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 wa
  • 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
    • 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
  • America (12)

    • My remarks this evening are about America’s great heritage of religious liberty—and about the need for each of us to defend that heritage before it is too late. In 1790, at a time when western Europe excluded Jews from the full rights of citizenship, including the ability to hold public office, President George Washington wrote a memorable letter to the Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Isl
    • One of the hardest, and I think the most important, realities of history to convey to students or readers of books or viewers of television documentaries is that nothing ever had to happen the way it happened. Any great past event could have gone off in any number of different directions for any number of different reasons. We should understand that history was never on a track. It was never preor
    • This morning, as most of you know, one of the greatest tragedies that has occurred on the mainland of the United States took place. Thousands of lives have been lost, and thousands have been injured. The most important counsel that we can give this morning, I believe, is threefold. The first is there is no reason to fear for our lives or the lives of our loved ones if they weren’t in those towe
    • Welcome back to school. As Sister Holland has said, we love you and miss you when you are away, and we are praying for you to have a bright and beautiful year together. Work hard. Learn much. Make your opportunities count. And do come in on time at night, but don’t come by our house to tell us. Another Election Year This first semester of our brand-new academic year
    • Education Week was first instituted at BYU during the administration of Franklin S. Harris in 1922, some 55 years ago. Its inaugura­tion and administration was first entrusted to Lowry Nelson, whose administrative ability made it a success from the beginning. Today there are 86 Education Weeks held throughout the country, having 83,173 enrollments. In addition, there are 28 Education Days held in
    • This year being our nation’s Bicentennial anniversary and the Fourth of July being but two months away, I have thought it might be appropriate to give some consideration to our country’s fate and her ultimate destiny. Celebration of the Fourth of July Although I was born and lived for fifteen years in a foreign land, my parents, who were United States citizens, and their fellow c
    • Students of this great Brigham Young University, how delighted I am to be with you here today . Today we especially salute our native Americans on this special commemoration of your Indian Week. We recognize the great contribution you’ve made to America’s culture. We express our love and appreciation to you, and we are proud to call you “brother” and “sister” as we embrace and shake hands in the g
    • My dear brothers and sisters, I too want to express my appreciation for that beautiful choral number and for the privilege of being with you this morning. It is a thrill to know that you are the children of the Lord who have been chosen to come forth in these last days to do his work, and I learned on my recent visit to your campus that you are well aware of the world’s problems: the disease, the
    • Humbly and gratefully I stand before you this morning, humbled by the responsibility which is mine as I face this choice audience, and grateful for this great and unique institution, founded by a prophet of God. As an introduction to what I trust the Lord will be pleased to have me say today, I quote a short paragraph from a memorable prayer given at the dedication of the London Temple by Presi
  • Area Studies: Africa (2)

  • Area Studies: Asia (3)

    • “Go Forth to Serve”

      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 i
    • 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 i
    • 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
  • Area Studies: Europe (3)

  • Area Studies: the Americas (5)

  • Area Studies: The Middle East (4)

    • Your excellencies, presidents and vice presidents, and graduates and your families, I stand humble to become one of the newest alumni of one of the most prestigious universities in the globe. I follow in the eminent steps of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Dick Cheney and other eminent people. Our university—and I can call it that now—is widely known and internationally renowned for the breadt
    • Thank you, brothers and sisters, for taking time from your busy schedules to be here today. From years of personal experience I know the demands and pressures of attending a large university. How grateful I am that you would step away from your studies or other responsibilities to participate in this devotional. Let me also thank those who provided me with this opportunity to speak. My wife, Ti
    • President Oaks, my beloved brethren and sisters, humbly and gratefully I approach this assignment this morning. I’m very, very happy to be back on this great campus. I cherish very much the days that I spent here as a student. I’m proud to be an alumnus of this great institution; and of all these degrees—honorary, eleven of them—I think that there’s none that I cherish more than the one from Brigh
  • 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, Br
    • 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 i
  • Athletics (5)

    • 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 vi
    • 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,
    • 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
    • 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 sev
  • 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 kno
    • 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 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
    • 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 scorpio
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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 magnific
    • 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 o
  • 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
  • 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.”
    • 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
    • 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 s
    • 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 exper
  • Classical Studies (1)

