By Study and By Faith
Featuring devotionals that blend disciplines with discipleship, the scholarly with the sacred
Accounting (1)...it is important to recognize that we are all, day by day, moment by moment, writing our book of life. Although not written on paper, the entries in this book are just as real and will have an eternal impact.
Africa (1)Paul Rusesabagina retells the dramatic story made famous by the film Hotel Rwanda. He explains how God brought people to him to keep safe.
Agriculture (3)Just as Elder Widtsoe had a revelatory scientific experience in the temple, we can, with the right spirit and approach, have a revelatory spiritual experience in this new Life Sciences Building if—as we are directed in Doctrine and Covenants 88:67—our eye is single to the glory of God.I believe that when an engineer, a musician, a social scientist, or anyone educated in a given discipline reads the scriptures, they too can gain insights and make discoveries unique to that discipline if they are looking for them and if they are observant. It is exciting to be a part of a community of learners who are doing so and then sharing their insights and discoveries with others. I hope you will develop the habit of being so observant—of regularly considering what your learning can tell you about the gospel and what the gospel can tell you about your learning.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…
America (20)Dr. Clayborne Carson, Stanford University Historian, shares some personal insights from the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.With courage, conviction, and civility—drawing upon our noble heritage as Americans—each one of us can make a profound difference. As the great Winston Churchill said on the eve of the world’s greatest conflict, let us “arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.”Scholar Jeremy Black presents the question of whether or not the British could have won the American Revolution, detailing what would have made it possible.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…Just hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bateman offers a message about the hope and peace that come from the gospel of Jesus Christ.Robert K. Goodwin, president and CEO of the Points of Light Foundation, calls on the BYU community, along with people everywhere, to join in the nationwide effort to get people involved in service. This involvement is the antidote for many of society's ills.University of Chicago's Jean Bethke Elshtain calls for greater social responsibility and civic engagement to preserve the democracy we cherish.Larry EchoHawk, as a Native American BYU law professor and attorney general of Idaho, shares his experience and vision of the promise of America for all.David B. Magleby shares interesting insights on the uniqueness, strengths, weaknesses, and trends of the American elections process.We cannot abandon religious freedom, including the influence of religious morality, without jeopardizing the ideals upon with this country was founded.President Holland takes advantage of the election year to commemorate George Washington and remind us that our leaders reflects our own enlightened state.L. Tom Perry delivers a patriotic fireside address recounting the history of America and the great gifts that its founding has brought.President Wilkinson compares the values of the founding fathers with the changing cultural values of America in the 20th century.America's fate is largely dependent on our obedience to our covenants. In all ages, this has been a land of promise for those who follow Him.This bicentennial celebration gives us opportunity to reflect on the inspired founding of America and on what we want its future to be.America is a land of opportunity. Be grateful for this land of promise. It has a rich history, and we can help it to have a bright future.The ideals underlying the founding documents of the United States are God-given. We must be grateful for and protect our freedom in this nation.In this classic speech given in 1959, Carl Euehner shares his opinions about the United States and some foreign relations.
Area Studies: Asia (1)The growth of the gospel in Asia and other parts of the world is part of the Lord's prophesied gathering of Israel, as told in Jacob, chapter 5.
Area Studies: the Americas (1)Milton R. Hunter shares some of his interesting and cultural experiences as a historian and author traveling through Book of Mormon lands.
Area Studies: The Middle East (1)The issues tying the United States and the Middle East together are not simple. From oil, to terrorism, to Isis, Vali Nasr explains why maintaining interactions with the Middle East is crucial at this time.
Art (7)I routinely tell my students that if they want to progress rapidly in gaining new skills and different ways of seeing, they must be willing to leave their comfort zones and work on the very edge of their capabilities. They must be willing to take risks, fail, and try again. But unlike how it is with skydiving, I assure them that they do get more than one opportunity.Let us understand our eternal perspective and turn our lives into beautiful works of art that were planned by a loving Heavenly Father who developed a plan of redemption so that we could return to His presence.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…Cecil B. DeMille, producer of the film The Ten Commandments, delivers a stirring call to BYU graduates to let their lives be empowered by the laws of God.
