that allows each of you to live according to your beliefs. Not all students in the world have this opportunity. When I was your age, I studied at a respected university in São Paulo, Brazil—in the city in which I was born and raised. It was a good institution of higher education, but it didn’t have an environment as healthy as what you have here. It didn’t have the wonderful support
    • I was asked to address myself today to my experiences at the intersection of my studies and my beliefs. I have chosen to consider what I would call the development of the searching mind. Because I was asked to speak on some aspect of the integration of faith and reason, it occurred to me that I needed to take a moment and dedicate this talk to my husband. So much of what I think and what I am is due to my relationship, my discussions, and my life with him for the past seventeen years. Our discussions and his insights have helped me shape many of my own opinions about life and about how I 
  • Athletics (6)

    • I would like to let my staff, my students, and my athletes know that I am just as surprised as you are to see me up here, but please don’t let it shake your testimony or your confidence in BYU. When I was about four years old, I fell out of my bed. My father heard me crying and came into my room to check on me. As he helped me get back into my bed, he asked, with all of the compassion of a loving father, why I had fallen out of bed. He always loved to tell me how I had looked up at him and said, with the eye roll of a rational four-year-old, “Obviously I wasn’
    • I would like to explain the sequence of how I was first contacted to speak at this devotional. It was on a Monday that I got a text message from a number I didn’t recognize. It had been a hectic day, and I didn’t read the text fully. Thinking it was a request to speak at an upcoming Church assignment, I texted back politely asking who the text was from. Matthew O. Richardson, BYU advancement vice president, responded that it was he who had sent the text asking me to speak at a BYU devotional. The first thought that popped into my mind was, “Are you crazy? Do you not realize that I can ba
    • Shortly after accepting my job at BYU, I called Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s office to ask if he would do the voice-over for an athletics commercial during the height of Jimmermania. Because of my football career I had gotten to know Elder Holland, and I thought he would be the perfect person, with his distinctive voice, for the job. Then I had a meeting with Tom Holmoe, BYU’s athletic director, and I let him know how excited I was about the possibility of including Elder Holland in our project. I naïvely assumed that Tom would be thrilled about my phone call and invitation. I was wrong. I
    • As a young boy (I still think of myself as young), I grew up on the east side of Provo. Surrounded by the mountains, Rock Canyon, the Provo River, and Utah Lake, I often heard stories about “the greatest lake ever”: Lake Powell. Friends, classmates, teachers, neighbors, and pretty much every person I knew would relate stories of water skiing, cliff jumping, houseboats, jet skis, sunshine, and good food. I wondered if I would ever have the chance to visit. The years passed by—junior high school, high school, a mission, college, graduate school—and still no opportunity came. In the summer of
    • I am pleased to be with you today. This is a very humbling moment. I can assure you that I have given much thought and prayer to this assignment so that I could say a few words that would be of benefit to you this morning. It has been my pleasure and honor to be at this great university for the past 40 years. My interaction with the students has been mostly as a coach. I did, however, spend seven-and-a-half years as a bishop and high councilor in a student ward and stake, which I consider the most enjoyable and rewarding Church assignments of my life. In the Doctrine and Covenants it rea
  • Biology and Life Sciences (8)

