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  • Abrahamic Covenant (3)

    • What a privilege it is to speak to you, a royal generation, who were chosen before the foundation of the world to come forth at this time to do an important work. I have met many of you during my service in the Church, and I have been impressed by your brightness and goodness. I can picture you now in your gatherings all over the world, from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and other countries i
    • Thank you, President Robert L. Millet, for your introduction. We appreciate you and all who faithfully serve as leaders among the wonderful youth of Zion. We acknowledge the presence of Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Merrill J. Bateman of the Seventy, and each of you wonderful young adults. Thousands are attending here tonight, and thousands more will participate
    • Sister Nelson and I are thrilled to be with you on this special occasion. Whenever we come to BYU and are privileged to rub shoulders with members of the faculty and student body, we are better for it. In two days, people in this nation will set aside their usual labors and celebrate Thanksgiving Day. This custom fosters gratitude to God for the good things of life. Each one of you will offer y
  • Accountability (8)

    • It is truly an honor and a privilege to be with you today. I am especially pleased to have the opportunity to address you graduates. You have my commendation and congratulations as you graduate from this very unique and choice university. I did not have the privilege of attending Brigham Young University as a student, but I was privileged to serve here in the administration for a time. My wife
    • My dear brothers and sisters, it is indeed a privilege to be with you this morning. It is now a new year—2005—as well as the beginning of a new semester here at Brigham Young University. My sincerest desire is that you have a wonderful experience as you flourish in the academic and spiritual atmosphere here and live amidst the outstanding students with whom you associate. There are many aspects
    • This pleasant introduction reminds me of some of the things I’ve been up to over the vanished years. I heard recently someone say that nostalgia is a wonderful thing, but what good is it if you can’t remember anything? We have very happy memories, and some of them relate to these folks sitting behind me for whom I have the highest and most sincere regard. These kind words also reaffirm the feeling
    • 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.
    • It was exactly thirty-nine years ago, about this time of the month, that I gave my best girl my South African diamond. We are delighted to be here today on this special Valentine’s Day, and also at a time when we recognize our national leaders. I’m happy I brought my valentine with me. She will always be one of my very special heroes. She personifies as much as anyone some of the important princip
    • It’s a special privilege, brothers and sisters, to be with you on this Sabbath evening. I’m grateful for the invitation to return to this campus and to share some thoughts with you this evening. It is always an awesome responsibility to confront a congregation of this magnitude in this facility. There is something intimidating about being behind this podium. Three Facets of the Plan of Sal
  • Adoption (1)

    • It is a great honor to speak to you today. I have known this overwhelming task was coming my way for the last year or so. The Spirit has whispered it to me. And I, well, I have tried to ignore those feelings. It seemed too important a task to fall to me, so I tried to push the thought aside. But it returned from time to time and I thought, “Oh my, what could I ever talk about that would be worthy
  • Agency (29)