Astronomy (3)We may not know the whys of all of God’s creations, but each of God’s vast creations is a reminder that He is in charge, that there is a divine plan, and that we are here on this earth for a much greater purpose than what the world would espouse.When we prioritize exploration, then we are inspired, and new and valuable discoveries can occur.
Athletics (9)I attest that we are sending messages every moment through our words and actions. What messages are we sending? How are they being received? When people see us coming, do they gravitate to us or do they scatter in a great escape? I invite each of us to be a powerful influence for good.You are stronger than you think. Heavenly Father knows and loves each of you. If you will make sure that you are all the way in by trusting in the Lord, taking His yoke upon you, and following Him, then He will make you a conqueror.I have since learned that dwelling obsessively on what we do wrong is one of the greatest sources of interference to maximizing our potential. Self-doubt is dangerous.People will love to hear your stories. Don’t be afraid to reach out and share them. Your stories did not just happen for you; they are meant to be shared. Sharing them is a great way for you to let your light shine for others.Each one of us has the opportunity to join a winning team by being full of integrity, following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and persevering through the rough waters of life. I am grateful for the Savior and testify that He lives!I remember slipping out of bed to my knees. It was the first time in my life that I had ever prayed intently. There I was, with bandages on my eyes, alone in my bedroom, praying for help.Sportscasting icon and former BYU football star Vai Sikahema talks about how the Lord prepares and uses our talents and experience to bless others.Former BYU football head coach LaVell Edwards counsels us to put on the whole armor of God, which protects us and enables us to create a meaningful life.To make the most out of life, says BYU football coach LaVell Edwards, you need to have a game plan. Christlike living is the way to "win" eternal life.
Biology and Life Sciences (13)If you find yourself struggling at times, if you are in the midst of your long-suffering, take heart and have faith. Believe that you have a divine purpose. Believe that you have unique talents that are unmatched in the world. Work hard and pray. The Lord will help. He will direct you to your best self.Questions—particularly questions that arise about the gospel—can be especially trying. Questions are inherently born of uncertainty, and we as humans are vehemently opposed to uncertainty. We dislike the feeling of not knowing because we feel vulnerable. Yet this vulnerability can actually be a sacred space.When we apply the gospel to all aspects of our life, we stay true to ourselves and connected to our purpose for living.Just as Elder Widtsoe had a revelatory scientific experience in the temple, we can, with the right spirit and approach, have a revelatory spiritual experience in this new Life Sciences Building if—as we are directed in Doctrine and Covenants 88:67—our eye is single to the glory of God.Just as a reliable physical heart is needed to provide nourishment to our physical bodies, a reliable spiritual heart is needed to provide nourishment to our spirits. Our spiritual heart draws us closer to our Heavenly Father. It prompts us to serve and to love each other as family members, friends, and neighbors. It burns with faith and testimony, protects against sin, and gives strength and hope in times of trial.When we see each other as daughters and sons of our Heavenly Father, it changes us. It takes us away from superficial thinking in which we define ourselves as beautiful or athletic or intellectual or popular or not. Instead we begin to see each other as brothers and sisters with the singular purpose of striving to become ready to return to live with our Heavenly Father.As we humble ourselves, following the Savior and the counsel of the prophets, the Spirit can enlighten and give us an eternal perspective in this life.Just as small problems can compromise the integrity of the physical heart, seemingly small breeches of honor can compromise personal integrity.One of the most magnificent creations of God is the remarkably complex human body, which ought to be an object of appreciation and respect.Russel M. Nelson shares some of his greatest life lessons about the body, the spirit, the power of love, and the dependability of divine law.
Business (6)I think we need to recognize that we tend to do our best work when we are on the outer edges of what we know, when we are doing something hard and new, and when we are growing through challenge. This is not only where we do our best work but where we tend to find our greatest joy.Dr. Sprenger discusses the decline of humanities students and encourages all to remember the important effect of the humanities in business.Allison Davis-Blake teaches four principles of good leadership: empathy, courage, integrity, and drive. She gives advice on how to develop them.J.W. Marriott teaches the secrets to his company's success. From their small beginnings to global success, humility and hard work have motivated them.Sometimes leaders need to foster close relationships of relative equality. Occasionally, strong displays of power and difference may be necessary. Usually leaders must achieve an appropriate balance according to the contingencies of their situation. That’s the hard part.
