Banishing All Shadows

Be a ray of light. Be your best self and let your character shine. Cherish the gospel of Jesus Christ and live it. The world needs you, and surely your Father in Heaven needs you if His blessed purposes for His children are to prevail.

Building Character

We are blessed to have good role models of character at the university—both among the faculty and staff, as well as in the student body. To that end I would ask all of us to consider the impact our actions and decisions have on others.


I hope in our time together this morning we can think carefully and seriously about what we really are and, more important, what we desire and need to become. I am satisfied that this aim of a BYU education—to build character—cannot be neglected or diminished because all of the aims and the mission of this great university are so intimately related to one another.

A New Tradition

As Elder Holland and Elder Scott suggest, let us all, both personally and collectively, look at our traditions and the established way we do things and make sure they are in line with how the Lord would have us live and, if necessary, establish new traditions.


Your greatness in the things God has ordained as primary and fundamental will not come in a day or with one grand act. It will be built over time with the sort of patient, persistent effort that has brought you to the achievement that we are celebrating today.

Living Right

Resolve that each moment of your life will reflect your determination to humbly be an example of righteousness, integrity, and conviction. With such a life you will succeed in the purpose for which you came to earth.

Remember Who You Are!

If you know—and remember—who you are and remember your divine birthright, you will date noble people, wear modest clothing, use clean language, surf worthy Web sites, listen to good music, watch enriching movies, keep the Word of Wisdom, and stay morally clean.

Magnifying Magnanimity

I would like to share with you a fictitious story that was told to me by my friend Professor Jimmie Smith at Texas Tech University. Even though this story is fictional, it has, I believe, a very important and extraordinary message. In an olden time there lived a king who wanted something very special and unique for his approaching birthday. To accommodate his desire, this king called together all the…

Lessons from the Potter and the Clay

You are the clay—and as such you are of utmost importance to the Lord. He loves you and desires to shape you into a magnificent vessel of honor—designed and glazed for all eternity. May we therefore set aside our fears and concerns for the future and “trust in the Lord with all [our] heart[s]; and lean not unto [our] own understanding.

The Authority of Personality, Competence, and Character

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 periods…

Your Hall of Fame

As you make decisions and determine who you will become, may you emulate the great men and women in our history who were willing to make a difference in the world no matter the personal cost. May your fame be your character.