Speeches By Date

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  • My message today is summarized in a familiar scripture, Genesis 2:18, in which the Lord declared, “It is not good that . . . man should be alone.” I suppose most of you upon hearing this will think that I am about to deliver the standard BYU speech on marriage. You are wrong—well, at least mostly wrong. Although the principles I address will apply with full force to marriage, I wish to speak about a broader truth, one recognized in both secular studies and gospel teaching. It is that no one can flourish in isolation and that the quality of our relationships with others will ultimately determin
  • I have entitled my remarks “The Allegory of the Wedding Cake.” Once upon a time there were two young ladies. They were BYU students. They were friends and roommates. One day these two young ladies were asked by their other roommate to make her wedding cake. “Quite a daunting request,” they thought. Everyone knows, after all, that wedding cakes can be challenging. You have to have the right ingredients. You have to know how to follow a recipe. You have to know how to keep the baked cake from crumbling into pieces when transporting it from the pan to the cake platform. You have to know how to
  • We live in some challenging times. More than fifty years ago President Thomas S. Monson said: Today, we are encamped against the greatest array of sin, vice, and evil ever assembled before our eyes.1 I thought to myself that whatever the conditions were fifty years ago, there is a greater array today. The war between good and evil is raging and intensifying. Satan is busy radicalizing and recruiting. You are needed. You must gain the skills, convictions, courage, wisdom, and confidence to help make a difference for yourself and others. I am grateful for the inspired lea
  • Thank you for that beautiful and calming musical number. I am grateful for the opportunity to speak today and for the support of family, colleagues, students, and friends who are here. I invite you to reflect on the last time you experienced the feeling of fear. Was it while wondering if you would be admitted into one of the many competitive degree programs here at Brigham Young University? Or while waiting to see if the girl you asked out wants to go out again? Or, worse yet, while wondering what to do when she does? For me, the feeling is as recent as sitting on this stand, looking into t
  • When I came to campus this morning, I had a bit of a panic, and it wasn’t at the thought of you, because you all are an awesome sight. It was seeing the signs—those big signs at the entrance to campus. I have to admit that those signs always give me a little panicky feeling because they are a reminder that this is the place where I was abandoned by my parents. This is the place where I was left to figure things out on my own and to wonder, “Am I even smart enough to be here?” But today these signs gave me this panic because I knew I was coming here to campus—a place that cultivates knowledg
  • It is wonderful to be here with you. I am a Cougar through and through—I love BYU. While here I obtained both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, created lasting friendships, and convinced Shelley Hatch to take a risk on me. She was the first of the two of us to graduate from BYU and is the best thing I gained from being here. I hope your time as a student will be as productive as mine was! After I was called as a General Authority, Sister Nash and I—along with our two youngest children—were assigned to Lima, Peru, where I would serve in the Area Presidency. On our first Monday there, we
  • As a young girl, one of my favorite Primary songs was “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (Children’s Songbook, 228) because I could imagine all of the beautiful creations of God in that song—“hear[ing] the song of a bird,” “look[ing] at the blue . . . sky,” having eyes to “see The color of butterfly wings,” and feeling “the wind as it rushes by.” Throughout my life I have lived in and traveled to places that have allowed me to experience different beauties of the earth, including various landscapes and cultures. Beyond the physical beauties of the earth, God has given us other beauties to he
  • Last October I was assigned to speak in ­general conference. I decided to speak about perfecting our lives so that we could eventually become like our Father in Heaven. In my talk I invited the Saints to participate in a spiritual exercise. I suggested that members take the time to humbly ask the Lord the question “What lack I yet?” and then wait for a prompting from the Holy Ghost. In the weeks that followed, as I visited stakes around the Church, members came up to me and said, “Elder Lawrence, I tried the suggestion you gave in your conference talk. I asked
  • What an amazing opportunity it is to stand before you today. Never in a million years would I have ever thought that I would be right here, right now. I must admit that the first thing I thought when asked if I would be willing to speak was, “Really? Are you sure? I’m just a soccer coach!” And then I thought, “Oh, no—those new Marriott Center screens are way too big!” It goes to show you that we never know what God has in store for us in the present or in the future. Life is a journey, and we must always embrace it—even when we are asked to do something that we thought was absolutely unimag
  • My dear friends, I am here today because I believe the friendship of the Latter-day Saint and Catholic communities is important. The better we know each other’s stories as religious minorities in this country, the better we can support each other in pursuing some of the vital issues we share. And that serves not just our beliefs and concerns but the health of our entire nation. I want to begin by giving you some background on the Catholic experience in this country. I will do that through the lens of a particular Catholic bishop—me. I don’t claim to speak for all or even most Americans who
  • Good morning, brothers and sisters. Thank you for participating in the devotional today. I know it is a busy time of year, with papers, projects, and finals pending. I promise to do my best to reward your time investment with something helpful to you now and throughout your life. According to a very fun website1 that I found, it was thirty-six years, one month, and ten days ago that, as a freshman student at BYU, I sat where you are sitting today. I listened carefully as President Ezra Taft Benson, then president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, gave a talk titled “Fourteen
  • Wow, graduates! You look great. I have never stood before an audience as full of promise and potential as this one. As president of the BYU Alumni Association, it is my privilege to hereby confer on each of you graduates lifetime membership in the Brigham Young University Alumni Association. I offer you congratulations and welcome you into this great association of more than 420,000 alumni. Our alumni association has an ad campaign that prompts us to remember our time at BYU with the tagline “Remember when; ­remember why.” We all have a BYU story. Recently I asked some of you graduates why
  • Dear brothers and sisters, it is an honor to accompany you this afternoon in these graduation ceremonies. This is a great day! It is a hinge point in your lives for you graduates. I join with your family members and friends and of course with the administration, faculty, and staff of Brigham Young University in congratulating you for the mighty accomplishment that this day acknowledges. We recognize the time, toil, and commitment your efforts have required. We hope you feel the satisfaction of having done something hard, something worth doing, and something that has made more of you than you w
  • Hi, everybody! To all of you—graduates, parents, and other supporters—thank you so much for being here, and thank you even more for what you have done to get here. I also want to say thank you to those who have helped me get here. To my sweet husband, my parents, my siblings, and all my extended ­family, thank you for your wonderful encouragement and support. I will start by letting you all know that I do not feel particularly qualified to address you, much less able to give you any life advice. After all, most of us are pretty much in the same stage of life. So what I want to do today is j
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