• Roughly one decade after the end of World War II, Samuel Beckett completed his second play, Endgame. The title refers to the final portion of a chess match—the outcome pretty much decided but the pieces still needing to be moved. At one point, just over halfway through Endgame’s action—if one can call it that—the character Hamm, frustrated with the unassailability of his reality, utters, “You’re on earth, there’s no cure for that!” (Samuel Beckett, Endgame: A Play in One Act [New York: Grove Press, 1958], 53, 68). In the decades since I first came across this line, I ha
  • A couple of months ago when I was asked to speak at today’s devotional, I was instructed to visit the university photographer’s office to have a picture taken for use in publicizing this event. During the course of the picture taking, one of the student employees asked me what I teach here at the university. I answered, “I’m an accounting professor.” After a short pause she said, “Oh, so it’s going to be a boring devotional!” I promised her I wouldn’t talk about accounting and that I would do my best not to be boring, and she promised that she would be here—so, I won’t name names, but
  • President Samuelson; trustees, faculty, and staff of Brigham Young University; honored guests; parents; family members; and graduates: My dear brothers and sisters, Sister Christofferson and I offer our congratulations, respect, and love to all of you. We thank you for the privilege of being with you on this grand occasion and rejoice with you in the achievements that we honor today. We are pleased to have been authorized to convey to you the greetings of President Thomas S. Monson, his counselors in the First Presidency, and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We extend those gr
  • Several years ago I was attending the baptismal service for my daughter Mary. As many of you may know, there are generally a few talks on the topic of baptism that are given at this service. On this particular day, the man assigned to give the talk decided to teach a short lesson to the baptismal candidates rather than give a traditional talk. So he had each eight-year-old child move to the front of the chapel and sit on the front bench as he gave the lesson. He started the lesson by asking the following question to the children: “After you’re baptized, who is it that is there to guide you and
  • Before I begin the formal part of my talk, I wish to express appreciation to Sister Bateman for the wise counsel given today and for the extraordinary companion she has been to me through four decades. While I have tried to fulfill my dreams, many of which pertained to a temporal setting, she has focused solely on matters of eternal consequence. Her time and energy have been given to supporting a husband, raising children, befriending neighbors, visiting those with special needs, and creating a wonderful, peaceful home. She is a quiet, self-effacing woman—one who does not seek the limelight. H
  • Brothers and sisters, friends: welcome to the Brigham Young University 1999 fall semester. It is good to be here today. It is awe inspiring to look out over this vast congregation. We are all in the right place at the right time. How very blessed we are to be at this great university to increase our knowledge of truth, both secular and spiritual. The quest for learning is a ceaseless quest for truth. Ultimately, any person who seeks after truth will be led to the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it contains all truth. Gospel principles bless all who seek to understand God’s ways and His plan for
  • What a wonderful sight to see so many young Latter-day Saints assembled in one place. I can’t help but contrast this with the days when I was about your age growing up in the South and in California when Latter-day Saints were not so numerous. I grew up in a stake where there were few girls my age. I had a bishop who was interested in youth, and quite frequently he’d stand at the pulpit and say, “Now you young people [all five of us], when you grow up I want you to marry in the Church and in the temple.” And I would look around and ask, “Who?” You are fortunate in that you don’t have to look v
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