• I join Peggy in welcoming you to the new school year. For some of you, including an unprecedented number of returned missionaries, this will be your first semester as full-time students at BYU. Others are back for another round. For all, it is a wonderful time of new opportunities, challenges, and, we hope, optimism. As Peggy mentioned, the women’s volleyball and soccer teams are both ranked natio
  • Character

    Good morning, brothers and sisters. I appreciate this opportunity to add my welcome to all gathered today as we begin the new fall semester. It is a season of anticipation, planning, excitement, and perhaps even a little trepidation for those adjusting to all that goes on in this special place. We are very glad that you have chosen BYU and are qualified to be here. At Brigham Young University w
  • A New Tradition

    I’m grateful for this invitation to speak at devotional today. Devotionals have always been a part of Brigham Young University campus life. They were first instituted by Karl G. Maeser and early on were offered on a daily basis. By the 1920s, devotionals were held three times a week. Although the number of devotionals per week has changed over the history of the university, their importance to the
  • You are such a beautiful and impressive sight! I wish each of you could stand where I am standing right now and see what I see as I look into your faces. You are the ones the Lord is counting on to help prepare for His Second Coming! As I have prayed about what I might say to you this morning, I have felt that the most valuable thing I could say, above all else, would be to testify to you that
  • President Samuelson, Sister Tanner, Elder Kerr, distinguished faculty and officers of Brigham Young University, family members, guests, and, above all, graduates: greetings. It is an honor to be invited to address you in these commencement exercises. In considering what I might say to you in brief remarks today, I reviewed some talks given by others in the recent past and came across a graduati
  • In his much-quoted talk on dating versus hanging out, Elder Dallin H. Oaks said: A message given by a General Authority at a general conference . . . is given to be heard under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord, with the intended result that the listener learns from the talk and from the Spirit what he or she should do about it. [“The Dedication of a Lifetime,” CES fireside
  • Living Right

    No one with any degree of spiritual sensitivity can stand at this place in the presence of such a concentration of devoted, righteous graduates, parents, loved ones, faculty, and staff and not feel overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation. I am deeply moved in contemplation of what can occur in ensuing years from what you graduates have learned at this unique university. You have the potential
  • Thank you to President Keetch, and thank you to that wonderful choir. You are wonderful, and I appreciate it. First of all I’d like to clear up that rumor making the rounds in certain singles wards: I did not date Brigham Young. (At least give me the benefit of Heber J. Grant!) Some of you may be wondering what I could say that you haven’t heard before. Well, I’ve been wondering the same thi
  • I can see in my mind’s eye the students, young adults, gathered in the beautiful new institute building in San Salvador in El Salvador, where I was just seven days ago. I see them in Samoa, Madrid, Pusan, Accra in Ghana, Mendoza, Moscow, Seattle, in Anchorage, in Virginia, and dozens of other places. To them I say, “Welcome! Bienvenidos! Willkommen! Foon ying! Sdrazvoudje! Yoo koso! And welcome
  • I am humbled by the invitation to speak today. As I have prepared my remarks, I have had particularly in mind the 900 new freshmen who arrived on campus less than two weeks ago. The rest of you will, I hope, find something of value in what I say, but I especially pray that I can help the youngest students among us understand some of the unique opportunities that lie before you. I have entitled
  • When the Savior appeared to the Nephites on this continent, He told them: Those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled. Old things are done away, and all things have become new. Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. [3 Nephi 12:46–48] Later, emphasizing the import
  • During the summer of 1988, our family had an experience I would like to share with you. On July 5 of that year, we were in southern Utah visiting my parents in the small town where I grew up. Not far from there, in one of Utah’s national parks, there is a waterfall where I had been swimming many times as a young boy. On this day I decided to take my family to the waterfall swimming, something we h
  • I would like to share with you a fictitious story that was told to me by my friend Professor Jimmie Smith at Texas Tech University. Even though this story is fictional, it has, I believe, a very important and extraordinary message. In an olden time there lived a king who wanted something very special and unique for his approaching birthday. To accommodate his desire, this king called together a
  • 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
  • I am delighted to be with all of you here this morning. I appreciate your being here. I would like to speak about having a heart like unto God’s own heart, and I want to enlarge on that in a few minutes. However, first I would like to pay a special tribute to a man here at BYU whom I respect greatly—Dr. Hugh Nib
  • Thank you for this privilege, especially after enduring me last night. May I begin by expressing not only my personal gratitude for your present service, but also my additional appreciation for all the efforts expended by you earlier in your lives to prepare for you faculty service here. I share the confidence President Hinckley expressed some months ago, saying: “I am confident that never in the
  • I haven’t been known too much for being nervous when I have to be in front of people. I remember the first time I was going to speak in general conference and was loading the car in Provo, getting ready to go up there, and my daughter-in-law said, “You may not be nervous, but it would be interesting to write a book on how to pack to speak in conference.” I had several tubes of lipstick and two or
  • I am grateful to be with you at the beginning of this education week. It is inspiring to be with so many people who are intent on learning, progressing, and improving. I believe you have discovered the fountain of youth. Roger G. Baker described what I mean when he wrote: There are some needs that we as humans can satisfy and call it done. We can feel safe with an enjoyable but humble shelte
  • It was exactly thirty-nine years ago, about this time of the month, that I gave my best girl my South African diamond. We are delighted to be here today on this special Valentine’s Day, and also at a time when we recognize our national leaders. I’m happy I brought my valentine with me. She will always be one of my very special heroes. She personifies as much as anyone some of the important princip
  • I will never lose the feeling of awe that comes over me when I enter this great building and gaze upon this vast sea of faces, the students of Brigham Young University. To me it is overwhelming to see all of you gathered here together and realize the great responsibility we both have—you, to your committed course of study and everything else that goes with being on your own in a college setting, a
  • Jeff: Before we begin today, I want to put down a widespread rumor. Unfortunately, former BYU president Dallin Oaks and I will not be presenting a live rock concert this month. We know how much you want us, and we know that no other university can claim a rock group out of its last two presidents, but I’m sorry. Holland-Oaks (Hall and Oates) cannot work it into their schedules this f
  • You are an uplifting, inspiring sight. I consider it a privilege and a blessing to be associated with you. We looked around at many of you this evening as we came in, and we literally felt uplifted because of you. I should like to thank those responsible for allowing me to speak for just a few minutes this evening concerning a subject I consider important. It’s the subject of education—basically,
  • As a member of the Board of Trustees, I recently received a framed mission statement of the Brigham Young University prepared by President Holland. I could see embodied in that document the decisions of the board made over the past few years that I have been a part of that body. We’ve discussed curricula, faculty members, finances, activities, even such things as the enlargement of the seating cap
  • I'm glad to be welcome. Facing a group like this, I wouldn't want to be unwelcome. This is a marvelous sight, to see all of you here and feel your heartbeat. I like to think it's yours—perhaps it is mine that's beating so rapidly. As I consider the position you are in as you start another school year, I have a lot of empathy for you—from both sides of the fence, so to speak. I spent thirteen ye
  • This is always a pleasant sight and a special experience. I visited the missionaries last week in the Missionary Training Center and told them the story of a person who was imposed upon by a bully after a traffic accident. When the police found the victim he was in pretty rough condition. They asked him, “can you describe the man who hit you?” He said, “That’s what I was doing when he hit me
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