• Students, family members, administrators, ­faculty, and staff, I am greatly honored to be here today and appreciate the opportunity to address you. Two weeks ago my wife, Vicki, and I were in Washington, DC, attending the Portrait Society of America Conference with seven of my illustration students on an experiential learning trip. Our students represented us so well. Last year while Vicki and I were in Rome, we visited the Vatican Museum and had an opportunity to view the Sistine Chapel. In an address given more than fifty years ago, President Spencer W. Kimball spoke of Michelangelo, t
  • 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. Creativity helps us bring light to the world and our relationships and to find deep and satisfying joy. At general conference in 2008 President Dieter F. Uchtdorf encouraged us to be creative:
  • I am very grateful for the privilege to be with you today. It is a great opportunity to speak to a very special and unique group of people like you. It is truly a blessing to study at this university, a place that allows each of you to live according to your beliefs. Not all students in the world have this opportunity. When I was your age, I studied at a respected university in São Paulo, Brazil—in the city in which I was born and raised. It was a good institution of higher education, but it didn’t have an environment as healthy as what you have here. It didn’t have the wonderful support
  • How fortunate we are to sing “Our Savior’s Love” this morning. Two former members of the faculty, Crawford Gates and Edward Hart, collaborated in its creation. And how wonderful it is to be taught and edified by this superb Men’s Choir. To be reminded of the love and mission of Jesus Christ so vividly through music is truly a blessing. The music performed as we entered this facility quietly prepared our minds and hearts to receive this blessing. I am grateful for music and for all of the arts, for they give meaning and richness to life. A Unique Institution We are privileged
  • Today’s devotional will be a little unusual. I was raised in a family of artists. My father and grandfather both chose sculpture as their profession. My grandfather was well known for his demonstration lectures at firesides and devotionals, during which he modeled a statue in clay while speaking. My father and I have carried on that tradition. At the encouragement of several friends, I have decided to abandon the traditional podium lecture and work on a piece of sculpture while speaking in today’s devotional. I am grateful to the people of KBYU for their willingness to project a live image on
  • When discussing Mark Twain’s religious attitudes, his biographers have characteristically focused on the last decades of his life, those final, frustrating years in which Twain said going to church gave him dysentery. Nevertheless, the early years—the western years as it were—are crucial to any real understanding of Twain’s attitude toward religion, revealing moments of a remarkable religious experience and providing the backdrop against which those last decades, so full of financial strife and personal tragedy, must be seen. It is of that early period, completed before he was 50 years old, th
  • 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 have sung so beautifully this sacred hymn of Zion. My gratitude to them will, I’m sure, be more obvious when I move into the message that I have chosen to speak upon tonight. I want to respond to a