    • One of the most cunning aspects of the adversary’s efforts to thwart our Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness is his deceitful teaching that there is no evil influence or devil1 and his attempt to redefine evil as good and good as evil, darkness as light and light as darkness, and bitter as sweet and sweet as bitter!2 This is sometimes called a paradigm shift—or “when the
    • I was born in Mountain View, California, the second of (eventually) eleven children. We settled in a relatively quiet neighborhood on the east side of San Jose, not far from the rolling foothills that are crowned by the imposing Mount Hamilton, home to the Lick Observatory, “the first permanently occupied mountaintop observatory in the world.”1 The weather was usually pleasant, even dur
    • We are and will be faced with all types of choices throughout our lives. Each choice we make or action we take carries some type of consequence. The consequence can be positive or negative. A consequence does not always have to be negative; I think we are conditioned to think of consequences as negative. Sometimes consequences appear to be both negative and positive, depending on your point of vie
    • We deal with one key aspect of the remarkable plan of salvation many times each day (in reality, many times each hour): agency, or the ability to choose for ourselves. As I was preparing these remarks, I tried to think of a comparison to convey the importance of agency in the plan of salvation. First I thought of a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. Have you ever put together a jigsaw puzzle and found out
    • My beloved young friends and associates, it is a joy for me to be with you, and I want you to know what a blessing it is to be on this beautiful campus! There really is nothing like it in the whole world. I want to thank President Samuelson and all who make BYU possible. You are a light to the world, and you will become a brighter light as we go through this dispensation. Most of all, I am grat
    • One of the key issues in the Council in Heaven—and one of the key differences between our Heavenly Father’s plan for us and the plan advocated by Lucifer—was whether or not we would be given agency, or the ability to make our own choices. Lucifer argued that he could return us all to our Father without any need for agency on our part. Lucifer said: Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy s
    • I offer you a warm greeting on this cold January day. Two years ago, in January, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke to the leaders of the Church around the world, both men and women. Commenting on current conditions, he said: No one need tell you that we are living in a very difficult season in the history of the world. . . . . . . I do not know that things were worse in the times
    • What is relevant to you today? A few weeks ago I attended a young single adult ward in Washington, D.C., where I met Dean Magleby for the first time. As we came here this morning, I was a little apprehensive about this assignment until I was able to see some of you whom I have known: some of our missionaries—well, many of our missionaries; those of you we have visited in your mission—and we consid
    • A well-worn and much-loved poem by Robert Frost introduces the subject. You may know the work, or perhaps you have heard only the oft-quoted last lines: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took t
    • A friend of mine who was critical of religion once asked me, “What does it really mean if a person behaves righteously because of external rewards and punishments? Every animal will choose reward over punishment.” Elder Maxwell gave a marvelous talk about agency from this podium three weeks ago. I want to reiterate one of the points he made: A central feature of agency is that God doesn’t coerc
    • Thank you so much, President Samuelson. You’re blessed to have this wonderful man as your president. But I miss him at Church headquarters—greatly and personally! It’s always easy to praise Sharon because she represents, as does my wife—as do so many others—the faithful women of this dispensation, without whom this work simply could not be done. They are the kind of souls who are high yield and lo
    • My dear brothers and sisters, what a delight it is to be with you today. To feel your spirit and the greatness of this school is uplifting and edifying. My wife and I connect in a very personal way to this institution of higher education. No, we never studied here, but our daughter received a master’s degree here. As a proud parent, I am not only sharing with you that she graduated summa cum la
    • It is a great pleasure to be with you today in this devotional. I am prayerful that the time we spend together will motivate each of us to consider our lives and to evaluate where we are as we begin this new year. Have you noticed how the seasons of our lives move forward in a never-ending stream? I have been fascinated—sometimes surprised, but almost always invigorated—by the changes I have ex
    • My title and subject today is taken from the Savior’s denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees: “Ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23; emphasis added). I wish to speak about some “weightier matters” we might overlook if we al
    • Some of you may be wondering what it would be like to stand here at a podium where prophets, apostles, presidents of the United States, a prime minister of England, Nobel Prize winners, university presidents, and many learned men and women have spoken—particularly some of you who may feel you are not quite as qualified as those who have occupied this place. As the least-qualified devotional speake
    • This pleasant introduction reminds me of some of the things I’ve been up to over the vanished years. I heard recently someone say that nostalgia is a wonderful thing, but what good is it if you can’t remember anything? We have very happy memories, and some of them relate to these folks sitting behind me for whom I have the highest and most sincere regard. These kind words also reaffirm the feeling
    • Agency, the power we have to work out our salvation through choosing between good and evil, is the eternal principle that will be the focus of the time I share with you today. Agency is a divine birthright. Bruce R. McConkie encapsulated the doctrinal perspective of agency in these words: Inherent in the whole system of salvation that grows out of the fall of man; inherent in the great and e
    • Get a Life

