• Susan and I are delighted to meet with you as a new semester begins at Brigham Young University. I want to begin my message today by describing two important times of transition in my life that occurred on campuses sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first transition started in 1970 at BYU. I attended San Leandro High School in the East Bay Area of California from 1967 to 1970. It was a turbulent time, with anti–Vietnam War protests, political assassinations, and social upheaval. The Haigh
  • Dear brothers and sisters, as we meet at this intersection of a too hot but too short summer and the beginning of a new fall semester, it is my privilege to welcome you again to our annual university conference. Today, as you know, we honor some of the many who have contributed much and brought increased distinction to Brigham Young University. It is also my privilege to make an annual report on some of the happenings, progress, and challenges we have and will face at this university we love. Our thanks go to all of you who are attending. Among the happy faces I see are those who support ev
  • When I began my academic career I received a lot of counsel—some helpful and some not so helpful—from more senior colleagues. Suggestions were offered relative to teaching style and practices; interacting with administrators; navigating the university system for purchasing, travel, computer facilities, space, parking, etc.; involving myself in my professional organization; networking with my national disciplinary colleagues; getting my research started; and so on. While most of the counsel was welcome and beneficial, I remember very little of it today. However, one curious suggestion made b
  • During the westward migration, early pioneers encountered landmarks that marked the progress of their journey west. Prominent rock formations such as Chimney Rock and Independence Rock are examples of such landmarks. Such features have special prominence in our own Church history. Rocky Ridge and Rock Creek Hollow have deep meaning for the handcart pioneers who struggled across the high plains of Wyoming in early snowstorms that terrible winter of 1856. Hole-in-the-Rock and Dance Hall Rock bring to mind the tenacious faith of those called to settle southeastern Utah. Their expedition sty
  • The ebb and flow of university life creates constant opportunities for reflection. At graduation ceremonies we enjoy the chance to meet the family and friends of our recent graduates. These are some of my favorite moments as we recall their foundational undergraduate experiences, such as how they made an important decision, where couples first met, or poignant memories that shaped them. Several years ago my wife, Michelle, and I had a formative experience, you could say, as undergraduate interns on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. We met! It occurred in an environment that was vibrant and n
  • One of the great blessings of my life is to have had the opportunity of working closely with five presidents of the Church—President David O. McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball, and Ezra Taft Benson. Among their other great traits, I found them to be humble men—soft-spoken, mild, kind, and gentle in leadership roles and relationships. Intimate experiences with each have helped me to know what I share with you today in firmness and conviction about mild voices. Personal calls and associations with these presidents over the years have prompted me to appreciate the
  • Wearing His Yoke Meekness ranks so low on the mortal scale of things, yet so high on God’s: “For none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart” (Moroni 7:44). The rigorous requirements of Christian discipleship cannot be met without the tutoring facilitated by meekness: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus, the carpenter, “undoubtedly had experience making yokes” with Joseph (Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, vol. 4 [New York: Abingdon Press, 1962], p. 925), and thus the Savior gave us that marve
  • I will never forget the first time Jeff tried to kiss me. We were standing in the entryway of my home when my mother unexpectedly walked into the room and caught him in the act. Jeff, being the fast thinker he is, said, “Hi, Sister Terry. Pat and I were just trading gum.” Later my mother, in retelling the incident to my father, said, “Jeff’s confidence in a difficult situation amazes me. The fact that he can think that fast on his feet will certainly ensure his success.” My father smiled at me and said, “Confidence is a great blessing to anyone who has it. But Jeff is also smart enough t
  • I welcome you to a Christian campus where discipleship and scholarship are uniquely blended. I salute your ecclesiastical and academic leaders, so many of whom are with us tonight. They will serve you exceedingly well. My brothers and sisters, as on another occasion at this pulpit, I will speak out of my own strugglings about another unglamorous but very crucial gospel objective. Then, the subject was patience, a virtue which is regarded by some as quite pedestrian but which is essential to our development and happiness. A Companion Virtue to Patience Our focus toni
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