• I am going to tell you two stories today: a short one about dead cats and a long one about dead people. Dead Cats First, dead cats. Now, I know you might be tired of so many talks beginning with stories about dead cats, but bear with me. My parents’ views on pets—cats or otherwise—could not have been more different. My mother grew up in a household that didn’t allow animals in the house; my dad grew up in a home where pets, at one point even including a monkey, were allowed inside. Over th
  • Good morning, my brothers and sisters. Let me begin by telling you a little about myself. In the process I will share with you my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as the three key ingredients we need to ensure happiness and peace in this life and give us a taste of what life will be like in our heavenly home. I grew up in the Queens borough of New York City. New York City is a wonderful place that is full of excitement and entertainment. As a youth I was heavily involved with rap music, and my brother and I belonged to a rap group called CBS. No, it was not the television sta
  • I love the Book of Mormon! I first read it from cover to cover the summer I turned 13. There was a lot I didn’t understand, but I remember distinctly that I did not enjoy the descriptions about the wars. Since then I have read the book many times. Usually I have skimmed the parts about the wars, especially the lengthy section in the last 20 chapters of Alma. I have wondered, “Why does someone like me need to know all this detail about the wars between the Lamanites and Nephites?” This past year as I taught Sunday School to the 16- and 17-year-olds, we came once again to Mormon’s account of
  • Brothers and sisters, I am delighted to be with you on this special occasion. I am sorry that Sister Nelson has a cold and a cough that has kept her at home. I am overwhelmed by this large congregation of young adults. Many more are gathered throughout North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the isles of the sea. I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to be with us. Since these proceedings are being translated into 28 languages, we also pray for our translators. To each young adult I bring greetings and love from President Gordon B. Hinckley, President Thomas S.
  • My dear brothers and sisters, I consider it a great privilege to be with you today. What a wonderful opportunity it is to be with my friend and colleague President Cecil Samuelson and his dear companion, Sharon. It is such a blessing to have Sister Hammond with us. When we were young, just the touch of her hand caused my heart to beat wildly. And, you know, honestly, it still does. Which leads me to this little story: An honest seven-year-old admitted calmly to her parents that Billy Brown had kissed her after class. “How did that happen?” gasped her mother. “It wasn’t easy,” admitted
  • Elder Bateman: We welcome you to the first, official devotional of the 2001–2002 school year. We welcome a television audience that stretches across the United States and around the earth via satellite. One week ago Sister Bateman and I were prepared to address this same forum when tragedy struck New York City and the Pentagon. The events of that day have had an impact not only on the United States but on the entire world. Most governments now realize that no one is safe if terrorists are allowed free rein to develop secret networks and plan strikes against innocent people. It reminds o
  • My dear young friends, it is a great honor to be with you this morning. How very much I love you. How I honor you and respect you. You do great credit to this church. You are not everything you ought to be, but by and large you are very good, and you can become what you ought to be. You are very fortunate to be here. What a blessing to mingle with thousands of your own kind, to establish friendships that will endure, to be engaged in a great and challenging pursuit of knowledge. This is a marvelous time in the history of the world. How exciting it is to be on the stage of life when one mill
  • Throughout history, stable societies have recognized (and protected) the family as the basic unit of society precisely because the family is the social unit that has the primary responsibility for rearing and educating children. The family has successfully performed these fundamental tasks, in large part, because peaceful existence within a secure family demands that family members recognize (and respect) not just “rights” but communal responsibilities. During the latter half of this century, however, a modern emphasis on autonomy has shifted the focus of academic and governmental energies awa
  • My address today is related to the topic of strengthening marriages and families. It’s a topic I’m generally comfortable with. But I’m not comfortable—and not just because I feel inadequate to address this audience. Family has been a popular topic for speeches on this campus recently. Both President Bateman and Elder Eyring have recently addressed us on the topic of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (Ensign, November 1995, p. 102). A handful of other General Authority speakers have spoken on campus during the last few years about the importance of families. I’ve worried that we
  • In the early chapters of Mosiah, King Benjamin asked his son to gather the people to the temple so that the king could address them. Mosiah sent a proclamation throughout the land, and great numbers of people assembled. As they arrived, they pitched their tents round about with the doors facing the temple. The people were organized by family with father, mother, children, and grandchildren grouped together. (See Mosiah 2:5–6.) In every dispensation of time, the family and home have been recognized as the basic unit in the kingdom and the foundation of a righteous life. It was no less in Nephit