Chemistry (4)If we are not afraid, our life experiments can be tools to learn truth and to make changes. The pioneer chemist Marie Curie believed that “nothing in life is to be feared—it is only to be understood.”I am first struck with the observation that the Savior was not distant from those whom He healed. In point of fact, He was “among” them. His healing act was personal. I am amazed that among all the creations so extensive that they cannot be numbered by man, the Lord knows us as individuals.Well-meaning people may honestly disagree with my interpretation of how the universe is put together. Agency allows and requires this possibility. But for me, as I noted above, science is faith affirming because I choose to believe, and everything else follows.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…
China (2)No matter what the outer conditions are, keep spirits high and just persevere. Personal righteousness, responsibility, discipline, and devotion are requirements for final achievements.God loves all of His children. As we are patient, we will have opportunities to serve the good people of China, and one day to share the gospel there.
Classical Studies (1)The creator actively remembers His creation. Closely linked to His remembrance of us is the loving attention associated with it. He not only remembers you; He cares deeply about where you are, what you are doing, who you are becoming, and what you are feeling.
Computer Science (3)Recently President Thomas S. Monson stated, “Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.” However, as threatening as this may seem, we also have been promised spiritual protection. Today I am going to speak about some ways to improve our computer-security behavior, and I am going to offer some spiritual-behavior tips to keep us safe spiritually.When studying computer graphics, Thomas Sederberg learned that faculty mentoring is unparalleled in its assistance toward preparing for higher education.Technology, and especially the Internet, is rapidly changing the world. It's up to us to choose the kind of changes we want it to make.
Constitution (4)But here’s some bad news: it’s hard work to understand the Constitution. At least it’s hard work if you try to understand what it meant to those who wrote and ratified its provisions. In my view, that is the understanding we must seek.President Lee unfolds the story and attributes of the U.S. Constitution and explains its significance for Latter-day Saints seeking to be good citizens.May God bless each of us with a desire to gain a real understanding of the blessings granted to us under this great Constitution of the United States of America. And may we have the strength and the courage to defend and uphold it for our generation and for all who follow after us.The Constitution of the United States is an inspired document penned by remarkable men. Let us study and give thanks for and preserve its principles.
Dance (3)All of us can find ways to be more open and receptive to the transformative change that the Lord requires of us—even that mighty change that transforms us into someone new.Our Savior gave us the perfect example of love, compassion, respite, and rescue. He has beckoned us to come unto Him, to be His hands, and to love one another. May we go forward with a commitment to listen to those spiritual promptings.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…
Design (1)Maybe it is making your next tuition payment, choosing a new roommate, finding a summer internship, or even getting a date for Saturday night. Perhaps, though, your wicked problem is more complex—maybe it is a bit trickier.
Economics (6)Therefore, go; go humbly to serve. Work hard, be honest, and be reliable. I testify to you that you will be blessed and success will be yoursThe Lord exhorted us to “judge not” (Matthew 7:1), but the allure of observable correlations can be challenging to ignore. The best response in many cases is to not draw causal conclusions based solely on correlated information.Rulon D. Pope, BYU's Karl G. Maeser distinguished faculty lecturer, explains Engel's Law, and why it is still pertinent both at home and abroad.In a world where we are trained to expect the worst, Gregg Easterbrook shares research concerning the potential for a positive future global economy.If people witness you as a giver, they will see a leader. Servant leadership is no joke, and it’s a secret to success, whether you’re looking for success or not. When people see you giving and cooperating and serving others, they will see in you a leader, or a future leader, and they cannot help but help you.Delayed blessings will build your faith in God to work, and wait, for him. The scriptures aren’t demeaning when they command, “Wait upon the Lord.” That means both service and patience. And that will build your faith.
