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  • Good morning, my dear brothers and sisters. I am grateful to be here with Sister Rasband and members of my family. I also want to recognize members of the Jon and Karen Huntsman family who are here as my special guests today. I am honored to be here with President Kevin J Worthen and other administrators, faculty, and staff and, most of all, with you, the students of Brigham Young University. When I visit this campus, I am impressed that you are following your dreams of education and opportunity and are living the standards of the Church. The Lord has special plans for you to lea
  • It is good to be with you today. This is my alma mater—the place where I found my beloved wife and a place that has a treasure trove of happy memories for me. First, I would like to pay tribute to President and Sister Samuelson, who have served with such distinction and devotion. They command my highest respect. Today I would like to speak about becoming men and women of integrity. It is this attribute that often defines the greatness of a man or a woman. People such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, William Wilberforce, and John and Abigail Adams are revered as icons of integrity. The
  • It is my great pleasure and privilege to welcome you to the fall semester. Although many of you are new to BYU, there are also those who have returned following missions and other prolonged absences. Some of you have been with us throughout the summer. To all I say that we are very glad to have you here. We anticipate that this will be a wonderful year for all of us. At the outset, I want to declare my admiration for so many of you who are doing the things that you should in exemplary ways. For example, we have talked about improving our sportsmanship, and most of you are demonstrating trem
  • On behalf of the board of trustees and the administration, faculty, and staff, we welcome graduates, family members, and friends to the April 2003 commencement. On this beautiful spring day, the graduates have reached an important milestone on a path that is never ending. Receiving a degree should not signal the end but the beginning of the learning process. It is a marker that indicates you know how to learn. This is an extraordinary class. Most of today’s graduates have participated in research or creative activities wherein they have explor
  • My subject today concerns one of the values from the Young Women Theme. I suspect that almost all of the women in the audience are familiar with this standard and could say it with me. As an introduction to my topic, would the women stand and repeat with me the Young Women Theme: We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us, and we love him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” as we strive to live the Young Women Values, which are: Faith Divine Nature Individual Worth Knowledge Choice and
  • It is an honor and a rare privilege to speak to this “stone-cold sober” gathering of university students. You have done it again. You have made the national news. I was in Oregon on Sunday participating in a conference and read in the paper the Associated Press story of the Princeton Review’s “Advantage Guide to the Best 310 Colleges.” Florida State University came out number one as the “party school” of the nation. George Washington University came out number two, and the University of Florida number three. On the other side of the coin were the top 10 “stone-cold sober” schoo
  • Today is literally one of the highlights of my life. My soul is filled with joy and thanksgiving. From the time I was a little boy, the opening day of school has always been one of excitement and anticipation. It is for this reason that a high point of my years as president of BYU has been the opportunity for Janet and me to share some thoughts with you at the beginning of each fall semester. This one, of course—for reasons Brother Hafen has explained—is also laden with an extra element of emotion. It is our seventh September devotional, and we realize that it will be our last. I have appre
  • I recently heard a sentence that caught my attention: It is better to be than to seem. I’ve been thinking about this idea—about what it means and how it applies. Hamlet’s mother asked him why he was so concerned about the death of his father, “Why seems it so particular with thee?” Hamlet answered, “Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not seems” (William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act 1, scene 2, lines 75–76). I have come to feel with Hamlet that it is better to be than to seem. Merely seeming thwarts our development. We cannot truly grow if we remain ins
  • Thank you, President Lee and Sister Lee. We appreciate your limitless leadership and are grateful to acknowledge the presence of Sister Lee’s parents, Brother and Sister Griffin. I thank Brother Staheli and the singers for their wonderful music—it was beautiful. Dear fellow students and friends—beloved brothers and sisters—you look mighty good to Sister Nelson and me. We admire and respect you. Many of you attended the Sunday night fireside recently (7 February 1993) when President Howard W. Hunter spoke. We commend you for your conduct during that shocking confrontation by an adversary. Yo
  • I want to talk about the significance of a special painting that hangs on a wall on the fourth floor of the Salt Lake Temple. It is where the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve meet weekly to discuss Church affairs as they pertain to worldwide structuring and management. On this fourth floor is the beautiful First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Room. It is approximately 30 feet wide, 50 feet long, and has a ceiling height of 12 feet. It is decorated in soft pastel colors with fixtures and furnishings that are in good taste and practical. In the front of this room and in th
  • In 1982, on the fourth day of the National Spelling Bee, eighty-five of the 137 contestants were eliminated, including Andrew Flosdorf. The word that got him was “echolalia.” When Andrew had spelled it, he had mistakenly substituted an “e” for the first “a.” I mention Andrew, specially, though, because the judges misunderstood him and thought he had spelled the word correctly. It wasn’t until after the round when some of Andrew’s friends asked him how to spell his word that he learned his mistake. He gulped back his tears and went right to the judges, who had to eliminate him. It was hard t
  • My dear brothers and sisters: what a thrilling sight it is to look out over this marvelous assemblage of young people—to see the thousands of you students, drawn from nearly every state and nation to pursue your education, and to see you many hundreds of missionaries, gathered together to prepare yourselves for the greatest event of your lives! I am glad to be with you to celebrate the beginning of another year. I do not know how eager President Oaks and the University would be to admit it, but I was also a student here at this University. That was a long time ago—before most of you were bo
  • I feel honored, indeed, to have this opportunity of addressing you this evening. I enjoyed that lovely rendition by the choir and wish to congratulate them. As we came in here this evening, I said to Sister Tanner, “It’s such a beautiful day. Why would people come out to listen to me tonight?” I’d really like to have the answer. As I was invited to come down here, they asked me to come and speak to a ten-stake fireside. Before I got here, it was a twelve-stake fireside. That gives you a little idea of how the Church is growing. I told in the general priesthood meeting of my experience in Ca
  • Good morning, brothers and sisters. I am grateful to have this opportunity of being with you this morning. Many times when I am introduced, the first question asked after the introduction is “What ward are you bishop of?” The other day at breakfast, I sat next to a local government official. He leaned over to me and said, “Who’s the new Presiding Bishop of the Church?” So I have several influences keeping me humble. I am grateful for the lovely music these wonderful young women have presented this morning, for their soloist and their director, and particularly to be on the same program wher