• I would like for us to go on a journey together. The journey I am going to ask you to take, however, won’t be a vacation. In fact, it will likely be a little painful. You see, for you to go on this journey, I need you to reflect upon a moment in your life when you were surviving a trial—a painful, discouraging trial wherein you experienced intense suffering. I need you to go back to how you felt in the midst of the darkness, the loneliness, and the anger, back to the moment when you felt you could no longer endure the heartache. It is this state of suffering that I would like to focus on today
  • Years ago, when we were landscaping the yard of our new home, my father, who owned a hardware store, asked me if I would like some rose bushes that he had for sale at a very discounted price. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. I thought that roses would look very nice next to the white rail fence that bordered our front yard. I bought more than twenty rose bushes. We live close to the base of Rock Canyon, which means that there is very little soil and a lot of rocks. Kevin took on the arduous task of digging the holes for the roses. Due to the difficulty of dig
  • I would like to let my staff, my students, and my athletes know that I am just as surprised as you are to see me up here, but please don’t let it shake your testimony or your confidence in BYU. When I was about four years old, I fell out of my bed. My father heard me crying and came into my room to check on me. As he helped me get back into my bed, he asked, with all of the compassion of a loving father, why I had fallen out of bed. He always loved to tell me how I had looked up at him and said, with the eye roll of a rational four-year-old, “Obviously I wasn’
  • My dear brothers and sisters, Sister Christensen and I are honored to share this special day with you. We love being back on campus at BYU and appreciate the gracious way we have been received today by Elder Kim B. Clark and President Kevin J Worthen and their wives. As we arrived early and walked across campus, we could feel the excitement in the air. We pray that this day—graduation day—will become a beloved milestone in your lives that you will look back on with a deep sense of accomplishment for many years to come. On an occasion similar to this one, Elder M. Russell Ballard noted that
  • I always look forward to commencement and have now been doing so for quite a few years. For Sharon and me, this is a special commencement because it marks a change not only in our ongoing personal activities but also for Brigham Young University. BYU faces a very bright future with the leadership of President Kevin J Worthen. Because we are also leaving, we hope you will not be offended if we consider ourselves to be quasi-members of the class of 2014. We are sure for you graduates that your experiences have been different from our own during our shared time on this beautiful campus. I am c
  • I couldn’t be more thrilled to have received this assignment to come to Provo—to Brigham Young University to speak at your weekly devotional. As you have just heard, I am Bishop Stevenson. It was just about twenty months ago in general conference that I was sustained with Bishop Gérald Caussé and Bishop Dean M. Davies as the Presiding Bishopric. For several years previous to that our family lived in Japan, where we presided over the Nagoya Mission, followed by service in the Asia North Area Presidency. Since we were sustained, a question that is often asked of me is “What does the Presiding
  • Elder Clayton, President Samuelson, faculty, graduates, family, and guests: It is an honor to stand before you today on this momentous occasion. I am grateful for this opportunity to share a few words with you. Several months ago I embarked on one of the longest drives I have ever made by myself. A dear friend had passed away, and I was determined to attend his funeral, even if that meant traveling alone. I confess that as I prepared to leave home, I felt some strong misgivings about the upcoming journey. Our car is not the most reliable, and I doubted my ability to effectively handle our v
  • When Loni, who just gave the opening prayer, was younger, around eight years old, the two of us were spending some time together. At that time I had been home from my mission less than a year and was still in the missionary mode in some ways. That day I felt the need to help young Loni gain a greater love and understanding of the scriptures. So I began to tell her how answers to any problem or concern she might have could be found in the scriptures. I really thought I was doing a fantastic job with my little impromptu lesson, so I ended it by enthusiastically asking her if she had anything tro
  • Thank you, President Samuelson. Thank you for your excellent service and exemplary leadership. We admire you and Sister Samuelson greatly. We also express our gratitude to the faculty and staff for their help to these choice students at Brigham Young University. Wendy and I are grateful to be here with you today. We are very pleased that President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has been awarded an honorary doctorate. We congratulate him. When we think of all he has accomplished—from his childhood days as a refugee in Europe’s cold, cruel cauldron of war to his position now in the First Presidency of th