Engineering and Technology (9)Distinguished faculty lecturer Randal W. Beard discusses the advancements in technology that have made self-flying vehicles, once a sci-fi dream, a reality.We are supposed to be different! We were created as such for our individual growth and the growth of our friends and neighbors. Our individuality began before we were here and will continue on after we leave. We can—and should—keep our good personality traits and remember those experiences that allow us to have a different perspective so that we can empathize with and encourage others.It is my belief that we can obtain this goal of celestial glory as we seek and follow the divine feedback that comes through the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost.Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Larry L. Howell shows how, in engineering as well as life, collaboration is an essential piece in the "anatomy of invention."So, too, obedience to God’s laws preserves our freedom, flexibility, and ability to achieve our potential. The commandments are not intended to restrict us. Rather, obedience leads to increased spiritual stability and long-term happiness.As wonderful as modern technology is, it still pales in comparison to God’s power and ability. We get to view the wonders of the universe; He gets to create them.At times we will go through trials and need to be lifted up. Control, attitude, and faith in divine power will create wind beneath our wings and lift us up.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…Technology, and especially the Internet, is rapidly changing the world. It's up to us to choose the kind of changes we want it to make.
Family (7)More than something that that dude in the Third Ward or your great aunt does, genealogical consciousness is a way of being, a way of thinking about your place within and responsibility to the generations surrounding you.Uncertainty has many faces. It includes questions, doubts, ambiguity, and the discovery that persons (or things) are not quite what we expected. In essence, uncertainty is a reflection of the gap between our desire for the ideal and our experience of reality.Besides a sincere apology, repentance includes striving to forsake our shortcomings and weaknesses. We strive to keep our promises to do the dishes. We focus on not being grumpy and not snapping at our spouse. We endeavor to become better listeners and less judgmental. As we continually repent, we constantly try to improve ourselves.As we move into a secular age, we cannot overlook the importance of government's moral purposes, which include the protection of life and family.Love is truly is the most gentle and powerful force in the world. We have been given the key to loving and respecting differences.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 the World” (Ensign, November 1995, p.…His desire is for you to change, to have a change of heart, a change of nature, and to, over time, completely cast off the natural man. He did all that he did so that you could change! He is your Savior and my Savior!
Finance (5)I testify that we must build our financial homes upon the rock of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we do this, when the rains of recessions descend, the floods of layoffs come, and the winds of high interest rates blow and beat upon our houses, our houses will not fall, for they will be founded upon the rock of Christ.Steve W. Albrecht shares listening to others can protect us from becoming victims—or perpetrators—of fraud, whether financial or spiritual.Steve W. Albrecht demonstrates how making wise decisions and being as good as you can be protects, not inhibits, our agency—in finance and in spirituality.Don't abandon sound economic principles: stay out of unnecessary debt, use a budget, and set yourselves up for financial peace of mind.The gospel is the plan God has given us for achieving eternal success. Here are some fundamentals for achieving both temporal and spiritual success.
Geological Sciences (1)If we take the time to stop and look at the immense majesty of God's creations, we find His innumerable witnesses in stars as well as tiny grains of sand.
Health (8)Benjamin Bikman suggests ways one might mitigate insulin resistance—the core of many modern health challenges or "the plagues of prosperity."The family proclamation could not be more clear about the consequences of choices inconsistent with the Father’s plan. It unequivocally proclaims: "We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."Dr. Brent James examines the condition of health care in America while discussing what truly determines health. His findings may surprise you.Our bodies are sacred temples, worthy of special care and respect. Sacrifice is required to keep our temples in good condition. Do not give up.Daniel K Judd discusses the influence of religion on mental health, as well as the need for Latter-day Saints to be more aware of those who are suffering.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…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…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…
History (14)Dr. Clayborne Carson, Stanford University Historian, shares some personal insights from the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr.Scholar Jeremy Black presents the question of whether or not the British could have won the American Revolution, detailing what would have made it possible.Simon Schama, creator of the television program A History of Britain, believes that the study of history should be an inquiry of the past, not an inaccurate representation of events. In order to preserve the truth of history, he explains different tactics he utilizes to maintain historical integrity.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…When you wonder whether one man or one woman really can make a difference, remember those in history who show that one person can change the world.True leaders are inspiring because they are inspired, caught up in a higher purpose, devoid of personal ambition, idealistic, and incorruptible.The study of history is insightful and important. Don't be afraid, however, to add to the secular and humanistic a spiritual view of American history.Israel's language, religion, and culture were heavily influenced by Israel's neighbors. Many early Christian practices were performed even before Christ.As we seek to understand the belief and practices of the earliest Christians, we find ordinances and doctrines quite familiar to the restored gospel.As you make decisions and determine who you will become, may you emulate the great men and women in our history who were willing to make a difference in the world no matter the personal cost. May your fame be your character.The great men of the sixth century believed in contemplation and in action, and they weren’t afraid to ask God for revelation.
