• Good morning. I am honored to have the chance to speak to you today. As you probably know, we are under attack by hackers and others seeking to steal our online identities or information. Some attacks in the news recently included Target, Home Depot, Sony, and the IRS. In one of the largest attacks, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management reported the theft of sensitive information from twenty-two million people—virtually anyone who had undergone a government background check in the last fifteen years. In addition, there are lots of online scams just waiting to trap us. We are also under
  • Let me begin by relating an obscure historical event, and then I will draw out some lessons that can be learned from this remote maritime misfortune. In the early seventeenth century, Sweden was a world power. Sweden’s king, Gustav II Adolf, commissioned a warship that would be christened the Vasa. The ship represented a substantial outlay of resources, particularly the oak from which the vessel would be built. Oak was so valuable that cutting down an oak tree without authorization was a capital offense. Gustav Adolf closely oversaw the construction process, attempting to ensure that
  • I am so grateful to be here today! You look so wonderful to me—so full of life and promise. I am grateful for the Spirit I feel coming from you. You have come with open minds and open hearts. It is my prayer that we will learn together as the Spirit works within us. This morning I would like to talk about our purpose in life—my purpose and your purpose. This is a good time of year to do this, don’t you think? We usually pause at the beginning of a new year to take stock of where we are in our lives and where we are going. Then we make determinations about what is really important to us and
  • It’s wonderful to be with you this morning on the BYU campus. Before I share with you my prepared remarks, I have just a couple of thoughts I would like to express. First of all, thank you for that lovely choir that has come together with a beautiful hymn. I felt of the Spirit, and I pray the Spirit will continue as we meet here today. I just returned a few days ago from an assignment in the South Pacific, where I had stake conferences and trained temple workers in the islands of Fiji and Tonga and visited missionaries in the New Zealand Wellington Mission. I wish I could take you there and
  • As always at this time of year, I look forward to welcoming each of you to campus and the start of what we anticipate will be a wonderful, productive, and enriching new academic year. We are grateful to have each of you: those who are here for the first time, those who are continuing, and those who are returning after missions or other endeavors elsewhere. It is good to be in your company. If I were a student, which I try to be, I would now be entering my senior year at BYU. I have been generally delighted by my experiences and hope that this is your lot as well. BYU is wonderful. It is als
  • Brothers and sisters, it is a privilege for me to speak to you this morning. I would like to begin my remarks by showing you two pictures. One of these has already been shown during a devotional several months ago, but it is so remarkable I hope you won’t mind if I show it again. The image is called by astronomers “the Hubble Deep Field,” and it is the deepest picture of the universe ever taken. Every swirl of light in this photograph is a galaxy containing billions of stars. Although it only covers a portion of the sky equal to a grain of sand held at arm’s length, scientists can count more t
  • Isn’t this great! What a marvelous campus and community the Lord has provided us with through the dedication and faithfulness of his Saints. Indeed, this great campus is built upon the foundation of those who labored in the vineyards of the world. What a tremendous responsibility we have as an academic community to provide the best spiritual and academic education possible. As scholars in the Lord’s university, what wonderful academic freedom we have to teach revealed truths and principles as part of our intellectual experiences and professional knowledge. How much our students miss when we fa
  • Rex and I warmly welcome you back to this beautiful fall semester. Now that you are somewhat settled in your classes and are just about finished adding and dropping, we hope that your frustrations are beginning to subside. We have two students of our own at BYU who have given their father plenty of advice about how to make things run more smoothly. So by next semester, registration should be a piece of cake. I have been thinking a lot about your happiness lately, about how to obtain it and how to hold onto it. I have come up with a foolproof method. Let me begin with this story. My niece
  • You cannot imagine how happy I am to be here with you. Rex and I both feel that we have come “home”—that this is where we belong. It is about feeling at home and belonging that I would like to speak today. Throughout your lives, you will probably live in many homes. I have lived in twenty. However, I will tell you about only three of them—the places I lived during my four years at BYU. My memories of that period of time were awakened by an experience I had Friday morning as I jogged with Rex across parts of this campus. It was a beautiful, crisp morning, with the sun just peeking over th