  • As we begin a new year and a new semester, let me add my welcome to all who are with us on campus as well as all who participate with us in various ways around the world. This is a wonderful season of new beginnings and reflections. The year 2008 was tumultuous in many ways. It was a time of some significant triumphs and also a time of unprecedented trials for many, both individually and collectively. Much that was unsettled around us continues to be unclear as we enter the new year of 2009. In spite of ample causes for concern and caution, there is much about which we should be encouraged,
  • In selecting a topic for today’s talk—trusting God when things go wrong—I in no way wish to be the bearer of bad tidings. Mentioning the possibility (or better, certainty) that things can go badly caused me some uncomfortable moments in the past. At one time I was a member of a high council in a married student stake. I had been discussing the delights of this assignment with a number of my colleagues and friends. Almost unanimously they spoke of the great opportunity it would be to work with young people during the happiest time of their lives. During a later Church meeting I told the stud
  • Last week, on July 24, we honored the pioneers as we celebrated the 150th anniversary of their arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. “It is now 1997, and the future is ahead,” President Hinckley proclaimed last April in general conference. He noted that great things were expected of the pioneers and that great things are now expected of us. He said that we now have “an overwhelming challenge to go on and build the kingdom of God. . . . We must grasp the torch and run the race” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “True to the Faith,” Ensign, May 1997, pp. 66–67). The path our pioneer mothers and fathers
  • Let me tell you about some people I know. One is a woman who served a full-time mission when it was not fashionable to be a sister missionary. She received no financial support nor spiritual encouragement from her family. Upon returning, she worked her way through college and graduate school, marrying when most considered her rather old. After her children were born, her husband lost his job; he has yet to find permanent employment. However, by taking temporary jobs here and there, including those the family could do together, this woman and her husband have survived financially for several ye
  • Thank you for coming. As I anticipated being here on an August evening, I tried to imagine who might come. August is year-end for me. It’s a time to evaluate, a time to get excited about new beginnings. I suppose I am one whose fiscal year will always be connected to the academic year. School is a symbol to me of lifelong learning and growth. On long hot days, my love for football makes me imagine even the mountains standing up a little straighter as the band begins to rehearse and crisp new students flood into this valley. I love this valley. I was born and raised here. I feel connected
  • Thank you, Bruce, for those kind comments and, Lenore, for that beautiful number that so effectively sets the stage for this devotional. I would like to speak about “The Two Great Promises,” but before I do that, I’d like to reflect briefly on some of the past. As Provost Hafen indicated, I’m in the process of completing my service as dean of the College of Engineering and Technology. I’ve been at BYU this time around for twenty-seven years, since 1967, and twenty-four of these years I’ve been engaged in administrative work along with the wonderful work that professors do at the university.
  • I cannot understand how I agreed to come here today. We have just concluded a general conference of the Church and a number of associated meetings. I am hoarse from speaking and feel drained of things to speak about. On Thursday, day after tomorrow, I leave for London for a regional conference to be followed by the rededication of the London Temple and then the rededication of the Swiss Temple. There will be dedicatory prayers and many talks to be given in the numerous dedicatory sessions that will be held. How did I ever agree to come here today? I ask myself. Do you have the same probl
  • Why don’t you have crosses on your buildings of worship? Why aren’t your chapels built in the shape of a cross? Why don’t you encourage your people to wear and display crosses? What is the Church’s policy toward crosses? From Matthew 16:24–25: Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. We in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in response to these questions, try to t
  • Brothers and sisters, it really is a great privilege to be here at Brigham Young University, a great school. School brings back some good memories. It also brings back some other memories: books, labs, exams, teachers, professors, and long study hours. It reminds me of the story of the young man who was determined to improve his grades in zoology. He had studied all night long for the final zoology exam. When he arrived at the class the next morning he saw, to his surprise, ten birds sitting on ten perches with hoods covering their whole bodies except for their legs. Then, to his amazement,
  • Brothers and sisters, this really is a great privilege for me, and I pray that you and I might be united by the Spirit, that together we might be uplifted and rejoice in the beautiful things of the gospel. To begin my comments let me show you something I have here in my hand. It’s a silver dollar from Las Vegas, Nevada, where I was born and raised. At the age of fourteen I used to carry thousands of these up and down Fremont Street to the various casinos there. In fact, at the age of fourteen, I was so important in the banking industry in Las Vegas that I had the key to the front door of every