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  • I should start by confessing I will likely cry. I am a therapist. I can’t help it; emotion is what I do. But in my defense, I bet no one on this campus looks more like Bronco Mendenhall than I do, and we all know he is very manly. Wait for the hat and the super-serious stare. Do you see what I mean? When we first moved to Utah, two of our children were walking around campus, and they saw Bronco. Our then thirteen-year-old daughter said, “Dad, you do look just like him—minus the muscles.” Notwithstanding my emotional or physical condition during this talk, please remember as I speak today th
  • On the wall of my office in Salt Lake is a copy of the Minerva Teichert painting of Queen Esther. You will remember she was the king of Persia’s Jewish queen who was charged to save her people from Haman’s slaughter. The problem was that the only way to save her people was for her to personally approach the king without an invitation—a capital crime! (See Esther 4:11.) After soliciting the fasting, faith, and prayers of the Jewish people in her behalf, she left to approach the king, saying, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16). The Teichert painting reminds me of how essential courage is i
  • It is an honor for me to address you and test your ability to understand English spoken with an accent. English is the language of the Restoration, but I am sure that over time, with the growth of the Church, it will be English spoken with an accent. I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have participated in making arrangements and preparing for this gathering so that we can hold this devotional. I am especially grateful for you, the students. You are wonderful people, and I marvel at all that you represent. In January of this year President Monson was talking to the young peop
  • My dear brothers and sisters, I express my gratitude for the privilege of sharing this devotional hour with you and pray that my words will help to invite the Spirit to touch our hearts and minds. During my career here at the university, I have had numerous opportunities to witness the magnitude of struggles students can face. I admire and applaud those who pursue their academic goals while overcoming great difficulties and seemingly insurmountable challenges. The plight of a student overwhelmed by studies, financial burdens, health concerns, homesickness, and social relationships—just to n
  • Thank you, President Samuelson. BYU is blessed to have you serve as its president. It is an honor to be here today with this outstanding assembly of students. President Gordon B. Hinckley has spoken about how “you represent a great generation in the history of the world and in the history of this Church.” He has described you as “part of the greatest generation we have ever had” (“True to the Faith,” Ensign, June 1996, 2). As students here at BYU you represent one of the great centers of strength in the Church. Along with the future leadership you will provide to the Church, many of
  • How grateful we are for you great young men and women. We have a firm confidence not only in your talents and abilities, but also in your testimonies and in your conviction of the truth of this wondrous latter-day work. You have been blessed to live in interesting and challenging times. Ours is a day foreseen by ancient prophets, a time when men call evil good and good evil, when darkness is called light and bitterness called sweet (see Isaiah 5:20). It is not for nothing that the Church is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We live in the latter days, the pre