    • Hi, everybody! To all of you—graduates, parents, and other supporters—thank you so much for being here, and thank you even more for what you have done to get here. I also want to say thank you to those who have helped me get here. To my sweet husband, my parents, my siblings, and all my extended ­family, thank you for your wonderful encouragement and support. I will start by letting you all know that I do not feel particularly qualified to address you, much less able to give you any life advice. After all, most of us are pretty much in the same stage of life. So what I want to do today is j
    • This is a magnificent building constructed to further the study of the life sciences. The size and function of the building show how far BYU has come in this academic area. What is now the College of Life Sciences first became a separate college at BYU in 1954 with the formation of the College of Biological and Agricultural Sciences. The first dean of the college was Clarence Cottam, who served as dean for only one year before accepting a position at a wildlife refuge in Texas.1 It is clear that Cottam left, in part, because his expectations for the new college were not being met
    • As an anatomy and neuroscience teacher, I have the great privilege to study and teach about one of God’s greatest creations: the human body. I marvel every time I listen to a beating heart or watch an electrocardiogram measure a heart’s electrical activity. It is remarkable to me to watch skin slowly repair itself following a scratch or to think about where and how memories are stored in the brain. When I was a graduate student, one of my research projects was to study the proteins involved in cell division. I would often watch a set of recently fertilized frog eggs split from a single cell
    • You heard in the introduction that I am a biologist. Not surprisingly, as a young child I had a fascination with catching animals. I went through several phases in this interest. I first fell in love with lizards and toads. I then moved on to turtles and from those to small mammals and birds and fishes. I even had a scorpion phase. That one ended quite abruptly after I caught about a dozen scorpions and brought them into the house. I wanted to preserve them, so I doused them with rubbing alcohol until they no longer moved. I then proudly set each one out on the top of our television set to sho
    • When I walk to campus, my route takes me along the front of Heritage Halls. There, underneath some shady trees, the sidewalk runs along an irrigation canal, a relic perhaps of an earlier era when orchards rather than buildings graced the area. One day while walking next to the canal, I was rapt in thought about the pollination of the little aquatic plant Zannichellia palustris. How does the pollen move through water? I had been studying populations of the plant at Fish Springs in the west desert, about a three-hour drive from Provo. “Wouldn’t it be grand if Zannichellia palustris 
    • Thank you, President Lee and Sister Lee. We appreciate your limitless leadership and are grateful to acknowledge the presence of Sister Lee’s parents, Brother and Sister Griffin. I thank Brother Staheli and the singers for their wonderful music—it was beautiful. Dear fellow students and friends—beloved brothers and sisters—you look mighty good to Sister Nelson and me. We admire and respect you. Many of you attended the Sunday night fireside recently (7 February 1993) when President Howard W. Hunter spoke. We commend you for your conduct during that shocking confrontation by an adversary. Yo
    • I invite you to ponder things magnificent. To assist, let us define the word magnificent. It is derived from two Latin roots. The prefix magni comes from a term meaning “great.” The suffix comes from the Latin facere, meaning “to make” or “to do.” A simple definition of magnificent then might be “great deed” or “greatly made.” Think, if you will, of the most magnificent sight you have ever seen. It could be a meadow in springtime filled with beautiful wildflowers. Or perhaps you have been awestruck, as I have, at the magnificence of a single rose with its special
    • President Oaks, brothers and sisters, fellow students, it is an honor to return again to the campus of Brigham Young University. I am grateful for each opportunity I have to be among you. Every time I am privileged to come to BYU, I leave as a better individual. I am always inspired by the students here and by the great members of the faculty. I want you to know of my love and admiration for all of you. In responding to this request to share my innermost thoughts with you on this occasion, I sense my inadequacies; for I stand before you, not as a speaker or as an entertainer, but solely as
  • Business (1)

    • When I came to campus this morning, I had a bit of a panic, and it wasn’t at the thought of you, because you all are an awesome sight. It was seeing the signs—those big signs at the entrance to campus. I have to admit that those signs always give me a little panicky feeling because they are a reminder that this is the place where I was abandoned by my parents. This is the place where I was left to figure things out on my own and to wonder, “Am I even smart enough to be here?” But today these signs gave me this panic because I knew I was coming here to campus—a place that cultivates knowledg
  • Chemistry (4)

    • I have to tell you how much I love working and living in a college town, where I get to know so many wonderful students. When our youngest, Rob, was about five, we were out shopping, and I bumped into a bunch of students, as frequently happens. It was great because he looked up at me kind of wide-eyed and said, “Mom, every place we go people know you. Are you famous?” Of course I said, “Yes.” I may not be famous, but I am blessed to work with so many fantastic colleagues and friends and to have so many great students; they inspire me in many ways. Many of my students are here today. My C
    • As a scientist, I make observations that help me develop explanations for what I see in the laboratory. These explanations are called hypotheses, and they can be tested in the laboratory to determine whether or not they are true. An example of a hypothesis that I might make is “because chemicals A and B are known to be reactive, I reason, or ‘hypothesize,’ that if A and B are mixed together, they will react and form product C.” One of the first challenges that we as scientists face in testing our hypotheses is to determine the “definitive test,” or the analysis that allows us to unequivocal
    • One of the key issues in the Council in Heaven—and one of the key differences between our Heavenly Father’s plan for us and the plan advocated by Lucifer—was whether or not we would be given agency, or the ability to make our own choices. Lucifer argued that he could return us all to our Father without any need for agency on our part. Lucifer said: Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor. But our Elder Brother said: Father, thy will be done, and the g
    • It is frightening to be asked to speak to you today. It is even more frightening when I hear those who have sacred callings in the Church—those much closer to the Spirit than I—acknowledge the great responsibility they feel when asked to speak at a BYU devotional. I don’t know that I will say anything profound today, but I will tell you a few things I have learned from others and from my own experiences, especially experiences I have had at BYU. Forty years ago last month I became a freshman at this university. I came from a simple background in a small community with a small high school. M
  • China (2)

