• In the 1970s my father arrived on BYU campus to begin his studies. He was not the average BYU student, especially during that time period. My father had come to BYU from Venezuela, a country that many students at BYU had never even heard of at the time. He spoke virtually no English, and he was Catholic. The way my father likes to tell the story, he boarded a plane to the United States, excited to venture outside of his conservative Catholic upbringing and expecting the secular American college experience he had seen in Hollywood movies. Imagine his shock when he discovered that his
  • When our children were teenagers, whenever they would leave our home, my husband or I would usually say to them, “Remember who you are.” If you asked them what that means, they would probably say a couple of things. First, it means that they are a Wadsworth and that there are certain behaviors and responsibilities that come with that. But, more important, I hope that they would say it means they are children of God. We knew that each time we sent them out the door, they would be faced with all kinds of decisions—some that were very difficult—and we wanted to make sure they were armed
  • Since I first learned how, I have loved to talk. Marilyn and Denise, my two older sisters, used to set the kitchen timer for five minutes, challenging me to go that long without saying a word. I never once made it the whole five minutes. Talking in the kitchen to your siblings, however, is very different from talking in this concert hall to a large and diverse audience. Accordingly, I am both excited and humbled by this opportunity to speak to you. But I want this experience to be much more than just my talking to you. I want this experience to be one in which the Spirit teaches
  • Don R. Clarke
    I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to this wonderful student body of Brigham Young University. I bring you the love of President Thomas S. Monson. He prays for you, and I hope you pray for him. My wife, Mary Anne, and I lived in Guatemala for five years. Elder Richard G. Scott visited while we were there, and together we toured the beautiful countries of El Salvador and Panama. On a Friday evening we had a devotional in Panama. We arrived at about 6:30 p.m., and the devotional was scheduled for 7 p.m. As we entered the building and walked down the corridor, I looked in
  • Mark Alden Callister
    The other day, while walking through the Wilkinson Center on my way to the Cougareat, I noticed the windows of the Y-Serve office. Students had turned the name Y-Serve into a question—Why serve?—and, using colorful markers, they had covered the windows with responses to why they serve. I was intrigued and stopped to read them. A few of the answers were humorous—or just incredibly honest: “Because I usually get refreshments!” “To get dates.” “Women.” And “Because when you are in the service of your fellowman, you are closer to the food.” But most answers offered serious reflect
  • I wish to thank President Samuelson, Academic Vice President Tanner, and Advancement Vice President Worthen for the opportunity to speak today. I am grateful for these devotionals and the occasion they give us to explore what it means to be a community of faith as well as a community of reason. I want to express my gratitude for the beautiful music and to Megan Grant and Suzanne Disparte for their prayers. They are two of my research assistants who prop me up on a daily basis; so it is entirely fitting that they do the same thing here. I want to also acknowledge my father and stepmother; my
  • It’s an honor for me to be here at Brigham Young University, and it’s a delight for me to be here in beautiful Provo. The last time I was here was in the fall of 2007. I have happy memories of my last visit, and I have great anticipation of my next. I’m always delighted to be here, and I can see why statistics show that Utahns are some of the happiest people in the United States. It’s quite clear, just by looking around, why that would be so. I’m going to talk to you today about something that you’ve probably given a lot of thought to: charity. But I want to talk about it in a way yo
  • Timothy B. Smith
    Over the past two weeks, we have seen an outpouring of love on the Brigham Young University campus. When we learned of the death of President Gordon B. Hinckley, students set up spontaneous memorials expressing their love for him. And when the reorganization of the First Presidency was announced last week, our hearts reached out in love to President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors. Charity: The Love of the Savior Love is a central principle in the gospel of Jesus Christ (see Joseph B. Wirthlin, “
  • My first memory of staring poverty in the face came about 1936, during the great economic depression. About that same time Maynard Dixon painted a poignant picture called Forgotten Man. This is a man with holes in his shoes, downcast eyes, and hands hanging down. He is without work or hope, sitting on the curb. Well-dressed men and women walk by, paying no more attention to him than to the fire hydrant next to him. The faces of the passersby are deliberately not shown—representing, I think, their lack of humanity and compassion. I hope this captures your full attention and introduces
  • A junior high school student was once having problems learning math. His teacher struggled with him day after day and assigned him extra work to do each evening. The student would always return the next morning with the assignment uncompleted. After this had gone on for some time, the teacher vented his frustration by asking the student in an irritated tone, “What is it with you? Are you really ignorant or just apathetic?” The student casually shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I don’t know, and I don’t care.” I am going to talk today about knowing and caring, the relationsh
