• In my current assignment as Historian and Recorder for the Church, I have the privilege of working with some incredibly bright people. The Church History Department is housed in the Church History Library, just east of the LDS Conference Center. In this building are located the archives that house a marvelous collection of documents, books, journals, correspondence, film, and other important artifacts. On the fourth floor is a state-of-the-art conservation laboratory where historical artifacts, documents, Read
  • One of my favorite religious hymns was written in 1757 by Robert Robinson. The melodic stanzas of the song “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” bring a certain reflective feeling that prompts me to ponder the love that God has for His children. Each time I hear this hymn I find myself humming the tune throughout the day with the words playing in my mind. I have always found the first phrase of the second verse to be particularly curious: “Here I raise my Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I’ve
  • When I received the call to give a devotional, I accepted the invitation, got off the phone, and knew immediately what—at least some part of what—I would be speaking about today. Then I second-guessed this first impression and considered a whole variety of intellectually provoking things that I might talk about, and I realized that, whatever interesting ideas I might have, they were not the things the Lord was trying to inspire me to speak about. Maggie, who just offered the prayer, left me
  • My dear friends, over the years I have spoken many times to generations of students who have assembled in this great Marriott Center. Today, if you will bear with me, I think I shall change the pattern of those previous addresses. Whether that change will be acceptable or not will depend on you. Furthermore, it is Halloween, and that calls for something a little different, though I don’t know why it should. As all of you recognize, I am now an old man who has weathered many seasons and been
  • I am humbled this morning to share a few words and pray I might say some things that will increase our desire and ability to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for university devotionals. They are a nice break from academic work and let us focus on the weightier matters of the kingdom. I know you students appreciate the chance to get away from writing papers and studying for exams. I have heard how difficult some of those exams can be. I was told of a zoology professor who is so tough Re
  • I appreciate this opportunity to address you in this devotional setting. Let me be among the first to welcome you to this summer term of 2004. I remember a summer term 29 years ago when I was interviewed and offered a job in Special Collections at the library. I remember the exhilaration of beginning my career. I also remember looking young enough to pass for a student here. Look at the full head of brown hair I had! Each time that I walked past the gauntlet of students passing out flyers, I ended
  • Thank you to President Keetch, and thank you to that wonderful choir. You are wonderful, and I appreciate it. First of all I’d like to clear up that rumor making the rounds in certain singles wards: I did not date Brigham Young. (At least give me the benefit of Heber J. Grant!) Some of you may be wondering what I could say that you haven’t heard before. Well, I’ve been wondering the same thing! I can promise you that I won’t talk about the saving powers of scrapbooking or tuna casseroles—I Read more [...
  • My brothers and sisters, it is an honor and great privilege to be on campus today and to speak with you. I am glad that my father and Sister Neuenschwander’s parents are also here. It is of great worth to know people who have been faithful to their commitments and covenants well into their eighties and nineties. During my first year of graduate school, I had an evening class on Slavic culture. On one occasion, after a day of intense study, I was hurrying to class to take an exam. Information,
  • I don’t know when children begin to remember, but I know that my earliest childhood memories are an important part of who I am even though I don’t have a good memory for things that I really should remember: people’s names, things that happened to me, important events. For example, I was 14 when I was baptized, but I remember only a few details of what happened, though I remember vividly some of the things surrounding my conversion. Perhaps it’s true that you don’t remember what doesn’t Read more [...]
  • It is good to be at Brigham Young University. There is a legacy of faith that I think everyone feels who comes here. I would like to speak today about heritage. Certainly 1996 and 1997 are years of heritage from a Church point of view. The year 1996 marks the 150th anniversary of the Saints arriving in California, and 1997 marks the same anniversary of the Saints arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. At the opening of this devotional we heard the hymn High on the Mountain Top, which is a good
  • My dear brothers and sisters, this is a great privilege and a frightening one. I would feel much more at home if we were having a zone conference. I pray for the Spirit and trust that the Lord will help me. I am grateful that Heber and I can be here together; that is the wonderful thing about a mission. I believe it was Elder Victor L. Brown’s wife who observed that only in the Church can one be married for time and all eternity and separated for life; but that is not so in the mission field. A Rea
  • This summer I reached one of those time-dictated milestones in my life—the experience of a seventieth birthday. The family thought it was such a special event, they determined to organize a birthday party and invite all of the immediate family to join in. My brother felt it was important enough to drive all the way from Seattle to be with us. Another one drove from Cache Valley. My sisters were already in Salt Lake, and they were the ones, along with my wife, who arranged the celebration. There Read more
  • The title of my message tonight is “Reflection and Resolution,” for indeed this is a time for reflection on activities of the past, and for resolution pertaining to the future. This evening is a real milestone—the first Sabbath day of new semester, of a new year, and of a new decade. We are pleased to be accompanied by several members of our family, including my father. We had my father, Marion C. Nelson, seated on the stand. Then he felt a little immodest about doing that, so he preferred Rea
  • Sensing the importance of this occasion and knowing how valuable your time is, I have decided to speak upon a subject that is vastly important to all of us—that of making memories. Early Times It was forty-eight years ago that my brother and I arrived in this beautiful valley from Chicago, Illinois, and enrolled as freshman at BYU. We were two bewildered young men as we gazed at those majestic mountains surrounding this valley. As newcomers from the fertile flatlands and cornfields of the Midwest, R
  • President Holland’s remarks about my former athletic accomplishments remind me that there is some virtue in growing older. That virtue is: (1) record books become covered with dust, and (2) memories of people tend to become fuzzy. Therefore, one can ride the bench with a team at the university, yet ten years later, in the minds of most, have been a regular performer. Twenty years after graduation, he is remembered as an all-conference player. Thirty years later, he is an all-American. In just two Read more [...]
  • In the last two months, Tuesdays have become special days in the lives of most BYU students and friends. It is the day when the TV and radio stations and newspapers announce BYU’s ranking. Today, before leaving to come here, I asked my secretary, “What is BYU’s rating this week?” I didn’t say anything about football. I was told, “They are No. 4 in the nation.” Being ranked in the top three or four of the nation in football is not only a new high for BYU but a worthy achievement. I wholeheartedly Read m