    • Dear Elder Clayton, President Worthen, ­faculty, fellow students, and friends: two months ago President Worthen kindly informed me of an invitation to receive an honorary doctorate degree in recognition of “outstanding life and contribution to society and the world.” Aware that this is the highest honor that the university confers on individuals, I replied in my email, “With full appreciation in my heart, the only uneasiness in mind is whether I have done enough to deserve this singular honor.” Then my daughter exclaimed, “What? I always thought that honorary doctorates were given onl
    • At the close of his earthly ministry, our Savior, Jesus Christ, said to his apostles: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [Matthew 28:19] Almost everyone in this audience has participated or will participate in the fulfillment of that divine direction. The Church of Jesus Christ is a missionary church. It was so in the beginning, and it is so today in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The most populous nation in the world today is the People’s Republic of China. Its 1.1 billion p
  • Classical Studies (1)

  • Computer Science (3)

  • Constitution (3)

    • This morning I want to talk to you about a very important relationship that exists between, on the one hand, our lives, our practices, and our beliefs as participants in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and, on the other, the Constitution of the United States. In one sense, this topic is a timeless one, because the Restoration and the Constitution trace their beginnings almost to the same point in time, and over the intervening two centuries have grown and flourished side by side. And yet, in another sense, the subject is not only timely, but also time-driven. Today’s devotional is the l
    • A Memorable Event At two o’clock this afternoon, throughout all of the United States, bells of all shapes, sizes, and sounds will ring. Two hundred years ago today, at approximately two o’clock our time, delegates to the Grand Convention in Philadelphia started queuing up to sign their proposed constitution of the United States. It would still require nine months before it could really be called a constitution. This happened on 21 June 1788, when New Hampshire, the ninth state, ratified it. During that hot and humid summer of 1787, the delegates labored nearly four months i
  • Dance (2)

    • You might recall in the beloved Dr. Seuss children’s book Horton Hears a Who! how Horton, who was an elephant, had a chance encounter with a speck of dust, from whence a voice, barely audible, called out for help. Horton recognized that the voice was coming from the speck of dust and proceeded to do all he could to protect and defend this colony of Whos, who were “too small to be seen by an elephant’s eyes.” Horton perceived that someone was in distress and realized that he could help. Instead of discounting his newly discovered friends, and amidst scoffs and scorn from others
    • In the late 1940s a young man named Tom was at a dance for the freshman class at the University of Utah. As he was dancing with a girl from West High School, a young lady from East High came dancing by. Tom took one look and decided that there was a young lady he needed to meet. However, she danced away and the evening concluded before Tom could dance with this mystery girl, much less find out her name. Several months later, while waiting for a streetcar at Thirteenth East and Second South in Salt Lake City, Tom looked up and could hardly believe his eyes! There was the young lady he had seen
  • Design (1)

    • In recent years there have been glowing, breathless reports appearing in the media that speak of a new approach to problem solving. This method promises a competitive edge for businesses, organizations, and governments alike. Innovation consultants use the approach to tease out new ideas, collecting hefty fees in the process. Time magazine, Harvard Business Review, and a new binge-worthy Netflix series all extol its virtues.1 In the corporate boardroom, the CDO, or the chief design officer, has joined the ranks of the CEO and the CFO. Design-driven companies like Ap
  • Economics (3)