  • Almost three years ago in a Saturday evening session of a stake conference in New York, I listened intently to a young Hispanic sister bear her testimony. As a recent convert she bore witness of the promptings and feelings that occurred during her conversion. She stated: When the missionaries knocked on my door, I saw the smiles on their faces and felt the firm grip of their handshakes. They said they had a message that would bring happiness into my life. At the conclusion of the first lesson they turned to Moroni’s promise in the Book of Mormon. I was surprised. They did not ask me to b
  • Since the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith until September 23, 1995, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a proclamation only four times. It has been more than fifteen years since the last one, which described the progress the Church had made in 150 years of its history. Thus you can imagine the importance our Heavenly Father places upon the subject of this most recent proclamation. Newspapers and television flood us with words and pictures about issues and events to think about and worry about. One of the great blessings of ha
  • May I introduce my remarks today with two questions: (1) what is your relationship with your parents, and (2), for those of you who are married, what is your relationship with your companion and your children? Now, think seriously about these questions for a moment. Are you comfortable with your thoughts and feelings? Does pride and joy start to swell within your heart? Or is there a tinge of resentment or guilt or even fear? I remember one of our missionaries who had just arrived in the mission field. We were having a testimony meeting in the living room of the mission home in Fresno, Cali
  • I thought perhaps we’d have four or five people here this morning and we could have a friendly little fireside chat. I would still very much like to do that in spirit, but obviously our numbers will not allow us to get very chummy. We are delighted to have you here, and I say we meaning not only the whole university family, but I specifically include my wife Pat, who is here with me. I’d like her to stand and be acknowledged if she would. You’ll feel a lot better about me having met her. I have to tell you a bit about how this assignment came to me (as I hear the Continuing Education
  • I'm happy to be able to greet you here this morning in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a devotional at the Lord's university. I am persuaded that this is his university. I am sure he has many of his children scattered about the world in different universities, but this is his. How glorious it is to be here this morning, to listen to Sister Harris and her lovely sisters and their beautiful music, to be in the presence of these special witnesses of the Lord (and there must be two thousand of them over here), and to be in your presence. Families in Earth and Heaven
  • It is a great privilege to be with you today. I take delight in sharing this opportunity with you students and missionaries; it’s a great honor to be in your presence. Introductions are always interesting and sometimes a concern for me. Several years ago, while serving as a member of the Sunday School General Board, I attended a stake conference where I received an introduction that I shall not soon forget. When I arrived at the airport, a counselor in the stake presidency was there to meet me, and he greeted me with the words: “I’m surely happy you’ve arrived. I’ve been anxious to see w
  • Brothers and sisters, I am very pleased to be with you tonight. You represent my favorite congregation. Tonight I would like to direct your thoughts toward home storage. I hope it won’t be too disappointing for you to hear I have selected this subject as my topic of discussion. And before some of you tune me out, let me put your minds at ease. I am not going to talk to you about honey, salt, wheat, water, and peanut butter. Rather, within the framework of real family storage, I am going to talk to you about money, children, mother, father, husband, and wife. In recent weeks, some—with th
  • Social anthropologists study people in those parts of the world that have not yet experienced the full consequence of the industrial revolution. These people still derive a large part of their living from the food they grow themselves, from the animals they herd, or from their hunting and gathering activities. They expect the place where they were born to be their permanent home, and they rely on the cooperation of kinsmen and neighbors (the two are often synonymous) to accomplish the necessary tasks and goals of their lives. One might ask why a serious scholar should study these people. A
  • I commend Brigham Young University for its special commitment to family life, reflected not only by this special week of substance and counsel, and not only by its continuing curricular concern and the nearly unique College of Family Living but also for the commitment to the family by this University expressed in so many other ways. Other universities and colleges teach about the family, but sometimes others view the family as a transitory, economic unit in human history—not as an eternal unit. Curricula elsewhere deal with the need for certain skills in family life (which none of us doubts) a
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