    • When I received the call to give a devotional, I accepted the invitation, got off the phone, and knew immediately what—at least some part of what—I would be speaking about today. Then I second-guessed this first impression and considered a whole variety of intellectually provoking things that I might talk about, and I realized that, whatever interesting ideas I might have, they were not the things
  • Computer Science (3)

    • Good morning. I am honored to have the chance to speak to you today. As you probably know, we are under attack by hackers and others seeking to steal our online identities or information. Some attacks in the news recently included Target, Home Depot, Sony, and the IRS. In one of the largest attacks, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management reported the theft of sensitive information from twenty-
    • 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
  • 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
    • 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
  • 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-wo
  • 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
    • 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,
    • 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 k
  • 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
    • 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 th
    • 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 la
    • 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 stat
    • 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
  • Family (5)

    • I am very grateful for the opportunity I have to speak with you today. I would like to begin with a scripture in Ecclesiastes 9:11: The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. [emphasis added] I ponder this scri
    • When couples get married, their love is deep, and they joyfully anticipate the prospect of spending the eternities together. They enjoy having endless talks, going for long walks, and spending time together. It is a wonderful feeling being with someone you love so deeply. Unfortunately, for many couples the bliss of deep love and immensely satisfying companionship that was present when they fir
    • My address today is related to the topic of strengthening marriages and families. It’s a topic I’m generally comfortable with. But I’m not comfortable—and not just because I feel inadequate to address this audience. Family has been a popular topic for speeches on this campus recently. Both President Bateman and Elder Eyring have recently addressed us on the topic of “The Family: A Proclamation to
    • During the Saturday afternoon general conference session, I was moved as I watched President Hinckley during one of the congregational hymns. He turned right around and looked at our BYU combined choir—for the longest time. It was not just a brief glance. He stood there gazing. It seemed that he was surveying and studying each student. President Hinckley is the prophet of the Lord. He knows who yo
  • 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 ge
    • 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 wer
    • 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 i
  • Health (7)

    • One of the most cunning aspects of the adversary’s efforts to thwart our Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness is his deceitful teaching that there is no evil influence or devil1 and his attempt to redefine evil as good and good as evil, darkness as light and light as darkness, and bitter as sweet and sweet as bitter!2 This is sometimes called a paradigm shift—or “when the
    • During a special Council in Heaven, our Heavenly Father announced His divine plan—the great plan of happiness. The purpose of the plan was to provide an opportunity for His spirit children to “obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection.”1 We were so excited to learn about our Father’s plan that we “shouted for joy.”2 Why were we so hap
    • You know that I teach nutrition, but I also need to tell you that I like to eat! Today I want to share a few ideas about spiritual nourishment based on some principles of physical nutrition and experiences we have with eating. I have prayed for the Spirit to help us understand how to apply these ideas in our lives. The first principle of nutrition is simple and obvious: we need to eat food regu
    • Thank you, President Oaks. Brothers and sisters, I stand before you in all humility. I am numbed by the knowledge of the stature of those who have preceded me in these devotional programs and by the knowledge of those who will follow. I have a son who formerly was a student at this University and is now serving in the mission field and a daughter who recently was accepted for the Fall Semester. We
    • Thank you very much, and thank you, President Oaks. This is really my first opportunity to view this audience from this particular perspective, and as you can probably imagine, it is indeed overwhelming. But I do want to express, both for myself and I am sure for all of the other recipients of the Karl G. Maeser Awards today, our appreciation to the Alumni Association and to the University. We fee
  • History (5)

    • 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 i
    • Twenty-three years ago on this same occasion, I gave the opening prayer, in which I said: “We have met here today clothed in the black robes of a false priesthood.” Many have asked me since whether I really said such a shocking thing, but nobody has ever asked what I meant by it. Why not? Well, some knew the answer already, and as for the rest, we do not question things at the BYU. But for my own
    • My beloved brethren and sisters, I was very pleased that you were kind to me as I came in late. I remember Elder Orson F. Whitney, a member of the Twelve who was traveling out to a stake conference years ago by train. He was concentrating on the scriptures as he rode, and he went right by the place where he should have gotten off for the conference. He found himself two or three miles beyond at an
  • Humanities (2)