  • At a university it seems appropriate to introduce such a message with a piece of great literature—but I decided to use this verse anyway. Rudyard Kipling, eat your heart out. If you can smile when things go wrong  And say it doesn’t matter, If you can laugh off cares and woe  And trouble makes you fatter, If you can keep a cheerful face When all around are blue, Then have your head examined, bud,  There’s something wrong with you. For one thing I’ve arrived at: There are no ands and buts, A guy that’s gri
  • If you were asked the question “What element of Christ’s life or attribute of his character or part of his ministry best represents to you his majesty and personal relationship with us,” what would your answer be? I am going to talk specifically about one potential answer. It is the answer I have been thinking about for some time; it would likely be my answer to the question. I am going to lay a foundation by presenting to you a few ideas I have carefully considered. I hope they will have appropriate inspiration for you in your hearts. I have been thinking about speaking on this subject at
  • My dear fellow students, I am thrilled to be with you on this memorable occasion and to share it with my sweet companion, Dantzel, my father, Marion C. Nelson, and other members of our family. I should like to pay tribute to you and to those unseen who are similarly sacrificing that you might be here. All are here to learn. Some may also be happy for a temporary escape from diapers and dishes. But batteries do need to be recharged, and such regeneration comes from all that goes on in such a marvelous week as you have before you. Last month a major focus of attention was the Statue of Libert
  • My brothers and sisters, it is a humbling experience for me to stand before you in this capacity. To me this is a second language that I am speaking to you. I sincerely hope and pray that the Spirit of the Lord be with us tonight so that we can communicate. Tarry Ye Here As I listened to this beautiful song, I remembered the great pain and agony, the ordeal of this holy man, the Savior Jesus Christ. After the Last Supper he led eleven apostles to the foot of the Mount of Olives, and from the eleven Jesus took three apostles, Peter, James, and John, to the midst of the grove o
  • I am grateful for the opportunity of visiting with you in this fireside. I also sense very deeply my responsibility as I fill this assignment. As one of Christ’s agents, I have the obligation of doing his will on this and all occasions. The Lord reasoned with those so ordained concerning their callings: “Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained?” And he answered, “To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth” (D&C 50:13–14). With all my heart and all the energies of my soul, I desire an interest in your faith an
  • I have one advantage over President Oaks and his father. The time at which I served as a corporal in the 145th Field Artillery was just before Noah’s ark. They have claim to a more modern period. Those occasions on which I come to the Y always serve to put me in a position where my heart beats a little longer and a little faster. And I am in trouble—if I put this manuscript on the podium I cannot see it, and if I hold it up I cannot see you. I’ll hold it up. [laughter] Your youth, your hopes, your fears, your anticipations, your buoyancy, and, yes, your despairs seem to be so much a part of
  • Good morning, my brothers and sisters; it is a great honor and privilege to greet you here this morning in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are met in his name, it is because of him that we are here, and I presume that everything in this life that is really worthwhile comes through the Lord. He has a special program for you and me. It is vitally important that we understand the Lord’s program, for it is calculated to make us happy, which is, of course, the object and design of our existence. “Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). That is a collective term—it means woman, too.
  • I am very happy to be here, brethren and sisters, and to speak for Brother Hinckley and Brother Monson and our associates. It’s overwhelming to see an audience such as this and I wonder if you can sense the deep interest, love, and affection we have for the youth of the Church. I came with five or six pages of notes that I had put together over the last several weeks in both anticipation, I suppose, and worry for this assignment. Once again I learned a lesson that I’ve learned many times: that sometimes you have to be right here on the ground before the right inspiration will come. So durin
  • President Oaks, brothers and sisters, fellow students, it is an honor to return again to the campus of Brigham Young University. I am grateful for each opportunity I have to be among you. Every time I am privileged to come to BYU, I leave as a better individual. I am always inspired by the students here and by the great members of the faculty. I want you to know of my love and admiration for all of you. In responding to this request to share my innermost thoughts with you on this occasion, I sense my inadequacies; for I stand before you, not as a speaker or as an entertainer, but solely as