• Internationally, BYU is known as “the language university.” The 2017 edition of the pamphlet Y Facts reported that approximately 65 percent of BYU students speak more than one language. Let me do a quick survey to see if those assembled here today are representative of BYU students in general. If you know more than one language, please raise your hand. [The majority of the audience raised their hand.] I hope you realize how extraordinary it is that you have been given the gift of being able to communicate in more than one language. Think about it: language is the most complex of a
  • Good morning. As was noted in the introduction, I come from Australia, so that’s why I think you talk funny. As was also mentioned, I’m a linguist. Linguistics is the scientific study of language. In 1978 Pam and I were living a pretty comfortable life in Brisbane, Australia. We had a nice house close to Pam’s parents and three wonderful children, ages five, four, and two. I had a good job. But I also had a dream. I wanted to know more about how language works, especially for people acquiring a second language. At that time one of the best graduate linguistics programs in the world was at t
  • I have titled these remarks “A Sense of the Sacred,” by which I mean an appreciation and reverence for sacred things. Speaking of society in general, I am afraid that many of my generation have been remiss in transmitting to your generation a feeling for sacred things and an understanding of how to respect them. To the extent possible, I hope to counteract some of the bad examples that are much in evidence around you. I hope to help you refine your ability to discern what is sacred and to respond with reverence for all that is holy. The importance of having a sense of the sacred is simpl
  • I am honored that I have been asked to speak at today’s devotional assembly. During the six years that I was dean, I enjoyed sitting in one of these comfortable chairs located behind me, as I listened to Church leaders and colleagues deliver messages of inspiration. I found this morning that the chair assigned to me was not nearly as comfortable—at least I didn’t feel quite as relaxed. I pray that the Lord’s Spirit will be with me this morning, that I may enjoy his guidance as we share this time together. One of the qualities of humankind that distinguishes us from other species, and that r
  • The phrase “Return with Honor” is a very clear description of the purpose of life here in our mortal probation. In our premortal state in heaven, we lived in the presence of God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ. Our goal in coming to this mortal probation is to “return with honor” back into the presence of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ eternally. This is called eternal life. Eternal life is our goal at the end of our sojourn on earth. After birth one of the most significant events in our life is baptism. The prophet Nephi describes baptism as a gate that we enter, after the
  • Where would you like to subscribe?
    Where would you like to subscribe?