    • I am grateful and humbled to be with you today. As I was preparing for my talk, I was reminded of a story I once heard in a stake conference session a number of years ago. The story begins with a rancher performing chores out on his ranch one morning when he sees a shiny pickup truck drive onto his ranch and park. Out of the truck steps a man in uniform who walks up to the rancher and states, “I’m here to inspect your ranch for any illegally grown drugs.” The rancher responds, “Fine, but do not go in that field over there,” and points to a beautiful field to the east. The officer r
    • 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
    • I’m grateful to be with you tonight. And I appreciate what it means for you to have decided to spend your time with me. I watched you take your seats and wait. I’d like to talk with you tonight about those two things: about time. And about waiting. A Time to Every Purpose I was riding in a car with a wise man a few years ago. We talked about some tragedies in lives of people we knew. Some had waited too long, missing the chance to act. And some had waited not long enough. He said quietly, more to himself than to me, “Timing is everything.” Ecclesiastes said, with an elegan
  • Engineering and Technology (5)

    • As I begin my message today I would like you to think back on a time when you were completely lost. You may have been hiking in the wilderness, been trying to find your way to a meeting in a new city, or been separated from your parents at an amusement park. Can you remember how you felt? You may have felt frightened, embarrassed, or desperate for help. How did you ultimately find your way? Rather than focusing on the dreadful experience of being lost, I would like to speak about guiding principles that can help us find our way. For many years I have been interested in the topic of navigati
    • Let me begin by relating an obscure historical event, and then I will draw out some lessons that can be learned from this remote maritime misfortune. In the early seventeenth century, Sweden was a world power. Sweden’s king, Gustav II Adolf, commissioned a warship that would be christened the Vasa. The ship represented a substantial outlay of resources, particularly the oak from which the vessel would be built. Oak was so valuable that cutting down an oak tree without authorization was a capital offense. Gustav Adolf closely oversaw the construction process, attempting to ensure that
    • My dear brothers and sisters, what a delight it is to be with you today. To feel your spirit and the greatness of this school is uplifting and edifying. My wife and I connect in a very personal way to this institution of higher education. No, we never studied here, but our daughter received a master’s degree here. As a proud parent, I am not only sharing with you that she graduated summa cum laude, but it is much more impressive and joyful for us as parents that she gave birth to our twin grandsons at the Utah Valley Hospital during the same year. Therefore, my wife and I love Provo. We lov
    • I am honored to speak to you today. However, I am somewhat humbled by this opportunity. This reminds me of an instance about 20 years ago, when I responded to an editorial that I heard on WGN-Radio in Chicago. Shortly after sending a written response to the station, I received a call indicating that they would like me to come in and tape my response for broadcast. Luckily I wore a suit to the station, because when I arrived, I was informed that the taping would take place on the set for the evening news program, with a teleprompter. It hadn’t crossed my mind that WGN was both a radio and a TV
    • Thank you for coming out to hear me this morning. I appreciate your attendance, and I hope to make it worth your while. This is a marvelous setting—it makes me want to be reincarnated as a basketball player and hear the cheers of the crowd as I dunk the ball. But I’m afraid that wasn’t to be my lot. I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and as a child you often wonder what adults do. You form opinions based on those adults you see around you. On my street—I lived on a dead-end street at the outskirts of the suburbs—they kept building new houses. I would see carpenters working, and when the
  • Family (5)

  • Finance (3)

    • Good morning. I am excited to be here today. I pray that the Spirit will bless us. The topic today is important, both temporally and spiritually, and I invite you to listen with both your mind and your heart. Each year I teach almost a thousand BYU students in SFL (School of Family Life) 260 about family finance. Oddly enough, the purpose of this course is not to teach students how to get rich. Instead, the goal is to help students gain a stewardship perspective and wisely manage their money to joyfully strengthen family relationships. As a bonus, this class ­fulfills the quantitativ
    • I pray for an interest in your prayers and your faith in us. As I prayed and pondered for inspiration and guidance as to what would be appropriate to say to you tonight, my thoughts have been centered on you—the youth of Zion, or young adults of Zion, or young marrieds of Zion. You all are children of a loving Father in Heaven, born into the world at this challenging time. You were reserved for this particular period, after the true gospel of our Lord and Savior had been divinely restored. It is you on whom an awesome responsibility is placed. Mankind—because of its pas
    • You each come to this University because you want, in one way or another, to be a success. Of course, to different people the term success means different things. Some of us look for success in acquiring money; some of us seek it in the attention that comes from fame and renown; some of us view the gaining of knowledge as one of the most important forms of success; some of us find success in being happy in our work and in our family life. For some of you, the most important success right now may seem to be the attention of a particular young lady or young man, or perhaps the attention o
  • Health (7)