      Just before the children of Israel crossed into the promised land, Moses, their leader, gave them a great final lecture. Their leader for forty years, Moses delivered this sermon about the essential knowledge of life, knowing full well he would not accompany his people into their new homeland. What would he have said this last time? Moses told his people the most important things to know if they w
    • In the thirtieth chapter of Deuteronomy we read, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life” (19). With these words Moses challenged the children of Israel to renew their covenant with the Lord. We may have heard the same words earnestly addressed to us by parents, teachers, and church leaders. We know what they mean. Or do we? Perhaps we could gain by ponde
    • It was exactly thirty-nine years ago, about this time of the month, that I gave my best girl my South African diamond. We are delighted to be here today on this special Valentine’s Day, and also at a time when we recognize our national leaders. I’m happy I brought my valentine with me. She will always be one of my very special heroes. She personifies as much as anyone some of the important princip
    • I appreciate this opportunity to participate in BYU’s annual symposium on the Book of Mormon. This year you are focusing on the second book of Nephi. That book provides some of our most important doctrinal insights on the significance of free agency in the gospel plan. I have therefore chosen to speak about free agency and freedom. The scriptural terms are agency and free. When we
    • Lately I have been reading some of the discourses of the prophets and the Church presidents and I have found some interesting thoughts, which, in my opinion, are applicable at the present time. In October conference of 1867 George A. Smith said: It is very desirable that all of our brethren who are not acquainted with the English language should learn it. We do not wish to blot out the or
    • Agency

      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. Si
    • It is a great privilege to be on the campus of this university—and more especially to be here tonight in the spirit of this fireside. I have prayed earnestly that, in organizing the things I would like to say to you tonight, I'd be guided by the Spirit to say what would be appropriate and helpful. I have earnestly sought, in organizing the things I would like to say to you tonight, I'd be guided b
    • I have one advantage over President Oaks and his father. The time at which I served as a corporal in the 145th Field Artillery was just before Noah’s ark. They have claim to a more modern period. Those occasions on which I come to the Y always serve to put me in a position where my heart beats a little longer and a little faster. And I am in trouble—if I put this manuscript on the podium I cann
    • It is a privilege for me, President Oaks, to be here. It is good to come back home again with friends and family and associates and co leagues. My mind goes back to the fact that I was scheduled to teach a class in this room when this building was built, and I remember the first time that I was in the room, before some of the seats were in, I had the responsibility of teaching a Book of Mormon cou
    • I’ve been many places with my wife when, as we have met members of the Church, stake presidencies, high councils, and the like, they’ve said to me: “We’re surely glad to meet you, Brother McConkie, and we’re most pleased to have Sister Smith with us.” I’ve assured her that that was all right with me, as long as they didn’t call me Brother Smith. And now that’s happened.* I’ve sought the Lord di
  • America (28)