Humanities (4)Dr. Sprenger discusses the decline of humanities students and encourages all to remember the important effect of the humanities in business.Michael Wesch discusses the intersection of two knowledge machines—universities and the internet—and how without questions, students cannot learn.University of Chicago's Jean Bethke Elshtain calls for greater social responsibility and civic engagement to preserve the democracy we cherish.In an age of feminism, know that men and women have unique natures and roles, but neither are superior. Both sexes must develop their minds and hearts.
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…
Language and Linguistics (8)What builds character? In my experience, for an activity to build character it must be inherently good, it must require concerted effort, and it must demand perseverance over an extended period of time.
Language study meets all three of these character-building prerequisites.Our challenge then is to overcome our natural-man reluctance to interact with those who come from different languages, dialects, and cultural backgrounds and to treat them as no more strangers but actual, or potential, fellow citizens with the Saints in the household of God.David Norton, a scholar of the King James Bible, addresses BYU regarding the translation of the Bible and how it shapes our language today.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…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…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…Ingo R. Titze discusses the construction and capabilities of the human voice scientifically, reminding us to choose to use our voices to lift others.
Law (11)God will guide us as we develop our advocacy skills, and He will provide us with opportunities to be advocates for His children.The development of empathetic thinking and feeling that a legal education can promote may contribute to the development of our ability to love as the Savior loves and to truly possess charity, a central and essential celestial attribute.Every time we go to the temple, the ordinances reorient us to the natural order of the universe, including the natural order of marriage. Like the ancient mariner, we look to the heavens to get our bearings—and we do that through the temple.
This is a very strong statement: if we refuse to forgive, there remaineth in us the greater sin. How can this be? As I hope to explain, our salvation is conditioned on forgiving others because when we refuse to forgive, what we are really saying is that we reject, or don’t quite trust, the Atonement. And it is our acceptance of the Atonement that ultimately saves us.In the end the BYU Mission Statement calls on us to “have a strong effect on the course of higher education” and to “be an influence in a world we wish to improve.” In this, our uniqueness can be an asset.As we move into a secular age, we cannot overlook the importance of government's moral purposes, which include the protection of life and family.There are some types of judgement we must never pass, and some we must pass. Dallin H. Oaks offers principles for making righteous judgements.President Lee unfolds the story and attributes of the U.S. Constitution and explains its significance for Latter-day Saints seeking to be good citizens.The relationship between religion and the United States constitution has an interesting and complicated history with important implications.John W. Welch gives examples of different ways many scholars learn from the Book of Mormon by both methods of study and of faith.Increasing influence of the Supreme Court on national policy is one example of a delicate balance in the separation of powers in U.S. law and government.
Literature (5)Arthur Henry King points to classic passages of Shakespeare's work to show that Shakespeare and the gospel share some important themes in common.Mark Twain's early experience with religion gives us insight not only into American history and culture, but into this author's life and literature.
