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  • Play Through Your Mistakes Music has always been a very important part of my life. Nearly every major memory of my childhood involves music of some kind: singing with my family on road trips to pass the time; learning barbershop music with my mom and sisters; listening to the Tijuana Brass band on the record player while decorating our Christmas tree; singing my father’s favorite song, “Love at Home” (see Hymns, 2002, no. 294), for family home evening; and admiring my mother as she played the organ in our sacrament meeting every week—something she still does at the youn
  • This is my first opportunity to address you in a devotional as president of the university. Let me begin by telling you, “You look really good.” That is different from being good-looking, though you are that as well. I hope that each of you has some inkling of the spirit you carry with you and the light that radiates from you. It is evident to visitors to the campus—who sometimes struggle to come up with words to describe what they see and feel in your presence. I thank each of you for your individual contribution to what is the real Spirit of the Y that those who come on campus experience so
  • It is always an exciting and satisfying opportunity to greet you at the beginning of a new semester. In my long experience of school beginnings, I have concluded that while all are positive in the sense that there has been yet little time for anything serious to go wrong, each new term is different in some ways from any other. This fall at BYU, for example, we have fewer first-year young men and fewer second-year young women as a result of the change in missionary ages announced by President Thomas S. Monson last October. I don’t know what next year will bring, but in two years we will have mo
  • Good morning, beloved students, faculty, friends, family, and my esteemed brother in the gospel for over 35 years, President Cecil O. Samuelson. I have always treasured our close and respectful relationship, and I say to you, President Samuelson, that Brigham Young could not have selected a better leader than you, who has reached great heights in medicine, in life, and, above all, in integrity. Thank you for such a generous introduction, and thank you to the beautiful choir from whom we have just heard. I am so privileged to be invited to this world-class university. My wife, Karen, and I than
  • At the outset I want to make one thing clear. I love competition, and I like winning more than losing. My friends with whom I play racquetball know that I hate to miss a single shot (even though I miss many), much less lose a game or series. I am a quietly competitive kind of guy. But I have been perplexed by the idea that is current in our time and among many members of the Church that “winning is everything.” I believe that in an ultimate sense, the eternal sense, this is true. But along the path, as we work our way toward our eternal salvation, is winning, is success, is making more money,
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