    • My remarks this evening are about America’s great heritage of religious liberty—and about the need for each of us to defend that heritage before it is too late. In 1790, at a time when western Europe excluded Jews from the full rights of citizenship, including the ability to hold public office, President George Washington wrote a memorable letter to the Jewish congregation in Newport, Rhode Isl
    • I am very happy to be with you today. As a graduate of BYU, may I pass along some advice as you begin a new semester or as you begin your college career? I have two daughters here today who fall into those categories. Tori Strong is a senior beginning a new semester. Tanne Cait Griffith is a freshman starting her college career. I will say to all of you what I have said many times to them: make at
    • 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 K
    • It is marvelous to be with you in the early days of this exciting new semester. You have been in school here long enough to have a sense of the heavy burden your class schedule really is, and yet you still have enough time to keep up and be fully prepared for your first set of examinations and papers for the semester. To all of you we both say, “Welcome!” Some are with us for the first time, so
    • One of the hardest, and I think the most important, realities of history to convey to students or readers of books or viewers of television documentaries is that nothing ever had to happen the way it happened. Any great past event could have gone off in any number of different directions for any number of different reasons. We should understand that history was never on a track. It was never preor
    • You might think that a person that ran in a recent election for governor and lost would be severely disappointed, but to be here on the BYU campus and a part of the law school faculty has brought great joy and happiness to my wife and me and our family. I am so pleased to be here on campus and to have this opportunity to speak today. I want to speak about facing challenges, about achieving our
    • This morning I want to talk to you about a very important relationship that exists between, on the one hand, our lives, our practices, and our beliefs as participants in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and, on the other, the Constitution of the United States. In one sense, this topic is a timeless one, because the Restoration and the Constitution trace their beginnings almost to the same point
    • A Memorable Event At two o’clock this afternoon, throughout all of the United States, bells of all shapes, sizes, and sounds will ring. Two hundred years ago today, at approximately two o’clock our time, delegates to the Grand Convention in Philadelphia started queuing up to sign their proposed constitution of the United States. It would still require nine months before it could r
    • On the seventeenth day of September 1987, we commemorate the two-hundredth birthday of the Constitutional Convention, which gave birth to the document that Gladstone said is “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man” (William Ewart Gladstone: Life and Public Services, ed. Thomas W. Handford [Chicago: The Dominion Co., 1899], p. 323). I heart
    • It is always a humbling experience to come to this vast congregation and speak to you. Especially is this true this particular time. For the last two weeks I’ve been on the ranch in Wyoming. You could put that whole city in this center section here—that is, if you don’t count the mosquitos and the cows. We’re delighted to be with you at this important time in BYU’s history. I always enjoy the s
    • Education Week was first instituted at BYU during the administration of Franklin S. Harris in 1922, some 55 years ago. Its inaugura­tion and administration was first entrusted to Lowry Nelson, whose administrative ability made it a success from the beginning. Today there are 86 Education Weeks held throughout the country, having 83,173 enrollments. In addition, there are 28 Education Days held in
    • I’m very grateful indeed, my brothers and sisters, for the privilege of being here. I am thrilled with this great audience, thrilled with the glorious music that you have sung, and deeply impressed with the reading of the scriptures and excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. These scriptures are the voice of God to America, they are the voice of
    • This year being our nation’s Bicentennial anniversary and the Fourth of July being but two months away, I have thought it might be appropriate to give some consideration to our country’s fate and her ultimate destiny. Celebration of the Fourth of July Although I was born and lived for fifteen years in a foreign land, my parents, who were United States citizens, and their fellow c
    • Students of this great Brigham Young University, how delighted I am to be with you here today . Today we especially salute our native Americans on this special commemoration of your Indian Week. We recognize the great contribution you’ve made to America’s culture. We express our love and appreciation to you, and we are proud to call you “brother” and “sister” as we embrace and shake hands in the g
    • My dear brothers and sisters, I too want to express my appreciation for that beautiful choral number and for the privilege of being with you this morning. It is a thrill to know that you are the children of the Lord who have been chosen to come forth in these last days to do his work, and I learned on my recent visit to your campus that you are well aware of the world’s problems: the disease, the
    • Good evening. It’s a great honor and privilege to greet you this evening—the beautiful Sabbath evening that is—in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We meet in his name; it’s because of him that we’re here. We’re on the eve of what we call the Fourth of July. It’s altogether fitting that we consider, relative to the Fourth of July, the real meaning that is behind it. Certainly the Lord Jesus Ch
    • Humbly and gratefully I stand before you this morning, humbled by the responsibility which is mine as I face this choice audience, and grateful for this great and unique institution, founded by a prophet of God. As an introduction to what I trust the Lord will be pleased to have me say today, I quote a short paragraph from a memorable prayer given at the dedication of the London Temple by Presi
    • Thank you very much, President. This is a great opportunity, brethren and sisters, and a great responsibility. I’m honored to have the invitation to say a few words about the political life and thought of President J. Reuben Clark. I have here my opinion of him that appears in the book Stand Fast by Our Constitution. I’ll not have time to read it to you, but before I start on my assigned th
  • Angels (1)

    • The title of my presentation is “Angels, Chariots,
 and the Lord of Hosts.”1 Please know that I have, through various means, sought for the
 Spirit of the Lord. Please know also that the Lord’s angels exist and are empowered by Jesus Christ
 through His infinite Atonement. The Ministry of Angels Since the days of Adam and Eve
 angels have had significant responsibiliti
  • Articles of Faith (2)