Mathematics (6)In this life we know only in part, and in fact the more I learn, the more I see that I do not know. But I also believe that God knows us completely, that in our uncertainty we can accept God’s love for us as certain and constant. We may not know how God will turn our stones to light, but we can have hope that God will turn our stones to light.Our Savior Jesus Christ sees us differently—not as we currently are but as we may become. I am awed by the love He has for me, who does not deserve it, and for the love He has for all of us—no matter who we are, no matter how different we may be from those around us, and no matter what struggles we have in our lives.There will be times when you may become discouraged while striving to obtain your education. When those times come, please remember that what you are doing is praiseworthy. You are seeking to improve yourselves as well as the kingdom of God.I pray that we will all be a little more fair in our measurements of ourselves and a little more patient in our measurements of others. As we hone our measurement skills, we will be more like our Savior, and we will be more effective instruments in His hands.The realities of living in our limited, imperfect world mean that we have no choice but to make do with an approximation—to admit and accept imperfection.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…
Media and Communications (7)We are each of royal birth—princesses and princes in our own right. We have the potential to have greater power and reach than the most powerful superhero portrayed in the media today. Let us not waste this precious gift. Instead, let us let it shape our identity and be a comfort to us when we are going through our hardest moments.Clearly, weakness and the recognition of it, the humility that follows, and the application of faith in Christ are essential to our eternal progression. Weakness is also the key to authenticity.We should acknowledge that our cell phones and laptops carry no secret powers that will push us toward one side or the other of the war that began in heaven; they are simply tools that amplify the choices we make through our agency.Brothers and sisters, you are the light of the world and the future mileposts in the timeline of technology. May we recognize a loving Heavenly Father’s hand in the miracles of the technologies around us and remember that He gave them to us to bless us and our families and to advance His purposes.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…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…On the USA's 200th anniversary, Loren C. Dunn urges us to protect the freedom of religion by ethically protecting the freedom of the press.
Medicine/Nursing (8)Do you have faith that your Heavenly Father knows you so well that He knows under what circumstances you will emerge as a stronger, albeit wounded, healer so that you will become a valuable instrument in His hands, able to do His work and comfort His children? Do you believe that God is good? And is it possible that God is still good even when things go, well, badly?Just as there is a necessity for each of us to know that our physical heart is functioning properly, it is equally important to know that our spiritual heart is healthy and functioning properly. Unfortunately, there is not a two-finger technique that I can teach you that will effectively assess and monitor your spiritual heart rate. But there are indicators from our daily life that help us to know where we stand spiritually.Elaine S. Marshall shares some insights she has gleaned about physical and spiritual healing and what it means to have the "healer's art."Stories from scriptures and other faithful Saints worldwide teach us how we can build the kingdom of God by faith, repentance, service, and compassion.Just as small problems can compromise the integrity of the physical heart, seemingly small breeches of honor can compromise personal integrity.One of the most magnificent creations of God is the remarkably complex human body, which ought to be an object of appreciation and respect.Russel M. Nelson shares some of his greatest life lessons about the body, the spirit, the power of love, and the dependability of divine law.
Music (8)To be in tune with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we have to find a way to see the truth we share and work toward peace and unity.Inviting creativity into your professional and private lives is worth searching and striving for; don’t ever give up.Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace.Dear brothers and sisters, please fill your minds with worthy sights and sounds. Cultivate your precious gift of the Holy Ghost. Protect it as the priceless gift that it is. Carefully listen for its quiet communication. You will be spiritually stronger if you do."There are six principles…that...can dramatically affect the outcome of our lives. They can bring us many wonderful blessings and..miracles"Centering the arts in Christ allows us to distinguish uplifting, edifying, and truly beautiful art and music from the degrading influences of the adversary.To have a comprehending soul, we need to approach the gospel with a balance between our mind and heart. Alone, neither is enough.Talent in music and the arts is a gift from God. Let us glorify God and invite the Spirit into our worship through reverent music and beautiful art.
Native Americans (1)Larry EchoHawk, as a Native American BYU law professor and attorney general of Idaho, shares his experience and vision of the promise of America for all.
Philosophy (3)Political philosophy professor Jean Bethke Elshtain, citing C.S. Lewis, warns against tampering with our definition of what is human and deserving of life.Joseph had no training in theology, no doctor of divinity degree; his formal education was at best scanty. And yet through him comes light that dissolves the profoundest paradoxes and strengthens and edifies me through my own personal trials.C. Terry Warner shares stories from his life as he learned that being self-centered is the antithesis of being honest, simple, solid, and true.
