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  • Thank you, brothers and sisters, for taking time from your busy schedules to be here today. From years of personal experience I know the demands and pressures of attending a large university. How grateful I am that you would step away from your studies or other responsibilities to participate in this devotional. Let me also thank those who provided me with this opportunity to speak. My wife, Tina, and I returned from Jerusalem in mid-August, after a three-year assignment at BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. We were blessed to have been in a unique university facility, where w
  • I am pleased for the opportunity to speak at this BYU devotional. The first BYU devotional I addressed was exactly forty-five years ago, in 1971. That audience included my oldest daughter, just enrolling as a freshman here. Many years later I spoke at this devotional assembly to an audience that included several of my grandchildren. Today this audience includes our oldest great-granddaughter, a ­sophomore here. Time goes on. I. This opportunity comes at a unique time. I am the only General Authority assigned to address this BYU audience between the beginning o
  • One of my BYU professors of yesteryear—actually quite a few yesteryears—was Edward L. Hart, who wrote the text of a much-loved hymn in the Church. The second verse of that hymn, Our Savior’s Love, reads this way: The Spirit, voice  Of goodness, whispers to our hearts A better choice  Than evil’s anguished cries. Loud may the sound  Of hope ring till all doubt departs, And we are bound  To him by loving ties.1 An omnibus word familiar to us all that summarizes these “loving ties” to our Heavenly Father is
  • My message today is summarized in a familiar scripture, Genesis 2:18, in which the Lord declared, “It is not good that . . . man should be alone.” I suppose most of you upon hearing this will think that I am about to deliver the standard BYU speech on marriage. You are wrong—well, at least mostly wrong. Although the principles I address will apply with full force to marriage, I wish to speak about a broader truth, one recognized in both secular studies and gospel teaching. It is that no one can
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to this wonderful student body of Brigham Young University. I bring you the love of President Thomas S. Monson. He prays for you, and I hope you pray for him. My wife, Mary Anne, and I lived in Guatemala for five years. Elder Richard G. Scott visited while we were there, and together we toured the beautiful countries of El Salvador and Panama. On a Friday evening we had a devotional in Panama. We arrived at about 6:30 p.m., and the devotional was scheduled for 7 p.m. As we entered the building and walked down the corridor, I looked into one of t
  • Thank you so much, President Samuelson, for that introduction. And thank you all for that extremely warm welcome. It’s great to be here at this beautiful and storied Brigham Young University campus. I must say, President Samuelson, that in listening to your introduction, which was very generous, I thought back to an occasion a few years ago in Washington, DC, when former secretary of state Henry Kissinger was the keynote speaker. The chairman of the meeting got up at the moment Kissinger was going to speak and said, “Henry Kissinger really needs no introduction, so I give you Dr. Henry Kiss
  • President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave this introduction of Dr. Alwi Shihab prior to Dr. Shihab's forum address on 10 October 2006. Dr. Alwi Abdurrahman Shihab was born in 1946 in Sulawesa, Indonesia. He and his wife, Ashraf, who is here on the stand today, are the parents of three children. Their son, Sammy, is here. He is 11 years old. Dr. Shihab’s significant governmental experience includes service in Indonesia’s Parliament, as Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (equivalent t
  • Brothers and sisters, I would like to share with you this morning some scholarly developments that I think are very exciting. But, as I hope to persuade you, they are exciting not merely in an academic sense. If they were not more than that, they would have little or no claim on the attention of a university devotional assembly. I believe, and I know I am not alone in this belief, there is divine purpose in the things I will treat today. I believe that there is more going on here than our own merely human efforts can fully explain. Moreover, if I did not believe, passionately, that scholarship
  • I first want to express my profound gratitude to Stan Albrecht for his recently concluded service as academic vice president. Stan is an honest and competent person who loves the Lord and this university with a passion. I will miss him. With equal intensity, I welcome Todd Britsch, whose personal gifts and lifelong commitment to BYU have prepared him fully for this day. As I think of the relief Stan must be feeling now, I recall a story allegedly told by a former BYU president. When someone asked him if he missed his job at BYU, he answered with this analogy: At a certain stake conference,
  • Social anthropologists study people in those parts of the world that have not yet experienced the full consequence of the industrial revolution. These people still derive a large part of their living from the food they grow themselves, from the animals they herd, or from their hunting and gathering activities. They expect the place where they were born to be their permanent home, and they rely on the cooperation of kinsmen and neighbors (the two are often synonymous) to accomplish the necessary tasks and goals of their lives. One might ask why a serious scholar should study these people. A