    • It is certainly a great privilege and a greater inspiration to be here in your presence. I think that I have never seen this many people in this building before, and to know that you are all here worshipping God and wanting to hear more about his work makes me feel very humble before you. But I want you to know that I am grateful for the privilege of being here; I am grateful for the inspiratio
  • Arts (8)

    • Creativity

      Today I want to explore the topic of creativity and the spiritual connection it can help us have with our Heavenly Father. While creativity is an attribute we often associate with the arts, it is an important tool for finding our inner artist in every discipline at the university. The scriptures teach us that Heavenly Father is a profoundly creative Being, and He has made us to be that way too. Cr
    • I am very grateful for the privilege to be with you today. It is a great opportunity to speak to a very special and unique group of people like you. It is truly a blessing to study at this university, a place that allows each of you to live according to your beliefs. Not all students in the world have this opportunity. When I was your age, I studied at a respected university in São Paulo, Br
    • How fortunate we are to sing “Our Savior’s Love” this morning. Two former members of the faculty, Crawford Gates and Edward Hart, collaborated in its creation. And how wonderful it is to be taught and edified by this superb Men’s Choir. To be reminded of the love and mission of Jesus Christ so vividly through music is truly a blessing. The music performed as we entered this facility quietly prepar
    • Today’s devotional will be a little unusual. I was raised in a family of artists. My father and grandfather both chose sculpture as their profession. My grandfather was well known for his demonstration lectures at firesides and devotionals, during which he modeled a statue in clay while speaking. My father and I have carried on that tradition. At the encouragement of several friends, I have decide
    • I’m reminded of a survey that I recently heard of in which people were asked to list their greatest fears. The majority of those surveyed listed giving a talk as that which they feared most. The second most feared activity was that of dying. I suppose that one could deduce from the study that most people would rather die than give a talk. Preparation for this devotional has been a most interest
    • When discussing Mark Twain’s religious attitudes, his biographers have characteristically focused on the last decades of his life, those final, frustrating years in which Twain said going to church gave him dysentery. Nevertheless, the early years—the western years as it were—are crucial to any real understanding of Twain’s attitude toward religion, revealing moments of a remarkable religious expe
    • I am particularly appreciative of the music we’ve just heard, and quote from section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants: For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. [D&C 25:12] I very anxiously lay claim to those blessings from these righteous young men and women who h
  • Atonement (29)

