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  • Welcome to fall semester 2017. I hope you have a wonderful experience this year at BYU. I remember my first semester here as a student. I was thrilled at the thought that I was finally going to further my education, but, at the same time, I have to admit I was somewhat anxious. The prospect of being a student at BYU was daunting. I was a nontraditional student returning to school when our youngest child was in kindergarten. I remember looking at the syllabus of each class and wondering if I could do everything that was required. I had chosen English as a major
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to be here with you today. I am particularly grateful that my family, immediate and extended, can be here to support me. Upon finding out that I was going to have this opportunity to share this devotional with you today, a colleague quipped, “Aw, don’t worry. It’s just like holding a big family home evening.” If this suggestion my colleague gave resembles family home evenings at the Reese household, then that means (1) most of you are sitting here against your will, (2) some of you will spend the entire time texting your friends about what you are going
  • An important problem that arises in many settings is the Traveling Salesman Problem. A traveler must visit many destinations to sell her goods or make her deliveries. Her problem is this: what route will be the fastest way to get to all the destinations? A poor choice could mean she travels many times farther than she would if she made a good choice. Obviously this problem is important to companies like UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, Walmart, and Amazon. For example, according to Wired magazine, UPS has roughly 55,000 delivery trucks running each day. If each driver could choose a
  • Some months ago, when I was invited to speak today, I asked what I should talk about. After a long pause the voice said, “Well, people usually talk about things they’re good at.” So my topic today is conflict. I used to think other people had conflicts but that I was immune. Then I came upon two incidents in the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith that completely changed my understanding of conflicts and forced me to admit I probably have as many as anybody else. What is a conflict? For our purposes today, a conflict is any situation in which both sides feel the other is in the wrong. I’
  • My dear brothers and sisters, I am glad to be with you this evening. I pray that my message will be helpful to you in your current circumstances and throughout your lives. The Lord warned the first generation of Latter-day Saints to “beware concerning yourselves” (D&C 84:43). That warning provides the preamble to my message. I seek to remind each of us of the mortal susceptibilities and the devilish diversions that can unite to produce our spiritual downfall. Lehi taught that “it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, . . . righteousness could not be bro
  • I am very pleased to be with you tonight. When I was invited to accept this assignment, I looked to it as a great honor and one to which hopefully I can contribute something. I do feel very keenly about young people, and I guess these are the thoughts that went through my heart as I thought about this assignment for the past weeks. Not too long ago a news item came over from Scotland. Apparently, at the funeral of Donald Graham, one of the pallbearers, Blackey McGregor, as he rounded the open grave, fell in and broke his arm. A newspaper reporter covering the incident wanted to put it in th