  • History (8)

  • Humanities (2)

  • India (1)

    • At the outset I want to make one thing clear. I love competition, and I like winning more than losing. My friends with whom I play racquetball know that I hate to miss a single shot (even though I miss many), much less lose a game or series. I am a quietly competitive kind of guy. But I have been perplexed by the idea that is current in our time and among many members of the Church that “winning is everything.” I believe that in an ultimate sense, the eternal sense, this is true. But along the path, as we work our way toward our eternal salvation, is winning, is success, is making more money,
  • Language and Linguistics (5)

    • Internationally, BYU is known as “the language university.” The 2017 edition of the pamphlet Y Facts reported that approximately 65 percent of BYU students speak more than one language. Let me do a quick survey to see if those assembled here today are representative of BYU students in general. If you know more than one language, please raise your hand. [The majority of the audience raised their hand.] I hope you realize how extraordinary it is that you have been given the gift of being able to communicate in more than one language. Think about it: language is the most complex of a
    • Several years ago while participating in a BYU Study Abroad program, our family visited the National Gallery in London during an exhibit on contemporary art. My husband thoughtfully took the children so I could have some time alone to enjoy the galleries. At the time, the oldest of our four children was eight and our youngest was about three. Out of the corner of my eye, I observed that he kept the children quite interested, even when looking at abstract works that really challenged my own attention span. Our youngest child, who was holding on to his hand, appeared to be making a great effo
    • I would like to speak about a wonderful gift that we all share, without which we could not fulfill our purpose on earth. It is the gift of language. To place this topic in proper perspective, I will start at the very beginning—a very good place to start. When God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He made it clear that they and their descendants were to have “dominion” over all the earth (Moses 2:26)—or, in other words, they were to have presiding and governing power in the earth. It was surely not their physical strength that would give them dominion—because many animals were larger a
    • I am honored that I have been asked to speak at today’s devotional assembly. During the six years that I was dean, I enjoyed sitting in one of these comfortable chairs located behind me, as I listened to Church leaders and colleagues deliver messages of inspiration. I found this morning that the chair assigned to me was not nearly as comfortable—at least I didn’t feel quite as relaxed. I pray that the Lord’s Spirit will be with me this morning, that I may enjoy his guidance as we share this time together. One of the qualities of humankind that distinguishes us from other species, and that r
  • Law (9)

  • Literature (2)

    • BYU Speeches will not be publishing this forum address. A summary of the address is given below: Dr. Michael Ward, senior research fellow at the University of Oxford and C.S. Lewis scholar, shared his theory that Lewis used the medieval cosmos’ seven heavens to symbolize Christ throughout The Chronicles of Narnia. On the surface, The Chronicles of Narnia can seem to be a “hodgepodge” of characters, Ward said. C. S. Lewis’s friend J.R.R. Tolkien was confused by all the characters in Narnia. He wondered what was unifying all of them. (Why is Father Christmas, Father Time,
    • When discussing Mark Twain’s religious attitudes, his biographers have characteristically focused on the last decades of his life, those final, frustrating years in which Twain said going to church gave him dysentery. Nevertheless, the early years—the western years as it were—are crucial to any real understanding of Twain’s attitude toward religion, revealing moments of a remarkable religious experience and providing the backdrop against which those last decades, so full of financial strife and personal tragedy, must be seen. It is of that early period, completed before he was 50 years old, th
  • Mathematics (4)