    • 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,
    • Good morning. I must say I never imagined myself at this podium. But I have imagined myself on this playing floor—and imagined is the right word. I’ve wondered what it would have been like to be Danny Ainge, who, during my freshman year at BYU, went coast-to-coast in the closing seconds of a Sweet Sixteen game against Notre Dame and scored over Orlando Woolridge. I’ve dreamed what it would
    • 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 tea
    • I am grateful to be here with my wife, Debi, and my two youngest children—who are currently attending BYU—and several other family members who have come to be with us. It is an honor to be invited to speak to you today. Several years ago I received an invitation to speak at Women’s Conference. When I told my wife, she asked, “What have they asked you to speak on?” I was so excited that I got
    • Good morning, beloved students, faculty, friends, family, and my esteemed brother in the gospel for over 35 years, President Cecil O. Samuelson. I have always treasured our close and respectful relationship, and I say to you, President Samuelson, that Brigham Young could not have selected a better leader than you, who has reached great heights in medicine, in life, and, above all, in integrity. Th
    • I am grateful for the honor and the opportunity to speak with you today. It is an honor because you are precious children of our Heavenly Father. In the life before this one you were His pupils. I am honored by this invitation from the First Presidency to teach. It is an opportunity because you have chosen to listen, among the many things you could be doing, and so you must have at least a hope th
    • President and Sister Samuelson, my former colleagues at BYU, and friends, I am honored to speak to you today. Speakers at this podium have changed my life. I feel the burden of responsibility. I am thankful for the prayer and the inspirational music. You should know that today is significant in the life of our family, not simply because I am speaking here but because it is also the 25th birthda
    • Brothers and sisters, it is a wonderful treat to be back in the Marriott Center to see so many of you here with us tonight. But, more than that, it is wonderful to realize that across the earth there are tens of thousands who are gathered in various facilities—maybe even hundreds of thousands. Sister Bateman and I were in Argentina and Uruguay last week, and we know that they will be watching the
    • 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 h
    • Aloha. It is a blessing and privilege to greet you today from your sister campus, BYU—Hawaii, which is guided by the same prophetic destiny as this campus. As you may know, we are a small, intimate campus made up of students of many nations. My greeting could easily come to you in scores of different languages, but aloha, meaning love and affection in the Hawaiian language, has become our u
    • Good morning, brothers and sisters. It is for me a blessing and a remarkable responsibility to stand before you today. I appreciate the invitation from Elder Bateman to speak with you. As I entered the Marriott Center this morning, my mind was flooded with wonderful memories. I have been in this arena many, many times. I was a freshman at BYU in 1970 when the construction work on this building
    • My dear brothers and sisters, I am delighted to be here today to share a few thoughts with you. I appreciate the music that was so inspiring and the prayer to invoke the Lord’s Spirit here today. Three weeks ago today, President Bateman centered his devotional talk around a scripture counseling us to “search diligently in the light of Christ” and to “lay hold upon every good thing” (Moroni 7:19
    • Have you ever picked up a fully loaded pack at the start of a really long hike? It is almost staggering as you try and throw it on your shoulders and secure it to your frame. However, once you get it adjusted on your back and hit your hiking stride, it may still be heavy but you are able to manage. Well, school has started. You have had four weeks to get into the swing of things. Initially your
    • If you ever visit Segovia in Spain, turn left as you approach the 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct, climb the hill that rises through a centuries-old neighborhood, and call at the Church of San Justo. A friendly caretaker will welcome you to his church, now in its ninth century. With reverent enthusiasm he will show you the frescoes that adorn the walls of the building’s single Romanesque apse. The c
    • Last spring when I received the assignment to give this talk, I was speaking with a colleague. “I have to give a BYU devotional talk next fall. That will probably ruin my summer,” I explained in reference to having the task of preparation hanging over my head. Not losing a beat, he quipped wryly in return, “It will probably ruin our fall!” You see that I have some good friends—many of whom a
    • At our last devotional we heard a musical tribute to our friend and colleague Brother Dale Link, who passed away a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful work about American Sign Language entitled “They Carry Words in Their Hands.” I, too, would like to pay tribute to this good man, my friend, who exemplified the spirit of the Y, the spirit of optimism, unselfishness, and service. In 1949 Fulton Our
    • It is wonderful to gather in the Marriott Center for the second devotional of the year. We express thanks to the ballroom dance team for their outstanding performance last week. On the one hand, many of you have returned for a second, third, or fourth year. You come with anticipation and excitement as you renew friendships, look forward to new relationships, and continue the learning process. Earl
    • This pleasant introduction reminds me of some of the things I’ve been up to over the vanished years. I heard recently someone say that nostalgia is a wonderful thing, but what good is it if you can’t remember anything? We have very happy memories, and some of them relate to these folks sitting behind me for whom I have the highest and most sincere regard. These kind words also reaffirm the feeling
    • When Nephi saw in vision the condescension of both the Father and the Son in offering the Son as the Lamb of God, he could only describe the love in superlative phrases as “beauty . . . exceeding of all beauty; . . . the whiteness of the driven snow. . . . Precious above all. . . . The most desirable above all things. . . . And the most joyous to the soul” (1 Nephi 11:8–9, 22–23). That Emmanuel, “
    • I wish to talk about your unfinished journey. It is the journey of journeys and will be described quite differently this Easter night. It is an arduous journey. The trek awaits—whether one is rich or poor, short or tall, thin or fat, black or white or brown, old or young, shy or bold, married or single, a prodigal or an ever faithful. Compared to this journey, all other treks are but a brief walk
    • The greatest dichotomy, the greatest problem in the entire universe, consists of two facts. The first we can read in Doctrine and Covenants 1:31: “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” That means he can’t stand it, he can’t tolerate it, he can’t blink, or look the other way, or sweep it under the rug. He can’t tolerate sin in the least degree. The other side of t
    • 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
    • I have sought for the help of the Lord in selecting a subject and also for help in delivering that subject. My desire to do well is not a selfish one. I’m concerned that if I do not do well, it might reflect adversely upon Religious Education, and I would not want that to happen. Or it might appear that the subject matter is not important, and I would not want to convey that impression either. So,
    • In 1971 the eminent historian Arnold Toynbee wrote a book titled Surviving the Future. He expresses concern about the inequality of man’s scientific and technological advances compared with his spiritual progress. He refers to this inequality as a “morality gap.” He is convinced that this gap has been growing wider and that technology has been making cumulative progress while morality has b
    • Tonight I have not come to entertain you; I have come to teach you—to teach you the most important thing I know. I cannot do this, however, without your help. The words and many of the principles I intend to teach you have already heard before. Tonight we approach the season of the celebration of the birth of the Son of God. We join with the rest of the Christian world in observance of His birth a
    • Following a familiar New Testament passage in which the Lord had a conversation with a rich young man, who was unable to meet the standard the Lord had given him, said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich ma
    • I know, as do we all, that the things of God can be understood only by the power of the Holy Spirit. And I pray that we may receive a mighty outpouring of that Spirit as we consider the three pillars of eternity—the three great eternal verities upon which salvation rests. My purpose is to take the three greatest events that have ever occurred in all eternity and show how they are interwoven to
  • Attitude (20)