Physics (4)Do you dream of future discoveries? What visions do you have for a better world? Through spiritual light and hard work, you can make those dreams a reality.The physical principles of inertia and entropy are strikingly relevant to our spiritual lives, as is the admonition to "be of good cheer."
Politics (23)If we are going to beat the problem of contempt, we’re going to need something more radical than civility—something that speaks to our hearts’ desire. We need love.We must concentrate on what we have in common with our neighbors and fellow citizens. We must strive for mutual understanding and treat all with goodwill. We must exercise patience. We should all speak out for religion and the importance of religious freedom. We must, above all, trust in God and His promises.Our laws and legislation play an important teaching role in shaping our social and moral culture. We need every individual in society to take an active role in engaging in civic dialogue that helps frame laws and legislation that are fair for everyone.
Political parties are an important and necessary part of our democracy. Citizens and politicians need to be involved and learn to compromise effectively.I can assure you that finding someone who cares enough about you to tell you the truth and then is willing to take time to give you their counsel and their coaching is invaluable. Look for it.Active engagement in the functioning of government and in addressing community concerns is an inherent responsibility of our citizenship and demands our best efforts.Members of different faiths need to work together to affirm religious liberty, necessary in preserving human rights, human dignity, and human flourishing.In this BYU Forum, George Will speaks about current political issues of 2013 and identifies possible ways to fix these problems.I will not attempt to speak for your church, but I will speak for and to mine: It is never an option to claim Jesus Christ as Savior and behave in an uncivil manner with anyone, under any circumstance. Never.As we move into a secular age, we cannot overlook the importance of government's moral purposes, which include the protection of life and family.David B. Magleby addresses the importance of participation in the election process and the problems for our democracy associated with the "vanishing voter."I am honored and humbled by this invitation. I pray for the Lord’s blessings that I may convey well to you the message I have and that you might receive it in the spirit by which it was prepared. I have titled these remarks “Accountable Citizenship,” a topic discussed in section 134 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the section about which I want to talk to you today. But I…University of Chicago's Jean Bethke Elshtain calls for greater social responsibility and civic engagement to preserve the democracy we cherish.David B. Magleby shares interesting insights on the uniqueness, strengths, weaknesses, and trends of the American elections process.Increasing influence of the Supreme Court on national policy is one example of a delicate balance in the separation of powers in U.S. law and government.Marion G. Romney gives an overview and compilation of the political thought of J. Reuben Clark, Jr., a prominent attorney, civil servant, and BYU leader.Government is a creation of the people and ought to be subservient to them. We need to be wary of giving centralized government too much power.Marion G. Romney compares and contrasts the theoretical underpinnings and practical implementation of socialism and the United Order.The war against Communism is a serious one, because it entails a fight for the freedom that is so essential in God's plan.In this classic speech given in 1959, Carl Euehner shares his opinions about the United States and some foreign relations.As a leader in both arenas, Ezra Taft Benson offers his perspective on the LDS Church and politics, including its turbulent history and hopeful future.
Psychology (7)Whether you are aware of it or not, there is someone around you whose life has been altered by sexual violence. Being “an example of the believers,” living a life of kindness and compassion, keeping your covenant “to mourn with those that mourn,” and serving others can all have powerful effects on those around you. Please do not underestimate the influence of diligent obedience, daily worship, and active service. You can do much good in a general way without realizing how the Spirit is working through you to bless the lives of others.My purpose today is not to romanticize this love. Instead, my desire is to understand it, at least to some degree. As I interface the sacred and the secular, I am struck by how little my experience of this love is explainable in conventional psychological terms, or, indeed, in any secular terms.When you allow yourself to be paralyzed by your mistakes, you diminish your ability to be useful in God’s kingdom. Making mistakes is simply part of the human condition and can be one of your most productive learning tools. Yes, you need to recognize your mistakes. But more than that, you need to find a way to effectively play through them.I have since learned that dwelling obsessively on what we do wrong is one of the greatest sources of interference to maximizing our potential. Self-doubt is dangerous.If people witness you as a giver, they will see a leader. Servant leadership is no joke, and it’s a secret to success, whether you’re looking for success or not. When people see you giving and cooperating and serving others, they will see in you a leader, or a future leader, and they cannot help but help you.Our prophets have reminded us that this mortal estate is a school to learn how to be gods and goddesses, having increase and creating worlds while giving all glory to the Father. I would like to suggest that crucibles are one way in which we move toward eternity—connecting our premortal, mortal, and postmortal identities.His desire is for you to change, to have a change of heart, a change of nature, and to, over time, completely cast off the natural man. He did all that he did so that you could change! He is your Savior and my Savior!
