• When we moved to Provo thirty years ago, I was in my twenties. Our oldest son was two, and our youngest son was just a few weeks old. I had been a member of the Church for less than ten years. Shortly after arriving in Provo, I met Bertha. Bertha was in her sixties. I knew a little bit about Bertha. I knew she lived in our stake. I knew she was respected by those who knew her. I also knew that she was a leader and a woman of service. People sought her advice. I remember attending a stake Relief Society function at which Bertha was one of the women on a panel that was answering questions
  • 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 for, and I unleashed my abundance of missionary zeal. At some point in our discussion I heard a noise overhead and saw the familiar silhouette of my father leaning over the shaft. What he said was a
  • Good morning. As was noted in the introduction, I come from Australia, so that’s why I think you talk funny. As was also mentioned, I’m a linguist. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. In 1978 Pam and I were living a pretty comfortable life in Brisbane, Australia. We had a nice house close to Pam’s parents and three wonderful children, ages five, four, and two. I had a good job. But I also had a dream. I wanted to know more about how language works, especially for people acquiring a second language. At that time one of the best graduate linguistics programs in the world was at t
  • 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 years ago, I found myself in a meeting over a difficult issue. Waiting outside this meeting was what appeared to be an army of reporters. To say that I was a bit unnerved by their presence is
  • 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 (Moses 2:26)—or, in other words, they were to have presiding and governing power in the earth. It was surely not their physical strength that would give them dominion—because many animals were larger a
  • Thank you, President Oaks. This is a far cry from the old College Hall, where we used to have our devotionals when I attempted to attend this institution. I am deeply honored to be asked to occupy this brief time with you this morning. Truly there is no spot on earth with more significance for me than this campus, and there’s no group of people for whom I have greater admiration and respect than those who lead this institution and carry forward its great works. I am grateful for the beautiful prayer—I need it—and for that lovely music. When asked how he came to choose his special branch of