    • As an anatomy and neuroscience teacher, I have the great privilege to study and teach about one of God’s greatest creations: the human body. I marvel every time I listen to a beating heart or watch an electrocardiogram measure a heart’s electrical activity. It is remarkable to me to watch skin slowly repair itself following a scratch or to think about where and how memories are stored in the brain
    • Good morning. My thanks go to those who provided the music this morning. Their music has helped to bring the Spirit to this meeting. I would hope to speak by that Spirit today. My late friend Robert J. Matthews, who taught religion here at BYU, used to say, “If I speak by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, you will hear things better than I say them.” I pray that that can happen today.
    • It is a pleasure to stand before you this morning and welcome each of you to fall semester at Brigham Young University. This summer has passed very quickly for me, and I would imagine that it has for you also. I would surmise that there were fun times, work times, family times, and possibly even challenging times. I hope that all of you will now have a very successful school year. For some this
    • I have imagined for the past two months what this would feel like, and my imagination doesn’t begin to compare with reality. I stand before you in amazement and awe at who you are. I can’t help but look at you and think of the days when I was a student at BYU. In fact, it was twenty years ago this month that I first met my dear sweetheart, Melinda. I had been home from my mission for about four
    • During the westward migration, early pioneers encountered landmarks that marked the progress of their journey west. Prominent rock formations such as Chimney Rock and Independence Rock are examples of such landmarks. Such features have special prominence in our own Church history. Rocky Ridge and Rock Creek Hollow have deep meaning for the handcart pioneers who struggled across the high plains
    • President Samuelson, Brother Beck, distinguished visitors, faculty, friends, family, and fellow graduates: I am honored to be here today. I am a native of Provo. My dad is a professor here at BYU, and I grew up in and around campus, eating at the Cougareat and attending Saturday Safari at the Bean Museum. But when it came time for me to apply to college, BYU was at the bottom of my list. I wanted
    • Graduates, families, brothers, sisters, faculty, staff, and friends—as you know, we have gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of those concluding this phase of their academic quests and to honor them for their achievements. In doing so, we also honor those of you who have played such key roles in the lives of those we identify for the special recognitions of the day. The names of the graduate
    • Carry On!