Out of Obscurity: The Emergence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in “That Vast Empire of Russia”In June of 1843 the Prophet Joseph Smith announced the appointment of apostle Orson Hyde and George J. Adams to serve as missionaries in “that vast empire” of Russia, with which, he continued, are connected “some of the most important things concerning the advancement and building up of the kingdom of God in the last days, which cannot be explained at this time” (HC 6:41). Although months of preparation followed this…
South America (2)Recent, phenomenal church growth is a fulfillment of prophecy. The Native Americans, or Lamanite descendants, are an important part of this prophecy.The Native American population, or "Indians," descendants of the Lamanite people, are displaying their immense potential, as foretold in the scriptures.
Technology (2)Michael Wesch discusses the intersection of two knowledge machines—universities and the internet—and how without questions, students cannot learn.
the Middle East (7)One absolute essential in a modern functioning society is the university. All around the globe, major universities hold in their keeping science, technology, the arts, and cultures in their halls of learning and in their research establishments. And from high-quality universities, such as BYU, come our future leaders in all walks of life and all societies.Located north of the Old City, not far from Damascus Gate, is the Garden Tomb. Those who have been there know it well. In the garden is a sign that reads, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”—a quote from Psalm 122:6. And so we must. We must hope for and pray for peace.Your own happiness and future success as individual and as family achievers will rest upon your nurturing of the common good in all that you choose to do.I believe that when an engineer, a musician, a social scientist, or anyone educated in a given discipline reads the scriptures, they too can gain insights and make discoveries unique to that discipline if they are looking for them and if they are observant. It is exciting to be a part of a community of learners who are doing so and then sharing their insights and discoveries with others. I hope you will develop the habit of being so observant—of regularly considering what your learning can tell you about the gospel and what the gospel can tell you about your learning.Ezra Taft Benson shares the amazing experience of participating in the celebration in Iran of Persia's founding 2500 years ago by Cyrus.Hugh Nibley presents interesting new scholarship about the relationship between Israelis and other Middle Eastern people in Biblical times.Hugh Nibley speaks about the history and theology surrounding the highly coveted city of Jerusalem and the hope for peace there one day.
Theology and World Religions (10)It is audacious to believe that God is our Father—really our Father—and that we are His children—really His children. We have every reason to be fearless and bold, confident and courageous in our audacious faith.Christian Smith discusses why scientists cannot disprove religion and any attempts to do so will fail. He encourages all to give each opinion a fair chance.Members of different faiths need to work together to affirm religious liberty, necessary in preserving human rights, human dignity, and human flourishing.Brothers and sisters, I would like to share with you this morning some scholarly developments that I think are very exciting. But, as I hope to persuade you, they are exciting not merely in an academic sense. If they were not more than that, they would have little or no claim on the attention of a university devotional assembly. I believe, and I know I am not alone in this…Israel's language, religion, and culture were heavily influenced by Israel's neighbors. Many early Christian practices were performed even before Christ.As we seek to understand the belief and practices of the earliest Christians, we find ordinances and doctrines quite familiar to the restored gospel.Professor Hugh Nibley continues his discourse on the Forty Day Ministry and the effect it has had on the history of Christianity.The Forty Day Ministry was a potent symbol for the earliest Christians, whose doctrine and practice demonstrated unique views of the Resurrection.Cecil B. DeMille, producer of the film The Ten Commandments, delivers a stirring call to BYU graduates to let their lives be empowered by the laws of God.
United Kingdom (2)Gordon B. Hinckley gives an inspiring history of the Church in the British Isles, from the Restoration to his own mission and on into the present.The history of the Church in England and the British Isles is a rich legacy of courageous, faithful pioneers who endured incredible trials.