  • 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 raise
    • 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 th
    • 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 (
    • 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
  • Law (9)

    • Since I first learned how, I have loved to talk. Marilyn and Denise, my two older sisters, used to set the kitchen timer for five minutes, challenging me to go that long without saying a word. I never once made it the whole five minutes. Talking in the kitchen to your siblings, however, is very different from talking in this concert hall to a large and diverse audience. Accordingly,
    • What a pleasure it is to be with you this evening. It feels like I am back home. While I value all of our programs at the university, I will openly confess that the Law School holds a special place in my heart. It is a place that has greatly shaped my life, both as a student and as a faculty member. The Mission of BYU Those who have followed my tenure as president know that my fo
    • Good morning. I must say I never imagined myself at this podium. But I have imagined myself on this playing floor—and imagined is the right word. I’ve wondered what it would have been like to be Danny Ainge, who, during my freshman year at BYU, went coast-to-coast in the closing seconds of a Sweet Sixteen game against Notre Dame and scored over Orlando Woolridge. I’ve dreamed what it would
    • I am truly 
grateful for this recognition. And thanks to all of you for your presence here today, especially to 
my family to whom I owe so much. I’m glad my brother Jim could play the organ today. He and I were 
roommates in Helaman Halls in 1968. With great talents, he is a brother I have always looked up to. 
Also, it is fun to be able to address you here in the de Jong Concert Hall. I remember
    • As a student of the scriptures and as a former judge, I have had a special interest in the many scriptures that refer to judging. The best known of these is “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (3 Nephi 14:1, Matthew 7:1). I have been puzzled that some scriptures command us not to judge and others instruct us that we should judge and even tell us how to do it. I am convinced that these seemingly
    • 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
    • President Holland, fellow members and friends of the Brigham Young University community, I am humbled by the invitation to speak to you this morning. And I pray, as we pause for these few minutes, that the Lord will bless our minds and spirits as he has so many times before in devotionals on this great campus. As I speak today, I consider my two principal credentials to be my testimony of the d
  • Literature (1)

    • 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 expe
  • Mathematics (4)

    • 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 fa
    • 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 co
    • 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 exper
  • 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
    • 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 fo
    • 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 encompa
    • 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 peri
    • 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
    • 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 a
    • I appreciate this opportunity to address the student body at this great institution during the first month of this Bicentennial year. I have given much prayerful consideration as to what I might say here, so as to not waste your time. I have decided to depart somewhat from the kind of talk that might be expected, to deal with something that is connected with both morals and religion, but is not
  • Medicine/Nursing (6)

    • The heart is a vital organ necessary to maintain life. The heart rate, also known as the pulse rate, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. In order for your body to function properly, it is important to have a continuous, regular, and strong pulse. With certain variations in the pulse, you may become sick and unable to function. Elder Marvin J. Ashton, in a general conference talk fr
    • As you know from the President Lee’s introduction, my deep interest academically and humanly is the field of international health and development. The seeds of this passion were planted and rooted during my welfare services mission in the Philippines, and they have grown steadily with each subsequent experience. And, although totally unanticipated, my choice of nursing as a career has also brought
    • 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.
    • 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 magnific
    • 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 o
  • Music (7)

    • March 20 of this year was a beautiful day. It was warm and the sun was shining. Some of the trees had started to bud, and early blooms were visible. I had been anticipating this day with great excitement and a good deal of apprehension from the time I received a phone call three months earlier asking if I would play the organ at one of the Provo City Center Temple dedication sessions. I had never
    • Creativity