      Happy August 2nd! Some of you may be celebrating a birthday today. If so, you join the likes of Rembrandt’s wife, Saskia, who was born in 1612; Irish actor Peter O’Toole, born in 1932; and Andrew Gold, born in 1951. He wrote the song “Thank You for Being a Friend,” which became the theme song for that popular TV series in the eighties called The Golden Girls. For others, however, today i
    • As is always the case at this wonderful time of year, I have the great privilege and pleasure of welcoming you to a new semester at Brigham Young University. I hope and trust you have had productive summer months and now begin this academic year full of enthusiasm, optimism, energy, and commitment to and for the opportunities and tasks ahead. I anticipate you are excited to be here because there i
    • Imagine a scene early in the Book of Mormon: Zoram is minding his own business in Laban’s household one night, perhaps securing the records or telling stories with other servants. His master is out. Then he hears a voice calling, “Zoram, I need to take the plates to some elder brethren. I want you to follow me.” He gets the plates and follows. He recognizes Laban’s clothes. When Zoram arrives outs
    • 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 con
    • Today is January 8, 2008, and the beginning of a new semester at Brigham Young University. I always look forward to the start of a new year with great anticipation, wondering what the days will bring as the year unfolds. I do know that this beautiful campus will be filled with the excitement and activity that always occur when you are here. Each day can provide experiences that can make your time
    • To the paralytic man lying helpless on a bed, Jesus proclaimed, “Be of good cheer” (Matthew 9:2). To the frightened Apostles battling the tempestuous sea, Jesus appeared on the water, declaring, “Be of good cheer” (Matthew 14:27). To Nephi the son of Nephi, who was subject to an arbitrary law threatening his life and the lives of other righteous Nephites if the signs prophesied by Samuel the Laman
    • My dear brothers and sisters, what a delight it is to be with you today. To feel your spirit and the greatness of this school is uplifting and edifying. My wife and I connect in a very personal way to this institution of higher education. No, we never studied here, but our daughter received a master’s degree here. As a proud parent, I am not only sharing with you that she graduated summa cum la
    • Brothers and sisters, though I consider it a great privilege to speak to you today, perhaps I have never been so much aware of my personal inadequacy to deliver something of value to you without the help of the Lord. I only hope that together we can accomplish the purposes of a devotional assembly at BYU. To borrow a scriptural reference from my friend Andrew Skinner, which sums up my feelings sin
    • This is a tremendous picture. I do not know how many there are here tonight, but the number is large. And I guess, Brother Peterson, there are as many again out in other halls. There may be forty thousand young people—a few old gray heads, but very few. A few bald heads—more of those. It is very nice to be with you. I am glad you are here. I prepared a talk for about twenty minutes, and Brother
    • It is a wonderful privilege for me to be with all of the students and young adults gathered here in the Marriott Center tonight and in many other locations throughout North America. I am also aware that videotapes of these firesides will be sent to many of our international areas where English, Spanish, and French are spoken. I am thrilled that modern technology allows us to reach out to so many o
    • Janet: Several months ago while Rex and I were attending a BYU regional conference, we sat on the stand overlooking a sea of students. My mind whirled back over the years, remembering treasured moments from my own BYU experiences. I recalled having heart-to-heart talks with my roommates, walking through gently falling snow on the way home from the library, and reading or getting ready to go
    • Never Give Up!

      This is always a wonderful sight, my young brothers and sisters, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to come back. I extend my appreciation to Bishop Vern Law for his thoughtful and spiritual invocation. I have had the opportunity many times to travel the world in the sports environment, and I have found that Bishop Law had done this Church and this University proud. I am honored to be her
  • Authority (3)

    • My years as a student at BYU were in the decade of the 1960s. It is hard for me to think of it as historical times, but I realize that for most of you, those years seem like ancient history. If you know something of that history, you will remember that it was a turbulent decade in the United States. There was much of dissension and protest and rebellion. Many began to question the legitimacy of au
    • I would like to employ President Holland’s services in reading anything I write. It sounds good coming from him! Indeed, I felt like Victor Hugo for a moment who, watching one of his plays, apparently oblivious for the moment to his surroundings, stood and shouted, “Hernani!” and took off his hat to the author of the great play. I was introduced at a graduation exercise this year in terms of pe
    • It is certainly a great privilege and a greater inspiration to be here in your presence. I think that I have never seen this many people in this building before, and to know that you are all here worshipping God and wanting to hear more about his work makes me feel very humble before you. But I want you to know that I am grateful for the privilege of being here; I am grateful for the inspiratio