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  • Good morning, brothers and sisters. Thank you for participating in the devotional today. I know it is a busy time of year, with papers, projects, and finals pending. I promise to do my best to reward your time investment with something helpful to you now and throughout your life. According to a very fun website1 that I found, it was thirty-six years, one month, and ten days ago that, as a freshman student at BYU, I sat where you are sitting today. I listened carefully as President Ezra Taft Benson,
  • There is no principle of the gospel more important than repentance. At least that is what the Lord seems to be saying in the scriptures. Several times He instructed His servants to “say nothing but repentance unto this generation” (D&C 6:9; 11:9; see also 19:21). Does He mean that literally? Is every topic of all the missionary lessons supposed to be repentance? Does repentance have to be the subject of every Church classroom discussion? Of course not. Why did He say it that way then? The
  • The New Testament writer Luke described1 a fascinating scene from the Savior’s life in which Jesus, sitting at meat in the house of Simon the Pharisee, was approached by a woman who was widely known to have been a sinner. Her behavior, as she approached the Savior, revealed that she must have had some previous interaction with Him of a very personal and life-changing nature, for she tearfully knelt and kissed his feet, literally bathing his feet with her humble tears before wiping them dry with
  • 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
  • As a little boy, a favorite activity in my grandparents’ home was climbing upon my grandfather’s lap to have him read children’s stories from the Book of Mormon. Grandpa Condie read slowly and deliberately, and I felt the spirit of the Book of Mormon and easily associated the Savior’s love for me as Grandpa lovingly held me close to him. One of my favorite stories was the account of venerable King Benjamin, who called upon all of his loyal subjects to gather around the temple, where he
  • When couples get married, their love is deep, and they joyfully anticipate the prospect of spending the eternities together. They enjoy having endless talks, going for long walks, and spending time together. It is a wonderful feeling being with someone you love so deeply. Unfortunately, for many couples the bliss of deep love and immensely satisfying companionship that was present when they first got married doesn’t last. Long talks become replaced with frequent arguments, and when not spent
  • 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
  • Several years ago I had lunch with a young man who was a student in my department here on campus—one whom I had taught in a graduate-level class. With his permission I would like to share with you his remarkable story. John was born healthy but developed bone cancer in his leg when he was only 11 years old. He underwent some of the early chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The cancer in his leg was successfully treated, but the medication used in the chemotherapy attacked his heart and resulted
  • I’m happy to be here today to speak of faith in our divine Redeemer. I feel close to him, and the music has enhanced that feeling. I am pleased that so many of you came today. I plan to speak on repentance, and it is good to have so many sinners here to preach to. As we approach the weighty matters of repentance, let us remember the positive side of our nature as well. To quote President Hinckley: You are an inspiration, in every sense, and a bright and glowing hope for the future of this Rea
  • I really appreciate so many of my friends and family and loved ones being here. I’m really touched by you being here. I have known for about two months that I would be giving this talk. I have to admit that that is about two months too long. I have always been in favor of having the periods of terror in my life be as short as possible. In reality, however, these two months have allowed me to think about who might be in this audience and what I could possibly say that would be of benefit. I’ve
  • You have moments when you want to be better than you have ever been. Those feelings may be triggered by seeing a person or a family living in a way that lifts your heart with a yearning to live that way, too. The longing to be better may come from reading the words of a book or even from hearing a few bars of music. For me, it has come in all those ways, and more. A Future Home One of my early memories is reading the scriptures in a school room. The law of the land did not yet forbid it, so the Read
  • The simplest and most basic principles of the gospel are sometimes those least understood. One of the most fundamental gospel principles is repentance. The mere announcement of the word “repentance” will cause some of you to conclude at the outset that you’ve already “heard it all,” to tune out the speaker, or to allow your mind to wander to your studies, to dating, or simply to daydream. But I would like to give you a new insight into the principle of repentance and show you how relevant Read more
  • We read in Acts, chapter two, verse 17, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” I hesitate to mention today that I have had a dream, because doing so implies something about my age. I would rather report to you about a vision. Nevertheless, I had a dream about another talk I had to give a few months ago. During Read mor
  • Recently I was invited by President Bishop of the Missionary Training Center to address the nearly two thousand missionaries in residence there. I accepted because I always assume it is impossible to give a poor talk at the MTC. They will take notes and make scriptural cross-references if you read them the telephone directory. Plus I love to hear them sing. So I went. The Missionary Following prayers, hymns, announcements and introductions, I gave them a rousing forty-minute reading of the telephone
  • Agency in Mortality Last week a young man came into my office with a serious problem. He had been given a gift that was most precious and had misused it, as did the Prodigal Son. You and I have been given that same gift. Whether we succeed or fail in life will depend upon how we use it. That precious gift which the Lord has given us is agency—the right to choose for oneself. Since the beginning of time, wars have raged over this issue. Agency is the most vital political issue in the world today. Read more [
  • My wonderful young friends of Brigham Young University, I greet you this morning in the attitude of love. I am grateful for this opportunity. I feel lifted up in your presence, and I pray that the Lord will bless us that we might communicate well here for these few moments. I am always pleased to see Women’s Week come to BYU, and I want to promise you that there are no finer women in all the world than attend this University. During this past week I have had repeated in my mind very forcibly the