• I have imagined for the past two months what this would feel like, and my imagination doesn’t begin to compare with reality. I stand before you in amazement and awe at who you are. I can’t help but look at you and think of the days when I was a student at BYU. In fact, it was twenty years ago this month that I first met my dear sweetheart, Melinda. I had been home from my mission for about four
  • Today is January 8, 2008, and the beginning of a new semester at Brigham Young University. I always look forward to the start of a new year with great anticipation, wondering what the days will bring as the year unfolds. I do know that this beautiful campus will be filled with the excitement and activity that always occur when you are here. Each day can provide experiences that can make your time
  • What I will say to you today will only have meaning as you make room in your heart for the Spirit. You surely have many things on your mind as you come to this devotional. Our time together will quickly pass. You probably will not remember much of what was said. As the Spirit prompts you with a feeling or thought to attach to your life, please don’t let it pass you by. Our message today is simp
  • I was with three of my dearest friends, who asked about the title of this talk. As I struggled to remember, they tried to help: “Finding Joy Today”; “Joy in This Life”; “Joy Today, Gone Tomorrow”; “Where is Joy? Joy Who?” My friend Madlyn finally said, “‘There’s No Joy in Mudville.’” “That’s it!” I said. “That’s the title! ‘There’s No Joy in Mudville.’” I have learned that, regardless of
  • Our daughter, Emily, was in the hospital in another state caring for her two-month-old baby, who had an upper-respiratory infection, and her two-year-old, Ella, who had come to visit her little sister. It had been a difficult five days for Emily. Her husband was in the middle of final exams in a rigorous graduate program. Two children under two years of age is a large enough challenge under the
  • Whiplash One winter’s morning during a snowstorm, I took my mother to have some blood tests done. It was “white-knuckle” driving on snowy, icy roads. We were headed home and going around a corner very slowly. The car hit black ice, and as if in slow motion, we headed for the curb. THUNK! I quickly asked Mom, “Are you OK?” “Yes.” We continued cautiously, slowly. Then I sai
  • You know that I teach nutrition, but I also need to tell you that I like to eat! Today I want to share a few ideas about spiritual nourishment based on some principles of physical nutrition and experiences we have with eating. I have prayed for the Spirit to help us understand how to apply these ideas in our lives. The first principle of nutrition is simple and obvious: we need to eat food regu
  • Brothers and sisters, the chorale has given my message in music and President Bateman has given my message in prose. So let’s go back to class. Ann and I are grateful to be in your midst in the Thanksgiving season. I have a cheerful message, and smiles will be permitted and even encouraged. “I’m writing a book on joy,” said a rabbi to a colleague of mine in New York. That book found that one
  • What a delightful and moving musical presentation! Thank you so very much, choir, for blessing us all so abundantly with your talents. I am grateful, as always, to be privileged to stand at this pulpit. Each time I have been anxious about rising to the occasion, as I am now. Even though President and Sister Bateman have been welcomed formally, I add my welcome as they assume their duties. I
  • Several years ago I heard a popular song that contained the line “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.” My immediate reaction was anger. The next day I heard the song again, and I laughed at myself because in the interim I had figured out why the line made me so mad. It was because it sounded so true! In grade school, while others went to the movies, my parents mad
  • Enjoy It

    Find a Way to Enjoy It I have borrowed for my remarks this evening somewhat from one of my wife’s talks given recently, and I hope that I can do justice to it. The story that I refer to begins when I was appointed to be the mission president in Brazil. As we presented this assignment to our children, our nine-year-old daughter was desolated with the thought that she would have to
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