• BYU is a wonderful place because it has ­wonderful students. I hope you all realize how much potential you have. You are all future leaders. You will lead in the Church, you will lead in businesses, you will lead in communities, you will lead in volunteer efforts, and, most important, you will lead in your families. One of the things I hope you learn here is how to be better leaders. If you do, yo
  • When I came to campus this morning, I had a bit of a panic, and it wasn’t at the thought of you, because you all are an awesome sight. It was seeing the signs—those big signs at the entrance to campus. I have to admit that those signs always give me a little panicky feeling because they are a reminder that this is the place where I was abandoned by my parents. This is the place where I was left to
  • Several weeks ago I came home from work and announced at the dinner table to my wife and two of my daughters that I would be speaking at the BYU devotional on September 29. My wife, Lynn, immediately said, “Honey, what an amazing opportunity, and it will still be early enough in the semester that people will actually be there!” Lynn, I am happy to say that you were right—there actually are a lo
  • I am grateful to be with you as we celebrate the inauguration of President Kevin J Worthen as the new leader of this great university. He will help move it upward on a steady path of progress that his distinguished predecessors have marked and followed. He is particularly well prepared and suited to this task. A precious preparation was to have President Cecil O. Samuelson as an inspired mentor
  • When I arrived at BYU eight years ago, I was in my office organizing books and filing papers when I received a phone call informing me that there had been a glitch in payroll processing and that I would not be receiving a paycheck during the first two months of my employment. I said thank you, hung up the phone, and then started thinking about how to break the news to my wife, Jan. Within minutes
  • Many of the defining experiences of my life were obtained here at BYU, on what I believe to be hallowed ground. I solidified my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I confirmed my desire to fulfill a mission, I was introduced to my beautiful wife, I was educated with the basics of my occupation, and I learned the importance of service to others. If you will indulge me, I would like to share
  • My dear brothers and sisters, I pray that the Spirit will speak to each of you who is ready to hear what the Lord wishes you to hear. For I am not the teacher—He is. Two Christmases ago I went out to my car one evening to find the passenger window smashed and my briefcase stolen with everything in it—money, credit cards, all of my ID (including the passport that had taken me to 50 countries), a
  • It is a tremendous blessing to be with you in the first month of a new century, the start of a new millennium. Notwithstanding any difficulties or challenges you may face in the coming years, I am confident you can look forward to unsurpassed opportunities for learning, growth, and service. It is an exciting time to be alive and to be a participant in building the kingdom of God. The
  • Just over a week ago in our August commencement, President Hinckley was asked to give impromptu remarks at the close of the ceremony. He arose and with great feeling exclaimed that he was so proud of BYU--this “crown jewel” in the kingdom, as he called it. He was proud of the graduates who represent the university so well. He singled out the faculty and said that he was proud of your excellence an
  • The first time I was asked to speak in the tabernacle some twelve years ago, Elder Paul Dunn told me that if I could just get rid of the little cotton man, the one who puts cotton balls in your mouth when you get up to speak in the tabernacle, I’d be okay. I’m still struggling with him, and I pray for your faith and prayers this morning. It is an awesome responsibility to be here. I’ve told man
  • Twenty-three years ago on this same occasion, I gave the opening prayer, in which I said: “We have met here today clothed in the black robes of a false priesthood.” Many have asked me since whether I really said such a shocking thing, but nobody has ever asked what I meant by it. Why not? Well, some knew the answer already, and as for the rest, we do not question things at the BYU. But for my own
  • This opportunity to speak to you tonight reminds me, I suppose in an intimidating way, of the sixty-six-year-old golfer who would drive the ball a long, long way down the fairway. The only problem was that his eyesight wasn’t very good, and he would lose golf balls right in the middle of the fairway. He was a strong golfer and could drive the ball a long way but couldn’t see where they went. So he
  • Good morning. It is a privilege for Sister Ballard and me to be here. I would trust that the Lord will enlighten my mind and bless me and bless you also that we might have a learning experience together here this morning. As I contemplated this assignment, the thought has run through my mind that unless, somehow, we all leave this building more determined than when we came in that we are going to
  • My dear fellow students, I presume I can qualify as a student. It is always a pleasing and an inspiring experience to come to the BYU campus and meet you wonderful faculty members and students. The Story of Karl G. Maeser It is an interesting coincidence that I should be asked to speak at this devotional when the Karl G. Maeser Awards are being given to honored faculty members. J
  • I appreciated very much the music of the band [BYU Symphonic Band, directed by Richard A. Ballou]. You are all awake after that. I will do what I can to restore you to your former state. I have come here today without a written talk. I had one, but I discarded it. I awoke at five this morning thinking of something else. When I get through, I suppose you will say, “He should have slept.” I am
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