    • Welcome to fall semester 2017. I hope you have a wonderful experience this year at BYU. I remember my first semester here as a student. I was thrilled at the thought that I was finally going to further my education, but, at the same time, I have to admit I was somewhat anxious. The prospect of being a student at BYU was daunting. I was a nontraditional student returning to school when our youngest child was in kindergarten. I remember looking at the syllabus of each class and wondering if I could do everything that was required. I had chosen English as a major
    • I am grateful for the opportunity to be here with you today. I am particularly grateful that my family, immediate and extended, can be here to support me. Upon finding out that I was going to have this opportunity to share this devotional with you today, a colleague quipped, “Aw, don’t worry. It’s just like holding a big family home evening.” If this suggestion my colleague gave resembles family home evenings at the Reese household, then that means (1) most of you are sitting here against your will, (2) some of you will spend the entire time texting your friends about what you are going
    • An important problem that arises in many settings is the Traveling Salesman Problem. A traveler must visit many destinations to sell her goods or make her deliveries. Her problem is this: what route will be the fastest way to get to all the destinations? A poor choice could mean she travels many times farther than she would if she made a good choice. Obviously this problem is important to companies like UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, Walmart, and Amazon. For example, according to Wired magazine, UPS has roughly 55,000 delivery trucks running each day. If each driver could choose a
    • It is frightening to be asked to speak to you today. It is even more frightening when I hear those who have sacred callings in the Church—those much closer to the Spirit than I—acknowledge the great responsibility they feel when asked to speak at a BYU devotional. I don’t know that I will say anything profound today, but I will tell you a few things I have learned from others and from my own experiences, especially experiences I have had at BYU. Forty years ago last month I became a freshman at this university. I came from a simple background in a small community with a small high school. M
  • Media and Communications (7)

    • It is truly an honor and a privilege to be here with you today. When I was invited to speak at the devotional, I decided to ask my children what they felt was most important for BYU students to know. My eleven-year-old son, Nathan, said to tell you to not vote for a particular presidential candidate, who shall remain unnamed. My only daughter, Hannah, age eight, has three brothers. She felt that the most important thing to say should be directed at all the men and boys here in the audience in regard to their bathroom hygiene. Hannah and Nathan both offered some pretty sound advice, but
    • My father was a builder of big buildings, some well known. So when I returned from my two-year mission to Japan and wanted summer work, I ended up forty feet down at the bottom of an air conditioning shaft, stripping forms from freshly poured concrete. My captive coworker, Chuck, made the mistake of asking why I would “waste two valuable years like that.” I am sure he had no idea what he was in for, and I unleashed my abundance of missionary zeal. At some point in our discussion I heard a noise overhead and saw the familiar silhouette of my father leaning over the shaft. What he said was a
    • To say that I am flattered to be standing at this podium would be a gross understatement. I consider this to be an honor of the highest order because of who you are and the enormous impact that this place has had on my life. My relationship to this campus goes far beyond my current titles or even my degrees from this institution. The only word that is intimate enough yet broad enough to encompass my connection to BYU is the word home. BYU is my home. I have lived within walking distance of this very spot more than I have lived anywhere else in the world. I am a child of BYU, not just
    • When Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” arrived at the empty tomb, they were greeted by an angel of the Lord who told them to “go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead.”1 Matthew, in chapter 28, goes on to state, “They departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.”2 Within a short period of time, we presume (remember, they were running), the message had been delivered, and the 11 disciples were again reunited with their Lord and Master. It was then that the Savior of the world gave
    • Thank you, Dr. Broomhead and members of the University Chorale, for that wonderful rendition of “For All the Saints” (Hymns, 1985, no. 82). That song is to be sung majestically, which you certainly did. Your words set the tone for my address today. I would like to look at how we as Saints—“faithful, true, and bold”—might increase our efforts to profess our faith. On a rather cold, rainy day many years ago, I found myself in a meeting over a difficult issue. Waiting outside this meeting was what appeared to be an army of reporters. To say that I was a bit unnerved by their presence is
    • I am grateful for my wife, here on the stand with me, giving me her constant support. She really is my hero. I’m grateful for family members and friends who have shared with me the weight of saying something valuable to you during our time together. I’m also thankful for colleagues from the College of Fine Arts and Communications, who also are seated on the stand and in the front rows of this assembly. I appreciate their support. They are a remarkably talented, intelligent, and disciplined group. It is a great privilege to be counted among their number. A couple of weeks ago Dean Paul Co