  • Maren M. Mouritsen
    Provost Hafen’s introduction was generous; however, what he did not tell about in his introduction was the way in which my call to the deanship at this university was announced some years ago. The actual caption for the pictures and the newspaper article was in the upper left-hand corner. But one of my clever friends cut out that corner and made sure the bottom lead line for another article was clearly displayed: “Utah Inmates Serving Shorter Terms Than They Were 10 to 25 Years Ago” (Universe, 4 June 1985). That is the way I was called. Then there was the way the announcement was mad
  • James D. MacArthur
    I recall participating in a workshop on campus about a year ago in which the invited presenter was attempting to establish the idea that all things are better understood if thoroughly studied and defined in detail. I raised my hand and said, “Some things are ruined by trying to explain them.” I feel that way to some degree today about my topic: “Charity in the Community of Saints.” I know it can be sensed. I have sensed it, felt it, seen it many times, but whenever I try to say it, somehow it falls a bit short. Nevertheless, I invite you to “read between the lines” and see if you, li
  • The phrase “Return with Honor” is a very clear description of the purpose of life here in our mortal probation. In our premortal state in heaven, we lived in the presence of God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ. Our goal in coming to this mortal probation is to “return with honor” back into the presence of God the Father and his son Jesus Christ eternally. This is called eternal life. Eternal life is our goal at the end of our sojourn on earth. After birth one of the most significant events in our life is baptism. The prophet Nephi describes baptism as a gate that we enter
  • It is such a pleasure to be with you. I’m especially glad to be here this week because we are celebrating the Relief Society Sesquicentennial. We celebrate 150 years of Relief Society service and sisterhood. That is an accomplishment I’m very proud to share with you. Relief Society is glorious because we join as sisters who come unto Christ. In all our roles as sisters, wives, mothers, daughters, friends, roommates, teachers, leaders, and on and on, we strive to come to the Savior. I know how rich our Relief Society sisterhood can be because of what each of us brings to it. Think abo
  • Carolyn J. Rasmus
    The text for my address this morning, “The Bond of Charity,” comes from the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the 125th verse: And above all things clothe yourselves with a bond of charity as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace. I selected this topic because “The Bond of Charity” was the theme for the Annual University Conference this past year, a theme the administration believed should not only characterize that conference but serve as a guide to the university community throughout the year. I was assigned respon
  • A week ago this evening I was in Osaka in rather pleasant weather, which was a relief because the weekend before we were in Sapporo with snow above our haircuts, and falling all the time. In between I was in Hong Kong, where we now live, where the moisture content of the air that day was 95. This is March; summer is coming. Someone asked me, “How is it in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia?” I said, “Well, in the summertime it is a bit monotonous until the typhoons come, but it is pleasant to be back here because, while it is very, very hot in the summer, it is not so hot the rest o
  • President and Sister Holland, President Dalton and all stake presidents, President and Sister Joe Christensen of the Missionary Training Center, it is a joy and privilege to meet with you this evening. What an impressive sight to look upon this vast assembly of students, stake and ward leaders, and missionaries. President Kimball made a special request that I extend to each of you his love and greetings. I pray for divine inspiration that I may say—that you may hear—the thoughts that are in my heart; that we may be spiritually in tune as we discuss eternal principles and oblig
  • I approach this assignment with great excitement. I love BYU, the Lord’s university. Columnist George Will cited these as the three least credible sentences in the English language: first, “Your check is in the mail”; second, “Of course I will respect you as much in the morning”; and third, “I’m from the government; I’m here to help.” As a nation, we are often like the old fellow who was sleeping on the couch and whose grandson came in, rubbed some Limburger cheese on his moustache, and then left. In a few minutes the old boy awakened with a snort. The living room smelled terr
  • Good evening, brothers and sisters. You’re really quite a picture as I see you here—tremendous, a very remarkable group. I suppose that most of you have been fasting today. I would suppose that on this campus at least 20,000 people have been fasting and that you have accompanied your fasting with earnest prayer. I think that’s a most remarkable phenomenon. Most of you, I assume, have fasted and prayed with a purpose—that you might find answers to perplexing personal problems or the needs of others, or that moisture might fall upon these arid western lands. I hope you haven’t prayed for snow
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