      Today I want to explore the topic of creativity and the spiritual connection it can help us have with our Heavenly Father. While creativity is an attribute we often associate with the arts, it is an important tool for finding our inner artist in every discipline at the university. The scriptures teach us that Heavenly Father is a profoundly creative Being, and He has made us to be that way too. Cr
    • Good morning! It is a cherished privilege to share this time with you this morning. Thirty years of college teaching, 32 years of parenthood, 40 years of Church service, and 45 years of performing as a musician have convinced me that I am nothing. As to my own strength, I am weak, and I must depend fully upon the Lord if I am to succeed in accomplishing anything good. You recognize those are nearl
    • It is a joy for my wife, Wendy, and me to be with you, my dear brothers and sisters. From the BYU Marriott Center in Utah, we are broadcasting to many congregations throughout the world. Thanks to each of you for being with us. We extend a special welcome to those who will soon be finishing high school and are attending a CES fireside broadcast for the first time. As you enroll in institutions
    • During my career as a professional opera singer, I spent months and sometimes years in preparation for an important concert or stage production. One thing was certain and unavoidable: the time would arrive when I had to stand on the stage in front of thousands of people and sing. This musical accountability was swift and very audible—to my credit or shame. Immediately I could see the quality of my
    • King Benjamin begins his powerful speech to his people with these words: I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view. [Mosiah 2:9] I quote that scripture not
    • I am particularly appreciative of the music we’ve just heard, and quote from section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants: For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. [D&C 25:12] I very anxiously lay claim to those blessings from these righteous young men and women who h
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    • Nothing challenges the rationality of our belief in God or tests our trust in Him more severely than human suffering and wickedness. Both are pervasive in our common experience. If this is not immediately evident, a glance at the morning paper or the evening news will make it so. On the larger scale and at the moment, names like Oklahoma City, Columbine, Kosovo, and Turkey evoke image upon image o
    • I stuttered most of the way through school so badly I could scarcely talk. When I dared, I tried to answer the teacher’s questions, but seldom successfully. You have seen the grimace a stutterer makes and the flickering eyelids. I remember the strained expressions on people’s faces. As children often do, I compensated. I became brash, loud, boastful, and competitive—to win the respect I didn’t
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    • Before I begin the formal part of my talk, I wish to express appreciation to Sister Bateman for the wise counsel given today and for the extraordinary companion she has been to me through four decades. While I have tried to fulfill my dreams, many of which pertained to a temporal setting, she has focused solely on matters of eternal consequence. Her time and energy have been given to supporting a
    • Brothers and sisters, though I consider it a great privilege to speak to you today, perhaps I have never been so much aware of my personal inadequacy to deliver something of value to you without the help of the Lord. I only hope that together we can accomplish the purposes of a devotional assembly at BYU. To borrow a scriptural reference from my friend Andrew Skinner, which sums up my feelings sin
  • Political Science (5)

  • Politics (9)

  • Psychology (5)

    • It may not surprise you, but I want to declare at the outset that I have been multiply blessed. I want to initially mention an important blessing—this university—and then I would like to dwell on a forty-one-year blessing—my marriage. Those who have received this award in past years have stood here to express their gratitude to BYU, but I feel especially blessed in receiving this award as a
    • Play Through Your Mistakes Music has always been a very important part of my life. Nearly every major memory of my childhood involves music of some kind: singing with my family on road trips to pass the time; learning barbershop music with my mom and sisters; listening to the Tijuana Brass band on the record player while decorating our Christmas tree; singing my father’s favorite
    • 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 vi
    • 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,
    • During the Saturday afternoon general conference session, I was moved as I watched President Hinckley during one of the congregational hymns. He turned right around and looked at our BYU combined choir—for the longest time. It was not just a brief glance. He stood there gazing. It seemed that he was surveying and studying each student. President Hinckley is the prophet of the Lord. He knows who yo
  • Technology (1)

    • In June 1831 the Lord commanded the Prophet Joseph Smith to travel to Missouri. The Prophet records, On the 19th of June, . . . I started from Kirtland, Ohio, for the land of Missouri, agreeable to the commandment before received, wherein it was promised that if we were faithful, the land of our inheritance, even the place for the city of the New Jerusalem, should be revealed.1
  • Theology and World Religions (4)

Brother Maeser, I want you to remember that you ought not to teach even the alphabet or the multiplication tables without the Spirit of God. That is all. God bless you. Good-bye.

(Brigham Young’s charge to Karl G. Maeser, the founding principal of Brigham Young Academy.)

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Many LDS scholars and regular members as well can tell of sacred experiences they have had in discovering things through study and faith that they never would have found on their own.

(“And with All Thy Mind,” John W. Welch Devotional, 2003.)

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